Widen your net; you’ll be surprised at the catches out there

When you first start out online dating, getting the hang of one dating site can be daunting enough without thinking about juggling multiple inboxes and trying to respond to all of the singles who contact you. Especially in the first few days. Not only will you get genuine messages of welcome (you’ll find that women respond to both sexes with a hearty greeting, whereas men only to women – it’s the old alpha male thing; you’ll soon get used to all that testosterone), but there can often be peaks when you first join any dating site. This is purely down to members or (even admin staff) who dutifully trudge through the new sign-ups to ensure they’re not missing out on anything.

So don’t panic if you think you’re never going to able to cope – it’s just the newbie rush, especially around dates like Valentine’s Day. Some of the paid dating sites do impose a limit on the number of e-mails new sign-ups can receive to prevent exactly this eventuality. If you see someone new and you can’t get a message through, it may be down to this reason, not because they’re not interested – they may just be being shielded from too much of an influx of interested parties. If you are one of those who find themselves not being able to contact someone you really like, set yourself a reminder and keep checking back. A little bit of competition is good for the soul, so they say.

If, however, that avenue is cut off to you for whatever reason and you’re not finding the exact match you were looking for, it may be that you’ve perhaps set your dating site expectations slightly too high. It’s amazing that, from sites boasting millions of members – not all of those may be currently dating, it’s worth stating – you may literally filter your search down to only a half a dozen close matches.

That’s because people are people and there are so many aspects that go into one personality, finding someone with the exact traits you’re looking for, minus the ones you’re not, would be some achievement. All relationships have a level of compromise (believe me, I’m talking from experience, there), so you may only ever find Mr or Mrs Nearly-Right.

If you’re not getting the success from your dating site that you expected, try broadening your horizons. Ask yourself if age is so very important? Does your potential partner have to live on your doorstep before you’ll consider dating them or is it worth going that extra mile for that special someone? And would it be so bad if you were taller than your man in high heels? Well, if he put high heels on to compete then you may have an issue, but really? Joining a dating site is a wonderful new opportunity to express yourself and extend yourself. Don’t blow it by being blinkered.

It’s never been easier to find a date

Recent reports are suggesting that, in today’s modern society, there are more singles (of dating age) in the world than couples in long-term relationships. And, with the abundance of dating sites cluttering up cyberspace, that fact seems in no way likely to change any time, soon.

In years gone by, there has been a stigma attached to being single, especially for the womenfolk of the world. Up until recently, you were almost a social leper if you let it slip that you’d been using a dating site to find your latest beau.

How times – and perceptions – have changed.

Not only are dating sites now an accepted way of meeting potential partners, they have become an expected way of hooking up with other singles – or those not so single, looking for extra-curricular activity – and are wholly accepted by one and all for the range of opportunities they present to anyone looking to find love online.

The whole arena of online dating that opens up inside your browser can, sometimes, be breathtaking – a plethora of choice to suit every whim. Many sites offer free online dating for those who want to gain a little experience before committing to parting with some of their hard earned cash – that’s wholly understandable; looking to find a long-term partner is a big commitment.

The mistake many singles make, however, is that other individuals who use free dating sites are perhaps not in it for the long-haul, and therefore the new user can be off-put by the initial experience. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for; the same is true in the world of online dating – don’t be dazzled by the stars when you’re only shooting for the moon!

Sometimes, you can look at a profile photo and think: ‘Why would someone like that need to use a dating site?’, if there image is nothing less than stunning you wonder.

If you’re looking for a long-term partner and someone like that, who you would generally consider ‘out of your league’, approaches you, begging you to befriend them or strike up contact, do beware – there can be a reason. Or three.

One – the person getting in contact is not who they say they are and are after your money, nothing else, using flattery, affection and building up trust to do it
Two – the person is only after a fling; in which case, you have a tough decision to make: stick to your guns and hold out for that long term partner, or go with it, have that elicit affair and enjoy the experience
Three – you have struck it lucky and the single of your dreams is there, the other side of your PC Screen on your dating site, and it’s time to say thank you, take your dating site profile down and get on with, well, everything else…

Light-speed dating

It’s Saturday night, your contacts have all been dialled, sent texts or e-mailed, and you’ve still not got a date for the evening. You’re about to get the metro home, when your mobile rings…
…not from one of your known contacts, but it’s your speed dating app buzzing you.

