Have you tried an online dating site?

I’d like to start this week’s post with a quick poll. I want to know how many of you have actually tried to find a partner on an online dating site like Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, etc. Please take a moment to vote to share where you are on the online dating fence:

Up until very recently, my opinion of online dating was exceptionally low. I thought it was dangerous and a tactic only desperate people considered trying. It took a few really close friends, who were candid about and unashamed of their experiences, to change my mind. Their direct experiences showed me firsthand that both of my assumptions about online dating were quite erroneous (though there are always exceptions).

Even though I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an online dating convert, I now see the value of dating online. Here’s a list of what I think are some of the pros of online dating:

1.) Everyone has deal breakers, and some of those deal breakers are pretty easy to spot right off the bat on people’s online dating profiles. Some of mine include smokers, moderate to excessive drinkers, conservative political stance, and excessive partiers. I can screen for stuff like that quite easily with a dating website, whereas in “real life” dating, those topics may not come up until feelings are already invested, making them really easy to ignore.

2) Let’s be honest — it’s tough to find someone willing to take the time to actually get to know you before they try to find out what color your sheets are. If you take your time, online dating can take those awkward “ahem, please don’t touch me there yet …” moments out of the equation. (I learned this the hard way when I met up with a guy after talking for just a couple of days. I was a newbie to online dating, so that was my mulligan. Anyway, it wasn’t technically a date — more of an informal meet-and-greet to see if we actually wanted to go on a date. However, when we were saying goodbye in the parking lot, he tried to kiss me — not once, but twice. I could forgive the first attempt, but after my initial bob and weave to avoid the first kiss, I was flabbergasted he gave it another shot. Since then, I’ve definitely slowed the pace down significantly).

3) Rejection is brutal, whether you’re receiving it or dishing it out. Though some people have serious issues with rejection period (I’ve received plenty of snarky messages from guys I’ve politely turned down), the blow of rejection (or the guilt of rejecting) is softened by the distance the world wide web provides.

4.) Work/life balance is just plain hard to achieve, and that means sometimes that leaves little room for dating. I don’t know about all of you, but I just don’t have the time to go on dates to find out if I’m compatible with someone. This point harkens back to the first pro I listed — rather than wasting your precious time on dates with people who are nowhere near a good match for you, your dates will (ideally) be more productive. I know from personal experience this isn’t always the case, but I feel much more prepared going into dates with people I’ve met online because I’ve got way more background info on them than I did, say, on my now ex who I met in a bar and exchanged numbers with.

5.) Okay, so most people who have met me think I’m full of BS when I say I’m really shy, but I truly am incredibly, painfully shy. Networking events are my own personal hell, which means I am absolutely incapable of asking a guy out in person. Many of my friends are also really, really shy, and they too have found online dating to be the solution for this shyness. In fact, one of my best male friends, who is hi-lar-ious and wonderful, does not feel comfortable asking a girl out in person at all, but he is now officially dating someone thanks to an online dating site.

These are just a few of the pros of online dating as I see them. What other pros would you add?

I also think there is a laundry list of cons to online dating, but that’s another story …. (well, many other stories, most of them categorized in the horror genre)

Love and the interwebs,

Mika

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~ by Mika Doyle on July 23, 2010.

148 Responses to “Have you tried an online dating site?”

  1. There is hope of finding someone in a non-tradional way. I wrote about it on my blog. Good Luck!

  2. Here it is. http://duke1959.wordpress.com/
    I am stil somewhat new at this blog stuff and getting things set up right.

  3. I know that is where my father and step mother met and they are perfect for each other. I guess when you live in a small town the interenet can be a great way to meet people. However, I still think that it can be dangerous and most need to be very very careful when choosing to meet up for the first time!

    • It’s great to hear another success story, but I completely agree that it can be dangerous. That’s one of the main reasons I stayed away from it for so long. I plan on doing a full post on the cons of online dating, so please feel free to share more of your thoughts! I’d love to hear them.

  4. YOu are right. The thing for my now wife is that we were older than most people.

  5. Just be truthful to who you are. The rest of the world will probaly not like it. Keep in mind when you lay your head on your pillow at night you have to live with the choices you made that day. Not anyone else. I do look at those sights sometimes. It is a minefield.

  6. My Now Husband Dan and I met on Match.com in December 2002. We married in May 2006. There are ways to be foolish on internet dating sites and ways to be smart. I’ve heard the horror stories, but I also know many people who met wonderful partners that way.

    • Wow, congratulations!! Do you mind sharing with us some tips on how you were able to have such success with online dating?

      • I was pretty selective about the men I would respond to. Then, after one or two emails, it was time to talk via phone. If the conversation went well, I said, “Let’s meet in person.” All this was to eliminate the men who weren’t serious about finding someone. The meetings were usually for coffee and were always close to my office so in one hour I could say “Whoops, gotta get back to work!” My goal during face-to-face meetings was to focus out, to find out what was amazing about that person. With that goal, the meetings were never boring. I do believe that people are only as boring as we make them. I asked serious (but not threatening!)open-ended questions right from the start. Like if a man said he was divorced I would ask “What happened to your marriage?” If he answered “I don’t know” or blamed his ex, this wasn’t the man for me. After 18 months, I met my husband. During all that time, I only had one negative experience.

  7. I knew two men at my last job that tired dating sites. One, they told him “sorry, we can’t find you a match”. The other met a creepy obsessive girl, which is perfect because he is creepy and obsessive himself. I also had a friend who tried meeting women through myspace/facebook, and he would bring home women who were basically psychotic criminals. I would tell anyone to be careful and keep their guard up. There are some things you pick up about a person face to face that are unrevealed on a computer screen.

    • There are some things you pick up about a person face to face that are unrevealed on a computer screen.

      That is so so so so true. One of the things I was always told by my online dating comrades was that meeting in 3D is ESSENTIAL – it’s totally different than 2D. And I experienced that – the 3D meeting was the dealbreaker…there was no spark at all. Nothing.

  8. In the end my wife and I had to meet face to face. Under the Arch in St. Louis. That’s a pretty open place. This is an interesting subject.

  9. Interesting post. 🙂 It seems to me that maybe at the end of it all, online dating present another avenue or option to explore… and it suits some more than others as I’ve heard a fair share of both good and bad experiences with regards to online dating.

