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Using an Online Dating Service

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With research showing that around 30% of us are looking online for friendship and/or romance, then using an Online Dating Service no longer has the stigma attached to it that it used to have say six or seven years ago.

Using online dating and friendship sites are now an accepted way of meeting people, whether you are purely looking to increase your social circle and find people with similar tastes and interests to you or whether you are looking for romance - or even more!

Meeting people online is a popular and safe way to meet like-minded people - forget smoky nightclubs and the bubble bursting when the person who looks like the type you want to get to know better turns out to have completely different ideals and interests to you.

Once you've met a few people who sound nice, you are in control of how the situation goes, so you can go at your own pace, chatting online or sending an email until you decide it is time to speak on the 'phone or meet up - if at all.

The beauty of making friends online is that you can do it any time of day or night. It is great if you are a single parent and unable to go out; if you work unsociable hours; or if the idea of going out to clubs and bars makes you think "meat market".

Dating or meeting people on the Web means you can get to know someone really well before you meet up so that you can se that your tastes, intellect and ideals are the same.

So, how can you make the most out of using a online dating service (and remember, just because it has the word 'dating' in it, doesn't mean that you cannot meet people for friendship on there)?

First of all, to find a site, do a search using a search engine and type in words and phrases such as "online friendship", "online dating", meet people online etc". You can then visit a few sites to see how they operate and to see which ones you feel comfortable with.

Once you've found one - or even two or three! - websites you like the look of, you can register your details (most will allow you to register free) and then start meeting and chatting to people online.

Many also have offline activities, such as met ups in pubs, and organised events, which is a great way to go out without any pressure to meet anyone. It can also help you to put a face to a name if you have been chatting online for a while to someone!

If you do decide to meet someone on a one-to-one basis, then of course you should employ all the common sense safety precautions you'd do normally such as meeting in a busy place and telling people where you are going etc. Sadly, meeting people online does not mean you'll never meet an unscrupulous person again.

The positive new is that online dating and friendship sites have spawned a great many marriages, babies and strong friendships, so if there is a space in your life, going online could be the answer.

About the author:

Jason Hulott is Director of Dating at UK Dating Online , a UK online dating service with Reviews of the major dating services.

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