Break the Online Dating Ice

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Break the Online Dating Ice
Online dating at Yahoo! Personals.

"Wink!" 

Flirting is free on Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo!'s online dating site. Just sign in to send a user one of these –ironically– impersonal and genetic "Icebreakers." (When it comes to picking up readers, however, I prefer to jazz ‘em up...!).

"Hi, there!" 

Creating a profile is free. While Yahoo! Personals stops short of a background checks, the site does claim to screen profiles before entry. "It's a dating community, not a night club,"one site banner reads. (My mistake.)

"Your profile made me smile!" 

All it takes to create a profile is some easy-does-it box-checking in the categories of appearance, lifestyle, home life, and personality. The personality section includes sense of humor (Am I clever/quick witted or dry/sarcastic? Hmm..), and TV watching habits (which may have little to do with personality, but allow those special news junkies to rise to the cream-of-the-search crop while the couch potatoes, may stay seated…as expected).

"Want to chat? On my profile I've got some great questions to start." 

A cool profile feature is the section for up to three generic questions that you would like potential matches to answer when they contact you.

"Nice photo! Can you add more?" 

Yes! You can add up to ten photos. Posting a photo boosts your replies by a reported 600%. (Those with no photos are excluded from most search results.) Another –free- way to increase replies is to opt-in on spamming out your profile on Yahoo's partner websites for extra views.

"Your profile stood out from the others." 

And there are many others. Yahoo! Personals claims to have an "Olympic-sized dating pool." Damn. That's a big pool, but it seems to be true. They say there are thousands of new profiles added daily.

"If you e-mail me, I'll definitely respond!" 

You'll pay for it. To send an e-mail or instant message, you need a premier subscription, which costs $29.99 per month, or as little as $15.99 if you buy ‘em in a pack of six. The premier subscription claims to cater to those looking for long-term relationships, and it makes matches based on a personality test. You can create a profile, search for matches, and flirt free. Commitment-phoebes: You are invited to try a free seven day pass to give the site a whirl.

"You caught my eye!" 

The homepage is peppy; after all, if tangerine orange search result boxes don't turn you on then what will? A vertical scroll bar makes member browsing feel like smooth sailing. Browsing on Yahoo! Personals is easy as newspaper-personals. You can choose how you'd like to view your matches: a grid of five or two mini-profiles across the page.

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