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Cosmo Man On The Hotseat : Viral Matchmaker Ben Wintle columnist Bianca Valerio discovers a great alternative to online dating after her chat with a hot guy who actually created a fun alternative.

All in the name of that crazy thing we all call love, we are willing to go through leaps and bounds just to find the one person who'll make our heart go pitter-patter. But when blind dates, soirees, bar-hopping, and other avenues for dating are unsuccessful, there is another option for those searching for The One: online dating. Love-gone-viral has gained popularity recently as an unconventional way of eye-balling relationship prospects from Manila to Miami and anywhere else your heart may take you!

So, what better way to get the lowdown on the benefits and pitfalls of online dating than by asking a pretty smokin' man who knows a thing or two about sweeping women off their feet (or shall I say, mouse pads)? Ladies, meet Ben Wintle, co-founder of TrustCircle, a new website that lets friends do the matchmaking.

Ben WintleDo you think online dating is an effective way to meet a viable partner? How so?

I think if you're a pervert or want to connect with someone else with 14 cats, then it can be worth your time. Most other people have a better chance of meeting a viable partner by putting themselves in a social situation or getting set up by a friend.

What do you think are the pros and cons of online dating?

Dating sites can be good to connect with other people in certain niches or if you're a very busy person. However, most of the time, dating sites contain a lot of false profile information and lead you to meet weirdos. Everyone has a better chance by meeting people through friends offline at social events or online through TrustCircle. (Ed's note: has a fun friend-finding tool called Cosmo Match that we encourage you all to get into, too!)

Many people are wary of the world of online dating. Why and how did you come up with the idea for the site?

Yes, online dating sucks! That's part of the reason for coming up with TrustCircle. My brother and I have always known you have the best chance of meeting someone cool through a friend. We were working on a few website ideas last year when it struck us that we should apply this formula to something online. I was also single last year, so it was in my interest!

How exactly does the site work?

TrustCircle helps you play matchmaker for your Facebook friends. It lets you privately suggest two of your friends to check each other out. If one of them is interested, it's kept a secret. If both are interested, they're connected to chat. So, it's a win-win and gives your friends a chance to chat online before they possibly meet. It's a rewarding experience and also exciting when you're on the other end getting set up.

How can one join the network? Are there certain restrictions?

If you're on Facebook, you can join. By default people who are in a relationship or married can't get setup, unless they join and change their settings.

From what you know about Filipina women, do you think online matchmaking and dating are applicable to the Filipina of today?

Yes, I think Filipino women are fairly accustomed to matchmaking their friends or meeting people through friends. It's fun and has more chance of leading to something that lasts.

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