Dating sites viewed with trepidation in Southern Asia

Survey reveals 60% of United Arab Emirates see internet dating as untrustworthy

An investigation undertaken in UAE of almost 800 people reported that tradition is holding firm over the global rise in dating site numbers.

A professor from UAE University attributed the attitude towards online dating communities as suspicious due to the sanctity of marriage being a life commitment, not just something you can buy on the web and return it if it doesn’t suit.

In other areas, the survey did show the populace as active on the internet, with 7 in 10 respondents trusting the platform to pay bills and 6 out of 10 see it as a viable medium to air their views on society as a whole.

In further reflection, Dr Al Oraimi acknowledged that, although the region was going through a transitional period, given that it is only 40 years old long-standing customs show no signs of changing any time soon; therefore searching for a partner online is, more often than not, ruled out as an option.

Another insight, from a Palestinian living in Dubai, added that family units have become extremely protective of their own, sometimes overly so, since the second world war. Indeed, anyone from outside of that unit is viewed as a stranger; that would include anyone introduced to the family via a dating site platform, regardless if they had been invited by someone within.

Following on in that vein, Dr Al Oraimi reminded us that parental vetting is still very much a part of the courtship process, including knowledge of the background of anyone entering a long-term relationship with their children. However, given the lack of support any offspring would receive should the potential marriage fail, many do not even consider searching online dating profiles as a viable option in the first instance.

Shaadi, which means marriage, is one of South Asia’s more prominent ‘introduction’ sites. Gauruv Rakshit, the contact site’s business brain, is of an opinion that underlines another aspect foreign to the Western World.

He understands that the custom still favours arranged marriages, where families meet to discuss their compatibility and that of the intended life-partners; if the two parties are agreed, the wedding will happen, regardless of any objections by bride or groom.

His attempt at reversing this trend via the personals site has several options for singles wishing to meet outside this tradition, attracting 70,000 members to date, with a further 8,000 new members joining, month on month.

So, although tradition holds firm in most regions, there are signs that individuals are starting to grip their futures by the horns, and step outside the practises held dear for so long.

The net dating effect

30-something Canadian recounts paid vs free dating site trial

When one considers online dating as a viable option, the next hurdle is deciding whether to throw a little capital at the venture or dip one’s toe into the shark infested free dating service pool, first.

For one unfortunate Canadian thirty-something, it soon became apparent that all that glittered were certainly not goldfish as shoals of fishy dates flooded his inbox. With Spanish aplomb, he’d cast a net and caught way more than he’d bargained for.

Although the young man was apprehensive about dating online at first, following some extensive investigative research he finally made the decision to swim with fishes at a paid, well-known online dating agency, first.

(That’s the last of the sea puns, promise)

Like so many of us, working full time in the suburbs of a large city environment leaves precious little time for dating in the conventional manner, as we try to build our careers, keep up with our daily ports of call on social media sites and try and find time to eat and sleep in between.

Based on the theory that a paid service would offer a better class of online partner, and the relative reviews confirmed as such, he decided to shell out a cool CAN$137.85 for a three-month membership.

The whole process of shelling out for the privilege, filling in the extensive questionnaire about his own likes and dislikes and offering very little in the way of his ideal match took a whole hour. given the scant information submitted for a potential partner, the plucky guy expected to yield between 30-40 responses for the effort.

He actually got almost 10 times that amount, with 296 hopeful dating partners responding to his initial posting!

During the first week, he managed to whittle a whole one percent of those into date material, going out three times; none of the three materialised past that initial liaison, however. The remainder of that first month went swimmingly, with more ever-hopefuls responding, but, by the end of this period, his ‘matches’ dried up, with the dating site offering ‘flex’ matches – sort of close, but no cigar-type potential online partners.

After a month of these requests by the dating site, this guy from Toronto stopped accepting even those.

It was at this point he stopped using the site; after the four-step process of guided communication, leading up to an off-line date, he felt getting to know someone utilising a matchmaking software template felt ‘abnormal’.

Not to be disheartened, the next challenge was a free dating site, to see if he faire any better on that platform.

In contrast, it took about two minutes to register, and the exposure was instant, with matching profiles from his area festooned over his dashboard. There was no hand-holding by the free site and it felt more like ‘meeting someone in a public place’. Of course, this does lead to a decline in the level of security, which in his summary the young Canadian does point out.

