Trying Out Online Dating Websites? Here Are 3 Safety Tips

online dating websites

There are well over 50 million single people around. With that many people, you’d think it’d be easy to find a date, and — eventually — “the one.” But with today’s fast-paced, career-focused world, finding the time to go places and meet people is nearly impossible. Thus came the rise of online dating sites. Since their inception, they’ve virtually exploded, and today, one out of every 10 Americans have used an online dating site in some form. Two-thirds of online daters have gone on dates with people that they met online, and almost 25% of users say they’ve met a spouse or began a long-term relationship through dating websites.

However, with this explosion of online dating comes a number of concerns. Mainly, are dating sites safe? Is online dating safe? With shows like Criminal Minds and Catfish: The TV Show, it seems like the answer would be no. There are a few online dating websites out there that have made it their mission to create a safe dating site for users. In addition to using sites that focus more on personal safety, there are a few tips for safety in the online dating space:

  1. When making your online profile, don’t post any contact information This includes phone number, address, email accounts, etc. If you put your Facebook or Twitter page on your profile, be sure to increase the security settings on there as well. You don’t have to hide your true self or anything, but you don’t want the wrong people being able to find your information.
  2. Do some “background check dating.” Don’t be afraid to do a little detective work. If the profile picture seems a little too good to be true, search for that image on Google. An easy way to do that is to right-click on the image and select “Search Google for image.” This’ll let you know if the image was posted elsewhere and determine if it could, in fact, be them. If you’re already chatting with him or her, ask them a question and then ask it differently later. Be on the lookout for any changes to their story, no matter how minor.
  3. When going on the first date, follow these practices: First, tell a friend about it — let somebody know that you’ll be out tonight with somebody you met online. That way, at least somebody knows where you are. Make sure that the date is in a public place — restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Don’t let the initial meeting be at his or her place. It’s best to bring your own car, which puts you in charge of when you leave. And lastly, though it might be tempting or a good way to lighten the mood, avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can impair your judgement, which can put you in bad situations.

It’s important not to let the risks of online dating websites turn you off to the practice. It’s an excellent way to meet people, especially for the modern career-oriented woman. Time is a commodity many of us don’t have, and online dating websites help the temporally-challenged ones find the happiness they deserve.

How Not to Be Awkward on a First Date

dating onlineWhat’s more nerve wrecking than dating online? Meeting your match for a first date. You are understandably apprehensive, but since you have made a connection on an online dating site you will want to continue that in person. Nothing will kill the vibe more than being weird when you are trying to clinch a mate.

Considering one in 10 Americans have used online dating sites, and 23% have ended up married, the first date is crucial for dating success. Follow these tips to not be awkward on your first date.

Don’t do dinner
Meeting for dinner can make you feel like you are having an interview with the person you are meeting. Do something fun so your conversations will be natural. You could go picnicking in the park, ice skating, go-carting, or out for ice cream and people watching. This will create instant bonding and will also give you something else to talk about the next time you — hopefully — meet.

Don’t Wait too Long
Almost 60% of dating websites users agree that dating online is a great way to meet others. But, if you hide behind a screen and talk too much, you can potentially run out of topics to discuss on your date. So get to know them in person, not just through your phone.

Don’t Spend too Long
Only spend over an hour on your first date. This way, you can leave if you are not feeling the connection. Or, if you really hit it off, you will build anticipation for the next time you see each other. It’s always a good idea to have an appointment after your date so you have a solid reason to leave when needed.

Call Them
Don’t be old fashioned and leave your date wondering for three days if you enjoyed your time. If you truly enjoyed yourself, contact them right after the date saying so. This will impress them, and who doesn’t like wow factor when getting to know someone? Plus, if you did not mesh, you will never have to contact them again.

