Online Dating

The line between social networking sites and online dating sites is becoming increasingly blurred.  Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have always had a secondary purpose, connecting with potential romantic and/or sexual partners.  Sites like Plenty of Fish and are entirely dedicated to the purpose of finding a partner.

The Power of Anonymity

So, what is the advantage of using a dedicated dating site over simply connecting with attractive singles on Facebook? For some daters, the main advantage is anonymity.  While there are some obvious circumstances that require discretion—i.e. you’re seeking an extra-marital affair on there are other reasons you might want to avoid dragging your search for a perfect partner into the harsh light of a social networking site.  By adding someone as a friend on Facebook you automatically introduce them to your inner circle of friends, family, and acquaintances.  What if you don’t want a second date and they’re wanting to meet your parents?  All they have to do is send a friend request to your mom, and they’re halfway there.

Narrow Your Search

Dating sites have other advantages over social networking sites.  Most have a feature that allows the user to search for potential dates that match their specific expectations and desires in a relationship.  Some sites include psychological tests that screen members and match them based upon their personality profile. Other sites cater to specific interests that can be shared by potential partners, i.e. vegetarianism, or traveling.  Having these refined search criteria makes dating sites a more effective option than Facebook or MySpace.

Networking Features

Using a dating site to search for a partner doesn’t mean that you must completely forego the social networking experience. In recent years, dating sites have incorporated many aspects of the social networking sites.  Many have instant chat features, networking games, and walls for posting comments.

While social networking sites can certainly be a source of potential dates or even long-term partners, dating sites are still your best choice for actively seeking romantic relationships.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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