How Long Have You Been Looking for Love Online?


I dated online from 1997 until 2006. I went on over 300 dates in that time.

How long have you been looking for love online?

During that time, on how many different websites have you had profiles posted?

How many matches have led to first dates?

How many matches have led to relationships?

Share your experiences with other readers below.

I talk about my dating experiences and what I learned from them in my Finding the One Online CD series.

Talk to you soon!


Join our conversation (42 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    I have been off and on Match for 4 1/2 years. I have had mostly email contact, then some phone calls, but I have only gotten together with 11 people and of the 11, one 1 1/2 year relationship and 2 others less than one year each.

    I have had many email exchanges, several phone call meetings that did not go any further. Oddly enough, most of the men I have met face to face are now friends of mine–some just email pals and some to pal around with. A couple have gone on to other girlfriends but still stay in touch or get together with me for a dinner or some other friendly thing.

    I am ever hopeful that “the one” is perhaps new message in my inbox.

    I was on Yahoo personals for a month. I am on Active Singles and Green Singles but without a photo on each so–not very serious about those efforts. I may ramp it up though since winter is coming and I will be willing to devote more time to this most important effort!

    1. 1.1

      Dear Jane how did you ended up being friends with the guys you met? In my case no guy seems to be keen on being friends at all… I personally would have liked as even though no romantic interest I thought some of guys I met were great. And I do wish you best luck fining the one!

  2. 2

    Forever it seems. I think I got into it around 2003 and got into a relationship that just didnt work. He was in another state.

    I don’t think it works. All the websites want to make you pay for services. The ones that don’t are full of gross men in their 40’s. I’m a younger woman, so I prefer people my age. But everyone my age wants sex or are turned off by plus size women, so I’m shit out of luck.

    If someone could find me a site for people my age that works, that would be great. It also has to do with where I live. I live in the smallest state, so it’s not like I’m going to find a lot of people using that service. It’s not like NYC or anything. And I hate traveling more than an hr to meet someone. I don’t want to waste time, money, or gas, which I’ve done several times.

    It may work for some, but for me, it hasn’t done any good.

  3. 3

    I’ve been online since -97.. only once 2,5 years I was in a steady relationship, other than that I have at least chatted regularly, and met people through that.

    I have been out for the first time maybe 400+ times (- but I don’t consider them dates, since I just go out to meet someone in order to see if the person is alike to his profile.)
    I don’t meet total weirdos, or those who have red flags, but other than that I don’t really mind if I spend an hour meeting someone new.

    I do know what I want, and I am not willing to settle..
    I have met interesting men, most of my best friends IRL come from online communities.
    I do know how to meet men, how to get mens attention.. but the problem is, I’m seldom interested in them, even if they are interested in me.

    Out of this time, I have had 4 relationships, and met some 8-10 other interesting ones, with whom I have had mutual chemistry but we haven’t done anything about (for various different reasons..)
    I guess I meet one interesting man every 6 months or so, when I actively meeting men.

    So I’m pretty satisfied, plenty of fish in the sea, even if my standards are pretty selective.

  4. 4

    Oh yes, unlike Evan, I leave it to first meeting unless I am really interested. I don’t need to get to know someone sexually, if I’m just not interested in several levels.
    So the likelyhood of meeting me for the second time is about 5%, and about 2% after that.. and only 1% leads into intimate relationship.

  5. 5

    I’ve been on and off two sites for about 7 years (in LTRs for about 5 years of that time). I can’t recall how many matches led to actual dates–I get a ton of email, winks, etc. I’d say I’ve been out with a dozen or so guys, 4 or 5 of which had any potential, including the two LTRs. For every actual date, there were probably 10 email or phone correspondences that went nowhere (I lost interest or the guy “poofed”).

    I have met a number of interesting people and heard some fascinating life stories (and had a LOT of grist for the humor mill, as well LOL).

    I’ve recently changed some of my search criteria. While I’ve narrowed the individual criteria for men I’m looking to meet, I’ve broadened my geographic area by virtue of the fact that I am finally able to relocate. It’s true–when they say “When it rains, it pours.” My mailbox has never been so full of promising, articulate men, any of whom could be a potential match. (Of course it’s still full of men I would never date who never even looked at my profile.) My biggest problem is trying to get to know some of the out-of-towners so see if they are worth meeting in person, to give them an equal shot against the local guys.

