I heard that there are over 40 million men and women looking for love online; this is more than the population of Canada (estimated population was 35,749,600 on April 1, 2015 – Stats Canada). According to match.com one out of five relationships start online.
With so many online profiles, you are bound to stumble upon the odd “Cat Fisher” and guaranteed to meet a person who is not truly single, in addition to a the occasional socio path who may be looking for a body or two to add to the basement deep freeze. Trust me, my encounters with online dating have been short lived for the most part due to an overdose of weirdoes, but if I had known back then what I know now, the process could have been a little less painful.
I would recommend investing a bit of money in a reputable online dating site, this will reduce the above aforementioned situations, however they are still not 100% avoidable and you need to be aware of the warning signs. One site which does come to mind as worthwhile is Match.Com; it probably has the best selection and you can screen people out based on what you feel is a requirement such as level of education, age and what not.
Paying a little bit of money can make the whole unpleasant experience a little less scary and worthwhile. If you live in a smaller city such as myself Match.Com will still give you a reasonable pool to select from; it is that popular. I would not recommend EHarmony; maybe if you are in a larger city, but for a smaller city it will be very slim pickings and the matches could go out of province/state and it is hard enough meeting someone local without the added stress of long travel and expectations.
I would avoid Plenty of Fish (POF) and OK Cupid; these sites are free, and some people have had some great luck on these sites, but you do have to search through a lot of trash. It can be entertaining for sure, but it can be terrifying and overwhelming too. You can expect a lot of inappropriate messages and pictures of bits and bobbles. POF is good though for the ability of blocking someone, however some persistent souls will create new profiles so they can continue to harangue you (who has the time…). These free sites are a bit like thrift shopping; most items are damaged, ripped or stained, but there is the odd item which is in fairly good condition and doesn’t require fixing.
The one free way of online dating I would recommend is the Tinder app. I have blogged about Tinder before if you want to check out what I had to say. Originally designed for hooking up; many have utilized the Tinder app for finding a relationship. It is mostly photo driven and allows a brief write up to describe yourself. You swipe right if you like what you see and swipe left if you don’t. The best part is no one can contact you, unless it is a mutual “like”. You can easily un-match and block if necessary too. It is easy to set up and easy to delete; if wasting money is a concern, this is the best bang for your lack of bucks.
I will be writing about red flags to watch out for, so you can avoid unfortunate situations, and have a more enjoyable experience in your quest for love or like online.
Peace and Love – Rachel