Friday, 4 February 2011

Online Dating – Part II: A General Overview

Online dating is brand new to a lot of people so here is a quick update on what it’s all about. Ok, so let’s start from scratch, Wiki defines online dating (also known as internet dating) as “a dating system which allows individuals, couples and groups to make contact and communicate with each other over the Internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal romantic or sexual relationship. Online dating services usually provide un-moderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.”

Now while most people understand the concept of online dating, many are completely unaware of the reality of the whole thing. Essentially you join a matchmaking website (In my case, I chose RSVP.com.au as it claims to be the largest online dating website in Australia & also because it was the website Sarah chose to use), create a profile giving some information about yourself, upload a picture & then start trawling other people’s profiles feeling a little bit like a sex offender. Some websites will have a joining fee, a monthly membership fee or like RSVP a ‘contact fee’. This is because matchmaking websites are essentially a business. Generally the more it costs you the more exclusive or comprehensive it is. Some select advertisements for online dating sites boast a ‘full personality profile’ or that they will match you based on ‘deep compatibility levels’. Personally, I think that’s crap. No two men I have ever dated have had similar goals/qualities etc., but hey if that’s what floats your boat then go ahead.

RSVP follows the ‘contact fee’ mentality of making money which suits me just fine. Basically it’s free to set up your profile & upload some pictures. Once you’re done you can send someone a ‘kiss’ which is picking a line from a set of pre designated comments/pick-up lines/greetings for free. Some of examples of these are: ‘You’re cute. Want to chat?’, ‘I’d like to get to know you, would you be interested?’ and my personal favorite ‘Excuse me but I think I dropped something…. My jaw!!’ hahaha. The downside - you can only receive about 50 kisses a day before it tells them you have received your limit for the day.

If you want to make contact further than some cliché pick-up lines it will cost you about $10.00 (the average cost of an RSVP ‘stamp’) to send an email to their profile. The smallest amount of stamps you can buy at one time is 6, so you’re looking at a minimum set up of $60.00 if you intend to be the person initiating contact. Stamps expire after a month like phone credit, so don’t go on a spending spree if you don’t intend to use them immediately. I will cover the whole etiquette of stamps in a future chapter.

Now for those that are mega serious about the whole thing you can chose to pay a monthly membership fee and become a RSViP which gives you benefits such as: a highlighted profile – to help get you noticed (although if you take my advice on writing your profile, I doubt you’ll need it!), no expiry date on your stamps, you can filter your kisses, see whose viewed your profile & get read receipts for your emails/kisses. There are more benefits but to be honest I can’t be bothered relaying them all. The cost of RSViP membership starts at $7 a month, but that is on the most basic of memberships.

Ok, so that is the basics and a brief overview of how it works on RSVP. I’m sure all websites are different, so if you looking at joining a different one check out their individual websites.

Here is my opinion of the pro’s and con’s associated with online dating:

Pro’s

- It gives you a chance to widen your social circle and meet people who you may not have come into contact with in your everyday life.
- It can save time. I say CAN because after a little while I found it terribly time consuming.
- It allows you to be very specific about what you like in a partner
- You get to see an overview of a person before you even talk to them, helping you narrow down the list of potential suitors.
- RSVP doesn’t give out any of your personal information so if you get cyber stalkers (like a couple incidences I’ll tell you about in future chapters) they have no real way of tracking you down.

Con’s

- It can become terribly time consuming
- Getting along in the virtual world is no guarantee you will get along in the real world
- A lot of people lie to make themselves more appealing
- There are scammers. The main one I have come across whilst talking to people about their experiences is where the scammer creates a profile which mirrors what you want in a partner & your own likes/dislikes. This is mostly targeted at men and when you call the number they give you it turns out to be one of those expensive sex lines or something similar.
- A few of the people I spoke to said after about a month they got the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness after being on so many dates & making contact with so many people & not making a ‘real connection’ with anyone. All I can say on this point is that love isn’t predictable. If you can’t find your soul mate in the real world after only a month would you give up on it? Probably not. Just because you’re meeting all these people instantly doesn’t make the rest of it instant.

But the best way to create a list of pro’s & con’s for yourself is to just go & do it!

Happy trawling my darlings,

x Sunny x

2 comments:

lies said...

good source.....chers

Marriage said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog,In these past few years the trend in dating has changed drastically.Lots of people now enjoy the benefits of online dating.