Once considered a realm inhabited only by the socially awkward, online dating is now just another tool in the toolbox, no matter whether you’re looking for a hook-up or your soulmate.....

To explore this topic, I pulled aside two individuals who I knew were hunting for a long-term relationship using online dating websites, and asked them about their experiences with the services.

The two services used by these individuals were OKCupid and Match.com, two of the largest and most popular dating websites on the Internet.

It made me SO uncomfortable that guys so much older than me, older than most of my siblings (all of which are 8 years plus older than me), were sending me messages telling me that I was “hot”.

I am getting terribly uncomfortable just thinking about it.

He spends time every day carefully browsing through profiles and looking for women who he feels share his same interests – beyond the dating site’s algorithm which promises to perform its own magic in matchmaking. I spent hours trying to create a profile that shows people what I’m really like. Sure, I get a lot of profile “views”, but no messages.

Despite his efforts, few girls ever answer his carefully crafted, very kind messages. I started out using Match.com, but then a friend told me that the success rate is much better on OKCupid, so I switched over to that. I’ve scheduled about an hour a day to browse through profiles and I look for several things.

That’s one of the issues I see with online dating though.

Words on a page can only tell you so much and often, they are not the best “first impressions”.

Personally, I think there is so much more to be gained from talking with someone face to face – you are able to read their body language and listen to intonation in their voice, which are much better indicators than online messages or profiles. You’re much more likely to get past the initial message if you can get a girl to first start talking to you based on interests.

RD: From your experience, do you think dating sites can be at all useful for girls? I know people who have had great successes with online dating! I have a strong preference toward meeting people in person FIRST, instead of online first. RD: How did you eventually end up meeting the guy you ended up marrying?

RD: How long have you been using online dating websites? Most importantly is that she likes doing similar things that I do. Maybe they don’t like my pictures, or maybe I’m not being as nice as I feel I am in my messages.