Spice up your love life

Incontrovertible evidence tells us that more and more singles on the UK dating scene are utilising the myriad services offered by online dating sites to attract new mates. This is all well and good for the stealth agent, who can deliberate for hours on end, tweaking the many aspects of their online dating profile, which they have spent countless hours researching on other dating websites and blogs offering tips, guides and how-to’s.

The nett result is a formidable online persona, apt to engage the attentions of any target they please and successfully convert their efforts to enhance their entire online experience, enjoying the thrill of the chase as much as the actual date itself.

However, a study by one online dating facility, Doingsomething.co.uk, has revealed results that suggest this is where the creativity ends; when it comes to the task of taking the date off-screen into the real, wide world mundanity becomes as predictable as whether it’s the man or woman who gets the sticky bit to lie on after years of marriage.

dates that are too PC just plod on

For those who achieved regular success in winning dates online, they reported that 20 times a year, the first date would follow the exact same routine, even down to the permissible amount of alcohol socially condoned as allowed for this type of liaison.

That’s three glasses – no more, no less – if you were wondering. All I’ll say about that is that it’s a good job I’m married, now – how politically incorrect would my bottle of Thunderbird whilst I was getting ready be, nowadays? That may, however, explain why I didn’t actually tie the knot until my mid-thirties, but I digress: the format.

As well as a half of bottle of wine, the first date almost always incorporates Italian food of some designation, and we’re not talking a take-away from Dominos. The occasion was almost always on a Thursday or Friday night (the theory being that young revellers do not want to spoil their other chances by ditching the regular Saturday night hang out with their buds), and the protocol to signify the end of the transaction was a polite peck on the cheek.

Guys – you need to spice it up, somewhat; this tried and tested method no longer does the trick, according to the poll results, as only one in four first dates executed in this fashion led to a second off-line encounter. Rather, 3 out of 4 were sent packing, back off to trawl the internet to find out what went wrong and deliberate for hours how tweaking their matchmaking site profile will help them get to second base, next time.

The clue is in the question. The survey reported a better success rate for ‘out of the ordinary’ dates, like a walk or cycle in the park, perhaps throwing the ducks a few crumbs or seeing their captivated cousins in local zoological gardens – 9 out of 10 surveyed who were treated thus went back for second helpings, when offered a little something different from the menu for the first course.

Dating an alien concept to teens

Is it just me, or does my step-son (and his closest group of friends) simply not seem bothered about dating any more? Long-term, short-term, nothing on the horizon; on the subject of burgeoning relationships we get not even an ‘ugh!’ in response, as was his wont when questioned about young ladies when in his earlier teens.

If we talk about driving lessons, online gaming, his new apprenticeship, a couple of pints and a game of darts, he’ll talk your head off for hours. But ask him if he’s seeing anyone? Zip. If there were frustration, as if he was trying but not getting anywhere, fair enough – he’s a good-looking lad. But no, not even that. He just doesn’t want to know.

When I was 19 and The Charlatans, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Jesus Jones and The Wonderstuff ruled the clubs and we frequented Picasso’s & Club UK, Wolverhampton, Ruskin’s in Lichfield, Regimes in Hanley (Stoke), Hacienda, Manchester & The Palace in Blackpool…well, if you didn’t pull in those places, you may as well have signed up at the local Monastery on Monday morning and be done with it.

My point is: that was what the weekends were all about! The M6 totty-trail, with Jeff Young’s Big Beat on in the Nova 1.4 SR on the way to The Colosseum in Stafford to begin proceedings on Friday night, after a real heavy start to the weekend in Wolverhampton on Thursday!

And, yes – our weekends did start on Thursday – Friday at work was little more than an inconvenience, a stepping stone between nights of dancing, passion and expectant dates in every town we stopped at between the West Midlands and Lancashire.

So what has happened in those two decades, since the dawn of rave and the Ibiza sound to the Generation Y we have now who, when not gaming inter-continentally, ‘crushing’ or ‘tweeting’, are just ‘hanging’ with members of the opposite sex, instead of dating the cheeks off of each other?

