Regardless of my own futile attempts, online dating is a fast growing field. But how big is this market? Statistics vary. Reuters publishes that annual revenue from online dating sites comes to $1.04 billion. According to global market research firm IBIS World, however, revenue in this area has grown an average of 2.9 per cent annually for the past five years and is expected to hit nearly $2 billion in 2013. Either way, the scope of the business is huge. Why the rapid increase? Credit baby boomers and new niche dating sites in particular for driving expansion. Old standbys also comprise a large community. Match.com has 15 million members, while eHarmony totals 20 million.
So, how do you meet a good catch online? Well, as my close friend says, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs."
- Smile for the camera. It all starts with the photos. Take multiple pictures in different outfits and post your best shots. Expect to put up at least five. When people go with just one or two, a good response is highly unlikely.
- Spruce up your profile. Compose a description of yourself that is fun, catchy and expresses your positive attitude. Guys are attracted to women who are bubbly, confident and warm.
- Be patient. While you may be looking for a long term relationship, be prepared to go out on a lot of dates. It takes time to find someone you really enjoy being with who feels the same way about you. Chemistry may be immediate, but caring takes a while to develop.
- Leave your baggage at the door. Everyone feels damaged after divorce. Whether your Ex has cheated, the romance has fizzled or the two of you are just ill suited and have agreed to part ways, both parties must try to gain something from the loss. Focus on the lessons you have learned so that your next relationship can be better.
- Handle the kids with care. My children did not like the idea of me meeting strangers on the Internet when I had previously told them not to communicate with anyone they did not know online. Hypocrisy never goes over well. Be sure you get to know your significant other and have built a tight bond with him before introducing that person to your kids. It is always best not to rush into anything and to develop a genuine connection first.