Cyber Relationships: The Risks and Rewards of Online Dating
Millions of people are "e-dating" in the hopes of finding that perfect someone. Online dating services such as Match.com Match.com and firstname.lastname@example.org are thriving as men and women post ads and photos of themselves in search of the perfect mate.
Indeed, most relationship counselors, including The Rules Girls, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, agree that logging on can be a great way to meet your match.
The Advantages of Online Dating
Dr. Ellen Kriedman (also known as Dr. Ellen) says online dating is an advantage for people who are uncomfortable about meeting people in public places, or who are new to an area. Online dating services also can be a good option if you frequently travel for work or have children or other responsibilities that make going out to meet people difficult.
What's more, you're not confined to the area where you live. You can search the world, since you have international access via the Internet.
And you can meet people without fear of commitment. Online dating services provide chat rooms that allow you to get to know someone before you exchange photos or phone numbers.
In addition, most sites allow the user to place a photo along with a personal ad, and some even have audio capability so you can listen to your potential soul mate's voice. While this may sound a bit superficial at first, Internet dating actually takes the whole "meat market" aspect out of the dating process because it allows you to weed out the players.
Choosing an Online-Dating Service
With so many online dating services out there, picking one can be difficult. Dr. Ellen advises people to do their homework. Shop around until you find one that best suits your particular needs. Narrow your search by looking at services that specialize in matching people with similar interests. For example, you might consider a dating service for people who share the same religious faith, like BigChurch.com, ChristianCafe.com or JDate.com; if you're a sports enthusiast, you might check out fitness-singles.com. The list goes on ...
While e-dating is a dream come true for some, The Rules Girls warn that an e-courtship has more dating hazards than ever — and they're not what you think! Whether you meet online, at work, or in a bar, email has become an integral part of most relationships, so you need to be prepared to handle a cyber relationship.
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