At least, as we enter this status quo, the precursor ‘grand-‘ will not be abutting to our present titles of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ for a while a-piece.

Over the next couple of days, we’ll be looking at the reasons why the decline in teen-dating in the younger populous has been so dramatic and how much the effect of social media has had on today’s teenagers as the mystique of discovering boy- and girlfriends from years gone by has been dispersed on the four winds of time.

And how, as if by the casting of a global Patronus spell, the dementors that once shadowed the world of online dating have likewise been dispelled, enticing us all to potter around the corridors of dating sites, hog-warts and all.

From Russia, with love?

Whether they want to escape the minus thirty temperatures and below that hit the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics every year or these stunning Russian singles are genuinely on the lookout for a Westernised gentleman, there’s no escaping the fact thirty online dating beauties intend to flit the country after showcasing themselves in Anastia.com’s Snow Angel beauty pageant. The dating site members who cast a vote get to chat online with their chosen beauty as well as seeing if their nominee wins first prize.

The competition, that began running Mid-November and will go on until Christmas, gives you the opportunity to vote for your favourite, hand-picked dating site stunner as soon as you arrive on the landing page, www.AnastasiaSnowAngel.com. There are three hopefuls per page and you choose your favourite of the three until you have filtered through all ten pages. Alternatively, the dating website gives you the option to see a thumbnail of all thirty contestants on one page.

In the run up to the yuletide festivities the matchmaking site has duly obliged by having all of the dating site hopefuls dress up in winter finery, with professional make-overs, to boot. If the temperatures do drop as far as some of the necklines, they really do want to be putting more clothes on than they have on in the thumbnails or face catching their death of cold.

are you prepared to go all the way on your dating site?

Due to the fact that, as soon as you click on ‘see full profile’ you are prompted for lots more information about yourself, and a little slide up live chat facility presents itself with the caption, next to a blonde-haired beauty’s photo, ‘never married, fair-haired gray eyed’, I would no sooner enter my credit card details than would I place my naked genitalia into the mouth of a circus lion.

Maybe that’s just me, but the women looked just a bit too perfectly contrived, too similarly bedecked in (lack of) winter casual wear of the same brand and all presented with too professionally-shot dating site profile photos against the backdrop of the same studio set for all of the shots to make the ‘pageant’ believable.

There is, purportedly, the facility to share a live one-to-one web-cam chat and enter into translated e-mail correspondence with any of the women on the dating site; to enjoy this experience, however, you have to enter details that, unless you are serious about using the facility that the ‘Introduction and Romance Tour Company’ adult dating site has to offer (and I have no doubt that those services, should you accept an invite to take the tour, would be extremely adult in nature), you would otherwise keep to yourself.

Nevertheless, if you fancy traversing the Iron Curtain to vote for your favourite and see them sit at the top of the beauty contest Christmas tree next month, please carry on to the site and Putin your details on the forms provided.

philandering fireman falls foul following fat fetish friendship

Talk about giving it large! Matt Kemp, a feisty fireman based in Chelmsford, cannot get enough of the larger ladies and was planning to marry one of the two he met on a dating site – until they found out about each other, that is.
No Battle of the Titans ensued; rather, the two largesse ladies became chubby chums after the wedding was cancelled, both freezing out the unfortunate fire-fighter.

25 year-old Amanda Hart, a mere twenty stone, compared to Matt’s twenty-two stone ‘bit’ on the side, 33 year-old Michelle Flack, truly thought that the fireman was the one, after he picked her out from other dating site profiles on matchmaking site Smooch. Amanda was under the impression that he did not mind the fact that she was so overweight, going on to say that she was even made to feel good about her excess poundage.

That was at the outset of the relationship; now, in hindsight, Amanda can see that Kemp, after making promises that she was the only one for him, can see that he only used her weight to control her. A similar promise was made to Michelle, as he told her he had no interest in slimmer girls and he like girls ‘the bigger, the better.’

It wasn’t like that after Matt and Amanda first met on the matchmaking site, though. Soon after meeting up and dating off-screen, Amanda moved Fleck in and they would cuddle and share pizza and one thing led to another and the wedding was being planned. They even went to visit the venue they had chosen to hold the reception.

