5 Reasons Online Dating is Safer than You Think

With 54 million singles in America, and 40 million of them using online dating services, it’s clear that online dating has moved from a trend to an integral part of American culture.  For years it was stigmatized as ‘unsafe’ and a place for ‘desperate singles.’  However, now that more and more people are utilizing online resources, these stigmas have begun to fade.  Instead of dismissing internet dating, people are connecting every day.  In fact, nearly 1/5 couples married recently met online.  With proper habits and precautions, online dating can actually be safer than ‘traditional’ dating.  Here are 5 reasons online dating is safer than you think.

  1. Search Settings

Now, pretty much every dating site has adjustable search settings.  This way you can filter results by location, age, and other aspects that may be important to you.  This way you can make a personal checklist of qualities that will make you feel comfortable, and all of the profiles you view will have matched your requirements.

  1. Linked Accounts

Social Media sites like Facebook and Instagram make it very easy for us to get a glimpse into the lives and habits of people.  It’s much simpler to find people with fake profiles, scammers and predators because you’ll see red flags all over their social media accounts, or they won’t have any.  If someone refuses to share their social media accounts with you, there’s a good chance they’re hiding something, and it’s time to move on.

  1. In-site/In-app messaging

Every reputable dating site offers free messaging within their services.  This way you don’t have to give away any private information like phone numbers, email addresses, etc.  It’s a safe and neutral place where you can chat with your connections and find out if there is any chemistry.

  1. Less Pressure

People often get nervous when they are put under pressure in social situations.  How many dates were held because it was rude, awkward, or just too hard to say no to someone’s face?  Online daters actually spend more time talking with their matches before meeting up.  This gives you the chance to get to know each other, and search out any red-flags that could come up when you meet face to face.

  1. Background Checks

Have you ever joked that you wish you could give your dates a background check before you meet up?  Well now you can.  Not only can you look through their linked social media accounts, but now you can sign up for a service that includes comprehensive background checks as a part of the member sign up process.  This negates the possibility for fake profiles, and anyone with a violent history, sexual predators, and scam artists are unable to gain access to your profile.

5 Necessary Ingredients for a Successful Online Dating Experience

Online dating services have been a part of our American culture for 20 years.  In that time it has grown from a small social experiment with market potential into a multibillion dollar industry that 40 million people are using to explore their options and find their potential partners.  Unlike searching for a date IRL (In Real Life), online dating produces a tremendous amount of data, statistics and trackable trends.  This makes it easier to figure out the dos and don’ts of internet dating.  Here are 5 necessary ingredients to make sure you have a successful online dating experience.

  1. A Positive Profile

Everything from your pictures to your ‘about me’ should communicate positivity.  Desperation and negative attitudes do not appeal to the vast majority of users.  Use pictures of you smiling and short, optimistic phrases to convey information about yourself, this will attract people with similar attitudes.

  1. Unique Details

People are looking for a match that stands out from the crowd.  Generic words are often skipped over.  Instead of saying “I’m a foodie,” say something like “I enjoy trying new cuisines, especially Mediterranean fare.”  This will set you apart from the crowd, and give potential dates a few points to bring up in conversation.

  1. Good First Contact

Online dating services offer in-site/in-app messaging.  This is where nearly every initial contact is made.  Your first message should focus on something that they are interested in, and ask an open question.  For example: “Hi, how is your week going?  I see that you love Mediterranean cuisine, have you tried the new fusion restaurant on Smith St?  Their dolmas are great!”

  1. Set Honest Expectations

If you have a list of deal breakers, it might be a good idea to put them in the open.  Don’t send a message saying “IF YOU DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DO NOT CONTACT ME…” because that displays a negative and confrontational attitude.  But bring them up casually.  If you are allergic to pet hair and your potential date has 6 cats and 3 dogs in their studio apartment, there’s a slim chance that things are going to work out.

