Problems with dating services

Let's face it: How do you drop that bomb on a potential love interest? She considered a number of online dating venues, but she says asked too many questions on its enrollment form, e Harmony was too "religious," and My Space was too much of a "hookup zone." "I wanted to meet men with my same diagnosis so we wouldnt [need to] have 'the talk,' or fear of rejection and transmitting," she says.

“Most of us with this don't wish to spread it.” Despite—or perhaps because of—the economic downturn, the billion-dollar online dating industry has been booming. While sites like and e Harmony don't discriminate, they also don't cater to people like Lana who are coping with sexually transmitted diseases, disabilities, or mental health conditions.

In 2004, after years of brushing up against the harsh realities of the dating scene, Leftwich founded No Longer Lonely, a dating site that caters to the mentally ill.

“But I probably knew everybody in my community and nobody I knew wanted to date me or vice versa.

Lynn lived 60 miles away, but we made it work.” By pushing a “friends first” concept, which has been emulated in the communal blog and forum features of Prescription 4 Love, No Longer Lonely, and other illness-specific sites, Date Able members can get up to speed on the dating world in a familiar environment without the prying eyes of the Web.

“People with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, are typically behind the eight ball because they havent had the practice of dating in college or their young adult life,” says Watson.

“Many of them never had the puppy love, been broken up with, experienced the fights, or the good stuff.” To make up for this lost time, his best bit of advice is to be totally honest.

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