However, unbeknown to the hopeful fiancée Amanda, Matt was already seeing Michelle. She is equally as reticent about the whole affair, as she was getting over a divorce when Matt approached her on the online dating pages. Making the excuse that he was working away in Chelmsford, the fireman would see her, but kept his engagement to Amanda secret.

It was only when Amanda turned up at the station to pick up Matt from one of his shifts that he was spotted with the larger of his two alternating dates, Michelle. The inevitable then happened – as Matt got into Amanda’s car, Michelle followed him and the whole plot unravelled; his fiancée said “I saw him with this other woman. A big woman – at least my size. My stomach churned.”

Following this earth-shattering event, the wedding was off and Matt was out and the two ladies have become friends, with the memory of their online dating nightmare merely a ghost from their joint past.

It’s hard to be alone at Christmas

Longer nights, shorter days. Budget stretching holidays and waking up in the dark and coming home in the dark. Remind me again what is so festive about December?

Oh, yes – spending time with loved ones: family, friends and that special ‘significant other’. If you are struggling in the relationship department, a new survey by a dating site about singles attitudes towards what they really want in their Christmas Stocking from Santa reveals love is right at the top of The List.

And whether that’s just a superficial fling or not doesn’t seem to be important, either – rather, just someone there to share the roast, eggnog and carol service would appear to be enough. If that love interest is up and away by Boxing Day, then so be it. The mission has been accomplished if, on Christmas Day, you’ve got someone there to ask ‘Has he been?’

If you are single in the run up to Christmas, exactly what is there to look forward to? Sure, your parents or kids, depending on if you’re above or below the Cougar line, or a toy-boy or sugar daddy. But you know those family parties are only going to draw patronising ‘isn’t it a shame that you’re on your own again – at Christmas, as well’ from your Aunty Jean.

Nobody likes to be alone at this time of year – if for nothing else, just so you can get some presents to decorate the base of the Christmas tree. Guys and gals – it really is time to take that plunge on the dating site – if you’ve been building up to asking someone to go out on a date, now’s the time to do it! Not in two week’s time – get in in time to truly understand what’s on your prospective dating site partner’s wish list, this yuletide.

I know for a fact that there’s a Lisa Stansfield album in Staffordshire that’s never been played – I never got to know my partner and, because I liked the Northern Lass, thought my partner would, too. I bet it’s still got the cellophane on, now, almost quarter of a century later.

If you have been building up to pop the question on the dating site you frequent and you’re holding back due to the chance of rejection, don’t! The chances are they’re just as petrified of being alone around the Christmas morning, too. Not to mention the rounds of parties, via the office or family and friends – no one likes attending those without someone on their arm.

And can you imagine Christmas dinner? All those crackers being pulled between partners and you’re left with the one to pull with the dog, who’s sat by the table, waiting for scraps. Exactly!

Stop reading this – right now – and get logged on to your dating website. Spend a bit of time adjusting your dating site profile to get the availability message out that you like turkey but don’t want to be stuffed like one and instead of pulling crackers, get pulling some crackers!

Phone dating still a buzz

Just when you think that ‘mobile dating’ means downloading the latest app to see who’s in your local vicinity or checking out someone’s QR code to see if their profile matches the screen on your iPhone, the traditional ‘phone call’ comes back with a vengeance, to prove that linguistics still have a big part to play in dating social media.

One company in Northern America, responsible for a whole array of direct calling networks, has just released it latest monthly figures and the results are quite astounding. Teligence, who run the RedHot Dateline service amongst many other varying types of phone chat, have reported that 16 million calls are made across their networks every month by its 2 million users.

These adult dating type services do have one distinct advantage over online dating sites, hence their popularity. With a dating website, your profile is your profile. On any given day, someone looking for love online will tick all of their required search criteria and, providing you match, you’re in with a shout of being pinged.

But us humans are emotive beggars – it’s dynamic fluctuations in feeling that separates us from the animals, right? Well, that and opposable thumbs which enable us to pick up a mobile to instigate a phone conversation that will help us relate our mood to another like-minded single.

