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Free Websites and Internet Tools for Meeting People Online

Communication is essential to relationships. Whether for business, romantic, family or friendships, the internet offers a way to connect people online. The internet can provide a real-time borderless society, where someone on one side of the world can connect with someone from another continent with relative ease.

People can meet online for free using a range of different services and tools, such as electronic messages, voice and video.

Cost Effective Communications Using the Internet

Technology is now embedded into society and everyday living. Cell phones, portable music players, digital cameras, laptop computers have become commonplace items. The speed at which technology is developing is slowly leveling out. What has changed over time is the price of communications. The ability to rapidly disseminate information across the globe has become more cost effective with the increased uptake of these portable devices.

Once the internet connection is established, an extensive network and range of communication tools is available, for little to no additional cost to the user. The cost savings can be obvious when looking at long distance communications.

Consider the economic and environmental costs for international travel. Especially when compared with traditional methods of communication such as face to face, telephone or postal mail, the internet provides the best cost effective solution to meeting people.

Free Places for Online Networking and Chat

These are some of the best resources for meeting people or making friends online for free:

  • Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace allow people to connect via shared friends or interests. A person may also search personal profiles from these sites to find a lost friend from the past.
  • Many dating websites offer a free account to find relationships and chat with others. Plenty of Fish offers free dating and claims to have 1,300,000 daily active members. Dating websites can suit single women and men, mature women, or even those already in a relationship looking for extra companionship.
  • Phone chat services that offer new free chat line numbers for their new customers. Chat lines is one of those hidden gems in dating as not many people know about them. The great thing is one can hear and talk to another person which is more personal and intimate than regular online dating.
  • Online classifieds can be used for placing an advertisement and this can be used for meeting someone else interested in a no-commitment relationship. Craigslist allows the posting of free ads.
  • There are websites, forums and common groups for practically every hobby or interest out there. Search for group on Yahoo, join a group which focuses on a shared interest and make new friends.
  • Professional networking can be helped with the Linked In networking tool. This is a business oriented social networking website which can be especially useful in getting connections towards that next job.
  • Voice communication tools can be used over existing internet line to talk to others. The quality of the sound and connection can vary depending on service used. Skype offers free software to download and offers free skype-to-skype voice chat.

As the internet becomes part of everyday living, it can seem a natural transition to apply it to everyday communication as well. Free websites for online communications can serve business, social or romantic needs, regardless of the location.

Web technology provides a low to no cost way for people to meet online, whether meeting for the first time or as part of an ongoing discussion between friends or business acquaintances.

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Should Office Romance be Banned? Dating in the Workplace is a Different Ball Game… Ready to Play?

Dating and romance in a work environment is a tough nut to crack. The dynamics of the workplace could be conducive to sustain a relationship based on similar interests, shared friendship networks and career objectives, but a relationship between a manager and a subordinate, for example, raises questions of a conflict of interest… and it is probably an unwritten rule that such liaisons are discouraged.

Here is some food for thought when maneuvering through an office romance or playing with the idea of dating a work colleague.

What are Common Problems With Office Romance?

Given the amount of time most employees spend at work, there are bound to be individuals who connect beyond the humdrum of work projects, some will become good friends, but others will develop romantic feelings for their co-workers.

However, this is not a simple task, the workplace is generally a place where different individuals with diverse backgrounds, skills and qualification work together to run a successful enterprise or organization. When personal emotions come into play that extend further than objective feelings about personal work relations, problems can arise.

What Do Employers Have to Say about Office Romance?

On About.com in an article titled “Tips About Dating, Sex and Romance in the Workplace”, Susan Healthfield mentions that in a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Workplace Romance Survey, employers cited the following as their issues with workplace romance: The possibility of sexual harassment claims, disharmony caused by relationships that go sour, the possibility of low morale among other staff members that are exposed and may disapprove of the relationship, and the risks associated with loss of productivity by dating co-workers and other staff.

