News & Politics

How To Get a Date Online

Many of us spend much time in front of a computer. It stands to reason that we might as well multi-task and meet someone there.

Online dating has a pretty unfair stigma attached to it. After all, most of us probably spend at least half our day in front of a computer, so it stands to reason that we might as well multitask and meet someone there while we’re at it! Whether you’ve tried it before and been burned, had mixed results or are an online dating virgin (probably the only time you’ll ever be able to use that word again), there’s never been a better time to try it than now. There are the traditional sites like and eHarmony (which has finally gotten with the program by offering same-sex matching), as well as niche sites like Millionaire Match for wealthy individuals, FarmersOnly for rural dwellers, and TrekPassions for sci-fi fans. Who knows? You might just find the perfect New Year’s Eve date … and didn’t you say you wanted 2009 to be a year of new experiences? If you’re still mouse-shy, try a few tips from dating expert Alison Roth, who has consulted for numerous sites, including JDate,, and Yahoo! Personals, and helps people write profiles that get real results. 

What are typical reservations and fears you observe in people during the first 30 days of dating online?

That it "means something about them" that they have to go online to find love/romance/a partner/sex. They are afraid that they won’t find anyone "like them" and that if anyone finds out, it will be embarrassing. Many people try online dating after trying more traditional means of meeting singles, and often come to the online dating experience a bit frustrated, wanting a magic bullet.

What are some of the common feelings and emotions associated with the first 30 days of posting a profile on an online dating site?

There is a lot of expectation, excitement, trepidation, obsession, frustration, confusion, judgment, fear and elation. It really runs the gamut. So much depends on the profile you write and the photo you post. The challenge is marketing yourself uniquely and specifically so you stand out and attract individuals who will respond to you and your singular profile. It is typical for the first 30 days to transition from fear and distrust to enjoyment and play, depending on the expectations you bring to the experience.

Are there common mistakes people make when posting a profile?

Yes, using old photos, bad photos and photos that misrepresent you. Writing profiles that are generic and bland, doing nothing to set you apart from the crowd or provide a hook to catch the partner you’re looking for.

People spend a lot of time investing in creating a virtual relationship -- and raising their expectations -- only to meet someone later on and be disappointed. People also spend hours talking on the phone and inventing a false sense of intimacy, only to meet in real life later and be disappointed. People become frustrated and indignant or despondent and discouraged when members don’t respond back to their email, without realizing they are way out of the desired age range or geographic locale of the apple of their eye.

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