Fatherless children select from “daddy” online shop

A widow recently remarried more than ten years after her partner died in a small airplane crash. In an unusual step, it was her two children that sought out her second husband while surfing a dating site.

Charlotte Morgan, aged 41 years, encountered her new husband, who is 44 years old, after her children picked him out from the online dating site called “daddy shop”.

The retired model, who is now a businesswoman, had stopped trying to meet another man when her husband was involved in a fatal plane collision over Essex.

The ex RAF pilot, aged 34 years, was one of a total of three persons who were killed in the collision between a Cessna 172 and a Yak 50 not far from Harlow, in Essex. in April 2000.

After a decade had passed since his death, the woman, who owned a photographic agency, discovered a new found love, a father-of-one, who was divorced and came from North London.

It took nine months before she became engaged after her children, Zoe, and Will chose from myriads of other possible matches profiled on the online site.

The family, which includes Rose, Mr. Bolam’s daughter, are now residing under the same roof in a medieval farmhouse worth nearly 1.4 million pounds near to Ongar in Essex.

She recalled that she had been out on five dating encounters independently of her children the previous year but there was no real glow in the individuals.

Her son said he needed a dad as he was barely a year old when his father was killed and he did not know what it was like to have a daddy.

The kids chose one person and that in the end became their new father as he just fitted the bill. As Charlotte said, at least they could not claim it was a bad choice later on if things did not work out for them all.

Zoosk steps up marketing profile

Online dating site Zoosk is seeking out a consumer agency to market it to become the leading romantic dating website online and on a mobile.

The site has requested that interested parties should send proposals by 30th April. The expanding dating website is on the lookout for creative and proactive local professional assistance to assist it with communication to the British market in a dynamic, forward looking and original manner that mirrors Zoosk’s fundamental personality.

The British market is the website’s second biggest membership after the USA and the time is right to put more investment into promotional tactics to follow its large marketing campaign late last year in order to wage war with rivals such as eHarmony and Match.com.

The company reveals that its survey news has not been able to achieve much in Britain and that it is trying to transform itself from its current flavour of being a social dating community to a base for more romantic social networking, but this has to be advertised through a consumer consciousness and education campaign.

The website executive is intending upon choosing an agency that will set up a strategy of communication to the site’s main audience in the 25 to 49 age group to get them to create and discuss their romantic encounters, whether they are already married or still single.

Zoosk’s communications team is about to fly to London from San Francisco, where it is based, on the 10th and 11th May to conduct face-to-face interviews with interested agencies.

Zoosk currently has a 50 million membership, which is spread across more than seventy countries and members can make arrangements for dates by using the business’s website, mobile applications, a Facebook app and the desktop application.

Sexual corruption takes over girls on the internet

Lacking in security and vying for male attention, Rebecca was only 15 when she started meeting complete strangers for sex using internet based dating sites.
As a teenager, Rebecca suffered low self-esteem and sadly became obsessed with having sex with unknown men she met online to enhance her self-confidence.

Being on her own in a hotel room with a male she had only spoken to 30 minutes before, Becky knew she could not back away. For six months, the teenager had been chatting regularly online to Stuart after coming into contact with him on an internet dating site.

A part of virtual courting involved sending Stuart, who said he was 24 years old, provocative photos of her self. She didn’t question this and just complied.

Once he had bought Becky’s train ticket to travel 200 miles to meet him, it was obvious he was going to expect her to have sex with him. She didn’t want this to happen, but she couldn’t stop herself.

Rebecca said that they had been chatting for several months and had sent sexual messages to one another. She thought this would have to be the next step.

It was her first real life encounter that shocked her as he looked like nothing in the photo. He was certainly not attractive and was a 40-year-old not a 24 year old as he had originally said. Fortunately, the sexual encounter was over quickly.

He paid up for the room and then they said their goodbyes at the station, never to see each other again.

It appears that more and more children are growing up with an addiction to online pornography sites.

One would assume that the degrading experience that Becky went through would put her off internet dating. However, because she is an insecure, overweight teenager, she sought out any type of compliment that might be favourable in return for sex.

