Many singles report that online dating is simply easier than face-to-face connections.It feels less personal -- and as a result, makes its users feel less vulnerable -- especially if the interactions are kept simple and brief.People most often seek others with similar backgrounds, interests, likes and dislikes -- "he also loves Sushi" or "she is a Giant's fan too." Whether these algorithms work or not -- ah, if only love was as simple as basic math -- the process of creating a profile as well as investigating others' can help users feel proactive in their search for companionship.

As an increasing number of people -- from teens to seniors -- get comfortable with this mode of interacting, the numerous meet-and-greet sites are serving singles in unprecedented ways.

Because they sometimes have millions of participants, online dating sites offer users a comforting sense that they are not alone.

Having a positive, relaxed attitude about online dating seems key to using them successfully.

My patients who report having satisfying experiences often approach these sites without too much investment in the outcome.

With the breakdown of social structures that once ensured connection to others -- like families and religious affiliations -- a romantic partner is viewed as the primary way to counteract isolation.

Without one, celebrations -- like the most recent Valentine's Day -- can feel like a very long 24 hours.I should mention here that many guys will ask to take the conversation off the site rather quickly, and the reason for this is that they want the woman to believe that she is special and won't want to go online to talk to others where she might see that he has been active even though they are no longer using the site.Anyway, the short end to the story is simply that the man expects to have sex very quickly, on the first, second or third date.Online daters tend to spend a great deal of time texting, messaging or having back-and-forth phone interactions before ever setting eyes on each other.For some, like Manti Te'o (the football player involved in an online dating scam), live interactions never take place.Some users move on to webcams in order to see and hear each other.