How to Research a Dating Service Before Joining

Dating services make it extremely easy to join. This is good. You usually need to provide only your name, age, sex (and perhaps sexual preference) and email address to begin looking for dates. The purpose of a dating service is to find a date or get a match. If this can be extended and enhanced, and if it develops into a long-term relationship then that is very good, and can be indicative of the success of that dating service.

 Dating services make it extremely easy to join. This is bad. You are rarely, if ever, provided information on costs and other crucial information. Almost all online dating sites do offer free memberships as well as various choices of paid plans. However, we at Go Illinois have seen that the ability to communicate among members is extremely limited in the free plans. Thus, you may be forced to sign up for an unexpected and perhaps unwanted paid plan. Of course, as long as you are in the free plan then there is no financial cost to you, and you are free to never use the Internet dating service but your name, age, sex (and perhaps sexual preference) and email address is floating out there in cyberspace, perhaps generating unwanted spam.

 However, how can you know what you do not know? How can you research something that cannot be found? To address this, we at Go Illinois are providing this helpful guide.

 In terms of cost, we have found that the upper limit is usually about $30 per month, although it may be more costly with professional matchmaking services. The monthly cost can usually be lowered if you sign up for a six-months or one-year membership. In those cases, the membership often drops to about $10 per month. In addition, many reputable dating services sites offer a free introductory paid membership plan, usually for 1 to 3 months.

 Of course, cost can be relative to your objective. If you are interested in dating an African-American then it could very well be worth paying $20 per month to a site that is geared toward African-Americans rather than paying $5 per month to a site that is geared toward seniors and which has extremely few African Americans as members.

 You should also look into the online dating site’s features and reputation. The features are often freely given and elaborated upon in the FAQs, which often are found prior to enrolling. You can get some independent sense of the site’s reputation through Alexa. The lower the ranking, the more popular is the site in the world. For example, Google is ranked as the number 1 search engine. Similarly if the site has no rank at Alexa then it means that too few people even know about or see the website.

 If you do enroll before finding these things out, then it is best to stay somewhat anonymous but, at the same, close to reality. If you state that you are 25 years old and named Jack, but are really 60 years old and named Adolph, then it may not help in any relationships if you do pursue activity at the site.

Restaurants to Avoid on Dates

McDonald’s.

Of course, this blanket (and perhaps unfair) statement requires some explanation and qualification. First of all, she (for the purpose of ease of description, we will assume that you are a heterosexual male dating a heterosexual female, but feel free to replace the pronouns of your choosing) may be a vegetarian or vegan. You could ask her for her preferred meals and/or restaurants but for the sake of the overall success of your date (especially on a first date) it could be better to ask her friends, family, colleagues, fellow students or others. In this way, you can express admiration for the food or restaurant and this can help build rapport and compatibility.

 You also will not want to be seen as being a cheap date. Of course, if you are in high school, then movies and McDonald’s may be sufficient. Movie tickets are now a few days’ net wages (after taxes) and a McDonald’s meal is also not cheap. Moreover, both of you may feel comfortable there, and regularly hang out there with your friends or family. However, if you are not in high school, then it would still be better to avoid taking a date to a McDonald’s.

 On the other hand, and in the United States, fast-food restaurants (like McDonald’s) offer food quickly and cheaply, and Mom-and-Pop restaurants or other professional restaurants offer food in a more relaxed and romantic milieu and be slightly or far more costly. In many other parts of the world (especially the developing world), however, it is the polar opposite. There, fast food restaurants offer food more slowly and are more costly, while family owned restaurants serve food quickly and cheaply.

 In all cases, it is better to avoid extremes. It is better to avoid very cheap restaurants, as well as expensive 5-star restaurants. If you are 5 feet tall and your date is 6.4 feet tall then you may find yourself constantly thinking, “Wow! She is TALL!” even if she is otherwise a wonderful woman. This, of course, will get in the way of the date and of furthering the relationship. A similar situation could arise if you are in an extremely classy restaurant (merely to impress her) and both of you are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the surroundings and atmosphere.

 Of course, we cannot provide other specific restaurants to avoid (and to go to) because we do not know where you are located or what type of food you like. For example, if both of you really like Egyptian food then you may want to avoid Italian food (unless you do want to try something different).

 We at Go Illinois can say, however, that directories such as Yelp and Zomato are wonderful resources, and provide reviews and rankings of specific restaurants. We hope that this guide has helped formulate an idea of what and how to choose.

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