Her first encounter with Stuart was the beginning of a 5-year addiction to engaging in sex with males she had met through online dating sites.

Virtual war provides an avenue for love

Some are referring to the game “World of Warcraft” or WoW as the opening of a new era of online dating. The game’s ten million subscribers are quite comparable with Match.com’s two million membership or eHarmony’s one million.

The average online dating site subscriber allocates substantially less time browsing than Warcraft players do while in battle.

It is not only the statistics that may attract singles, but also the game’s player features encourage the forming of partnerships to take on monsters in a battle. If you try this war by yourself, you will be unable to overcome some of the game’s hardest challenges and you will take longer to get to the endgame and you will not have direct access to the game’s best features.

WoW it appears is an evolutionary feature of modern day love. In essence, WoW is not just a game (even though that was its original purpose) but it is a social networking situation, similar to Facebook and other dating sites.

However, an advantage of WoW as a stage for modern day love is it is also a niche site, bringing together individuals who have a serious fanaticism for gaming. Any two people can “date” once inside the game in a seemingly safe environment due to the virtual characteristics of the communication. It is also not that dissimilar from reality as avatars once playing the game can grasp hands while interacting as people do, bringing together that intimate feeling.

Expressing ones feeling virtually and in a game seems quite obscure but it is a move that is an example of dating experiences that are taking place in the twenty first century.

This century’s generation does not divulge their feelings but instead the role of technology has offered them the chance to exhibit feelings through texts, emails, or in virtual chat rooms and the weapon is one’s own choice.

It does have its worth as the clumsy silences, nervousness and introversion that often emerges with face-to-face communication can often have a negative effect. When these obstacles are obscured, we seek out more that is hidden behind the standoffish email or text message.

The overall advantages of face-to-face communication are numerous but to be take part in a true conversation tests a vital connection.

Love scams can happen anywhere in the world

Malaysia and Singapore are now victims to dating site scams that are inflicting the world over, as online dating becomes increasingly widespread.

Only yesterday, a Nigerian born man was put under arrest by a Malaysian police officer in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. He was extradited to Singapore on the 11th April to answer to a run of internet love swindles.

The man, who is 32, is alleged to have been involved in a number of fraud episodes which they were informed about last year.

He is said to have feigned friendship to women victims via internet dating and networking sites, and formed emotional relationships with them.

He vowed to go to Singapore and, on the arrival day, would make contact with the victims, informing them that he had not been allowed through at the border. At this point he would ask the victims to send some money to specific bank accounts, so he could be released.

The man is expected to be committed in court on the 13th April and it is hoped he will be held in remand for more investigations.

The Commander of the Airport Police Unit issued his thanks to the Malaysian police force, applauding them for their fantastic cooperation and help in detaining this man.

The police have broadcast reminders to members of the public to stay vigilant and be on the lookout for dating scams and to let the police know instantly if anybody makes any attempt to demand money.

The public must be astute when it comes to the receiving of messages on dating sites from strangers who may wish to become friends. A police spokesperson reiterated that it was more important not to hand over any money to a person that one is not familiar with.

There have been a number of problems on dating sites on the internet when befrienders have spent many months expressing loyalty and affection for victims and then turned on them by asking for money and then completely vanishing when they have received an amount of cash that suits their needs.

There have been instances of blackmail when victims have displayed themselves in an uncompromising fashion on webcams and fraudsters have used their wits to extract money.

UK dating site may be template for online fraud detection

Existing practises by one UK dating advice site may hold the key to helping Google cut down on the amount of ‘bad actor’ ads it has slipping through its nets every month, specifically in this report, appertaining to human trafficking.

AdWords, probably the most successful online advertising method on the Internet, has been dogged with advertisements for all manner of dodgy products in the past, pharmaceutical aids for improved sexual performance being one of the first categories that spring to mind. A persistent pest they are at least, a scam they are at worst and for the in between, there is little way to prove that the product works or doesn’t and absolutely no way of getting your money back if they categorically don’t.

