Best dating services to find a real relationship?
June 13, 2004 6:55 PM   Subscribe

This one is simple. Do you (have you) used a dating service. Which ones sucked? Which ones rocked? I'm currently using one - and yeah, I'm looking for someone long term, not just for this week. Anyone get married from this?
posted by filmgeek to Human Relations (49 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I met my gf of 2+ years, whom I now live with, on Craigslist. I had gone through a period of frequent online dating, but then pretty much gave up. Hers was the first ad I'd even read in over 6 months, and I did so on a random impulse.

I tried the various services, and found that the people on the free ones, like CL, were more normal. There's a lower barrier to entry at a free site, so many more relatively normal people are willing to try it on a whim or a dare. The people on the pay sites were just much less desireable overall, and often deeper in fantasy about what the internet could do for them. They had higher expectations and less to offer. I was much more interested in the girls who tossed 35 words up on Craigslist than the girls who got professional photos done for their profile pages. Most of them seemed either desperate for a date, or on a very serious mission to find a husband, with precious little fun to be found in between.

I apologize to anyone this offends. Obviously there are many stories out there, and I don't mean to characterize all members as fat losers, because they aren't. But I found more people on CL who approached online dating from a "I can't believe I'm doing this" mindframe, which was where I was coming from 95% of the time.

Tip: send a picture in your very first email. You don't even know them yet, so there's no way this gesture could possibly offend them, or cheapen any rapport you've established. Most people automatically feel the obligation to reciprocate immediately, and that spares you the awkwardness of having to ask to see what they look like.

And no matter what either of you looks like, exchanging pictures is a good idea, preferably before you've gotten deep into several romantic emails. Believe me, you have no idea whether someone is really on your wavelength until you meet them. People present what they want to present in email. In person, the game is on and many illusions are flushed out.

For this reason, I suggest just sending an email or two, a picture, and then deciding to take a chance on meeting. There really isn't much point in carrying on the online bullshit, which is what most of the pay sites would like for you to do (because that's how they make their money).

Good luck, and refuse! to! be! stigmatized! I'm one good lucking devil and I'm solvent, smart, educated, and a good lay! And I found my girlfriend online! Booyah! You can too!
posted by scarabic at 7:25 PM on June 13, 2004

Looks like craigslist is San Frisco-specific though, which is too bad for those of us out on the east coast.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:36 PM on June 13, 2004

Craigslist isn't as big a deal in other cities, but it's there. Use it! Make it useful!
posted by caitlinb at 7:42 PM on June 13, 2004

Cities for which a Craigslist exists.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:45 PM on June 13, 2004

ah, learned something. Thanks.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:47 PM on June 13, 2004

But I found more people on CL who approached online dating from a "I can't believe I'm doing this" mindframe...

That's the first cliche to abandon when you start online dating. The insecure types who have to constantly remind you that "they can't believe they're doing this" get really annoying wicked fast.

I met my fiancee on I tried the free services first and my experiences with Craig's List were really disappointing. CL is really more geared towards posting hippy polemics, fencing stolen goods, looking for fuck/dope buddies and trying to sell a 486 for 200 bucks. I apologize to anyone this offends.

Because it takes both a financial and time investment to do Match, it sifts out most of the seedy people. You then have to learn to recognize the loons, but that's not hard.

So, yeah, I met a girl on the Internet and we're getting married. I can't imagine any other way, given our temperments, that I could have met a woman like her in any other circumstance.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:51 PM on June 13, 2004

I have had most success with LavaLife, plus I prefer it's 'payment for credits' model over's subscriptions. is like a shotgun approach; shoot out a bunch of introductions during the subscription period, weed out the loons, and hope for a gem. Maybe panning for gold is a better metaphor.

Salon also runs on 'payment for credits', however be aware that this service is actually a conglomerate in which a number of online publications participate. In addition to Salon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and (I believe) a Baltimore newspaper also share the database.

eHarmony sucks! To make this short, very few referrals coupled with a very complicated and drawn-out introduction process.

