Inject passion into your e-mails to score big in dating

Thanks for coming back to us as we look to see what you can do to get better click-throughs to your dating site profile, hence promoting brand you, on your dating site. Yesterday we looked at highlighting the importance of asking questions to instigate any communiqué, more importantly, in the hope of securing one or two potential partners along the way.

Today, we look at an aspect that will instantly promote you from dating site newbie dullard to experienced singles dater without you really having to learn anything about the (sometimes) weird and whacky world of online dating. And that is simply, find some common ground with another of the singles on site.

This, at first, doesn’t have to be someone with whom you would consider going out on a date with, but someone with whom you can share your common interest with and introduce you to: passion.

if you can talk passionately on any subject, there will almost definitely be someone who can add their own comment or listen intently to what you have to say. And most dating sites have a huge audience that you can potentially broadcast to.

At first, building up trust is one of the stepping stones to getting your first date in the online world of cyber-love. This, like I say, doesn’t have to be the first person you strike up a conversation with. But if you can glean a few snippets about the etiquette on your dating site – if we’re talking Mrs Bucket (pronounced Boo-kay) or Onslow standards – you will know the accepted limits in the chat rooms. You may think that unimportant, but no one likes their toes stepped on.

By injecting passion into your words, you also start to put a piece of you into your writing that you perhaps don’t even realise you’re doing; this is excellent stuff! You may not know it but the person who responds to the passionate you really is connecting with a level beneath anything you could craft into a deliberated personality profile. You stand more of a success finding the right person for you; yet again, you may not notice this at first, but by letting your hair down you also let your guard down a little, too, giving other singles a route in.

It’s difficult to say, this, and even more painful to get your hand and heart around, but if you’ve been hurt before there’s a real good chance you don’t want that to happen; in order to move on, you have to risk letting someone from your dating site in, even if only the slightest little bit.

If you get the entry levels of communication right, combined with a subject that you care deeply and can share intimate details of, you’re onto a winner and you will soon find that you’ve gained a whole new circle of friends who not only see you as one of them, but as a leader, too.

Join me over the rest of the weekend when we conclude with a look at other aspects to filter into your e-mails, such as humour, confidence and belonging, into the posts.

Thanks for listening; keep in touch with yourself. xxx

Ten million dating site members – is it too many?

I’m almost convinced that there will be a time when online dating is compulsory, as will be further education. You’ll finish year eleven and, instead of trying to sneak into the nearest pub to get an under aged drink in the hope of meeting someone with whom you can pop your cherry, you’ll be using the dating site membership that you were given at the same time as you collected your exam results and college enrolment number.

I draw that conclusion based on the fact that White Label Dating, the company that hosts dating sites for individuals who would like to develop a brand in their own dating niche, whether that be mainstream or an aspect a little more tailored to an individual’s circumstances and/or sexual proclivity, have recently announced their ten millionth dating site member.

Keeping up with rising dating site numbers

Going back a few years, Matt Pitt, Whitelabeldating.com’s Director of Operations, may have been forgiven for thinking that the huge volume of singles recorded across their brands would be ten or fifteen years away. But, as he acknowledges in his summary in the announcement that they’d reached this milestone, social media has become such a big part of our lives in such a short space of time, people are a lot more accustomed and trusting of ‘social interaction’ than could ever have been predicted, even as short a time ago as fix or six years hence.

Also in his summary, he was quick to acknowledge the variety of personals sites that have sprung up in more recent times.

It is not only your ‘lonely housewives’ types of sites that have grown in stature, but it seems that for every type of passion away from dating, their will be someone who finds a way of getting people of similar interests together to see if a deeper meaning can be brought to the relationship.

Some surprising names amongst the clientele

You only have to look at the corporations that use WLD as their base platform for hosting their own online dating sites to realise exactly where he’s coming from.

Jazz FM, the radio station for lovers of that swinging beat and Jongleurs, the comedy club, have both chosen to host their dating sites with WLD. But there are, no offence to either of those, much bigger household names who have chosen this option.

