How to Find Love on Facebook

Old friends, new acquaintance spark romances, relationships on social networks.

February 11, 2010, 5:16 PM

Feb. 12, 2010 — -- When Jenece Whitted hit "send" on a friend request to a grade school playmate, she doubted he'd even remember her name.

Whitted, a 31-year-old mother of two (and stepmother of two more) from Maricopa, Ariz., was just recovering from an unexpected divorce and thought she'd see if Facebook could help her find old friends and classmates.

So one evening in February 2009, she sent a message to Adam Klawitter, an elementary school classmate she met in first grade, but hadn't seen or heard from in years.

To her surprise, he replied. A week later, Whitted said "he made his move."

When she updated her status with a comment about dating and the games people play, Klawitter left a comment.

That single line led to a Facebook chat, which led to a telephone call, which ultimately led him to buy a plane ticket from their hometown of Fresno, Calif., to visit her not even two weeks later.

When the two saw each other, "It was like no time had passed," Whitted said.

In May, Klawitter moved to Arizona, and in September the comic book enthusiast proposed by posting an original comic strip on Whitted's Facebook page. This June, the couple will be married in the town where they met decades ago.

Whitted said that when her first marriage ended, she never thought she'd take another walk down the aisle, but she credits Facebook, in part, for enabling this new chapter of her life.

"It it wasn't for Facebook, we would never have crossed paths again," she said.

Facebook plans to celebrate the site's love matches with its own blog post on the topic today. The networking site reached out to media in advance of Valentine's Day to highlight some of the many love connections, saying, "Every day can be Valentine's Day on Facebook."

"Facebook is a great way to reconnect with someone from your past or strengthen a connection with someone you met casually, because Facebook reflects your real world relationships and provides an authentic and trusted environment," a Facebook spokesman told

Across Facebook and other social networking sites, people aren't just finding friendship, but romance, with old friends, former flames and even new acquaintances.

"Facebook provides a friendly place for people to engage in conversation, reflect on their past memories and reunite with people they may [have] lost touch with," said Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of "The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online." "People feel more comfortable in reaching out on Facebook because they don't run the risk of rejection that they might get on a phone call."

'Twitter Lovebirds' Met on Twitter, Now Engaged

On her Web site, Spira features a "Cyber Love Story of the Week" and said that all kinds of circumstances have helped couples find love on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites not dedicated to dating.

One couple started dating, and ultimately tied the knot, after realizing on Facebook that they share a name.

Out of curiosity, Kelly Hildebrandt, a 20-something female from Florida, searched Facebook for her name. When she found Kelly Hildebrandt, a 20-something male from Texas, she sent him a note.

The two started corresponding over Facebook, he flew out to visit her and eight months later, he proposed.

Another couple jump-started their relationship in 140 characters on Twitter.

According to their wedding Web site, "Twitter lovebirds," Chris Wardzala, 23, and Magdelyn Skacan,24, met on the microblogging service in 2007. Both tech enthusiasts with similar interests, they started following each other and reading each others' tweets.

Wardzala said they started talking about tech issues he was having and then moved on to movies.

One thing led to another, and as tweets led to e-mails, phone calls and visits, their relationship grew. Now the Chicago couple plans to get married in September.

"It was really easy to get to know someone because you see some of their thoughts and ideas in a way that is sort of uncensored," he said. "You get to know someone really easily."

Spira said social networks also provide places for new acquaintances to become better friends.

"Quite often you will meet someone at a party or business networking event, exchange cards, and become Facebook friends," she said. Status updates, pictures and comments on a member's profile give people clues about a potential partner's dating status.

Facebook Profiles Give Clues on Potential Mate's Dating Status

Kate Lovett, a 22-year-old graduate student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, sent a Facebook message to the man who is now her husband only after his profile indicated that a possible girlfriend was out of the picture.

She said she met him during a fire drill in November 2008, while they were both students at Brigham Young University.

Instantly attracted, she decided to look him up on Facebook (on a college campus of 30,000 it's likely among the easiest ways to find someone). But when she saw pictures of him with another woman, she thought better of sending him a note.

Four months later, however, Lovett still found herself thinking about the guy she'd met that winter evening. So she looked him up again and noticed that pictures of the other woman were gone.

She sent him a note and they met the next day. After nine months of dating, Kate and Alexander married this past December.

If not for Facebook, she said, "I probably would never have run into him again."

But though Facebook and other non-dating social networks have successfully played Cupid for many couples, dating experts say it's likely not a replacement for sites like and

"Facebook is a terrific compliment to traditional online dating sites. I don't believe it will replace online dating sites, just like I don't believe that online dating sites will replace traditional matchmakers," said Spira.

'Longest-Married Couple' Dispenses Love Advice on Twitter

Hoping to capitalize on Facebook's fertile ground for romance, some companies are starting to roll out tools that make it even easier for people to meet online., a relationship compatibility Web site, plans to release a new matchmaking tool this weekend that lets any Facebook user "moon" two of their friends.

The free service allows a member to select two friends, run their profiles through an online compatibility test and then send a personal message of introduction.

Though the site incorporates astrological information in the algorithms it uses to calculate compatibility, the founders say Moonit isn't intended to be only for the mystical among us.

"It provides an icebreaker," said Mason Sexton, president of Moonit. "This provides something to talk about that is entertaining and witty but also is going to add some value."

Moonit CEO Dana Kanze believes the new service will make it even easier for people to nudge their friends along the path to love.

"[It's] a third-party excuse to move forward with someone rather than it being awkward," Kanze said.

Those who found a social high-tech route to love can also get some advice for staying in love, from a couple of all-time experts.

Thanks to the U.K.–based online TV and film provider blinkbox, anyone with a question about love or marriage can tweet questions to the "world's longest-married couple," Herbert, 104, and Zelmyra Fisher, 102, of North Carolina.

The couple, married for 85 years, has even had their record-setting union authenticated by Guinness World Records.

Facebook users can post questions to the couple's Facebook page wall or Twitter users can tweet questions to @longestmarried. The couple will choose 14 questions and answer them by Twitter on Valentine's Day.

So far, the questions range from the philosophical ("How did you know each other were 'The One'?") to the carnal ("Does sex get boring?") to the religious ("How important would u say it was for both of u to have a relationship with God?") to the sweet ("Does your spouse still give you butterflies?").

We'll have to wait until Sunday to see how "America's Tweethearts" answer most questions.

But for those people tweeting questions about how to find their Valentine in the first place, maybe the Fishers' answer will be simply this: Keep tweeting.

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