A free date for your diary?

Very rarely, these days, do we get offered a little something for nothing, especially on the internet. So, when we encounter a free dating site, we are guarded before we even begin perusing potential partners, keenly awaiting us behind possibly dubious profiles.

Okay, that’s maybe harsh.

To paraphrase even more cliches in the love-seekers handbook, there are exceptions to every online dating rule and you will find the odd diamond or two in the rough.

However, singles dating sites that do not charge a membership or sign-up fee are reliant upon sponsorship and advertising fees alone for their revenue. With a site-owner who has a knack for web-design, this may not be immediately noticeable, front-of-house.

Where you may notice a difference to paid membership sites, however, is in a lack of real-time admin or long-term support. This could range from individual requests being answered to the potentially more dangerous ommission of site-owners corroborating its members dating profiles.

Another important factor to keep in mind, when deciding where to start looking for love on line, is the type of relationship you’re expecting to find. Should you be looking for serious, long-term commitment, perhaps free dating sites aren’t the best place to start.

From the female point of view, if your prospective dating material is unprepared or unable to pay for the priviledge of meeting you, that in itself may raise questions about his calibre, attitude or financial standing. From the male prospective, what self-respecting woman wouldn’t dip into her purse to attract a higher class of gent than the fellow outlined above?

The exception to the rule is if you are completely new to website matchmaking services; in which case, free personals chat-rooms and forums are great places to get the hang of online dating and to get the low-down of the service you’re using.

And again, if you’re only after a casual online relationship, then free sites should suffice. More recently, they have become one of the more fashionable ways to get to know the opposite sex.

In all seriousness, though, if you do arrange to meet up with a member of a free dating site, and you have the slightest suspicion about their online credentials, do suggest that the first few dates are supervised or in close proximation to your regular stomping grounds. If there is nothing malicious about the intentions of your date, they will raise no objections, whatsoever.

Good luck – I hope your diamond doesn’t have too many rough edges!

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