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6 Reasons Online Dating is Better than Offline Dating

Yes we know that it goes against the classic and conventional style of courtship during a relationship, but let’s face it. Online dating is the future of relationships. Here are 6 reasons online dating is better than offline dating:

#1. You weed out all of the mess you usually would have to go on actual dates to figure out. Online dating provides you with a specific avenue as far as selecting people that you actually have things in common with and then pursuing a relationship. Offline dating on the other hand forces you to go on date after date with people you don’t share common interests with and wasting time figuring out whether or not it could work.

#2. You open up your dating scope to everyone who is on the site you’re dating from instead of the direct select few people already in your life. This opens you up to so much more diversity, increasing your chances of finding someone you can spend the rest of your life with happily. By opening up your dating pool you’re giving yourself a lot more options.

#3. Instead of dealing with the pressure to appear a certain way at first, online dating promotes the idea that it’s what’s on the inside that truly counts. Since you don’t have any pressure on you at first as far as keeping up physical appearances, you can 100% be yourself without any precautions. This helps you because now when you’re planning a date, instead of stumbling around trying to figure the other person out, you can confidently be yourself from the get go which will then translate into being confidently yourself when you eventually meet.

#4. With online dating’s efficient way of pre-screening people before agreeing to dates it’s less likely that you’ll have to deal with as many break ups. When you’re dating offline someone may become more attached and breaking it off can be messy and difficult. Online dating takes the majority of that stress away. Since you’re constantly having to communicate in such honest ways and due to the fact that your dating pool has opened up so widely, it’s unlikely that your online prospects will take the choice of not dating them anymore as personally.

#5. You get to keep your standards high without the risk of offending anyone. If someone online isn’t up to your standards then it’s fairly easy to keep them out of your life whereas in person a conversation like that can be extremely difficult to navigate. With multiple ways of pre-screening someone before communicating with them, online dating makes finding a match that’s right for you so much easier than you could’ve imagined.

#6. You get to practice talking to people before actually talking to them. We know this one can be a bit confusing but bear with us. Instead of fumbling for your words on a first date and accidentally bringing up topics your date knows nothing about, instead you get to talk online for a while and get to know each other before subjecting yourselves to a first date. This way when you do meet it goes far smoother and you already have a feel for what topics to discuss comfortably.

Does She Like Me? Here’s How you can Tell

Gents, we’ll be honest; we know that we’re a difficult breed to read. This being said, while we can’t let you in on all of our tricks of the trade, we’ll be happy to share with you a few ways of telling whether or not a girl is interested in you. So, if you’re wondering, “does she like me?” Here’s how you can tell:

Check out her body, and not in that way.

Yes, yes we know that you’ve probably already checked her out now that we’ve given you permission to look, but we ask you to look a little bit harder. Instead of only paying attention to her features, pay attention to her body language as well. If her entire body is turned towards you this probably means that she’s entirely invested in the conversation you’re having and isn’t thinking about what she’s going to make for dinner tonight, so good sign! If she’s leaning toward you or finding excuses to spark a physical connection with you (i.e. the classic arm grab while laughing) this also most likely is a sign that she’s interested in you as more than a friend.

Now that you’re checking her out, do you notice any blushing??

This is one of the most telltale signs that someone is into you. If she is constantly getting flushed around you or seems nervous or tripping over her words it’s very likely that she’s unable to entirely focus while you’re around, aka she’s into you. We often times like to think that we’ve successfully kept our cool around the guy we like, but sometimes our biological response is inevitable and we crack. Giving ourselves away by way of rosy cheeks.

Tell one of your horrible jokes…okay, now. Is she laughing?

Step one of this part is to actually admit that the jokes you’ve been telling to girls for the past five plus years probably aren’t as side-splitting as you’d like to think. Once you can admit that then you can tell which girls are tossing “I like you so I’m going to laugh even though this joke was kind of lame” laughs your way. This isn’t to say that she’s laughing at you, but this is to say that she’s trying to show you that you share a sense of humor and even if she doesn’t think the joke was hilarious she’s willing to still laugh and smile when you tell it because it’s not really about the joke now is it?

