Start Samples of lovers chatting online

Samples of lovers chatting online

) But the online-dating boom has also fueled an invisible epidemic.

Then she saw this guy, the one with a mysterious profile name—darkandsugarclue.

The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...

Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a $2 billion industry.

As of December 2013, 1 in 10 American adults had used services such as, Plenty of Fish and e Harmony.

The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.

And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …

*Names have been changed to protect identities A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.

In the summer, when the trees leafed out, you couldn't even see the road or the neighbors. She'd grown up here, in a conservative pocket of Virginia. When it came to meeting new people, however, her choices were limited. The holidays were coming, and she didn't want to face them alone.

But much of the note consisted of flirty jokes ("If I could be bottled I would be called 'eau de enigma' ") and a detailed imaginary description of their first meeting: It's 11 am when we arrive at the restaurant for brunch.

The restaurant is a white painted weatherboard, simple but well-kept, set on the edge of a lake, separated from it by an expansive deck, dotted (not packed) with tables and comfortable chairs….

The mainstreaming of online dating is a revolution in progress, one that's blurring the boundaries between "real" and online relationships.