Of my two best relationships that started online, one I met through Plastic and the other at an Internet-invitation-only event at an Atlanta nightclub.
posted by mischief at 8:34 PM on June 13, 2004

I had the best luck with springstreet (the back end for the personals hosted by Salon, the Onion, Nerve, etc). I dated quite a few people through them and met my current GF there. We've been together about 18 months now and talked very seriously about getting married, but haven't set a date, gotten a ring, etc yet.

I had also tried Match and (at least in my area) found that the majority of people on there were a little more .... umm ... boring I guess and seemed a little more desperate, though that very well could just be my experience.

Each of the sites does seem to have a personality to it from what I can tell and I think you'll probably just need to browse the personals on each of them for a while to see if the kind of people that you're interested in have posts up.

Also, if you're a guy, I'd definitely suggest putting your profile up on whatever site you try. The best dates that I had through the site were from women that contacted me. I think the women that do post their profiles tend to get flooded with responses and it's easy to get your message lost in that noise. If you have your profile up (with a decent picture and a well written profile), there's a good chance that you'll get at least a few responses from lurkers who don't want to post their profile, but who would rather choose who they get in contact with.

Good luck.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 8:38 PM on June 13, 2004

All you really need is:
1) A Land Rover
2) A Large Dimaond.
3) Not expect very much sex, if she isn't in the mood
4) One pike!

The girls will come flocking to you.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:05 PM on June 13, 2004

I second (springstreet). I would say avoid Lavalife at all costs. Mostly photos of people posing in front of trucks. (Sorry, mischief.)

I like dating and have met probably close to 100 people over the last 5 or 6 years or so through For the most part the women I've met through there have been very bold, intelligent and attractive (the three hottest women I've ever met in my life I met through Nerve--so much for the "only the desperate and ugly would use personals"). I met only 2 women through lavalife. One was boring and the other was a fucking stalker.

My advice to you is to try your damdest to meet after only a couple or three emails. Otherwise, you end up creating an image of the person in your mind (good or bad) that is never right. It creates really bizarre expectations. Thanks to my personal site, I have a lot (too much) experience emailing with, um, potential suitors, and I can't say strongly enough to just set a date and meet and get it over with. You'll know in 15 minutes or less if you click and save much time with all the back and forth email nonsense.

Also, don't lie in your ads/emails. You're just wasting your time unless you want an online "affair" or whatever you want to call it. If this is someone you want to actually meet and have a relationship with, it pays to be upfront. That's also something you'll appreciate in the people you're communicating with.

Other tips:

-- if you mail a girl and she doesn't mail you back don't bother mailing her again. I've met countless girls who tell me about the "morons" who keep mailing them when they don't bother to respond.

-- put up a picture. you'll get way more responses if you have one.

-- the toughest email is the first one. Try and be humorous.

-- have an interesting username. I've had about a dozen people email just because they thought the username I used was funny. Same goes for the "subject" or "blurb" of your ad.

-- take a browse through the ads of people of your own gender. You'll start to see patterns and similar wording in many of them. Obviously, try and avoid doing that--anything to make your ad different.

-- as mentioned above, do not make a big deal out of the fact that you're using personals. The people who "can't believe they're doing this" are fucking annoying and the experienced users avoid them at all costs. Accept that there's nothing wrong with using the internet to find mates. (In my opinion, the reason I've met so many great women through nerve is simply because it's a fantastic way for them to put a filter between them and the majority of idiots who are hitting on them in real life. They can truly weigh a guy by his humor, spelling, communication skills, and other things that it usually takes a date or two to figure out.)

-- don't be discouraged if the first one or two people you meet don't click. It takes practice to figure out who's worth meeting but you'll eventually get the hang of it.

-- this is a personal superstition but I recommend never meeting in the day for the first time. I've only met about 5 people in the afternoon and every one of the dates has been a disaster. I'm mostly a night person so maybe that's why. If you know when you're in your element, aim for it for your first date. In my experience, it makes a huge difference.

