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With some goading from a friend — who somehow convinced me that the stigma against online dating was no more — I joined Ok Cupid and started scanning the thousands of matches that popped up on my screen.

“It’s no different than if you meet someone on the street.But even if algorithms aren’t the answer, there’s no doubt that online dating has led to successful relationships — my own included.The question is: Are those first dates and relationships really any different from connections made in more traditional ways? Even though the number of budding Internet relationships is increasing, the overall rate of partnership is not increasing at all.“Maybe it’s not the best means to the end of finding the best relationship, but it gives people a way to do something about their situation.It may or may not be the best shot at finding what you want, but it’s doesn’t mean it will never happen.A dating site is not a magic “fix” for your dating problems.“If you don’t have a personality, it’s going to come across in an email, a phone call, or across a table,” said Larry K., 46, who met his wife on nine years ago.It only changes the process of discovery," says Mehr in Dan Slater's new book "Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating." (Slater notes that Mehr was the only dating exec he interviewed who felt this way.)It’s the efficiency of this “process of discovery” that’s appealing to many daters.“I guess maybe the promise of online dating is that it allows you to get out and have those experiences and make those mistakes and hopefully learn a lot from them,” said Slater. is to get [them] out there and get them to socialize.” Sure, you might encounter some horrific experiences — but hopefully you’ll learn from them and those lessons will benefit your search for a partner in the long run.“Even if I had married someone that I had met through a friend or whatever, online dating still would have been fun,” said Feifer.After a rough breakup last January, I was sad and single in the Big Apple.Valentine’s Day was approaching, and this city of more than eight million people was feeling oddly lonely.

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