by Oa'Toya James
I had that same question before as well. After I ended a very long relationship that lasted nearly all of my twenties I found myself in an unfamiliar position. I was in a new city, state and out of the club scene. So when I was ready to start back dating, I was having a hard time meeting guys. My beautician suggested that I try online dating. She had her laptop present and gave me a quick overview of how it worked. I will share with you what she shared with me and what I now know about online dating.
First off, if you are embarrassed about using one, don’t be. Back in day, meeting someone you met on the internet was pretty taboo. It’s more common nowadays. People use online dating for many reasons. Some have crazy work schedules not allowing the time for meeting people. Some are in a new area and don’t know anyone. Others are older, out of the club/bar scene and having a hard time meeting people. There are others of reasons of course, but just look at this way: You can do business online, you can go to school online, and you can even go to church online. So why not date online? Although it’s not traditional, it’s merely another method to dating and meeting people.
Online dating is nothing different from what your average club scene can offer. You have married men, men just looking for sex, men just looking to hang out, men who are looking for serious relationships, men who are absolutely crazy. You can find it all in one place, just as you would at a club or bar. But, you may have better luck online. Here’s why:
Of course there are some drawbacks. Here are my personal cons of dating online:
If you want to see what it’s all about, the good thing is that you can search for free! All you have to do is create a profile by uploading a photo (optional), completing some sort of questionnaire and a summary about you telling what you are looking for. Most sites you can create a profile, browse profiles, and flirt all you want for free. But to send or receive a message you must first become a member (except free sites). So most profiles that you view will be of individuals doing just like you, browsing for free. So don’t see all the cuties or receive flirt messages and think, this is the spot for me! They would have you to believe that Mr.GoodMan is free to connect with, when he really only has a profile.
For that reason, it’s best to go the free route. The free sites that I know of are: Plentyoffish.com and okcupid.com. They are completely free, unless you want to upgrade to a serious member (which makes no sense, same access to same people as a free member). Singlesnet.com is another good site. It is not entirely a free site as you have to pay to become a featured member. But paid members have access to everyone on the site, including those who just have profiles. So even if you didn’t pay, if a person you are interested in is a featured member, you can send him a message and he can respond to you.
Take advantage of free trials. Match.com, chemistry.com and sometimes eHarmony will every so often run free weekend (or sometimes week) trials. That’s a good way to see what out there before spending any money. Be careful, most sites will sign you up to renew automatically. So make sure that you change your account setting. That way, if you forget, when the trial is up, you won’t be stuck with a bill.
Remember with online dating, safety, safety, safety! I haven’t had any problems but I know they exist. Make sure you meet in safe populated places like, Star Bucks, restaurants, movies, etc. It’s not a good idea to go to someone’s home first either. Men this goes for you too! A guy told me that a girl tried to set him up to be robbed. So guys, you be safe too!
So that’s the basics on online dating. If you were thinking about trying it out, I hope this article was helpful for you. In another article, I may share with you some of my personal experiences with it. You definitely want to stay tuned for that. In the mean time, have fun, be safe and happy hunting!