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Date: 25. July 2011

Cupid Prods Founder of Local Online Dating Service to Say 'I Do'

CatholicSingles.com founder David Nevarez has found a bride—on his own website.

Skeptics who doubt it's possible to find love online might want to talk to CatholicSingles.com founder David Nevarez.

Nevarez, 46, president of Laguna Niguel-based CatholicSingles.com and Tricia Delaney will tie the knot July 23. This will be the first marriage for both of them.

"I met my lovely fiancée after we noticed each other on the site," Nevarez said. "She saw that I had reviewed her profile and emailed me. Once I read about her, I realized we had many other things in common, so after a few emails we began talking on the phone. Not much later we met up for drinks at Downtown Disney and probably chatted for about two hours."

He said that they hit it off and dated for a few months and that once he realized what a terrific match she was for him, he popped the question.

"I think when you find someone that you really click with and complement, you realize how lucky you are and don't want to wait anymore," he said.

They plan to marry in Las Vegas, but it won't be officiated by a singing Elvis at an all-night church.

"We decided it would be fun to get married in Las Vegas, but we naturally had to have a church wedding, so we found a Catholic parish in town and planned our big day. Most of our friends and family are thrilled we picked Vegas," Nevarez said.

Early Beginnings

Prior to CatholicSingles.com, Nevarez ran a company working with foreign-exchange students, and before that he was a substitute teacher. His educational background is actually in physical education; he has a degree from Cal State Fullerton. He was also an active member in the CSUF Newman Club, a Catholic group on campus.

"I think when you have the need and inspiration to create something, you can always learn how to do it. Of course, having been an altar boy as a kid probably helped," he laughed.

Nevarez said he started CatholicSingles.com to fill a void and bring like-minded Catholics together.

"While finding my own match was a goal, I never would have guessed how that journey would unfold," Nevarez said. "With so many wonderful couples having married with our help, it's very satisfying and a privilege to have my opportunity as well."

Nevarez started the online dating site in 1997 and then took it live on the Internet in 1998. Nevarez said he believed there was a true need for Catholic singles who wanted to date only within their faith.

"I knew there were other Catholics, particularly those without a large social network who were single, that would benefit. Being single myself, I was motivated to make the site a reality," he said. "After being on the Web for a while, I realized there were no sites catering to Catholics. This was what really drove me to start the site."

About 500,000 members have passed through the site, and it continues to draw thousands of new members each month, Nevarez said.

"We not only cater to Catholics, but those who feel their faith is one of the most important factors in choosing a mate."

There is a study that showed that interfaith marriages are three times more likely to result in divorce or separation than those in same-religion marriages, he said.

The site tries to keep the mood "light and fun while remaining true to our Catholic roots," he said.

Negativity Toward Online Dating

Online dating has gotten a bum rap, said Nevarez, who contends that the industry has evolved.

"Online dating has matured and become the most convenient way of meeting new people whether it be for friendship or dating. It only follows that given the ability to share and compare yourself and your traits with others that it would quickly become popular."

Nevarez said he has read statistics reporting that nearly 75 percent of single people use the Web to find dates.

"There are a lot of reasons someone dates online, but the biggest, in my opinion, is the convenience and the ability to home in on what you are looking for in a mate," he said.

His advice for those who remain leery?

"Finding someone online should be fun, but you do have to use your best judgment. We always remind people that profiles come from self- reported information, so we encourage members to be safe. Things like meeting in a public place, and never at someone's home, is always a good idea," he said.

In addition, Nevarez said daters should never do anything that would make them uncomfortable, and they shouldn't share too much private information right away.

"For those who are skeptical, I would encourage them to ask friends they know about their online dating experiences. Most people these days know at least one person that has already been meeting dates online, so that helps a lot."

Source: lagunaniguel.patch.com

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