The idea of using the worldwide web to find a partner is slowly breaking away from the taboo image and poor reputation it has come to receive. Stereotypically, people used to believe that internet dating was a last resort, reserved for mingers and losers. This really isn’t the case anymore, seeing as those living in a big city and working grueling hours at the office simply don’t have the time to go out cruising for babes. Going online is a much easier option.
It is estimated that the internet dating industry is now worth a monumental £2bn and that one in five relationships starts online. Here’s how you can get in on the action:
The more popular dating sites such as match.com and eHarmony claim to have the best results, boasting thousands of success stories. However, they also lure you in by insinuating that the service is free. Yes you can register for free, but that’s about it! The cost of finding love at match.com can be as much as £29.99 per month!
Be warned. It has been reported that some paying sites such as Cupid plc have used fake profiles and messages in order to encourage prolonged membership. So it might be worth trying out a free site first.
Top free dating sites – and they actually are free – include the aptly named Plenty of Fish and OkCupid. If we were to pit these two against one another, we would see that each has a lot to bring to the table. OkCupid is a much more professional looking and stylish site, while POF keeps it simple. POF has way more users at a wopping 11 million to OkCupid’s measly 1.9. But is this a good thing? On the one hand it means more potential partners to choose from, on the other, more time spent searching.
I say join both. They’re both free after all.
Dating apps give the term speed-dating a new meaning. The hugely popular app Grindr, aimed at gay men, set an unexpected precedent by changing the face of internet dating – if you can really call it that, you’re much more likely to get a hook-up on Grindr. Using GPS, the app finds users who are close by, which could be either a bit awkward or exciting if you’re messaging someone a few tables across from you in a bar. Its heterosexual sister Tinder is on the rise.
Though less taboo, internet dating can still be tricky business. As a person who has almost exclusively found dates online, I’d like to share a few tips with you:
- Don’t lie but be aware that other people do. Here’s a list of what you should be sceptical about.
- Add your potential date on Facebook. People usually only choose a few of their best pictures and attributes to share on dating sites. Through Facebook you may find out that they are a massive racist or have no teeth.
- Speak to them on the phone. This is another way to fish out any oddities before a potentially awful date and will make you less nervous when it comes around.
- Beware of the Catfish.
- Be safe. This one is pretty obvious but you never know when you might be so interested that you forget the eternal rule about talking to strangers, well meeting them in this case. Always meet in a public place and have a friend on standby if you’re particularly nervous.
- My absolute top tip would be not to speak too much with your new boo before the date. It could get rather awkward if you already know everything about one another.
So, now you have all the info, why not make 2014 the year of making your own luck. You can’t just expect the ideal man or woman to fall into your lap. Stop making excuses, saying that you’re too busy with work or that internet dating is for saddos, because it’s just not true!