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                            Guide to Successful Online Dating

Choosing the Right Dating Sites:
I've been experimenting with many dating sites for a while now, and during this time I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. So many people try online dating sites for the first time and get discouraged when they don't see immediate results, so they just give up. Believe it or not, there is a certain process you need to follow if you want to have the best chance at success. This article is a bit long, but it's a must read if you are new to online dating. So here's what I know...

There are so many scam sites out there that are only interested in taking your money, so you can't expect to find your soul mate on the first junk site you sign up for. You have to take some time to find out which sites have a good reputation. Most "free" dating sites are scams, and full of fake member profiles of extremely attractive men and women meant to draw you in with their good looks. I can't say that no one has ever had success with free dating sites, but your chances of meeting a real person is increased greatly if you're willing to spend a little money on a reputable site. This will pretty much filter out all those fake profile you see on the other sites.

One of the most important things is finding the best dating sites for you're specific interests. There are tons of sites that cater to almost anything you could be looking for in a partner. Whether is be race, age, religion, etc, there's bound to be a dating site out there for you. So if all you're looking for is a one night stand, don't spend your money on a site like eharmony, that's just common sense. Before you sign up or pull out your credit card for any site, do some research on it before hand. There are plenty of sites, such as this one, that offer great reviews of many dating sites, so you'll know exactly what you're signing up for.
 
Creating Your Profile:
You should absolutely always provide an up to date picture with your profile. Most people will just look right past your profile if you don't supply a picture. It should go without saying that you shouldn't lie about your physical attributes if you actually plan on meeting any of your matches in person. Trust me, no one hates it more when they spend time getting to know someone who they think is 6 feet tall with a muscular build, only to find out after meeting them that they're only 5' 6" and over weight. Now don't take that the wrong way, that's not to say that no one would want to date you if you're short or carry a few extra pounds. Most people are not that shallow, but it is important for them to have an accurate idea of what you look like beyond your head shot.

Next, when filling out your personality profile just be completely honest. Many people make the mistake of giving answers that they think others want to hear, but are far from the truth. A relationship that is built on lies is never going to work, so just be honest. Make sure to provide as much information about yourself as possible on your profile. The more people know about you, before they contact you, the better. Chances are, if they like what they've read, they'll be more compelled to message you to find out more. Another thing to note is to be specific when asked what you're looking for in a partner. This will narrow down your match results to only those who fit your personal standards. Remember, this isn't a numbers game, you're looking for quality matches, not quantity. In short, all you need to know is when creating a profile, a good amount of honest information will yeild the best results.

Communicating with your Matches:
Okay, so now you have your profile all set up, now you're ready for the fun part - meeting other singles. Thats great, however keep in mind that you don't want to push things too fast, but you also want to keep consistant communication with your match. I know that sounds a little confusing, but don't worry, I'll clarify. When you find a match that sparks your interest, you don't want to jump right in and ask them out on a date. Chances are you'll either scare them away, or you'll waste your time and money on a date with someone you that you're not actually interested in; but you didn't know that because you never took the time to get to know them first. So you'll want to take it slow at the beginning. Just send them a friendly message letting them know that you saw their profile and you'd like to talk to him/her if the interest is mutual. If they do respond, remember what I said before, don't rush meeting up with them and stay consistant with your communication. In other words, anytime you receive a message from them, you should reply back right away. Its not a big deal if you don't reply for hours or even until the next day, but you don't want to take a chance on them moving on or losing interest because you waited days to get back to them.

After a few messages back and forth you should take the next step and set up a time that you'll both be online, so you can chat through instant messaging. Soon you'll be able to tell if there's any real chemistry or connection between you. If there is, you'll notice that you will both start to get much more comfortable with each other and conversation will just come natural. If you've gotten this far then it would be a great idea to ask for a phone number. You'll feel much more connected to a person when you actually hear their voice rather than just reading text on a computer screen. This is also a great way to build trust with your match, so this would be the perfect opportunity to ask them out on a first date. I know many of you may be thinking that this is a lot of trouble to go through just to get a date, but trust me, it's definitely worth it. Now that you've spent the time getting to know each other, your date should go much smoother, and you wont have the awkward feeling of meeting a total stranger.   

Important Points to Keep in Mind:
There are some important things to remember when you are first starting with online dating. First, while there's a very good chance that you'll meet the right person by following the steps above, it often takes more time than some people expect. When you join an online dating site your profile is entered into a pool of millions of members. This is why I stressed that you be very specific when asked what you are looking for in a partner. Narrowing down the results as much as possible will also reduce the time is takes to find the one that is right for you. Still, you can't expect these things to happen over night, which is why I would suggest ordering more than just a one month subscription when you find the site you want to use. Chances are, in the long run you'll have more success and spend less money if you committ to one site for an extended peroid of time, rather than jumping from site to site every month.

Also, keep in mind that there truly is someone out there for everyone. There's a very broad spectrum of people who participate in online dating. Never think that you're too different, or not good enough to find happiness in the form of a relationship. There's going to be someone out there who will surprise you and make you happier than you ever thought possible. You just have to find the confidence to take the neccessary steps to find them. Online dating is an very successful way of meeting your perfect match when utilized correctly. Its really simple; be honest, be patient, and always keep an open mind.

Cliffs Notes:
- Do some research and find the best online dating sites for you.
- Take time to create an honest indepth profile with at least one up-to-date picture of yourself.
- Take it slow and get to know your matches before going on an actual date.
- Be patient and understand that it may take some time to find the person whose right for you.
- There is a perfect match out there for everyone, so take action if you want to find them.

To read more online dating advice, visit our expert advice page.

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