Online Dating: How to Choose the Best Site For You

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Online Dating: How to Choose the Best Site For You
Find the dating site that's your perfect match(maker).

Thinking of lining up a date on the Internet? Do your homework; with the proliferation of dating sites online, you'll find dozens—maybe even hundreds—to choose from, but you also want to make sure you find the one that's right for you (especially if you have to pay one of those pesky membership fees). Use this primer to find out the basics for some of the top dating sites on the Web.

Looking for variety? Try Match.com, one of the largest (and oldest—since 1995) dating sites on the Internet. It has more than 20 million members, plus international versions of the site available in 18 different languages. If you're feeling overwhelmed you can take advantage of features like matchmakers who will help do some of the work for you (you'll pay extra for them), or just browse on your own. You can search by keywords, age, location or other criteria, and it's free to look around the site before you commit to a membership. You'll also be asked to fill out some information about yourself to line you up with potential matches. Keep in mind that the site is intended for "serious relationships."

"This site is good for making multiple connections; there are so many people that you can date frequently," says Stefana. "Just verify the facts on the profile, because some people just make them up—and get a recent picture." Caveat: If you contact someone who isn't a member, they won't be able to get back to you unless they pay up—of course, leading you to falsely believe they just weren't that into you.

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