Poll: Matchmaking Websites

CupidWhen I was single, a friend once referred me to a matchmaking website for Mormons.  Being the open-minded and curious person that I am, and since the first month was a free trial, I went ahead and signed up.  Within minutes of posting my profile, my mailbox was overflowing with emails from interested men.  Yikes.  I closed my account right away.  I wasn’t used to so much male attention, in written form or otherwise, and I found it a little scary.  The friend who referred me met and dated several nice people through the website. She also dated a person she met there whom she later learned was a married, cheating scumbag. She eventually married a person who she met in real life.

April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at aprilyoungb.com.

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18 Responses

  1. Georgy says:

    I met my husband on an LDS matchmaking website. However, it’s our little secret. We tell everyone we met at BYU, because he came and met me in person at my Provo apartment. We never endorse online dating to anyone.

    • Amelia says:

      Georgy, I’m curious why it’s a secret & why you wouldn’t recommend it when it seems to have worked for you. I freely tell anyone who asks that I met my partner online & I think he does, too; I’ve never had anyone react badly. Of course, I operate in mostly non-Mormon circles. Have you found church members less accepting of the practice? Just curious.

      • Georgy says:

        Yes! The Mormons as super judgmental, especially since that talk about not meeting people online. I wish I had the reference.

      • amelia says:

        That’s really too bad. I don’t understand prejudice against socializing online. It’s no more problematic than any other kind of socializing. And, as I said in one of my other comments, I just don’t understand being in the position of wanting to date and eventually marry, but ruling out an entire enormous sphere for meeting people. I know people criticize online dating as fostering the belief that there are so many people out there that there could be someone better, so people keep looking and never commit. I don’t personally buy it. If someone’s going to be non-committal, I think they’ll be non-committal regardless of the ways they’re trying to meet people. And if someone wants to meet someone, fall in love, and marry, I think they’ll do so when they’ve found someone who’s a good fit, regardless of the fact that they haven’t dated everyone yet.

        It really sucks that you feel like you have to tweak your story to avoid being judged at church. I just don’t understand people feeling like they have any right to judge someone else’s relationships.

  2. alex w. says:

    I’ve never done it, but I never really had the chance: I got married shortly after graduating college (that was never the plan…).

    My sister-in-law and her husband met online, but not through a dating website. They met through an MMORPG.

  3. Fran says:

    I put “other” for an answer. I used some of those LDS dating websites for quite a while, even while attending BYU (no one at BYU seemed interested in me, so I had to use other avenues, right?). For the most part, I’d say there was never anyone serious to date. However, I did meet two guys who were very date-able through those websites, but it just never developed into a dating relationship…

    So, I don’t know where that answer fits. I just felt like I did meet people who were good for serious dating, and I would have liked for things to go that way with both guys, but…once again, it seemed like once they met me in real life, things fell apart.

  4. Amelia says:

    I’ve been using online dating for over eight years & think it’s a great way to meet people, especially once you’ve left college and/or you’re a bit of a fringe member of your primary social network (as I am at church). I’ve done plenty of casual dating with men I met online as well as a few more serious relationships. And I still met men in “real life,” too. I figured if I was serious about wanting to meet & date men, I have to take advantage of every opportunity to do so & online dating is one of those opportunities.

    At the moment I couldn’t be happier about having taken this approach, since I met my current significant other online (OKCupid, ftw!). I doubt I would have met him in “real life” and I can’t imagine how sad it would be not to have met him. I say that if you want to be dating, you’re missing out if you don’t use dating sites.

    FWIW, I think OKCupid is the best site out there and, unless they’ve changed a lot in the last few years, the Mormon-specific sites were the least worthwhile options out there.

  5. Ziff says:

    I met my wife at work, and it was a while ago, so matchmaking sites were probably in their infancy, if they existed at all. But I have a soft spot for OKCupid because they occasionally post really interesting stuff on their blog based on aggregating and analyzing their users’ data. A lot of times, it’s even potentially useful. For example, here’s a post on picking a good profile picture.

    • amelia says:

      I love OKCupid’s articles like that, Ziff. They’re generally interesting and often useful. I don’t know how true it is, but I get the sense that the people who run OKCupid don’t play as many of the weird matching mindgames some of the other sites do.

      On a completely separate note, I find eHarmony the least useful of the dating sites I tried. I don’t know why but their method for matching me up with people was just lousy.

      • Maggie says:

        Glad to hear that it wasn’t just me. I too wasn’t all that impressed with e-harmony. With all their pages and pages of questions, I was really underwhelmed by my matches. I’ll have to give okcupid a try.

  6. Megan says:

    My “other” response: I’m single, and using one now.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I know a lot of people who met their spouses using an online dating service – enough to the point where it seems pretty effective to me.

  8. I’d met my first wife online in the days before matchmaking websites. All we had was a chat room. Ah, the changes of progress . . . 😉

  9. Keri Brooks says:

    I tried online dating a few years ago, but I didn’t have much success. I did some of the LDS-specific sites, but the only person I got matched up with was my ex-boyfriend. (As in, we had already broken up before we both joined the site.) We kind of had a good laugh about that, since we’re still friends.

    I also tried e-Harmony, but I found the whole thing really overwhelming and a bit objectifying. It felt like a catalog where people were shopping for mates. I would get lewd comments, and it was miserable. By the time I signed up with okcupid, I was so over the whole online dating thing and didn’t really give it a chance. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying again, but I don’t think I’m really up to it.

    I’m friendly but introverted. Plus I’m nerdy and weird. So, I don’t know how I’m going to meet someone. Big church singles events exhaust me. They’re a loud, cacophonous sea of superficial interactions. It seems like online dating should be perfect for an introvert, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked for me. Once the bar exam is over, we’ll see what happens.

    • Amelia says:

      I feel your pain, Keri. With eight year of online dating under my belt, I’ve gotten my share of lewd and inappropriate comments. They’re definitely no fun. I had to learn to just delete the emails that weren’t appropriate and to turn IM off. Most of the hook-up invitations and lewd comments came to me via IM (though there were some in email, too), so I just stopped using that feature. It sucks that in order to be out there, you have to deal with the kind of people who make such comments, but it’s part of the deal I think–even when you’re meeting people in real life, there’s always some jerks willing to say and do things they shouldn’t. So I say, delete the message, block the sender, and then forget them. (I know, sometimes easier said then done.)

      I also started putting a note at the end of my profile that essentially said that thinking I’m attractive isn’t a good enough reason to email on its own and that if an email didn’t have some indication in it that the guy had actually read what I said, then I wouldn’t reply. I stuck to that rule pretty closely. If I didn’t see an indication that he had read what I wrote and responded to something specific, I didn’t reply. The one time I broke the rule and went out with a guy anyway (because his profile was interesting and he was cute), it wasn’t a good date.

      I do think that OKCupid is a much better site than the others out there (and I’ve used all of the big mainstream ones). Especially for those of us who are a bit geeky. For some reason it tends to attract a somewhat geeky/nerdy crowd. Also, it doesn’t have quite the same catalog feel to it that match.com and eharmony have. I think it’s because the approach fosters more humorous and quirky responses and the questions in their surveys are totally optional and often funny or odd. Overall, it just feels more real to me than the other sites I’ve used. Plus it’s free. Always a good thing.

  10. I signed up for a site once, thinking it was more of a way to connect with other LDS members (not for dating), but I never signed in again after signing up . . .

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