But that type of nuisance is small fry compared to a much bigger issue being championed once again by NAHVTA’s Philip J. Cenedella. The National Association of Human Trafficking Victim Advocates is calling on Google, even writing to Larry Page directly, to stop all online dating ads that may be a front for human trafficking.

Google, according to one recent report, spends millions every year policing just such practises but, because of the volume, literally billions of ads every year that appear alongside blogs, search engine results and even next to your message in a Gmail inbox (how intrusive is that?) as Adsense advertisements to generate income for the blog-master, it is increasingly difficult to catch ’em all.

However, Cenedella will not be happy until there is “0.0%” of human trafficking in dating site ads displayed using the AdWords/AdSense medium, however unrealistic that may be. But he’s not afraid of a scrap this one; he’s took on some big names in the virtual and real world in his efforts to stop human trafficking in all its guises. In 2009 it was the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington, a year later Craigslist and last year, and still in progress, was a personal battle against Backpage. This year he has turned his attention to take on the huge resources that are cyberspace’s giant organisations and responsible for the majority of adverts we see in our browsers, namely Twitter, Facebook, Google and Bing.

Back to the original example, Google requires all pharmacy ads to go through both manual and algorithmic vetting before being shown – this may be through a third party and certainly draws from the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practise Sites database available in the US. But for online dating, there is no such registrar, at least across The Pond.

In the UK, we have the Association of British Introduction Agencies that allows you to use their site and find a dating site near you that has been run through rigorous checks and must meet exacting standards of Internet safety before it can appear alongside other dating sites that have qualified similarly.

However, there has been some doubt raised about the impracticability of operating such a system on such a large scale. Also, David Evans of OnlineDatingPost.com reveals that these criminals are ‘like quick-silver’. The moment they know you’re onto them, they disband, disappear and come back braver and uglier than ever.

In the meantime, it seems Cenedella will just have to be patient as Google will only bow to the authorities and has been working closely with them already in an attempt to banish such practises. There is no easy solution and, as much as human traffic is associated with dating sites, it is not the biggest problem this industry faces in criminality; whilst fighting to keep fraudsters off our pages is obviously a good thing, finding extra man hours and budget to cope with spurious ads on free dating sites will be huge costs that many webmasters have not budgeted for.

Cenedella makes an absolutely fair point about the dating ads, but, rather than just point the finger, it would be good to hear him come up with a solution. We wait with bated breath.

Customer retention way forward for dating sites

The issue for many dating site owners becomes apparent when they realise the exact nature of the beast they are trying to build. Yes, dating sites are places where singles can now meet online, get to know each other in the chat-rooms and send IMs and private e-mails, but, in order to keep the whole shebang ticking over, it has to be a business that makes the owner money.

Free dating sites generate income through advertising, either on click-thru commissions or companies paying for the advertising space if the page ranks high enough for a given term. Paid sign-ups obviously gain access to greater benefits than a free dating membership and the website owner gets their cash directly through those fees. Either method has its merits, depending upon what you, curious single, want to use online dating for and how secure you want your Internet dating experience to be.

There is no doubt that dating sites that can boast a high, legitimate success rate will go on to use that information in their advertising campaigns. Take match.com, who reckoned at one point that they were responsible for 5% of all marriages in the US. That type of statistic is fantastic if you are looking to attract singles who judge your product, or dating site, by how well it matches with you your perfect partner, if that is indeed the reason you are signing up to online dating.

But this is where the dating site industry differs from many traditional model businesses that offer a service. In the real world, it is taken as read that your business grows by developing relationships with your existing customer base. Relationships thrive on trust, derived from continued good service; the selling aspects get negated as price becomes less of an issue. And generally, unless a major disaster strikes, that customer is yours for life.

However, for a dating site to be recognised as successful, it offers a service that means the two customers who have found love online with each other walk off into the sunset together. For every single success story, the dating site has to replace two customers; in any other realm, this would be a self-defeating accomplishment. This is why so much of a webmaster’s budget goes into advertising to attract new singles to their service and there is that constant quest to find a DCA (dynamic competitive advantage) to get one over on the competition.