Instead of hitting the hay, within hours, you’re hitting the town with a brand new beau on your arm!

Okay, dating on a wing and a prayer will not be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Certainly, the more mature dating age groups, ot those looking for a more substantial relationship, may wish to analyse potential partners over a PC screen rather than over an iPhone or Android display. And, presumably, with a little more notice than ‘meet you in an hour’.

But that’s what the new app HowAboutWe can do for you. If you’re in the right place, at the right time, you could be meeting up with a brand new date in minutes, rather than having to wait for weeks, or even months, as is the norm with your standard internet-based dating service.

There are variations on the theme. You can download this app as a stand-alone dating service or, if you are an existing dating website member, you may find that the service to which you subscribe has started to integrate this service through their portal.

The app was originally designed to be a facility whereby people looking for love online could look to meet likeminded within the local vicinity, but using traditional dating site methods, such as filling in your profile, meeting people in chat rooms or forums, then posting private e-mails and waiting patiently for a response.

However, since the conversion of the app into an instant online date facility, its popularity has exploded, opening up a possible new niche for those looking to find love online sooner rather than later.  Theoretically, this type of service would appeal to those who have few commitments and can drop everything to get to a date literally as if ‘on call’. And those assumptions are reflected in the figures posted by the app hosts; those using the application most frequently tend to be in the 20-30 year old age group.

This has lead to some questionable press about the app being used by people who are perhaps only looking for one thing. And that’s not to discuss the amount of money spent in the Premiership or the latest offers in Selfridges.

However, as online security develops and apps are becoming available whereby you can check a potential date’s credentials against government records, or even criminal records, meeting via this app, whether as a stand alone download or through your registered dating site membership, it may, in the long run, prove to be a safer way to meet people than going out and trying to find a date off-the-cuff in your local town or city.

Online dating numbers continue to rise

In more ways than one, it seems, we are spending more time than ever viewing the world through one browser or another. With a whole host of social activities only a few clicks away, the realm beyond the laptop can be brought instantly into our living rooms every night of the week.

According to recent research by online dating agency groups, it’s not only recognised social media outlets receiving such close attention.

Any stigma once attached to looking for love through digital dating agencies has long since exiled. However, few expected online dating websites to become as popular as their growing audience figures suggest.

The results appear to confirm that visitors to their sites much prefer pawing over the profiles of its populous than perusing prospective partners on other platforms, such as facebook, Twitter and their rising rival, Google plus.

However, there are worrying statistics which suggest online dating devotees may be neglecting the real world completely, the one full of living, breathing singletons with whom genuine intercourse exists, in favour of forums, instant messages uploaded photo albums.

As such an unsettling question has been raised: are adults who use matchmaking services online becoming obsessed?

It is not singularly the act of its membership scrolling page after page of like-minded love-seekers causing consternation, for both paid and free online dating agencies, but also the worry that individuals are revelling in the dream itself. Clinging to the hope that their one true love exists just beyond that 14” plasma screen, before which they sit for hour after hour, seems preferable to risking bursting that bubble.

And that is exactly the point that the dating agency representatives who conducted the survey are trying underline. Contributions through their membership fees continue to arrive, month after month, but where are the subsequent success stories?

Of course users of singles dating sites should spend an appropriate amount of time perfecting their own profiles in order to attract that perfect partner. But feedback suggests that members are spending an inordinate amount of their online time touching up their own profile. A more worrying conclusion drawn from this is that members are indulging in their online self rather than actively seeking to approach genuine date candidates, in both the real world and the ever-growing virtual world, too.

The worry for owners of online and adult dating services now recognising this trend is that sectors of its membership are not getting their money’s worth of the services for which they are paying. These ‘personals’ sites, to which they are occasionally referred, offer real opportunities to find love online if the platform is used in the manner intended.

One possible reaction, once members recognise that they have paid membership fees for any length of time but never actually acted upon a request to date, is that they will look to blame the online dating service in question rather than themselves.

This is press that the dating industry, which has worked incredibly hard to assure its solid reputation, is understandably keen to avoid.

So, if you have a success story and found your perfect match online through a dating agency, let them know; they are waiting to hear from you, now.