Looking for love has gotten a lot more complicated in the last few years...but also a lot more versatile. Says Bonny Albo, the About.com Guide to Dating, "The proliferation of dating sites being a good thing for singles depends on who you're asking, and what kind of single/potential partner you are. Really, all that dating sites can do are introduce people - it's up to the singles and potential couples to take their interactions from the pixels on a screen into the real world, and dating sites will never be able to help with that. ." We think such sites are just one more weapon in the dating arsenal.
Several years ago, one of our contributors scouted some of the local Cleveland dating services and sites, with often humorous results. However, it's time to revisit this topic and give you a look at the real world and online sites that work best for singles on the north coast.
Before there was Match.com, before there was eHarmony, Cleveland had Lunch Date. The Cleveland-based dating service, begun in 1995, has more than 800 people in its data base, ranging from age 23 to 72, from all over northeast Ohio. What makes Lunch Date unique is that owner, Mike Green personally interviews all members and he does the matchmaking. If both parties agree to meet, he'll set up lunch and see what happens. To date, the service credits their efforts with 292 marriages.
We reviewed Lunch Date a few years ago. Read our review here.
Match.com (local site)
One of the largest and first major online dating sites, Match.com is responsible for more than 500,000 singles just last year finding a meaningful relationship, according to the company's literature. Founded in 1995, Match.com today serves more than 15 million people in 240 countries on five continents. As of November, 2012, the currently monthly rate for Match.com was $30 a month USD, with extra costs for some of their unique features (like MindFindBind™ With Dr. Phil, which is an extra $8/month USD). Match.com accepts Visa, Mastercard, and most recently Pay Pal as payment methods.
Rated one of the top free dating sites by "Time" magazine, OK Cupid facilitates match-ups between both heterosexual couples and gay couples. The site, launched in 2005, has more than 1.3 million unique users as of February, 2012. It takes less than 30 seconds to sign up and, as long as you answer the questions honestly, their system is very accurate. In addition to the standard dating site functions, OK Cupid offers a "QuickMatch" feature that tells you where you and your "match" are similar or not so similar. (e.g. you both like to read; one of you is more adventuresome than the other.)