    I think the combination of being able to date over a longer distance and finally just saying “This is the kind of man I want–I’m not interested in someone who doesn’t meet these criteria” is bringing what I want at last. I know this runs contrary to some of Evan’s advice that to widen your prospects you need may need to look at matches you might not normally consider. I think my wide geographic availability compensates somewhat for my narrower criteria. But I also believe in the concept that what we put out to the universe on our “wish list” comes back to us (provided our actions are in line with our desires). If we are wishy-washy about what we want, we get ambiguous results. The more specific my criteria have become, the more appropriate matches I am attracting. Now, let’s see if one of them sticks!

  6. 6

    I have been online about 1 1/2 years. I have gone out with over 35 men during that time and been on every site you can imagine.
    With Evan’s help my responses flew through the roof. My best website has been plentyoffish and best of all it’s free. I had zero luck on Match, in my opinion it’s a meat market. Although I have met lots of men, I can’t say I have had a serious relationship, but have met a lot of nice people. I went out with 50 guys before I met my husband, hopefully, a good fit for me will show up soon. Perhaps I keep too open a mind of people I meet. About 30% of first meetings end up with multiple dates, but usually by date 3 the real person comes out and you see if your values/interests are close enough to make it work long term. Knowing you can’t change men, if you think something or things are going to annoy you that are deal breakers, in my opinion it’s best to move on.
    Evan’s dating advice has definitely helped me from wasting time on someone that isn’t a fit. Good thing I am an optimist and hopefully I won’t need 300 like Evan to find my guy!

  7. 8

    back in 2001 i put up my first profile. Met a great women and we have since celebrated our 3rd wedding ani. and are having a blast with our first child.

  8. 9

    I have been on 3 different sites since April of 2007. Have met maybe 4. Have e-mailed and/or winked at several dozen and it is rare I get an answer.

    I am with June I don’t think it works.

  9. 10

    I have been online now for about 2 years. I was on different websites.Including yahoo personals, Match etc. Match I have to say was quite disappointing.
    I emailed and IM with quite alot of men. Some men we emailed for a while and then for whatever reason it just never came to a meeting.Some guys just dissappear and I never heard from them again. Others I was not interested in. All in all I went on first dates with 15 men. One I dated for quite a while. One guy I saw more then one date.One guy became a really good friend. Being online has not lead to any LTR yet for me. I have learned a lot about dating and myself. I am happy and comfortable with whom I am regardless whether I have someone in my life right now or not. When I first started dating after my divorce I was not so sure about myself nor how to go about internet dating. I think that it is a process and over time I am now meeting better quality men.
    Have I thought that online dating does not work…yes I have at times. Right now I think that I am having a great time dating. It is just that I have not met someone yet who I have been interested in after meeting person. Many were really very nice and would be great boyfriend candidates. Just unfortunately not for me.

    I am still very hopeful that I will over time meet someone.

  10. 11

    I have been online dating on and off since about 99. I have made a couple of really close friends out of it, but no relationships. I’ve had a lot of first dates that never went any further than that. The longest I’ve dated anyone that I’ve met online is about 2 or 3 months. It hasn’t really worked for me, which is why I’ve decided to end my online dating career.

  11. 12

    Evan, I am so glad you asked this question!!

    I have been on Match, Eharmony and Yahoo for the past 2 years. Have had a relationship that lasted one year. Nice guy but daugher interferred with relationship so I let her win her father back!

    Have had many responses from men on Match but all were rather odd. Many proposed and wanted to move right in! I was shocked to say the least. So many emails that I could never answer – so time consuming. Went out on at least 15 first dates. Basically all men wanted to talk about sex.

    Finally, I thought I had met a great guy who lived 2 hours away. Great conversations, had so much in common and were looking forward to our first meeting. All of a sudden, I did not get the usual nightly call for 2 nights. He finally emailed me that a woman he knew forcibly engaged him in a sexual situation. He felt that he had to try out this new relationship. He had the audacity to ask me if he could still contact me again if the relationship did not work out because he felt that we did definitely connect! Wow! I was stunned! Of course I never responded to his query concerning any future contact with me.

    The dating scene can be brutal at times. However, like Evan, I feel that I will eventually meet “The One”.

