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After 10 months of in-person dating, they married in 2005.Over roughly the last decade, online dating has gone from stigma to social norm.Unlike the movies, which are designed to provide two hours of entertainment, meeting the right guy or girl is a completely different type of search,” Barcaro said.

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Ann Clegg recalled one man who sent her four to five messages each day with riddles and puzzles.

When questioned, he admitted to “basically playing the odds by sending out messages to 75 or more women at a time,” she said.

In contrast to secular sites like OKCupid.com, which offers quizzes on sexual habits and histories, Catholic sites have questionnaires on user’s beliefs about contraception, confession, the Eucharist and papal infallibility.

Users are encouraged to elaborate about faith: On Catholic Match, they can list favorite saints and specify liturgical preferences.

“Simply because a tool can be abused does not mean the tool itself actually promotes a certain kind of behavior.” Instead, the issue relates to a consumeristic culture, Barcaro said.

“We live in an environment where we are bombarded with choices,” Barcaro said.After 15 years in business, it has 3,000 marriages under its belt.“It’s unrealistic for a single Catholic to assume they can meet their future spouse within their local faith community,” said Ave Maria founder Anthony Buono.Of course not; it is about establishing and restoring balance.” With dating sites, the answer is not to “reject the tool,” but to educate people in how to properly use it, Barcaro said.Catholic Match does just that, with a blog that features dating Q and As, meditations on faith and love, summaries of Church teachings and inspirational stories of Catholic couples.“Online dating offered them access and advantages that were unavailable through conventional dating,” Barcaro said. In a new book, critic has linked online dating to the “end of courtship” and the sexually casual hook-up culture of the millennial generation.

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