Kathryn's Blog

Still resisting love online?

You know, I’ve been helping folks find love online for a long time now, and watched as online dating moved from the shadows into full respectability.  But I am still astounded that some singles resist the best show in town for finding love.  Here’s a good basic article for those who remain to be convinced....

Love online 20 million people visit at least one online dating service every month. What are they all looking for?

By CAROLINE DOHACK of the Tribune’s staff
Published Sunday, November 2, 2008

Traditionally, we meet our partners through venues that serve as common bonds — school, work, church — or through family and friends. But as many are discovering, online dating has its own advantages.

Find your match

How many fish are in the sea? Probably as many as there are online dating services. Here is a breakdown of a few of them:

eHarmony: After filling out a lengthy personality survey, the site will find potential matches using a patented compatibility matchmaking system. This is a subscription-based service geared toward people seeking long-term relationships. http://www.eharmony.com.

Craigslist: Craigslist is a great way to find a sofa, concert tickets or lawn-mowing service. It also has personal ads. But because users can post in anonymity, you might find a little bit more than you were looking for. In other words, don’t cruise these ads at work. columbiamo.craigslist.org.

OmniDate: If you find instant messaging potential paramours to be a little impersonal, this site allows you to chat using animated avatars. There is a limited selection of avatars, so your virtual date will probably look more like a fantasy date. But if you’ve always wanted to be a blonde but feared the peroxide, this might be the way to go. http://www.omnidate.com.

Crazy Blind Date: For the truly brave, this site sets you up with someone at the last minute and arranges a time and place for you to meet. This service is only available in certain cities, but if you find yourself lonely when you go out of town, keep this one bookmarked. http://www.crazyblinddates.com.

Geek 2 Geek: The name says it all. In addition to some of the usual online profile questions, you get to pick your favorite video game console and tag interests such as anime, superheroes, sci-fi and computers. http://www.gk2gk.com.

Passions Network: Hey, you know what you like. This site allows you to set up niche dating accounts. If you’re looking for a vegan bicyclist who loves pirates and punk music, you can be as picky as you want here. http://www.passionsnetwork.com.

According to data from Online Dating magazine, a consumer watchdog publication for online daters, more than 20 million people visit at least one online dating service a month, and more than 120,000 marriages occur each year as a result of online dating.

“Online dating is the best thing to ever happen to shy people,” said Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating. “They get to know someone via the computer, and then they feel more comfortable meeting them personally.”

Furthermore, there might not be many people looking for partners at those traditional meeting venues, Tracy said. “When you go online, you know there are people looking for the same thing,” he said.

Dave Evans, founder and editor of onlinedatingpost.com and a consultant to online dating consumers and industry members, likens dating to job hunting. You still want to meet people, but you also look for other ways to make yourself known. “Your profile is your résumé. You want to get out there and share it,” Evans said.

Online dating also gives people the chance to search for people with similar interests.

“If you’re the type of person who dresses up as a Klingon on Halloween and you actually know the Klingon language, you can find somebody who matches those exact interests,” Tracy said.

And for many, finding a partner with similar interests and attributes is important. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that online daters often seek partners with qualities similar to those they reported on their own profiles. It’s not that people are looking for carbon copies of themselves. Rather, they want to feel comfortable with a potential partner. Someone with blue eyes won’t be going outside his or her comfort zone by dating someone with brown eyes, the study said, but smokers might have a more vested interest in seeking other smokers.

But getting outside those comfort zones opens up more possibilities. Maybe you like hip-hop, and she likes classical music. “Does that mean we’re not right for each other?” Evans said.

Still, some people prefer niche dating services, which narrow the selection by focusing on a hobby, lifestyle, religion or other aspect of life. For instance, JDate.com is a popular site for Jewish singles.

What kind of dating site is best for you? Consider your goals. If you’re just looking for something casual, free services such as Yahoo! Personals have the most users. But for those seeking serious, long-term relationships, paid sites such as eHarmony.com tend to attract like-minded people.

Once you decide on a site, here are some tips for making the connection:

● Get a new e-mail address specifically for online-dating correspondence, and don’t use your full name. You don’t want anyone using that information to track you down.

● For safety’s sake, don’t include identifying information such as phone number, last name or place of employment. If you have children, don’t post their photos or include too much information about them. “You’re putting this information out, and anybody in the world can read it,” Tracy said.

● Post a photo, preferably one that actually looks like you. Researchers at the University of Chicago found women who posted photos received twice as many e-mails than those who did not, and men who posted photos received 50 percent more e-mails.

● Write for whom you hope to attract. If you value a sense of humor, convey it through your profile. If you like a certain genre of movies, include little references. Your best matches will understand what you mean.

● Avoid clichés. This will help you stand out. “What people don’t realize is you’re seen in a series,” Evans said. “I’ve looked at 20 women before you, and I’ll look at 20 women after you.”

● Be truthful. You never know when a lie will come back to bite you.

● Be positive. Statements like “my last relationship left me emotionally scarred and cynical” won’t get you anywhere.

● Use spell-check.

Finally, if you’re worried about being judged for looking online, a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project Report found that only 29 percent of Internet users surveyed believe online daters “are in dire dating straits.” But these respondents, according to the report, tend to have less online experience and are less trusting of people in general.

Most view online dating as a way to use technology to enhance their lives.

“It’s another arrow in the quiver of opportunities to meet somebody,” Evans said.



Thanks for sharing great article.

Ha ha, Very nice guidelines. Hope people really pay attention carefully to the details given here.

I think a person that is really into online dating, he or she knows the risks and obligations that are involved in that kind of relationships.

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