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4 secrets to online matchmakers

Elsa Weidman, Match.com

Searching for love on Match.com is similar to buying ice cream: There are just too many delicious flavors to choose from. With more than 100,000 people registering each week, it can be tough to decide who to go after: The intelligent brunette with the dry sense of humor, or the handsome orthodontist with a passion for philanthropy? The rocky road or the mint chocolate chip? It's a tough choice.

Sure, all the profiles sound great: "I like to surprise women with spontaneous adventures." But how can you tell if this guy's going to take you on a trip to Belize or a trip to the buffet? You need to look deeper into their profiles to get the truth. Here are four things to focus on:

1. Humor You'll notice that almost everyone, in their profiles, claims that they're funny. But what kind of funny? If he writes, "I have a bizarre sense of humor," don't be surprised if you encounter a whoopee cushion on your first date. If a guy writes "lol" on every other line on his profile, you may think, "Oh, he laughs out loud a lot. I like that in a man." Well, think again — it could just mean he chats on the Internet all the time and wants to show off his cool, chat-room lingo.

2. Appearance and age Now for the looks. If you don't like his photo, there's a good chance you're not going to like his looks in person either. Most people don't post unflattering photos of themselves. If a fellow says that his physical look is a "work in progress," that's probably a sign that he's overweight and out of shape — and perhaps trying to do something about it. This may not bother you, but just make sure you're reading between the lines carefully so you know what you are getting into.

Also, is he upfront about his age, or a little too vague? Ask if his photo is a recent one and look for clues as to when it was taken — is that haircut 10 years out of fashion?

3. Occupation The whole job situation is a touchy subject. If a person doesn't reveal his occupation or salary range, does that mean he lives in poverty, has a lot of money he doesn't want to talk about, or just doesn't want to share his finances with strangers? It's really hard to tell, although to be really safe it may be best to bet on the first. Look for the clues in his personal profile. An old favorite of the under-employed is "self-employed." I get cash out of the ATM, too, but that doesn't make me my own boss. Now it's very possible he is gainfully self-employed but if he continues to be vague and a little too grandiose about his work ("I own a private corporate communications company"), watch out.

4. Dating motive Beware of someone's motive for finding a mate. "I just got out of a bad relationship" is often code for "I need a rebound girl to hear all about how Sheila broke my heart and ran off with Lyle." Others may lure you with the line: "I'm looking for a friendship that could turn into more," which sometimes means "I'm pretending to be ultra-sensitive so you'll let me get to second base by the second date."

The dating world is rough enough, but online dating can be a breeze if you know how to read between the lines of those hundreds of profiles. You'll save yourself a lot of time and turmoil if you heed the early warning signs. This way, you can cut through the B.S. and go on that trip to Belize with the funny, great-looking guy who has a real job and the right dating motives.

You know what you want, so what are you waiting for? Search for local singles today!

Check out other Online Dating Services

There are so many online dating services. At last count, there are over 800 online dating services to choose from. So how do you go about finding the best and spending your money wisely?

1. Research online dating sites. Keep in mind that online dating sites that you have never heard of before will have a minimal database and won't be worth your time and money. Try the big online dating sites with name recognition.

Match 3 Day Free Trial 

American Singles

Yahoo Personals

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2. Establish a budget. Decide how much money you want to devote to online dating, and set a budget. Some sites charge one-time membership fees, others automatically charge recurring monthly fees to your credit card. Most online dating sites charge between $20-$30 a month. Some with extensive psychological profiles and matching like E-harmony charge $49.95 a month......but watch for their specials where they will sometimes do 2 or 3 months for the price of 1. Match.com will offer a 7 day FREE TRIAL on occassion.


3. Seek recommendations. Talk to trusted friends, colleagues, and family to see if anyone they know has had a positive experience with a particular online dating website.

4. Consider specialized online dating sites. Determine if you have any special interests or unique situations that might require a more specialized online dating website. Some online dating sites cater to customized audiences including political affiliations, sexual preferences, race, religion, etc.

5. Determine pros and cons. Narrow down the list of potential online sites to your top three and compare them to determine pros and cons of each. Pay particular attention to monthly/yearly cost, free versus fee services, and number of website members.

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What are the best ways to meet singles in your city?   Go to as many singles events as you can. Variety is the key.  Don't focus on any one type of group.   First: Meet young single professionals at fundraisers, singles charity and civic organizations. Second: Join sports leagues, singles hiking, biking, outdoors, or adventures clubs.  Third: Join a church or religious group for Christian, Catholic, or Jewish singles. Also check out singles cruises and  travel.   Newly divorced or single parent? Get help at a singles support or divorce recovery group. 

What about online dating? Check out the information on Singlesonthego.com to learn how to place personal ads to meet single men and women online.  You'll also find great dating advice for online personals and meeting singles by using various dating services, dating agencies, matchmakers, introductions services. Go ahead, you can do it!.....check out the singles scene in your area to find a new relationship today!  Check out the list of online dating services above categorized by general, foreign/ethnic, religious, alternative, senior and single parents.

   

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