Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Survey the District: Online Dating Advice?

Today's question comes from one of our male readers (sorry if the picture was misleading for some of you).


Been searching for best way to meet new people for dating online. But is seems like there are so many losers out there and I just don' know where to start.

I've checked into dating sites like but they really don't seem to work that well.

What's your experience been. Any suggestion would be most appreciated.

Our regular readers know we’ve always been advocates of free dating sites.

The problem with Match, eHaromny, and other subscription sites is that, by requiring users to pay in, they attract people who are both so desperate to find someone that they’ll drop cash on the promise of potentially meeting someone they might like, and also more interested in cashing in their investment.

On the paid dating sites, everyone knows what you’re there for, and people are looking to make the most if it before their subscriptions expire.

This encourages unattractive behavior. People have an incentive to move fast, and, because they’ve paid money, they feel like they’re owed something.

On free dating sites, you’re more likely to get people who are just curious, testing the waters, and not overly committed to finding The One in cyberspace.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that users on the free sites will be more datable or desirable, but it does mean they’ll probably interact in a different manner. Their profile’s not going away if they forget to pay, so there’s no need to message you back immediately. They don’t need to arrange dates that week because they’re not even sure if this is the answer in the first place.

But it is important to realize that your zip code is probably the biggest factor in the success (or failure) in your foray into online dating.

If you live in a large metropolitan area, you’re going to find more potential matches than you will in a rural area. A bigger population means more options, whether you’re going to house parties or browsing the internet.

But why are you so quick to label other users as “losers?” In most cities, there’s actually a high percentage of “normal” people who have jobs, hobbies, lives, and, in some cases, dignity, that prevent them from attending singles mixers or hiring a matchmaker.

Diving into the online dating pool usually requires an open mind—after all, those of us who grew up with the internet were always taught to be on the lookout for pedophiles and other dangerous criminals lurking behind a mask of deception and online anonymity. 

You have to get past that, and realize that most of the people who sign up for these sites are probably more like you—looking to meet someone, but not interested in dropping everything for your search.

Online dating’s biggest selling point is convenience—it’s easier than getting set up and there’s a bigger selection than you’d find at a random bar (and meeting people in bars is a terrible idea to begin with).

Simply put, our advice is to sign up for a few free websites and see how it goes. Message a few women and go out on a few dates. If it’s not for you, it’s not the end of the world. But we bet you’ll find it’s way easier than calling that girl your mother’s been talking up for years.

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