"We both came away from the date thinking the other was so serious," laughs Tonya."We talked about everything from religion to children to death." A second date was lighter in tone; the couple went go-karting.Within a few weeks, Tonya was matched with Frank, and they began exchanging emails, at least one a day for a few weeks."By the time we actually met, I felt like I knew him pretty well already—he was so expressive in his messages." Then they met—on a first date that lasted nine hours.
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.Even with a system like e Harmony, whose detailed matching process saved her from "kissing a lot of frogs," you still have to feel that chemistry.'" says Tonya, who had been married before (and has a 12-year-old daughter).Meanwhile, Frank, 41, a lifelong bachelor, had been online for a year on different match-up sites.
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.