Ready to speed things up with your online dating? Chat is the way!
Emails are great for getting to know other members, but when you want to take things to the next level and really make a connection with someone then live chat simply cannot be beaten.
Our system has three levels of chat available -text, voice and video. All of which can be accessed from your account by clicking on the 'chat' tab in the main navigation.
Here we will take you through starting a live chat with another member, going from text-only through to speaking over a microphone and finally seeing the other person face-to-face using a webcam and video chat. Read on!
1Find someone to chat with
Within the chat page, you have a number of options to find someone you wish to chat with. The first one we would recommend is by using the 'Online now' tab to view other members who are actively logged in and available to chat with.
At the left of the chat page you will see two search options :
The first of these lets you set criteria by which to search, the second option lets you find a person based on their username (screen name), and is helpful if you already know who you want to find.
we recommend that you leave the 'online within 24 hours' box checked as you are more likely to find someone who is active and available for a chat this way.
With either option, click 'search' and you will see the results as a list of members who match the search conditions.
Ok, so now you have found the person it's time to start the chat!
2Send a chat request
Under the mini profile of the members listed, you will see the 'Chat now!' button as shown below:
Click on this button related to the member that you would like to chat with - they will instantly be sent a notification that you want to chat with them. If the person is online they can accept straight away and the chat session will begin.
If you are not using the 'online now' list, then there is the chance that the person isn't logged in - in this case you will be added to their 'pending' list and they will be sent an email. They can then log in and initiate the chat, it's worth staying online for a while after sending your request as they may jump straight on the computer when they see you want to chat with them.
3Using text chat
When the chat session starts, it will be in 'text' only mode. This means that you can type messages to the other person, who will be able to instantly see what you wrote and reply to you. They will not be able to see or hear you at this point in time. Yours and the other person's webcam will be greyed out, and the microphone will have a 'blocked' icon over it, as show on this demo chat:
Text only chat may seem a little 'flat', but you can add a little interest to it with the use of 'emoticons' (which is short for emotional icons). These can be inserted into your text at any point by selecting the emoticon from the list of those available under the 'Emoticons' drop-down menu.
4Make your voice heard
If you want to have something more like a phone conversation, then turning on your microphone will be the answer. In order to use this feature you will need to have a suitable microphone set up with your computer, and speakers if you wish to hear the other person (they can reply using the text chat so this is optional).
Click on the loudspeaker icon to enable your microphone - your date should now be able to hear your wonderful voice! If they do the same their side, then you will be able to have a natural conversation with each other.
5Lights, camera, action!
This is the big one - make sure you are presentable! Video chat is a great feature for online dating, letting you speak face to face from the comfort and safety of your own home. We highly recommend that you make full use of this feature.
To use video chat you will need a webcam set up on your computer. Remember that grey box from before?
Simply click on the box to turn on your webcam and let the other person see you! Depending on your browser/computer settings you may see a message asking you to allow our website to access your webcam - please choose to allow it in order for this great feature to work.
It is entirely optional to turn your webcam on, and you can only request that the other person turns theirs on for you to see them - they can choose not to just like you can. Video chat is usually reserved for the later stages of online dating, once you have gotten to know each other better. It really does take things to another level, so make the most of it!