What if you fancy a change? What if you want to step outside of that online dating persona that you have created? Do you create another profile? By the time you have achieved that feat, made it believable and actually interested people in the new you, you’ve expended that much energy doing so, you just want to crawl back inside the old you and make it all go away.

With phone dating, the anonymity means that you can be anyone you want to be when the mood takes you – you can indulge yourself for instant gratification. Teligence caters for broad sectors of the public to enable precisely that. Its figures show that 6% of men who use their services are there to speak to other males, whilst female to female conversations account for 50% – yes, half – of all calls instigated by women.

On internet forums and chat rooms, you leave a trace, a history. One crazy day can ruin months of hard work, attracting like-minded singles and building trust of those who you would like, eventually, to date. Phone dates, however, like Teligence’s services, which connect people in the same city to enable hooking up, can be done and dusted in hours, nobody other than the two (or three or four – there is the facility for group chat) any wiser and all home in time for tea. Not to mention dessert. x

Love on the go so app-ening

It’s ‘appened to every one, at some point in time. You’ve arranged to meet up with someone, via a dating site or an e-mail in the office or by phone call (do people still ring for a date, these days?), and ‘something’s cropped up’ so they can’t make it.

Yep – you’ve been stood up. In the bar, dressed to the nines already, what do you do? All that anticipation, the extra time and effort you’ve put in to creating the right impression – gone to waste. Or is it?

Back in the day, long before iPhones, Androids and BlackBerry devices, if you saw that text, your night was only going one of two ways afterwards:

  1. think about the whys and wherefores of the cancellation at the bar until, after two hours of relating your problems to the uninterested bar staff, you get up to powder your nose and your legs collapse under the weight of the alcohol that you have consumed, or
  2. skulk off home, crack a few beers or bottle of wine, turn on the laptop and flame anyone who dares even contact you and send a rather impudent message across the dating site airways ready for your cancelling dater when next they log on

find instant love in the palm of your hand

However, that no longer need be the case if you’re one of the more ‘app-y-go-lucky type of person who can put the experience behind them, take the bull by the horns and go set about finding a new partner. And when and where better to start there and then?

If you have one of the afore-mentioned phones that has access to an App Store or market, you can now download apps that let you know of like-minded singles who could be in your neck of the woods at that moment.

Heck, they could even be in the same bar! Stranger things have happened.

Some of these apps are stand-alone downloads that work off their own platform and rely upon many people registering their information so that they can be contacted by anyone else who has the app and ‘app-ens to be within the vicinity.
Originally designed as a business device, it has not taken the online dating community long to ad-app-t this feature to work for finding love in the palm of your hand, either. If you’ve been stood up, it’s the only way to end the evening?

But many website-based dating agencies have seen the opportunity as a route to this relatively new market. Combine the ‘instant success’ of dating apps that allow you to hook up with singles in your area with the current boom in dating site numbers and, Hey Presto!, the business aspect of these apps is well and truly ticked job done, without even breaking sweat.

Tap the app to tap into that potential that just app-ens to be on your doorstep!

Online daters warned against transmitted infection

Back in the mists of time, when the internet was something you could only access by sacrificing your phone using a dial-up connection, if you visited the dating sites as they were then, you never knew what little infection you’d be picking up and delivering to your hard-drive via the land-line.

How times have changed.

In Nova Scotia, Public Health officials are using online dating facilities as a medium to warn people of sexually transmitted disease, specifically syphilis.

Halifax, the one that is capital and 5,500 km2 of East Coast Nova Scotia, not the one in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, has reported 28 cases of syphilis so far this year. The infection which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent damage of vital organs.

Following investigations, the source of the disease has been traced back to an online dating site, in many of the instances of the outbreak. Hence the urgency in putting together a matchmaking site advertising campaign that will encourage the men to get tested if they show symptoms and to warn women to take extra precautions if meeting for nothing more than a casual, one-off relationship using the dating site membership.

