Many people have asked us “why should I try online dating?”. A simple answer is because it's a fun and easy way to meet new people. However, from our experience this was the wrong question to start with. Basically what we found out is that people still do not fully understand what online dating is all about and how many different platforms and communities exist. Online dating platforms try to connect like-minded people in order to enable them to find a new friend, date, partner or casual contact. The internet simply helps you to increase your search radius and provides you with tools (instant messaging, video calls etc.) to make the search more fun. Online dating is what you make out of it – just like in real life when you go out with friends to a bar to meet new people. So, again, “why online dating”: it is a way to meet new friends, dates or partners and it can be tremendously fun.
This question ties in with what we wrote under “Why online dating?”: it is very important for you to define what it actually is that you are looking for. There are thousands of online dating platforms out there. A good start is to ask yourself whether you are looking for a fun date or a new partner for a long-term relationship. Although the borders are a little bit blurry, this is a good distinction between different platforms. On the one end you have the pure dating (or even casual dating) portals that have thousands of profiles that you can browse and on the other end there are the so-called matchmaking sites that want to help you to find your soul-mate or future spouse. Read through our reviews of the various online dating sites to find out which platform offers what.
There are two important aspects regarding “safety”. The one is personal data safety which includes your email address, name, your payment details and many other aspects regarding you as a person. Always make sure you read (or more realistically, glance at) the terms & conditions of the site before you sign up. If you cannot find terms & conditions then this is clearly a red light and you should not sign up. Make sure that the site is compliant with all applicable British consumer law and that they explain in detail what they do with your personal data. The standard should be that they explicitly state that none of your personal data will be shared with third parties without your consent. The second important aspect is your personal safety. Here we can only recommend you to be as cautious as you would be when you meet people in reality. Although online dating in general is safe, there are people out there that try to take advantage of you in various ways or are simply unpleasant company. Use your common sense. A few recommendations include: make sure to meet in public places for first dates, inform your family and friends when you meet someone new and be cautious when sharing private information with new contacts.
There are many different options, ranging from 100% free dating sites to paid membership sites with monthly costs of up to £40. What you in the end choose depends on your preferences. However, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, paid online dating services deter scammers and fakers and thus create a more serious community.
We definitely recommend that you upload a nice, interesting photo of yourself. This is the best way to get in touch with people online. A nice picture creates an instant interest in your profile and you as a person. Moreover, be honest when describing yourself – although it may be tempting to pretend to be someone else, it ultimately is not honest and creates a lot of hassle for both sides. Be yourself and for sure you will find like-minded people. Further, we think it is always best to be straightforward without insulting or hurting others. What we mean is that you may have admirers that do not match your expectations. It is fair and ok to openly tell this to others in a nice way. However, it is definitely a no-go to be rude or offensive.