... because dating is hard, no matter WHO you are!
Seeking a same-sex relationship online is no different than searching through CatholicMatch.com, JDate.com or bdsm.com to find your targeted niche. Same sex singles can benefit from the mainstream dating sites, such as Match or eHarmony, as both services cater to the same-sex community.
Gay and lesbian singles need to understand what they hope to gain from their online journey in order to select the right dating site. The same online dating etiquette applies — be honest about who you are and what type of relationship you seek. If you are bisexual, the expectation would be that you list yourself as bisexual, even if do not have that requirement for a potential match. The principle is no different when listing whether you smoke or drink.
So how do you get started? The hardest part of jumping in is knowing which site best suits your needs. Here's a breakdown of each site and how it works in regard to LGBT daters:
It's a free site that connects LGBT singles. With a mass following, finding someone to grab a drink with at the end of the work week or to take to a wine tasting involves surfing profiles of members who live nearby with similar tastes.
The downfall is that a free site does not have any barrier to enter — anyone can click in and subscribe. As with any free site, you run the risk of meeting people who are less than committed in the search for Happily Ever After. OKCupid DOES allow members to block straight singles from viewing their profile.
This site, which has 975,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members, does most of the work for you through strong personality matching results. Members of Chemistry.com are limited in their ability to search independently through profiles. The site caters mostly to relationship-driven singles over 35 using unique analytical questions, such as selecting a color to demonstrate your personality. Members on this site are serious about their searches for companionship since a six-month subscription costs $160.
Match has approximately 650,000 LGBT members. Safety and discretion are important, so Match offers members a disclosure feature. This means that singles can reveal themselves only after they have accepted communications. However, the majority of the paying members keep their profiles visible, allowing for open searching. Match.com also offers suggestions in the "Daily Five" and in search functions. Members create profiles using a questionnaire that showcases their, interests, lifestyle and values. A six-month membership costs $100.
This the eHarmony solution for relationship-seeking LGBT singles. The site guides member communication before ever showing member profiles. Once two members complete the guided process, the relationship is moved to "open communication." This feature provides members with the ability to send emails to potential partners, while still keeping anonymity.
SPM has a better selection for LGBT individuals looking for mature singles. The site does not appear to have a six-month package and membership starts at $30 per month. While Match, eHarmony and Chemistry have mature members, this site is becoming a favorite for both straight and gay older singles.
Once you find your site of choice, dive in and start searching. Just remember to follow the basic rules for Online Dating Safety protocols to protect yourself and your mate's heart.
To learn more about Online Dating in the Toad Kingdom, sign up for your free subscription to the Toad Kingdom Times, the official newsletter of Online Daters everywhere.