More and more people find their love online. No wonder, says Marc de Jong. He thinks that online dating is even better than dating in the real world.
Let me tell you a story. For years I went to bars, festivals and other meetings, and it wasn't always for the beer or the music. To be honest, many times I was mainly looking for a girl friend, for a woman to spend the rest of my life with.
I had my share of dates, don't worry: Frankenstein was not my father, some ladies even consider me handsome. But in the end I was still living on my own, and slept in a bed that was always too big.
Life changed when I bought a modem and went on the Internet. Initially my connection wasn't meant for a ride on the electronic highway to love - remember: I am a music fan - but it lasted only a few days before I first visited a dating site.
Within seconds, thousands of women entered my cramped living room, and after a little surfin' around I wrote a girl that called herself Pearlemma. I hope it was not her real name.
Only 24 hours later Pearlemma wrote me back. We exchanged up to six letters. Then it became clear she was only interested in having a chat once in a while. I knew the type - from bars, festivals and other meetings.
My next stop was FriendFinder, one of the oldest and best known dating sites. I found a lady with whom I shared some hobbies and interests, but I soon had enough when she sent me her picture.
Online dating finally became serious when I put my ad on a site called Soulmates or something like that. I got a few replies, wrote back, got more replies, wrote back again, made a selection, wrote more, met her.
Love, romance, you got it, and I got it. And then we split up. These things happen, not only in the virtual world. But at least I knew, online dating could work.
So when I had come to terms with the emotional damage, I put another ad, and this time it was really bingo time. Over one hundred replies.
And you know what?
I'm happily married now, for over eighteen months, with a lady who used to live on the other side of the world.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I truly believe online dating works. And even better than real world dating. First of all, there's choice.
Second, there's comfort. On the net, you can meet thousands of potential partners and still stay at home.
Your choice is incredible: as long as you speak a few words of English, you can communicate with almost the whole world.