I’ve had more potential partners through eharmony.com ( http://tinyurl.com/2lyea ) than I ever did dating around my hometown,” says my client whom I’ll call Mary. She’s over 50, single, and interested in finding a life partner.

“I’ve always done better with some sort of introduction,” she says. “All the near-misses were people I’d known before, or was introduced to. It works better to know something about the other person. It saves a lot of time in the long run.”

“Another big plus,” she says, “is you can terminate the relationship easily without hurt feelings.”

Nobody looks forward to that rejection-point, and with online dating it’s as painless as it can be.

Most people find online dating is an easy and pressure-free way to meet people. It may take some getting used to if you aren’t an Internet person, but here are some points to consider.

COMPATIBILITY

Eharmony.com (http://tinyurl.com/2lyea ) and other sites ask you to take a personality profile and then they match you with people who are already predictably compatible with you. Imagine how much time this saves.

CAN’T STAND, MUST HAVE

They also allow you to choose and state your “can’t stands” and “must haves.” These could come out in conversation, but are touchy areas to begin with, and I’ll admit when I took the profile, they brought up some points I wouldn’t have thought of to ask myself. They range from attitudes, to beliefs, to appearance, to values.

PACING

The initial stages of getting to know the other person can be by format, and then by personal email. This slows down things long enough for you to take a good look at the other person and the compatibility factor.

PARADISE FOR WOMEN

At this point, of the 40 million people who access online dating every month, there are more men than women looking. This is the reverse of what you will find in most towns and in other venues. This is particularly enticing for the over 50 crowd. Online dating is one of the fastest growing Internet adventures, and for good reason. Most singles are looking for a viable and loving partnership. Life goes better when you’re a couple!

TIME FACTOR

Online dating saves tons of time, and that’s what we have the least of. As we run around all day and then try and find the venue for meeting nice others in the evening, we stretch a commodity that’s already in short supply. Moves complicate the picture; we become the new kid on the block again.

You can choose people as rapidly as they respond, and eliminate them this way as well.

ADVANTAGES

Will this work best for you if you are comfortable on the Internet and have computer skills? Yes, but it isn’t essential. My client Bill, who uses eharmony.com says he just uses their format to write his own things in there, usually saying “I’m a talk person, can we skip to the phone stage?” He’s found many who are willing and eager to forego the forms and email. It’s a matter of personal preference and there’s lots of leeway even though you may not see it at first.

The cost is next-to-nothing.

It’s especially good for introverts, who have the disadvantage in the bar scene, for instance. Introverts are generally more comfortable with a slow introduction and getting-to-know you period, communicate well in writing, and enjoy the peace and tranquility of being able to control the pace of an email and compose their thoughts.

“What I enjoy,” says Tom, “is I can do this on the spur-of-the-moment. Come home late at night tired, put on my casual clothes, forget about my 5:00 shadow and aching feet, and get on the computer. I don’t have to get dressed and go out. I know how to look good, but I don’t have that much time. That will come later.”

DISADVANTAGES

I can’t think of any!

There are the same chances for deception – faked photos, married people trying to get into the action, people who are dysfunctional – as you would find in real life, but my clients find you have much more of a safety net.

If it’s new to you, there will be a learning curve, but you’ll learn to filter out the phoneys and weirdos just as you do in real life.

I’ve heard people say they’d be ashamed to date online, but I really don’t get it. It allows you to swing a much wider net. Maybe it’s because in my family we got outside of our hometown for all sorts of adventures. My mother was from Texas, and my father from Chicago. We lived in different cities as my father worked his way up in his profession, and then I went to an out-of-state college. My former husband was from another state. I’ve always considered the US – if not beyond – to be my playing field. Have you?

On some of the sites, such as eharmony.com, you’ll be matched with people from other countries, and who knows what could happen. The choice is always yours, and that’s the good part.

Nearly half the adults in the US are now single, and we’re looking for one another. The computer, the Internet, has great potential in this area.

RAISE THE BAR

Sometimes someone tells me, “Those people are desperate. I’m not desperate. They’re people who can’t find someone in real life.”

I don’t know what isn’t “real life” about finding someone through the Internet, or what’s “desperate” about wanting a partner. They’re just as real once you see them!

But my answer to this is, “If you feel that way, why don’t you raise the bar? YOU’RE not desperate and YOU’RE looking, so jump in there. Someone is looking for you just as hard as you are looking for them, and have all the same things to offer.

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc. Coaching individuals for success in relationships and career. To investigate the services of eharmony.com go here: http://tinyurl.com/2lyea. To become a certified EQ coach, go here: http://eqcoach.net. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for free ezine and more information.