    Cheers, Niconica
    http://niconica.wordpress.com

  10. P.S. And sometimes, it seems to be just about luck. Lol. 🙂

  11. My girlfriend and I met on an online dating site. That was 10 years ago and we are still together.

  12. Nice read!
    -Noor
    http://noor724.wordpress.com/
    🙂

  13. I tried a dating site AFTER trying two others that I hated, and the “in-person” dating process was a bust. My non negotiable is the guy HAS to e Christian, so I signed p for Christian Mingle – my third attempt at online dating. I really enjoyed the site. Initially there is an excitement of looking through all these profiles. When that wears off, Christian Mingle has a message board community that I fell in love with. I ended up spending a lot of my time and making friends on the message board. I just ended my membership, but I’ve met a wonderful Christian guy through the site that I am now seeing. I would advocate an open mind and give it a whirl – this is how a LOT of people are meeting these days…

  14. Good article Mika. I’ve tried online dating a handful of times over the last few years and have dated four women from it – two short term just for fun and two were long term (half year or more) that I had real loving relationships with. And I won’t EVER online date again. Ever. Never ever never.

    In my experience in my town of 360,000 people I’ve noticed a very real lowering of the quality of the women that are online this time around. I’ve met for a first date with a further half dozen women who I would never have remotely given the time of day to in real life but online and based on their profile/selected pictures they seemed like quite the catch. And I’ve ruled out a handful more just talking on the phone because from their profiles you’d get the impression that they were active, outgoing and had a great personality but in reality, that was just made up so it seemed like they had a life.

    I’m a firm believer in that you ‘bring about what you think about’ but I just can’t think positive about online dating. Just too many nut jobs, liars, people who have no real interest in meeting, email collectors, people using old (read: thinner and prettier) pictures, attention hounds, etc… Sure there are some awesome people to be met but the time and effort that it takes to find the needle in a haystack is just much to involved. Instead of investing hours and days and then weeks to find that one ‘maybe’ think of all the people you could be chatting with and meeting out there in the real world, you know, just having fun being being a human.

    Best of luck!

  15. Great post! I have tried dating online and I am a fan. I agree with your pros…and feel that there are a lot of good reasons for busy people to try this way of finding someone. I met my fiance online and we’ve been together for 3 years now, and planning to get married soon!

  16. I tried a few internet dating sites on and off throughout my 20’s. At first, I had the same reservations as you, but I also saw some of the same benefits you did. Overall, I found the experience to be a positive one. I had one long-term relationship result from an online site. In the end, I wound up meeting my fiance through a friend, but I have at least one friend who met her husband on Match.com. Good luck!

  17. As one of the previosu pots said you must set rules for how you approach this or any other dating situation.

  18. Hi Mika, love your post…very honest and thoughtful. I hear good and bad stories about online dating every day and I think the key is to give anything a chance and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t feel bad about moving on to something else. There are people who don’t like online dating and think there’s something wrong with them because everyone else says how great it is. Ditto for singles events, speed dating, blind dating, and on and on. I write a blog for GreenlightCard.com (the blog is on wordpress- greenlightcard.wordpress.com), which offers a new idea in dating that is catching on quickly–dating cards. We now have a bunch of competitors and NYT wrote about dating cards in yesterday’s fashion section. My blog covers all kinds of musings on dating and meeting people, putting yourself out there (it’s hard!), etc. Hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think!

    • What a great concept! I looked up that NYT article you referenced and am completely intrigued. Thank you so much for sharing. This is an option I didn’t know was out there, and now I’m even considering trying it out myself.

  19. From a woman’s point of view and not meant to offend men out there who have integrity.

    It may not be an issue with the younger crowd, but from an older woman’s experience, I find that many men lie about their age. (If they lie about their age, you can bet they will lie about other things as well.
    A) Ask up front if the age on their profile is correct. (I have never seen a man lie about their age to make themselves older!)

    Dating websites are like “eye” candy stores. Many men become addicted and use them as a source of entertainment, (I speak from experience, having had a relationship with someone who could not wean himself off these sites.) They might say they want a long term relationship when they don’t intend to be monogamous.
    B) Ask the person if they will delete their profiles once they are in an intimate relationship.

    C) And, of course meet in a public place, preferably during the day. Meep your first few dates light. Meet somewhere besides one or the other’s homes. Men will be men!
    I have enjoyed my experience on dating websites and though I have not yet found the love of my life, I have met some very good friends.

  20. I have tried 4 dating sites and they all have failed:
    okcupid.com
    plentyoffish
    geek2geek
    zoosk

    Eharmony said I was “unmatchable”

    I have yet to find someone who meets who i am looking for: a video game loving, anime loving, girl who doesn’t want kids..thats the basics of what i am looking for

    trust me that is hard than you may think to find…

  21. Depending on how far you want to take this… Sheldon (from The Big Bang Theory) is one of the most eccentric TV characters you will ever watch and in the season finale of the third season, his friends sign him up (unbeknownst to him) for an online dating site, and then blackmail him into meeting the woman who was chosen for him (through science, lol). The show ends with them meeting and they are astoundingly a match for each other.
    My point is not that we can learn that online dating is “good” because it’s on TV, but if a character like Sheldon can find someone through online dating, then I think it’s possible for anyone to find someone through online dating. 🙂

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  22. I scored a Doctor on OKCupid. We broke up when I left for school in a different state and his residency ended and he moved as well.

    Now I’m dating a Manhattan Lawyer, also met on OKCupid.

    Internet dating is good stuff. ‘Spesh when its free.

  23. I definitely recommend okcupid.com as well. Realized me and a friend were highly compatible, plus met a few friends from it already as well just from the matching questions and such.

  24. You summed things up very well and my experiences mirror yours so far. I’m enjoying meeting new people and going out on dates and haven’t had a bad one yet thanks to the screening process online dating lends itself too 🙂

  25. I agree with the list of pros and cons although I blogged about my own experience on my blog here, titled “Dear match.com, I might deserve a refund…” it doesn’t give every detail but I can say at this moment, I will not online date again.

