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If you like each other, set a date to meet." (Just be safe: Meet in a public place, bring a cell phone and be sure someone else knows where you are.)Keren Bernard and Peter Mannes, Brooklyn, New York Keren Bernard, 35, signed on to the dating website JDate (which matches Jewish singles) mostly for fun back in 2005. "He was standing near one of my favorite architecture books."A friend of mine was on it, and it was free back then, so I figured why not? There were all these things he wouldn't do, like eat after 8 p.m., and after our first date he sent all these weird emails. And we went out to eat at my favorite Japanese restaurant," says Keren.It seemed like another way to meet people, like going to a bar." In her first three months, she met one man who seemed, by his profile, to be ideal: artistic, smart, with a career that dovetailed with Keren's (she's an interior designer), and with similar likes and dislikes. Within a couple of months, they were traveling to Atlanta to meet Peter's family.In October 2006, they headed to City Hall to get married for the first time—repeating the nuptials in May 2007, "with a rabbi and all our family and friends." Still in Brooklyn, the couple has a 2-year-old daughter.Joining e Harmony, which matches couples based on a detailed personality questionnaire, says Anna, "was my backup in case I didn't meet anyone the 'regular' way." It took six months of being matched with other e Harmony members before she met Sam."His profile struck a chord—he was very spiritual, for one thing, which was important to me." Those other matches had interested her, but fizzled once they got past initial communication. Six months later, Anna and Sam were engaged; they got married in April 2010.Within a few weeks, Tonya was matched with Frank, and they began exchanging emails, at least one a day for a few weeks.
But even though their early email matchup went smoothly, and they began dating quickly, their brand-new relationship was tested when Crissy's dad became very ill.
Not up on the hometown dating scene, she decided to sign on to Spring Street Singles, a site that aggregated personal ads from various media outlets, such as and The
"I just wanted to meet people, go out and have fun," she says. "In a list of five things he said he couldn't live without were live music and a Wüsthof knife.
Time was, if you met your mate online, you developed a cover story: If anyone asked, you'd say you met in a bar or at kayaking lessons. Whether it's the fact that many of us already conduct so much of our personal and business lives online, or the proliferation of online dating sites touting their successful matches, it's perfectly acceptable to say, with pride, that you met the love of your life with your fingers on a keyboard, not wrapped around a cocktail at a singles event.
Here, five women who found their mate (or were found) online, and went from email to walking down the aisle: A divorced mother, Anna, 46, looked into the future and saw a time when her kids wouldn't need her around quite as much—and she'd end up alone.
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Not so with Sam—whom she agreed to make a date with after six weeks of emails and hour-long phone calls. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is a real man, not just an email! Lesson learned: Keep expectations low; it can take a while to find a match.