CONSUMER REPORTS: Online dating do's and don'ts

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Melissa Emsley had been using online dating apps for five years. At first she was hopeful, but after a number of disappointing dates, she became frustrated.

Emsley explains, “When you get your hopes built up ... to meet the right person and then that chemistry is just not there. It can be discouraging.”

And Melissa’s not alone. In Consumer Reports’ survey, respondents gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has seen for any rated service in two decades - even lower than cable TV companies!

Margot Gilman, money editor for Consumer Reports, says, “Online dating is different from shopping for other kinds of things, like a sweater. Once you find a sweater you like, you get it. With dating, the sweater has to like you back.”

But even with so many “dissatisfied” online daters, a surprising 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating say they have had or are in a serious long-term relationship or have gotten married, thanks to dating online.

Emsley explains, “I was about to give up online dating completely, when I got a message from Brian. I definitely have that site to thank for my relationship today, so it can work out. ”

Consumer Reports says you can maximize your results by choosing the right site from the beginning.

Margot Gilman explains, “If you’re interested in meeting someone who, say, likes the same kinds of movies as you do or follows the same faith as you do, you can probably find a website that specializes in helping you find just that.”

But even the best digital match can’t guarantee chemistry. That’s why it’s important to go on a date to meet someone in person early in the process. And just like Melissa and Brian, sometimes it pays off to keep yourself open to love.

Consumer Reports also found that OKCupid and Tinder are more popular among Millennials, while Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely to use a paid subscription-based dating website or app such as Match.com