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Senior dating services are a wonderful way for citizens who have lost their partners to find love again on the Internet from the comfort of their very own home! Many senior citizens who have lost their mate are nervous about dating. After all, most have been married for many years and the thought of starting a relationship with another man or woman is frightening. However, now dating makes things much easier and safer with senior dating services. All you need is a computer so you can browse online.

Nothing Beats The Excitement Of Browsing
Photo Personal Ads Of Potential Dates!

Dating in the 21st Century

Dating just isn't the same today as it was a generation ago - it's so much more complicated! People move around more than they used to, they work longer hours; lives are busier and more complicated. Divorce is on the rise, dating is more expensive and everyone is more cautious. Is it any wonder that it's so hard to find the right partner when there are so many things to consider and so many pitfalls to work around? Asking for a date is a minefield these days!

But we all still crave the company of someone special in our lives and look forward to finding that perfect "Mr. Right" or "Miss Right" who will add a new facet to living and enjoying life. We try blind dates, but these are usually a disappointment, and can end up causing hard feelings with friends when things don't work out.

Some of us try asking people out at work, but breaking up and then working together can cause considerable discomfort. There are just so many different problems that can arise it's usually not worth it.

That's why in today's dating scene dating advice columns and online dating services have both become so popular. One gives singles a way to navigate the dating scene with advice and pointers for all different types of dating situations. The other provides an alternative to the more traditional dating scenes that if used properly, are relatively safe and can be used at a pace that suits the individual and chosen to suit each person's personality and preferences.

Niche Dating Sites Proliferate on the Web

In fact, online single dating services have become so popular in the past five years that they have now fallen firmly into several subcategories that cater to specific groups:

Gay dating services and lesbian dating services focus specifically on same-sex dating and provide matching profiles and questionnaires that take into account personality, sexual preferences and physical characteristics. Gay personals will also often indicate whether the individual is HIV positive or not, an indication of maturity and responsibility that would be welcome on all sites. Many also provide articles and links that are important to the homosexual community.

   

Black dating services are culturally sophisticated sites with plenty of information on both traditional and modern black culture and activities. They match on the basis of a wide variety of interests and provide information in many cases on black history and culture.

   

Senior dating services are the newest entry into the dating scene. These provide a way for retirees, often widows and widowers, to meet others for dating or simply for companionship in their golden years. While some of these may be Internet based, there are also many that are by telephone or set up by interview for those who aren't computer savvy.

   

Christian dating services are becoming more and more popular as Christian devotion sees a resurgence among young adults. These same adults, however, often find that most of the other people their own age in their home churches are already married, so the selection of faithful eligible singles is pretty slim. Christian dating services screen carefully based not only on common interests but also on values, beliefs, and depth of commit to the Lord.

   

For individuals who hate the bar scene and make it a policy not to date anyone at work, there is a serious lack of opportunities to meet other single people. But if you still want to find someone close enough that you can reasonably meet for dinner and a movie on a regular basis, check out some of the local dating services in your area, where you can specify an area you're interested in or a mileage range when searching for people you may be interested in.

   

Teen dating services are generally tightly controlled with parental safeguards to some extent built in, and generally more like pen pal sites than anything, since they deal with minors. If you allow your teenager to visit these sites, however, do screen them carefully to make sure they are completely above-board to avoid potential problems. They should never allow any exchange of personal contact information without parental consent.

Finding the dating service that's right for you is a matter of preference and what your interests are. Some will focus more on personal interests, other more on physical attributes or sexual compatibility. Visit at least five different sites within the niche (religious, senior, gay, local, etc.) you've chosen before you sign up for one, then review their membership plans to see what they offer. Some, like Yahoo personals and MSN personals have vast memberships and include special interest chat rooms, bulletin boards, and lots of fun extras like surveys and quizzes.

Finding the Right Site for You

By comparing dating services, you can be sure to find one that has the best features for you. Some questions to consider are:

Cost per month and payment options. Can you pay monthly, or must you commit for six months or a year? Can you pay by credit card, and if so, which ones are accepted?

