Mapping the Terrain of Dating Sites

Today, everything is about convenience. People want to accomplish objectives efficiently, effectively and, above all, with little to no effort. With this mindset dominating the public, it is not surprising that the long cultured art of courting has moved to the digital sphere with dating sites.

Dating sites, or websites developed to aid in finding your perfect match, are increasingly popular and accepted. However, what are you going to get when you log on to one of these dating sites? Reviews are mixed at best.

First, you should know that your initial results will likely be far from a fairytale ending. Dating sites usually make you take some kind of personality and lifestyle assessment in order to come up with your ideal “matches.”

Some of these assessments are rather generic, so your matches will be far from tailored or vetted. Prepare to be matched with someone twenty years your senior whose only common trait is a love of Chinese food.

Other dating sites force you to take very specific and probing assessments. The result? You may get rejected! These dating sites only accept what they deem as healthy, happy, stable people as candidates, which is far from fun for our mostly neurotic population. Even if you are accepted, you may not have a match within two hundred miles. Makes dating a little more difficult, doesn’t it?

Dating sites also charge monthly fees. On top of having to pay for internet access, a decent computer and a digital camera to get your picture on the web, you’ll have to pay what is sometimes $20 a month to get your information out there. When you add all this into the cost of the actual preparation and dates you go on, it makes dating a much more costly affair than it needs to be.

Another problem with dating sites is that their matches are largely based on what you THINK you want. While some people are enlightened enough to know exactly what they are looking for, the majority of us only delude ourselves into thinking we know.

Part of the dating process is trial and error, and dating sites will usually match you with a number of the same kinds of people, which theoretically can become the equivalent of banging your head against a brick wall.

That does not mean that dating sites cannot be helpful. There are plenty of stories out there about people finding the love of their lives online. It can also be useful to check out a dating site if you’re just getting back into dating. However, as with almost all online offers, it is important that buyer beware. A healthy dose of skepticism can be your best friend.