Dating: Online Search Tips

Many millions of people around the world use online dating services to find a partner, lover, or friend. Most sites are fairly easy to use, and allow you to search their site to see what other users of that site match your dating criteria.

Unfortunately, though, when you do a search on these sites you will usually be faced with viewing hundreds (or even thousands) of profiles. In this article I’ll cover some basic ‘common sense’ tips about how to reduce this number from ‘hundreds’ to a much smaller number. This will save you considerable time, and you can be assured that those search results you see are more specific to your requirements.

My first tip is to use the ‘advanced search’ (it might be named something different, in some cases) of the online dating service you’re using. The search feature most people use will be fairly general – what you want is to find your dating site’s advanced search page. This is often found by clicking on a link which will usually appear on the ‘basic search’ page or button.

Advanced search, as the name implies, gives you a much wider range of search parameters. For example, a basic search might just let you choose age range, gender, country and a few other points. When you choose ‘advanced search’ you’ll also be able to add things such as height, body type (slim, average, etc), eye color, political views (left-wing, or right-wing) and so on. Every site will have a slightly different mix of search parameters, but the general idea is that the more specific you are about who you are looking for, the more ‘targeted’ will be the search results.

My second tip may seem to contradict my first one! It is to just be careful not to be TOO limiting with advanced search – otherwise you might end up with very few search results, because you are being TOO specific.

If your site’s advanced search lets you look for someone who is a very tall, non-smoking, brown-eyed, left-wing, vegetarian, spanish-speaking, red head … then you may find that there’s nobody on the site who matches that description. So start with some reasonably sensible and broader search parameters, and only refine the search if you get far too many results to deal with.

The third and final tip might seem obvious, but plenty of people don’t really think about it. It’s to actually consider what it is that is really important to you in another person, and make that a key search criteria. For instance, I always ensure that my search only looks for non-smokers with left-wing views. Both of these are important to me (you may of course think otherwise!), so if I’m going to change my search parameters, these two will not be the ones I adjust. I might change age range, body type, height, hair or eye color – I am more flexible about these features. So take a moment to reflect on what’s important to you, and adjust your advanced searching accordingly.

These tips are just some of the ways that you can find success using a dating site, either a free (ie ‘no charge’) one, or one that charges a subscription or some kind of fee. There are many other techniques for increasing your online dating skills, and I’ve addressed some of these in other articles. So good luck with your internet dating, and may you find someone truly special!

Charles L. Jackson is a well-known freelance writer who has been writing about dating, relationships and marriage for since 2006. This site is a free dating place with international appeal, which has been in business for more than five years.

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