But you rarely see anything describing the basics - you know, tips and tricks to how the sites work. I decided to collect a few of my own and share with you.
Most sites track who has viewed your profile. This is great, right? You can see who is checking you out. For those of you who are slow to pick up on the obvious...this also means others know when you're checking them out.
Some sites allow you to search profiles, but remain hidden, so that people don't know you're
Most sites only save emails for a specific amount of time. So, if there's info in one that you want to be keep (someone's name, phone number, etc) - make a note, send yourself an email, text your best friend, or something.
Just about every site tracks (and reports) when you were last online. On Match, it's right there for anyone who views your profile. Online Now! or Active Within 24 Hours shows right below your profile basics. If you're in someone's "viewed me" or "email" boxes, your profile comes right up on her home screen. She won't even need to open your profile to see when you were last online.
You can also get search results in order of last online activity. On a site like Plenty of Fish, that's the easiest way to tell how recently someone was online.
(FYI, if you're going to tell someone you can't talk to her anymore because you don't have time, your online activity will give you away. Make a note.)
Most sites will allow you to "hide" your profile. This removes your profile from search results - but if you email another user, he will be able to view your profile when he accesses it through the email connection.
You can also "block" a user, which means that user cannot email you.
(So, if you get all cranky-pants because a woman doesn't want to go on a date, and then decide to email her a week later, you'll have to unblock her or she won't be able to respond - even if she was interested.)
Some sites (like Match) make it very easy to hide a profile from your own search results. Other sites (like Plenty of Fish) don't offer this option, or make it easy. This is unfortunate because no one likes to open up a search window and find a whole page of dates-gone-wrong. Sigh.
Some sites are free, while others require a monthly payment. Even the free sites usually have an upgrade for a small monthly charge that will allow you to tap into a few more features. No matter what site, or membership level, you choose - be sure to read up and explore the features.
It's your dating life. If that's not important enough - surely the entertainment value is.