One meeting may be all it takes, as transmittal can occur through oral, anal or straight-forward biblical sex.

a one-off date is sometimes enough

As there are no signs of the cases declining, the Public health department are highlighting the symptoms:-
• unexpected hair loss,
• nasty little rash,
• glandular swelling (throat), or
• rheumatism-like aching of the muscles and/or joints

However, these symptoms, unlike the bug that used to infect your hard-drive, can disappear of their own volition, leaving the victim under the impression that the disease has gone. Your body has only dealt with the external signs, though; the root cause of the problem still lies hidden and will remain beneath to attack the heart and brain, if not treated with antibiotics.

After trying other, more recognised, methods to promote awareness of the condition, the Public Health department no longer ‘believe [their] traditional methods are going to work’ and that using dating sites, where the target market gather by choice, is perhaps the best hope of spreading the word about syphilis.

As a ‘challenging type of outbreak to manage’ and the sexual behaviour that leads up to its transmission, the health department are hoping that dating site members get the message before the disease goes viral.

Kutcher Cougar coup

No wonder he looks like the cat that got the cream. Ashton Kutcher, soon to be ex-husband of Hollywood superstar Demi Moore, has been approached by toy-boy specialist dating site CougarLife.com to head up a high profile media campaign to be broadcast on radio and TV.

The ‘lucrative’ deal will also include personal appearances on behalf of the niche online dating platform by the Two-and-a-half Men star. He may well want to steer clear of the UK dating scene for a while, though, as many British women would seemingly love to get their claws into him, after he scooped the 2011 ‘top cub’ award as their most coveted fantasy toy boy. More than just ‘tickly under there’, then.

Claudia Opdenkelder, the president of the dating site, which caters for experienced women looking to pass their knowledgeable ways in the art of lovemaking down to a younger generation of men, is quick to defend that rite of passage, ‘I don’t think that the age difference played a role…they had a beautiful marriage for over five years and, like many relationships, it came to an end.’

Not exactly a die hard romance, then.

Madge, Kabbalah & Hollywood husbands

Another Hollywood legend, who perhaps considered a guru on toy-boys, show-biz relationships and split-ups is offering Demi continual support and spiritual guidance. Madonna, once married to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie of Hollywood fame, is sharing her Kabbalah beliefs with Demi, to help her get over Kutcher, sixteen years her junior.

Madge’s message to Demi is to move on, take pride in the fact that she tried to make the marriage work even after it was discovered that Kutcher had been unfaithful and try to find ‘…someone who will fulfil her intellectually and emotionally.’

And it looks like that message is getting through; a last-ditch attempt by Kutcher to get Demi back on side by buying her a £64k sports car didn’t stop her from announcing official divorce proceedings a week later.

Perhaps, though, when Ms Moore does set out on that journey to find her next long-term relationship, she will not be using her 33 year-old soon-to-be ex’s dating site to search for prospects to fill that role.

There is more information, and an insightful definition, of cougars on womensissues.com
…however, as ‘real-life’ examples, perhaps they may want to swap the Moore/Kutcher reference for something more true to life; here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.

Dates are traditional at Christmas

Dusted rose and lemon Turkish Delight, Brussels sprouts and chocolate coins wrapped in golden foil – along with a tin of dates – those are the things that spring to mind when I recall my nan’s house on Christmas Day in childhood days of yore. Oh, and the sneaky glass of sherry I used to get when ‘the men’ disappeared for two hours down the White Rose to leave the women to the hard graft. And more sherry, of course.

But the guys and gals over at uniformdating.com have put a whole new spin on dates this Christmas, not to mention the revised concept of what you can hope to find in your Christmas stocking.

The dating site, which provides an opportunity for all of the hardworking emergency service and armed forces staff to showcase their profiles to other serving members (and civilians who just like men and women in uniform – traffic wardens, for me!), has joined forces with Cancer Research UK in a drive to raise £150,000 for the charity.

They have already started the ball rolling – for every new sign up for free dating site membership, uniformdating.com automatically donate £1 to the Tonne of Love campaign.

