Your Match on
the World Wide Web
Laura Emery, Field Editor
Looking for love … in all the wrong
places? In this day and age of quick fixes, people are turning to an unusual
matchmaking source: the World Wide Web.
This isn’t a new concept; people have
been making online connections for many years now. But the relationship
matching of today looks a lot different than the online dating services of
the 1990s. Online dating has become more mainstream and may even one day
become the norm for singles to find compatible matches.
With online dating Web sites, you might
be able to find that unique person who understands what you’re about,
quirks and all … that person who finishes your sentences, who isn’t
mortified when you make a social blunder, and whose smile you’d like to
wake up to every day.
And the Internet dating concept
doesn’t belong to the young. There are more and more seniors seeking love
online in matchmaking environments created with them in mind.
As with anything, there are also
potential dangers in Internet dating. It’s a good idea to always be alert
to suspicious activity, and do some research on how to stay safe while
Every year, hundreds of thousands of
people find love on Match.com. Match.com is a pioneer in the Internet dating
industry, launching in 1995 what is now the most recognized dating service
worldwide. Today it serves more than 15 million singles in 37 countries.
Match.com can help you find the date or
relationship that fits you best. Search free through millions of online
Match.com’s best feature is
undoubtedly its easy-to-use Web site, which allows you to simply type what
you’re looking for and get an instant list of matches by profile details
or just by photos. Match.com also gives you side-by-side comparisons of your
own requirements and the requirements of potential dates. This allows you to
consider (or quickly discard) profiles.
eHarmony is very different from other
online dating sites. For starters, you can’t browse other peoples’
profiles. Instead, after filling out a lengthy questionnaire (more than 250
questions, though they’re almost entirely multiple choice and quick), the
service looks at your answers, looks at certain preferences you can set (for
example, how far away your matches can live), and gives you a list of people
you should be compatible with.
eHarmony is an explicitly
marriage-minded service that was designed to reduce the divorce rate by
creating stronger marriages, and its founder, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, is an
evangelical Christian and former seminary dean.
Forbes recently named MatchMaker one of
the “Best Online Dating Services.” MatchMaker’s two best features are
its user-friendly site and the fact that it offers one of the most in-depth
profiles on the Web. The profiles start with an extensive questionnaire
followed by an essay. Although the essay is optional, it is the best way to
share your core interests and values, and facilitates your match to singles
who share them.
Once you enter the first page of
information, you’ll move on to a series of forms where you are asked to
give typical online dating information, such as your age and location. They
also have a few more in-depth questions that are worth your time to answer
if you want potential matches to view more than a bare-bones description of
The popular dating site has thousands of
new profiles added every week, so most anyone should have no problem finding
local people to check out. Free members can let others know they are
interested, but they must upgrade to a paid membership in order to
communicate beyond that.
MatchMaker also supports voice
greetings, automatic little messages you can use to spice up your profile.
Another feature allows you to check how many times your profile has been
Yahoo! Personals http://personals.yahoo.com
Yahoo! Personals gives you an audience
filled with local singles, the tools to find and meet single women and
single men, and various features that help you find your love match. It is
one of the leading online dating sites, particularly due to its refined
search engine, which allows you to view and organize your search through a
variety of options, such as age, living area, interests, and other
For those looking for more than casual
dating, Yahoo! Personals Premier offers a more extensive character profile,
a highly developed matching system (personality and shared values are two of
the bases for matches), and a large database of singles who are looking for
a serious relationship.
Is there only one match out there for
each of us? Dr. Helen Fisher, Chemistry.com’s chief scientific advisor,
doesn’t think so. Dr. Fisher believes there are multiple people in the
world who are compatible for each of us, but she thinks there is more to
finding a person like that than searching for someone who has a big list of
things in common with you. You’ve got to have chemistry — hence the
This site’s registration process is
one of the most in-depth of any such matchmaking service, but you’ll
probably find it fun and enlightening if your goal is to be matched with
people on more than the simplest of criteria. You’ll be asked some unusual
questions like these: Is your index finger shorter or longer than your ring
finger? Which of these smiles are fake? How do you feel when you see a
public display of affection?
To enhance your privacy, only your
fellow paying Chemistry members are able to initiate contact with you. Plus,
your photo is revealed only when you’re comfortable doing so.