Widower Warren Cooper never would have met the skydiving piano teacher in the course of his daily life.
“But sometimes there’s too much solitude.” He tried the singles group in Livingston, 10 miles to the east and the closest town, and he kept his eyes open at Sunday services at the Methodist church, but none of the unattached women were his type. As a former Army paratrooper, Cooper found the combination especially appealing.
As with his house plans, he found her on the Internet, in this case on where one-month packages start at .
Founded in 1995, the Dallas-based company employs a staff of 340 and boasts 0 million in annual revenue.
says it has 15 million subscribers, and neck-and-neck rival e Harmony ( claims to have more than 20 million registered users.
Most of these folks reside in cities and suburbs, but a growing number live in small towns or on farms and ranches.
For country singles, electronic matchmaking is a logical choice. Residents of a town of 1,200 already know each other; so if they don’t fancy the recently divorced guy behind the counter at the feed store or the widow three pews ahead in church, they’re stuck. Amid photos posted of men standing next to their Porsches and women in Anne Klein cocktail suits are farmers astride state-of-the-art John Deeres and cowgirls combing prize-winning Santa Gertrudis.When a man living in the suburbs loses a spouse to divorce or death, or a woman in the city decides she’s ready to give up the single life, options for finding potential partners abound: Cultural and sports events, churches and civic clubs, bars and gyms, even supermarkets and shopping malls put them in contact with dozens of potential partners. The romance with the sky-diving piano teacher fizzled, but Cooper soldiers on. Typically, after exchanging e-mails with a match and visiting by phone, Cooper will make a lunch date.Although starting a conversation may be a challenge (“Do you come here often? He may drive 100 miles each way to a restaurant; and three times out of four, that first meeting is the last. “I’ve met all kinds of interesting people,” he says.“I’ve learned that everyone is entirely different, but I do think that what people put in their profiles is what they really want.” His longest Internet-sparked relationship lasted several years but ended because the woman wanted to get married and he didn’t—a preference he’d made clear on his posted profile.Another decided she didn’t even want to meet him in person because she was turned off by his love of reading, especially his fondness for historical nonfiction.More than once, Cooper has had an initially promising romance fold when his potential partner found that she didn’t like country living.