The best way to honestly tell if she’s into you or not is to simply ask. You may catch her off guard because we’re doubting very many guys do this often, but in the end you’ll probably be happy you did it. This way if she is, you know it and you can move on to the next step of your relationship and if she isn’t then you can stop wondering and let it go before you become too attached.

Open Minds Open Relationships

For many people the idea of an open relationship seems absolutely ridiculous. That is until we take a deeper look into it and find out that a lot more of us are in or have been in them before. Studies have shown that more than half of college aged people are in or have been at some point in an open relationship and those who haven’t aren’t opposed to them. When we’re young we tend to keep open minds, open relationships thrive off of.

Those who fall in the age group of 18-26 are far more likely to be more adventurous in what kinds of relationships they pursue as well as what they desire to try romantically. Often times at this age monogamy is something that we all desire but just can’t seem to attain so instead, we opt for the easier, less stressful, and in some cases more romantically fulfilling, open relationship. Open relationships can give you the freedom to try new things and figure out who you are and who you want to be without the pressures of a normal relationship. You won’t have to worry about where the two of you will be three years from now and instead can focus on your own success a little more.

This being said, open relationships aren’t for everyone and you shouldn’t settle for something that you don’t want just because other people are doing it. While many thrive off of the noncommittal vibe that comes with an open relationship, others crave the steady embrace of a monogamous relationship and that’s okay too. Being in an exclusive relationship can afford you a constant support system which can be very helpful, especially when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life.

Studies show that the older we get the more likely we are to want to be in a committed relationship with one single person. This could be due to the fact that as we age we begin to want to settle down and having a partner to count on in your life that constantly builds you up and makes you better can help a lot as far as growing up.

Whether it’s a fad of the youth or something that will stand the test of time, open relationships are something that can be a lot of fun when done the right way. It’s important to remember that it’s only an open relationship if all parties involved have talked about it and agreed to the circumstances. The title of an open relationship doesn’t give you free reign to do whatever you want romantically without consequence unless everyone is aware of the relationships status. Whether you enjoy monogamy or not, communication in any type of relationship is a must.

How to Tell Whether a man is Gay or Not

Now ladies we know that all of us would love to think that our gay-dar is this impenetrable force of knowledge that is always right in its judgements. However, we’re here to tell you that while your instincts may be right often, you can’t rely entirely on them to judge a man’s sexuality (even though we wish we could). While we may not be endless troughs of information, here are the top three ways on how to tell whether a man is gay or not:

#1. How does he walk? While we can’t rely solely on the sway of his hips we can certainly add it to an arsenal of information about him! Often time’s gay men walk with more of a sway in their hips and less shoulder movement. This is a more stereotypically feminine way of walking so it’s a good thing to pay attention to. Even though this won’t set his sexuality in stone, you at least will have a mini clue as to what his preferences are.

#2. Is he very openly homophobic? Even though it seems entirely insane, often times men who are gay experience extreme homophobia because being accepting of gayness would threaten their sense of denial about themselves. In being openly homophobic it is less likely that someone will bring up being gay around them or strike up a conversation about the topic.

#3. You could, oh I don’t know, ask them. While we know that it used to be fairly taboo to bring up this specific topic, it’s the modern era and it’s not taboo anymore. With a society that is moving more and more towards acceptance of different definitions of sexuality and moving away from putting people in a box simply because of a few simple actions it’s honestly safer to just be up front and ask about someone’s sexuality. This being said, if we’re talking about a person on the street or an old friend that’s a different situation. If this is someone you don’t know very well, it honestly isn’t your business. If it’s an old friend, asking them about their sexuality could put them in a bad position because if they are gay, they may not be out yet and you could be forcing them to come out with your prying questions.

