So many to choose from - will you find The One? Image from Wikimedia Commons
Single bloke in the Big Smoke? Read on...
Once the domain of the strange and friendless, on-line dating is now common, with over one third of couples meeting on line. Not only that, these relationships report higher levels of satisfaction and are less likely to end in divorce (source: Forbes Magazine).
On a night out to your local pub, there will be approximately, say, 200 people present. If you are heterosexual, you can reduce your pool of potentials by half straight away. Then take out everyone outside your age range, then everyone already in a relationship, and then everyone who contains a massive dealbreaker (perhaps smoker status, children or religion) - what are you left with? Not a lot, that's for sure - and you may not even like what's left.
Online dating does the hard yards for you, presenting you only with the best possible matches. You already know they're single, and you know they're looking for someone just like you.
There's only one question left - with so many dating sites available, which do you choose? Whether by accident or design many of the main sites have developed their own niche customer base, so choose your site, get clicking, and soon you'll be heading out in Melbourne for what could be a date with the love of your life!
Here are the basics: OKCupid is for geeky types eHarmony is for age 30-plus RSVP is for anyone and everyone Tinder (app store) if you just want heterosexual carnal knowledge (though there is the rare story of true love being found by swiping right)
Grindr (app store) for the above, but homosexual
Obviously the above is only a guide, based on popular talk, but it's something to keep in mind before you throw yourself into it!
Safety This is the big one. How do you know if your potential parter is the real deal? Fortunately, the internet can be used for you as well as against. Before you make contact with someone, google your heart out. Check for a LinkedIn profile, image-search their profile pictures, and of course try Facebook. Remember though, once you've verified your potential love as the real deal, it's time to switch off the screen and get to know them outside of cyberspace.
Although your nerves might be up, don't drink too much! And whether or not you believe in old-fashioned dating traditions, be sure to arrive with enough money on your to not only pay for your meal but also get your own taxi home. Know the location of a nice nearby bar in case dinner goes well and you'd like to extend the date, but also have an 'out' prepared if you need that too.
Where to meet
A public meeting-place is essential - for Melbournians, Flinders Station 'under the clocks' is a classic location. Not only that, if their appearance (or anything else) doesn't match up with their profile, you can hot-foot it out of there.
What to do
In such a large and vibrant city you're spoilt for choice.
Share a laugh at The Comic's Lounge
Keep it classic Melbourne and go for a coffee crawl around Malbourne's laneways
Enjoy the atmosphere and fantastic food at the Night Market
Try something different and go ice-skating at the Ice House
Look up seasonal events such as the Moonlight Cinema
Or if you really want to impress, head out of town to Hot Shots Paintball - if it worked for Kat and Patrick, it can work for you!
The paintball scene with the ever-sexy Heath Ledger. movie: Ten Things I Hate About You
What are your experiences with online dating? What would be your ideal first date?