  26. I’ve actually done an expo series about Online Dating Sites via my podcast…here is a link to the first episode in the expo… http://podcast.com/episode/57919357/213043/ it runs for 4 episodes…. have a listen, feel free to bounce back any comments…

  27. I agree with many of your points here, especially the ease of weeding out deal breakers (I think this is probably one of the very best things about online dating!). I am actually on Plenty Of Fish, and I think that I would have more succes with a paid site like eHarmony or Match. My main complaint with online dating is that you can really get interested in someone by emaailing and talking online, but then meet them and have no chemistry AT ALL. And that’s kind of a let down – kind of makes you wish you could do the entire relationship online LOL. Plus, from my experience, there are some serious tools online, and I recapped some of my early experiences with online dating here. http://simplysolo.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/plenty-of-fish-roundup/
    Keep writing the blog – love it! I’ll keep reading.

  28. No, but I have more than one friend who has met that “special someone” online, one that has even gotten married. It can work.

  29. I tried the whole dating website thing, and while I ended up meeting someone who became a very close friend, I also ended up with a stalker, a woman who assaulted me on a date, and a bunch of people who I had no chemistry with. Granted, I understand that sometimes you have to weed through the garbage before finding the person you’re meant to be with, but after spending three years on a few different sites, I’ve lost most hope in online dating.

  30. neh. never have. never will. dont believe in this i guess 😛 please do check up on my blog, http://www.afuzzyrants.wordpress.com. call this “shameless self-promotion” 😛

  31. If you’re worried about your significantly large list of deal breakers, the answer doesn’t necessarily lie within an online dating site. There are cheaper ways to go about screening to your liking. Take these two, for instance:

    1) Be more bold and direct- ask. Communication is key, yeah? So if you’re too afraid to ask about something that would, in fact, be a deal breaker later on, the potential for the relationship to go anywhere is already at a stale mate.

    2) Be less picky and more realistic. If you’re on an online dating site, it likely means you’ve failed elsewhere with other dating mediums (may or may not be true for everyone). The problem might be you, not the potential perfect partner you’re seeking. Try to flatter yourself less by being more option to possibility with Mr./Mrs. Inevitably Imperfect With The Potential for Something Close To It.

    Smileyface =]

  32. Hi Mika,
    Last year I wrote a post for women on why they shouldn’t look for love on the internet. It’s a year later and I still feel the same way. In a society where men are skilled in the art of faking relationships, online dating sites allow them to cast an even larger net of deception. For the purpose of my post I even ran some ads to see what wording would attract the most responses from women worldwide. Online dating has its ups and downs but there are far more downs than most want to admit. I hope you don’t mind if I post the link for you to read the post for yourself to see if you agree. I’ve also added your site to my blogroll for my readers to discover, I think they will enjoy visiting here. http://anonymousmale1.wordpress.com/2008/03/08/seeking-love-on-the-internet-and-why-its-a-bad-idea/

    thanks,

    Anonymousmale1

  33. Most people think that connecting with the right partner is all about chemistry. It’s actually about math. Connecting with the right person is a numbers game. I have developed what I call the law of Thirds. And I would know I went on at least 65 first dates in my first two years post divorce using both internet and matching making services. I’ve certainly learned a lot – most of my experiences were good. I’ve had two men fly across the country to meet me and another two cross oceans. It makes for sometimes humourous and sometimes hysterical blog posts. If you like, here’s a link to the law of thirds…http://cafegirlchronicles.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/practice-makes-perfect/

  34. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tobias Honeycutt, shanniece kovalaski, Anna Jamie, Demetrius Alexander, Heather Ritz and others. Heather Ritz said: Have you tried an online dating site? « Inspire Rockford http://bit.ly/cGDThA […]

  35. I’m actually taken lol but I think I would be kinda nervous to do an online dating site. I have met some people who have been successful though.

  36. I’ve had successes with online dating, and lack of success. Beyond the obvious skills in representing yourself well (and filtering out problematic matches), over time, there’s no question that where you live and age range (for women) become factors.

    The bottom line is demographics. At a certain point, women are less marketable, and options narrow unlike for the men. It’s true in the online dating world in this country, just as it is in the “real” world.

  37. I happen to be married…Thank God don’t need to…but some of my friends have tried eharmony and haven’t had any luck yet, sorry to say! It’s so hard these days to find good a partner!

    evelyngarone.com

  38. I love the post! I blogged about the pros and cons of different dating sites on my blog too- http://nelleytimes.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/how-to-pick-up-guys-and-other-inanimate-objects/. I’m currently trying PoF without much luck. I hope fate can intervene and find me that special someone cuz online dating is a lot of work!
    cheers,

  39. My husband and I met on HotorNot.com four years ago. Yep, the rate this person pic from 1 to 10 website. It was the LAST place I expected to meet anyone, but glad I’m did. We didn’t tell our family that’s where we first met until we announced our engagement, and we got married last year. No one thought twice about it though since it was obvious that we were happy and in love. I’ve had online profiles, as well as known a lot of others with them. As long as you’re careful and make smart choices, I think its something that can work out.

  40. Here is the result of me accepting a date with a man I met on a dating website — Result of Date: No Sparks :http://wp.me/pY8MO-b5 — that one happened just last night.

    And here’s a bit of my recent experience with online dating — Lazy Losers, Liars and Letches…the Beauty of Online Dating: http://wp.me/pY8MO-aD.

  41. Surprisingly I went on craigslist personals as a joke with my friend, but I ended up meeting my boyfriend on there and we’re still together since February. He was on there just for fun, too. It’s not only that we’re in an internet age, but just a matter of being in the right place (or website) at the right time. : )

    MISS T

  42. I’ve actually being on “POF”. I went on it as an experiment to see if I could actually meet someone I liked! Well I did. He is now a friend of mine,and the relationship is platonic (was from day 1). A friend of mine is actually in a very good relationship with someone she met on “POF”.

  43. I have to laugh at this, last night I went on a date with a guy from Okcupid… he was pretending to be straight… he was GAY! TG I’m dating more than one at a time…

  44. I am so surprised after having voted on your survey that most of the people answered YES! ( I voted NO by the way…) I must be so old-fashioned….

  45. Half the fun is discovering something about someone – online dating ticks so many boxes beforehand you narrow down the chances of that discordant bell of attraction. It sort of takes the serendipity out of it all – so I prefer old school!

  46. Great write up..there definitely are pros and cons to online dating. For now I’m gonna stick to the old fashioned way of doing things, but I do see the advantage of joining an online dating site.

