Internet-based dating is now a very popular way to meet someone special. As you probably know, there are many hundreds of websites offering dating services – some are ‘free’ sites (no cost to join or use the site), while others require payment in some form. Such ‘paid’ sites might charge a subscription, or perhaps a small fee for every message you send when using the site.So far so good. But one of the key problems with all these various types of sites is knowing which one is ‘right’ for you. Not only do you have to choose between ‘paid’ and ‘free’, but also from ’boutique’ versus ‘general’ dating sites. And then there are sites which have members from across the world, versus ones that have members mostly from one region or country. Another factor is whether to go with an established ‘name brand’ site that is widely advertised, or one that you’ve not heard of.In this article, I’ll try to give you a few words of advice, which may assist you in making a decision about which dating site (or sites) to use.Firstly, I think it’s very important to have a clear idea of two things – the sort of person you’re looking for, and how much money you’re prepared to spend in order to find them.If your clear about the sort of person you want, then that’s a big help. If you know what country you prefer them to live in, their age, their values (conservative or more easy-going) and lifestyle choices. Once you get clear about how much money (and time) you’re prepared to spend in your search, you’re now ready to consider the following points.
‘Free’ versus ‘Paid’ online dating sites – Free sites are great for getting used to the online dating experience, 交友平台 and your expectations are reasonably low. Free sites are generally run on a very small budget, so customer support might be limited, and the site is unlikely to be as reliable or full-featured as a paid site. However, there are some fine free sites that do a good job, and they should not be dismissed. And if you are unclear about who you’re looking for, then start with free dating. You have nothing to lose, and by using them it’s likely you’ll learn a lot about what sort of person you’re seeking.Paid sites offer more features, service, and usually provide a reliable and well-managed site. However, it can get expensive, particularly if you haven’t decided who you’re seeking, or why. Because some sites charge ‘per message’, it’s a common sense to only send messages to prospective dates that fit your ideal. On the other hand, some paid sites have many features that you may never use – such as chat and real-world social occasions. So you may feel that some sites are not good value for money. And finally, many paid sites have very enticing advertising on the internet, and you can be disappointed when you find the site doesn’t live up to the ‘hype’ described in its advertising. Nevertheless, paid sites are very popular, and I recommend using them if (and only if) you’re reasonably clear and professional about who you’re looking for, and you’re prepared to put in the time and money to find them.
Boutique sites are another option. These are online dating sites which cater to specific audiences. For example, some sites cater just for those over 40, or just for those with a disability. Other sites only allow ‘beautiful’ or very wealthy people to join. Then there are sites which cater to specific religious or ethnic groups. A boutique site is a good option if you are part of a specific social niche and it’s important that you meet only people who are part of the same niche. The downside of boutique dating sites is the lack of member numbers, which can lead to disappointing search results. However, if you have a specific and well-defined group of people that you’re hoping will include your future lover or partner, then boutique dating has the advantage of a strong focus on a particular group of people.Finally, there’s international sites, versus those more locally focused. You can probably guess my thoughts on this, based on the foregoing discussion! Think carefully about whether you are happy with the idea of a relationship with someone in another country. If you met the right person online, would you be okay with travelling to another part of the world to meet them? Can you afford the travel costs, and ongoing costs of phone calls? If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, then an international site may be what you’re looking for.
Alternatively, you can choose a dating site which has most of its membership drawn from your region, state or country. There are considerable language, cultural and travel advantages to searching for someone in your home area. Also consider that there’s unlikely to be a timezone problem. There are many local or national dating sites which have thousands of members, so you won’t find the member numbers limiting in this instance. I suggest using dating sites specific to your country or region, unless you specifically want to meet someone from a foreign country. You might, for instance, want to meet someone from Japan – either for friendship or relationship. An international site is therefore the perfect solution.In summary, it’s obvious that if you have a clear understanding of your commitment to online dating (time and expense), and you’re also fairly clear about who you want to meet, then perhaps a well-known paid dating site specific to your region or country is the best bet. On the other hand, if you’re not so clear, or just want to check out online dating, then a free site – even an international one – might just be the best way to get started in the stimulating and fascinating world of internet dating.