The odds of finding your “soul-mate” online are a lot better than you may think. It doesn’t happen for everyone, of course, but it can happen for you. The world of internet or online dating has exploded over the last few years.

As our lives become busier and busier we need to make better use of our time and energy in our search for the one man who will make our lives complete.

The old saying, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a princess” is no longer true. Why kiss frogs when you can read hundreds of profiles and look at the pictures that go with them for a small monthly fee? That saves time and money…not to mention lip burn.

These are a few good reasons to consider online dating:

(1) There is a wide range of men to choose from. You aren’t limited to the men in your social circle or work environment.

(2) You have the opportunity to get to know a lot about a man before you ever contact him for the first time. You will know his age, marital status, what city he lives in, whether he has children, his height/weight and his likes and dislikes all from his profile. You’ll even see a picture of him.

(3) You have a better chance to present yourself in a favorable way. This is especially useful for those of us who are shy. We have time to think about how we want to say things about ourselves and can avoid being tongue tied. Even those who are more extroverted can take time to reflect on who they really are before writing their online profile.

(4) Online dating is certainly a time saver. You can meet so many more men in a lot less time than you ever could out in the real world.

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In the past, i.e. the 1990’s, online dating was a brand new idea. Unlike today, most people did not own PC’s or even have access to the internet. Times have changed. Online dating is not only IN the mainstream, it IS the mainstream.

There are many reasons for the phenomenal growth of online dating sites and the number of people, men and women of all ages, races and religions who use them as their primary source for meeting people and looking for “the one”.

If you don’t believe me, just ask your friends in the “real” world. If they are honest, most of them will tell you they have or are using an online dating service.

Here are three good reasons why thousands of people sign up for dating services everyday:

(1) You can be anonymous. You will never be required to give your real name, address, email address, phone number or place of employment to another online user. You, of course, may do so but only at your own discretion and only when you feel completely safe. You are not required to post a picture of yourself. Posting a picture, however, will get more responses to your profile. So you can surf through the other members on the dating site you have joined with complete anonymity.

(2) You have so many more choices online that you do in your brick and mortar world. Before the world of online dating came of age, the choice of friends and even of lifetime partners was limited to those we came in contact with through college or work. No more…the world is your oyster. You can go through hundreds…even thousands of profiles to find the right man for you.

(3) The “safety factor” is the biggest reason of all. An online dating service will never reveal your personal information. You get to choose who has that information and when they have it.

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Online dating can be a fun and certainly a rewarding experience for women of all ages. Maintaining your safety while doing it is simply a combination of using common sense and exercising good judgment. Online safety rules are the same as real world safety rules.

You wouldn’t give your name, address and phone number to a strange man that you met in a bar or on the street so you should never do that online either. Play it safe. Get to know this man who could turn out to be Prince Charming before you give out any information that could make it possible for him or others to trace you. Don’t tell a stranger exactly where you work. Say that you are a legal secretary (if that’s what you are) for a mid-sized law firm….not that you work for Brown, Smith and Jones Attorneys-at-law. It is safe to tell him what city you live in but you should wait to be any more specific than that until you have been chatting and exchanging emails for awhile.

Use only the tools provided by the dating service you belong to. Most offer chat and private email on their site. Do not give out your isp email address. If you must give out an email address make it a free one such as Hotmail or Yahoo. Your isp address is traceable for anyone who wants to go to the trouble.

When the time comes for you to have your first face-to-face, make that first meeting in a public place and during day light hours. Take a friend with you or arrange for one to call you on your cell soon after the arranged meeting.

Remember…you ARE in control so do not let anyone pressure you into revealing more personal information than you are comfortable with revealing.

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Life isn’t fair. Men get all the breaks. You’ve devoted all of your 20’s to getting your career off the ground. Not that you haven’t been dating…you have, but not seriously. Now here you are…30 something and there is no long term relationship in sight. You can actually hear your biological clock ticking. You have a precious few years to find a man to fall in love with, make him fall in love with you, get married, and have a baby or its lights out. You already know all of the men in your social circle. Not that they aren’t nice guys…some of them…but none of them are your soul mate. What’s a girl to do?

Consider online dating. You have the opportunity to read hundreds of profiles and look at hundreds of pictures in search of that “someone” that will be right for you. Maybe he will live in the same city you do…maybe he will live across the country or even in another country altogether. You aren’t limited to only those men that you come in contact with personally. The possibilities are almost endless.