  47. Yup ^^ Those are some of the pros I would’ve listed for online dating ^^
    Golly, what the internet can do 🙂

    But still, that doesn’t mean you still can’t be careful. You can have fun to who you’re talking to, but never forget to be careful and just don’t “fling” out your personal info and such! ^^”

  48. I met my husband on a dating website…we’re currently divorcing after five years together, although I don’t think meeting on a dating site had anything to do with it.

    I’m at it again, met someone in February, we’ve seen one another off and on ever since, platonic, but interested, just taking it very slowly.

    I’m in my 50’s and to me, the best things about dating web-sites have been mentioned in the main post. How does someone my age meet someone anyway? I’m certainly not interested in hanging around in bars anymore or other places where there is a possibility of meeting ‘eligible’ men – it’s a lot different than when I was in my 20’s. Except the lovely man I’m seeing is in his mid-40’s. 🙂 We’re both ok with that.

    I’m into honesty – after 15 years of belonging to different forums and web-sites, I’ve always tried to be honest in any profile – I’ve ‘met’ friends (men and women) on-line who are actually jerks, but they’re the ones with the problem, not me…and I’ve usually figured out they’re jerks before I’ve met them in person. I’ve made quite a few women friends (people who’ve become real friends in real life) after establishing a friendship on-line first, and a few duds as well. I think it’s all about being honest and keeping your eyes open, instincts at the ready…

  49. I think the main problem with dating the old fashioned way is that we are just too damn busy to do it. I can’t date someone who I meet as a client, that’s unethical, and I don’t want to date guys from bars either, that just seems a bit shady too. There aren’t many other ways to meet people, and if there are, I don’t have the time for it… and like you said, many other people don’t have time for it either. Would love to see the con list too, I love funny internet dating stories gone wrong.

    • Hi, Sarah! The con list will be next week’s post. My column “Love-Drunk or Hungover” goes up on Fridays, so be sure to check back. I asked for online dating stories from my facebook friends, so I’m hoping to incorporate some of them into the cons post.

  50. Just wanted to add to your list of pro’s: Online dating through a website actually verifies that person you may or may not be interested is actively looking for some sort of relationship. Sometimes it’s really fantastic that you met that amazing someone in a coffee shop in passing, only to find out he was engaged and just didn’t want to tell you to your face.

    I met my partner through an online classified section. I couldn’t be happier that I took the leap to sign up.

  51. I met my husband online via Yahoo Personals. I did try eHarmoney and Match.com thinking that the “pay” sites would be safer because really, what serial killer would leave that kind of paper trail behind. I met some pretty interesting people.. some who are still “friends” .. I was monkeying around on Yahoo one night .. one of those 2am too-much coffee nights .. and just happened to see my husband’s too hysterical profile.. I responded just to say that I found what he wrote funny and we started communicating from there. We’ll be married 3 years this August.

    I think the old rules still apply .. namely, you’ll find someone when you’re not looking.. and that regardless of how you meet someone, safety should always be the primary concern.

  52. I never tried a site, but my girlfriend did suss me out by reading my blogs. She knew a lot more about me in the beginning then I did her. So I guess this is more a half-and-half answer.

  53. No,I met someone in that.Now she my wife.
    http://www.razorpromodel.net

  54. Interesting post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I’ve never tried online dating myself, but can see how some of the pros mentioned might be a reason to try it out. I’ve gotta wonder though, when you’re only meeting people who appear to be a perfect match on paper (or web), doesn’t that take away little bit of the magic of meeting someone new? How about the idea of opposites attract? If we’re too busy to try something or someone out, how will we ever learn what we’re really looking for?

    Natina

    http://crosswordcharlie.wordpress.com/

    • Thanks for the congrats! It’s my first ever Freshly Pressed post, so it was a big day for me :). And I totally hear you on the whole opposites attract thing, so much so that I even did a past post on it: https://igniterockford.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/opposites-attract/. I think one of the reasons I have so much trouble with online dating is because I don’t want to date a carbon copy of myself. I tried eHarmony for a very, very brief stint (maybe not even long enough to give it a fair shake), but I got annoyed really quickly because they kept matching me with people who are just like me. I don’t want to date myself! If I did, I’d just say single! 😛

      • Lucky you; I’m still waiting for my first Freshly Pressed ! 🙂 Your Opposites Attached blog, by the way, was another good take on dating and relationships.

        Following the invention of the Internet, the way our society, culture, and individual lives operate was bound to change. We’re able to connect with people we never otherwise would have and take paths never before possible. I suppose it’s happened throughout history from the time of the Neanderthals. However, I still can’t help being a traditional girl regardless. Overcoming shyness, confronting rejection and kissing a few frogs is part of what makes us who we are….though from the sounds of it, online dating can be a challenge by itself! 🙂

        Natina

  55. In real estate, we ask, what were your neighbors like where you last lived? Well, that’s what they will be like wherever you move.

    Same thing is true of dating. Withing 24 hours of signing up for plentyofish I met a man in my small community. Wonderful man, with whom I had nothing in common. That’s all I needed to know.

    Does anybody know how to get off plentyofish? They won’t let me quit.

    • Hi, there! I tried plenty of fish and was able to cancel my account. What kind of trouble are you having? I haven’t been on the site in quite some time, but maybe I can help.

  56. very informative
    (^_^)

  57. I met my ex-husband through the newspaper. I’ve tried dating online, but the guys don’t ever look like their picture. I finally stopped the online-trying-to-find-a-date. I’d have be hit of the head with a sledge hammer to go back to the online personals.

  58. I’m impressed Mika.
    Nice survey.
    Infact i’ve never being indulged in this b4,
    but after reading to your blog i’m interested in this online dating business.
    Can you please give me idea of some online dating sites?

    • Hi, Harshal! There are TONS of online dating sites out there, both free and paid. A few free dating sites include OKCupid and Plenty of Fish. Some paid sites include Match, Chemistry, and eHarmony. If you’re thinking of trying online dating, just take it slow and remember to always be cautious with your personal information. Good luck!

