The New Way to Look for Love Online

Searching online for your soul mate—or simply your next date—is the new norm. So if you’re looking for love online, there’s no shame in the game!

While there used to be a stigma attached to online dating, a whopping one third of marriages now begin that way. Even better? Couples who begin their romance online tend to have happier and longer-lasting relationships, say the study authors. If you’re single and searching, here are three things to keep in mind.

1. Simple sites are just as good as complex matching programs.

Websites that brag about 14-page questionnaires and complex partner-matching algorithms are no more likely to pair you with your perfect guy or gal than straight-forward photo-based sites, according to another study. Your best bet? Go with the site—or sites!—that most appeal to you.

2. Get offline sooner than later.

Sure, flirty emails and texts are fun—but experts say that the key to making a true match is to meet potential partners in person sooner rather than later so you can see if the romantic spark you feel online exists in person too. That’s exactly why an increasing number of dating sites—like Match.com, HowAboutWe.com and Grouper.com—are facilitating group and/or individual dates for people in the same area.

3. Be honest—to a point.

One third of online daters “fudge” their photos by using images that are outdated, retouched or otherwise not accurate representations of what they look like, according to a recent study. A better method: use a good—but realistic—photo of yourself; you’ll temper expectations and up your odds of a good first in-person interaction.

And now to the big one: when do you disclose you have MS?!?

The answer is different for everyone, and ultimately you have to decide what you’re most comfortable with. But what’s the standard?

Well, most people don’t throw their entire life story out there on a dating website – it’s generally accepted that everyone has embarrassing exes, family dramas and maybe even health conditions that they’re not likely to share off the bat with a complete stranger.

Ever seen an online dating profile that reads something like “Hey, I cheated on my last mate, have a genetic disorder that might be passed along to my future children, and sometimes tend to sing in the shower…loudly”? Chances are no, but everyone has a history and part of the fun of dating is finding out what that is, for better or for worse!

It’s all about what you’re most comfortable with. For some people, it might be better to get everything out in the open right away. And for others, you may feel more comfortable waiting until you really get to know someone.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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