Most online dating sites allow you to search members free of charge, and many even allow you to create a profile free of charge. However, if you want to contact one of the members, you need to be a paying subscriber. But, the monthly fees are usually nominal – between R100 and R300 per month, depending on the site.
- The anonymity of the Internet means that people can lie. You have no way of making sure that people are being truthful when they create their profiles or upload their photos, so take information on the site with a pinch of salt.
- Under no circumstances should you make your personal information (such as your e-mail address, cell number or physical address) available on your profile. Sexual predators are fond of trawling the Internet for potential victims, so be very careful about what you reveal about yourself.
- If you have met someone you like and you would like to stay in touch in a way other than through the site, set up a free e-mail account (such as with Gmail or Yahoo) rather than giving out your personal e-mail address.
- If you reach the stage where you would like to meet the person, suggest getting together with a group of friends so that you are not alone at the first meeting.
- Until you know the person well enough, be sure to meet in public places, just in case…
Speed dating involves a number of people (usually between 20 and 40) from a specific age group getting together at a central venue, such as at a restaurant, with an equal number of men and women. Usually, each woman sits at a table, and the men circulate around the room, with each couple having five minutes to introduce themselves and give a bit of background on who they are.
There is usually a coordinator or host who makes sure that everything goes according to plan and that people feel comfortable. At the end of the evening, all the women have spoken to each of the men for at least five minutes. The informal part of the evening then begins, where people mingle in the restaurant and you can approach a person you found particularly interesting to find out more about him. You pay a fee for each evening you spend speed dating, although, again, the cost is quite affordable.
- Don’t be nervous. Remember, everyone there is in the same boat as you, and has come to meet people.
- Don’t expect to share everything about yourself and your life history in five minutes! If you do all the talking, you’ll have no idea what your counterpart is like.
- Shy away from controversial topics. You have only a few minutes, so don’t get into an argument about politics, feminism or anything similar. You can argue later if you like!
- When the time comes to mingle, make sure you chat to more than one of the people you met. Nobody is expecting you to identify your soul mate in five minutes, so speak to all the people you found interesting and ask for their contact details.
- If you decide to meet up with a person, do it with a friend and in a public place. This is the golden rule.
Although not as commonplace as online and speed dating, the world of professional matchmaking is growing rapidly. This service is usually quite costly (around R2 000 to R4 000), but, here, you definitely get what you pay for. Also, the fee covers you for a lengthy period of time, such as six months or one year.
The matchmaker will usually meet with you personally for an hour-long discussion on your habits, interests, work, home commitments, and what you are looking for in a partner. The matchmaker will be making notes throughout the meeting in order to put together a detailed profile of who you are and what type of person you are looking for.
The matchmaker will then compare your profile with those of others who have signed on for the service, and will contact you with possible introductions. The matchmaker will give you some background on the person, and, if you are agreeable, the matchmaker will either arrange the date himself or herself, or will put you in touch with the relevant person. From there on out, you arrange to meet as you would with a normal date, but the matchmaker will call you after the date to get feedback from you so that the next introduction is even better suited to your preferences.
- If the matchmaker insists on a telephonic interview, chances are the service won’t be worth R4 000. After all, you learn a lot about a person from body language.
- Be honest with the matchmaker. Lying about who you are or the type of person you are interested in will only make the process difficult for you.
- When the matchmaker calls with a possible introduction, make a note of the person’s work and interests. These will be a good way to stimulate conversation when you meet up.
- Do not expect exclusivity from the people you meet. You have all paid a steep fee for the service, and people generally want to meet as many people as possible. Don’t take this personally.
- If you do meet someone you like and you would like to enter into an exclusive relationship, both of you will need to agree to this, and, generally, this means you stop using the matchmaker's services.
In the mornings, you wake up before the sun has even risen to get ready for work. The day passes in a blur of activities, meetings and items on your to-do list, and, by the time you get home, you are simply exhausted. You want a glass of wine and a hot bath, and the last thing on your mind is getting dressed to go out to meet that someone special. However, if you do fancy someone in your life with whom you can talk at the end of the day – and maybe even share that glass of wine and a bubble bath – fear not, because the 21st Century has brought with it a host of new ways in which you can meet people. And, if you are the conservative type who shies away from anything nontraditional, get with the times!
There are countless online dating sites on the Internet that have been established for people just like you. Most of these sites allow you to create an online profile with your picture, information about your hobbies and interests, and an idea of what you are looking for in a partner. Since all members on the site create a profile, you can search the site for people who match your specific criteria in terms of age, location and so forth.
When you have identified someone you like, you can contact the person through the website’s messaging function. You can also create a list of ‘favourites’ that will allow you to see when they are online, and whether or not they have added you as a ‘favourite’ or viewed your profile.
Make Me a Match