What you see isn't always what you get with online dating. We hope there's truth-in-advertising, but these profile definitions may help you in your search for the perfect mate online.
Last Monday, Lori Gottlieb—author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough—joined us in a live telechat hosted by the dating makeover coach Kira Sabin and our own Melanie Gorman. She joined women across the country who were tuning in via their telephones and submitted herself to our questions and pleas for love enlightenment. The meat of her message? We're not keeping ourselves open to love.
Online dating. Yes. We said it. And, as it so happens, we've done it, too. The once super taboo, let's-come-up-with-another-story-about-how-we-met form of meeting people is becoming ever more popular in a culture that has less and less free time and fewer real opportunities to be introduced to the right people. We do everything else online—so why not meet people there, too? To all you single-and-looking ladies out there who might think, "Uh, I'm not sure if I'm ready for that," hopefully we can help ease you into it. Because as weirded out as our parents (and even our own friends) may be by the idea, the Matches, eHarmonys, and OKCupids of the dating realm will only become ever more prevalent in the coming years, especially for working—and over-worked—professionals. What's more, your pool of singletons has grown even larger in the past year, thanks to an economy-in-shambles. With less money to spend on entertainment (and let's face it, more time at home for those unlucky enough to have lost their jobs), people are spending more and more time online than out and about. Instead of their local watering hole, singles are perusing the online personals for dates. What does this mean for you? It means you've got more talent to choose from than ever before. And when it comes to finding your match, choice means the difference between swooning and settling.
Megan Capone, 34, had some experience with online dating when she first messaged now-husband Jim Capone on Match.com. "I thought he looked like a model," said the social media and marketing consultant and blogger. "I wrote, 'I'm impressed, how about you?'" Jim, 37, had been on Match for about six months and was taking a break from the site when he got Megan's message. "I wasn't even looking at the time," said Jim, who works for a financial software company. "She kind of tracked me down." The duo discovered they lived only five minutes from each other in Dracut, Mass., and grew up in neighboring towns with rival high school football teams. They started emailing almost daily and chatting on the phone after a week. Even though he was interested, Jim made Megan wait for a date. "Something I learned over the years is to be patient," he said. "We paced ourselves." When they met in person, they went to Barnes & Noble, then to an ice cream shop. It was while eating their treats that an endearing goof made Megan realize Jim was something special.