Looking for marriage? Many singles who seek The Ultimate Commitment head to eHarmony.com, where you'll be matched with dates according to the site's proprietary "29 Dimensions"—compatibility factors such as "cognitive mode," personal values and social coping skills (yep, this site was started by a clinical psychologist), which will be determined by a lengthy evaluation (set aside an hour) when you first join. These services come at a price—about $60 per month—but the site claims that a 2007 study showed 236 eHarmony members getting married every day. There are more women on this site than men, but everyone on eHarmony has one thing in common—they're serious about meeting a soul mate. Caveat: If you live in a sparsely populated area, you may not get any matches nearby, which will leave the site desperate to connect you with anybody.
"I got 'matched up' with people from two states away," says Bill. "I guess they overlooked the fact that I said I wanted someone within 20 miles."
Looking for a well-read hipster? Log on to Nerve.com's personals, where you can find a young (most members are in the 20 to 30 range) guy or gal with literary interests, tattoos and body piercings, or dominatrix tendencies—or perhaps all three. This site is especially handy if you're in a major urban area, like New York, and tends to attract smart, quirky individuals who are more likely to read Sartre and browse art galleries (the site also has writing, photography and blog sections) than spend the day camping in front of the tube watching the latest episode of American Idol. However, intelligent doesn't equal commitment-ready. "I'd take this more as a fun meeting-people site rather than somewhere to go for serious relationships," says Jessica. "But the people definitely have personality!"
Caveat: You can only contact someone when you've signed up for a membership…and, until then, the pictures you see of your potential mates are almost too small to decipher whether that's a really disfiguring scar or just a funny expression.