Caught in the Web

Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places?

by Laura Emery, Field Editor



Dating has gone digital.

With online-dating websites, you might be able to find that unique person who gets what you’re all about, quirks and all. And Internet dating is for singles of all ages. Following is a selection of popular contemporary online-dating sites.

Launched in 1995, this is one of the most recognized dating services worldwide. features an easy-to-use website, which allows you to simply type what you’re looking for and get an instant list of matches by profile details or just photos. 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.

MatchMaker features a user-friendly site and offers one of the most in-depth profiles on the web.

This popular dating site has thousands of new profiles added every week, so residents of all but the smallest towns 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.

eHarmony is 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), eHarmony analyzes your answers, looks at certain preferences you set (such as how far away your matches can be, whether you care if they have children, etc.), and gives you a list of people you should be compatible with.

Is there only one match out there for each of us? Dr. Helen Fisher,’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 name. The sign-up process is involved, but you’ll probably find it fun and enlightening if your goal is to be matched with people on more than just the simplest of criteria. 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.


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