Did you know that two out of five single people in the UK now use some kind of on line dating service? That’s 40% of all singles! Unfortunately, the percentage of these people who actually find a real romance as a direct result of their site memberships is very low – probably less than 10%.
Why is this? Well, it’s true that some sites are better than others; they have more traffic, they are better to navigate; they just ‘work’ whilst others just don’t. But what really matters is how you use a site when you actually sign-up to one. Take my word for it, unless you take the five simple steps that I’m about to outline, you may as well do something more productive with your time than join a singles site. What I’m about to say may sound obvious and rather simplistic, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t bother doing the ‘obvious’. So here goes…
1. Create A Great Profile. This is the most important aspect of your dating site experience. Don’t just say ‘Nice guy seeks nice girl for trips to the cinema’ – how boring does that sound? Take the time to say something about yourself, your lifestyle, your interests and the type of person you’re hoping to meet. And remember to sound happy, upbeat, fun and confident; if you’re miserable about your recent breakup, then keep it to yourself! This isn’t the time for modesty; if you think you’re pretty darn attractive, then be sure to say so. And humor is a real ice-breaker – if you can make someone laugh, they’ll be more likely to want to contact you.
2. Always Upload A Photo. Even if you don’t have a very flattering one to hand, you should always post a pic with your profile. Remember, 95% of people on dating sites only search for other members who have bothered to provide a picture of themselves. You want to see what other potential partners look like so it stands to reason that other people will want to know what you look like too. If your photo isn’t recent or isn’t a great likeness of you, you can always say so in your profile.
3. Be Proactive. Don’t just join a site and expect other people to contact you. Make sure you regularly search the database for people with whom you might be compatible and when you find someone you like the look or sound of, write to them immediately and tell them why you think you might be a good fit.
4. Write Great Emails. OK, you’ve joined a dating site, you’ve searched for other members who fall within your specified categories, and you’ve been presented with a page of matching profiles. You’re eager to fire off a few emails…but what on earth do you say in them? Re-read the paragraph above about creating a great profile and apply the same rules to the first email that you send to another member. If it looks like you can’t be bothered to say much or that you’re sending the same one line message to several people, then they probably wont bother to reply. Tell that person a little about who you are and why you think you might both be compatible – respond directly to what you’ve read in that person’s profile – sound interested and interesting and you’ll get an email by return – sound boring and downbeat and you’ll just be ignored.
5. Check Back With The Site. There are two reasons why you should do this as often as possible. The most obvious one is to keep up to speed with who has joined since you last logged-on; that special someone might have signed-up since you last visited the site so don’t miss out. However, what most people don’t realize is that when you log-in to a dating site, your profile moves up the listings on the internal search engine which means that you are more likely to be spotted and subsequently contacted by other people. Don’t be a stranger to the site you’ve joined and I recommend that you visit the site at least once a day during the lifetime of your membership.
So there you have it – 5 easy ways to make your chosen dating site work for YOU. Have fun and happy hunting!
Should you “Gamble” on online dating?
If you’re like most, online dating comes across as something of a mystery, a game whose rules seem arbitrary and often unfair. In fact, you probably feel online dating is just like gambling, nothing more than crossing your fingers, hoping you’ll win it big while anticipating losing every hand you play.
And just as the occasional news story of some lucky sap winning $6 million in a single night at Atlantic City’s blackjack tables may stir you to try your own luck for a weekend, the odd story of a happy couple finding true love on date.com will likely convince you that signing up is a great idea.
But does online dating really provide a better chance at taking home the prize than trying your luck at the slots? Or does online dating offer you nothing more than another expensive diversion that keeps its odds stacked firmly in the house’s favor?
What do dating websites really want?
Let’s extend the gambling comparison a little further and ask a simple question — how do casinos make their money, and is this the same way online dating websites earn their keep?
Casinos don’t make their money from the aforementioned blackjack player who fleeces them in a single night of good luck. Casinos make their money from everyone else, from all those other people in the casino who certainly aren’t winning big.
Casinos make their money from regulars, from individuals who show up time and time again, who play the slots, win just enough to stay hooked and end up on the red end of the balance sheet over the long term.
Unfortunately, this is roughly how online dating websites make their money as well. They earn their profits from those clients who go on dates here and there but who don’t find that one person worth canceling their subscription over. From an economic perspective, online dating websites have a greater incentive to make sure they match up just enough couples to appear appealing but not so many that they pair off their base.
“Online dating is a game, and like all games, whether you win or whether you lose sits squarely on your own shoulders.”
So is online dating ever worth it?
Thankfully, this “casino” analogy isn’t entirely fair and it isn’t entirely genuine, so let’s cut through the lazy cynicism for a moment.
Online dating has a lot more in common with a game like blackjack than a money-sucking past time like playing the slots. Like blackjack, there are rules to online dating. Like sidling up to the blackjack table, there is a right and a wrong way to approach an online dating website. And just like blackjack, when you take the time to actually learn what you’re doing in the world of online dating, the odds shift dramatically in your favor.
If you approach online dating like you approach playing the slots, you will waste your time and your money. If you just throw up a half-assed profile and send out a couple lackluster messages, then you have the same odds of meeting a great person as you have of winning the lottery.
But if you approach online dating as a game with rules, as an endeavor you need to take seriously and that you need to put in time and effort to master, then you can easily be one of those lucky saps who walks away from the game with an armful of chips. By committing to online dating, beating the house isn’t so hard.
The reason online dating seems to be arbitrary and unfair is simply because most men don’t bother to learn the rules and end up confused, frustrated, disappointed, jaded and cynical, left with the impression that online dating is a scam.
But online dating isn’t a scam. It isn’t a random gamble. It’s a game, and like all games, whether you win or whether you lose sits squarely on your own shoulders.
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