“Is online dating safe”, you ask. “Aren’t the online dating sites made up entirely of perverts, sexual predators and weirdoes in assorted shapes and sizes?” the answer is, no they aren’t. Not anymore anyway. That was true when online dating first came on the scene but now it is mainstream. It’s as safe as you make it using common sense and sound judgment. Use the same caution that you would when meeting any stranger. Don’t give your real name, address or phone number until you feel safe doing so. Don’t rush into a face-to-face meeting until you are confident and then make the first meeting in a public place and during daylight hours. Give it a try…Mr. Right might be a few mouse clicks away.

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It is absolutely true that when online dating sites first started they were populated entirely by perverts, sexual predators, weirdoes, social misfits and emotional wrecks but that is no longer true. Online dating has gone mainstream and has lost all the social stigma it once suffered. Single people of all ages, races, religions and both sexes do it. Short people, tall people, thin people, obese people do it. People from every developed country in the world do it. Nice girls do it, too. The reasons people join online dating sites are as varied as the people who join but mostly they join for three very good reasons: (1) Time (2) Money and (3) It works.

Time: You can go through hundreds of online profiles and look at hundreds of pictures in the same length of time only one real world date takes and the screening is already done for you. You can tell right away if a guy is only looking for casual relationships or long term commitments. How many times have you worked 8 hours, gone home and spent another hour getting ready to go out then gone to the local hang-out for singles only to see the same old jerks, losers and drunks that are always there?

Money: For the price of one evening out on the town you can enjoy an entire month of meeting men from the safety of your own home….do it in your jammies or sweats and with a beauty facial working its magic.

It works. It really does work if you are willing to do the right things. Write a profile that grabs attention, post recent pictures of yourself, be fun and interesting while chatting with the men you meet on line, answering emails promptly and being on time for a pre-arranged online meeting.

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The sooner you realize this sad but true fact, the sooner you can get on with finding Mr. Close-Enough-To-Perfect. Prince Charming, riding on a white stallion, lost his way or found Princess Charming and got married on his way to your castle. Get over it and get on with it. You ARE going to have to actively seek the man of your dreams and you won’t find him hiding under your bed. You already know that he isn’t among the men that you are acquainted with so, now what? Online dating is “what”.

It’s true that online dating, while in its infancy, was only made up of perverts, sexual predators, nerds and weirdoes but that is no longer true. It has become the main tool of the single person in every developed country in the world. Forty million people can’t all be wrong. Ask your girl friends if they have ever used online dating or are using it now. If they are honest with you, most of them have or are now members of at least one online dating site and maybe more than one. It really is the way to go to meet eligible men who want to meet you. It doesn’t matter what any of your numbers are…like age, height, weight or income either. Somewhere out there in the big wide world there is a man who will like you…..then love you….and think that you are beautiful and desirable. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is true. What is considered beautiful in one part of the world is completely different from what is considered beautiful in another part of the world. It’s even different from one part of this country to another.

Find an online dating site that fits your needs. Write a great profile and post a flattering picture. Start contacting eligible men on the site. Mr. Close-enough-to-perfect could be a few mouse clicks away.

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With the explosion of online dating sites has come a virtual smorgasbord of choices. There are free sites… I don’t recommend those but if money is a real concern, they are better than nothing. There are the large paid sites with many and varied features like chat, IM and even matching using profiles. There are the less expensive paid sites with few features. There are special interest sites for almost any thing you can think of…outdoor enthusiasts, couch potatoes, religious, non-religious, gays, lesbians…like I said…almost anything you can think of. So what’s a girl to do? A girl should choose the site or sites that best fit her needs.

Here are some things to consider:

(1) Cost. How much do you want or how much can you spend each month for your membership (s)?
(2) Features. Which features are the most important to you?
(A) Profile matching systems. Is this a feature you really want or would you rather decide who is right for you all by yourself?
(B) Chat and IM’s? There are websites who offer chat rooms and IM’s on their sites. Does that matter or would you be happy just sticking to private email.
(C) Outside Events…such as speed dating? Are you interested in that?
(D) Privacy. Some websites allow you to limit who can view your picture or your profile. Does this matter to you or do you want as wide exposure as you can have?
(E) Safety. There are websites who do background checks of all subscribers and certify their age, marital status and background. Would you feel safer using this feature?

These are a few things but not all things you should consider when choosing an online dating service or services. Do your homework and choose wisely for the best results for you.

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