Over the years, I’ve cast a pretty wide net on the Net, joining at one time or another half a dozen dating sites. I started off with the ubiquitous Match.com, which produced several strange first dates, a year-long relationship with a canine-obsessed New Yorker and emails from interesting characters like this one:
“Im Italian and Cajen. I went to union trade school to become a electricion. I like to read the daily news in the bathroom.”
From the often-grammatically challenged men on Match.com, I moved onto eHarmony.com, billed as the site for marriage-minded singles and known for cloying TV ads featuring couples embracing to Natalie Cole’s “Everlasting love.” Everlasting is the best way to describe eHarmony’s time-consuming setup.
After you fill out a lengthy personal questionnaire, eHarmony selects matches for you. Before you can email a prospective match, the site requires you to go through a four-step guided communication process. My three-month membership netted me one lackluster date.
I enjoyed a better return on my investment with The Right Stuff, a site for Ivy League grads. I connected with several intelligent, interesting guys and appreciated the site’s etiquette policy, which mandates that you send a polite thanks but no thanks when rejecting a member you're not interested in. I gladly said yes when a 40-something entrepreneur invited me out for drinks at Town restaurant inside the trendy Chambers Hotel.
Both the conversation and the cocktails flowed as my nattily dressed date and I discovered we were both oenophiles. Not long after our evening at Town, he emailed me and suggested we do a private wine tasting together -- in his apartment. Thanks but no thanks.
As for my new friend from TheSquare.com, we graduated swiftly from email to an engaging phone conversation last night. Who knows? Maybe it’s time to give the online dating marketplace another look.