Good luck.
posted by dobbs at 9:23 PM on June 13, 2004 [1 favorite]

I met the girl I'm going to spend the rest of my life with on

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the site. I sent out six emails, got four replies. ended up meeting three, dated two, fell completely in love with one and have been dating for almost a year now. I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

To be fair though, I'll mention that my girlfriend, who had been on the site a bit longer than me, went on more than a few so-so dates before she met me. No real horror stories, but a lot of dead ends.

Don't underestimate the time commitment, be sure to put up a decent photo, and make every email you send out completely personalized to the girl you're sending it to. mention stuff you see in the profile and ask her questions.
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:24 PM on June 13, 2004

Okay, Mayor. We had opposite experiences, which, more than anything, is a good discouragement for either of us to generalize about the other. I hope there's room for us to respect each other in the morning. I think your characterization was a little harsher than mine, frankly, and not a little snipey. has grown a lot in the years since I've used it, so take my comments on it, in particular, with a grain of salt.

My congratulations on your engagement. I hope to become so lucky myself. I will (and did) say that there are more marriage-focused people on the pay sites. That wasn't where I was when I set out, and I found that attitude a bit too goal-oriented, considering the broad sea to be crossed between any two people who meet online.

If it worked out for you, congratulations. *You* should take the credit, IMHO, not or any other web site. When were you a member, just curiously?

As for "Craigslist" in particular, I just meant: whatever free message board / classifieds forum is popular wherever you ware. CL has variants in many cities, but whatever you've got should be more or less the same.

Oh, and some advice: be honest.
posted by scarabic at 9:33 PM on June 13, 2004

Seven people on Match have profiles including the word "metafilter"...
posted by NortonDC at 9:44 PM on June 13, 2004

Interesting that all of the responses so far have been from men seeking women online. I'm very interested to hear from women on this topic. I've had a profile up for years and gotten a fair number of moronic responses and few decent ones. I'm wondering if I spending money on credits will help or if I should just give up. Ladies?
posted by bonheur at 10:02 PM on June 13, 2004

I met my fiancee through (although I found out soon after that she knew who I as from Metafilter and even had a bit of a crush on me).

Her ad said "Matt Haughey is sexy, Kotke is sexier". My response was "Ben Brown is the sexiest." It's been love ever since.
posted by Mick at 10:14 PM on June 13, 2004

You don't need to hear from the ladies to answer that question. There are plenty of "taken" males here who have the information you need. As with a lot of dating contexts, you (the man) are going to get a lot more mileage if you take the initiative.

I say this with zero condescension. I think it's a total bummer that men and women don't approach one another with equal enthusiasm in the mating game, but it's not really either gender's fault, completely. I like to think we're going through changes in that regard. But they will take time to show, and you were born in a time when men are supposed to make the first move. Get used to it.

*there are exceptions*

Meanwhile, you need to respond to womens' ads, and you need to be able to distinguish yourself from 100s of others who are also responding. This is hard. I recommend being really good looking and writing extremely well. Notice something about her ad and spin it up into a thoughtful, elopquent response that will let her know you're paying attention and communicate your capacity for imagination and intution.

If you're an insensate lug who can't write: sorry.
posted by scarabic at 10:16 PM on June 13, 2004

Incidentally, can anyone explain something about to me? One of their primary questionaire items is the following;



What the fuck are they talking about? Masturbation is far too universal to bother asking, and BDSM is far too un-universal to bother asking. WTF am I missing?
posted by scarabic at 10:23 PM on June 13, 2004

I recommend eHarmony.
posted by rudyfink at 10:30 PM on June 13, 2004

Yikes! Is the self-deprecation question a BDSM reference? I thought it was just about how seriously you took yourself.
posted by coolgeek at 10:41 PM on June 13, 2004

I've used the springstreet networks before (Salon, Nerve, etc) and liked it. And yes, bonheur, you should spend a few bucks on credits. Sometimes I'll pass on someone who doesn't really strike my fancy and then I'll get an email from him and find out that he really is pretty cool after all.