However, if this is a man that you are interested in but you just can’t quite tell if he is simply a well-groomed individual or gay, then with as much delicacy as you can manage, by all means ask away. Regardless, the entire situation unless it directly affects you in some way is in all actuality none of your business. If it’s your friend, let them come out to you in their own time and if it’s a stranger, let them live their life without your prying questions and if it’s a person that you’re potentially interested in, then just ask them and get it out of the way so that you don’t spend too much time overthinking it.

How to Start an Online Conversation

Starting conversations in person can be a bit daunting, but starting them online opens up an entirely new realm of opportunity to look ridiculous. I mean, do you open with a corny joke or a presumptuous pick up line? Or maybe a simple “what’s up” or a more prying question. The possibilities are endless and can be frustrating for most people so here are our top five ways of how to start an online conversation:

#1. Keep your opening message short but personalized. Instead of tossing a generic “Hi!” their way, try something that will be more likely to spark their interest. Since you’re talking online you have a free pass to some information about them already. If you check out their bio and it shows that they’re a big sports buff maybe start your message off with something pertaining to that. If they’re into music try mentioning your favorite artist and asking who’s theirs is. This will show them that you’re genuinely interested in who they are as a person and make them more likely to respond.

#2. Shorthand can be your worst enemy. While it may have been totally rad to communicate only using texting acronyms and abbreviations a few years ago, when you’re trying to spark a conversation with someone online this is the opposite thing you want to do. Using shorthand like “ur, u, idk, wat” and others will most likely make the other person feel like you don’t care enough to put the time into typing those few extra letters that will make you appear literate to them. Often times people see theses abbreviations and ride others off as not as intelligent as they would like and don’t respond at all.

#3. Test out a joke that is a little difficult to answer. If you go too basic, they’ll either know the answer already and your plan is already foiled. Instead try one with a little bit of a complicated side. While this approach is one that isn’t easily pulled off, it’ll show them that you have a sense of humor and aren’t afraid to show it!

#4. Asking a question is one of the best ways to get someone to respond to you online. While it seems pretty basic, most people can’t help but to answer a question. This being said, try to avoid presumptuous ones or ones that have pretty obvious innuendo hidden within them. This can be a huge turn off when first conversing with someone.

#5. Avoid the cordial “Hi, how’s it going?” messages. They don’t stand out and honestly won’t lead too far. While you may think you’re just asking a simple nice question, it’s also a question that their Chinese food delivery guy asks them. Meaning, it’s impersonal and far from romantic.

Can Ex’s be Friends?

Often times break ups end with the classic, “we can still be friends!” line. The question then becomes, can ex’s be friends? Most people would answer a very hard and fast “no” to that question, but we’ve found that depending on how the relationship ended and what type of friendship you’re looking for can determine a lot when it comes to remaining friends with an ex loved one.

For starters, moving on from the relationship is something that you both need the time and space to do. Being in a relationship is far different than having a friendship with someone and you need to stop associating that person with romance if you ever hope to become friends. Take some time to yourself and spend it getting over your ex. Try a new hair style, switch up your everyday routine and maybe even go on a few dates. Once you’ve reached the point of no longer desiring to have them in your life in a romantic way, you’ll be on your way to a friendship.

After this it’s now time to figure out what kind of friendship you both want to have. While you might want a friendship where you stay close and see each other periodically, they may only want to be at a level where you’re cordial to each other. Either way, this is a conversation you need to have and need to respect how each other feels in regards to what you decide. With relationships boundaries are things that are a little more loosely bound, but with friendships it’s important to be clear on what your boundaries are, especially post-break-up friendships.

You also will need to consider the fact that while you may both be single for the moment, it’s unlikely to stay that way forever. Your new partner may not be comfortable with you being so close with and ex and you will have to decide if your friendship with you ex is more important than your blooming relationship. Sometimes it works out in the way that new partners will understand the friendship and not feel threatened by it, either way it can be a complicated road to navigate.

