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Posted on: Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Find, send valentines on Net

By Daniel Greenberg
Gannett News Service

Whether you are happily married or happily single or anywhere in between, Web sites can improve your Valentine’s Day experience.

Despite its reputation as a tender, hearts-and-flowers holiday, Valentine’s Day is fraught with peril.

If you are in a relationship, you might feel pressure to create a memorable experience. And if you are not, the pressure’s on to whip up a date. The Internet can help with both. Now you can get a date without setting foot in a bar or hitting on co-workers.

The biggest and best matchmaking site is www.match.com, which claims to have produced more than a thousand marriages.

You can sample the service for free by running a search of its nearly 1  million people who have submitted anonymous (username) profiles. You can search for people in your area, or throughout the world. You can search by gender, age, ethnicity, religion, body type, and more. The site delivers profiles of people who meet your criteria. You can read what they say about themselves, and the kind of person they are looking for. Some profiles even have photos.

Finders’ fees

If you find someone you would like to contact, however, you have to join match.com and pay a fee.

You can choose to pay $100 for a full year’s membership or $25 for a month.

Once you join, you can contact your paramour. You don’t get to see their real name or e-mail address, but you can send a message - either naming yourself or not. If the person likes what you have to say, he or she can answer you. You can then both decide to drop the anonymity and meet for a date.

If browsing the listings is not enough, you can post a profile of your own for free - no membership required. You can even add a digital photo to dazzle the world.

A special feature called Venus seeks out compatible profiles among the new Match.com members and e-mails the listings to you.

If you are in a relationship, you’ll want to do something special on Cupid’s day. Amore on the Net (www.holidays.net/amore/) lists the story of Valentine’s Day, a description of many kinds of cards, links for sending online Valentine’s Day cards and recipes, such as Chocolate Sweetheart Cakes for Two.

Anything Romantic (www.anythingromantic.com/index.html) has lots of links for Valentine’s Day gift shopping. The best part of the site is the advice column and articles like "How to Make a Woman Feel Loved" (a list of 22 items) and "What Men Want" (a list of only three items).

Or go to Bluemountain.com (www.bluemountainarts.com) for a large collection of cards for all occasions, including Valentine’s Day.

Daniel Greenberg is a game designer who writes about technology.

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