Tips? Be prepared for rejection. You can get anything you want from dating sites but you just need to know where and what you stand for. It’s scary the first time you get into dating (if you’ve been out for a long time) but after a couple, you realise this is the norm and the way to meet people.
After paying for an eHarmony membership, Kate* asked for her money back after just one day. “This is an expensive site. Once I paid, my matches were ‘revealed’ and I asked for my money back,” she says.
“I know this site advertises that it finds the best match, but looks and attraction have to come it into it at some point. My matches were so far removed from what I find attractive that I complained and got a refund.
“The fact that you have to pay before you see photos is not good. I do not recommend this site at all.”
Recommendations: “Free sites can be messy to deal with. I think RSVP has a level of credibility because you have to pay and there are more processes and checks in place. “
Tips? Get to know how to navigate the site before you jump in and start connecting with people. Try a few and see what works for you. It took me some practise to figure it out.
Isabelle* met her partner on RSVP six months after she joined. Her partner had been on there for a year and was just about to give up because he thought it wasn’t working. Fortunately, they met just before he planned to deactivate his account.
“We live in different parts of Sydney and lead different lifestyles – our paths would never have crossed in the real world. But that’s a good thing, I think – it helps you meet people from outside your bubble,” says Isabelle*.
User: Emma, 39.
Tips? You run into all the same human behaviours with internet dating as you do with any other form of dating. People lie about their age, marital status, etc. The only real difference is that it’s easier to lie about your height when you’ve never met in person!
Emma, a writer, met her husband Anthony, an electrician, via Tinder. They and now have a toddler and a dog. Anthony’s two daughters also live with them part-time. Emma had been dating online for a few years before they met; Anthony, a couple of months.
“I would never have met Anthony without the assistance of internet dating because we would never have crossed paths,” she says.
Is online dating safe?
Internet dating can be a great way to meet new people – and possibly find ‘the one’ – but it’s important to keep your wits about you and protect your own privacy and safety, first and foremost.
How to stay safe on online dating sites
- Read terms and conditions so you know what you’re signing up to and how much it will cost.
- Set reminders in your phone or diary to cancel your subscription to avoid inadvertently rolling over for a further term.
- Never include personal information such as your real name, workplace, work or home address, phone number or birthday, in your profile.
- Do a reverse Google image search on photos of profiles of people you’re interested in to check for authenticity.
- When you meet somebody for the first time, pick a public place, tell a friend where you’re going and keep the first meeting brief and inexpensive, such as grabbing a cup of coffee.