But what if there was a way to keep couples as customers after they have began an offline, exclusive relationship? This has to be the way forward unless dating site owners want to continually be regurgitating the same advertising campaign, albeit with updated gadgets. It may well mean changing at least one of the dynamics of the business, but for the sake of a one-time concerted effort to research this aspect and create this aspect of the dating site, even at a reduced rate of membership fee, it is retention of a portion of your customer base that would have never graced the presence of your dating site again. Heck, having someone in your forums and chat rooms who knows the ropes and can advise other singles on the path to online dating happiness is almost like having employees, so it is well worth the effort to at least research your members to see if this is a viable option.

Zoosk has took the bull by the horns in this aspect, with Couple Profiles. It offers a place for people who have met on their dating site but don’t necessarily feel the need to give up their membership to record their relationship milestones. Again, this level of success is a fantastic advert if the target audience judge dating site success by long-term relationships. If webmasters don’t want to continually be chasing two new customers to replace every one success story and yet get membership fees working doubly hard, using those histories to good effect, highlighting couples’ true-life stories, has to be the way forward.

Ronan rebuffs approach from discreet adult dating site

Former Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating has slammed an offer by one high-class, renowned adult dating site to head up its new marketing campaign, which they have offered to tie in with his role judging the Australian version of the X-Factor contest this year.

The dating site owners have become interested in Keating as a figurehead for its services after the singer confirmed his split from wife Yvonne following fourteen years of marriage earlier this week over a social media platform.

Dating site Ashley Madison have officially requested the star’s ‘support’ as their facility recognises the need in the marketplace for disheartened halves of couples who seek solace and sex from singles or other married individuals outside of their existing relationship.

They’ve associated the Irish singer/songwriter with that role due to has dalliance with backing singer Francine Cornell (who looks uncannily like one of The Nolan Sisters, if you ask me), which, it was announced this week, has finally become too much of a strain on the relationship between Ronan and his wife, Yvonne, even though they have tried to keep their marriage in tact for their three children’s sakes for the last three years in the shadow of his seven month fling.

The discreet dating site are said to have offered Keating a ‘sizeable sum’ plus access to a private jet to ferry the star between his new life in Australia where he judges the wallaby wannabe show and hopes to move to permanently and his home in Ireland that he still shares with Yvonne, although they are reported to be living totally separate lives.

However, it seems that the online dating site is barking up totally the wrong tree. Even though the couple confirmed the rumours that they’d split in separate messages on Twitter last week, it is obvious that Ronan is still very much in love with Yvonne and his three children. He may be considering a move Down Under to get over the separation but there is no way he would glorify his actions, which he is said to regret even though his mistress Francine declared “We’re in love” when confronted by Yvonne after she found Ronan’s private mobile containing messages about the illicit affair that the two had sent each other whilst secretly dating during his solo tour in 2009.

Ronan may not like it but Noel Biderman’s comments in The Mirror suggesting that his site, Ashley Madison, is designed specifically for men and women whose partners no longer satisfy the yearning for ‘excitement and pleasure’ that they did at the outset of their relationship, must realise that his actions reflect the sentiment that drive this controversial dating site.

However, not fancying seeing his name, or subjecting his estranged wife and children to, being plastered over adverts across several levels of media that Biderman has planned, Ronan has referred to the approach as “in bad taste”. Somehow, I don’t think he’s short of a few bob and values integrity over quick, easy cash. I wonder whether his ex-lover, Francine, can look herself in the mirror and say the same…?

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Facial make up to blame for beer goggle bed-partners

Who is the biggest minger you’ve ever woken up next to? C’mon, there has to be a few skeletons in that old cupboard of yours, eh? No? I am surprised. Many a time whilst dating in Wolverhampton women have perched a pair of beer goggles on the end of my nose, put me to sleep, robbed my memory and set their badger on me to crap in my mouth whilst I’ve been asleep in their bed for the very first (and absolute last) time. And the money they’ve taken!

