I've been married for 11 wonderful years (this month). I'm so grateful to have found someone to spend the rest of my life with. But before you find the one, you search and find many others. My wife and I met through a mutual friend, but before that, I attempted online dating.

Dating never got to the point of searching Craig's List for love. My ex found her boyfriend on that site, and I found a couch. It's weird how we both ended up sleeping with things that we found on Craigslist. (That's a joke… kind of.)

I've had many friends who have had varying degrees of luck on Plenty Of Fish, eHarmony, and Match.com, to name a few. However, the two questions that always come up when the discussion of online dating comes into play are as follows:

"Does it work?" and "Is it safe?"

Does online dating work? As well as meeting someone at a bar or a club, you still are taking a chance on attraction and love, but it comes down to the individuals to make it work.


What about safety? A new report from The Privacy Journal breaks down the safest states when it comes to online dating. The report breaks down the stats by theft and fraud, registered sex offenders, scams (dealing in romance), STD rates, and violent crime statistics.

How do the states in the Pacific Northwest rank? Good and bad (depending on whether you live in Washington or Oregon).


Washington was ranked 16th safest. That ranking is caused by having the third-lowest number of registered sex offenders (per 100,000 residents). To the south in Oregon, it isn't quite so safe.

READ MORE: Washington Rules & Oregon Drools With Romance!

Oregon ranked at #40 out of the 50 states. Much like why Washington's was so low because of registered sex offenders, Oregon's was so high because of them. For every 100,000 residents, Washington averaged 90 registered sex offenders compared to Oregon's 772.

road signs for Washington and Oregon. Love and heart symbols around Washington and sad broken heart symbols around Oregon

For more information on the breakdown of the new study, check out PrivacyJournal.net's findings. And if you do plan to jump into the online dating pool, be careful. Always let a friend or family member know when you're going out and who you're going out with, and do your homework on the person first.


One benefit of online dating compared to meeting someone when you're out living it up is that it gives you time to get to know the person. Ask questions, become friends. If any red flags come up (like them asking for money/gift cards, personal information about your bank, or legal identification questions), end the dialogue and be safe.

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