People with mental health problems, from chronic depression to schizophrenia, have also benefited from specialized sites.
Jim Leftwich, 39, a college librarian from White Plains, New York, has lived with schizoaffective disorder, a condition that combines features of schizophrenia and mood disorders (such as depression), since 1992.
"It's easier to get rejected via email, and you can take baby steps online without hunting outside." Though Prescription 4 Love didn't 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 Tourette's 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 wouldn't 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 sites -- such as Prescription4love.com, Nolongerlonely.com, and -- have launched to serve the needs of people with conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to Crohn's disease.
Together these sites now boast tens of thousands of members.
The stigma of mental illness People with physical disabilities aren't the only ones who face stigma while dating.
For that fee, members get a more personalized experience, as Date Able is more akin to an old-school matchmaking service.
The organization has been responsible for almost 1,000 marriages, according to Watson.
In 2004, after years of brushing up against the harsh realities of the dating scene, Leftwich founded No Longer Lonely, a dating site that caters to the mentally ill.
"I thought to myself, 'There should be something like this out there,' and I was surprised to find there wasn't," says Leftwich.