The least they could do is let me leave still wearing the beer goggles so I didn’t have to visualise the travesty of my actions. But oh no, they take them back and hide them in the morning, too, so that the full spectacle has unravelled behind heavy carbon ball-bearing eyeballs whilst Mr Brain, craving coffee, reminds me to find out which dating site this particular woman uses so that I can cancel my membership.

However, new research suggests that this habit of becoming extremely friendly whilst wearing Stella-specs is perhaps not all of my fault. And neither can it be said of the young ladies who have had the misfortune of meeting me when I’ve been ‘in beer’ that the terrible first date fumble has been entirely their fault – they ought to at least put a true photo on the dating site profile or not bring a less-than-pretty mate along with them to make them look good!

Sorry, yes – symmetry, my friends. Being Libran, I can identify with the results in the latest research carried out at Roehampton Uni – everything must be balanced in equal parts before it looks right. But there has been an association with a person’s ability to detect perfect symmetry and how they are drawn to love by la visage parfait.

Why do I never get invited to this sort of research panel: Dr Lewis Halsey was given charge of a study to determine how people react when judging another’s lines of symmetry and then adding alcohol to see where that got the students?

The result is that, when you’re sober, you can judge the aspects of a face and make a reasonable stab at assessing whether a partner is pretty or not. But by adding alcohol, those lines get bleary and the ability to make reasoned judgement disappears faster than your credibility once the lads find out. People cannot appraise symmetry when under the influence and, being mostly affable pups we assume (though on what grounds I’m unsure) that we like this person in a reciprocal way if they’re coming on to you or, as an older sexual deviant that ought to know better, if they’re not.

So, next time you wake up next to someone and your immediate thought is ‘WTF?’, you can always blame being pi-eyed on Pythagoras and look for the right angle to get out of there sharpish if she’s not acute little thing.

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Sugar daddies get younger but so does their worth

Have you ever wondered what the make up of your average American Sugar Daddy is? If you’re not looking for long term commitment, no interest in a serious dating relationship, but believe your time has a price, you may want to consider becoming a Sugar Baby.

Many, many people see this way of life as nothing but legalised prostitution, yet spending time dating for money will definitely raise the question. The words ‘demeaning’ and ‘cheap’ often appear in the same conversation, but not when you’re speaking to either party involved in the ‘contract’, nor one of the most prolific names in the adult dating game, Brandon Wade.

The ‘Sugar’ lifestyle is not just rising in popularity as a way of life over in The States, it is rocketing. A combination of city-slickers earning far too much money to trust anyone as a partner or spending too much time working to devote to any traditional style of relationship combined with college graduates or young mothers struggling to find any job security – or job at all – has polarised the casual relationship.

The caw that gets stuck in everyone’s throat is when it is married men – or women – that draw upon Sugar Daddy dating sites. The men have too much money to care, often citing to their wives that they are away on business; the young piece of arm candy is absolutely aware of the situation and is blasé about the whole affair, taking money (on average $4,357 per month, according to one study, is the amount Sugar Daddies spend on their addiction) that would otherwise be destined for the family home.

That is small change, though, compared to what the average Sugar Daddy earns. The report, based on Brandon Wade’s seekingarrangement.com, suggests that a Sugar Daddy will typically earn over $250,000 per annum and has a nett worth of more than five and a half million dollars, information which is available alongside each member’s dating site profile when you log on to the dating site.

In a separate report, which interviewed several Sugar Babies, they split their time between four older men. Older men who are, in more recent times, not so much older. The average age has come down in the last five years from 44 to 39 – hardly granddad age. This is due to a larger influx of a lot younger men and it is not just the age that has dropped. The net worth of the average Sugar Daddy dating site male member has dropped $1.5M and the monthly budget has also taken a hit by almost one third from $6,231, which it was five years ago.

However, that’s still a fair amount to lavish on the Sugar Babies, eager to spend time with the wealthy men-folk, who can expect, amongst other things, condos paid for, expensive cars, the $2,000 pooch and all sorts of other financial assistance in return for their time, attention and whatever else is in the contractual, mutually-beneficial relationship between the Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby of 2012.

