From You’ve Got Mail to Match.Com

I remember when You’ve Got Mail came out in 1998-back in the days when AOL and instant messenger reined. Online dating was still considered somewhat of a taboo. But despite the unorthodox nature of their meeting, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were able to find love.

It wasn’t until after that point that online dating really took off. Although, one of the most popular online dating websites, has been around since 1994, most of its competitors didn’t arrive on the scene until the early 2000s. With the rise of social networking sites in the mid-2000s, people have become increasingly more open to sharing information and, in turn, many have embraced a different type of dating.

Online dating has its perks. It offers a kind of screening system. You can learn a lot about a person before you meet them from their profile and the messages you exchange. This makes it easy to weed out the people you know you’re not interested in. Of course, any seasoned online dater will tell you that digital chemistry does not necessarily equal in-person chemistry. But never fear. Here are a few tips and tricks to helping you find love (or like) online.

All Online Dating Sites Are Not Created Equal
There are plenty of free dating websites out there that are great for meeting people, but consider your end goal. If you are looking for a something more serious, consider paying for your online dating service. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Consider the Investment
Don’t be fooled. Online dating takes work, just like regular dating. People tend to dismiss a generic response as much as they appreciate a genuine response, so be prepared to invest time and energy into online dating. Remember, you get out what you put in. Deal Breakers
Make a list of relationship deal breakers that you can consult (i.e., things that would keep you from being in a relationship with someone). For example, maybe smoking is a turn-off for you. Could you handle dating someone who has been divorced or has children? Friends First
An online dating rookie mistake is meeting someone for a date too soon. Exchange a few messages before you meet in person. Not only does this develop a simple relationship from the get go, but you become more invested up front and are less likely to focus on minor flaws when you finally meet.

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