LDS dating sites

I have a friend, a convert to the church, who is handsome, faithful, smart, gainfully employed, and lonely beyond words. I had lunch with him yesterday and was horrified to see the depth of his loneliness: he pays for a membership in some kind of email exchange involving improbably beautiful Eastern European women. It’s not porn, but it’s unseemly nevertheless. Invariably, these “women” will ask him for a few hundred Euros to come and visit him. A scam, in other words. I think he’s fallen for it because everything is in English and his English is ropey. I’ve decided to suggest to him some cyber-alternatives.

I am vaguely aware of LDS dating websites. I know a Mormon guy in darkest Wales who met his American wife this way. It’s easy to snicker, but in a branch with only three women in it — all over 80 — this was perhaps the only way he would ever be able to participate in the Great Mormon Breeding Project. I’ve also heard a few horror stories about these sites involving the usual internet skulduggery, but I guess I’d rather my pal make friends with fake Mormon people online than Russian gangsters.

So, anyone have any experience with these things? Any recommendations? (And lest you think this is some dodgy front for any bipartisan activities of my own, it was Rebecca who suggested I post this!)

Comments

  1. Norbert says:

    I will freely admit that I was a member of one of those sites some years ago. I have forgotten which one. I had very nice email correspondences with some very nice women, and one very unhappy experience meeting someone face-to-face. I don’t think there’s anything sad or pathetic about meeting people online, but the well-publicized cautions one sees apply in a Mormon situation as well.

    Although I was surprised to see in this sidebar article an LDS single’s event with ‘speed dating.’

  2. Ronan,

    I met my wife on a site called LDSLinkup. It isn’t a “singles” site, per se, but as with many Internet social sites, it is more frequented by singles. Both my wife and I weren’t on that site looking for someone, but we stroke up a good conversation, and decided one day to meet. Now almost three years later, we have a beautiful little family. I know several people on that site who’ve met there and gotten married with people they met on that site. Linkup is more of a social networking site, though.

    Other sites (which I haven’t frequented since before meeting my wife) include http://www.ldssingles.com, and oh I forget what other one I went to. They were a waste of my time though. I found that when I wasn’t looking for a wife is when I met her. :)

  3. Let me know if any of these would be useful for Euro-based people.

  4. Nonnermuss says:

    Met the wife through ldssingles dot com. Was on and off it for some time and met some others in real life before her, with mixed results, but ultimately glad did not give up on it as we would not have met otherwise since we lived some few hundred miles apart.

    Tell your mate to stay away from Dodgy Russian Wives dot com.

  5. Ronan-

    I have had friends and associates discuss ldssingles.com and ldsmingle.com all with varying degrees of “success”. As a single woman who lives in an area of the country with NO LDS single men in my age range I can understand the loneliness. Honestly, I have had experience with both of these sites. Here is my opinion…ldssingles.com seems to be a little more refined than ldsmingle. I did meet some nice people on ldssingles, but without being able to have people closer geographically, it was tough to have “real” friends. And, I felt like it was a “singles bar”. You have to wade through a lot of junk to find the handful of real and genuine friends. There are a lot of people on these sites looking for phone sex, “virtual” relationships, or instant marriage.
    I think the most difficult aspect of being single and LDS (and in a sparsely populated mormon area) is finding quality friends of the opposite sex to just “hang out with”. I love my sisters in the gospel and they have been incredibly good to me…but I would love to have friendships with men…their perspective on life is something I miss very much. Not marriage….not intense relatonships…just good friends to share the ups and downs of life with… Good friends go a long way to ease the pain of loneliness that is so common in adult single LDS life. Good luck to your friend…he may want to try ldssingles.com with the caveat to be very careful and discriminating. People aren’t always what they seem and virtual life rarely matches the grit of day-to-day, face-to-face interactions. Bottom line: As with anything in life I think you find what you are looking for and take away what you bring. If you are looking for phone sex, that is what you will find….if you are looking for friends…you can probably find a few…if you are looking for a spouse?? Not sure…but it apparently has worked for some….

    Again, good luck! It can be tough out there!