I second (third?) the idea of setting up a meeting not long after you start emailing. You'll really never know what someone's like until you meet face-to-face, and it'll save a lot of wasted time if you get it out of the way as soon as possible.
posted by stefanie at 10:45 PM on June 13, 2004

I'm pretty sure self-deprication is just what coolgeek said, how willing you are to be playful about yourself. So to speak
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:08 PM on June 13, 2004

I'd have to say most of the good comments have already been made but having used the springstreet (the credits per use system is MUCH better then a monthly cost) and having met my current girlfriend on craigslist (but nothing beats free), i'd say that the generalization about the personals is that you really can't take them personally.
My own experience was that having just moved to san francisco i was trying to meet people as well as find a gal and being that i'm in the heart of CL it worked out really well. i have a feeling that for other cities (and yes, CL is in other places but not as deeply rooted as here) your probably going to fall back on a pay site. If you do choose a pay site make sure it's a credit system because otherwise you'll set up the expectation that you need to get responses quickly or you'll be wasting money.
Patience i would say is the biggest thing to remember if your a guy. Basically what i did is if i was feeling bored i would post to some girls ad i found interesting, and make use of the boredom to write out an entertaining reply. By entertaining i mean entertaining to yourself and not necessarily to the perception of the person your writing too. Remember, the ideal here is not to find somebody, but to find somebody your going to be interested in...and therefore you should write in the same fashion that you would be willing to reply to. Oh yeah, and creativity is a MAJOR bonus (though i did have a disappointing experience with writing haiku's).
Anyway, do realize that the interenet thing does work, but it's not as rapid as google. As long as you don't mope around expecting replies without putting in legwork you will eventually meet someone....or just end up running into them in the grocery store...
posted by NGnerd at 11:14 PM on June 13, 2004

oh, and to add, i was always wondering why nobody set up a specific dating seen around stuff like mefi....we already have the zip codes, we just need the option to fill out "single and looking"
posted by NGnerd at 11:16 PM on June 13, 2004

It's good to read these high marks for CL. I was biased by a 2000 article in the East Bay Express rag about some girl who found the worst freaks in the world on it. But now maybe I'll check it out. (Just moved to San Francisco myself)
posted by inksyndicate at 11:47 PM on June 13, 2004

I'm pretty sure self-deprication is just what coolgeek said, how willing you are to be playful about yourself.

Okay... which makes "self-love" what, again?

Oh, and inksyndicate, you will find absolute freaks on CL. Just apply the following filters:

1) Avoid the community forums
2) Avoid the "casual encounters" forums
3) Apply common sense to the remaining ads
4) Respond to the ones you like, out of what remains

This will still be a huge number to choose from, but nowhere near the number you're eliminating by not being an over-optimistic clod.
posted by scarabic at 12:09 AM on June 14, 2004

i was always wondering why nobody set up a specific dating seen around stuff like mefi

Assuming you mean "scene..."

Matt, how difficult would be?

Holy Lord someone make me a quonsar/beth sandwich SOON!
posted by scarabic at 12:14 AM on June 14, 2004

What dobbs said, meet as soon as possible! I haven't used dating services, but I've spent plenty of time on IRC. I met my partner there, just shy of 8 years ago. We met only days after originally connecting. I've met plenty of others after long contact, and it can be a fast disaster.
posted by Goofyy at 2:21 AM on June 14, 2004

FWIW, I'll be performing at three different weddings this summer which are a result of pairings made at From what I've seen/heard, eHarmony produces spouses, while other sites produce dating/cohabiting partners.
posted by Dreama at 3:31 AM on June 14, 2004

after reading this thread, I seriously think that Matt should create something like

just imagine the cute first-date snarkiness -- "You're wrong!" "No, you're wrong!" "Well, where's the link for that?" "If you don't call me tomorrow, I'll drag your ass to MetaTalk"

it boggles the mind. there's probably a goldmine there
posted by matteo at 4:37 AM on June 14, 2004

I hope there's room for us to respect each other in the morning.

Of course! This is just a discussion about consumer preference. There isn't a correct answer.