  12. 13

    I was on Plentyoffish for five months. Ironically, I got the idea from a man I was involved with very briefly.
    What a world! If you’re patient, learn to take basic safety precautions and are not afraid to meet strangers (which you both are until you meet, no matter how many e-mails, chats and phone calls you exchange), you can meet so many more people so much faster than usual.
    I met three in person, really clicked with one of them and made a great long-distance friend in that time.
    I might have met a few more in person, but it turned out they had lined up soooo many women that when I agreed to call them (using star-67 of course!) their mailboxes were already full, so I walked away. Too much work — lol!

  13. 14

    Carnal, why is a guy who’s been married for over three years reading a singles dating blog?

  14. 15

    Now that I am making more use out of I am glad I have read this blog. Online dating seems to have its own unique brand of nonsense. Reading about other people’s online experiences here helped me to be braced for it.

    Any other guys out there get “winks” from women in foreign countries? A friend of mine thinks it is about fishing for green cards?
    It isn’t as bad as a woman receiving a semi-nude photo but I feel part of the game that now as a man I have a male centered complaint 🙂

  15. 16
    Slim Pickens

    @joe in post 14. I haven’t had a chance to get jaded or cynical yet, but I read ‘carnal’s post and I see somebody from whose job depends on how many renewals and new memberships he can land. At least ‘carnal’ is a little less obvious than some of the more heavy-handed of his colleagues when they send me winks from airbrushed models on the other side of the country who are looking for anyone from 21-121. My profile has never been published, so how would these “women” know how to contact me? Go ahead and try to scam me, but stop insulting my intelligence

    @shyguy: you’re not trying hard enough. A couple of dozen contacts in 2 years? And some of those just lazy winks? There’s selective and there’s lazy. You’re lazy.

    To answer the original question, I’ve been online at one site, for 4 months. I am very selective. And I am only separated, which severely limits my choices. My profile is private. I’ve only attempted to contact 5 women. All have responded, 4 of them I’ve had continued conversations with. And one has turned into a very good friend although I don’t see a romance developing from it. I won’t jump into online dating fully until I am divorced, but so far I’d have to say it can work. If you put the effort into it. And by that I mean spending alot of time writing your profile. And then even more time reading the others. No point in trying to contact somebody you might like, when you don’t fit what they’re looking for.

  16. 17

    I have never used any of those sites.

    I feel that that the woman always makes the first move. Most guys are just wondering around with no aim. It is when that woman makes eye contact that the game has begun. You have two choices; #1 look away or #2 step it up and say hello.

    If I can go out and say hello to a random person, then I do not need an on-line site. When the weather is nice, get out and get away from the computer. Right now the weather is bad and there is snow outside. Go to the park and chill, walk the dog, go for a bike ride, …. go and do something, you are going to run into a ton of people. Get away for one weekend a month or every three months. Go some place new. Get out of your car and walk instead of drive.

    Too many people will drive a few blocks. When you do that, you cut yourself off from the world. Instead of paying your bill on-line, go pay them in person. Instead of banking on-line, walk, ride your bike, or if you have to, drive down to the local bank.

    I have went the last 5 summers without television. Instead of getting take out and sitting in front of the tv, go out. Grab a sub and eat it at the local park. Instead of spending your weekend watching the same old television show, spend your evening skipping stones down at the local pond. The more you get out, the more people you are going to come into contact with. The more you travel and go on vacation, the greater your chances are that you are going to run into someone special.

    On the other hand……..

    I have had many friends that try to use the on-line sites, but they were all introverts. They all had a hard time talking to someone that they have never met before.

    Do not get me wrong, on-line seems to have its advantages. It can help to screen out the psycho women that are out there. I hate to leave a bar early because some woman will not leave me alone, only to have her sprint down the street after me in her high heals. That was an odd sight to see. If I have more of these women that will follow me through on coming traffic as I am running at full speed to get away, I might actually think about using a site.

  17. 18


    then why are you so active on a site devoted for the most part specifically to online dating?

  18. 19

    Joe, I came across this blog linked from a forum discussing this topic.

  19. 20

    @June, post number #2.

    About your “gross men in their 40’s.” comment. I can understand how a person would not want to be contacted in a dating context by someone 20 years older. My thoughts would be “no thank you!”.

    FWIW, a number of people in their 40s are quite appealing. I am one and I have dated some.

