By Lisa Becker

I used to be a little embarrassed to tell others that I used an online dating service. Much like the heroine of my novel, Click: An Online Love Story, I needed some coaxing before I could embrace the experience. But, the more I talked about it, the more I found out that friends and family had met their significant others the exact same way; in fact, according to a 2010 survey, one in five new relationships starts online.

Online dating is a useful tool for young professionals who are busy working and finding it difficult to make the right connection at the gym, bar, coffee shop or grocery aisle.  It’s also a great avenue for meeting new people in a relaxed, on-your-own-terms way.  People today are married to their cell phones and laptops, so why not use that technology to get hitched while you’re at it, right?

After my now-husband and I met online, I was recalling some of the hilarious encounters that I had during the whole online dating experience.  How could I forget the guy who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night.”   I decided to capture some of them in writing and, from there and based loosely on my own experiences, my novel emerged. My book is comprised solely of emails exchanged between friends, dates, and romantic prospects as the story of online dating unfolds. This format felt like a modern way to tell my story that fit the topic, and allowed readers to develop an intimate relationship with the characters along the way.

Now that I’m considered an online dating success story (eight years of marriage in Los Angeles is apparently no small feat!), I’m often asked what advice I would give to singletons out there… particularly those who are approaching an age where they thought they would be marriedMy advice,  whether you’re18, 41 or 73, is to concentrate on being a complete and fulfilled person on your own. Take the trip to Europe you’ve always dreamed of, sign up for ballroom dancing classes, Or like the heroine of my book, continue to develop life-long bonds with your best friends.

Bottom line:  pursue your own passions, because when you are happy and secure in your own life, you will be much more attractive to someone else.

Hungry for more? To purchase Click, please click here.  To follow updates on Click and share your stories about online dating, visit the Click Facebook fan page.