But the upshot is, he had two fantastic dates from the free dating site compared with the more well-known matchmaking website; what’s more, he is still dating the second of those acquaintances in a real offline romance.

The nett effect is, free dating sites give what you put into them; there are potentially more profiles to sift through, but, as with his experience in the first dating site, splashing the cash is no guarantee of quality.

Desperation deadline date defunct

Buried deep in the mythology of dating land is the ‘three-day rule’ – the supposed time a gentleman is expected to wait before approaching a lady following their first date. There are quarters that believe this is an outdated prerequisite, if it was ever valid at all.

Whether you agree with the rule or not, one thing is for certain – the three day dating waiting rule has been bisected, according to a new study of 200,000 singles interviewed after their first online match-up.

Admittedly, the rule was conceived in a time when suitors were restricted to land-lines and Royal Mail post if you wanted to follow-up in writing and was embedded into folklore by reference in the film ‘Swingers’.

How times have changed – with dating sites coming from beneath the shadow that dogged their image for years and social media moving at such a pace, both with its advance in technology and the speed with which it allows communication, the mythical three day rule has been banished to legend forever.

So, what is the new accepted follow-up waiting time, following your first date, whether you have met via a matchmaking site or, shock, horror, actually met without using online dating as your medium?

The precise time is 1.52 days, but we’re splitting hairs by not calling it one and a half days. This comes as a relief for so many men who have adhered to the rule with amazing regularity, it seems. The news also brings with it a breath of fresh air with it, as it transpires most women set no stall by the old yardstick and have often wanted men to get in touch sooner, rather than later, if that first date went well.

With so many platforms to get in touch with a potential partner outside of the dating site arena, it may be somewhat surprising that over a half of first-time daters prefer to be contacted by text. The traditional phone call also still fares well, with 3 in 10 men opting for actually talking the other half of their new found relationship their preferred choice.

However, the best advice, regardless of polls and opinions is to follow up when you thin the time is right. If you have made a real connection on that first date, you will instinctively know when to make that call, send that text, PM on your dating site, share, like or tweet.

Boy, am I glad I’m married? I wouldn’t know my Harris Poll from my Spanish Archer…

Dating sites insight to true romance 2

who do you think you are?

As more of our spare time is expended on line, the internet, dating sites in particular, have become a hotbed of data for collators of information appertaining to human psychology.

Very few platforms entice us to divulge as much of our private lives as matchmaking sites. However, cutting between the exaggerations on dating site members’ profiles to ascertain truths worthy of inclusion in the evaluation was key to providing meaningful results.

If you are just about to join your first dating site, or are a seasoned user sick of meeting partners who do not live up to the billing, some of the tactics used by the scientists assessing over 1,000,000 online dating profiles may come in handy. We’ll look at those in more depth in part three of this series.

This is not a brand new phenomenon – science and dating sites have been bed partners before, where similar techniques were used in the design and development of chemistry.com. The advantage of using real-life testimonials over those induced under ‘theoretical’ conditions is that the background context is both more credible and allows access to volumes that would be unfeasible, otherwise.

Although the study concentrated mainly on heterosexual blossoming relationships, being more representative of the online dating community as a whole, a separate study did reveal a higher propensity towards meeting online for same-sex partners, with over 60% hooking up via a matchmaking facility, compared with a fifth of heterosexuals, which in itself is still a sizeable amount.

Before we look at how the scientists broke down the information to decide who was telling porkies, here’s just a few of the traits that you can expect any potential online partner to divulge via their profile.

Their were some outlandish exaggerations of the truth but, after members of an online dating site agreed to be measured, there was a definite pattern revealed in the online representation and the reality.

Concerning weight, both sexes came up light, online; for women, their dating profile self was over half a stone lighter than the reality, whereas men were a little more accurate, being just a couple of pound heavier in the flesh.

Height was more accurately gauged, although men did tend to add an extra half-inch; no change there, then.

And age, surprisingly, was the least lied about aspect; however, the profile photos of females tended to be taken 18 months ago, compared to their male counterparts’ shots being a third of that, at only six months old.

So, next time you’re perusing potential partners online, the camera may not be lying, but are you checking out archive footage?