Craig's List is fine for plenty of things, including the stuff I mentioned. But that doesn't invalidate the good uses. I was just making a joke. Sorry if it seemed hostile, because it was written with a smile.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:52 AM on June 14, 2004

I tried various online dating sites, mostly back when they were mostly still free. It was a crushingly discouraging process, which apparently, I deserved because I'm overweight. One guy from match declared that he couldn't believe he'd 'wasted his time' when I sent a picture. Which makes him at least more communicative than the many guys who I exchanged emails with for days, and who mysteriously disappeared when I sent a picture. And, I'd like to add, I had already chosen the heaviest of the body type options, so it's not like this should have been a stunning surprise to anyone. But apparently men hold out the hope that by extra-large you actually mean a size 10.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:26 AM on June 14, 2004

new tagline:
MetaFilter -- Sorry if it seemed hostile, because it was written with a smile

posted by matteo at 5:37 AM on June 14, 2004

I "met" my wife through At the time I was not explicitly looking for a date. I'd recently had a messy breakup with my ex and was stranded in bumfuck, tx alone. I got back into contact with a lot of people from my (very large) high school but only a few of them "stuck" and those are the ones that I spent more time emailing, set up small trips to hang out with them, etc. After a few months of being friends with this girl it became apparent to both of us that we loved each other. So, it went from there.

I tried some online dating services too at one point. Didn't work out for me really, although to be fair I was in Lubbock (the aforementioned bumfuck) and there were not many girls from the area in most of the places I looked. But, to be honest, like many here I've got a dab of the geek in me, a bit of the old socially awkward. I don't do well in the dating sense, I've never been good at shining around people I don't know well, so dating sites probably aren't for me. I do much better with the upfront conception that we are here to *make friends* and that's it.

Plus, I already *knew* this girl. We were friends in high school, had many of the same friends, shared experiences. I knew her parents, she knew mine. Hell, our parents live in the same basic neighborhood, handy for holidays and what not. There is so much pressure inherent in the dating game, my advice would be to step back a bit and get into the friendship game. Build up a pool of new friends and that can become a network to meet new people who you might date at some point in the future. It's a very traditional way of approaching dating. That and getting set up with someone by friends -- another reason to make new friends.

Grain of salt: I did this back when was not quite so money hungry, so it didn't cost me or my wife anything to talk to each other. Now I think you have to pay to really get in contact with people.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:21 AM on June 14, 2004

I don't know about the dating sites, but just go to target interest discussion boards. Just deicide what interests that you look for in a mate and go from there, be it with music, film, linux, model airplanes, paper mache, coin collecting, etc. You'll find someone that you don't hate eventually.
posted by corpse at 6:22 AM on June 14, 2004

As I've mentioned before, I met my wife via the's online personals. I'd taken out an ad before, and gotten some good responses. That last ad, though, was a killer -- it won ad of the week, which got me special placement, theater tickets, and a flood of responses. But it was also weird enough to filter out tightasses. Filters are good.

It's definitely a good idea to make your ad different -- everyone likes long walks on the beach, picnics with a bottle of good red wine, no games, blah blah blah. I got responses from several personal ad "regulars," and those usually weren't productive, but I met some nice people, too. Again, the weirder ads filtered out the women who respond to ads every week, it seemed.

Your ad will reach a ton of people, so put in the little specific things that are important, those things you can't stand -- again, filters. But never sound bitter; that's always the biggest turn off. I was always careful to mention liking smoky dive bars and museums, since that can be a tough combination to find. Don't be afraid to let your ad evolve from one incarnation to the next.

I used somewhat extensively, too. That seemed to be an avenue for meeting lots of people fast, but most of the women there didn't seem too interested in long-term relationships. I did have some fun, though, so I won't knock it.

