Internet dating is an amazing phenomenon. Today, Internet dating sites in the US receive more than 60 million visitors a month. There are now many hundreds of dating sites on the Web. Why such tremendous growth in this business? Simply because it is an easy and effective way to meet members of the opposite sex. Regardless, it certainly has to beat old-fashioned singles services, bar scenes, etc.

However, before you get too involved in internet dating, a world unto itself, take ten minutes to read this article. I have some important tips for you that can save you a lot of frustration. I also have some important warnings so you don’t get into trouble.

There are currently two main types of online dating sites, the so-called megasites, such as,, and, and then there are the specialized sites.

These mega sites cater to everyone, old and young, across the country, and have hundreds of thousands of members. Specialized sites, on the other hand, focus on narrower market niches such as Jewish Singles, Christian Singles, Black Singles, Singles Over Thirties, Older Singles, etc. It really is just a matter of preference whether to join the huge mega sites or a small niche site, or both. One thing they all have in common is that you will be charged a membership fee, shortly after your “free” enrollment.

You probably know how all of these sites work. To get started, fill out a profile (some call it an “essay,” but don’t write an essay) about yourself and your interests, etc., and then upload your absurdly flattering photo of yourself. Then you wait for some fish to take the hook, or you can play the role of the fish yourself and send emails to members of your choice that you think look and sound interesting.

The sites almost invariably allow you to “search” for members who meet your specifications for age, education, location, religion, and other factors.

Women rule online dating. Reportedly, women emailing men get over 96% responses. Men who email women only get 20% responses. However, it is important to realize that cyberspace can be much more dangerous territory for women than it is for men. First, men tend to lie more than women, particularly about their marital status. A man can completely misrepresent himself on a dating site, even to the point of uploading a photo of someone else. Women rarely do that kind of thing. (Women, however, tend to post photos of their younger, slimmer selves, which is much more forgivable.) A man can often describe himself simply in terms that he thinks women want to hear: lying about his education, profession, age, works. , even about the fact that she has three children who are teenagers.

Why do men do this when the truth will sooner or later be found out? The answer is that many men who use dating sites are not necessarily looking for long-term relationships.

But the worst danger for a woman is getting involved with a violent or unbalanced man, and yes, there are some of those too. Therefore, ladies, it is extremely important to avoid giving the men you communicate with through dating sites any information that will allow them to identify you until they are sure who they are dealing with. Although you may not know it, you can now be identified over the Internet very quickly by someone who knows very little about you, perhaps as little as your first and last name. And you can certainly be identified by your phone number.

On the contrary, it is very important that you insist that the man identify himself. He shouldn’t be reluctant to give you his full name and address. If he resists, something is probably wrong, like he’s already married. Once you have his name and address, you can run a quick online background check on him for just $ 50, using a service like Intelius. This will include a criminal history search and will also give you an idea of ​​your financial situation because it will tell you if you own a home and, if so, what its value is.

Unfortunately, it probably won’t tell you if you are married or divorced, or if it does, your coverage will be limited to a few states, such as Florida and Texas, that make this type of information readily available through databases.

However, if you haven’t already, you can download our free e-book Marriage and Divorce Records, USA ( This e-book provides URLs and government phone numbers for almost every county and state in the US Using it, you can verify your marital status reasonably thoroughly (although never with 100% certainty, as someone may get married or divorced. anywhere).

Assuming you meet someone online that you find interesting, you will probably take a date. Always do it in a public place where other people are around. A cocktail lounge is good or a restaurant. (Not an early morning bagel shop, please. I often sit next to online daters at 8:30 AM At the bagel shop I go to and I hate it. a place where there is reasonable privacy).

I used to wonder why so few dating sites offer their members background checks. So I called a couple and asked them. They both said the same thing, because they fear that this will “alarm” their members. They are afraid of giving the impression that there is something to fear from online dating. Of course, especially from a woman’s point of view, there really is something to fear. What if the person you agree to meet and possibly be in a relationship with is a convicted felon? So again, I recommend that you seriously consider doing an online background check before your first appointment. (Our first report in our Web Search Guides series covers the topic of online background checks in detail.)

Online dating: some tips

– Men should be very careful when emailing women on dating sites. Why? The reason is that they may inadvertently strike up a conversation with a minor, even to the point of making a date, and this can result in very serious consequences that you don’t even want to think about.

– From a woman’s point of view, the big question is: Are you telling me the truth? Especially regarding your marital status. Here are some indications that you are married: You do not provide a photo (so your wife or one of your friends will not see it online); you will not provide your home address or phone number, or just your cell phone number; It is never available on weekends or Saturday nights, only during the business day. But while a man you are e-mailing with should not hesitate to provide you with personal information, he should never give his full name, address, or phone number until he is sure he is on the level.

– For more tips on safe online dating, visit

– Most online dating sites allow you to block emails from people you find unpleasant. Visit for help dealing with someone who harassed you. If you have a really serious situation, try

– You must recognize that it is easy to take a photo of someone from a dating site. So the photo you submit could appear anywhere. It is unlikely that someone will pick it up; Still, it is not impossible.

– Almost 85% of women embellish their photos online, so men, don’t be surprised if she doesn’t look the way you expected. Be decent.

– Seven out of ten online dating participants are men. Unfortunately, a large proportion of them are married and just looking for adventure or maybe cybersex. On the other hand, a significant proportion of women online are also not looking for relationships. They are running online scams, trying to extract money from lonely men. For both men and women, a great rule of thumb for online dating is: never send money to anyone unless you are buying something.

– Did you know that on most of the major online dating sites, you can easily check someone’s search activity by viewing their profile? You can also check to see exactly who has looked at your profile.

Most experts agree to the following guidelines when making appointments online: (1) Beware of people who start telling you about their problems right away; (2) Beware of minors posing as adults; (3) Never give information about your personal finances, such as how much money you make, whether you own a home, etc. (4) Do not give your home address / phone number right away and do not allow the other person to meet you for a first date at your home; (5) Don’t send money to anyone: (6) Don’t take rejections personally, just move on. And if you need to reject someone, do so tactfully (“I’ve decided to go back with my boyfriend,” etc.); (7) Try to find out as much as you can about someone before setting up a first date; Internet can help.

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