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Cupid may soon be unemployed – little heart-tipped arrows and all.

Date: 2007-02-17

The search for soul mates has gone high-tech, and millions nationwide are depending more on the keyboards and monitors than they are Cupid’s bow and arrow. An uploaded picture of you looking your best and a few lines of heartfelt text could be all you need to find that special someone – maybe even right here in Massillon.

Hundreds of Western Stark County residents are looking for love on Internet Web sites, and some are saying they’ve found success. A brief search at Match.com turned up profiles of 240 men and 180 women in and around Massillon. Yahoo.com returned 182 men and 109 women for a Massillon, Ohio, search.

The idea, according to Michelle, a Massillon resident and Match.com user, is to genuinely put yourself out there and hope for the best.

“These are people that have productive (lives),” Michelle said of the online dating community. “They are people that have put time into their own personal life. This isn’t loserville.”

Making a ‘catchy’ profile

Michelle, a 43-year-old elementary school teacher, decided to look for a match online after finding that her love life had taken a back seat to her hectic lifestyle as a single, working parent. There was just no time for dating between running errands, attending school events, grading papers, making dinner and helping with homework.

“I did it is because I’m home with my kids,” Michelle said. “I can’t go out on a Monday night. I have four days out of the entire month where I can go somewhere.”

But how in the world are you supposed to get noticed sitting at the keyboard in your pajamas? According to Michelle, it’s all about presentation. Your profile, she said, should be honest, but fun – a true extension of who you are.

“It’s got to be kind of catchy,” said Michelle, whose profile reads “Have you loved a teacher today? Maybe you’d like to be educated.”

Michael, a 27-year-old Massillon resident with a profile on Yahoo.com, also showed a creative side with his profile.

“Well, if you’re reading this,” he wrote, “you: A) liked the photo on my profile, B) are a big fan of “Seinfeld,” or C) are simply bored out of your mind.”

Others are just honest about who they are and what they are looking for.

Independent and confident, one 24-year-old Massillon mother of one is looking for someone who can support her and love her through all her endeavors.

“I’m not looking for any man who wants to (lure) me with money,” she wrote on Match.com. “I own my home, and drive a very nice car, I take care of myself, I’m looking for someone to share my future with and try new things with.”

A 30-year-old, divorced, father-of-one living in Massillon, said that he is just looking for that special someone to make each day worth smiling about.

“I want to meet someone who loves to smile, and enjoys life to the fullest,” he posted on Match.com. “Really, all I want is someone who is honest, faithful and loves to be happy.”

Forming friendships

Combined, Match.com and eHarmony.com have more than 27 million registered members hoping the loves of their lives are just a mouse click away. With a sea that big, it’s hard not to find at least a few keepers, according to Michelle.

Rolling the dice with Internet dating Web sites doesn’t always mean you’ll be lucky in love. Sometimes, it means getting lucky with friendships.

Michelle has found that all the time spent online trading e-mails with people who have the same interests or compatible personalities has led to a slew of online pen pals.

“I have met more educated people than you’d ever believe,” Michelle said. “I’ve had some wonderful experiences.”

Some experiences have even landed Michelle a couple of chances to meet her “match” in person. Thanks to the Internet, Michelle has dated handful of possible soul mates including a fireman, an engineer, a Canton police officer, a teacher from the Northwest school district and an air traffic controller. As it turns out, that air traffic controller guy was worth all the hassle.

“You can have a blast talking to someone,” Michelle said. “I met him and then, within ten minutes, I was like ‘no way.’

“I like this guy,” Michelle said. “I hope I get to keep him.”





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