  59. Hmmmm…. In my opinion these sites are great places for people invent a new persona for themselves. It’s too easy to lie and too easy to hide personality problems. My ex has successfully used a dating site to meet a new partner and she’s still blissfully unaware of his violent and psychopathic tendencies after 6 months of dating.
    I have several friends who’ve tried dating sites recently and I’ve even tried it myself once to prove a point to them. Of course there are genuine, good people out there on dating sites but I reckon the odds are stacked against you finding one. I figure these places contain 10% normal and 90% dodgy! You’ll get better odds in the real world.
    My last poll amongst friends who had used dating sites came up with the resounding opinion that they should be called ‘Nutters R Us’ Please be very vigilant.

  60. Some of my friends an I have found success at PondIGo. It is a dating website for graduates of top colleges and grad programs, so if you’re looking for someone as smart as you are, try the first 3 months free at http://www.pondigo.com

  61. There is no doubt that it works and it has lost most if not all the stigma associated with it by virtue of the fact that it has become mainstream. As you discovered, several of your friends were already using online dating. It’s not a universal panacea though. You have to keep your wits about you in order to protect your heart and your wallet.

    If you can maintain a good sense of integrity in your dealings with people and exercise some common sense (e.g. don’t send anyone any money just because they tell you a sob story), then you can have a great time and end up with a new life partner or at least an active and varied love life.

  62. This may be a bit off topic, but I’m a newbie in the blogging world. Is blogging on wordpress hard?

    And yes, I have tried internet dating.
    Result: Disappointing.
    I find most guys lie like crazy online.
    I get terribly disappointed when I meet them in person.

    Cool Blog! Hope to build one myself soon!!

    • Hi, Drew! Blogging on WordPress isn’t hard, persay, but it does take some time to get to know how to use the site. I prefer WordPress over most other blogging sites, but that’s just my personal preference. Most blogging platforms have help sections and user forums, so be sure to utilize them to help you get the most out of your blog. Good luck!

  63. Nice blog. I have actually done a few years online dating and even though I met a few very nice people who later on became friends, I met even more weirdos. They used to really annoy me, but I’ve decided to give them a chance and see what they’ve got to say once I answer their odd messages..

    The result is: http://inmiu.wordpress.com/

  64. this is an interesting subject as yes i have been an many dating sites. it is one way to meet interesting people , and yes i have actually meet a few men to date – the first few we dated for a couple of months ,that was fine cause with a couple of them still chat occassionally and my last bf we went out for a year and a half , it was fun while it lasted as in family camping , off road 4×4 adventures thru the bush , our different churches , hillsong in sydney that was a highlight and an eyeopener for me .we are still friends talking occassionally .
    i have been in several different dating sites and they all have their adavantages etc , you just have to be aware of the dodgy characters that do appear they are out there also the spammers .
    i do like to go into the chatrooms on some of these sites which can make for some entertaining moments , and realising we all come from different walks of life and then you notice the personality classhes as well , and sadly you see the ones that are just plain angry and abusive to others but it is good when there is just good chat and fun banter . on one site a group of us did meet one afternoon at a surburbian pub which was an experience because a few of us do still keep in contact and some girls and guys have regular camping trips so it can be good fun to find out about people in this way .
    they are just some of my ideas .

  65. I’ve never tried online dating sites. I am very skeptical of people being misleading and misrepresenting themselves online. Also, I’ve had friends who have only had negative experiences with online dating (stalkers, creepy people, etc).
    Indirectly, I know first hand how people are deceptive about who they are online because I had a co-worker use MY pictures on her match.com profile with her name/contact info.
    A friend saw her profile with my pics and called me to ask what
    was going on. I confronted the co-worker and she apologized (tried to act like it was a “joke”) and took the pics down but I haven’t had a good impression of online dating since. Especially because this co-worker seemed “normal” and not like someone who would lie online. Really freaked me out.

  66. Not only have I tried dating on an online dating website , but I was reunited with the love of my life on one. I was at home alone on Valentines Day ( my choice ) and had just taken a break from eating chocalates, sipping wine and watching ” When Harry Met Sally ” .

    I’d decided to take a quick break and putter around on the computer a bit .. so I logged onto my page on this particular site and started scrolling through pics and profiles of the guys would dropped by my page. About the 3rd guy down I saw a somewhat familar face .

    My raced , my hands started shaking, heck I even teared up a bit . It was him .. the man that I’d daydreamed about , fantazied over for the past 20years . After what really seemmed like 10 minutes but was actually a couple of seconds I decided to send him a message .

    Long story short we went out the next day (Sunday ) and have never left each others side. We know live together…

    Happily ever after story .. jury is still out . But for right now we are enjoying every moment of our reunion ..at least I don’t have to suffer the ” What if .. ” ” coulda shoulda woulda syndrome ” for the next 20 years.

  67. I have tried an online site… Plenty of Fish. I found one really great guy on there, and though we didn’t work out, it proved it was a great way to find guys who aren’t a fan of the bar scene. And considering there are only two bars in my hometown, that’s important!

  68. I met my wife on Match.com. For the one-year anniversary of our meeting, I gave her a bound book of all the emails we exchanged on Match.com and shortly thereafter. The last page was the email I received from Match confirming the cancellation of my account. We were married a year later and now have three beautiful kids 🙂

    I dated online for quite a long time before meeting my wife. She was on Match for two weeks before meeting me. She literally met her husband in her first date on Match. You could say she got her money’s worth!

    After years of dating online (I started with MatchMaker in the late 90’s) I can confidently say that the cons of online dating boil down to jerk guys. I learned quickly that expectations are a BAD thing with online dating. It is critical to go into each wink, email, and Starbucks meetup looking to *meet people and have fun.* Guys who treat dating sites like Girlfriends R Us are missing the point and are destined for disappointment. I was amazed at how my relaxed attitude made such an impression, and got a lot of laughs from the sad emails the ladies would share with me from creepy, desperate guys.

    My personal opinion (and I am biased) is that the pros of online dating outweigh the cons. Power is back in the hands of the ladies, where it belongs. Used wisely, that power can expose you to the right people- people you might never have met otherwise. My wife was living 30 miles away from me when we met on Match. If it hadn’t been for my wife’s work colleagues bugging her to do it, my wife would NEVER have joined Match and we would never have met.

    • Hi Dave. I feel the same way. My wife only got on the online dating site after her ex broke up with her. But the truth is that we were never matched up in their system until AFTER we met through our own matching efforts using the site. Funny how things turn out.

