Now I know for myself and for many others I have talked to, the results are not that good. There are several reasons for this that I will touch upon and then give you some advice to give you the kick you need to make it work!
The first thing to remember is that if you are recently broken up, then going online to find a date can be an ego booster, or it can further put you into depression if you don't get any responses. I want to caution you to not count on people flocking to your page and emailing if you're a guy. However if you're engaging and have some good looks you can probably get by with emailing a few ladies on one of the websites.
On the other hand ladies - watch out! If you are decent looking, you will be bombarded with emails from guys asking you all sorts of things. I don't recommend you give out your phone number or meet without getting to know the guy first.
We also have the infamous bots on Craigslist and yes even POF (plentyoffish.com). If someone asks you to go to a website and it's not to MySpace or Facebook, toss it! It's just going to direct you to singles.net or some other website that makes you pay. Also understand that bots aren't just automatic responses anymore.
There are programs that will pinpoint and personalize the emails to make them look real so be careful you don't waste your time! Be warned that no matter how hot the girl/guy looks it's probably too good to be true.
When you make a profile the best thing to do is to add a pic. You will definitely get more responses with a picture than without. If your friends find you and say something about it tell them that a cousin put it up and thought it would work so you told them go for it. You can even just mention it to your friends so that way you nip any rumors in the bud! I mean come on - who really wants to admit they have resorted to look for a companion online?
Remember that a pic isn't going to be exactly what the person looks like. I know I have met girls that look only a little like there pics (in my experience not in a good way!) So definitely make sure that you have multiple current pictures on your page!
Next - don't lie! If you're a guy and your profile says your 6'6" but you're really 6'0" then you're not going to make it that far! Same goes for girls if they are a lil overweight. If your 20lbs over weight and are 5'4" then you are going to be somewhat chubby so admit to those curves but spin it off positively. Never ever make it sound like you have something negative about you! Always tell the truth but figure out a way of spinning it so it sounds like your confident and am proud of your body!
One secret for guys and girls - use IM's! You don't give out your phone # or any personal info. Go through Yahoo or MSN messenger. that way you can talk to someone without waiting for emails. try not to be aggressive though when messaging someone, if they don't reply play it cool and let it go. I have found Yahoo to be the best cause you can send an IM when the other person is offline. However there chat rooms are filled with bots so I wouldn't go in there if I were you.
The ultimate secret to getting online dating to work...Be FRIENDS! Yeah you heard me, be friends! Seriously I've met a lot of people online and they usually have some expectations. If you go into it just saying that you aren't looking for a date but rather for a someone to hang out with the pressure should be that much less! Hey, looks aren't everything and if pics can't tell you how the person looks in real life, then you have to meet them!
- Don't respond to bots
- Don't lie
- Give out IM's, rather than phone numbers
- Be friends first
- Be upfront when you meet
To make sure it's not awkward just say you wanna hang and get to know someone. Chances are that if you don't hit it off with that person they will have friends that they can introduce you to that might peak your interest! Make sure you're upfront with the person. Tell them that you just wanna hang and nothing else, then you can take your ques from them if you're interested.
Ultimately this puts you into a normal dating situation. The reason is because very rarely do people meet up and then just go out. Normally you know the person and get to know them until your comfortable around them and move on to the next level.
Honestly I can say I'm done with the online stuff though. Nothing beats meeting a girl in real life and they can take you for face value. I would suggest for those of you who aren't experienced in dating to give this a try, it may give you the experience needed to go out and do it out in a crowd rather on a computer.