  6. I knew several people who met and married their spouses through ldssingles.com, and it seems to have worked out well for them. So I ventured to sign up a while back, and was appalled right away by the things they asked. It felt to me very much like a site for listing horses or other domestic cattle for sale. I realized that this was a bad idea for me, and tried to de-list right away. They keep sending me spam, now, even though I’ve tried to get them not to. The whole thing was creepy and both too personal and too impersonal at once.

    I have plenty of online friends, so the online-vs-real-life aspect doesn’t worry me. I’ve made some wonderful friends online. I don’t see online friends as being somehow less real than real-life friends, as many people seem to do. I’ve met some really amazing people online, people who are smart, funny, good, and wonderful. My online friends and I travel and get together fairly often. I have no worries about people being different than they seem or anything like that. When I’m good friends with someone online, they don’t ever turn out to be different (when I meet them in real life) in any substantial way from what I thought. But as for dating sites, I won’t do that again. The whole thing is just too creepy for me. =)

  7. I have seen everything on LDS dating sites from the uber active to the five times divorced to those trolling for cybersex or actual sex on the first or second date.

  8. John Taber says:

    I knew several people who met and married their spouses through ldssingles.com, and it seems to have worked out well for them. So I ventured to sign up a while back, and was appalled right away by the things they asked. It felt to me very much like a site for listing horses or other domestic cattle for sale.

    I spent several years on and off LDSSO, and while I met many interesting people, it was before they asked questions like this and so it was hard to dig through hundreds of profiles to get there. I did meet my wife there, only because we happened to be in the chatroom at the same time.

    They keep sending me spam, now, even though I’ve tried to get them not to.

    Funny thing – I never got any spam from them until after Alisa and I were engaged, and then through a different email address.

  9. Steve Evans says:

    Just go with JDate! Mormons are practically Jewish anyway, aren’t we?

  10. Tell him to get an MBA at BYU.

  11. Ronan,

    LDSLinkup has a huge number of Europeans participating. I probably recommend that site above all others.

  12. I dunno about LDS dating sites but LDSLinkup seems like a good way for him to meet people, even German speaking RMs with whom he might strike up a good conversation (new euphemism for hitting the road to marriage) He’d at least make some friends right? It’s a pity, with all the single Mormon girls in the world that there aren’t some he can find. If he were in Boston he could date every night of the week if he wanted. DC too. My old roommate is single and speaks German….

  13. anon555 says:

    Ronan, encourage your friend to attend as many local and regional singles events (conferences, dances, picnics etc) as he can in order to hone his social skills. Even though there might not be any women he considers appropriate matches for him, it’s good practice. And the food is often good. There might even be a “paying your dues” aspect to it.

    The main LDS dating sites seem to be LDSsingles.com, LDSmingle.com, and LDSplanet.com. Smaller and less-slick web sites are: LDShearts.com, LDSpals.com, LDSdates.com, and LDSpromise.com.

    Yeah, they cost a little. But it costs more for overnight travel to regional single-adult conferences in order to meet as many people.

    LDS dating web sites have the same dynamic as non-LDS web sites. They do not screen people. You have to exercise caution just as you would in real life, or on any web site. I agree with Tatiana and Amy C, that you still have to wade through frogs to find your prince/princess. Not everyone on those web sites has a temple rec, and not everyone who says they do actually has one. Not everyone who says they are active in church really is.

    I know two local success stories of marriages where they found each other online. (They were all local, but it took a web site for them to find each other.) And I know two horror stories of long-distance marriages via LDS dating web sites.

    There is a free non-LDS match-up site called http://www.OKcupid.com. Not many LDS on it at present. However, their matching software is very good. They have over 1,000 survey questions (many of which are immodest), and they come up with a “match %” a “friend %” and an “enemy %” calculation between you and anyone you look at.

    So find someone on LDSsingles/mingle/planet, then ask them to go to OKcupid.com to take the matching test (answer at least 500 questions), for a quick estimate of compatibility.

    I also urge caution about marriage after a long-distance courtship. If two people live farther apart than commuting/dating distance, surprises can occur if you move and get married at the same time. If you really want to marry someone after a long-distance courtship, I think it would be wise for one party to move, or at least take a 2 to 4 week vacation, and continue the courtship locally (under separate living arrangements, of course) for a while before the wedding. There are personality attributes that you can only discover during face-to-face interaction that you’re not likely to pick up on via email, online chats, and phone calls.

