Online dating is nothing more than finding a date using a website and is commonly used by both men and women to find a date. They can do so by browsing a site, and finding profiles that interest them. Some websites allow free browsing before creating your own profile while others charge a small fee to allow users to access their member files.
However, the basic model for the best online dating websites is the same. A user is required to enter his/her profile. This is then stored in the site's server, and can be accessed by any authorized site user. All dating sites run a powerful search program that can match profiles on the basis of age, gender, community, interests etc. When you find an interesting match, you can begin the process of contacting them by sending a wink, a flirt, or a short message.
The pricing strategy varies from site to site. Some sites provide unpaid users access to a few profiles; others insist on payment. The payment also has several layers. The maximum access is provided to those users who pay the highest rates.
Most paid sites are very particular about privacy. They route the contact mails through their mail server so that neither party will ever see the actual mail address of the other. Some advise opening a free e-mail account for online dating. This does not happen in the case of free websites. Your personal information is visible to everyone.
Another important thing about paid sites is that they allow people to post or browse profiles only after paying the subscription fee. Also, only members can contact the site users. Besides this, a paid membership also entitles members to a higher ranking in search results.
All sites advise you to avoid mentioning personal information like your full name, address, phone number, place of employment, social security number etc. This is sound advice, and must be followed in full. There is no point in exposing yourself to cyber stalkers.
However, there is no harm in entering your interests in full. It also makes sense to post a good photograph on the site. Profiles with photographs get better responses than profiles without photographs.
Your first communication should be through email. Only after you have conducted an email conversation should you establish voice communication. This should be done once you develop a liking for your online friend. Here too you should not give your landline number. The best is to use your mobile, which does not reveal your home address. The final step should be to invite your online friend to a date.