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MyPartner.com offers a chance at love

by Charlsie Dewey

Windy City Times

Thursday July 17, 2008

Gay men looking for a committed, long-term relationship can now turn to social networking community Facebook in search of a compatible partner. Matchmaking service provider myParnter.com is now offering a gay dating application, gaymatch.com, on the Web site.

myParnter was established in 2004, originally offering one-on-one matchmaking services exclusively to gay men. In 2007, the company increased its availability by broadening its services to include on-line dating, and in 2008, seeing an opportunity to reach even more gay men looking for love, MyPartner decided to make itself available through Facebook.

"We've created an application based off of our Partner Perfect Compatibility System to allow Facebook users to get a sampling of a comprehensive matching system for gay men. ... We're very committed to gay men and helping them find and establish long-term stable relationships," Patrick Perrine, founder of MyPartner explained.

On-line dating is no longer just a trend, it is a valid part of dating culture, which has gained clout and acceptability as more and more couples site on-line dating and social networking Web sites as the place where they first met.

Perrine pointed out, "Our on-line services really developed out of the desire of thousands of people that wanted to utilize our matchmaking services, but one couldn't afford it or couldn't devote the time to it."

The Internet affords us that luxury of being able to meet people that we otherwise wouldn't meet

Why is online dating growing in popularity?

"The Internet affords us that luxury of being able to meet people that we otherwise wouldn't meet, and cut through the deal breakers and the conversations that usually take several months to gain that type of information; cut through all that right away through a couple e-mail exchanges and reading somebody's compatibility profile . . . Now it's not just are you attracted to them? Now you can find out if you are compatible with them and attracted to them, and if that has the likelihood of developing into a long-term relationship," Perrine said.

To accomplish this, the MyPartner on-line dating Web site offers a 30 minute compatibility test with questions about hobbies, sports interests, sexual preferences and monogamy intentions, which is then used to create a profile that can be posted.

Interestingly, MyPartner is seeing an increase in use by men in their 20s, which helped influence the decision to offer gaymatch.com as a Facebook application. As gay men come out at younger ages, many of them are ready for the type of serious, committed relationship in their 20s that previous generations would not have been searching for until their late 30s or even 40s Perrine noted.

As online dating grows, safety is an important concern for users. MyPartner has several elements to enhance the safety of on-line dating. "We have a service called Honesty On-Line that we partner with and it's an optional service for our users. They can go in and certify their profile. It's a background certification, so, it verifies their identity, age, whether or not they have a federal criminal background. That's one of the ways that we can provide our users with security."

Unfortunately, lesbians interested in similar services are going to have to keep waiting. Perrine said that he never says never, but it took ten years to develop the Partner Perfect Compatibility System, a huge undertaking that he doesn't sound eager to repeat anytime soon. He acknowledges that there is a demand for a lesbian exclusive service. As more on-line communities offer applications and other similar options expect to see MyPartner's presence and availability increase.

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