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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.


Overseas Online Dating Services

Quick Access:
Non-US Online Dating Sites



What are some of the best online dating sites outside the US and are they worth trying?

 

 Actually, many of the online dating services already familiar to you have large bases of members from around the world. But, if you’re really up for trying to find romance “across the pond” and beyond via services based outside the USA, then all I can say is “go for it” with gusto in your heart but navigating those waters with a level head. Some of the largest players overseas are Meetic.com in the European Union, eFriendsnet.com in China, Match.com in the UK, and Netclub.com for the French community (though they cater to other nationalities as well).

For those interested more seriously minded folks who are into compatibility testing, I recommend that you look up Cybersuitors.com. My friend and colleague Dr. Glenn Wilson – the father of modern compatibility testing – developed the matching test for the site. A notable feature of Wilson’s test on Cybersuitors is the fact that it’s been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal (1) -- this excellent sign of quality is a tremendous rarity in the online dating industry.

Some closing tips on pursuing love outside the USA:

» Lost in translation -- Remember that language and euphemisms, as well as courting and dating customs can greatly vary across cultures. Therefore, realize there’s likely to be a learning curve for both of you.

» Fantasy or reality -- Simply put, be on the same page and keep it realistic. Just like dating at home, connecting with someone across the globe can be exciting and fulfilling if you two have realistic expectations as to what that online connection can and can’t lead to given your unique set of circumstances.

» Slow down over high speed Internet connection -- Take it slow and don’t make impulsive moves like jumping on the next flight across a large body of water or offering to pay for someone to come here. Sure love can happen or just meeting a great friend in another land, but there are also International scams occurring on the web. These scams are pervasive and problematic, including Nigerian money laundering schemes or Russian mail order brides. Not all sites protect or filter such scams equally well, so be cautious.

» “You’ve got mail” – If things seem to be going really well and there’s considerable trust between you two, a great way to feed the relationship is not supplement emails and IMs with real snail mail. Send personalized cards, letters or little gifts to each other through regular mail. It’s more personal than mere e-communications and it leads to great feelings of anticipation.

If you’re in a successful international romance, or have been in one before, I want to hear from you. Send me your stories now. I’ll share the best in an upcoming issue.

Reference
1 Wilson, G. D., & Cousins, J. M. (2003). Partner similarity and relationship satisfaction: development of a compatibility quotient. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 18, 161-170.




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