  69. The results from the poll are so interesting! Now because we live in a technologically advanced society I feel the online dating world could not be perfect in their timing. Back in the day parents found prospective suitors for their daughters. Awe, the rules of Courtship. Then the concept of dating arrived. The invention of the automobile allowed dates to be outside and farther away from home. Now, hooking up is a new fast way to get that immediate energy out and cut to the chase of finding that perfect one! WOW. In the same time online dating surfaces and now you take the city bus or the subway and you see advertisements to find that perfect match everywhere.
    Online dating simply is a faster way to find a partner in the fast paced world. What next???? Teleport?

  70. Different sites draw different personalities. You should read a lot of bad ads as well as good ones just to get a sense of the site in general (i.e. Maybe it’s a casual site, and you want serious. Maybe it’s a marriage-minded site, and you just want to date).

    It’s a great way to meet men from out of state, but also a great way to meet psychos or jerks. One might say the same about hotel bars, clubs, et cetera, but people still meet there, eh? Meeting someone special takes time and commons sense regardless of the medium.

  71. I think a dating site is something that could be used for good if its the right one, but now adays people are using them way to much. People need to get out and date like the good old days!

  72. I tried OKCupid. I blogged about it, but long story short, I met one guy with potential and tons of creeps. I don’t use it anymore, but I definitely don’t have a problem with it, even though many of the people I met were creepers. If you can deal with a lot of crap you’ll probably find someone who’s worth at least a friendship. I’ll probably try it out again one day.

  73. I met my husband online –11 years ago! I got tons of replies to my dating ad, and quickly realized that you can tell so much more about a person in writing than over the phone or in person — for instance, their education level. Also, the impatient guys reveal themselves very quickly. I had quite a few back and forth emails with men I felt were good candidates before we ever met — and this, as Mika mentioned, takes a lot of the guesswork out of whether you will be compatible or not. In fact, I only dated 2 men out of the many replies I got, and ended up marrying one of them, so I’d say it was a success. I doubt that dating sites are on the way out — in fact, I think it’s one of the better ways to meet men. However, there are ways to write your ad in order to be successful, and that, I think, is paramount if you want to have a positive experience with an online dating site.

    • I like your statement that one can tell so much about a person in writing than over the phone or in person – such as the educational level. It’s an opinion that I don’t come across often since popular culture would endorse phone conversation or face to face encounters as more telling than writing. 🙂

      To add to your statement, which I agree with, I think that writing is more deliberate and can be a venue for deeper revelations which don’t lend themselves well in spoken conversation.

      Cheers, Niconica
      http://niconica.wordpress.com

  74. I met my wonderful wife on one. They’re not so bad when you don’t meet psycho people.

  75. I am too scared to try dating online.

  76. Mika, I have been giving this whole issue more thought. With the culture the way it is any more dangerous than other ways of meeting people? It very well may not be.

    • I agree about the danger. I don’t see how meeting someone in a grocery store, for example, agreeing to a date and having him come pick me up is any safer. That’s still a stranger coming to my door or a stranger I’m meeting somewhere. Most first dates are with people you don’t really know much about.

  77. There are a lot of losers and serial-daters online, but I also try to remember that there are plenty of shy guys, who are perfectly awesome. I too am a shy girl and that is why I have tried it – because I just don’t feel comfortable trolling bars, and my life just isn’t that full of available men. Online dating is an efficient method of finding potential mates, it puts you on a fast-track and exposes you to more people than you’d normally meet by chance, and if you are selective and perceptive it can work out fine. The ability to correspond with someone for a while before meeting face-to-face ups the comfort level too. I met my last boyfriend on OKcupid and although we just broke up after a year, I do not regret having found him or how I found him. I probably wouldn’t have found him otherwise and we were amazingly well suited to each other in most respects. It resulted in a great relationship while it lasted. I think once I’m ready to date again, I will probably go back to doing it online.

  78. Nice to see someone focusing on the positives of online dating. I know several marriages that are owed to dating websites – my own included. Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of bad but that’s true of so called regular dating.
    I look forward to the horror stories – they’re sure to entertain. My own catalog is extensive.

  79. I tried Internet dating when I was sixteen, but it wasn’t anything serious. More of a joke, actually. But now that I’m twenty two, the option to find love, or even just finding somebody to have fun with online isn’t an option.

    Now, I just let things work out for me naturally. Well, I guess the whole Internet dating thing has become natural for our generation, but you know what I mean, hopefully.

    In other words, keeping it old school.

  80. I met the man I am going to marry on E-harmony. We went on two dates, there was no chemistry and we were just friends. 4 months later, everything changed and now I could not love him more. I know he loves me too. We still can’t believe we met off the internet but were hoping to do a commercial for E-harmony to get back the money we spent. haha.

  81. I totally agree with the pros you’ve discussed, and actually just wrote about some of the cons.

    https://mylifeisafarce.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/reasons-to-avoid-online-dating-part-one/

  82. I tried online dating a few years ago. I too am painfully shy. What I liked about it was that you could chat with someone via email for awhile before the phone or meeting. That was much easier for me as I am very shy when first meeting someone. You do have to be careful but I think if you take your time before giving out your number, you can probably tell who is creepy and who isn’t. I met some people I didn’t like, and a few I did. For me it had about the same success rate as ‘traditional’ ways of meeting people.

  83. […] more: Have you tried an online dating site? Share and […]

  84. I have also find online dating much more productive in finding someone compatible. It’s typically easy to weed out the ones with deal breakers. Although I remain extremely cautious with any first time meet, I have had no horror experiences to report. I am currently dating someone I met on Plenty of Fish and so far so GREAT! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  85. After about three to four years of scouring internet dating sites, my dad managed to find a very level-headed, interesting gal living not too far away. She had a job, no kids, a car of her own, and hobbies and interests that matched his own. Now they’ve only been dating for maybe a week, but I’m very happy that sites like these (especially Plenty of Fish) gave my dad an opportunity at happiness.

  86. Hey,I like the topic,and I do agree with the pros you’ve mentioned,I don’t think I can add anymore pros,I can only add cons,at the top of my head now I’m thinking…those who conceal their real identities,they use fake names and give false info,or those who might turn out to be pedophiles or sadistic..its dangerous in fact..and I think its a matter of good luck,I mean when a person is lucky enough to find their perfect match among millions of internet users.http://fashionista1988.wordpress.com

  87. I have tried several and with no luck at all. I have met some weird people out there. I even went out with a girl that was married and she didnt tell me this til half way through our first date. The worst ones I hate are the ones who show interest then all of a sudden you dont hear back from them. I gave up on it recently, there are too many shady people on the internet.