Before any of this you need to genuinely think about what it was that caused you to break up. For instance, if your partner cheated on you and you hold resentment towards them it’s probably not the healthiest idea to try and carve a friendship out of the carcass of your old relationship. However, if you ended simply because you wanted different things and just couldn’t see eye to eye anymore, then it’s promising that your friendship will stay intact. The important part of any relationship or friendship is trust, so if you can’t trust your partner in the relationship then you definitely won’t trust them as a friend and what’s the point in having friends you can’t trust?

NEVER Do These Things on a First Date

While the dating game is constantly changing with the new technology and different ways of dating, the general do’s and don’ts of dating life remain the same. Bending the rules of dating is always encouraged, but here is why you should NEVER do these things on a first date:

Order for your date.

Just don’t do it. We can’t even begin to explain the lines that this crosses when it comes to first dates. You’ve only just met this person so realistically there is no possible way you could know exactly what they would like to order. Besides that common knowledge, this is a huge violation of someone’s personal right to choose for themselves. While some people may think that it’s nice to see their date take charge, others find it presumptuous and rude. Since you’re on a first date, it’s unlikely that you know which of these people your date is so it’s best to play it safe and stick to ordering for just yourself.

Leave your phone on the table or volume up.

Unless you have an EXTREMELY good excuse for this which you have previously explained to your date, this is a definite no go for a first date. While you may think your self-control is at an all-time high, if your phone is on the table or the volume is up you’re going to be tempted to look at it every once in a while. This can make your date feel like they aren’t a priority or that you’re disinterested in the conversation, both things to avoid on a first date. Instead, stash it away in your purse or pocket for the evening and only check it during appropriate times (for example: when your date is in the bathroom, if you’re getting up to leave, if there’s an emergency).

Trash talk your ex.

While you may have convinced yourself that talking poorly about your ex will reassure your date that you’re “so totally over them and ready to move on” it will actually most likely have the opposite effect. Instead, your date will assume you’re not over them and probably begin to think you’re a jerk for talking so poorly about them. While you and your ex may have bad blood, it’s important to remember that your date most likely doesn’t know them or about what happened between you two and it is certainly not a conversation to have on a first date!

Can you Fall in Love Because of Food?

To quote so many of our adoring mothers, “the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Whether it’s trying new adventurous dining places or specifically ordering famed aphrodisiacs to set the culinary mood, it’s no secret that food plays a big part in relationships. It can expose you to your loved one’s culture, their likes and dislikes and even help to build long lasting memories. Since we all need food to survive it’s a wonderful way to expand your knowledge of your loved one while trying new things. However, the age old question is still being asked; can you fall in love because of food?

To get the ball rolling in your exploration of food and love, try beginning with an assorted cheese platter. Cheese while it is delicious, is also full of zinc which can help to boost your sex drive. While the wives’ tales that surround aphrodisiacs can be hard to prove, with cheese the proof is right in the content of it’s make up. Other types of food that increase libido include clams, chocolate, pomegranate juice, and pumpkin seeds!

Besides the scientific reasoning’s behind food being correlated with love, it also can be a way for you and the person you’re dating to find common ground. One of the most difficult aspects about long term relationships is the fact that after a while, the excitement can begin to fade and the passion grows dull. To spice up the relationship (pun entirely intended) try exploring new foods with your significant other. You can plan a date night where you spend the evening sipping on wine and cooking together side by side or if you’re feeling more of a night-on-the-town, you can make reservations at a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Dull meals can make for a dull relationship so when you’re deciding on what or where to eat, try to pick something that interests you both or something you wouldn’t normally try. That way, even if you hate the taste you’ll still have a wonderful memory of being with your loved one. Since everyone has to eat, food is a great excuse to try something new.

Whether you give it up to science or simply the fact that meals can give you more time together, food can be a huge help when it comes to falling in love. So, the next time you’re tempted to order take out think again and maybe instead try something new with your culinary explorations. When it comes down to it, your relationship will be as successful as the effort you put into it. Spending a night cooking for or with your significant other while snacking on the libido boosting foods is a sure fire way to rev up your love life and send you speeding in the right direction.