Some Cons of Office Dating

It is long since schools and church facilities were the hub were people met, established romantic relationships and eventually affirmed their love through marriage. Nowadays, individuals meet in the workplace and this could be the beginning of a long friendship or relationship. Modesty aside, there are benefits to having the “object of your affection” while working on a project from start to finish, working together could just be that solid foundation required to establish a solid friendship before dating.

In an article on Workrelationships.com, written by Denise Kersten, called “Office Romances Can be Risky, Rewarding”, Kersten mentions some of the pros and cons. Some of the cons include the ensuing gossip, jealousy, and problems associated with having to work with a former partner after the break-up.

Pros of Office Romantic RelationshipsIn the abovementioned article by Kersten, some positive outcomes, resulting from dating a co-worker are mentioned, these include: the possibility that the work environment offers for social engagement to create shared networks/friends, the space to develop common ground as there is bound to be similair interests, and “working with someone before you start dating allows you to find out what he or she is really like in advance,” explains Kersten.

Sustaining a romantic relationship at work can be a complicated affair, it can also be thrilling. However, it is best to understand the company’s policy (if there is any) on romantic relationships between co-workers. After hedging your bets, it might be wise to not “dip your pen in the company ink!”

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First Date Questions – Icebreakers & Small Talk: Getting to Know the Other Person During the Initial Get-Together

First dates are often stressful for both people. Rather than going to a movie or concert, find a quiet place and spend time getting to know the other person. Icebreakers and conversation starting questions can reveal information that will help make a decision about future dates. Just be prepared to answer the same questions when they come back.

The Date’s Former and Future Relationships

To get right to the heart of the person’s relationship history and intentions for the future, be bold and ask.

  • “Have you ever been in a long-term relationship before? If so, what caused the breakup?”
  • “Are you looking for a long-term romance or someone to just hang out with?”
  • “What are you looking for in a partner?”
  • “Have you ever had a bad first date? If so, what happened?”
  • “What is the biggest mistake a person can make on the first date?”
  • “Have you ever had a first date when you knew there was something special? What made it that way?”
  • “What is your idea of a romantic date?”

Special Interests, Sports and Hobbies

It’s a good idea to know if both people enjoy the same hobbies, sports and other interests. The first date is the ideal time to ask questions.

  • “What types of books or movies do you like? Is there one standout book or movie you’d like to see more than once?”
  • “What sports do you enjoy to participate in or watch?”
  • “If you had a whole month to do anything you wanted to do, and money was no object, what would you do, where would you do it, and who would you do it with?”
  • “What kinds of creative pursuits do you enjoy?”
  • “Who are you favorite recording artists, and which of their songs do you like?”
  • “Can you play a musical instrument? If so, what?”

School and Career of the Date

Education and career take up so many hours of a person’s day, knowing how the other person feels about these topics can affect the relationship.

  • “How much education have you had? Would you ever like to go back to school? If so, what would you want to study?”
  • “Are you in a career you like? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do? If not, where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?”
  • “If you could have any job you wanted, and education, money or experience was no object, what would you want to do?”

Family History

The person’s family history can provide valuable insight about what to expect in a future relationship.

  • “Where were you born, and where were you raised?”
  • “How many siblings do you have? Are you close to any of them?”
  • “How often do you talk to other members of your family?”
  • “What do you like to do when you get together with your family?”
  • “Did you live with both parents, or do you come from a single parent family?”
  • “Do both of your parents work? What do they do for a living?”

Challenging Questions to Ask on a First Date

Try to think of something different to ask – something unique that might make the other person smile, laugh or ponder.

