If you’ve been reticent to try online dating because you like to do it the “old fashioned” way or you’re afraid of internet predators, it’s time to put your hold-ups on hold and get in the game. Once you get started, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the options available for your online trysts, not to mention the sheer number of people who are looking for love. So boot up, log on, and start searching for “the one”. Here are a few reasons to try it.
1. No obligation. Since you can be more or less anonymous about your identity online (you don’t have to post photos or even use your real name in some cases), there is no guilt if you don’t end up liking the person you chat with or if you stand them up for a date.
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2. Bigger pool. Think about the number of chances you have to socialize in a given day. Maybe you have potential mates in your office, you’re a member of a club, or you go out to the bar on weekends. But likely you’re looking at a limited dating pool. If you want to expand your circle, there are millions of prospective matches online.
3. Search options. Most sites have a variety of search options to help you find what you’re looking for, from location to age to occupation to physical appearance (and many more). The real world equivalent would include everyone wearing a sign with pertinent information around their necks.
4. Specialty sites. If you’re into green living, there’s a dating site for that. Do you have a fetish? You can find others who want to participate. No matter what niche you’re seeking, there’s likely a specialty dating site devoted to it.
5. Compatibility matches. If you’ve seen the eHarmony ads, you know that most of the high-end dating websites offer to match you to a potential partner based on compatibility tests. In short, you don’t even have to do the searching.
6. Background checks. Some sites even offer to check into the background of anyone who registers with them to make sure you’re not getting set up with some kind of psychopath or convicted criminal.
7. New experience. It’s always good to go out on a limb and try something new. A little adventure in life couldn’t hurt, and as dating goes, this could be even safer than meeting some random stranger in a bar.
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8. Get to know someone before you meet. Most real-world dating is based on one of two premises: you meet someone and you are attracted to them physically, or you get set up on a blind date. Neither is ideal for finding a good love match. At least online, you’ll know you have something in common before you have that first date.
9. Dictate your terms. You have standards. There’s nothing wrong with that. If the person you’re chatting with is jobless, homeless, or completely humorless, you don’t have to waste time and money on a dinner date. Just look for someone else.