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Tara QR CodeThere are an overwhelming amount of dating websites available to try; the key is finding the one that is right for you. Many people falsely believe all dating websites are the same. Actually, there are significant differences between them and doing some simple research will help narrow the list down to sites you may actually enjoy using (which will save you both time AND money!).

Before you dive into the Internet Dating Jungle, it is a good idea to make sure you understand some of the commonly used terminology.

Some examples include:

  • SWF – Single White Female
  • SWM – Single White Male
  • WSW – Woman Seeking Women
  • MSM – Man Seeking Men
  • MSW – Man Seeking Women
  • WSM – Woman Seeking Men
  • LTR – Long Term Relationship
  • BBW – Big Beautiful Woman
  • NSA – No Strings Attached

As you can see, it can get confusing… fast! (You can view a much longer glossary of terms in the full version of my book.)

Some of the major dating websites you have probably heard of are:

  • PlentyofFish.com—a site that you are able to create a profile for free, has good functionality and offers a great instant messaging feature. Another favorable aspect about this site is the ability to block someone.
  • Match.com— This is definitely not one of my personal favorites. Not a fan of the layout & functionality of their site, the stir events they offer are not fun and, above all, you have to pay to be a member (which I don’t agree with because, as I discuss in my book, it is generally the same people on these dating websites).
  • Eharmony.com—When it comes to this site, I advise people to be particularly weary of their “patented matching technology”. You answer a bunch of questions about yourself and the software matches you with guy/girls who answer similarly. The problem with this is that just because you answer questions alike does not mean you have chemistry.
  • OKCupid.com—Another site that is completely free, user-friendly and modern, OKCupid has plenty of easy to use features such as your profile to showcase information about yourself and functional instant messaging capabilities.
  • Zoosk.com— Do not let their self-acclaimed “free website” fool you. They are not free. Although you are able to upload a picture of yourself and create a profile, you will not be able to message anyone (and isn’t that the point?).

This is just skimming the surface of dating websites out there. There are also a ton of niche-targeted sites like Sugardaddie.com and ChristianMingle.com aimed at people with a particular interest in mind. As you can see, there are a lot of pros and cons with each website. How much you will enjoy using one, and how much success you will have on one, though, largely depends on what you are looking for. An important thing to remember is not to waste your money on the paid sites—not without, at least, testing the free- trials to see if you like what you get.

Also, don’t get disappointed if on the first website you join you don’t speak with anyone worth your while. Be patient; online dating is like traditional dating—it takes a couple (er, sometimes a lot) of tries before you get it right.

Download the entire chapter on Rule #2 on Kindle here

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is a Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and aShow Host.