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Both sites require members to disclose their illnesses upfront, clearing the air for what might be a deal-breaking revelation later.Within her first week on Positive Singles, she went on three dates and has since gone on seven more, which fostered one romantic relationship and a friendship over the past two years. “I dont think I would have been able to have 10 dates without the site,” says Lana.Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohns disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesnt find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members.“He was a good-looking boy, and he could find dates, but when do you tell someone you have a colostomy bag? “Its nice to find someone whos going through what youre going through,” he says.“Its easier to get rejected via email, and you can take baby steps online without hunting outside.” Though Prescription 4 Love didnt yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.Now three years old, the site currently has 8,000 members who represent nearly 40 health conditions ranging from genital herpes (2,425 members) to Tourettes syndrome (32 members). “He was having a hard time with that, so I thought if he could find someone who had the same disease, or someone with a colostomy bag, he wouldnt really have to discuss that.” Since launching the site, Durham, 48, who previously dabbled in the stock market and worked as a bartender, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.Over the past five years, several sitessuch as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and Cisforcupid.comhave launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.
"On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine."And lets face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool." Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.A new breed of dating site has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.Next Page: Love for less [ pagebreak ]Love for less Niche sites are also a lot less expensive.Prescription 4 Love, which started charging in May 2009, is .95 per month, while most of the features on No Longer Lonely (including the dating service and chat rooms) are still free.
When I asked a friend recently how she’s doing, she paused and answered, “I keep wondering if this is all there is.” She, like me, is 50-something and like many 50-somethings we are empty-nesters or about to be empty-nesters; we’re either 20-something years into a marriage or divorced.