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Online dating: Is the honeymoon over?

NBC's Janet Shamlian reports on the decline of Internet matchmaking and one bachelor's search for a mate


For NBC, I've driven race cars, weathered hurricanes, and searched for my lost luggage at the airport. But, this is one TODAY show story that had me completely in the dark. I'm sure my husband of 15 years will be pleased to know that my online shopping skills don't extend to Internet dating.

Cyberdating took off just six years ago, and it's already big business. Those subscription fees generated more than $500 million last year. But after years of double digit growth, the market grew just 9 percent in the last accounting — meaning love online may be in decline.

The reason isn't clear, but you don't have to be single to have heard the horror stories. Potential partners are sometimes masters of fiction, misrepresenting everything from their weight to their marital status. For all the transparency the Internet provides, it's also an enabler of deception.

Rich Levy was the bachelor I profiled, and by any definition, this guy's a catch. He's 31 and the owner of a handful of salad restaurants in Chicago, which is where he shared with me his war stories from the trenches of cyberspace. Among his dates was a woman who claimed online she was independently wealthy and then stole the money he'd left on the kitchen counter for his maid.

Levy says he's now off-line for good, and he's hired a professional matchmaking service called Selective Search. He's paying them 15 grand (not a typo) for 10 set-ups. To my single friends out there, women DON'T pay and the company has offices in six cities. Start dialing. I asked Rich about spending that kind of cash to meet women. “What price would you put on your eternal happiness?” he asked in reply.

A matchmaker isn't for everyone, but many are leaving dating sites in frustration. What's replacing them? In Chicago, a group of singles get together at a neighborhood club once a month for trivia games and scrabble. They call it “dating for nerds” ( ask friends to spread the word.

All issues notwithstanding, point and click dating does have its fans and a scrapbook of weddings. With that in mind, here are thoughts from the experts on how to avoid an online loser:

You've got to be a bit of a sleuth. Does his cell phone “not work” on nights and weekends? That's not a battery issue, ladies, that's a wife. A huge red flag should be flying if he says he doesn't have a recent photo. And just to clarify, while I'm using a male reference here, guys certainly don't have a lock on lying. Do you really weigh 110 or was that a decade ago? You get the picture.

Whether the meeting happened on the Internet or the corner cafe, one fact remains: In the search for happily ever after, we've all had a date with disappointment.



The Pros and Cons of Online Dating


Online dating allows singles, couples, or groups to meet each other online with the hopes of forming a social, romantic, or sexual relationship. Those that sign up with an online dating service typically provide information for other members to view in the form of a personal profile. This personal profile is the main deciding factor as to whether or not an online dater chooses to communication with another member of the online dating service.

Online dating, a relatively new form of social matchmaking, has both positive and negative aspects to it. Just as any sort of social interaction can have pros and cons, this is also true with online dating. Here is a list of some of the commonly understood pros and cons of online dating and internet matchmaking.

Pros of Online Dating

  • Dating sites can allow singles looking for a relationship to meet more people interested in dating than they would without this form of dating outlet
  • An online dater has a greater choice in who he or she meets because they are allowed to browse through several profiles before deciding to communicate, or they can deny communication with an interested party and still remain anonymous
  • Fear of rejection or social awkwardness can be reduced due to the fact that initial interaction through most online dating services is anonymous
  • Potential matches have a greater opportunity to get to know each others interests before put into the situation of physical interaction

Cons of Online Dating

  • Some members may join a site (particularly a free sign up) just to view profiles, whether or not they are interested in dating anyone
  • On several dating sites the number of men outnumber the number of women
  • Because of the anonymity of online dating, members may misrepresent themselves, particularly in their appearance, social and economic status, or, in some cases, age and gender
  • Some members may claim to be single when they are in fact married or in the process of a divorce
  • There are a few groups or indivudials that sign up for an online dating site in order to collect member’s email addresses or scam them out of money


SMS love

Blind dating


Blind dating

Blind dating is becoming more and more popular type of dating. It is mainly because everybody is too busy to spend time on searching for somebody and everything just happen when someone set up on a date through relatives, friends or any other third party.

Relatives or close friend always believe and think that they know the best who is the most suitable person to make a perfect couple. If your fellow who knows you for a long time, recommended set up a blind date for you, then it will a get topic for your consideration.

The biggest advantage of blind dating is that you may have no idea about the person who you are going to meet. You do know how the other person looks like, what does he/she likes, sometimes you do not even know the name. You just need to be at exact time at the particular place. Isn't it romantic?

There are also a chance, that you will know nothing about the person you are going out on a blind date. It can be somebody you have never spoke to or even met before. It is normal to be nervous about going on a blind date, so do not worry about that. The main reason it is mainly, because you do not know anything about the person you going to meet- and that shocks you. You do not know how you should act, what should you say, you do not know if you will like the person or the person will like you. But this is the main advantage of the blind dating, it gives you this passion and risk!

There are people who really love being set up on a blind date and many of them turn into successful and long-lasting relationships mainly if people who know you well set you two of you up.

Before the date try to get as much information that you can about your potential date. Moreover, before you go, be sure that your friends, who arranged everything, knows the other person well as well and told you everything that you have to know. It will help you to be more self confident and the date wouldn't be a bid disappointment.

However, even if both of you have decided that you are not a compatible couple or you do not have any future together as a couple, Do not worry! You might meet someone who will become a very special friend of yours in the long run so never be disappointed!