  • “Have you ever had a life changing event? If so, what?”
  • “If I were to go to your house or apartment, what would I find in your refrigerator right now?”
  • “Is there anything weird or unique about you that you’ve never told anyone else?”
  • “Who is your least favorite singer? Why?”
  • “If you could be any animal, what would you be?”
  • “How do you feel about plastic surgery?”
  • “What is your most valuable or treasured possession? What would you do to keep from losing it?”
  • “Which is scariest to you: parachuting, giving a speech to a thousand people or kissing someone for the first time?”
  • “What embarrasses you more than anything else? Have you ever been embarrassed in front of a large crowd of people?”

After the questions are asked, relax and enjoy the other person’s answers. Be ready for the tables to turn with questions about former relationships, interests, hobbies, sports, jobs, school, careers and some more challenging questions.

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First Date Ideas: Inexpensive and Fun Ways to Spend Time on a First Date

Feeling nervous on a first date? Not sure what to do or where to go? Check out some great date ideas here.

The Classic – Dinner and a Movie

The old adage goes “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” However, what if it ain’t broke but the man planning the date is? No cause for concern because it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. Opt out of the $12 movie ticket and that potential three digit dinner bill by inviting a date over for a DVD and a homemade meal.

Not only will the homemade meal help save money, but it will also seem more sincere. Word to the wise, steer clear of the overly sentimental romantic flicks as things could prove to get a little awkward. There’s something distinctly squirm inducing about the silence provoked by that steamy love scene friends were giggling about just last week.

Daytime Date Ideas

Some couples aren’t comfortable with a nighttime setting, so daytime offers a lighter, yet still fun, atmosphere. Here are a few ideas to offer inspiration.

  • The Zoo: Animals are wild. They act on instinct. They stare people straight in the eye without so much as a blink before they fling their feces across the exhibit at the glass barricade. Now isn’t that fun? *nods assuredly* Yes, yes, of course it is. What could prove to be as exhilarating as watching animals do what they do best? And think of it this way, if couples have nothing to talk about, they can satisfy those quiet gaps as they and their date witness the Gorillas in the corner give those six- year-olds, with their nosed pressed against the glass, a lesson in reproduction.
  • Picnic: Pack lightly. Grab some snacks, a few sandwiches and a jug of juice or a two litre pop. Eat too much, and someone could find themselves bowing out early from what could be a great date because their stomach won’t stop beckoning for the toilet. Showcase environmentally conscious prowess by packing utensils from home and bypass the landfill those plastic forks will inevitably wind-up in. Bring along a deck of cards, a comfortable blanket and the right conversation and you’re set! Be wary of those ants, though.
  • The Park: Granted, first dates can be anything but a walk in the park, however, a stroll is a nice way to take in the scenery while soaking up each other’s company at the same time. Walk around, explore the neighbourhood, and if the park has a swing set, couples can let their inner child loose. Besides, they can’t help but laugh when those new-breed speed walkers waddle by in their unfathomably tight spandex.
  • Go-karting: It’s fairly inexpensive, heaps of fun and a dose of friendly competition. What more could daters ask for?…Except for maybe helmets that aren’t soaked in sweat before they loan them out.
  • Mini Golf: Swing at the scaled down version of this amusing coarse and take advantage of the opportunity to get in some physical contact doling out expertise. Careful, though. Individuals getting a little too touchy-feely with their date are asking for an Elin and Tiger Woods magnitude re-enactment.

Nighttime Date Ideas

Some daters have schedules that simply don’t allow for them to venture out into the daytime. The night allows these individuals to still enjoy themselves while profiting from the ambiance of moonlit activities.

  • A Pub: Forget the hectic and at times seedy atmosphere of the bar and opt for the more intimate setting of a pub. Sit down, unwind over a few pints and enjoy those signature wings. This way, couples also get to go home without their ears ringing while they scream at each other “What did you say?!”
  • The Cemetery: Maybe rows of tombstones don’t necessarily spell out a romantic evening, but it may just turn out to be love at first fright. Bad puns can be just ghastly. In actuality, this gives both daters an excuse to cling to one another as they saunter through the graveyard.
  • Fireworks: This one requires a special occasion. If dates are scheduled on the same night as fireworks, the sparks in the sky may just inspire sparks between the couple to ignite as well. Daters can let the explosions in the sky do the talking for them as they cozy on up.
  • Bowling: A lot of bowling alleys have “glow in the dark bowling”, a new addition which spices up the old classic. Many also serve alcohol, meaning, well…it’ll certainly make for some interesting stories when couples recount to their friends just how they sprained their wrist bowling a strike…in the lane three away from from.