The Independent, Bauer Media and Cosmopolitan media publications all entrust their reputation in the dating niche to WLD to look after their membership.

Is so much choice a good thing?

The issue is, with so many singles using online dating sites to deliberate over potential partners, the question has been asked if people are genuinely holding back on commitment because the ‘next best thing’ may be just a click away.

If you were single with so many other singles looking for – well, a bit of everything by all accounts – how readily would you want to sacrifice the freedom of choice on offer on these platforms? Okay, to gain access to the best features, there is usually a monthly fee, but that fee is often less than one night ‘up town on the pull‘ and you get up to 31 days (whilst sober, mainly) to choose without worrying that someone’s slipped a pair of beer goggles on you.

Matt also expressed that, having reached the ten million milestone, he cannot wait until the twentieth million member joins up. Something tells me, he’s not going to have to wait too long before WLD realises that goal.

The beautiful people have feelings, too

Being what is generally accepted as good looking can have all sorts of complications that being plain or less than handsome don’t inherently attract, of that there is no doubt, whatsoever. Being ‘fair of face’, to quote the old rhyme (the twelfth of October, 1970, for example – go on, write it in your diary…why, thank you), can raise all sorts of self-doubt and warrant unwanted attention from those, usually of the same sex, regarding you with little green monster eyes.

For example, Monday’s children may well have had to address the following issues whilst dating in the past that those less pretty would have no conception of (unless they had an exceptionally high opinion of themselves):

  • is he/she only with me as a trophy boy/girlfriend?
  • do they only want me to impress family/friends?
  • Is that bloke over there, built like a brick…wall (keep it clean) with the scar and broken nose going to rearrange my ‘not the face, not the face’ because he just can’t handle the fact that I’m gorgeous?

Oh, yes – you may mock, but that has happened – or the situation, at least – and only by sheer good fortune has one escaped with little more than a black eye and a slightly skiwiff bridge of the nose that now ‘adds character’.

Good looks not always helpful in dating land

Having a super-model photograph on a dating site may seem a blessing to those who are not as blessed with looks, but there is a curse attached to having come to bed eyes, being denturally perfect and possessing long, flowing locks. Most people who are good-looking genuinely look for more faults in their appearance than anyone else. Not necessarily through vanity, either.

If you’ve been classed as a bit of a catch, generally, it sets you above the rest. Why? God knows. But it does. But that does engender a certain responsibility, if only to keep up one’s moral. The school reunion, for example. Say you’re having a real bitch of a time of the month or a shaving rash has encircled your throat and you can do nothing to hide the spots or whatever imperfection is the symptom. What’s the first thing you get asked? Or worse, hear someone tattling when they thought you were out of earshot? It’s something like: “Blimey, hasn’t XXXX let themselves go?” or, the killer, “They never looked like that when we dated!” And you feel like shouting back – it’s a ferkin spot for ferx ache. But time and tide has taught you not to and you just let it simmer in your bile duct where it can gently erode your self-confidence away whilst inflaming insecurity.

And having a perfect dating site profile picture does two things:

  1. attracts all of the weirdoes who either go out of the way to say something defamatory with no justification or start stalking you and will not leave you alone, no matter how many hints or outright obscenities you throw back at them.
  2. singles who you may be interested in don’t bother to get in touch because they think you’re out of their league. It’s so not true. Good looking people may have earned a reputation for being shallow, but that’s so not the case. We just want people to realise that beneath that cherubim face is a real person – good looks are not a shield to defend against all the jealous scorn directed at The Beautiful People.

Next time you see a genuinely beautiful person on your dating site, take the time to say hi, and that you like the way they look – you may be bloody surprised at the keen response you get back. That is all.

Stick within your league for best dating site results

If you’re new to online dating, you may be apprehensive about sharing some of your personal information due to the hairy stories that make their way into the media. These reports can be from everything to the guy turning out to be a sex offender, the woman demanding money to even get to the first date or your potential partner singing Brotherhood of Man songs all the way through the date. All scary enough in their own rite, it’s true.