£7.50 from your dating site gift goes straight to Cancer Research UK

This new drive is slightly different and is aimed at the paid membership facility. Usually £19.99/month, the matchmaking site has slashed its rate in half to £10.00 in the run up to the festive season to coincide with its ‘Buy Your Mate A Date’ opportunity.

In effect, you are enrolling a friend into the online dating site for a whole month, where they get the chance to look for love online alongside privates on parade, the boys in blue, naughty nurses and those guys with the big helmets, the firemen.

The bequest can be totally personalised on the gift page of the site and payment is SSL certified secure (obviously) with visa or mastercard. You then have the choice of either printing off the certificate to give as a physical gift or you can send it digitally, by e-mail.

If your Secret Santa limit this year is a tenner and you pick someone who won’t get into trouble by being donated a month’s dating site membership, or could frankly just do with one, not only could you be putting them on the road to true love and happiness, but you will also be contributing £7.50 to Cancer Research UK from the £10 that it costs for the gift membership.

And, you never know, if you’ve been very, very good this year, your Secret Santa may have the odd pilot, lance-corporal or a few sea men in their sack at the Christmas Party for you, this Yuletide!

Dating males produce more than singles

According to a recent dating site survey, being in a settled, happy relationship has a more positive effect on productivity at work for men than it does for women. Almost two thirds of the male dating site members who participated in the poll believed that there bosses got more for the pound when they were seeing someone than when left to their own devices.

Women will, of course, claim that this all down to their positive influence. And there may well be an element of truth in that statement.

When you move from the vibrant, but sometimes lonely, singles world and become one half of a couple, after a while you do start taking on responsibility for your partner, as well as looking out for yourself.

This, for men at least, transfers into the office as they knuckle down to their tasks with more purpose, upping their output. Psychologists point to the fact that once the male of the species takes on a mate, a basic instinct kicks in and they become the hunter/gatherer, as did our ancestors 65,000 years ago.

There is, perhaps, a remnant of this instinct nudging the psyche of those males who took part in the matchmaking site’s survey. True or not, you can bet that their employer’s are not complaining.

There are always the naysayers, and this argument also draws opinion from opponents to that theory, who reflect on the simple differences between the single and coupled male. Compared with a single guy’s lifestyle, the habits of men in relationships become more sedentary as that pairing developments.

Gone are the Saturday afternoons (that would oft stretch into nights) with the other Neanderthals in the local bar. And instead of staying up until 3 or 4am checking out the ‘talent’ on their dating site they’re tucked up in bed, safe and warm with their partner, long before the dawn chorus even starts exercising it vocals.

So, yes; indirectly, the effect of women in a relationship does have a positive effect on the man in as much as that rip-roaring socialite is shelved, making way for the more responsible male.

In contrast, only slightly more than a half of the women who took part in the same online dating poll reflected that their productivity increased when they became embroiled with a member of the opposite sex.

Perhaps finding ways to keep that male monster safely in its jar, out of reach up with the bookends, is far more interesting than any spreadsheet or sales report could ever be. Either way, men or IT, women know how easy they are to fix by turning them off, then turning them back on again.

Not a Carrey in the world

If you consider yourself a ‘man’s man’, like your meat and two veg, have a dating site profile and are aged between 35 to 48, your luck may be about to change.

Former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy is on the prowl for a man again, following the break-up of her two-month fling with Paul Krepelka earlier in the year, and that description above is the type of guy she’s looking to land.

Worried that your receding hairline or that Roman nose may be preventing you from finding love online? Well don’t be. By her own admission, those characteristics are unimportant, as long as you’re “…really sweet” and “a perfect reflection of who [she is] now,”.

The former Miss October ‘93, once the partner of Hollywood superstar Jim Carrey, confirmed that she is ready to date again at the American Music Awards on Sunday evening. She’s not got anyone specific in mind, but knows what she wants and she’s using a dating site to cast her net.

