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Are you looking to meet someone on the Internet? If so, there are a few important things that you should know.

In the past, relationships were largely developed through chance meetings, setups or recommendations from friends, or from a friendship that flourished into love and eventually marriage. More and more people rely on the internet when it comes to finding romance.  When many individuals go in search for love online, they head to online dating websites.

Did you know that online dating websites are actually social networking websites? What sets online dating websites apart from traditional social networking sites is that all the members in a dating website community are generally looking for a relationship. Social networking websites focus on many different aspects of life, which makes it easier to find and make connections with other people who share common goals and interests, including love.

When you join a traditional social networking site, one that allows almost anyone to join, it's hard to tell what a person may actually be looking for.  A large number of network users are looking to fall in love, while others are looking for friendships. Online dating websites help to eliminate confusion and awkward moments because they are created and maintained for a specific audience - people who are looking to actually meet, date and make a life-long commitment.

Most online dating websites allow a limited number of views of its member's photographs with a condensed version of their personal profile.  Paying for a membership then allows you to read the entire biography and learn more about the person and whether you want to contact them or not.  The first point of contact will probably be through email exhange.  The second would be phone conversations or texting where a more personal exchange of information occurs and then then deciding to arrange a first date. Some site members call them meetings rather than a date and ask if the other has any objections to going dutch.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that internet dating is not one hundred percent safe - although it's important to note that, depending on the circumstances, no form of dating is truly 100% safe because that fine-looking person you met at the local bistro or dance hall could be just as weird or as dangerous as the man or woman you met online.  Take a few precautionary measures when surfing for dating sites; don't be too quick to give out a lot of personal information. Take it slow - very slow.

Naturally, you'll want to be cautious because first dates can be scary, reeeally scary, especially with someone you don't really know.  Just because someone says they are who they are. . . doesn't necessarily mean that they are telling the truth.  If at any point during your phone conversations you feel that you are speaking with someone who is making you feel uncomfortable or not telling the truth, quickly end the conversation and then consider blocking your number.

For many individuals it is enough to chat with others  online, but for some it is not enough. Whether you are asked to meet with an online friend or if you initiated the meeting yourself, you are advised to be cautious. For safety reasons, it is advised that you speak with one of your online friends at least one month before agreeing to meet with them.  If and when that meeting does take place, have it in a public place, like Starbucks.  And, offer to go dutch so that neither feels pressured to pay for a meal. If your meeting does not go as planned, you can ensure your safety by having others around you while you finish your coffee and politely leave.

There are plenty of social networking website choices as they have expanded significantly over the past few years with membership numbers ranging in the millions. This would definitely put the odds of finding someone in your favor. In fact, you could probably find more than one!

If you feel safe enough to make a "second" date, why not make it memorable instead of just reading off a long list of questions or suffering through unbearable silence. Tap into your creative side and bring out those creative date ideas to make the evening pleasant and enjoyable or even . . romantic.

By understanding the importance of being careful with your life and being aware of your surroundings, there is no reason why you can't have fun using the internet to find a date, a good friend or perhaps, a life partner.


Finding Love Online

Did you know that online dating websites are actually social networking websites? What sets online dating websites apart from traditional social networking sites is that all the members in a dating website community are generally looking for a relationship.

JANUARY 13, 2012


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All Articles  Back All Articles  Back Colorful wheel-like diagram of emotions such as love, joy, trust, anticipation, surprise, etc.

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

In 1980, Robert Plutchik constructed a wheel-like diagram of emotions visualizing eight basic emotions: Joy, Trust, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Anticipation. The wheel combines the ideas of circles representing emotions and a color wheel. Similar emotions in the wheel are adjacent. The wheel was inspired by "Plutchik's Ten Postulates", a list of theorems which include some of the emotions listed below. The wheel is one of the most influential emotional theories today, although it has been frequently criticized for its lack of a longer list of emotions. Plutchik also theorized twenty-four "Primary", "Secondary", and "Tertiary" dyads (a feeling composed of two emotions).  Due to the nature of the wheel, the emotions are arranged in pairs according to behavioral and evolutionary mechanisms.


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