But before you get to that meeting up stage, there is plenty of other critical information you need to know about the entities that patrol dating sites under the guise of genuine singles looking for love online, whereas all they are really after is your money and they have developed some ingenious ways of doing it.

Even the most steadfast of singles get caught up in a fantasy web spun by these (generally) organised criminal gangs. But if you know beforehand what you’re looking out for, the telltale signs that you’re being approached by a scammer will stand out like a sore thumb.

Getting the best out of your online dating experience is all about being honest with yourself, not setting your expectations, not getting carried away by trying to impress another single who has caught your eye by pretending to be someone you’re not and, at all times, keep things in perspective by being totally honest with yourself and with anyone who shows interest in you. But not too much heavy personal stuff, at first – that type of information will have everyone on the dating site running for cover. Remember, many dating sites have seven-figure memberships: you are not the be all and all – there are thousands of others members that a single can move on to if you either come on too heavy or do not act within the parameters of dating site etiquette.

That said, you have a vague idea of who is in your league, if you go on the ‘like attract like’ unwritten rule. So if an absolutely stunning blonde of Scandinavian origin or chisel-chinned hunk with bulging biceps approaches you and you are by no means expecting to be contacted by someone of that calibre, start asking yourself: why? Not being funny, there is a 99.9% chance that the photo is not that of the person getting in touch, no matter how much they protest that they are Erika or Brad, rather, the image has been lifted from elsewhere, possibly even another dating site, on t’Internet and there’s an African national hiding behind the dating site profile with a rod and some heavy gauge line just waiting to reel you in.

Another giveaway is the opening line when someone new contacts you for the first time. It won’t open with a coy ‘Hi, there, I was wondering…’ or a ‘Just happened to see your profile…’. It will go straight for the jugular in ill-conceived English. The fraudster will open up with ‘My most beautiful darling,’ or ‘My most gorgeous sweetheart,’. All true enough sentiment when you’ve known someone for a while but, due to the foreign national’s lack of understanding of etiquette – they’ve probably lifted the text from a well-thumbed Mills & Boon – they make this fatal error (if you know to look out for it) upon first contact.

Stick with us; more over the weekend about what to look out for – and, more importantly, to report to the webmaster – to weed out the scammers from the genuine single looking to find you via the medium of online dating.

Like Pro-Wrestling, online dating is not a con

The argument is raging thick and fast between the scientists in the logical world and the owners of dating sites who claim to use strings of logic – algorithms – to pair individuals on matchmaking personals sites. But are the scientists who are ranting against the calculations missing the point entirely, and just playing into the mainstream big-hitters marketing plan even more by giving these algorithms credibility by even warranting that they exist, at all?

The simple point of fact is that, if a single believes they have an element on their side to help them find love online where they have failed to do so in the real world, they are more likely to be open to committing to someone who they believe is a scientific match, even though they have proven to themselves, by getting their online relationship to the stage of dating offline, that there is a chemistry there between them with these huge strings of logic to testify the fact.

Any businessman knows that it is easier to sell to a qualified lead than to cold call and expect the same return. Singles join for the dream – there is no selling involved; they already want your product and are prepared to pay handsomely monthly for it – and the expectation is that they’ll end up getting married through one dating site facility or another. Okay, it might not be to the single they hooked up with as a result of a string of calculations on a server in deepest Texas, but you can bet, being so sold on the idea and having the chance to ‘get to know that person’ through the medium of chat is perhaps half of the courtship battle done and dusted.

But the wording of the marketing is very cleverly put together. It doesn’t actually come out and say that: 542 couples per day get married who met on eHarmony because of a string of useless data. It states that so many people tied the knot because of the dating site. With there so many people in the US, the chances of two singles meeting otherwise would be very slim without this facility.

So, you have to ask yourself: Is algorithmic online dating a con?

