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Anderson (now Neu) admitted that she initially lied about how she met Jeff, telling people brightly but vaguely that their first connection came through a mutual friend.

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The answer could only be the geeky, the unsightly or the awkward.So the young dating services hit upon a way to tackle consumer embarrassment: anonymity.None of the websites' algorithms, the researchers found, were backed up by scientific literature.The weakness of the websites' claims lies in their reliance on the information that's provided online.Over dinner, they discussed their food — her first time tasting lamb — and noticed they both had jeans on. Once widely considered a tactic only for the socially inept or the hopelessly creepy, exploring romantic possibilities online has slowly but surely made its way into mainstream American culture.

But this night, their first date, was also their first time seeing each others' faces, deciphering their expressions. "I did know a lot of random facts about him, but I didn't really know him." Their fledgling online relationship, though extensive, had not erased her first-date butterflies. But while dating online definitely has its advantages, a new sociological study reveals that many dating sites' claims — that their services will improve the likelihood of long-term relationship success — are insupportable.

But it’s also true that people are in 2013 by Harvard University reported that one-third of married couples in the study first met online.

Erika Anderson sat across from Jeffrey Neu at an Indian restaurant in Manhattan's Flatiron district on a chilly March evening, toying nervously with the scarf around her neck, a sparkly white one on loan from a roommate. She knew his birthday and where he had gone to law school.

In 1995, when the internet was still in its infancy, social dating consultant Trish Mc Dermott joined a team launching a brand new company: match.com, a service to help single people meet and communicate for romance through the internet. "There was a sense that anybody who had to use technology to find love was in some way a loser," said Mc Dermott.

Who would email a potential love interest instead of simply approaching them at a bar or a social event?

But soon Neu began owning up to the e Harmony version of the story.