Finding Love in a Virtual World

Tips for Online Dating

By Yvonne Stegall

Depending on how old you are, you just might remember a time not too long ago when online dating didn't exist, or even when it only just started to come about, and if you wanted to find a date without heading to the bar, you had to do it on a dating line. Yes, over the phone. Phone dating lacked a few things, including the ability to see what someone looked like. Of course, just because there is a photo on someone's dating profile doesn't mean it's them, and it also doesn't mean it's recent.

The same goes with those dating apps you learned about last week. Pretty much you just need to learn to take a risk, and go with the flow. If you are honest on your profile you may just get some good karma toward an honest match.

Most Popular Dating Sites

There are plenty of online dating sites, and there's definitely something for everyone. There are dating sites for older people, for black people only, for farmers, for Christians, and even for people that just want to hook up. If you're actually looking for love, the following four may be your best choices.

Match and eHarmony are probably two of the oldest, and still running, online dating sites. Match is much loved because it's not just a good place to look for a date, but it's also a good place to find a steady relationship. This site is good for people mid-twenties up into their fifty, and it offers the most matches for your money, although a basic membership is free.


eHarmony isn't the best for everyone, but if you have marriage in your mind then it's probably your best option. The site only has about a third of the members that Match does, but maybe that has something to do with it being a site more for people that want something concrete. If you simply want to meet some new people and have some fun dating around, this is not the site for you.


Zoosk is popular with a younger and older crowd, starting at eighteen. Zoosk boasts having the best looking singles looking for love and/or fun on their dating site. It's easy to use, has free basic membership, and is user friendly. They have about the same number of users as eHarmony, but focus more on dating than marriage.


If you are fifty or older and not having much luck finding love or great dates on the other dating sites, OurTime is just for you. It's the dating site made just for people of a more mature age. It's simplified for them, and it offers the best opportunity for mature people to find other people in their age bracket looking for love and companionship.

Other Places to Find Dates Online

Do you really need to sign up for a dating site and peruse all of the singles photos in order to find a date, or love? No. There are personal ads available right here on Smashpipe, where you might be able to find love. You could also find love through social media. Maybe through a friend, a friend of a friend, or maybe a stranger may even find your personal profile and find you interesting.

Think of social media sites as a bar and you'll see how they can become a place to find a date. Don't be afraid to let your attractions be known, or to send a friend invite to someone you find attractive. The worst that can happen is that they don't accept your friend request or block you. Then you can just move on.

While it may seem like the Internet is the easiest place to find a date, you might want to get a little more personal and maybe meet people in person. Next week we'll talk about some offline places to meet singles and find the love of your life, or at least someone to date once or twice.

Published February 7th, 2016

Yvonne Stegall is a professional freelance writer who got her start in music reviews. She managed to build on that love of writing and became editor of the music magazine she did reviews for. Since then, Yvonne has gone on to write on many subjects, including health & wellness and beer.