Consumer Affairs' founder and former editor, Jim Hood formerly headed Associated Press Broadcast News, directing coverage of major news events worldwide.
You could meet people you don't like, people who don't like you, people who are boring or even downright dangerous. We're not saying these are the best sites for you -- that's something you need to decide for yourself -- but like examining puppies or seaside condos, looking can be half the fun. Remember how we said there were sites that cater to every demographic slice imaginable?
But the same is true of just about any other method of meeting people. What it comes down to is that there are risks in everything so as long as you take the obvious precautions -- don't meet strangers in dark places, don't send money to someone you've never met and don't reveal all your personal information in a single gush -- online dating is probably less dangerous than crossing a busy street or trying to clean out your gutters on a windy day. Many cater to individual tastes -- there are sites for gays, Jews, Christians, equestrians, millionaires, Hispanics and old white people. Well, here's one that specializes in New England, a locale that can be a little forbidding and frosty to the uninitiated.
One thing's for sure -- there's no shortage of dating sites. Fittingly for a site in a region that cherishes its history and traditions, Successful Singles has been around since 1984, which is not quite the Colonial Era but actually predates the Internet as we know it.
No one really knows how many there are but the answer is somewhere in the thousands. Successful Singles even goes so far as to announce that it is not an online dating site, instead proclaiming itself to the "the premier social introduction service in Boston."Rather than using algorithms to match clients, Successful Singles uses a more personal approach, starting with a 10-minute phone consultation followed by a 50-minute face-to-face meeting, after which it promises introductions within 10 days.
The approach seems to work with the upscale client base it's targeting.
At Consumer Affairs, we don't hear much about Successful Singles but what we do hear is pretty positive."I spent months online with no success.
Joined Successful Singles and met women that were interested in having a long-term committed relationship.
I don't have lots of time to spend on the computer, so having my own personal matchmaker was an ideal situation for me," said John of Norwood, Mass.
If the prospect of spending a New England winter by yourself is a chilling prospect, Successful Singles may be the answer. It's Just Lunch uses an approach similar to Successful Singles, offering to pair up compatible couples for lunch or a drink after work.
Describing itself as a "dating service for professionals," It's Just Lunch also uses a personal counselor approach, hoping to find just the right chemistry in each situation.
With offices in major cities, it's not restricted to a single geographic area.