(KFVS) - If you're looking for love online, dating experts say the hottest day for digital dating is right around the corner.
After analyzing decades of data and site activity, researchers with match.com are expecting 20 percent more activity on their dating platforms Sunday, July 8 than they had on Valentine's day this year.
That was surprising to Aaron Willis and his wife Timi who met online and just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.
The couple says they both faced challenges with online dating like not knowing if someone was telling the truth with their pictures or biography.
Then they switched to a dating website that was geared toward people in the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints.
"The dating pool as a Mormon is already pretty small no matter where you go outside of Utah," Mrs. Willis said. "That was a puzzle piece missing in both of our prior marriages. Knowing we were seeking that in a companion made it all the more easy to find someone who was compatible who shared the same beliefs and values."
Mr. Willis is glad there are a variety of specialized dating websites that fill a niche.
"I used match.com for about a month and it was really hard to find the same values and standards that I had," he said. "What I was looking for was more diluted, so when I found a site specifically for people of my faith I was very happy and had a lot more success as a result."
A feature that the couple liked in the dating site was their ability to communicate through chat and get to know each other before even meeting in person.
"It was less threatening than some other social situations," Mrs. Morris said. "Let's say you decided to meet up for dinner on a blind date. You've never met each other before and now you've got to try to get through a conversation not knowing where to start."
Rob Foeste owns Broadway Biergarten in Cape Girardeau and said he's seen plenty of online daters meet at his business for the first time.
"The body language speaks for itself," Foeste said. "People are getting used to each other, how their personal space works. Usually, there is a low amount of initial eye contact. You see very quick action speed dates."
Foeste believes the restaurant industry has taken a slight hit in sales because dates are becoming quicker.
"Coffee shop dates are definitely on the rise, people stopping by Broadway Biergarten for that initial testing before going onto the next level," Foeste said. "But after that, you see the normal dating patterns."
Foeste recommends that online daters put safety at the forefront and tell a friend where and when they will be back from a date.
"Obviously on our side when it comes to drinks, the easiest safety precaution is to only drink anything that a bartender or server has handed you first," Foeste said.