ME and Ophelia

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Without digital picture technology and costly fees

Many bloggers of every age group mention in their posts that they are looking for a soul mate. It makes me wonder, if they do not find anyone via blogging how could they go about find a soul mate via the Internet, without it involving the expense of a digital camera, pictures and introduction fees upfront?

A few days ago, a non-blogging friend told me he'd recently met up with a lady he found through an Internet matchmaking service. The first meeting in person was a great success. Same thing happened to the male friend of his, except his online lady friend had to make a trip across the Atlantic for their first meeting in person.

One posted a photo of himself after arranging and paying for it to be taken by a professional photographer to ensure a flattering image. The other also posted a picture but fibbed about his age, saying 50 instead of 54. Says his friends think he is younger than 54. I can't understand why he didn't go for 49, I suppose it made the fib sound more like a slip of the mind or tongue.

What is interesting in both cases is that the communications by email, phone and first meetings were a great success with hardly any agency fees involved. The online service charged £2 per "introduction" and, so far, my friend has spent £20.

Going by these stories, it seems the Internet can facilitate ways for likeminded people to find each other. I wanted to blog about it. So, I decided to look into it in more detail, to find out how one goes about looking for a soul mate on the Internet, how the services work, what the experience is like and the cost.

Found some sites through Google. Took me a few hours to learn about one site, answer the in-depth sets of questions and carry out a compatibility search. It was not difficult and did not cost a penny. Just took time and thought. (I'm still trying figure out how they cover their costs, through paid advertising, or what? I'll look into this). Sets of questions seemed quite thorough and well thought out. Professionalism and efficiency of the site instilled some confidence that the final analysis may not be totally off the wall. I answered the questions as the person I am now, not the person I was before becoming ill four years ago and I admitted to current poor health. I'll be honest upfront about my situation.

Upon completion of the forms, I then searched for the most compatible chaps. To my surprise, it produced a list of 140 possible matches in the UK alone. To be continued.

Asks Canadian blogger Tracy Kennedy

Recently, Tracy Kennedy at Netwoman blogged about Internet dating a class issue? and linked to a NY Times article that outlines some of people's experiences with online dating.

Her post describes how more and more Americans are spending an enormous amount of money on internet dating services: that people are heading to the Internet to look for relationships, and there is a lot of 'fudging' going on when people write their personal profiles - something quite noticeable when meeting these people face to face. Tracy questions that people will really say they're overweight or living under the poverty level; that profiles are like resumes, snippets of our existence - you can be truthful or not.

Like myself, she too finds it most interesting that a large number of people looking for love in cyberspace, given that many people don't want to go to a bar. And she says that the societal reasons for this fury of activity are so profound it's almost surprising that online dating didn't take off sooner: "Americans are marrying later and so are less likely to meet their spouses in high school or college; they spend much of their lives at work, but the rise in sexual harassment suits has made workplace relationships tricky at best; and among a more secular and mobile population, social institutions like churches and clubs have faded in importance that often leaves little more than the "bar scene" as a source of potential mates."

Many single people she spoke to saw the "bar scene" as their only option, aside from online dating. Tracy admits that she hates meeting people in bars and does not go anymore. She has tried some online personals but is still sceptical of online dating (concerns for crazy people). When posting a picture, she gets many responses; no picture, no hits - but confesses to being guilty of the same thing. She knows many people who have married online love interests, but so far it has not worked for her. (Note to self - ask Tracy to blog about people who have married online love interests).

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/27/2003
This is a great thing. Really dating helps to find the perfect soul mate.
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