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Online dating bill passed but ducking some responsibility

An interesting piece came up earlier this week about the laws governing online dating. For those of us who have been hanging around dating sites long enough to be given a ticket for it, we know that just because someone comes across as gentile or kind in their profile or sounds cute in their private messages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they’re saying’s gonna pass any lie-detector test.

And to be honest, anyone who familiarises themselves with the ‘dating site safety’ pages, for those credible sites that take the time to post them irrespective of whether it’s the law or not, should have a good idea of what not to do, even if they don’t recognise the intent by a fraudulent ne’er-do-well hiding behind a ‘borrowed’ dating site profile.

However, some dating sites’ proclamations of adhering to laws may be misleading, even though the intention is to ensure the prospective member that theirs is a safe haven to look for their one true love online.

In Illinois last week a dating site safety bill (HB4083, if anyone’s collecting bill numbers like train-spotting) passed through the house by a huge 83-26 majority in favour of forcing all dating sites in the state to categorically state on their pages whether or not their members are vetted and background checked. Great – this is an advancement in online security that the dating community has been seeking for some time. But then some bright spark has only gone and spoilt the party!

The bill itself is, in essence, the same one that passed through New Jersey and New York four and two years ago respectively. And some of the more conscientious dating site owners already comply to all the legislation held within the document. For those sites that wish to attract singles who want and expect to do their online thang in 100% assuredness that everything’s kosher, they will have to follow a similar lead.

So, that’s it, then? Sign up, check that the single has been thoroughly checked out and away you go, you’re certain your prospect is safe to date, right? Nuh-uh. Wrong.

The problem, as highlighted by many a US dating review site, is that there is no industry standard as to what is acceptable as a background check. Okay, the dating site may state that a background check has been carried out, but is that just confirming who the prospective single is who they say they are or does it involve a criminal check, which in their own rite vary from state to state?

Or, has there indeed been a criminal check carried out and the single been given a clean bill of health because the registered name doesn’t match one found on any arrest or charge sheet? Let’s face it, if a scammer was going to choose to steal someone’s identity, they’re hardly going to steal one that appeared on Crimewatch UK, are they?

So, yes, we applaud Illinois for stating its intent; all we need now is for a definitive code that constitutes what a verified background check is, and we’ll all be happy bunnies this Easter, won’t we? What will come first – the checking or the egg?

The tell-tale signs of dating scammers – in practise

The second blog I read that made me angry, (if you missed the first, click [here]) even though it was designed for amusement, and described a scenario that those new to dating sites may get embroiled in before they even know it, was from a MrLE to another female dating site user and blogger. Admittedly, she was bored so played along, but the gist of the story, in very broken English from said MrLE, was this…

He opened the conversation (all through private e-mail on the dating site) with “Hello Pretty Lady” – a dead giveaway to someone who is not who they purport to be; read our  Not the language of love article as to why – and it all sort of went downhill from thereon in. MrLE followed that up by describing our blogger, or rather a ‘ladyfriend’ who he supposedly had sitting next to him remarked that, our blogger was “smoking sexy” – I mean, c’mon.

The ‘ladyfriend’, with no voice of her own, strangely enough, wanted to know if our female blogger correspondent was into ladies. Having told MrLE a straight “No!”, it did no good whatsoever; he persisted by questioning the truth of her response, going on to explain that he had placed a bet with his ladyfriend, which he had now lost because he’d wagered that our blogger was not averse to a bit of same-sex female bonding.

This is another skill of the practised scammer, playing on sympathy, trying to get the unsuspecting single to show an Achilles Heel, which they will exploit if you show too much ankle.  Some, like this guy, are pretty obvious, but others can be a lot more subtle.

Despite our blogger’s shorter and shorter answers, MrLE kept on badgering her, even after she had stopped responding completely, using well practised lines to make his scenario seem plausible. In truth, 99.9% was probably fallacy, just a hopeful approach to get another dating site single engaged before entrusting himself to her further, which could have opened the door to heartstrings, purse strings and G strings, over a prolonged period.

