Around Valentine's Day, love is in the air but it seems nowadays it's always online. More people than ever are turning to technology to find their significant other.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, about 40 million of the 87 million singles living in the United States have tried their luck at online dating. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're "lucky in love."
Just like meeting "offline," there are some strategies that can make you more desirable for potential lovers.
"If you said hi, hello, good morning, what's up, hey, how ya' doin' for months and you never got a reply, then, you should stop!," said Tremaine Keller, who met his girlfriend online five years ago.
In your quest to quench your thirst for love online, first impressions and your image can make or break your chances.
"when I started looking at her photos, I started 'pitter-patter, pitter-patter," said Brian Ervin, who met his fiancee Katherine Vermilye met two years ago on the free online dating service Plenty Of Fish.
"Basically, you wait for someone to snag on your line," Ervin said.
Vermilye said it was Ervin's choice of "bait" that had her hooked from her first glance at his profile.
"He had a funny web page attached," she recalled. "I just sent him a message saying that was the funniest page I've seen."
After you've found a potential match, it's important to treat an online relationship like any other. Demarcus Davis, a licensed counselor, says take your time and enjoy getting to know the person you've met.
"I would suggest moving from print to having an actual phone conversation," David said. "Don't rush to have a face-to-face meeting but give yourself an opportunity to talk a few times to see if the initial connection will sustain."
Once you decide to make that first face-to-face meeting, choosing the right place and attire for your date can determine whether the relationship continues.
"I actually had a girl show up to Startbucks in some really wild looking attire," Erwin recalls. "I mean, something a bouncer at a club may scratch his head and say you need to change."
"Treat it carefully first of all," David added. "But secondly, have fun. Dating should be fun."
"Always go to a public place," suggested Drew Daniel, an online single. "With the whole Manti Te'o case, that illustrates how important meeting someone else is."
This is coaching that Te'o and any other singles looking for love online can follow. Who knows? It could lead to the perfect match.
The best dating websites, according to consumer rankings are: 5. "Our Time," designed for users older than 50; 4. Chemistry.com; 3. eHarmony.com; 2. Zoosk.com; and 1. Match.com.