The hours of cold darkness are getting shorter, and, before we know it, grey winter will give way to colorful spring. This time of renewal and rebirth is an excellent opportunity to meet new people. There are online sites for people seeking friendship, friends with benefits, short- and long-term relationships and play partners in certain types of relationships. This blog is devoted to just a sampling of these sites with information about how to use a few sites.
Meetup.com is like the five-and-dime variety stores of by-gone years. There really is something for everyone at this site as its purpose is to connect individuals with like-minded others at in-person events. After creating an account, users search for their interests in an area near them, i.e. beer brewing in Indianapolis, and the site suggests groups that match users’ interests, such as “Indy Beer Lovers.”
Once a user joins a group and RSVP’s for an event, he or she simply attends the event and meets other people within the group. With Meetup, if a user finds a group is not really to his or her liking, he or she can simply leave that group with no questions asked. There is no limit to the number of groups a user can join, and most of the groups are free to join. Users should expect to pay admission fees or other costs to attend some group events.
There are dozens of online dating sites in existence. Your Sexy Librarian personally knows several people who have met their significant others on OkCupid.com. This is a free website with optional paid extras that allows a user to search profiles based on his or her own personal criteria of desirable qualities in a partner, i.e. the desire to have children or must love dogs. OkCupid can help users in the search for a committed relationship or just a brief hook-up.
OkCupid matches users based on percentage of compatibility between them. This percentage is based on how users have answered multiple-choice questions on the site. The more questions answered supposedly gives a better representation of compatibility. Questions range from basic math questions to science fiction questions (i.e. Star Trek vs. Star Wars) to questions about religious, political and sexual preferences. OkCupid site administrators recommend that users post multiple profile photographs as users with photographs tend to get better results from other members’ site searches.
Other online dating websites include paid sites Match.com and eHarmony.com and free sites Spark.com and Plenty of Fish. A few readers are split on the paid results of Match compared to the free results of OkCupid. A female reader reports that POF was more sex hook-ups than serious dating and that she preferred OkCupid as a result because she wanted a long-term relationship; she met her husband through OkCupid.
OurTime.com is a specialty matchmaking site for those 50 years in age and above. ChristianMingle.com is a site for, wait for it…, Christians, while JDate.com is a site for Jewish singles. FarmersOnly™ is a dating site for “down to earth folks.” OneGoodLove was created for the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered crowd by that same crowd. OkCupid, Match and Spark offer same-sex search options for site members. eHarmony and Christian Mingle were created for heterosexuals only while Plenty of Fish has a heterosexual leaning.
For those who enjoy kink, Fetlife.com and Alt.com are the websites of choice for finding potential sex partners. For a description of the terms and definitions used on Fetlife, visit a previously published Your Sexy Librarian blog post about the site.
AshleyMadison.com is the “online personals and dating destination for casual encounters, married dating, discreet encounters and extramarital affairs.” Your Sexy Librarian does not endorse cheating in a relationship, but does recognize some couples participate in open relationships and marriages where the monogamy line is a bit blurred for more traditional readers. In addition, she feels people should know what exists in our world, both online and offline, good and bad regardless of individual sexual views.
If none of the above sites tickle a reader’s people-seeking fancies, there is a plethora of sites devoted to mailed communications with incarcerated men and women. Yes, there really are more websites devoted to finding a prison pen pal than for finding a life partner. Google “prison pen pals” and see the results in person.
When using the internet for people-seeking, please exercise caution when meeting online site members in person. Do not give out extremely personal information, such as an address, social security number, place of birth or mother’s maiden name, to others. Never give a car ride to a stranger. Always meet people for the first time in populated, public places. Limit alcohol and recreational drug consumption to little or none during a meet and greet with online site members.
Utilize the buddy system by texting a good friend or family member the name and, if possible, the phone number of the person one is meeting, the time of the meeting and the name and address of the meeting place. After the meeting has concluded, send another text to announce a safe arrival at home. If something goes awry during the meeting, take a bathroom break and send an S.O.S. text message to a friend or family member to come to the rescue in person or, if possible, quietly and quickly evacuate the meeting place. Your Sexy Librarian and her own mother believe it is much better to look rude and to be safe than to be polite and in peril.