There are many online dating services available out there, and they all have one common goal for their users – to allow them to find the person that they are looking for, based on a variety of criteria. But this is exactly where many of them fall apart, since many of them do not provide adequate search tools to specify your criteria for the person you are searching for, and this will inevitably waste a lot of your time. And let’s face it, that is time better spent communicating with a potential match to see if they really are the right match or if you need to keep looking.
The best online dating services will allow your initial contact with a potential match be totally anonymous. The site provides a messaging service like email so you can communicate with the potential match. But since the messages are handled by the dating service, the potential match does not even get to know your real email address, or anything else about it outside of what you elect to tell them and what is listed in your profile on the dating service.
If during the course of this message exchange you both decide that you would like to communicate on a more personal basis, you can exchange your real email address or your phone numbers and continue the relationship to see if there are common interests or even any sparks.
Notice that I referenced your online dating profile. This is where a lot of people actually exclude themselves from being found and they do not even realize it. If you are really 42 and you put in your profile that you are 25, who is that hurting? Only you. If you have brown hair and brown eyes, don’t list in your profile that you have blond hair and blue eyes. There are many reasons for this. One is that if your perfect someone is looking for someone who is around 42 with brown hair and brown eyes, you will not be found when they do a search. Secondly, if you do find a potential match candidate and things move forward, what are they going to think when they find out you lied in your profile, and you are really 42 with brown hair and brown eyes instead of 25 with blond hair and blue eyes? That potential relationship will have a damper put on it faster than Smokey The Bear can put out a campfire, and you are back to square 1.
Very few people really want a long distance relationship, so one of the main search criteria that the best online dating services have is the ability to search by geographic area, perhaps either by zip code, geographic part of the country, and perhaps even by telephone area code. Being able to search for someone who lives in your general area is important because if things look like they might move forward, you are going to want to meet this person face to face, which is difficult at best if you do not live in the same geography.
Beyond that, the search criteria should be able to narrow down your choices. You search by age range, by geography, then start narrowing things down by other interests. If you have a strong interest in politics, you may also want to find someone who shares those interests. If you enjoy a nice evening with a glass of wine beside a fireplace, you may not want to consider someone whose idea of a fun evening is to get rip-roaring drunk dancing at a night club.
Be cautious not to look for a match for EVERY criteria but rather, leave some things to talk about to share with that person. For example, if you have a pilot’s license, you may not want to search for someone else who also has a pilot’s license since that would narrow the search considerably, but it is an interesting facet of you that you could share.
The bottom line is that the best online dating services will provide the most important facet of all, which is the ability to perform a search based on your criteria. If you are considering a site that does not have good search capabilities, you may want to consider a different online dating service that does.