SPECIAL REPORT: Looking for Love Online

By: Leigh Ashman Email
By: Leigh Ashman Email

If you're playing the dating game you've probably searched all over looking for love.

But have you tried the Internet?

11News Reporter Leigh Ashman took a look at looking for love online.
I wanted to know what works, who's out there, and why the perception of finding love online is changing.

LEIGH: "How do people react when you tell them how you met?

POLLY: "Usually, oh!"

GLENN: "Raised eyebrows and that 'I'm sorry' kind of thing."

POLLY: "Really? I get amazement. Like, oh my gosh, I never would have thought of that."

Meet Polly Perkins and Glenn Johnson.

They met on e–Harmony.com.

POLLY "We started communicating on a Sunday/Monday, talked on the phone on Tuesday and then we met the following... Monday?

GLENN: Mmmm hmmmm.

POLLY (Laughs.) After 20 hours of conversation on the phone."

POLLY "Basically, by the time we met each other face to face, we knew each other very, very well."

They found love on–line.

POLLY "It was fast and furious."

Fast and furious is right when it comes to a society in love with instant communication and technology and experts say Internet dating is just another form of social networking.

SHERI FISHER, Life Coach: "It's definitely an updated version of the classified ad. I think it's more interactive because the Internet is live and you can go on there and look at pictures and descriptions. With the social networking you can talk with a lot of people any time of day. So I do think it's just updating the way we use technology."

But since the advent of social networking, one has to ask if Internet dating still raises eyebrows.

SHERI: "People because they're more accustomed to the Internet and the power of the Internet it has changed. It's really broadened how people look at Internet dating."

When it first came out, online dating had the reputation of being for the desperate but a 2008 e–Harmony study says 19.4 percent of people met their spouse on the Internet. That's up 3.5 percent from 2005.

GLENN: "Internet dating is not a last resort. It's a reality of where our technology has brought us and is a wholesome, viable way to meet people. In fact, it's a way I would put in front of a lot of the traditional ways of meeting people."

The Internet puts a world of potential dates at your fingertips.

SHERI: "One of the things that I hear my clients say that are single and looking for a relationship is a real concern with where will I meet somebody."

Both Glenn and Polly were married before. And each has kids.

GLENN: "When you get to a little bit later in life, you don't have the social connections that you did when you were younger. You don't have your school, your sorority, your fraternity. Your social circles kinda die and end up being work, home and kids in our case."

But people of all ages and situations use Internet dating sites.

This is Joe Casciano. His profile is posted on Plenty Of Fish.com right now.

JOE: "I came here probably about a year ago for a new job and so not knowing many people I thought that it would be easier to meet some people online.

He says Internet dating seemed a better option than typical dating scenes.

JOE: "I don't think that you can really pick up much about someone at a bar except for just how they look, really when it comes down to it."

So he's posted his profile and tossed out a line.

Overall, the fishing's pretty good, resulting in several dates.

JOE: "I've typically talked to them for about a week or two and then we meet up."

Fisher says all personality types can make successful matches on the Internet.

SHERI: "There are some people who really like to read words and they want to understand. It's a very intellectual process. And then there's other people who want to feel what the other person's energy is like. They want to get a sense for who it is."

With so many sites, it's obvious there are plenty of fish in the sea.

So how do you set yourself up to catch one?

POLLY: "On a computer screen your personality needs to jump out."

SHERI: "Being honest with who you are and being able to project that. And I think some of it is marketing. I think you're marketing a product and your product is you. You want to be out there truthfully and honestly. But also what it is that you have to offer."

Most sites prompt you through setting up a profile, helping you to market yourself.

Fisher says have a friend read through and edit your profile, then have them snap a flattering picture.

SHERI: "I think you can still have a good communication if you don't know what the person looks like but I think that a picture is worth a thousand words."

Whether or not you post a picture is up to you, but everyone agrees on one thing... honesty.

They all say you have to be honest about who you are and what you're looking for.

Because when you are, you increase your chances of finding that perfect match. (Leigh Ashman & Brandon Fitch, met online.)

POLLY: "If they're at all tempted, they should try it. Because you never know what's gonna happen."

GLENN: "We're proud of our story. I mean, it's fun to tell. It was something neither one of us ever expected."

Both Joe and Sheri advise that before going on a date you should read over the safety tips most sites provide when it comes to meeting someone in person.

And I will vouch for Joe… he seems like a great guy!

For all the single ladies out there, he’s pretty specific in his profile. He’s looking for a girl with a heart of gold.

And congratulations to Polly and Glenn, they’re set to get married later this fall.

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