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During the five-month survey, which began in July 2002, 568 of the women met face-to-face with at least one man with whom their first contact was online.After taking precautions to ensure their safety during the first in-person encounter, 30 percent of the women reported having sex during that date, and 77 percent of those did not use condoms, Padgett reported.Some hired agencies to run background checks, while others conducted their own research online.Some watched for inconsistencies in men's stories, asked for a photo or talked on the phone to judge character. The women also took precautions on the first date, such as meeting in a public place.Nearly a third were in their 40s, about a quarter were in their 30s and another quarter were in their 20s.They used various techniques to screen suitors before the first date.The Web site estimates that online dating results in about 120,000 marriages each year.Mark Brooks, the editor of onlinepersonalswatch.com, which covers news about the business of online dating Web sites, said people hoping for romantic relationships sometimes project what they're looking for onto virtual mates they may not know much about.
In fact, I’ve gone out with plenty of them, and even have several saved in my phone right now under affectionate monikers like “Man Bun,” “Andrew — ACL” and “Guy Who Peed In My Bed.” (That’s a different story for a different column ...
Those practices are typical in online dating, said Rosie Romero, a 38-year-old Houstonian who has used local Web sites to find relationships for about 10 years.
She said she has met about five men face-to-face in the past six years.
By the time two people meet face-to-face, they may feel as though they've been seeing each other for a while.
The Internet is popular for love-seekers, with more than 20 million — out of the country's estimated 90 million singles — visiting at least one online dating service a month, says Online Dating Magazine, an Internet Web site dedicated to the industry.