    In addition to ageism, there are a significant amount of people who will judge a person by weight control issues. You might want to think about the irony related to that and what it says about you ( I went to your blog ) when you make ageist comments like the one above.

  20. 21

    I have been looking for 4 years now with this computer and have found very few women with similar interests and preferencse. I have belonged to different internet dating groups and have yet to find what I am looking for. Yet I keep hearing people tell me “She’s out there, just keep looking” or “Your looking too hard”. Well here I am and still single.

  21. 22

    I’ve been doing online dating for about two years. Most of that time has been on Match, but I’ve also subscribed to 3 other services during that period as well. I’ve had about twenty-five first dates, a handful or so that made it to the 2-4 date range, and a couple of guys made it to short-term relationships (nothing longer than three months…I’m rather like Evan in that respect).

  22. 23


    I am not looking at on-line dating when I read this site. I am looking at ways to improve my interpersonal communication skills. Granted, there is a lot here about the internet, but what happens after you get your profile together? It is always interesting to read what others have done and failed or been successful with.

    Do not just look at this as an on-line dating service. I always like to read what others have done to be successful and where they have come up short. I view this site as a place that tells stories of human interaction and how sometimes what we think things are is completely different than what what the other party expects.

    With old man winter howling outside, it gives some of us something constructive to do instead of watching television.

    In general, we all have our problems when dealing with the opposite sex. The on-line thing only goes so far. Eventually you have to meet them in person and have some interaction. I have no problem meeting people, it is just what I do after I meet them. There are were some of my questions lie.

  23. 24

    to Thomas on post #17

    “I hate to leave a bar early, because some women will not leave me alone.” Thomas, buddy, we have to talk!….tell me how you do that!…..For starters, the average bar has more men than women. Do you go to the Jazz lounges?…….

  24. 25

    A small percentage of women will take any man that they can get their hands on. Men are the same way, there are a small percentage that will take any woman that they can get their hands on. For the rest of us, we have to interact with these people.

    The more people you interact with, by the law of large numbers, the more likely you are to actually meet one or two of these people. So if 1 in a 1,000 women have a screw loose, then if you meet 3,000 women, then you are going to run into 3 women that are just plain nuts.

    Travel, meet new people, go to new countries, and just relax.

    You talk about the bar… do not be that guy that stands with his back against the wall glaring every woman down. I have yet to meet any woman that wants to be stalked. If you are in a bar, notice the boobie rub. When a woman walks pass you and you can feel her rub her boobies on you, that is the one that is going to buy you drinks all night. If she walks by and makes eye contact, throw a wink. What is the worst that can happen, she walks away. Do not do it to every girl at the bar, maybe one to three. If a woman sees that you are not hitting on everything with ovaries, a few hours later she will come back and start a conversation and buy you 1 or 2, 5, maybe even 20 beers.

    What ever you do, where ever you go, be at ease. No one likes to talk to someone who looks like they are ready to explode. No one wants to meet a person that watching their every move for the last 3 hours. Relax and chill, have a good time where ever you go. If you are having a good time, others will want in on the fun.

    If you are at the bar and one of your favorite songs comes on the jute box, do not be afraid to sing along. Way too many people are uptight and will not let themselves be free.

    When you go out, go out to have a good time, do not go out to pick up chicks. If your goal is to pick up chicks, there are magazines with lots of Russian women in them for that. When you go to a bar to pick up chicks, there is going to be a lot of stress and awkwardness. If you are there to have a good time, listen to some music, then when you run into someone pretty, things are more natural and flow better.

  25. 26

    Thanx Thomas…..

  26. 28

    I met my bf 3 years ago on Big Church (a Christian website). I’d been on other Christian websites previously without much success. His was the first email I ever received, we went out 3 weeks after emailing each other, and now 2 years on we’re still steady and I have to say he does make me happy. (we still have normal fights just like any other couple)

    However some of my girlfriends haven’t been so lucky with online dating. I guess it’s the individual’s luck.

  27. 29

    About the ‘ageist’ thing- I’m with June. Yeah, forty year old men are going to be up in arms coz young women like us don’t want to date them. But why the hell should I go for some old dude who’s got an ex-wife, kids, and God knows how many other issues when there are plenty of men my age around?

  28. 30

    Sayanta, I heard this response to your question at a singles seminar. “Because the old men have the experience to deal with you, when, you go into your “little girl” syndrome.

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