Just Relax

First dates are always a touch nerve-wracking, but if daters choose from casual daytime and nighttime outings, they can help ease into them more comfortably. Nobody needs to spend a fortune to have fun. From walks in the park to a shared pint at the local pub, there are a number of inexpensive options for couples interested in getting to know one another in a stress-free environment.

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Find the Dating Method That Works Best for You: Online, Speed, or Lunch Dating – Which Is Right?

Can’t seem to meet the right guy or girl for you? Maybe you just haven’t been looking in the right places. Certain personality types and outlooks may work with one dating method, but not another. Where one dater may have a blast with online dating, for example, there is another that surely will find it difficult and hard to manage. Here are the best ways to meet someone, based on your daily routine, outlook, and age.

Online Dating

Best for:

  • Shy or introverted people
  • Busy professionals
  • Singles recently out of a long-term relationship
  • People over 35 years of age

Internet dating works wonderfully for a certain group of people. If you’re the introverted or book worm type, contacting your love interest via email works right in your comfort zone. You can get to know each other through the written word, which will bring out the best parts of your personality.

For busy professionals, there is nothing better than coming home from a long day and logging on the computer to “meet” people. No matter how busy you are, you can still get to know singles and even arrange to meet at a convenient time.

Speed Dating

Best for:

  • Great conversationalists
  • Outgoing individuals
  • Adventure seekers

There is something about the challenge of meeting someone new every eight minutes that really appeals to some folks. If conversation comes easy for you, speed dating may be the route for you. Aim for light questions that get to the heart of your date’s personality, and trust your gut instincts on whether you want to see someone out for a real date.

Lunch Dating

Best for:

  • Busy professionals
  • Singles who are new in town
  • People just out of a long-term relationship

Meeting someone out for a lunch date is very much the same concept as meeting them for a coffee date. The atmosphere is fun, and the purpose is to figure out if you’d like to see the person again for a “real” first date.

There are several great lunch dating sites who will offer a variety of packages. The system is great for busy people working in an office environment, who only have an hour each day to devote to meeting someone new.

If you’re new in town or just out of a relationship, this method also works well in introducing you to a variety of single people. Best of all, the site sets up the meetings so all you have to do is show up.

Set Ups

Best for:

  • Recently divorced singles
  • People just out of a long-term relationship
  • People under 30

Getting set up by a friend can be a great way to meet the love of your life. The older you get, the greater the chance that you’ll already have met most of the singles your friend know. For that reason, set ups tend to be more successful if you’re about 30-years of age and younger.

For those folks recently divorced or out of a long-term relationship, getting set often has more appeal than Internet or speed dating. People who have been out of the dating scene for a while generally want to ease back in gradually, and meeting someone your friend knows often makes it less stressful.

Singles Groups

Best for:

  • Any age group
  • Extroverted people
  • Hobbyists

Often the easiest way to meet like-minded singles is to engage in a hobby or activity you enjoy. By joining a singles group, you can enjoy your passion of bird watching, biking, or even playing Scrabble (just to name a few) while at the same time meeting others who share the same interests. Conversation begins easily and getting to know someone is a side benefit to doing the activity you already like.

Meeting new people should be a fun experience. If you find that you’re struggling with the dating game, change up your dating routine to something better suited to you. There is no right or wrong way to meet someone. In the end, the only thing that matters is having a great guy or girl in your life. So choose a method that will play off of your strengths and allow you to be yourself.