    Great writing! Be sure to check us out at http://roadragewithaa.wordpress.com/

  88. I have done the whole on-line dating thing, but I have honestly had nothing but bad experiences. I’m still giving it a chance although I am doubtful to be lucky enough to find someone. I mention some of my online dating stories in my blog actually.

    Well good luck!

  89. I was always skeptical of dating sites but am now giving it a try.

  90. The really sad truth about having to find someone in a culture that is so fragmented it makes it tough. In the 1950’s when the interstate highway system was started social scientists were concerned that the culture would become to fragmented. They very well may have be right.

  91. I have tried meeting and dating guys online, and I was fortunate to meet the man of my dreams when he found me on a gay penpal site. I have also tried dating men in “real time”, and all I can say is that there really isn’t much difference between the two. As long as both parties are honest about who they are, then there shouldn’t be any problems at all.

  92. If I lost my wife, in any way, I’d go to an on line dating site to try and find another one like her. Twice I had been blessed by wives who loved me, so I might be lucky for a third time. A dating site, I really think, would be the best way to avoid being shot by an irate husband.

  93. On line dating is not good. It is against natural chemistry. It is an electronic illusion – SOMETHING EVEN WORSE THAN PERSONAL ILLUSIONS. The most natural thing is to see a person of the opposite sex, like love and build on. On Line must fail. It’s not natural. It is controlled. It’s like a one night electronic stand. Bio Chemistry vibes are more powerful than synthetic data – A FAILURE as technical as it’s origin.

  94. I’ve never tried online dating, but I have made a great deal of friends off the strictly platonic section of craigslist. It’s a great way to meet other girls which I find even harder than meeting guys to date.

  95. I don’t think I’d consider online dating for now, or anytime in the near future. I think too many people focus their life around finding that one person and forget about their own identity and who they are. By doing the things you enjoy, you naturally meet people who have the same interest as you.

  96. Love this. My aunt and uncle met online and have been married for over 10 years now. My ex and I also met online (though not through a dating site), spoke online for 2 years, and were together in person for 3 years following. I think online is a great way to test the waters… especially after the in-person blind date I took just a couple of months ago… I wish I’d had some background information on that creep!

    Keep writing! (And congrats on being Freshly pressed!)
    (Link to Creeper date blogs: http://teapotchronicles.wordpress.com/2010/05/ )

  97. I have met someone wonderful via on line “dating”. She is overseas and fantastic and I plan to get my passport asap and do the 3D meet. We talk on the phone, exchange copious pictures and and even traded snail mail correspondence! It took a few tries at it but I think I got it right this time.

  98. Maybe it has something to do with location/quality of candidates?

    In Australia, I’m not having the best of luck:
    http://rubywildflower.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/101/

  99. I tried it years ago with no real luck. But I have several friends that met their current spouses online. It’s worth a try, you only live once, right?

  100. my husband and I met online but not in a dating site. dated online for 2 years. he came to visit 2x and we got married.

    I say, online or not, if the relationship is based on honesty and the pair is compatible, it’ll work.

    now when I moved here in the US, i noticed that online dating sites are actually advertised on primetime tv. maybe people are always too busy that a way to interact and meet someone interesting is through the internet. or it’s just the technology.

    well, any way is always a good way as long as it works.

    http://www.pangahas.wordpress.com

  101. Online or real time, I think there will always be some people who will try to put up pretenses. People think, “What if that online profile ain’t true?” Well, guess what, first impressions sometimes last as true only up to the first month. As for online dating being unnatural, it only goes as far as medium is concerned. That’s why serious online daters always meet up in the end. Online dating is merely a prerequisite to real time interaction.

  102. I would love ,,to try on line dating,,but to scared to do it,,,Sincerely

  103. Love to try on line dating,,but scared to,,Sincerely

  104. I tried match.com, pof.com, and eharmony. pof had too many weirdos (probably explains why it is free) and match did give me a few dates, but only one panned out (didn’t last more than 2 months though). eharmony seemed, to me, to be the best at actually setting your up with qualified matches. I personally liked their site the best, but did end my subscription early because a month into it I met my future hubby through a mutual friend-no dating sites involved…

  105. Jesus, the ONLINE dating thing. That is all I do. I haven’t met anyone in person and gone out with them w/o an online introduction in years.

    It has been interesting…from accidentally going out with brothers (one month apart and met on two competing dating sites), to the divorcees and stage 5 clingers. Sigh, then there have been the ones that enveloped my heart and truly made it sing….only to shred it a couple months later. Dating is hard, love is harder.

    Good luck with all of this, if you want to feel better about your own dating horror stories… check out mine.

    Student Driver

    http://www.learingtodrivestick.com

  106. sorry that is http://www.learningtodrivestick.com

    🙂

    S.D.

  107. Great blog! I was divorced last year and am getting ready to get back into dating. I did some research and read some horror stories. Your blog got me excited to try this, instead of discouraged like many of the other things I read. Especially your point about being shy, which I definitely am.

    And if nothing else, I’ll have some good blog material!

  108. I really need to give this another shot. The one hurdle for me, for a lot of sites, is the bio. I can’t describe me without sounding like an idiot, or self promoting. So I quit before I even start.

    My family and friends say that since I’m an online and techie geek, that this should be a no brainer for me, but yeah the bio of myself, is the main hurdle.

  109. Interesting post and I think you hit some of the salient points. Rejection really is hard to deal with. If you’ve met with someone and they seem nice but there’s no spark (or whatever you call it). It’s not that you dislike the person, you just don’t see anything happening. There’s no ill feelings, so you don’t want to hurt them either.

    And shyness. Maybe it makes me look bad, but I find approaching people online easier than in person. I have time to consider what I’m going to say when introducing myself. No need to worry about fluffing an off the cuff remark.

    And I should add that the women I’ve met online have all been pretty good. No crazies or anything like that. Basically pleasant and unpretentious, pretty much like they described themselves. But then I never really sent out a lot of messages, only to women who I really thought I could be interested in. I probably sent a fraction of the number of messages a lot of other guys seem to have sent. Which made things slower, but it worked out alright.

