If you are young, single and have high-speed Internet access, it’s inevitable that the idea of online dating will cross your mind. There are a plethora of online dating services. Some stress cultural background, like http://www.jdate.com, others advertise personal compatibility tests, but none of them can match social networking sites in the search to find romance.
Despite all the conveniences online dating offers it has some serious drawbacks that social networking sites (SNS) will let you get around. Although not designed specifically for meeting a partner, SNS offer a great way to meet someone new and organize the rest of your social life at the same time, for free. Why pay a dating site and feel like a loser that can’t get a date when you can join a SNS for free to date, keep in touch with friends and keep an online diary at the same time? This way you can always spout out the disclaimer, no I didn’t meet him/her from a dating service we met through social networks.
Just like dating sites, there are numerous SNS to choose from. Each has their own ethos. http://www.friendster.com, is a place to reunite with old friends and keep a general lookout for people that might catch your eye. www.myspace.com is the up and coming fashionable SNS, with a seemingly more hip crowd. No matter what site you join, you have the ability within your social networkings, to meet that special someone and engage in the ever tedious and nerve-racking online dating dance. But fear not, SNS make it a little easier to go through the digital dating tango.
Once you have registered on an SNS you can modify your page to fit your personality. If you are joining an SNS with the purpose of meeting someone, make sure you click “single” and describe who you are looking for. But there is no need to sound too eager. Remember you can do all sorts of things on an SNS site and these alternatives offer a great distraction when your dating outlooks don’t looks so good. So go ahead, personalize your site’s background, start a blog, send out some mass messages to friends. But, don’t forget the one great possibility that lies within SNS and let the games begin.
You can do a simple search in your area code, putting in parameters such as age, to find a whole slew of potential partners.
As already said, different SNS have different vibes and the communities on some are more open to random messages than others. A random person on Friendster might not be as receptive to a message from a dark and mysterious stranger as someone on http://sanfrancisco.tribe.net/local?r=10535, another SNS. But even in the most conservative of SNS you can always look at your friend’s profile and see a person who they are friends with that catches your eye. This makes for a great introduction of “How do you know person X.” Better yet, you can always find more out about this person from your friend to make sure they are not a psycho-killer in disguise. These are amenities not afforded in traditional dating sites.
Once you’ve established contact, you should always remember that a SNS is not a traditional online dating service. Don’t expect the other person to be as gun-ho as you. Check their profile to see if they are single and just as you would on any dating site, proceed with caution. This is a chance to show who you are as a person, not just a potential date, which means if things do work out, their will be more than just an initial attraction, but real communication. You can message all you want, which is often limited on paid dating services, and you can blog allowing you not only to keep in touch with your friends, but also let the person you have begun to contact know who you really are.
After some Internet talk meeting someone in real life can always be strange. This is no different with someone from an SNS, perhaps it even adds to the tension. Sometimes there is an air of confusion, are we meeting up to see if things click or just to be friends? For some this livens up the entire experience. It makes it feel as if you are not trying to date someone you met on the Internet. But, you are meeting up with someone who is just a friend and perhaps sparks will begin to fly. Because there are no expectations at this point there is a world of possibilities. In online dating the air is ripe with hopes and expectations, often creating an anxiety filled evening. With that pressure off your back, since you didn’t meet through a real online dating service, just be yourself. At this point, you have to treat them as you would any other person you met on the bus.
So good luck. Even if things don’t work out SNS are a load of fun, a great way to keep in touch with friends, and best of all they are free. All this adds up to a great outlet to meet people who, if things work out, can end up being the love of your life.