  14. My uncle met a wonderful woman through one of these LDS online dating services. They’ve been married for years now. As far as I know they are very happy together.

  15. I have little insight, here, admittedly, but I would think that a variety of social encounters beyond simply the admittedly useful dating sites would be useful. If he’s gainfully employed, maybe he should attend your European Mormon Studies conference, the closest Sunstone, or attend some of the gatherings in his field of interest/hobby.

    I would also caution against the sex-trafficking site (that’s what they generally turn into, whether they’re directly exploited by mafia threats or merely by economic desperation).

  16. Steve Evans says:

    Coming in the next edition of Dialogue: personals!

    MWM, 35, seeks SWF, 18-50. Must adhere to the Principle. Serious inquiries only.

  17. Tell him to start commenting at BCC and we’ll line him up with another single commenter. We can start doing this as a sideline. Singles: just put a little asterisk after your name. We’ll start pairing you up based on our assessment of your personality compatibility. Steve will have veto power over any pairings he doesn’t agree with. Singles who come on too strong will get whacked with his man-purse. Sound like a plan?

  18. If your friend is under 30, there are some young single adult sites in German, but if you can get past the signup, I’m sure you can find someone to speak English with. Those sites are:

    http://www.jaes.de
    http://www.jaes.eu
    http://www.jaes.ch
    http://www.outreach.cc

    i’m sure there are also some other sites, but those are ones that i visited a few years ago.

  19. Kevin Barney says:

    I know a guy who met his wife on ldssingles.com (she was from Brazil). He has been a big advocate of the site, and I think they have pretty strong international presence. I don’t know whether it is them or someone else, but I know that one of these services sponsors LDS singles cruises, where you can actually meet and mingle with LDS singles in person.

    Speed dating has become a common activity at regional LDS singles conferences. I’m hoping that they don’t do the part where you fill out a card saying who you would and wouldn’t go out with, however. It is one thing to do this in a large city where you’ll never see those people again, but I wouldn’t be comfortable making that kind of judgment WRT a group of friends I was likely to see over and over again at area conferences. It could end up being quite humiliating, I imagine.

    It really is too bad your friend is in such an isolated location; as Amri says, if he were in California or Arizona or on the eastern seaboard of the US, it would be a different story. (Or even in Finland, per Norbert’s story.)

    Oh, I just remembered that there are tons of LDS Filipina women looking for good LDS men. I assume you would find them through the LDS dating sites.

    If none of this works, Steve is actually on the right track. He might need to open himself to dating Jewish or Catholic women or something like that.

  20. Kevin Barney says:

    Steve, Sunstone actually ran personals for awhile. They were pretty lame; typically there would be maybe four in the magazine–not enough critical mass to actually accomplish much.

    But I think my friend Todd Compton met his wife (only a few years ago) at MHA. So going to Mormon studies conferences (including the European one, as Sam suggests) is actually a really good idea. After all, there are lots of single LDS women, but only so many who would be a match for a friend of Ronan’s.

    Oooo, I just got a great idea. He should get permission from fmhLisa to do a guest post, describing himself with pictures and all, over at FMH! That will get some attention I’m willing to wager.

  21. The March 1993 Sunstone reprinted a funny personals ad that appeared in the SLC alternative newspaper Private Eye:

    “JOSEPH SMITH DESCENDANT: SWM, 30, independent fundamentalist Mormon. Prophet’s great, great, great grandson seeks happy playful, loving, open-minded, spirit filled, SWF, independent fundamentalist Mormon to age 30. Goal. Highest celestial glory. All replies confidential/answered. Hurry! Christ’s coming.”

  22. Matt W. says:

    As a former Catholic, Dating Catholics isn’t all bad. Some of us even change our religions.

    And having served my mission in Cebu, there certainly is no shortage of lds filippina women who are smart, beautiful, and very kind.

    If that doesn’t work, I have two beautiful sister-in-laws…

  23. If he’s gainfully employed, maybe he should attend your European Mormon Studies conference, the closest Sunstone, or attend some of the gatherings in his field of interest/hobby.

