We can’t talk about different dating options without talking about online dating. Even though it seems simple in theory, there’s a lot that goes into meeting someone online: You have to select which site to use, fill out the profile, pick a picture, and sort through hundreds of profiles until you find someone interesting. Then, you have to figure out how to contact them: a smile, a wink, a message — how does one figure all of these things out?! These all deserve full Single Career Girl posts, but for now, I’ll tackle what kind of online dating options you have.
Since graduating college, I’ve tried the basic sites. Some I had full paid memberships for, while others I simply browsed. Since most of these sites require paid subscriptions, you have to pick and choose. Here’s a look at a few options, along with my take on how they worked:
- eHarmony — I tried eHarmony for about three months. I was a little on the younger side, and men my age didn’t seem to be in to online dating yet. Most of the time, I was matched with people who lived very far from me. I wasn’t too happy with this and eventually gave up.
- Match.com — I tried this site when I first moved to Nebraska and again when I first moved to Minnesota. You can browse profiles, wink at someone, send them a message through the site, and create a list of favorites. I did go on dates, but there were also several men who I communicated with only via email until one of us stopped responding. That is the challenge with online dating — you have to make sure it gets off the internet. There were also, of course, some strange men looking for only one thing on the site . . . Beware.
- OKCupid — This site is free. In general, I recommend not using sites that are free. I hate to stereotype, but real men can pay for a subscription. The men who hang out on free sites tend not to be very serious and again, they are usually looking for only one thing. I never managed to go on a date from this site, mostly because I did not see anyone I was interested in. This site is fun though if you aren’t looking for serious results. I have friends who often pull great quotes from ridiculous profiles and post them on Facebook.
- IvyDate — I recently started browsing this site, which is dedicated to single professionals who graduated from top universities. Your education is verified when you apply, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be on their list of accepted schools. Friends can refer you, or you can apply — their goal is to make sure you are a career-driven professional. If you’re a Career Girl, you fall into this category. This is a newer site and doesn’t have a huge number of members (They’ve already run out of men in Chicago to match me with), but I think the idea is great. As more and more people join, I think this site will be a great resource.
- HowAboutWe — This is a newer site that I recently signed up for. I like the idea: you post a date you’d like to go on, and people respond to you based on the idea and your profile. It’s a nice way to see if you have a common interest with someone. I haven’t gone on a date yet through this, but I’ll let you know how it works if I do. Just like with Match, the key on this site is to make sure you meet your date in a public place.
Regardless of which site you use, be sure you have an idea of who you want to date before you go in. Even if a picture is cute, if a guy has a quality you don’t like, don’t bother. For example, I look for: non-smoker, non-drug user, college educated, religious/spiritual (not an atheist). Think about what you want, then have fun browsing profiles!
I’d love to hear your online dating stories . . . Send me an email and I may feature your story in a future post!