Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Online Dating Success

It's been over a year since I have written an entry to this blog.  Things are pretty much the same, but everything has changed.  I still love wandering near and far to experience the wonder of new places, people and things, but I am no longer alone in my journeys.

I am engaged to a wonderful man, who I met almost two years ago, Mitch.  You may have noticed him in some of my earlier posts.  We met through Match.com, an online dating service, in December of 2011.  I tried different online dating services (eHarmony, FitnessSingles, JustLunch, and Match) for a couple of years.  I met a number of interesting people, some good and some well, um... lets just stay with interesting, in search for Mr. Right.  Mitch on the other hand, only dated one person he met online, me.

Its difficult to meet eligible men with common interests and values.  Online dating was an efficient way to meet someone.  I found success once I was willing to be honest not only about who I was and what I wanted, but also, what I was willing to give in a relationship.  It took me a while to figure out what this meant for me.  I couldn't do this until I had had a better understanding of me.  The people I met, good or bad helped me with this process. 

If you do try online dating, be safe.  Don't give too much personal information about where you live, and your real identity.   Your first meeting should be somewhere public, and have a plan to end the meeting if things don't go well.  Always tell a friend who, where, and when you are meeting. 

Up to date photos help in getting to know a potential date.  You know the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words.  Its true.  In fact, my cover photo on this blog was also on my dating profile.  It's what hooked Mitch.  In the background of the uncropped photo is Tuckerman's Ravine at Mt. Washington.  It's one of his favorite hikes as well as mine.  It gave us a common point of interest to begin our conversation.

I'll give you my review of 4 different dating sites I tried: 

FitnessSingles is set up to help individuals find someone who share a common sport or hobby.  You specify if you are just looking for someone from a training partner to a spouse.  You do the search for a partner who meets your criteria.

Just Lunch is a matchmaking service, with real people help you find Mr./Ms. Right.  My experience; I spoke with a someone on the phone who acted like they would be my matchmaker.  After an incredible sales pitch, I signed up and paid an expensive fee.  A few days later, a 2nd person called to interview me.  She set up an in-person meeting with a 3rd Just Lunch person authenticate my identity.  They also did a criminal.  Finally a 4th Just Lunch person was my telephone based matchmaker.   This 4th person, never interviewed me and lived in another state.  It seemed like she was doing the search for me from a very small pool of potential candidates on their own computer network.  They sent me on 3 blind dates at specified restaurants for not lunch, but dinner.  I had little in common with any of the 3 men.  The positive things I can say about this service; anonymity was maintained, and my dates were screened for a criminal record.

eHarmony offered computer selected dates based on a compatibility profile screen.  Only men the computer determined were compatible saw my dating profile.  The computer generated dates didn't place enough significance on some of the areas that were important to me, like fitness, healthy lifestyle, activity level, my sports and hobbies.

Match seemed somewhere in between.  They suggested potential partners based on a shorter compatibility profile, and offered options to search for partners based own my own criteria, or just browse all profiles.  They have the largest number of members, and the greatest public exposure.  I rarely found their "matches" helpful. 

In fact, Mitch found me doing his own search.  We chatted online a few times, then met for coffee.  We enjoyed each others company and set up a ski date later that week.  I bet you can never guess where.....  Yes Killington.  He drove up for the day to ski with me and we clicked.  We have only dated each other ever since.  This summer he proposed to me on the K-1 Gondola. Who knows, maybe we will get married there as well?