Online dating, or Internet dating, is a dating system that lets individuals, couples, and groups meet online, and possibly develop a social, romantic, or sexual relationship. Such services allow people to provide personal information and then search for matches, using criteria such as age range, gender, and location. Members can upload their photos and browse the photos of others. Some sites also offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chats, and message boards. Sites generally let people register for free; however, they may offer services which require a monthly fee. Most of these sites are broad-based, with members from a wide variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships. Other sites are more specific, catering to a particular section, based on the type of members, interests, location, or relationship desired.
The added attraction of online dating seems to be the anonymity that these services provide. If finding a date in real time is a problem, online dating services will prove to be highly beneficial. Online dating saves time because it can act as a filter before even meeting someone. The advantage of online dating services is that participants get to choose the persons they are going to interact with. Although online dating offers the opportunity to meet new people from all parts of the world, the distance could also prove to be a problem. In dating online, the choice to search for possible dates that have the same interest, religion, location, personality, and situation rests with the subscriber. The possibility of finding the best match is larger in online dating. It is also very cost-effective.
There are several online dating services that cater to all strata of society. One of the more popular online dating services includes Yahoo Personals (for a monthly subscription payment of $7.50-$19.95), which is one of the leading contenders in the field. Other prominent players are Dream Date (offers communication through voice chat) at $9.00-$24.95 a month, Perfect Match, LoveAccess.com (offers the choice to include a video message in the profiles), and Match.com (this site tops almost all the online dating reviewers’ lists). “SocialGrid” and “SearchYourLove” are two popular free online dating service providers. PC magazine grades Lavalife.com as the best online dating service provider today.