We very rarely hear any authentic success stories about online dating outside of those skin-crawling ads where some couple gropes one another and promises never to wear nightgowns. Lemondrop spoke to one very happy, very non-creepy couple who met via Match.com. Melissa and James live in Michigan and got engaged last year. Here's how they found love online.

Lemondrop: What about Melissa's profile caught your eye?
James:
My first criteria was pictures, then profile. Melissa had in her profile that she's a golfer, and that was an immediate bonus for me. I remember the pictures really clued me into her, too. But later I found that that they were all fake.

Lemondrop: Umm... Melissa, do you care to explain?
Melissa:
When he says fake, he means, staged. I'm very close to my family, and we spent a weekend together taking photos specifically for Match.com. I'd be like, "pretend I'm strolling down the beach and that I do this every weekend."

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Lemondrop: Did anything in James's profile spark your interest?
M:
We had wine tasting in common, and he had just gotten back from Europe. He was one of the few guys that I could tell took the time to read my profile and made comments on it. With other people I could tell they did a blanket email, whereas James commented specifically on it and pointed out our main interests.

Lemondrop: So, how did the first date go?
M:
For me, I knew from the first date when we pulled up with matching cars. We spent hours at the sushi place, then played air hockey. The nice thing about talking through Match.com is that it was like you're meeting up with an old friend.
J: Yeah, you know so much about the person before you meet! But that night, she had on a black puffy winter coat and I just remember thinking, "This girl's gorgeous. She's way out of my league!"

Lemondrop: When did you agree to take down your profiles?
J:
We hit it off pretty well from the beginning.
M: We booked a Caribbean cruise two weeks into our dating. My mom saved a text from 12 days after we started dating where I asked her if this was a good deal on airfare.

Lemondrop: So, when did you get engaged? Was it on the cruise?
M:
I wish!
J: We got engaged on February 29 of 2008, but I planned out the engagement over four months. I had her boss involved in it, her parents knew about it, one of our co-workers knew about it. I scheduled a trip to Naples, and we stayed at the Ritz Carlton, but I didn't ask Melissa about taking a trip until the previous Sunday.

Lemondrop: Really? How'd you keep it a secret?
J:
I kept telling her "You know how stressful work has been," and it was all part of the plan to make her think I was completely busy and stressed out. She was reluctant to go on last-minute trip, but eventually I convinced her to ask her boss, knowing I'd already cleared it with her boss ... I put on a good act. I popped the question at the Ritz's grill room the day after we arrived.
M: He had me completely duped!

Lemondrop: So, what advice would you give to people who want to try online dating?
J:
My advice would be to be honest about what you like and don't like. The more honest you are, the more likely you'll find somebody who has similar interests.
M: What really set James apart was when his humor really started coming through. The earlier you can start working in your humor and personality, the better.
J: I had a a top 10 list I used, like Trident or Dentyne? Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
M: Every day he would send me a question like that, and I'd send back the answer.

Lemondrop: Would you say there's any stigma involved?
J: We've hooked up a number of people with online dating: my cousin, a couple friends of mine.
M: I have a friend who's having the engagement discussion with someone she met online. It's funny, when you say you met online, all the closet people admit it, too.
J: Once you get into it, you notice how many other people are involved.

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