An hour or so into the date, he looks me straight in the eyes and says: 'You have got to stop touching your hair because it's driving me crazy.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to control myself!

' I didn't know what to say to that, so I told him my friends were at the back of the bar, which they were.

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For Allison, that night was the beginning of series of dating travails.

Despite a few duds and near misses, her perseverance -- plus an online connection seven years later that resulted in a marriage proposal -- would eventually reaffirm her belief that online dating is an ideal way to make a real connection with another person.

"Meeting someone in a bar never quite worked out," she says.

(OPRAH.com) -- In 2000, Brenda Allison graduated from law school and moved to Chicago.

There, she found a supportive group of friends, an apartment within walking distance of the city's hottest spots..absolutely no time to date.

"I'm a lawyer, and it's a job that takes up a lot of time," she says.

"I didn't know how I was going to meet someone, especially when with what little free time I had I wanted to spend it with my friends." Heeding advice from friends living in New York City, Allison turned to the Internet.

"There weren't a lot of people using the Internet to date back then," she says.

"I had to go to Kinko's and scan in a picture of myself for my profile." Soon after that, she was on a date.