   

What other features are available, such as chat rooms, members-only magazines, etc?

   

Do they have offline meet and greets for online members?

   

What are their safety procedures and screening processes?

   

How detailed are their profile questionnaires?

   

How much control do you have over who sees your profile and photos?

   

What types of search options are available for you to use when browsing through other members' profiles and photos?

With most Internet dating services you'll be encouraged to post your personal ad with a photo because these generate the most interest. (Statistics range from five to seven times more interest with a photograph depending on which site you visit.) Of course, photo personals do generate more interest, but be sure if you take this route that you do so wisely. Post an attractive head and shoulders photo that looks professional and isn't too suggestive - you want to look nice without coming off too "easy."

Next, you'll want to put a brief headline or description with your photo or profile that entices other members to learn more about you. Although the standard "man seeking love" or "woman seeking marriage" may state your case accurately, it certainly won't make you stand out amid all the other profiles, and saying you just want to "find girlfriend" with no discrimination whatsoever could actually scare women away with your desperation.

Online dating websites also tend to divide into two other camps as well - casual dating and marriage-minded. These two categories distinguish themselves pretty quickly when you read the profiles. Although many individuals, especially men, won't come out and say the "M" word, they will say things like, "looking for a soul mate....want a life partner....hoping to find that special someone…...I know you're out there….." And other phrases that indicate a belief in one special person they will spend many years with and a desire to find one partner.

Others will have ads that say, "Looking for casual fun….just want to enjoy life….looking for an open-minded person…..occasional partner for sexual encounters….why not have a good time?.....No strings…." Obviously, these are the ones who just want something with no commitments.

Usually it will be clear right up front which one of these a website specializes in. Casual ones will have names that include words like "sensual, sexual, or steamy," while others tend to emphasize romance, love and commitment.

One of the newest forms of dating is called "eight minute dating", a kind of speed dating where you can meet several different people in one evening by going to a scheduled event at a restaurant or nightclub and talking for the allotted time, then moving on to the next person. Each time, you have specific questions to ask and answer so that you can quickly get to know the person. At the end of the night, you may exchange contact information with anyone you'd like to get to know better.

You Have the Date - What Next?

But what do you do after you've posted your profile met through speed dating, chatted for months, talked on the telephone and finally gotten to that point where you've set up a real, live date with someone you met? Now what? Internet dating advice is a whole new area for most of us - our parents can't give us any help here, because it's unknown territory, and their advice ("Don't go, he's probably an axe-murderer!") is pretty much useless.

Keep in mind that talking to him or her and meeting in person are two different things, so follow these simple first date suggestions for meeting your new cyber date:

Give his name and all of his account information to at least one friend before meeting him.

   

You should have his home address and phone number by now. If he hasn't, this is a red flag that he is hiding something from you.

   

Print out a picture of him and give it to your friend or family member along with his home phone and address.

   

Tell someone where you are meeting him, what time and for how long.

   

Meet in a public place such as a busy restaurant and take a cell phone with you.

   

At some point, excuse yourself and discreetly check in by phone with a friend or family member.

   

Drive yourself home and do not invite him back to your place on the first date.

Great Date Ideas Are Discovered, Not Born

Whether you're going on a date with someone you met online or it's your first date with someone you've known for years, sometimes you just can't come up with what seems like clever idea for a nice evening out or afternoon get together. While a movie and dinner is still a fine first date idea, some people consider it a bit stale and are looking for more unusual things to do on a first date. Fortunately there are plenty of fun date ideas you can find online, in books on dating and from advice columns in newspapers.

You can find romantic date ideas for proposing, special occasions or getting to know someone better or inexpensive date ideas if you and your honey are on a tight budget (these are great for college couples or the newlyweds who are trying to furnish and home and don't have much left over for wining and dining). While not everyone agrees on what the perfect date is, most people will agree that the more creative date ideas tend to be the most memorable.So take some time deciding on the right first date idea for you!

