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Will you go to the dance with me? __Yes__No__Maybe

February 2, 2011

So the groundhog saw his shadow, or didn’t, and that means… Valentine’s Day is 12 days away!  And winter will end eventually.

Rather than a creative list of glittery, chocolaty, candle-lit gift ideas for your sweetheart (which we can totally do too – call me) let’s talk about FINDING a valentine. Online.

Online dating

The term ‘online dating’ causes some singles to shudder, but it’s really about embracing the 21st century. We do literally everything else online, so why not this? Besides, matchmaking has been going on for millennia, this is just done through mouse-clicks and algorithms instead of the village wisewoman.

Where to start

ConsumerSearch.com is a great resource for many things, including dating sites. They rate Match.com as the “best dating site overall”, eHarmony.com as the “best matchmaking site”, and OkCupid.com as the “best free dating site”.  Details below paired with quotes from some friends of mine, though not their real names.  

Match.com 
About $35/month
Pros: Lower subscription fee than some sites, excellent search options, diverse pool of members, mobile access, six-month guarantee.
Cons: Only paying members can send and reply to emails, automated matches aren’t based on science.

James says, “Match gives you the most flexibility to chose who you want to connect with based on looks, personality, interests, faith, etc. I personally think it has a reputation of being a site for people who are a little less serious about wanting to get into a committed relationship, though I do know people that have met on Match and are now married.”

eHarmony.com 
About $60/month
Pros: Good bet for long-term relationships, scientific approach to matching, guided communication process.
Cons: Expensive, no searching allowed, heterosexuals only, lengthy sign-up process, no mobile access. 

Anne says, “eHarmony caught my attention due to the intense screening. I felt safe meeting people on eHarmony and was impressed by how accurate my matches were.  It sure beat screening people at the bar! In less than 3 months, I started communication with and dating the man I now call my husband.”

OkCupid.com 
Free
Pros: Free, fast joining process, automated matching, flexible search options, no ad’s, integration with Facebook.
Cons: Relatively small pool of members, compatibility questions aren’t developed through research, no security verification.

Mary says, “While online dating site questionnaires can be tedious, it’s helping me figure out who I am and what I want in a partner. Plus, instead of screaming introductions over loud music or trying to get a moment alone with someone, you can muster up all the courage you need before sending an email or a wink into cyberspace. OkCupid is like your virtual wingman or gal pal – who helps you to avoid the losers and break the ice with the winners.”

More targeted matching

Of course, these aren’t the only dating sites available. There are literally hundreds and you can search sites specific to faith, ethnicity, orientation, and much more.

Whatever site you choose – good luck, and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.

Online dating successes or horror stories? Do tell.

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