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Online Dating

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Read about how to find love online, and protect yourself from people who seek to take advantage of you.

Finding love can be difficult sometimes. That is what makes it so fulfilling when you finally meet the right person. Looking for love online is a concept that has grown and found acceptance among people over the last few years. Nowadays, there are professional dating websites available where you can find someone you like. Here are a few things you need to know before you search for love online.

Online Dating

Online dating is a service that encourages people to interact with each other for the purpose of cultivating romantic or purely sexual relationships. To use an online dating site after you are registered with it, you begin by creating a profile of yourself. Details like your age, sex, and city of residence are required. Some sites will also allow you to upload a photograph of yourself that other members can see.

Registration at an online dating site may or may not be free, depending on the site you choose. Most dating sites rely on advertisements to generate most of their revenue. For most sites, registration is free and you pay a small fee to be able to access some of the site's added features such as 'chat', 'message boards', etc.

How it Works

Once you have registered at a site, you are now free to browse through other members' profiles. You can browse by name or do a search if you are looking for someone specific. Searches are done using parameters like age, gender, place of residence, etc. Some dating sites are community specific or they cater to people with similar interests.

Once you find a profile you are interested in, the next step is contacting that person. Usually, this is done by sending the person an email expressing your interest and providing a link to your online profile. If the object of your affection is interested, he will reply to your email.

Precautions You Should Take

The biggest advantage of an online dating service is that it is convenient and gives you a degree of anonymity. A person who is shy in public may be more relaxed while interacting with people online. However, there are some points you should keep in mind to ensure you have a safe online experience.

Avoid getting addicted: Getting into a relationship online is very easy. Entering chat rooms and casually flirting with people could give a boost to your self esteem. But it can also have pitfalls. Some people become obsessed with their online dating lives because they are interacting with so many people. This is especially true of people who are otherwise reclusive socially. Online dating can turn into an addiction for such people and lead them to subsequently neglect their regular duties. Such individuals should seek professional help for their addiction.

Be discreet: Just as you created your own profile, remember that other people also create their own profiles. Although your profile lends you a degree of anonymity, this same feature could also prove dangerous. You have no way of knowing whether the profile of the person you with whom you are interacting is true. Many unscrupulous people prowl dating sites by creating fake profiles and then lure unsuspecting victims into relationships that they may later regret.

Keep your information private: You do not know anything about the person you are interacting with except what he chooses to tell you. It would be easy for you to be taken in by someone and have your trust abused. Never be in a hurry to email your pictures to a potential suitor. These can be misused by posting them on pornographic sites or morphing your face onto a nude body. Also, do not give out personal information like your bank details, credit card numbers, etc.

Meeting for the first time: Before meeting your online contacts in person, ensure that you have been interacting with him for at least a month. You need to have established confidence that he is genuinely interested in your friendship. For your first meeting, always choose a public place for your own safety. If you are unsure about this meeting, tell him you would be more comfortable if you could bring someone along. Always inform your family or a close friend where and with whom you are going out. Before you leave for your date, give your family members the address of the place you are going to and a phone number you can be contacted at.

Online dating can be an enjoyable experience if you follow the above precautions to keep yourself safe. Do not be afraid to take the plunge into the world of online dating. It could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

What do you think of online dating? Would you be willing to try an online relationship? Or do you think it is too risky? To share your experiences, views, and tips, click here.

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