How Does Online Dating Work?

This funny first date cartoon by Online Dating Magazine shows how one online dating couple conducts their first date...(Online Dating FAQ)

Q: How does online dating work?

A: In its most simplest form, online dating works as follows.

Step 1: You sign up for an online dating service.
Step 2: You fill out a profile and post a photo.
Step 3: You search through the profiles or matches on the service and send a message to people that interest you. They do the same.
Step 4: You correspond by sending “emails” to each other through the service.
Step 5: At this point the conversation is moved to the phone or your “regular” email address (we put regular in quotes because you should use a separate email than your own for online dating communications).
Step 6: You arrange a first date.
Step 7: You go on the date!
Step 8: Unlike the cartoon on this page, you don’t take your computer to your first date!

Online Dating Magazine is putting together an Online Dating 101 guide that walks you through the process in-depth. For example, when signing up for an online dating service, you need to decide what type. Do you want to use a general service (where you can see everyone’s profiles and they can see yours – ie. Match.com) or do you want to use a relationship service that has you fill out a personality quiz then matches you with people (i.e. eHarmony)? If you’re looking to casually date people in hopes of finding “the one”, we recommend general online dating services. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, we recommend relationship services like eHarmony.com.

Here’s a good video by Tech E.R. on online dating that shows the starting stages:

How Online Dating Websites Work

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Sites mentioned in video: eHarmony and Plenty of Fish

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