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But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.

"There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.

Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.

I wondered to myself, is this what online dating has done to us?

SOURCE: Consumer Reports "It's clear that online dating websites play a major role in the lives of many consumers — we invest a tremendous amount of time, money and emotional energy.

It really is a consumer issue worthy of our attention." said Margot Gilman, money editor for Consumer Reports.

Never lie about your age or what you do for a living.There are sites for seniors, sites for Muslims, sites for fitness-oriented people, sites for people just looking for friends and sites for people who are interested in more adult activities.In this article, we’ll be focusing on the most basic type of dating site –- one that works to bring two people together for a romantic relationship.By the time your date comes around, she’ll already have lost interest or have found someone more attentive.If you really are going away, wait until you get back to ask her out.