Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.
At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc.
Selecting a Username A good username should tempt potential partners to open your profile and learn more, Donaldson says, so you want it to stand out.
"When I was writing my book, I created many dating profiles.
I was the cool girl, the funny girl, the sexy girl, the shy girl.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
If you haven't dipped your toe in the online dating pool yet, the prospect of diving in can be overwhelming.