  1. A Safe First Date

When you do meet someone that has potential, and you’ve found that you have some chemistry, it’s time to set up a date.  The first date should be casual and in a public place like a restaurant, gallery or boardwalk.  If they only want to go somewhere private, red flags should go up immediately.  On the date, the conversation should be light and honest.  Search for common interests, shared goals and aspirations and any similarities in senses of humor.  The main purpose of a first date is to figure out if you’re attracted to each other enough for a second date.

The Art of Online Dating

Over the past 20 years, online dating has changed from a new and untested social experiment to a multibillion dollar industry.  As the number of internet users continues to climb drastically, so does the number of people that use online dating services.  With 9/10 people using the internet now, there are over 40 million Americans looking for other singles online.

With so many possibilities and options right at your fingertips, it can seem a little overwhelming when you take your first plunge into the world of online dating.  Luckily, there have been many studies done, statistics produced, and firsthand accounts published about online dating.  In fact, nearly 20% of recent marriages were performed on couples that met online.  So how do people find success in the world of online dating?  Here are some tips from people who have experienced good results.

-Pay attention to pictures

Your pictures are the most important part of your profile.  This may sound a bit shallow, but it’s completely true.  For your profile, be sure to post at least 3 pictures of yourself including a headshot, full body shot, and a photo that conveys a hobby or part of your personality.  When you’re looking for potential dates, be wary of anyone that has only blurry pictures, or shots from one angle.  Maybe they just haven’t found a good picture of themselves, or maybe they’re trying to hide something…

-Positivity is always good

People are turned off by desperation.  Your profile should reflect your confidence and happiness.  Positivity attracts positivity.  Use pictures that show you smiling and use short, optimistic phrases.  When looking for potential matches, it’s pretty easy to weed out the users that are desperate or hopeless.

-Be (fairly) specific

Generic dating profiles get much less attention than ones that stand out, and creating a unique profile doesn’t take much effort.  Use examples directly from your life to show people your interests.  Instead of saying that you’re “an animal lover,” tell them “I have two cats and enjoy spending time looking at birds in the park.”  These examples will stand out, convey relevant information, and provide your potential matches with a few conversation points to get the ball rolling.  However, be sure not to give out any personal information that could put you at risk, or start writing your autobiography.  Keep it concise.

-Develop safe habits

Online dating has gotten much safer as social media allows us to glimpse into the lives of our matches.  However, that doesn’t mean that there are still risks involved.  Before you meet up, check out your date’s social media accounts, and if anything appears to be sketchy, ask them about it.  If they give you a roundabout answer, they may be hiding something.  Always be sure to have the first date in a public place, and tell a friend who and where you’re meeting.

Everything You Need To Know About Online Dating in South Florida

The era of online dating began in 1995, when Match.com first launched.  Since then, the number of adults that use the internet has increased exponentially, creating new markets, trends and possibilities that were inconceivable before the World Wide Web.  In ’95, only 14% of adults were internet users, now nearly 90% of adults are online, and this number is only going to increase.

Many people used to believe that online dating was unsafe, and that joining was a sign of desperation.  Today, much of that stigma has been lost.  About 60% of Americans believe that online dating is a great way to meet new people, and nearly 1/5 of recent marriages were performed on couples that met online.  Now, with 40 million Americans using internet dating services, there has never been a better time to join the world of online dating.

Southern Florida is known as a romantic getaway for couples on vacation, but what about singles looking to meet new people?  Match.com lists Miami as the #1 best city for online dating, and Fort Lauderdale is rated number 7 in the list of top ten “Solo Cities” according to www.bestplaces.net.  With stunning beaches, tantalizing restaurants, and a plethora of museums and galleries, South Florida is a perfect place to meet someone new.

Finding potential dates online is easy.  Finding the right person to date, now that’s the tricky part.  When you’re looking for a match online, be sure to pay attention to these 3 things:

-Profile Pictures: They should have at least 3 profile pictures, including a headshot and a full body shot.  It’s best to be up front and honest online, so your pictures should accurately represent the current version of yourself.