My rule was always, always two or three emails, then a phone call, which involved scheduling a date (Sunday at 2 at a coffee place works well), all usually within the first week. You'll want to weed out the ones who want only an internet relationship; there are a lot of those out there.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:57 AM on June 14, 2004

Here's a second vote for discussion boards and email lists at least as an adjunct to the dating sites. I've never used a dating site, but I met my partner on my favorite mailing list (which, sadly, no longer exists). We got to know each other quite well and became very close friends. She was looking for a mate, I wasn't...but she was not looking on that list, and anyhow she was interested in, um, the other gender so our relationship was purely platonic. Until we met face-to-face for the first time. We fell madly in love with each other within a week of meeting. That was about 3 years ago and we expect to spend the rest of our lives together.

Common interests are very important to a good long-term relationship, and you just never know what can happen.
posted by Tholian at 8:06 AM on June 14, 2004

Just to balance things out a bit, I'll mention my less positive results. I've had profiles on and off for at least a couple years on springstreet & friendster, and have never gone on a second date. I have gotten excited about email exchanges, and then disappointed by the real life encounter. I bought credits on nerve (springstreet) but only ever used about 2 of them (you buy in batches of 20 or 25, so I have a lot of unused ones).

Although, part of it (at least) is no doubt my own lackadaisical attitude about being single (I kind of don't care), which means that if I'm not really excited, I just don't want to bother. If not for online services, I probably would have been on very few dates at all. I have one friend who is seriously committed to finding a mate; she has had a couple of 6-monthish relationships off of nerve. I know at least one of them was broken off by the other party and she was devastated. It may be worth mentioning that she has recently joined "SLAA", or sex and love addicts anonymous! So she & I are pretty much on opposite ends of that particular spectrum.

Re: women initiating - even those of us who would be happy for things to be equal in this regard suffer from the fact that other women don't, which means that men don't get that many emails in general, and so are more likely to send out emails, which means women open to relationships with men get a lot of emails...

Which leads me to add, re: the morons who keep writing, this is not always a terrible idea if you think you're a particularly good match, since you may get lost in the shuffle; just use good judgment (if you don't objectively fit their criteria in the "who I'm looking for" section, or if they are just "out of your league" in terms of pictures, then one try might be already pushing it a bit, and more really is moronic).

However, a better solution is to make sure you're not lost in the shuffle - don't send one sentence emails; fill out your profile with as much info as you can; include a picture on your profile (choose a decent pic, but also be careful not to oversell yourself); choose an interesting username (for god's sake, not "sexyguy32" or something like that...); generally speaking remember that this is all they know about you.
posted by mdn at 8:37 AM on June 14, 2004

No problem, dobbs. This thread illustrates well that dating sites are as individual as the users.

Echoing the above: definitely do a face-to-face meeting ASAP.
posted by mischief at 9:01 AM on June 14, 2004

I don't remember where I read this, but it's a good thing to remember:

Men join up to dating services singly. Women sometimes join in groups, with all of a set of friends joining.

Pair this with the fact that men generally need to initiate, and thus send out lots of emails to lots of girls.

This is going to end up with a good probability that you will email someone and at least one of her friends. They may compare emails etc. Not a big deal, but just be aware that you may be scrutinized from various angles.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:04 AM on June 14, 2004

oh, re: which one to use, it definitely has something to do with who you are - match is generally for more mainstream kinda folks; springstreet specifically courts the downtown/ "edgier" types (there is an option for "play," and for "couple" in the category "gender"; re; love & deprecation, I took those both as jokes, the second about yr sense of humor! but maybe people do think it means bdsm... oops.) Friendster is sort of in-between but I'd say more "hipster", fashion folk, less hippie, artist folk than nerve. Craig's list seems more like your average city people, but since individuals make their own ads, you get a direct sense from that. Some are openly just-for-fun-tonight typa things. There are some interesting ads posted though, and it's free so worth scrolling through.
posted by mdn at 9:14 AM on June 14, 2004

I agree with a lot of what people are saying in this thread - use a flattering but natural picture, avoid the use of clich├ęs in your profile, accelerate the process to an actual meeting. I also recommend the judicious use of the blocking function - you've no call to take garbage from some jerk.

Oh, and if you think you're better (have a sexsai radio voice, would rather talk than type, etc.) on the phone than online, try some of the telephone dating systems. You can still email each other pictures, and I found I met more people faster on the phone system, though it was harder to screen them and they therefore tended to be of lesser quality.

