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Dating Services
For many people, finding that perfect match is not always easy. That is why more singles are turning to online dating services to locate potential mates.

If you are considering the assistance of an online dating service, keep in mind that all services are not the same.

Start by selecting a site that seems likely to attract the type of person you want to meet. Also, look for a site that enforces behavioral standards and provides a respectful and supportive environment. Know what you can reasonably expect from the service balanced against the investment you will be making. The assistance of some of these matchmaking services does not come cheap. The fees can range anywhere from $4,000 to as much as $25,000.

Your BBB recommends that you try before you buy. Some online services will let you browse and search at no charge before you sign up. Be sure to check the company's BBB Reliability Report. Also, be sure you understand all terms of the contract before you finalizing your membership and know what your recourse is if you are dissatisfied with the service.

Before you join a service, ask the following questions:

* Do you provide help in writing profiles - or give any other advice?

* Are there plenty of members in my geographic area and in your demographic?

* Does the service offer two-way matching?
(One-way matching only matches you up with people you're interested in. Two-way matching matches you with those you're interested in but who have ALSO indicated their interest in you based on your profile.)

* Is it easy to search and browse other profiles? Is searching accurate?

* How well will my privacy be protected?

Safety is a major concern among many singles who are considering online dating services. To ensure your safety we recommend the following:

* Do not reveal any personal information in your online dating profile, in your personal ads or in your private emails to other singles. Such information includes your real name, specifics about where you live or any other info that could be used maliciously.

* Use only the communication tools provide by the dating service. You should not invite singles to email you at your regular email address, at least until you know them better.

* When you email singles in private, consider using an anonymous email account at a free site.
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