Most assumed the sites to be the equivalent of a dark alley: full of smelly trash and frequented by urine-soaked cat ladies and crazy paint-sniffing men.
A concept once met with some trepidation, the idea of alternatively meeting mates has matured, and accounts for one out of five new committed relationships, according to match.com.
The busy-ness of dating
Online dating provides a viable and extensive alternative to a dank alleyway or urine-soaked anything (unless that’s your thing).
In fact, the physicality of the situation is completely up to you. So, go ahead and do your dating homework and fill out your profile in your pajamas.
“Reading her responses to profile questions [on eHarmony], I knew I found someone I could communicate with really well and would really enjoy talking to,” said Brian Eyerman, founder of Skyline Ink Animation Studios.
“She seemed intelligent and passionate about life, and we had a lot in common. And we’ve never run out of things to talk about!” Eyerman met up with Lu Richardson 11 days after their first correspondence, and they got married exactly six months after their first date, which was at Saturn Grill. That was eight years ago.
“Our lives weren’t bringing us into the paths of single people with similar interests. We weren’t looking for a date. We were looking for something meaningful,” said Eyerman.
Time is likely the most precious commodity you invest in, and sharing it with a complete stranger to find out you’ve actually not a shred in common is not putting said time to adequate use.
Fortunately, this fast-paced life comes complete with a plethora of resources to help a person maintain quality in an efficient way.
Dating is no different. You wouldn’t buy a TV without reading reviews. You wouldn’t purchase a book without reading the back cover. Why would you ever go on a date without testing for basic compatibility?
“We live in an apartment downtown and will be starting a family soon. We love nature and art and animals, and we’re close to our families — common interests we discovered up-front on eHarmony,” said Richardson-Eyerman.
“Yes, we’re the cheesy people in the TV commercials. Cheesy and wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Eyerman.
And when it comes to building a long lasting relationship, common ground likely is the most important thing. Don’t think that online dating sites restrict the proclivity of love via the web.
Gamers, you, too, can have a storybook ending. Just ask Chesapeake Energy applications developer/analyst Jerry Nguyen.
“Your expectation of every player you encounter is the stereotypical assumptions that popular culture has of people who play [massively multiplayer online game]: male, 35-plus, overweight, unemployed. Looking for a significant other on an MMO is literally a shot in the dark,” said Nguyen.
Lucky for him, Megan Thomason had him at Ventrilo. (That’s a voice-over Internet protocol program for those not up on MMO terminology.)
“After Megan and I encountered each other in-game, it was particularly odd that she kept whispering me. The moment I heard her voice and realized she was a woman, a different type of attraction triggered: She was a woman and very skilled at this game,” he said.
Nguyen said that that their communication began to progress to talking outside the game via chat to webcam to texting and talking on the phone.
“The opportunity to meet in person was very spontaneous [about three months later],” he said. “She was moving to Dallas from New Jersey and didn’t have anyone to keep her company on the long car ride. I bought a plane ticket for the first flight the following morning to Philadelphia.”
In October 2010, Thomason moved to Oklahoma City. This fall, they’ll celebrate three years together.Sick of kissing frogs?
People are holding off on marriage longer than ever, according to the Census Bureau. And with alarming divorce rates, it's always a good idea to be certain of that big step. Jane Atkinson, author of “Frog Whisperer: A 3-Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love,” offers a few steps to avoid the “toads.”
1. Figure out what you're looking for.
Visualize what you're doing with that perfect person. Are you wine-tasting and pinky-popping while distinguishing that near-indistinguishable note in a full-bodied red? Then you probably don't want to date a person who doesn't drink.
2. Get happy in your own head.
Are you a miserable person who constantly spews negativity? Keep that to yourself, then. Or better yet, seek resolution.
3. Think you're ready? Test yourself!
• Are you happy with yourself?
• Are you looking for someone to rescue you or take care of you?
• Do you have room in your life for a relationship?
• Has enough time passed since your last relationship?
4. Now, get yourself fabulous.
Be the best you. Take an inventory of your attributes and decide whether you're attracting the right person.
5. Get out there!
Complaining about how you never meet people of interest? What'd you do last night? Oh, you sat on the couch.