-Impersonal Messages: If you receive a message that sounds impersonal, and like it could have been sent to anyone, it probably was.  There are some daters that try to reach out to as many people as possible, regardless of compatibility.  These are not the people that you’re going to establish a lasting relationship with.

-The First Date: If you have corresponded regularly online, and found that you have some chemistry, it’s a good idea to meet offline.  The first date should be in a safe, public location during the day.  This is a chance to get to know each other and find out if that chemistry will translate into compatibility.



How to Build Your Online Dating Profile to Make a Good First Impression

With 40 million single Americans engaged in online dating services (sorry, bad pun), the internet has become one of the easiest ways to meet new people.  However, in order to have success in the world of online dating, you need a profile that will catch the eyes of like-minded individuals.  You never get a second chance at a first impression, and with the speed at which people search through databases, a good first impression is crucial when they come across your profile.  Whether you’re just trying to make friends, meet new people, or find ‘the one’ these tips will help you create a profile that makes a lasting impression.

Be accurate

Your profile should be a reflection of your current situation.  Nobody likes going out on a date with someone whose occupation is listed as “Restaurant Manager” only to find out they’ve been laid off and are trying to find a bartending gig just to pay the bills.  I’m not trying to say that people who are down on their luck don’t deserve dates, I’m just pointing out that people who are dishonest or misleading usually end up alone with the check at the end of the night.

Be aware of your photos

Photos are the most important part of your online dating profile.  That may sound superficial, but it’s true.  You should have a minimum of 3 pictures.  Of these 3 pictures you should have at least 1 head shot, 1 full-length shot, and 1 active or candid shot that represents your interests and hobbies.  Don’t post photos of you chugging drinks or partying like crazy.  This will attach a certain stigma to your profile that might garner the wrong kind of attention.

Be positive

When viewing someone’s profile, many factors combine quickly to form an overall reaction.  You want that reaction to be positive, so be sure that every part of your profile reflects positivity.  Nice smiles in your pictures, and short thoughts and quotes that convey an optimistic attitude are perfect.

Be honest

Intent is another one of the most important aspects of your profile.  If you’re looking for a relationship, say so.  If you’re just looking for something fun, say so.  You want to make the right impressions on the right people, and being up front and open about your intentions is the best way to do that.

Be concise, but specific

Remember the old saying from high school English class, “Show, don’t tell?”  Well use this same idea in your profile.  Instead of using broad terms, use specific examples to show your interests.  For example:

Instead of saying: “I like to travel and be outdoors.”

Say: “I’ve been to China, Japan, and Thailand, now I want to explore more of Asia!  I love hiking and being surrounded by mountains.

This will help you stand out from the crowd, make you sound more interesting, and give potential dates a few conversation points.

5 Online Dating Safety Hazards Most People Overlook

Today, there are about 40 million people in America that use online dating services.  That’s almost 50% of the entire population of single fish in the sea.  With so many singles out there looking to connect, it can be tempting to rush into the online dating world.  Of course by now we’ve all heard horror stories about sociopaths, murderers and other dangerous individuals that use these sites as hunting ground.  While it’s true that there are risks associated with online dating, using safe dating techniques can help you navigate the sites securely and find other friendly, interesting singles in your area.  Here are 5 online dating safety hazards that you should keep your eyes open for:

  1. Catfish

A “catfish” is someone that creates a fake Facebook profile to link to their dating profile.  If you’re considering meeting up with someone, the first thing you should do is check out their social media.  Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts are often linked and easily accessible.  Profiles with extremely little information, few pictures, and no linked social media should send up a red flag.  It’s possible that these are catfish, and they could have malicious intent.

  1. Privacy

While a romantic picnic or stroll on the beach sounds like a lovely first date, the first meeting should always be in a public place.  Anyone that tries to arrange a private meeting, or suggests secluded areas may have an ulterior motive in mind.