Or rather, like Pro-Wrestling, nothing but show? Excellently choreographed to provide entertainment of the highest level, and fit enough to run with the best? I think it probably is. A con, no. But if you go into it with your eyes wide open, you’ll probably have a better experience for it. The scientists can argue about the algorithms all day, but, the bottom line is, do dating sites bring two people together into a loving relationship? You bet your candied ass it does.

Adele looking for a different singles success

For every single out there in dating land there’s a site on the Internet where they can meet the person of their dreams, no matter what they’re looking for in a potential life partner. From niche dating sites catering for Filipino brides to Sugar Daddies (and Sugar Babies), there is a commodity that can provide the introductions to take the hopeful single to the next level with their dream date.

So, when you learn that the winner of one of the America’s Next Top Model shows has gone into the online dating business, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the portfolios would be populated with waif-like models and chisel-featured hunks. Not necessarily the place you’d expect to find singles who’ve strayed a little from the path that the media would class as ‘mainstream singles’. Mais, au contraire, mes amis!

The Big & The Beautiful is a dating site aimed at the more curvaceous figured single, although not exclusive to the larger lady or generous gentleman as it is open to all ‘beautiful shapes and sizes’. Its president is none other than Whitney Thompson, the winner of the afore mentioned accolade in 2008 and self-confessed plus-size model, who created the dating site with the aim of allowing women to feel that they don’t have to lie and fit a media-painted picture of what a beautiful woman should look like.  You only have to look for evidence of this type of falsification on any dating site, where it is suggested 90% of dating site profiles contain at least one fib or another.

In order to boost the dating site’s profile further, Whitney has extended an offer to one of the hottest names in showbiz for the last two years, Adele, to head up their next wave of marketing.

Details in one recent report suggest that there is a seven figure cheque awaiting the ’21’ star if she agrees to align herself with The Big & The Beautiful to coincide with the ‘real women with real curves’ campaign that Whitney has planned for the niche dating site.

The concept of online dating is in no way foreign to Adele. The platinum disc solo artiste, who, in order to retain anonymity, has signed up to eHarmony without posting a photo. She admits to having issues, however. It seems that, without a photo, there has been a distinct lack of singles offering to date her. More fool them!

However, this may all be immaterial and the men on the mainstream dating site have missed the boat since she and charity boss Simon Konecki are now stepping out together. Looks like she’ll be giving others the chance to top the singles chart for a while – that will make a nice change.

Is it our dating profile ageing or has the mirror cracked?

There is a very real difference between what dating site owners perceive their users’ experience of their facility is and what the dating site member actually gets from the service. This is personified by a blog I read earlier that backs up something we wrote about here on dating.org.uk only last week, but sheds a little more light on the matter. Today’s other post will back this up further, too.

Earlier this week we reported that nine out of ten people lie on their dating site profile. And that one in ten profiles are made up. Now that figure assumed that the ten percent were sickos, wierdos or perverts. However, having seen evidence today to the contrary, it seems that people are creating multiple profiles purely to extend the net of who they can attract if their existing personals are starting to seem a bit dowdy and not attracting as many hits, messages or coming up in the ‘popular’ search results as often as they did when the dating site member first joined the site.

Now, what does this do to the numbers of members that dating sites claim to have? What makes the story worse for the blogger in question who’d contemplated setting up a second account was that she was already in a relationship with someone she’d met online. By her own admission, she’d been away from the dating site for six months and hadn’t been hit upon as much recently since she stopped using the facility on a regular basis. It seems that, for vanity’s sake only, she was now going to create another persona.

There was no suggestion that she and ‘Banjo Boy’ had stopped dating, just that she liked popping back for a ‘quickie’ but had got the impression that her profile had reached an expiry date. The complex had been brought on by the fact that she’d sent four first messages (an art in which she was prolific, if her self-appraisal is accurate) to singles with PhD’s and none of them had replied. Was she punching above her weight or, by her own admission, were they just not interested in being hunted by the cougar?

Is it right to create another profile just because you want a little more attention than your real information is attracting? Or should she, as another dating site regular commenting on her blog suggested she’d done recently, re-write her profile to reflect her current circumstances, throw out all the old pictures, refresh the words and the photos? Although, it has to be said, she’s not on her own in this; profile photos is one area that both men and women fail at on dating sites. The fairer sex tend to be the worse of the two, using a profile photo eighteen months old and mens a mere six months in comparison, according to one recent survey.

The concluding question was along the line of: “has anyone experienced a similar profile ageing process?” I don’t think it’s the dating site profile that’s got the issue with ageing, do you?

Do dating site algorithms work or just string us along?

The argument about whether scientific algorithms that many of the top-ranking, mainstream dating sites – particularly matchmaking sites – claim to use rages on. However, five top independent scientists from five different universities across North America have critically – and more importantly, without bias – appraised the methods used by their ‘peers’ to create the strings of logic, which dating sites use to pair new singles together, and found them redundant as the useful tools the sites claim them to be.

What’s more is that singles entering their data into such online dating platforms are being sucked into an even worse scenario than before they signed up.

There is no denying the appeal of simply being as true to yourself as possible (or as true as you are prepared to let others believe of you, anyway), entering those details into a Deep Thought-esque mainframe and after a few clucks, chugs and whirrs your perfect partner will scroll out from a slot just below where you paid your stake. If only. But millions of singles hoping to fall in love online are stumping up millions of dollars week in week out across the globe for the privilege of being told ‘close but no cigar’ as the matches maybe okay for a Mr Right Now, only to see those relationships fizzle out soon after the first date, so back to the dating site they go.

Logical association or dating site corn?

It’s a bit like going to the chiropodist – they’ll take the top off the corn, but never dig the root right out. They’ll have lost you forever as a premium customer, unless you’re stupid enough to wear the same shoes again that gave you the callous in the first place, of course.

If dating sites have a member who’s paying month by month, would the algorithm present that perfect partner first time out? Only by a whole heap of luck. That’s not to suggest the algorithms have the power to weed out those who would be an absolute perfect match, just that it’s not feasibly possible. A person someone really fancies one day can be a distant memory the next if another – who can be the total opposite of yesterday’s ‘the one’ – enters the frame. What’s changed perceptibly about the single doing the fancying that they would change in their profile from one day to the next?

Jack.  Human nature is simply that fickle.

Recent reports suggest that 90% of singles lie about their dating site profile. If the success rate were ever to climb above 10%, the argument would be self-defeating. Of course, the dating sites response to that would be: if more people were honest our success rate would be higher. Irrespective, it’s just not good business sense to market and administrate customers, regardless of the marketing commodity they provide, without turning profit.

To find out what the scientists found and the disturbing thought process millions of singles are believed to be adopting, please [read on]

Spread betting on dating site profiles for small marg-ins

What do you do when you get to the supermarket and they don’t have the brand of butter you were looking for? You need to make sandwiches for the party and you’ve been to all of the other supermarkets; this one was your last hope. You’ve got to have something. What do you do? Yep, you pick up one that might get you out of a scrape tonight, you just hope people appreciate the filling and not the butter that’s on the bread.

What the bloody hell has this got to do with online dating? Well, according to one recent study by five top scientists in North America, this is the mentality sweeping dating sites and singles the world over.

The outline of the study can be found in our article: Do dating site algorithms work or just string us along?

Shock, horror, the algorithm’s not found what you’re looking for but brought up several choices on ice on the shelf where your butter should be, but you just know whichever of the alternatives you plump for, it won’t spread with as much satisfaction as the brand you’d hoped to pick up. Well, eggs-zactly.

The full report is yet to be released but an essence of what the results will smell like has been issued on the website from whence this snippet came. The study itself focuses on how dating in the real world differs from its online cousin, concentrating on definitive areas, including accessibility of potential partners, levels of communication and the interaction that leads to and, the hot potato, the matchmaking service ‘based on scientific algorithms‘ the dating sites purport to utilise.

More is less

Initial reports suggest that, although there is a whole lot more choice via the portal of online dating, that doesn’t guarantee ‘superiority’. Far from it, in fact.

Going back to the butter metaphor, the vast array of individuals looking to fall in love online is leading other singles to ‘brand’ them, comparing vast swathes of profiles and, if ‘the one’ doesn’t jump off the shelf, those browsing are unprepared to commit to any of the others.

Another aspect, harking back to the 90% fib about themselves in their online dating profile, is that a partner with whom the single has been chatting to for sometime rarely lives up to their ‘persona’ in real life, and the expectation levels from communicating via a dating site often fall flat what the date comes to fruition in the flesh.

The scientists do hold some hope for the science behind Internet dating, however, but it will take 100% honesty from members and webmasters, alike. Psychology has as much to do with appreciation of a partner as physical attraction, that much is known. Providing that all parties enter and deliver true information from being ‘guided by rigorous psychological science’, then finding ‘the one’ may not be a figment of the i-marg-ination, butter very real prospect.

Tongue-tied and twisted? Plan your date outside the box

There are occasions when the effortless speech that flows freely from fingers on dating sites deserts even the most seasoned singles when it comes to dating in real life. A few changes in thought concepts and a bit of indirect practise could bring you to life on that first date when otherwise, for all the world, you look like you’re waiting for the ventriloquist’s hand to work its magic.

If you don’t have a lot of success dating it may not be down to all of the things you beat yourself up about after the event. Being sociable is a skill that only gets honed with practise. If you’ve met another single on your dating site and you know you ‘don’t get out much’, do something about it. Look to see what your friends are up to, get down to the café or bar just to get used to being in a social environment and participate.

People who spend a lot of time online dating and don’t have a great deal of success on their first date tend to read a lot about how to make dating a success (Et voilà – bon soir!). My guess is that, next to the laptop is a note book with about 200 bullet points that you believe you need to get through on your first date, if you’ve taken all of the online advice to heart.

Yes, the first date is about finding out about your potential partner but it is not an inquisition. Don’t forget, they want to find out about you, too. Don’t feel like you’re putting them under pressure – you’ll not only have them leaving for the exit, but that (hopefully) school ma’am inquisitor is not who you really are, is it? Get a general overview of what you want to find out, get the deal-breakers out of the way (date two is pointless, otherwise) and then just let the rest of it flow.

When the time does come around for you to impart a little of who you are, don’t be shy! Honesty is the best policy and if there’s stuff you like doing, let your partner know about it. But not heavy, personal information. That will have to wait until the relationship can support it and will have your partner making excuses if you lay it down too thickly on the first date. And that definitely includes exes!

Whilst you’ve been reading about other’s successes dating, you will no doubt have taken in several accounts of singles who have been remarkably proficient and go on first dates time and again, just because they love doing it. Whatever you do, do not start trying to measure up to those standards. Flirtatious people attract that lifestyle and it comes naturally to them. It comes back to what you want from the date, no one else.

Plan ahead, too. Choose an activity and location that’s a little off-beat. Off beat, not off the beaten track! Yes, make it quirky, that will be an ice breaker in itself. But stay close to where you’re familiar for the first few dates until you’re sure your partner’s trustworthy and, for safety’s sake, don’t invite them home for the same reasons until you’re absolutely sure of their integrity. Now, go get ’em, tiger. And let your heart do the talking!

Just who was our Valentine hero?

Nothing gets singles dating like valentines day. It is the one day of the year when usually shy guys and girls abandon pretence and pride and just go for it. In offices up and down the country, in bars, pubs and clubs tonight on UK dating sites everywhere, there will be people who have been building up to declaring their undying love for someone for a while and can’t wait to blurt it out. There will be singles everywhere who just never saw it coming and will be bowled over by proposals that spring up from nowhere to shock and amaze them.