MrLE even had the gall to follow up the day after to ask our blogger what sort of day she’d had; although, in all likelihood, he had very little memory of the exact conversation as he would have been on to pastures new the moment she stopped responding.

Needless to say, our seasoned dater was having none of it and gave MrLE short shrift, but I don’t think she realised that this was a genuine attempt by a scammer to engage – I bet he couldn’t believe his luck, at first. You can see from this illustration how someone new to dating would have felt pressured or obliged into keeping the conversation going, maybe even costing the newbie their membership as they abandoned the site in the urgent desire to rid themselves of this persistent nuisance, the likes of whom give the genuine world of online dating such bad press.

I obviously commented on the blog to let her know how lucky she had been and urged her to contact site admin immediately. She was savvy enough to sidestep this attack, but newbies perhaps wouldn’t have been so aware, or at the very least, got totally the wrong impression of online dating.

If you’ve not read the series The Money Pit of Online Fraud, please do so, especially if you’re new to this wonderful world of online dating, which is fun and can open up exhilarating friendships and, as the success stories will tell you, so much more.  Don’t let idiots like MrLE or Santa put you off, just learn the signs and, in the interest of others who may be newer to dating than you are, get site admin to at least check out their credentials and furthermore warn them that their conduct is unacceptable, if you feel you’ve been subjected to unreasonable behaviour.

Why dating sites can leave a sour taste in your mouth

Online dating can be quite disturbing if you’re new to it and you really aren’t sure what to expect after the initial sign-up process. It doesn’t matter how savvy you are at dating in the real world, regular dating site users can spot a chat-room virgin and country mile off.

Take two blogs I’ve read this week, whereupon two seasoned online daters had their eyes opened by two quite separate unexpected requests that had both bloggers bog-eyed at the outrageousness of the content in the questions asked by two people who were, if I may politely put it, chancers. However, read on and I’m sure you’ll think of a whole host of other names for these insidious dating site pests whose interference really does no good whatsoever for the image of online dating.

Sadly, this typifies the actions of irresponsible dating site users who, if their sexual persuasions are of an overtly lewd nature, they really ought to stick to sites that cater for their preferences and not interfere with mainstream singles who may occasionally stray from the straight and narrow with the help of a few chardonnays too many but would certainly keep that level of activity out of the public domain.

The first case in question was on a blog entitled ‘Confessions of a preacher’s daughter’. So, yes, you could guesstimate from the blog name that the young lady blogger was perhaps a little more worldly-wise than some. However, what ended up in her inbox certainly made her eyes water.

There was obviously some previous post history about a bloke that goes by the name of, ooh, let’s just call him Santa for the sake of this post. And because that’s his online dating persona, too.  It appears that he’d been off the radar for a while since our blogger had last blogged about him, but out of the blue she received an invite through her free dating site portal e-mail from said ‘Santa’, asking if she wanted to go to a party.

Knowing him of old, it transpires that she turned him down; however, she did receive a text from him later as he himself was reconsidering attending because of the distance of the party. The fact that it was a double gang-bang party – a point he’d not mentioned when asking said Preacher’s Daughter out on the date earlier – hardly seemed to phase him. Needless to say, being cut from a different cloth, she turned that one down, unreservedly.  You can perhaps see why dating site members of this ilk put serious daters off the online scene and, for the case in question, why Santa only comes once a year and when he does, never fails to empty his sack…

…join me tomorrow when the second tale of woe is much more disturbing – not graphically, as this mini-online dating saga turned out, but something a lot more deceitful, even more of a pestilence on Internet dating than sexual harassment. Yeah, bet you can’t wait; some good lessons in it and well worth the read. Keep in touch with yourself. xxx

The legally-certified dating site personality test

When I first read this, I thought it may be an April Fool’s hoax, but, delving further, it seems to have some solid advice behind the mind-bogglingly long numbers used in the reporters article. These numbers will not be repeated herein, one, due to their perplexity and two, down to plagiarism laws that we abide by, but let’s run the rest of the article by you, sans les numbres terrible.