  1. Nighttime

It’s always best to meet up in the daytime, especially for a first date.  Spontaneous late night meetups are dangerous, so it’s best to plan ahead.  Get a coffee instead of a cocktail.  Which brings us to the next hazard…

  1. Alcohol

While it may be tempting to meet up for a few drinks with someone you’ve just matched with, you should use caution in these situations.  Alcohol impairs your judgement, and it gives assailants the perfect opportunity to slip something in your drink.  Also, you should avoid going on your dating profile if you’ve been drinking.  You don’t want to make any plans to meet up later in the night if you’re unable to properly assess the situation.

  1. Finances

First date conversation should be light, friendly, and about your (hopefully) mutual interests.  Talking about what you do for a living is usually a safe topic, but anyone that pries deeper into your financial situation might be assessing you differently.  Steer clear of any conversation involving funds.  That’s a topic for a later date.

3 Important Qualities of the Safest Dating Sites on the Internet

While technology in general seems to be trending towards becoming more safe and secure, many online dating sites still make it impossible to be sure that you’re talking to a real, genuine person. Your safety takes priority over everything else, and you need to invest time in finding the safest dating sites possible. Continue reading 3 Important Qualities of the Safest Dating Sites on the Internet

Go See Drama for a Drama-Free Date Night

Tucked away in the Arts and Design district of downtown Miami, just north of the Adrienne Arsht Center, you’ll find MicroTheater Miami. If you blink, you might miss it, but this patio filled with brightly painted shipping containers is home to one of Miami’s most dynamic and bustling live theater scenes. Microtheater hails from Spain and arrived in Miami’s shores about four years ago. Located on the patios of the Centro Cultural Español (Cultural Center of Spain), Microtheater Miami offers English and Spanish language performances inside each of the seven containers, which seat up to 15 audience members in an intimate setting. Plays last 15 minutes, performed by six teams up to six times per evening and feature varied genres: drama, comedy, mystery, improvisation and musicals. Microtheater Miami’s season is on-going throughout the year and brings together some of South Florida’s highly talented and respected directors, actors and writers. Since laughter is the best medicine, catch as much improve comedy as you can. There’s nothing like a good belly laugh to get rid of jitters, especially during those first few encounters. Continue reading Go See Drama for a Drama-Free Date Night

Miami’s Most Romantic Picnic Spot

Matheson Hammock Park, located in south Coral Gables, is a postcard perfect place for a date if you’re in the mood for a romantic picnic. Drive to the east end of the park through a canopy of mangrove trees that opens up to a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, with downtown Miami and Key Biscayne in the distance. A circular path surrounds a shallow lagoon with a beach, which features a lush grove of coconut palms on its shores that shade the sand. Couples often choose to take their vows in this beautiful spot, which is perfect for intimate outdoor weddings. Weekdays are quieter for a romantic but low-key al fresco experience. Bring a blanket for your picnic, beach chairs or set up on one of many benches at the park. Continue reading Miami’s Most Romantic Picnic Spot

Late to a Date? No Excuses!

Time is money. Time is also love.

Never, ever be late to a date, especially the first, when you want to make a good – and most importantly — lasting first impression. It’s nerve-wracking as is when someone is taking the time to meet you and you’re both filled with anticipation.

Those anxious minutes watching the clock tick may seem like an eternity and the last thing you want is for your date to have is any doubt. While waiting, your date might feel stood up. Don’t go there. Being late sets the tone and the date gets off to a bad start. Being late shows you don’t respect your date’s time. But sometimes
even someone nice and considerate like you really do get stuck in traffic. Or a meeting runs late. Anything can happen. We can’t control every little unforeseen obstacle. So if you can’t help being late, stay the course and be “there” even when you’re not. Here are five common courtesy tips to avoid becoming a tardy turn-off. Continue reading Late to a Date? No Excuses!