Dating sites insights to true romance 3

dating site profiles unveil secret fingerprint

Following one of the biggest ever reports by data scientists evaluating dating site profiles and the accuracy of the details contained therein, we have a better insight than ever into the make up of matchmaking site members.

If you’re new to online dating, getting started in itself can be an uphill task – the last thing you need is having your confidence shattered by falling for someone whose representation of themselves is deliberately misleading.

It has been recognised that the temptation to shed a few pounds on your dating profile or use a not-so-up-to-date photo is too great for many to resist; however, there are unscrupulous singles whose vivid imaginations can paint a picture altogether unlike the real them. The researchers used sophisticated software to assist analysis of the syntax that broke down elements to highlight patterns to help identify those who may be leading you up the garden path.

There are several reasons attributed to why some members feel they have to lie about themselves in order to attract their target partner. One of the reasons dating site members lie on their profiles was akin to ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ – after looking at similar dating profiles, some singles seeking to attract a partner would bend their profiles to meet the expectations of the people they were trying to attract and ‘one-up’ themselves over the competition.

This has had a positive effect for some members of the dating site community. If they have identified a need to make themselves more attractive to a particular group, rather than consistently lie about it, they have actually looked to self-improve to attain the necessary stature to meet those requirements.

Liars use a certain language, too, both in the words they use and the emotions expressed. Sentences tend to be shorter and, rather than develop aspects of their character that other dating site members may find attractive, their profile is dotted with negatives, like ‘not’ and ‘never’. However, when expressing emotions, that negativity disappears, with a distinct lack of reference of feeling sad or upset. If they do, they tend to use the third person – all of which points to a distancing of them with the real them.

Other surprising findings from the study reveal that we are not perhaps the close-knit multi-racial society we think we are. Over 80% of approaches made to other singles by white members were to other whites. The black community, however, were far more likely to initiate contact with whites.

And guys who spend every other night in the gym may want to think about revoking their memberships. Women prefer men who are tall, will make allowances for a little extra poundage but, most of all, the pounds in the wallet are what really counts. So, gents, if you’re working out to get a woman, save your pennies!

Men, on the other hand, were more eager to respond to women slightly underweight with a less domineering physique.

And, lastly, to increase your chances of a long-term relationship, keep your political preferences to yourself. True – most long-term relationships show that the couples therein bat for the same party.

Pretty as your picture

dating profiles write-ups as important as photo

As more and more singles get used to using dating sites, there is a growing aptitude to be able to discern a potential partner’s suitability without having to view the profile photograph.

Far from delivering many dating sites‘ promises of being able to matchmake you, whatever you look like, a recent US study has shown savvy female dating site members can deduce whether the male they’re checking out is eye-catching enough from what they write about themselves to warrant taking their interest any further.

In recent studies revealed here on dating.org.uk, we have seen how people are beginning to detect when members are stretching the truth about themselves beyond accepted parameters. Now, it seems, there is no hiding place at all if you have anything to conceal.

The study was simple enough in its format and utilised only a small section of participants. However, the results were persuasive enough for them to be adjudged conclusive and representative of the online dating community as a whole.

Using a group of fifty budding female active dating site members, the researchers presented them with one hundred male profiles. The criteria given to mark them on was their overall attractiveness, set against theoretical dating encounters: would they accept an invitation for either a date, an intimate fling or a long-term, lasting encounter.

In order that the group of women did not see a corresponding photograph to the text of the male profiles, they were split into sets of 25, to ensure unbiased judging, and asked to judge both on the impression from the write up and the chosen dating profile pic.

It transpired that men who were considered to good-looking from their photgraph were able to compose written text that enabled the confidence that being pleasant on the eye imbues to shine through. Whereas, those dating site members who were considered less attractive had similarly unflattering write-ups.

So, if you take the knowledge gleaned from our recent ‘insight’ articles, which highlights where members may be stretching the tolerances accepted by the online dating community as a whole, and apply those along with the character that emits through a write and still like the potential partner that you’ve singled out to run those tests on, you should really think about approaching them.

If, as the adage goes, like attract like, there should be no reason why your initiation doesn’t provoke a positive response.

Of course, the real proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but a lot of the guesswork should have been taken out and the man in the flesh should at least resemble that online dating profile that has moved you to action, thus far.