For that fee, members get a more personalized experience, as Date Able is more akin to an old-school matchmaking service.The organization has been responsible for almost 1,000 marriages, according to Watson.(Access to the site's full features is available for per year.That's substantially cheaper than sites like and e Harmony, which can cost upwards of per month.) "To me, that's pressure right there," says Robert Watson, the executive director of the nonprofit dating service Date Able.org, which caters primarily to those with physical and mild psychiatric handicaps.In 2004, after years of brushing up against the harsh realities of the dating scene, Leftwich founded No Longer Lonely, a dating site that caters to the mentally ill."I thought to myself, 'There should be something like this out there,' and I was surprised to find there wasn't," says Leftwich."People with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, are typically behind the eight ball because they haven't had the practice of dating in college or their young adult life," says Watson.
Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.
All of these can make dating -- often an ego-shattering minefield for those in perfect health -- even trickier.
"On bigger dating sites the competition is tremendous," says Jim Houran, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and columnist for Online Dating Magazine.
"And let's face it, depending on what [the illness] is, it could very well make you uncompetitive in the larger dating pool." Health.com: 28 days to a healthier relationship Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives.
A new breed of dating sites has emerged to play cupid for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
"It's easier to get rejected via email, and you can take baby steps online without hunting outside." Though Prescription 4 Love didn't yield any dates for Lana, this fast-growing online community offers an alternative to mainstream dating sites for thousands of singles.