Dating sites – a bit of something for just about everyone

Being single is great for a while and only the absolute confirmed bachelor or ice-maiden can truly say that it’s what they want forever. For the rest of us, there comes a time when longing to spend time with a soul-mate or kindred spirit overwhelms the desire to go out and get ratted every night with a random bod you’ve met on your dating site or courtesy of your dating app, end up getting laid and then wake up next to said bod the following morning with absolutely no feelings for them, other than wondering whether they’ll go up in your esteem if, next to the kettle, is a 300gm jar of Douwe Egberts.

No? Never just hooked up with someone from one of the 1,000s of online dating sites festooning the Internet? Mmm, perhaps it’s just me then. But I know it’s not. Online dating is one of the hottest trends availing itself to singles all over the globe.

I’m sorry? You think you’re too old? Okay, if you’re of a certain maturity, traipsing half way across the county at the drop of a hat to meet someone you’ve just met on a dating site, parking up in a suitable location, downing several alcoholic beverages and then hopping straight into bed with them on the first night may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re 55 plus, then you, dear sir or madam, are in the fastest growing age range to discover the world of online dating. Oh, yes, it’s true – senior dating is top of the cyber-love pops!

And what was that, madam? You only go for older men who can lavish you with gifts in return for small favours and accommodating them on an ad hoc basis as and when the mood takes you? No problem there, either. There are many distinguished dating sites for the Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby alike.

And you, sir? You go for the older woman with perhaps a swimming pool in her yard and a penthouse villa in The Canaries, à la Mrs Robinson? In the words of Harry Enfield – Young Man! Don’t fear – cougars are on the prowl online as well as their older male peers looking for younger female company.

And you there, looking for a same sex relationship – you won’t be disappointed either. By jove, many of the mainstream dating sites are even enlightened enough to acknowledge the vast sector of the UK population who would much prefer to spend the evening – and night – with someone of the same gender and have their own private areas to service them. Ooh, err!

Online dating has come a long way from the dial-up days of seedy little websites, which were more likely to infect your hard drive than lead to a relationship capable of allowing you to pick up something else equally undesirable and contagious. As a starting point, if this is all new ground for you, check out our dating site – you may be surprised at how many people you have lots in common with, no matter what your dating preference.

(Oh, and if this is your virgin online dating experience, be sure to check out the next article about online dating security!)

Not only cougars who have been fleeced

This week we are expanding the overview that Action Fraud have recently published, detailing scam artists letters and communications to UK dating site members in which they attempt to part them with their hard earned cash.

Combined efforts of Soca and English Universities have determined that as many as 200,000 Brits may have fell foul of the ruse. With reported individual sums ranging from £50 to £240,000 finding their ways to fraudulent accounts overseas, this perhaps gives us an insight to the amount we are talking about. It puts the total Sir Terry and Pudsey raised to shame, in comparison.

We continue our report by breaking down further aspects that can help you identify when someone is angling to reach into your bank account by tugging at your heartstrings.

This may sound a little harsh, but if you’re a middle-aged woman and a twenty-something gorgeous young gent approaches you out of the blue, what are you going to think? Unless you’re on a cougar dating site, with perhaps millions of women more his own age to choose from on your site, are you really the object of his heart’s desire?

We use the original perceived ‘target-group’ of these conmen, middle-aged women, because this was the age-group and gender those conducting the investigation expected to find at the root of the problem – lonely housewives with a bit put away, feeling lonely and making themselves easy targets with flattery and confidence trickery on high-end dating sites.

However, this was proved not to be the case; individuals from all age-groups, both sexes and all sexual preferences fell foul of the blue-eyed soldier or pouting super-model who wanted to flee her evil captors and ‘make home’ in Western Europe.

The reality is that these organised gangs create multiple online identities, downloading photos of ‘pretty’ people from the internet and using that picture as a front – whilst you’re dazzled, looking into their eyes, their hand is metaphorically reaching into your back pocket or purse unlocking your bank account.

This should change in the very near future as ‘online passports’ are integrated into dating websites; for UK dating site members, Trusted Faces will be a welcome relief as your online identity can be verified by a mug-shot taken at a UK Post Office and uploaded for all to see. In the meantime, as this will not happen overnight, beware if someone who you would otherwise consider ‘out of your league’ approaches you out of the blue on your online dating platform, trying to schmooze you away from the site with sweet-talk.

Keep it real. Stick to the site, ask them to prove their identity and never, ever give them information that could jeopardise your financial security.