The marketplace metaphor may also resonate with participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

Most sites allow members to upload photos or videos of themselves and browse the photos and videos of others.

NOT-SO-SMOOTH OPERATOR The scenario: “I recently received a message that said, ‘Damn you’re a pretty white girl, you into muscular black men?

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Match metaphors are conceptual frameworks that allow individuals to make sense of new concepts by drawing upon familiar experiences and frame-works.

This metaphor of the marketplace – a place where people go to "shop" for potential romantic partners and to "sell" themselves in hopes of creating a successful romantic relationship – is highlighted by the layout and functionality of online dating websites.

If you really are going away, wait until you get back to ask her out.

A good rule of thumb: if you aren’t available for a date within 7 days of sending the message, don’t send it.

Sites may offer additional services, such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.

Some sites provide free registration, but may offer services which require a monthly fee.

Some sites are broad-based, with members coming from a variety of backgrounds looking for different types of relationships.

Other sites are more specific, based on the type of members, interests, location, or relationship desired.

One girl we spoke to told a story about a guy who sent her a hilarious quote from the movie she had mentioned in her profile.

Pick something specific she wrote about herself, and ask her a follow-up about it.

If nothing else, she’ll admire the fact that you took the time to “get to know” her.