Eileen Bock, a 33-year-old graduate student in Chicago, has attended weddings for couples who met online, but she still finds the prospect unappealing.“The best relationships I’ve been in have been with guys that I meet in a non-dating situation,” she says.“Because my faith is so extremely important to me, I believe I have the best chance in finding compatibility with others who are Catholic,” she says. “Our service is only for those ‘rare’ single Catholics who do not believe in Catholic dating and who do believe in courtship and find it hard to meet 100 percent practicing Catholic singles.” That doesn’t mean Ave Maria Singles will reject your profile if you believe in the ordination of women, but you may struggle to find like-minded individuals.Most Catholic sites attract members with various degrees of fidelity to church doctrine—and various desires to marry.“Then their key criterion, their potential mate being Catholic, has already been met,” Tracy says.And the odds for overall compatibility increase, Gorman figures. is unequivocally orthodox, catering to “committed, faith-filled, marriage-minded Catholic singles,” the site notes.
It’s a practical—and preferable—alternative to the bar scene and workplace for busy, mobile professionals, many say.“I was having one of those panicky moments where I could visualize myself as still single, 50 years old, and only buying Christmas gifts for nieces and nephews,” she recalls.“I must have sat for five minutes before hitting the ‘Enter’ button on the registration page, pondering if my act was desperation or if I was simply taking charge of my possibilities.” Others don’t blink about it.: A doctor with dimples in his cheeks and champagne in his hand lounging in a hot tub. Jen Perkovich, a 26-year-old nurse from Woodbury, Minnesota, flinched when she spotted Ryan Dick’s personal ad on Online dating is no longer confined to the desperate. And 16 months later, she accepted his marriage proposal.“As a purchasing agent, I’m used to going to the Internet to find all sorts of things, so I figured, ‘Well, why not a wife?’” Men are less reluctant to date online, Tracy says; they constitute nearly 70 percent of online daters. ’ Women tend to be more analytical and cautious.” But once Jen Perkovich overcame her doubt, she immediately recognized the benefits of a cybersearch—comparing profiles and e-mails offered a rational approach to an irrational act: falling in love.“There was no pressure to date or impress each other, so we became friends.” Lino Rulli, 34, former host of the nationally syndicated Catholic TV show , agrees.“I like my rejection the old-fashioned way: to my face.“You’ve got record numbers of unmarried adults, most of whom are busy and wouldn’t know where to start looking for a spouse.And you’ve got this new technology that allows people from all over the world to communicate.” The quaint dating techniques that sufficed for their grandparents and parents aren’t working as well for today’s singles, Bonacci adds.