From the beginning – there has been one matchmaking algorithm created that doesn’t profess to match you with your perfect partner based on how long you’ve been a vegan, whether you were a boy scout, how long your toenails are or anything similarly specific. It simply states – look, there are five factors to determine your personality; we’ll match you based on those and those alone and you determine the rest – you can even see the results.

It beats the crap out of those dating site questionnaires that take an hour to fill in and, for those who promote dating sites on behalf of the owners, rarely lead the affiliate to any real income due to the urgent nature depicted by someone who starts online dating who wants to get straight into the action. Sit for an hour filing out a form? Nah, I want to get laid! Well, that’s the casual version. There are many other dating sites that you could join and substitute ‘laid‘ with ‘married‘, ‘divorced‘, ‘tied up with your pink stockings, Diane‘. The list is endless, but to represent the urgency, we’ll take casual dating as the benchmark.

However, it seems that one State in the US has set its stall by the duff information that these lengthy questionnaires promise to deliver. West Virginia, mountain Mama, has outlawed any other personality test other than the aforementioned five-criteria ‘16PF5 Personality Test‘ due to the increased number of divorces going through its courts, with blasé claims by dating sites that their psychometric calculations can pair you with a future partner.

Fernando Ardenghi, accredited with developing the test, also known as the ‘Lifeproject Method’, which assesses self-confidence, self-control, comments laissez-faire vous êtes, how open you are/if you’re socially dependent and finally your family orientation, which could have a bearing on the relationship you’re looking to develop yourself, has been hired to advise other online dating sites how to implement its methods.

I don’t think personality matching should have been his career path; if he can sell that to the senate, boy, should he have been a marketing consultant…

…let us know what you think: are dating questionnaires too intrusive or time-consuming or has anyone had better results by totally filling one in? Love to hear from you. xxx

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When does investigating your potential date become stalking?

Given that it is not yet law for all dating sites to check the history of its membership, how do you check out the past of a potential partner? If, indeed, you do at all. If not, at least according to one report, you are very much in the minority.

Okay, online dating is now a socially acceptable way of meeting your partner. The uninhibited growth of social media and ‘respectable’ branding and advertising campaigns have seen to that. But that doesn’t stop the glorious picture of Heidi, the 22-year old lab assistant from London, turning out to be randy Roger from Reading, does it? As such, almost sixty percent of singles who have been approached to go real life dating via their online platform use other Internet sites to vet their potential partner before agreeing to meet up with them.

Social media platforms used to vet potential partners

Stalking your ex on the facebook is nothing new. Many of us have done it and lived to regret it. You see them on a smiley photo with their new beau, you get too closely acquainted with the ever-faithful Miss S. Artois or favourite Pinot Grigio and end up having a one-night stand with a total minger whose name you instantly forget and all just to ‘show them’ you’re not hurting. Yeah, right, well done! Then you’ve got to rid yourself of said minger – disaster!

However, in the absence of a legal prerequisite, singles on dating sites are doing their own investigating using Google, LinkedIn and facebook to corroborate dating site information before acquiescing a date.

On Jdate, a recent survey of 500 members revealed that, of the six in ten who trawl the ‘Net for added safety, more than a quarter used facebook only and one eighth only Googled their potential beau, but a further 20 percent used a combination of sources, such as the professional network, LinkedIn, thrown in just to be sure.

One word of caution. As much as we condone this type of activity, that first date is your first real chance to get to know the person you’ve met online, once you’ve satisfied yourself that Heidi definitely isn’t randy Roger, perhaps because her moustache is a different colour, I don’t know. But leave some of the mystery to unfold on your date(s). Do not, under any circumstances, over-investigate your subject.

If you sound like you’ve been checking up on them before you’ve met, it will sound like you’ve been checking up on them before you’ve met and you may just come across as slightly unhinged or stalker-ish. All that time and effort in research and you’ve scared them off a second date. So, yes, be sure; but also, leave the door ajar for a little mystery to seep through, a bit at a time, not fling open Pandora’s box like, well, like Pandora did. You may not be able to take it all in at once and still retain all of your noodles.