With so many online matchmaking sites to choose from, it seems like you should be able to simply go to any well-known search engine, type in “online matchmaking sites,” and click on any one of hundreds of links to get to a matchmaking site that will provide you with what you’re looking for.
Well…yes and no. If what you are looking for is an online personal service with no other parameters, you probably could get away with this method. If you’re a bit more selective than that (and you should be), you need to consider several things before you commit yourself to a matchmaking site membership.
What Do You Seek in an Online Matchmaking Site?
An online date? A potential spouse? Something else entirely?
First, what are you looking for in your online matchmaking experience? No, really. I don’t mean, “Are you looking for a biped of the human species?” I mean, “Are you looking for a long-term, committed relationship that could lead to marriage, or are you looking for a good time on the weekends with someone who’s sexually adventurous and not the jealous type?”
While most online matchmaking sites cater predominantly to singles looking for dating or romance, some divide up their matchmaking sites into distinct categories. If you’re looking for contact with people who would be willing to meet for sexual encounters relatively early on, look for buzzwords like “intimate,” “steamy,” “consensual, or “adult encounters.”
If, on the other hand, you are looking for an emotional relationship, you should choose an online matchmaking site that caters to those looking for mainstream relationships. These tend to be the larger, better known online matchmaking sites that don’t focus on intimacy, but rather divide themselves into categories like “friendship and casual dating” versus “romance and relationship.”
Is Your Matchmaking Site Geographically Limited?
Some online matchmaking sites have huge memberships from all over the world, which is great if you are interested in maintaining online relationships around the globe and/or willing to consider a long-range relationship. But if you really want to stick close to home, you need to do some research.
When you visit an online matchmaking site, try a few trial searches by zip code, nearest big city and state. Check out these results and get a feel for how many matches there are that could really be potential online dates. If there are 1,200 great matches for you, but only three live in your state and you want to meet these people face-to-face and date on a regular basis, you should look at other online matchmaking sites with more potential.
The variation here is astounding – some matchmaking sites are heavily skewed to the West Coast, others are so top-heavy in New York/East Coast members, you’d think the west hadn’t been discovered yet, so do your homework!
Matchmaking Sites Now Come in Almost Every Flavor
Are you looking for someone who worships like you do? Try browsing some of the religion-oriented online matchmaking sites such as Big Church or JDate. These internet dating services take into account your spiritual beliefs and attitudes as a large part of the match-making process, so if this is central to your lifestyle, it can weed out a lot of people who wouldn’t be a match for you before you even begin looking at profiles.
Be aware, however, that the members of these matchmaking sites will tend to be predominantly conservative in their religious views, so if your beliefs are important to you but you’re a Unitarian Universalist, a Christian singles matchmaking site probably won’t help you much.
Interested in an Online Matchmaking Site’s Offline Events and Activities?
How much time do you want to commit to your internet dating adventures? Some matchmaking sites offer tons of extras, including meet-and-greets, singles parties in major cities, singles cruises, ski vacations and extras that can fill your social calendar for an entire year.
Wow! If you’re looking for a great way to meet a lot of singles and have a great time in Vale, Colorado or Cancun, Mexico, try one of the online matchmaking sites that offer these great singles packages. Be warned, however, that you may pay extra for membership to matchmaking sites with all these extra bells and whistles even if you don’t take advantage of them.
Or Would You Prefer a More Laidback Online Matchmaking Service?
What if you simply don’t have the time or the inclination to travel around the world with a bunch of strangers, single or otherwise?
Perhaps your idea of the perfect online singles matchmaking site is one with detailed profiles and the opportunity to email when you want, chat when you want and leave it be when you want.
In that case, look for a matchmaking site that offers plenty of email storage capacity, the option to opt in or out of email alerts and updates (so that you can choose whether you are bothered with new messages depending upon your schedule and your preferences), and perhaps a weekly newsletter. This will keep you up-to-date and require only as much as you want to give to your internet dating experience.
Online Matchmaking Rule No 1: Know What You Want Before You Decide.
Finally, the choice of an online matchmaking site has to be based on instinct. Visit at least five different dating service sites and browse every one thoroughly; don’t just look at the photos. Read at least ten dating profiles on each one and take notes.
Do most members answer the questions completely? Are there plenty of members in your age range? Is the online matchmaking site’swebsite easy to navigate? Are there extra features that you would actually use? Search using at least three different sets of criteria. How accurately do the results match what you are looking for? Are the matches at all appealing to you? After you’ve done all of this, trust your heart and your gut and use your online matchmaking site to start looking for your match!