Dating sites are all the rage now. Just about everyone has a profile on at least one of them! While using online matchmaking is generally cheaper than going out to nightclubs and pubs, singles nights and speed dating events, it can still get quite expensive – particularly for guys.

For instance, some of these sites still charge per e-mail sent. If you send several e-mails to women you are interested in and don’t get any replies at all, you can feel quite ripped off. And even if you join a site that has a flat monthly fee (which is definitely more economical) you will still have to use it as much as possible over that period to get value for money. You might be overworked for a while, and not be able to log in. It’s possible for several month to go by in which you have no contact with anyone, yet you are still charged!

So, here’s an approach to save money. (It also saves time – and time is money, as they say.

Firstly, make sure you have a good, thorough profile prepared along with lots of information about the kind of woman and relationship you’re looking for. Needless to say, you should also have a recent photo. Dating profiles with photos get many, many more replies than those without.

Of course, you can send out “kisses”, “flowers” and e-mails to initiate contact. If the women respond to your initial contact, it means they are somewhat interested. However, there will still be a high attrition rate.

Your prospects go up considerably if it is the woman who contacts you first. If she sends a “flower” or “kiss” to test the waters, this is worth responding to. But the best sign of interest is an e-mail (the longer the better) describing her interest in you.

Despite what we keep hearing in the media about how assertive today’s women are, it’s still unusual for a woman to do this. So if she has overcome her natural resistance to overtly making the first move and sends you a clear description of her interest, it means she likes your profile a lot.

That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s the one for you. Hey, she might be a psycho! But there’s a good chance that you’ll at least get to meet her in the flesh.

Which is why you should do what men tend not to do: play the waiting game. Of course if you join only one or two completely free sites, then you could be waiting for months, or even years! So, you should join as many as possible. You can also join big paid dating sites, but just use the free option. (Remember that generally speaking your replies will be free if an upgraded member has initiated the conversation.)

Just keep logging in regularly to all of these sites so that you keep your ad high in the listings. If you have a good profile, and do this at enough sites, you are bound to get some women initiating contact.

There is something to be wary of, however: There are many young women on these sites who contact the men to get them to sign up to paid webcam sites, or who try to scam them out of their savings with some sob story or other. There are also SMS cell phone scams to watch out for. So, be cautious and skeptical about the women contacting you. If you keep your thinking cap on you’ll be able to tell who is genuine and who isn’t.