By Editor-n-Chief Shawn Chavis
Online dating is a billion dollar industry and has become increasingly popular and familiar as a way to meet the man of your dreams. According to a popular dating site, 1 in 5 singles has met and dated someone from online. There are many sites from which to choose- from the generic sites that cater to everyone, to the more specialized sites that cater to specific cultures, ethnicities, or even religions. Whatever you decide, make sure you choose wisely and keep in mind the following tips:
Use Good Common Sense- If you are presented with a questionable situation such as a man with no photo on his profile, he can only talk to you online, or even if he is trying to convince you to meet him too quickly without first getting to know him, then proceed with caution. There are a lot of good, decent men out there, but there are also predatory daters who, for lack of a better word, are dishonest.
Choose a Safe Public Place for the First Date- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever meet a man in a secluded spot on the first date. Meet up in a nice public casual atmosphere like a coffee shop, the park (during the day), or even the museum. The first meeting should always be short and sweet, but just long enough to get to know if there is chemistry between the two of you.
Keep an Open Mind- Meeting a man online is definitely different than getting set up on a blind date or even meeting him by chance, but it should still be treated like a real date. One of the benefits of online dating is that you get to meet someone whom you possibly would have never met otherwise, and he could have been living right in your own backyard the whole time, so to speak.
Be Honest, Be Yourself – First impressions usually do mean everything and sometimes people tend to look and act differently online than they do in person. Be yourself from the very beginning, starting with your profile description and a current photo. Don’t misrepresent yourself in any way. If things are meant to be, then he will like you just the way you are. You can’t be responsible for someone else’s behavior, only our own.
Here are some of the top online dating sites: