Don’t hang about on your dating site

There are many types of dating site offering to match you with your perfect partner. Some would like to charge you for their services, whereas others offer to pair you with prospective partners for free.

When you set out on the road to find a match online, how can you tell whether a dating site is going to fulfil your requirements? With limited time for busy professionals, who only just about have time to date online, let alone find a mate in the real world, time wasting is not an option. Likewise any consideration of wasting funds is also out of the question in this prolonged global economic turmoil, so how do you cut through the swathes to streamline your efforts?

According to one online relationship expert one of the most essential tests you can carry out before going through the entire process of fully completing your online dating profile is examine the profiles of your possible matches.

Many dating sites often entice you to ‘search your matches for free’, even if they charge a nominal fee for actually contacting anyone who catches your eye. In order for dating sites to attain respectability, it is important that they perform; they can have the coolest gadgets, most user-friendly interfaces and largest membership but that all counts for nothing if they cannot deliver its membership matches with whom they are likely to connect.

if at first you don’t succeed, quit

Assuming those criteria are adhered, it makes sense that the initial batches of prospective dates you’re exposed to are your closest matches, based on the scant information you have entered thus far. If there is no one in those first few visits to your new dating site, even after applying a few tweaks, with whom you envisage developing a relationship, then it is unlikely that the matchmaking facility and its membership database will suit you long term. Obviously, the more information you choose to enter, the more refined and appropriate your search results will be, improving the likelihood of suitable matches available.

The hypnotherapist come dating site aficionado adds a little further advice. Women should not instinctively reach for their credit card when joining a new dating site community; even though the site may state clearly that it has a paid membership, many sites offer their facilities to the fairer sex for free. Although this seems sexist, without this option, many adult dating sites especially would be over-subscribed with men and would soon cease to provide a viable service.

The imbalance would see numbers dwindle and, in a catch 22 situation, would soon spiral until new members stopped signing up altogether.

Online dating – the after work quickie

As we recently reported, the days of the official ‘first date’ being a long, drawn out affair are in decline. The quick lunchtime date is growing in popularity as online dating members already know much about their prospective partner from their profile.

However, with no set times for lunch in the business world, a midday meeting can be impractical. There is a happy medium, however – somewhere between an all-out date and the lightning liaison of a lunchtime quickie – the after-work date.

The absolute best thing about a date after work, no matter what you have planned afterwards, you have the perfect opportunity to chill and have a beer or wine before you move on. You have to meet somewhere and it is worth researching a bar beforehand (oh, the hardship) that will set the tone for the evening. Stay away from dowdy ‘old men’s’ bars or those that, although cheaper, may attract characters who have wiled away the day there – you want to start out on a positive note.

The one good thing about meeting in a bar – if you are absolutely convinced the date is going to be a washout – there is no better place to make an absolute spectacle of yourself to put your date off forever!

if the drinks have gone splendidly, what next?

Both sports fans? Why not take in a game? Either go to one locally or head off to the sports bar to watch it, live. If conversation is short, as can be the first time you hook up with someone from your dating site, the game itself will throw up plenty to talk about.

If you’re nearby a city or large town, galleries and art museums often stay open until the early evening; use this to judge how culturally alike you are.

Shopping malls also stay open until late. An insight to fashion sense, shopping tolerance and how interested your partner is in your tastes will come to the fore. Most malls often have bars attached or are on commercial centres with restaurants to hand if you fancy extending the date into a meal.

A wonder around the park at twilight, with woods as a backdrop to the suns last hurrahs, can be a memory-making end to a first date.

And, as we approach Christmas, the many Bavarian and winter markets that descend from Europe can provide plenty to aid the conversation, and provide a snack and a drink as you’re huddled together with your hat and scarf as the chill bites as day turns to night with the seasonal setting bringing romance to within touching distance, if the mulled wine takes effect.

So, there we have plenty of options for your first brief encounter, bringing your online dating partner into your world, for just a glimpse of what’s to come.

Lunch-time dates – where and how

It’s your first lunch-time date and you haven’t got a clue how to go about it?

Where do you go? What have you got to wear (if you have the option and aren’t confined to the uniform attached to your post)?

If you have any luck, you’ll have a few days to plan; what with arranging corresponding lunch-times and given the propensity for delays in communication with prospective partners logging on and off from their dating sites, it should buy you a few days to perform a couple of dry runs with discreet friends. Use this time wisely to check your options to optimise your time when the date rolls around.

If you’re a little unsure about your date, as in the person you intend to meet, and would like feedback from your office buddies (assuming that your date does not already know them) find a location where your colleagues can be discreetly positioned to keep an eye on proceedings and provide marks out of ten as you stroll back to the office together once the date is over.

You may have an establishment you already use in mind – this has its fors and againsts.

where everybody knows your name

If you choose a bar where you’re known to the staff and your date happens to be in situ when you arrive, what will they think when the barmaid starts pulling your pint of Stella before the door has closed behind you? This may lead to the impression that you frequent the bar on more than an ‘every now and then’ basis; whether you do or don’t, it may not be the impact you’re looking stamp upon a potential long-term partner.

The upside is familiarity. If you have reservations about your date, you can fall back on the comfort factor, knowing that there will at least be acquaintances in close proximity, should you need them.

A coffee bar is always a good place to meet for a lunch-time date. As well as alcohol usually not being an option, they’re very conducive to a conversational atmosphere. The only problem with this type of establishment is that you can never gauge how busy they’re going to be regarding seating and table space or how long you’re going to have to queue, bearing in mind you have to get back to the office. And getting a blob of chocolate-dusted cream on the end of your nose.

The other option for an informal lunch-time date is to meet up straight after work. This opens up a whole new set of options, but sticks to the genre of a relaxed liaison. More on that in the next article, meeting your online dating partner after work.

Better make it a quickie

Tradition states that the first date is something a bit special, out of the ordinary and an event for which hours of planning and deliberation must be attributed to create that all-important first impression. But, then again, history dictates that meeting someone from an online dating community is a perilous notion (I can just see the Cholmondey-Warner documentary playing out now), but how that has changed in recent times.

The en vogue way to meet up with a prospective partner, especially if utilising a location-friendly application, is by fitting the first date into your lunchtime break.

The ideology of a bouquet of flowers, extravagant setting and pricey meal have all been trashed in favour of a mocha-latte, a sizzler or a friendly little tapas bar, depending upon the amenities close to your work-place. How as this transition happened?

Social media and online dating sites, whereby your profile is visible to those whom you permit to access it, help with a lot of the initial groundwork. Whereas, in the past, that first date was all about getting to know your fellow single, you already have an insight into what makes them tick.

Some dating site profile questionnaires, especially those dedicated to ‘matchmaking’ based on the criteria you enter, that  which forms your personality and what you are looking for in a possible mate, long- or short-term, ascertain more information about you than anyone from those bygone days would ever dream of asking on the initial meeting, wherever it was held.

Theoretically, you are already a comparable match and time-consuming fillers, such as asking about occupations, interests and hobbies, have already been gleaned from the dating website. Any prospective partner worth their salt should already have read, understood and digested this information about you to allow focus on the date itself.

The added bonus, of course, about dating in your lunchtime, is that there is a the reduced opportunity to lead to embarrassing situations at the end. Okay, if you feel a peck on the cheek appropriate or exchanging of contact details other than those to get you together initially, you may feel put on the spot before you head off back to the office.

But if your date has not gone as well as expected, you do not have to make any excuses whatsoever about moving on to somewhere else or coming in for a coffee or getting home if you’re abandoned in the middle of nowhere late at night. Your date knows you have to head back to work and that’s the end of it.

Lunchtime dates may not offer the glitz of The Ritz, but you can see why this slightly one better than speed-dating option is growing in popularity amongst the online dating crowd.

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!

Let the real you shine through

Dating profiles are the key to success

If you want a flood of interested parties flooding your inbox with invitations to date, it’s not purely your dating profile photo that needs to be picture perfect. Hobbies, interests and even job history are all ice breakers that could have suitable prospects initiating contact instead of timewasters.

There a thousands of better than average good looking people on any dating site you care to log on to, but what lies beyond those pixels is paramount to you making a go of any desired encounter.

One of the many reasons attributed to relationships not going the distance is when the partnership becomes symbiotic, where one half relies completely on the other to survive. Living in each others pockets is a sure fire way to drown any flame before the flicker truly ignites.

But that’s not to say that that’s got to be the case.

If you are someone who gets plenty of opportunities to date but never seems to be able to follow through, it’s worth asking yourself if you are one of many devoted partners who abandons their own personality to fling themselves totally into your significant other’s lifestyle from the off.

Ask yourself why you got the invitation to meet up in the first place. It is acceptable to make some allowances when meeting up, but partners approached you on the dating website because of your personality, not your ability to mould seamlessly into theirs. Like you, if they are in it for a long-term relationship and are serious about it, they will be making allowances for you, too.

