Since I came here four or so years ago, I've had some experience with online dating. I've been on Chemistry.com, Match.com, eHarmony.com and Craigslist.org, plus some weird site where you and your dog are matched up with someone and their dog. I have to say I like Craigslist a lot because of its democratic nature, plus I can exercise my good writing skills there. That being said, I think the chances of finding a long-term relationship on Craigslist are only a little better than finding a long-term relationship on MUNI. I'm not knocking MUNI. I love our public transportation system, warts and all, and I've heard of people meeting on MUNI and getting into long-term relationships, but I still think the chances of that happening are very slim.
A friend of mine commented recently that she felt her choices for men were far better on BART than on any online service. I don't commute on BART so I wouldn't know.
Supposedly, your chances of finding a long-term relationship on Match, Chemistry and eHarmony are much better. I tried Match.com and it was a complete bust. Sure about 650 men looked at my profile (picture), but the only ones who contacted me lived in New York. somewhere in the Middle East (I forget where) and London. I terminated my account with Match because I thought finding someone who lives on the West Coast might be a good place to start.
Chemistry is similar to eHarmony in that you fill out a lengthy questionnaire, they come up with a personality profile then they "match" you with people. Like eHarmony, they have a "guided" process where you can send questions to the person, they respond, and you go from there. I didn't have much luck on Chemistry either. Several months of that yielded me the conversation I had below "All he could say was 'Oh.'"
In all fairness, a friend mine met her boyfriend on Chemistry. They are doing very well. Her success gives me hope that I might do just as well someday.
A couple of people I know are either on eHarmony or have had good luck there so I thought I'd give it a shot. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but one thing I do know for sure is you will not meet anybody, least of all the love of your life, if you stay in your apartment and do nothing. Okay, there might be times when you call the repairman or the cable guy shows up and it's all flowers and stars, but I think those times are unexpected, few and far between.
At this juncture, I'm really trying to keep an open mind. I've decided that casting a wide net is best. As long as the guy's picture doesn't make me go "ARRRGGH" and his profile is reasonable, I'm going to start communicating with him. I would like to be in a long-term, healthy relationship (emphasis on the word healthy), but for now I think it would be best for me to take things one step at a time and just find someone interesting who lives in the Bay Area who would like to go to movie or museum or something else low key.
It's as good a place to start as any.