  110. Hi! I met my current husband on a dating site. I have to say it was the best money I ever spent, and he would agree 100%. We have had two arguments in 4 years! Really just two. I think if you actually put your truth into the search, be honest with yourself first, you can find a match. But dont settle, be picky! Its the one chance you get to say um… ah no yer not the one later dude. And be nice about it too.

  111. Agreed, but even close screening can result in mishaps… Like stalkers or people who haven’t been honest with profile pictures. Or you click online, but no sparks on the ‘date’. My latest success was meeting someone incredible as friends only, and now I know I could pursue something further.

    But dating is fraught with complications at the best of times. Online or in the ‘real’ world.

    Here are my thoughts:
    http://leeschmidt.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/the-trouble-with-dating/

  112. Great Post, very informative. i have never done dating online, i guess i should give it a shot. thnx and keep it coming

  113. I never tried online dating sites, but I’ve been to chat rooms for awhile and I’ve met my current boyfriend there. Yes it is very rare to find a partner in those chat rooms or for some, dating sites. But, isn’t it wonderful how technology works? Bringing people closer together and bridging gaps and distances.

    Though I know there are some disadvantages of it, the distance (in some point of time), trust issues, long distance charges, time differences for some. But in the end, we all have to make sacrifices, right?

    PS – You have a great blog, by the way 🙂

  114. never ever ever
    http://fightforthewrite.wordpress.com/

  115. Good post!!

    Burn Notice 4th Season

  116. Here via the WordPress home page. I met my husband via Match.com in 2003. His philosophy was that you should meet early and not exchange a lot of emails beforehand. Worked out well for us; we’ll be married 5 years this October. Good luck!

  117. […] So my apologies again. The post will be up tomorrow night unless something wonderfully unforeseen happens. In the meantime, here’s a post about some of the pros of online dating. […]

  118. It really depends, everything has it pros and cons, but to be really honest, a dating site was helpful for a friend of mine to get his life partner and they are living happyly … So just depnds from person to person..

  119. ‘Meeting someone online’ versus ‘real life’…for argument’s sake, lets say ‘a bar’.
    ME: I can sit at home in my jimjams, no make up and cup-a-soup in hand, sifting through the faces of hundreds of strangers…judging books by covers and casting wild assumptions about people I don’t have to know.I’m confident communicating through words in a message to get their attention

    In a bar I have to get dolled up and compete against other females in the near vicinity for the attention of the attractive gentlemen…which can become a little bitchy. It’s usually too loud to try talking to them.

    ONLINE 1-0 BAR

    THEM: You are fairly limited online here… we know that there are certain angles that are most flattering… photoshopping for the truly vain… and I have had to go through the pitfalls to learn the things to spot. (Only headshot- question their shoulders down. All closed mouth smiles- question their teeth. All full-length alone- question their height.) But… you do get to do guilt-free sifting through endless faces til a pretty one pops up.

    In a bar… I guess you get the full effect of being able to see them as they are.. no tricks. However, you don’t know if any of them are single or not and they don’t come with a personality profile. They could be a hideous wretch on the inside.

    At a push… i’ll make this ONLINE 1-1 BAR

    DATING: People on the internet are after the same thing as you. As a girl, it feels ok to assume that these potential suitors are going to take you out on a date. Treat you and tell you lovely things. These are all what we want.

    And in real life… dates don’t happen. I only had one date in my life before I turned to the internet. I want to be taken out and looked after, not have someone suggest that they come back for a drink at yours. That’s if they even come over and talk to me in the first place (it never ever happens.)

    ONLINE 2-1 BAR

    ONLINE DATING WINS!

  120. I thought I’d seen everything, but then I tried plentyoffish.com, which is a free dating site. And because it’s free, you know what that means: EVERY ILLITERATE FRAT PERSON CRETIN IN THE WORLD IS ON IT. I’ve met a few worthwhile people on there, and my college roommate even met her husband that way, but for the most part avoid this site. You’ll spend 95% of your time sifting through the morons to get to the gems.

    Overall, though, I’ve had decent luck using online dating. If you know what to look for in the profiles (most of the time the dealbreakers are right there on the surface) and you try several different sites, you’ll get some dates. You may not get your “soulmate” — ugh, I hate that concept — but you’ll get a few dinners and whatnot. It’s worth a shot, and it works fine as long as you’re smart and safe (meet in public places, drive your own car, etc.) about it.

  121. Thanks for the great post! I’d add to your list the fact that online dating gives you the opportunity to meet people whom you’d otherwise never meet because of distance, different social circles, hobbies, etc.

    I met someone with whom I had a lovely 2.5 year relationship. It eventually ran it’s course and we parted friends but I’m in the arts and he was a hospital administrator – had it not been for match.com, our paths would never have crossed.

    My friend and I have been so amazed and entertained by our own and others stories of online dating that we’ve started collecting stories for an anthology of online dating stories called “LifeBytes, Real Stories of ONline Dating”. We’ve already collected stories from around the globe (in fact one of our latest submissions is from South Africa! How’s that for global?).

  122. If you want to have a good online dating experience, you HAVE TO use a paid site. It is SO worth the sub just to get rid of the idiots who are doing it for a laugh. If you are serious about finding someone, pay up. And guess what – the other people that were prepared to pay are serious too.

  123. Nice article! Yes, some guys don’t like it when they get “rejected” by women online. I always tell them not to take it too personally. And don’t EVER become “Angry Guy.”

    I talk more about this on my blog. It also has lots of great online dating tips for men.

    http://internetdatingtipsformen.blogspot.com

    Christophe

  124. […] Online Dating Last week we started talking about the topic of online dating in my post “Have you tried an online dating site?” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I honestly couldn’t believe how popular of […]

  125. I’d be afraid of creepers. No way.

  126. You tend to hear a lot of success stories re online dating. I guess it requires q lot of time and patience as you divide the wheat from the chaff. I may try it one day. I’l keep you posted Lol.

  127. I definitely recommend okcupid.com as well. Realized me and a friend were highly compatible, plus met a few friends from it already as well just from the matching questions and such.

  128. There is definitely a good online dating site. Right now there are many good reviews on perfectmatch, it might be a decent site you can try to signup with.

  129. […] writing about the good, the bad, and the ugly-bits of online dating for the Love-Drunk or Hungover column, I have to say […]

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