It would appear that her relationships with figures in the limelight have taken their toll on the former glamour model, though. She yearns for a real man, like those of her Chiago upbringing, and is setting her sights on men beyond the trappings of Los Angeles who are neither likely to ask to borrow her make up nor choose the veggie option off the pub-grub menu.

star relationships attract unwarranted pressure

Stepping away from the ‘microscope’ of fame and fortune is a very important consideration for Miss McCarthy’s next relationship, as the scrutiny ‘star couples’ love-lives are subjected to, in her experience, can cause complications and add unnecessary pressure.

Although, that doesn’t mean the man she decides to start any long-term relationship with will be able to live off her earnings. It is very important to Jenny that the guy she ends up with from her online dating site must be able to ‘buy dinners and stuff like that.’

But don’t get rushing off to see if you’ve got a message from Jenny in your dating inbox. She is remaining somewhat anonymous and, like the profiles of the men she’ll be looking to build a relationship with, she is hoping that it’ll be her personality and not her fame that wins over her next man.

And, no – it’s highly unlikely that it will be one of the snaps from her ‘93 Playboy shoot that will be endorsing that dating site profile!

Dating site getting better by degree?

In the interest of fair competition, it’s unusual for us here on dating.org.uk to mention other online dating sites by name. We are, after all, a dating comparison site – or will be when we’re fully up and functional – so would otherwise refrain from influencing your decision.

However, we will make an exception tonight by mentioning a site specifically set up to help harried New Yorkers find love interests online, following a hard day’s graft in the city that never sleeps. You’d hardly think they’d need assistance, with a slogan like that but, apparently, the residents of The Big Apple rely upon matchmaking sites, too.

In these days of instant gratification, whereby if we can afford the technology or manpower to hire a machine or someone else to do something for us to save us bothering, perhaps today’s announcement by Sparkology.com shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

The site, which is extremely top-end of the market, and who’s membership is by invitation only, has announced it has enlisted the services of “dating Concierges Donna Barnes, Laurie Davis, and Jojo Yang to their team.” Yep – you read it correctly – people who are ‘specialists’ in online dating.

Donna even has a graduate certificate to prove it, being an NYU-certified Dating and Relationship coach. Well, it was either that or Molecular Science – must have been a close call.

The theory behind hiring these online dating site assistants is to give the top-notch dating site membership holders a hand if they are struggling to create a profile or plan a date. The belief being that if someone can help the NY singles set create their dating profile and help them organise their liaisons, it will allow them more time to be themselves. And they don’t see the irony…
…Laurie Davies, on the other hand, as well as having input to the mentally challenging tasks of picking out the selling points of your profile, is “…an expert in navigating the vast and often confusing intersection of dating and technology.”

Oh, my head! I have a vision of T. C. wearing a pair of Sparkology shades, reprising the Kindergarten Cop role and it won’t go away.

Jojo takes the bull by the horns and helps members, based on profile information, plan the first off-screen date.

Furthermore, “She interprets members’ interests and preferences to help them plan highly customized and creative dates.” No danger of square pegs in round holes there, then. Pig-tail pulling and making fart sounds with your armpit are also banished.

Alex Furmansky, the dating website’s founder, pontificates over what makes Sparkology different. And, yep, hiring concierges to tell the dating site members what any self-respecting adult should know about themselves anyway is about the top and tail of it.

Oh, and there are differing levels of packages available, which presumably attract relative price tags. You can get in-depth feedback from ‘Doctor Donna’, as well as image advice, following a ‘face-to-face’ session (via web-cam, presumably). And Laurie will give your profile a DigiReview, if you really are struggling to see what’s wrong with it.

You can read the full article, here; if you do get an invite to join, please send me feedback – I think I’ve probably blown my chance of a DigiReview or invitation by special request and I’d soooo love to see the before and afters…

…but, let’s face it – if someone did need that level of help with their dating site profile, would they make that interesting a date?

Parental guidance – learning to date all over again

So, the first few online dates have gone well, better than expected. You’ve got that buzz back, the one that, at times, you felt you’d never experience again. But mixed in with that excitement is a feeling of trepidation; as you and your new partner get closer, you know you’re going to have to come clean in the very near future and tell them about the kids. You can only put off going back to your place so often before your new beau starts to become suspicious and ask tricky questions.

