"There's been some research that's found the longer people communicate online before meeting face to face, the more like the first date is to result in rejection because they build up this fantasy persona of this person that might be hard to live up to," Gibbs said.
So while statistically online dating certainly works, with more than 10 million American couples as proof, it's important to grasp the difference between what Gibbs calls online "relationshopping" and offline "relationshipping."
Essentially, online dating sites provide a marketplace to easily shop around and find interesting people to meet, but building lasting relationships requires more offline maintenance.
"Online dating sites are all about bringing people together, and sometimes it forms this illusion that with a few clicks of the mouse you can find your soul mate," Gibbs said. "But really, that's just the first step, and to get to know the person there's a process of developing a relationship."
And Gibbs would know. The communications researcher met her husband on Match.com.