Dating services have a large database of male and female members that you can search to find your soul mate, friend or lover. When you find a member who peaks your interest, you can contact them via e-mail, instant messaging or chat. If they're interested, they'll reply back, and thus you have the beginnings of a potentially exciting relationship!
Top online dating services normally allow you to create a personal ad, upload your photo, and receive a limited number of e-mails for free. Some even let you use their live chat rooms for free, which is a great way to meet people. You typically need to upgrade to a paid membership if you'd like to contact other members, and use all their features.
On the other hand, some Internet dating sites offer a free trial that allows you to use all their features, including contacting members, for a limited amount of time such as a week or two.
Take advantage of the free features offered with a basic free membership. It's a great opportunity to:
Ensure You Like the Dating Site: You can use the site to make sure it has the desired features and benefits, and it's easy to use.
Check Out the Other Members: Try some searches, read some personal ads, talk to people in the chat rooms. Are there people you'd like to meet?
Save Money: It's always a good idea to try as many free features as you can. This will allow you to see if the site has potential. Also if you're new to online dating, this will give you a chance to learn how to use some of the features on their dime, not yours.
Now let's get into the details.
All members have a personal profile comprised of all or most of the following information:
User name: A unique alias, allowing the member's real name to remain anonymous.
Headline: A short phrase (usually a few words) to give other members an idea of "who you are" or "who you’re looking for".
Personal ad: Details about yourself, the type of person you’d like to meet, and the type of relationship you're looking for.
A picture of the member.
To find compatible members, it's as easy as selecting a few options from a list, and clicking the "search" button. Start with a broad search to display as many members as possible. If too many matches are found, you can always fine-tune your search.
The basic search will look something like:
I’m a woman looking for a man
I’d like him to be between 40-50 years old.
And I’d like him to live within 50 miles of my hometown.
Some online dating services and personals sites enable you to perform more advanced searches allowing you to search by:
Have they been previously married
Do they have children
When you search for members, you will be shown a few details of all the matches. It's common to display the user name, headline and picture.
If one of the matches catches your eye, click on the person to display their personal ad. If you like what you see, contact the member using one of the sites features (e-mail, instant messaging, winking, etc) and let the fun begin!
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