Dating a hooker

at the odd end of the dating pool."Our resident dating expert Tim Seppala prefers OKCupid, as do several other Engadget editors. "Well, it's free, and it doesn't feel gross -- unlike " The large number of users and messages is a plus, though Tim added that "the overall user population isn't the best in my area, and there are a lot of people who are 'very hesitant' to meet someone in person."Instead of making a long-term subscription commitment and regretting it, why not start with a free site?

That way you can test the waters, figure out what does and doesn't work and get a nice, tight profile before paying anything.

There are serious pitfalls to avoid, of course: dodgy sites, "catfishing" and, worst of all, online predators.

If you do decide to go onto a pay site, take a long, hard look at the cancellation policy.

They're ranked not only by size and type (romantic, friendly and sexual) but also reputation, as determined by rate "poor" and "very poor" in reputation, respectively.

Such sites have been accused of billing customers after they've canceled, inflating user figures with numerous fake profiles and rampant prostitution.

Once you're ready to contact someone, adds that it's best to keep messages cool and casual. You'll have to give a lot of frogs the ol' cheek turn.

Coming on too strong, while occasionally amusing, is off-putting. Here's an example of a date gone wrong from our own Tim: "I went out with a really cute girl for three weeks, and then she suddenly tried passing me off to her (much less cute) roommate. The bad news: Online dating (or any dating) has a seamy side, and women especially need to beware.

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