People do get married to people they meet off these things. A friend of mine went on a phone system some years back. She met a guy and I got a long letter about what a jerk the guy was and how the whole system was shit. Then she met a second guy - and now they're married and expecting their first child this October. By contrast, I have met too many to count and I'm still looking, with only a collection of good stories to show for my efforts. But then, I figure it's a needle in the haystack scenario - you might find the needle right away or only after searching for years or you might never find it, but if you stop looking you will definitely never find it.

I don't know whether I like the idea of a or find it really creepy. I'm imagining a lot of babies named Matthew and Haughey though:-)
posted by orange swan at 9:23 AM on June 14, 2004

I had great luck with Met lots of great women, and had lots of fun dates. Oddly enough however, I wound up marring 'the girl next door' (true love was closer than I thought). You can (or could) post an ad on match w/o paying. This prevents you from initiating but paying members can contact you. Kind of cheap I guess... Also tied Nerve a bit. It was fun, but I felt it was mostly geared toward casual encounters.
Glad I tried them though.
As mentioned above, use a photo, interesting profile and be honest (if you are looking for a long term relationship).
posted by evilelf at 9:59 AM on June 14, 2004

oh, and to add, i was always wondering why nobody set up a specific dating [scene] around stuff like mefi....we already have the zip codes, we just need the option to fill out "single and looking"

I don't know whether I like the idea of a or find it really creepy. I'm imagining a lot of babies named Matthew and Haughey though:-)

I met my current bf at a MetaFilter meetup. Might be the sort of thing you can only do once, though! Having a comment history to check out is actually quite helpful.

But breakups would not be good for the site. Just imagine the new depths to which grudgefilter comments could sink.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:01 AM on June 14, 2004

That's funny. I met a fantastic girl at a MetaFilter meetup, too! Think of the odds!
posted by NortonDC at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2004

:::tries to send mdn a msg through, sighs when it bounces:::
posted by rushmc at 10:33 AM on June 14, 2004

But breakups would not be good for the site. Just imagine the new depths to which grudgefilter comments could sink.

And the comment "You suck!" would take on a whole new meaning.
posted by orange swan at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2004

Or you all could just date me. Ladies? I'm somewhat overweight, live with my parents, and spend way too much time on the computer. Also, I fight injustice, support liberal causes, and plot deaths via balloon.

NJ, baby, NJ.

posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:56 PM on June 14, 2004

Late to the party again...but I wanted to chime in from the female perspective. I met my husband through a few years ago. Went on several oh-well dates before finding him, but each one in its way was a good time (or a good story).

Online dating was a good choice for me because I honestly couldn't see myself wasting a lot of time in bars or other places hoping to serendipitously stumble on an individual who met all my particular criteria. Yay for searchable databases! And in addition, the email format meant that a) I could remain anonymous and protected as long as I chose, and b) before I committed to so much as a cup of coffee, I could get a feel for whether the guy could write a decent paragraph.

It's been quite a while now since my husband or I have been reluctant to describe how we met. It was efficient, and we're happy--so what's not to like?
posted by clever sheep at 9:20 AM on June 15, 2004

I agree with scarabic's comment from way up top. Dates from CL have felt more natural and less scripted, perhaps due to the lower threshold of entry. But make sure your bullshit hat is securely fastened, because that same quality makes it ripe for mischief.

Also, I've found that there's a HUGE benefit to including her in a get together with other friends, early on, if she seems relatively with-it. A two-tier date which includes some one-on-one time, and then some sort of social event can be ideal. As George Costanza would say, it provides a personality showcase. For both of you, really -- if she can't mingle decently with your friends, that might be a red flag (if the relationship has legs, they're going to need to get along). And as an added benefit it strongly suggests you're not a) a sociopathic loner, or b) already attached. It also shows what you like to do when you're not dating.

And above all, try to avoid sending the penis picture in the first email.
posted by condour75 at 2:23 AM on June 16, 2004

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