    Why does he have to be gainfully employed to hit on women at Sunstone?

  24. I had a relative find someone through an LDS site that later turned out to be a professional con-man who took her for several thousand dollars. He is in prison now, but be careful out there.

  25. Peter LLC says:

    Let’s see, of the three (former) singles in the Vienna international ward whose love lives are known to the authorities, 66% have found love by via the United States and Mexico in the last year alone. Tell him to take his five weeks this summer and get him hence!

  26. When I was attending Church in the Lincolnshire ward they were always posting UK singles conference type stuff. Seems like there was always something like that going on somewhere.

    Same for the Versailles Ward in Paris, though this included other events scheduled elsewhere in Western Europe.

    There should be a local Single Adult Rep who is aware of what is going on. If not there is a LDS institute in London (Hyde Park maybe). I am sure that there is someone there that could plug him into the LDS Singles scene in the UK.

    Seems like spending that couple of hundred Euros to go to a LDS singles conference is better economics than flying Svetlana over to meet him (assuming Svetlana exists).

    That said, I know a few people who are well into several years of successful marriage after meeting someone through an LDS dating site. All used it as a way to meet people, not as a “virtual” substitute for dating on a Friday night.

    I do know of one person who got roped into a Nigerian money scam through one of them. The scammer was well versed in mormon experience and vocabulary, the victim believed that he must have been a member at one time (claimed to be an RM, endowed etc.) The same caveat emptor needs to apply as it would to any similar, secular pursuit.

  27. only so many who would be a match for a friend of Ronan’s.

    Sounds like a slam to Ronan if I ever heard one.

    Oooo, I just got a great idea. He should get permission from fmhLisa to do a guest post, describing himself with pictures and all, over at FMH! That will get some attention I’m willing to wager.

    Kevin: fMh stands for Feminist Mormon
    Housewives, not Feminist Mormon Hussies. It’s a common mistake.

  28. I vote for LDSLinkup, to… lots of Europeans, and a wonderful search interface: find people in your (or any one else’s) mission, ward, town, country. Very handy.

  29. My single siblings, 20 and 22, use LDSLinkup, as do all their friends. it’s like myspace. I hear about it often but haven’t heard of these dating-specific sites.

  30. Since Ronan’s off in the Austrian mountains this weekend, I’ll fill for him a little.

    Our friend speaks very little English. He is fluent in German though – so rick, those might work!

    With regards to LDSLinkup – is it all in English or are there other language options?

  31. StillConfused says:

    From a divorced mom – ldslinkup is better than ldssingles but they all have a certain creepiness factor. I lasted about two weeks on ldssingles and about two months on ldslinkup before the creepy factor became too much for me. Rather than meeting virtual people (who are very likely lying to you about their true self) have him get out and do things. Go for a hike; go to the grocery store; go anywhere. Meet real people in real life.

  32. Kevin Barney says:

    Rebecca, you could have the RS teach him English…

  33. I got married in the mid 1990′s so I missed the whole internet marriage thing….

    Seems to be getting more and more common. Just off the top of my head I can think of 5-7 LDS married couples who met online.

  34. I know 2 married couples that met on ldslinkup. One of those couples lasted a year and is now divorced. The other is doing well. I would say, from those very tiny statistics, that his chances at finding love on the internet are half as good as any, wouldn’t you agree?

  35. Rebecca,

    With regards to LDSLinkup – is it all in English or are there other language options?

    The main format is English, obviously, but there are people on that site from all over the world. I’ve talked with some friends of mine from Romania who are on the site and we chat in Romanian.

  36. I wonder if the Bloggernacle itself could facilitate something. Maybe not a dating site, per se, but perhaps there could be more Bloggersnackers in neutral settings (instead of at people’s houses so folks might less shy about entering someone’s home). Perhaps some key Bloggernacle blogs could also hook up with or start their own forum for more casual conversation.

    Tatiana and I are both part of an active online community filled with good, smart people. It has produced several fantastic couples.

  37. I signed my sister up for LDSsingles and it’s sure been interesting.

    She’s met a few nice guys on-line (not f2f), but some were sort of weird, one guy seemed fanatical and judging.