You’re praying that they’ve got kids, too, and that they’ll understand. But then again you’re not, in case you end up feeling unworthy of their trust because they’ve not told you, first.

Or, you’re priming yourself for that look, which you’ve seen all too often, of tragic disappointment at the earth-shattering news that you’ve dared to have children before you even knew of your new partner’s existence. Your heart drops almost as far as their jaw, gawping in a face that looks nothing like their profile picture – you feel like making their excuse for them and putting it down as another lost cause.

single parent dating sites… are the perfect place to rubber stamp your parenthood

However, all is not lost. With the growing presence of single parent dating sites gracing the internet, they are the perfect place to rubber stamp your parenthood and get it out in the open upfront, without fear of reprisal or rejection.

That ghost will no longer haunt your third or fourth date, exorcised forever, as you know that all the members of your new-found online dating community share those same responsibilities.

Like every set of niche online dating sites, it is worth noting that not all operate in the same way. Some are strictly for single parents, whereas others have a dedicated section within their main dating website to facilitate singles who once weren’t. Although, unlike other specialised dating site sectors, single parent ones tend to be free. Not that there are stereotypical impressions of one-parent families, but they do tend to recognise the financial constraints that can be faced by moms and dads trying to raise their kids on their own. As well as trying to fashion something that can be considered a normal life around your full-time guardian role, stretching to dating site membership can sometimes be hard to justify.

If you’ve never considered single-parent dating sites, and you are one, it is well worth giving them a shot. Even if you have no intention of meeting up with other singles in similar situations, it can often do you good to share some quality adult time after your precious little ones are safely tucked up for the night.

You never know, that door that you thought you’d slammed closed may just start to creak open, again.

Catholics top naughty nookie poll

Depicted in many a film as god-fearing, righteous citizens, a poll of over half a million members on an extra-marital dating site has shown that, of those who chose to submit their religion, more than a fifth were Catholic.

As subjects of The Roman Church make up only 10% of the UK population, that is perhaps a surprisingly high amount. Or is it?

A Harley Street social therapist hazarded a guess as to why the specialist dating site poll produced the results it did.

Her thesis centres around the fact that too much discipline can often lead to acts of rebellion, akin to a ‘rage against the machine’ that is the doctrine laid down by The Vatican and its interpretation of The Bible when it addresses fidelity.

In essence, the therapist refers to escapism for Catholics and other strict religions that feature most prominently in the top three of sects in the online dating site likely to stray from the matrimonial bed, given the opportunity. Following years of ‘suffocation’, the temptation (Get thee behind me, Satan) to seek sexual gratification elsewhere can often be too great.

A spokeswoman for the adult dating site was possibly closer to the mark; she inferred that those with a religious background have an opinion, whether they believe it their own or it’s been instilled from a very early age, of what is right and wrong.

That accepted, of all the religions of members surveyed, the three that hold the strongest viewpoints when it comes to remaining faithful to the sacrament of marriage were more likely to be purely seeking the thrill of breaking the rules, more so than any deep, psychological issue, as the Harley Street therapist goes on to embelish.

Harley Street on God

From the subject matter of the results of the personals site poll, the therapist meanders a little from the point, underlining her views on The Bible and its place in society as a whole, stating:
“Religious texts have given us a tool on how to live and how not to live. Some religious beliefs can cause much pain and guilt, being obedient and powerless can cause ‘irrational guilt’ leading to depression.
“Many can get wrapped up in the idea that being good is more important then being happy.”

I’m sure that many who have suffered at the hands of happy and jubilant terrorists will agree with her, 100%, and not wished they’d remained on the right side of good, at all. Or not.

Other religions that were recognised in the dating site poll were Anglicans, who made up 33% of the members surveyed; so, almost a third of the poll was from that religion, but that must not have been so much of a surprise as that particular statistic was only mentioned as a byline in the subsequent report.

And then there were those submitted ‘no religion’ on the niche dating site, categorised as atheists and agnostics and C of E, as well as Jews and Methodists; the latter two were classed as most faithful when it came to honouring the sacrament of marriage.