Online dating is mainstream big business, we all see television commercials for any number of sites catering to any number of interests - but do they work?

Dating is hard enough.  As I discussed in Valentine's Day Psychology Advice: Women Like Men Who... there can be some guidelines but trying to use a cookie-cutter approach is difficult anyway.   And online relationships add a level of complexity because people do not have to tell the truth anyway and the girl you're talking to may be an employee of a dating site.

Women have it a little easier on the actual date because Everyone Can Predict The Interest Level Of Men On A Date - But Not Of The Women With Them.   

Given all that, do those online dating services work?   Cristen Conger at Discovery weighs in and says yes and no - they are not leading to more relationships, instead they are replacing offline places to meet people, like those all-night seminars on Euclidean geometry.

Conger talked to Rutgers communications assistant professor Jennifer Gibbs who noted online profiles should be treated just like a job resume - most won't out and out make up a lot of stuff (though there is a lot of that) but embellishment occurs, usually in age and weight.
So while statistically online dating certainly works, with more than 10 million American couples as proof, it's important to grasp the difference between what Gibbs calls online "relationshopping" and offline "relationshipping."
Gibbs met her husband on so she understands the medium, it seems.

But if Science women are anything like Geek women, it can't hurt to know some ground rules for after the Internet ice breakers.   So here is a Guide To Dating Geek Girls if you need the help.