A good yardstick, if you are concerned that you may be giving up too much of yourself, is to ask your family and friends, true friends, if they notice changes in you whenever you start dating someone new.

Do you drop all of your lifelong friends in an instant? Do your other online friends think you have been abducted by aliens? Has your language become different – do you include sayings and terms that you’ve picked up from your partner that you’d never dream of using, in any other context?

If any of this rings true, then give yourself a long, hard look in the mirror. Providing that that person is the one you’ve described on your dating site profile, then that’s the person who people want to go out with.

Retain that element that is you to realise a long, rewarding partnership.

Captain’s log – Virgin star date

Millionaire launches search for a date in space

Everyone who uses online dating sites has an inkling of what their first date is going to be incorporate. More than likely, the liaison is planned down to the town, the restaurant -probably even the meal itself (goodbye, garlic).

To ensure that first impression is nothing less than memorable success, you‘ve acknowledged already that the budget may have to be stretched a little. But does anyone looking for love on line ever really dream that the hunt for their perfect partner will find them ready to lavish out $200,000 – per head – on the first date to ensure that the foundation for building a long-term relationship is well and truly laid?

Mm, perhaps not. But that money is already in the bag for one lucky lady on one of the more upmarket adult dating sites,

Bryan Christopher, a 38-year old millionaire from Ohio, has already splashed out for two tickets on board Sir Richard Branson’s scheduled adventures into space, but is yet to secure a partner for the jaunt Via the exclusive singles site, Christopher is looking for an ‘…adventurous, beautiful woman” to accompany him onboard Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two, when the first flights are confirmed, provisionally set for 2012.

Christopher will hope to join Branson and his wife, Joan, on the flight; he was inspired by a recoding made by the Virgin founder, who expressed his desire to run the gauntlet of emotions with his wife that is experienced by the thrust of G-force, floating weightlessly in space and sharing the once-in-a-lifetime experience of looking down on Earth, from space.

If the first date is successful, Mr Christopher is not ruling out a repeat performance.

When asked if his eventual online date will be expected to share a 2suit, a garment that unravels to accommodate two people, and then re-fastens using zips and Velcro for any couple looking to diminish space between them in orbit, he admitted that this tactic might be stretching the boundaries for a Virgin date.

Sir Branson himself has had experience in this field, admitting that he joined the mile-high club as a teenager. However, it is unlikely he would have imagined back then that he would be presenting the opportunity to entrepreneurs of the future on his own fleet of bed-lined aircraft at the time.

So, the moral of this story is: don’t under-sell yourself when setting yourself up for your first online date. If you’re lucky enough to land a millionaire, the sky really needn’t be the limit.

NYPD? DYP App polices dating prospects for you

With countless new dating sites eternally hitting the internet, it’s no surprise that security is a growing concern. The real worry, especially with many free dating site ventures that rely purely on advertising or sponsorship for revenue, is that countless new sign-ups are being allowed to register with appropriate scrutiny.

Following on from the beta launch of the app in the US, which double-checks new singles dating site registrations against governmental records, there is yet another security-conscious app, this time which can check a potential date’s criminal records.

Available for both iPhones and Android devices, the new instantly-downloadable application, called the ‘Docket in Your Pocket’ is currently available only in Pennsylvania.  However, it may well catch on quickly across the internet dating global community.

For a one-time price of $2.99, once installed the app searches through over 32 million court records, stretching back to the start of this millenium. Few crimes are exempt, which is good news for the dating community at large. If a potential date has commited a jaywalking offence, that may even be considered an ice-breaker after striking up your online relationship.

However, if the crime is as serious as robbery, or even rape, for the sake of $2.99, this application could be one of the best investmants for the online dating community in a long while. And it may be worth getting now, as the cost to keep the records up-to-date as it deletes older records to make way for the latest week’s new ones is running at around $600. This may mean that for future downloads, a subscription may be required in order to make it profitable for the creator.

Matt Haindfield, who developed the application affectionately christened the ‘DYP’, did so after drawing up blanks for every platform available to mobile devices for researching criminal records.

Mr Haindfield, a lawyer from Iowa, was looking into the dubious criminal past of a witness but could find nothing whatsoever available; subsequently, he has no qualms about the legitimacy or moral debate about the records which many online dating services could eventually endorse.

It is Mr Haindfield’s reasoning that, as these records are held by the state, ownership transfers to the public, because people’s taxes fund that state.