    She’s got a couple of requests for money, also. But LDS singles seems to try to winnow those out quickly.

    I think it’s mostly legit. Although, I must say, I’m having more fun with it than she is. She is underwhelmed with my attempts to organize her social life and pretty much uninterested in dating.

  38. Yes, my friend Zalmoxis (whom bloggernaclites know by the rather odd nick of “William Morris”) is the one who introduced me to the bloggernacle. We’ve had probably half a dozen couples married who met through our online community, and at least 5 or 6 LDS baptisms, including mine (though there are people of all (or no) religions there). It’s not a dating site, though, just a place where people post about anything and everything under the sun, and where a great community has happened to form.

    I think the bloggernacle could support a forum. That would probably be interesting and fun. I might even put one up if there’s any interest. It wouldn’t be a dating site, though. Definitely not! Just a somewhat more freeform place for people to post about whatever comes to mind.

  39. StillConfused says:

    #37 I think I too may have met the fanatical and judging guy. But I was armed with a background check. I strongly recommend that for people who are internet dating.

  40. I met my DH about a little over ten years ago on ldsfriends. I haven’t looked at it much since. Back when we got married, people were startled to find you had met your spouse on the internet. Now, it seems, everybody is doing it.

  41. I met my DH about a little over ten years ago on ldsfriends. I haven’t looked at it much since. Back when we got married, people were startled to find you had met your spouse on the internet. Now, it seems, everybody is doing it.

    I just hopped over there to see what it was like. The search option didn’t seem to work. Oh well. It was free.

  42. Mark IV says:

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic and really, really funny that we are all here on a Friday night chatting online about dating?

  43. Ronan,

    I hear the bad experiences with dating websites, and warnings. Point well taken.

    But for a bit of perspective, the guy is already really unhappy. Is a shallow, slightly unhinged, or otherwise less-than-desirable wife going to make things all that much worse for him?

    I know I’m being flippant here, but I am half serious.

    I’m reminded of that scene in the French movie “Amelie” where you’ve got two unhappy people: one a neurotic embittered ex-husband who camps out at the diner where his ex-wife works obsessively taking notes of all her “crimes” and the other, a depressed middle-aged woman whose main pastime is constant complaining.

    Amelie plays cupid to the two with mixed results. On the one hand, the match-making bit works splendidly. But there’s the predictable emotional meltdown later. But no one can deny it made an interesting change for all parties concerned.

    At a certain point, you’ve got to let go and realize that people are who they are, and they will invariably end up with the sort of people that people like them end up with, and no amount of paternalistic impulse on your part can change that.

    I would steer him away from entanglement with the Russian mafia however.

    I don’t think he’s quite THAT unhappy.

  44. Jon in Austin says:

    I initially saw the woman who ended up becoming my wife on ldsmingle. I tried to chat with her and got ignored (apparently my profile had one too many What About Bob quotes.)

    Fast forward four months to a singles ward prayer and I started talking with a hot girl that seemed vaugely familiar. The next day it hit me that Internet Girl and Hot Girl At Ward Prayer were one and the same!

    The rest is history.

  45. I’ve met several normal, good, LDS guys on ldslinkup. Although nothing eventually came from it, ie I am still single, it has been a good experience, and can be a good way to meet people when you live in a place where there are not a lot of members or you are not 21 anymore.

    Re 36 and 38: A bloggernacle dating forum could be interesting.

  46. Tim Grascal says:

    There is this new LDS website that’s pretty cool…more dating oriented though. But LDSFusion.com actually films people on dates and does a few other different things. But LDSlinkup.com I heard is a great place for just meeting friends.

  47. Eliza Roxcy says:

    eHarmony is pretty decent and I know a few people who’ve met their spouses on the site. It’s a more general matching website but you can restrict the matches they make for you to only LDS if you so desire.

  48. Your friend is lucky. He should get out of the cult before he gets embroiled in a fake marriage.

  49. I joined LDSSingles on a dare from a friend. Within 2 weeks I had found the guy that later became my husband. It’s been 4 years now – and we are each other’s best friend. We couldn’t be more compatible! Granted, it can be sketchy, but I believe that was our particular path. In fact I didn’t tell my mom the exact story until a year and change ago.

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