First Date Rules

A first date is always nerve-racking, and if it's been a while since you've been on one (whether because you've just ended a long-term relationship, been through a divorce or been widowed), it can be even more difficult. While some rules have changed, there are still classic rules of good behavior that always apply. Keep these date ideas in mind and you'll do fine:

Remember that this is the other person's first date with you, too, and he/she may be just as nervous as you are. When you make the date, have a first date suggestion in mind so that there isn't a long, awkward debate of the options. Suggest two alternatives that give an opportunity for casual conversation, such as coffee and dessert or dinner and a walk in the park.

   

First date clothes should be casual and comfortable as well as attractive. Don't overdress to impress, it could backfire if your date feels underdressed by comparison. Appearing high maintenance won't help.

   

Admitting to first date jitters will endear you to your date and break the ice. He/she will no doubt be feeling a few jitters themselves, and a bit of laughter always helps.

   

Keep the first date conversation light - try to steer clear of debates on deeper topics such as politics and religious debates. Amusing stories about your past, talking about favorite movies and books and favorite childhood memories are all great ways to get to know each other.

   

A first date gift isn't necessary, but if you feel you should show up with something, a simple bouquet of mixed flowers is usally the best idea.

   

The first date kiss? Only the two of you can decide. The general rule is "yes, if it feels right, but only one."

   

Drive yourself home and do not invite him back to your place on the first date.

Some find dating etiquette of any kind outdated and don't feel the need to be guided by rules. Others have discovered that they miss the comfort of knowing the general guidelines of good behavior because it gives them some of the "rules of the road" for navigating the dating scene. Whether you use them or not is up to you.

You've Got Questions? They've Got Answers!

The old stand-bys of Dear Abby and Dear Ann Landers aren't the only places to go anymore for advice. There are now hundreds of forums for dating advice online and in newspapers and magazines. Many of these are far hipper than the columns written in our parents' generations, and often have an edgier, modern tone to them. Other speak to specific problems or sections of the population:

Dating advice after a divorce can be found on websites for single parents and covers issues like when to introduce your children to the person you're dating and how to handle your ex's potential jealousy;

   

Dating advice for men can cover the modern-day pitfalls of dating professional women: Should men still open doors for women? What is considered romantic as opposed to chauvinistic?

   

Dating advice for teenagers is often found on Internet sites that cover a wide range of other teen interests such as music and clothing rather than strictly dating. These sites usually provide cautionary advice to protect teens from predators and the potential for STDs and pregnancy as well as giving practical advice on issues such as healthy relationships and maintaining healthy friendships while dating.

   

Single mother dating advice can offer support for this most difficult of situations - trying to balance motherhood and a private life when you may not have a strong support system. The message boards at these sites are often full of practical advice and encouraging words from other single moms who have "been there and done that."

   

You'd think that college kids know everything, but there are, indeed, even message boards and some Internet sites with college dating advice, so there are a few that don't know everything!

   

Older man dating advice offers insight into just what the advantages and drawbacks are to dating a gentleman significantly older than you are. These May/December romances can be extremely rewarding and loving, but can give rise to complications that every woman should consider before committing her heart.

   

For the devout Christian, no column or forum can give real guidance in matters of the heart unless it is truly Christian dating advice based on Biblical principles. Sites that offer this kind of advice are generally mediated by a biblical expert of some type, with a column written by an ordained minister.

So give up the bar scene, the blind dates and the office cooler. Go online and find a date, choose a great date idea, and visit a few websites for some pointers on how to break the ice. After a few nice evenings out, you may realize you've finally found "the one."

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Browsing photo personals via the Internet for your ideal partner is a perfect way to find your next date! As you start your search for dating services on the Internet, one of the most helpful tools you will find is photo personals. Being able to see pictures makes all the difference in the world. That does not mean you place your decision solely on a person's looks, but that you have a better idea if there is an attraction.

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Gay men and lesbian can now easily and quickly use Internet dating personals to find other singles living within their city or town! Gay personals have really opened the doors of opportunity for gays and lesbians to meet other singles with the same lifestyle. Whether a male or female, younger or older, you will find many singles from around the world interested in making friends and building relationships.

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