The one concern that has been raised, however, is the possible impact this device can have on existing relationships, on- or off-line, or in the workplace. It is quite possible to see how, ‘for a laugh’, a group of workmates or friends could put their names through this app. If one of the group has a record that they have worked hard to leave in the past, it may lead to them being ostracised for something that is irrelevant to the person they are now.

But, for the purposes of online dating, it is nothing but a plus – prevention, as they say, is better thn cure.

Are you using dating sites on the sly?

Wifi hotspots, iphones, androids – if you want to check who’s responded to your dashingly, devastating dating site messages, you can do it almost anywhere, these days.

Gone are the days when you had to pray to the gods of javascript to close your browser swiftly in order to hide the latest online dating profiles, if, whilst surfing the free online singles sites at home, there turned an unexpected key at the front door.

Thankfully, if perusing prospective relationships on line is your thing (even though you are betrothed to another), you can accommodate this pasttime far and wide.  This is a far cry from being tethered to the dial-up connections of the past, when dating websites were only as remote as the length of your telephone wire.

According to one dating service, browsing the internet for online singles remains a commonplace activity for those who perhaps oughtn’t be doing so.  The results of their survey, put to 25,000 of its members, suggested that juggling blindfold with machetes was perhaps preferable to looking for love online when you already had a partner in situ, ignorant of your daliances.

Okay, we can make allowances; almost two thirds of those surveyed were male. Not that I’m saying men are less intelligent, but are perhaps prone to showing off any ‘sexts’ received from a dating site member to their mates, hence more likely to leave the evidence on the sim or M2 card in their mobile.

Now, one would assume that a level of common sense would prevail and that, upon returning home after receiving a message from someone obviously keen on building a relationship outside of your existing one, you would delete it.  But no.

An amazing 58% of those caught not quite with their pants down, but nonetheless hard pushed to refute the evidence when it’s there in the hand-held, attributed the reason to messages received via a third party personals site.

Pro-rata, the result was similar for both sexes, with admitting being caught by their partners because of a carelessly undeleted dating site cell-message accounting for approximately 3 times the polled answers than that of its closest rival, the good old PC.  So, obviously the gods of Javascript are still gainfully employed but possibly on shorter time, these days, like so many other uk dating site visitors.

Looking forward, however, the integration of GPS on our phones means your partner could quite feasibly track the whereabouts of your mobile if you were to sneak out on a date; therefore, it would advisable to stay in the proximity of where you said you were going to be if you do decide to nip out for a stab at speed dating.

Remember, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and it would be awful to get home one night, only to find that your service provider had been irrevocably been cut off…

A free date for your diary?

Very rarely, these days, do we get offered a little something for nothing, especially on the internet. So, when we encounter a free dating site, we are guarded before we even begin perusing potential partners, keenly awaiting us behind possibly dubious profiles.

Okay, that’s maybe harsh.

To paraphrase even more cliches in the love-seekers handbook, there are exceptions to every online dating rule and you will find the odd diamond or two in the rough.

However, singles dating sites that do not charge a membership or sign-up fee are reliant upon sponsorship and advertising fees alone for their revenue. With a site-owner who has a knack for web-design, this may not be immediately noticeable, front-of-house.

Where you may notice a difference to paid membership sites, however, is in a lack of real-time admin or long-term support. This could range from individual requests being answered to the potentially more dangerous ommission of site-owners corroborating its members dating profiles.

Another important factor to keep in mind, when deciding where to start looking for love on line, is the type of relationship you’re expecting to find. Should you be looking for serious, long-term commitment, perhaps free dating sites aren’t the best place to start.

From the female point of view, if your prospective dating material is unprepared or unable to pay for the priviledge of meeting you, that in itself may raise questions about his calibre, attitude or financial standing. From the male prospective, what self-respecting woman wouldn’t dip into her purse to attract a higher class of gent than the fellow outlined above?

The exception to the rule is if you are completely new to website matchmaking services; in which case, free personals chat-rooms and forums are great places to get the hang of online dating and to get the low-down of the service you’re using.

And again, if you’re only after a casual online relationship, then free sites should suffice. More recently, they have become one of the more fashionable ways to get to know the opposite sex.

In all seriousness, though, if you do arrange to meet up with a member of a free dating site, and you have the slightest suspicion about their online credentials, do suggest that the first few dates are supervised or in close proximation to your regular stomping grounds. If there is nothing malicious about the intentions of your date, they will raise no objections, whatsoever.

Good luck – I hope your diamond doesn’t have too many rough edges!