Yes, some may say it’s commercialism gone mad (note the facebook status of those who do – guarantee you it’s: <b>single</b>) whilst those in relationships use the day to fall in love all over again and love the opportunity to express to their significant other just how much they love them. In today’s hyper-connected world, we spend so much time texting and e-mailing, private messaging on dating sites, but how often do we talk and not feel at odds with ourselves if we say ‘I love you’ to the one we do?

In this day and age, with online dating having transformed the way people look at dating as a whole, there really is no excuse not to tell at least one person how you feel about them. As Jake and Elwood once sang, everybody needs somebody to love.

But who gave us this opportunity? Is St Valentine real or is it just a myth that someone could prove love so much that he was honoured so throughout time immemorial by so many lovers after him?  Or did Clintons have a really bad Christmas one year and decide they needed something between New Year and Easter?

Well the jury’s still out about who he actually was but there is one version that holds true, both in timeline and historical accuracy around the time that Valentine’s Day was conceived, albeit somewhat unwittingly, by the saint we honour today who was martyred for the cause.

The common belief dates the sending of the original Valentine’s card to around the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. The leader stumbled upon the idea that single men fought with more vigour than their married peers, who longed for their families when they were fighting for the Empire on foreign shores. He subsequently banned all marriages.

However, a Catholic priest by the name of Valentine upheld the church’s belief and continued marrying men (to other women, you understand, he wasn’t a gay bigamist). Claudius II summoned the priest and extended an offer of pardon, providing the priest stopped carrying out wedding ceremonies. Valentine refused and was imprisoned before being subjected to a beating, then a stoning before finally having his head chopped off. However, whilst he awaited his punishment, he wrote to the jailor’s daughter expressing his undying love, no matter what happened to him; the letter he signed ‘from your Valentine’.

However, it wasn’t until 1,100 years later, around 1400 A.D., that sending valentine’s cards was popularised, a tradition we still hold today and was reportedly worth £20M to the UK economy alone last year. If only he’d had some of those royalties and a good agent…

Forgive the sentiment, but, come on – it’s Valentine’s Day

Well, happy Valentine’s Day, one and all! With any luck, you have been inundated this morning and have a recycling bin full of envelopes and enough Valentine’s Day cards to wallpaper the spare room. If not, add this very special Valentine’s wish from me, print it off and pop it on your mantelpiece along with a sloppy wet kiss. xxx

However, it seems that more than half of the country are not looking forward to the day as it only reminds them of the fact that they are single. Well, isn’t that the point? Certainly, dating sites feel the heat on Valentine’s Day, with singles from across the globe desperate to fall in love and share their love, even with complete strangers over the distance of cyberspace.

It’s a great time for bringing couples closer together, too, especially if they’ve not been seeing eye to eye. It’s a white flag day, time for a truce and to just enjoy each others company and remember why it was you got together in the first instance.

But why should this one day have such a pacifying effect on stormy relationships? How come couples who are joined at the hip can fall impossibly even more in love with each other for the day? And why do so many singles who would otherwise not dream of it feel brave enough to part with their hard-earned dough by risking their reputation and possible friendships by declaring their love for some unsuspecting other single on this day more than any other, whether it be way of an e-mail, a card sent incognito or a private message on a dating site?

Despite the objections of those who would rather skulk and pour scorn on the day of lovers, last year love-struck nationals from every country across the globe sent over one billion cards. In the UK alone, we spent £20M, weighing down postmen’s sacks. That’s without taking into account the thousands of roses and other flowers, meals and take-aways, boxes of chocolates other keepsakes and mementos of the most romantic day of the year.

Today is a time for letting the real world run its course without you, for once. Devote yourself to your partner; vie for the love of another who may not yet know the depth of your feelings for them. If you think you are stuck because you do not have a partner and stand no chance of meeting someone in time, there are thousands of single dating site members across the world who would love to share the sentiment of the day with you, even if you cannot be with them physically.

The world of online dating was almost made for just such an occasion. Don’t miss out, be a part of the massive e-love-ution evolution that is Valentine’s Day – you have absolutely nothing to lose and you could, today of all days, find your perfect match in minutes to last you a lifetime.

Dating sites – here endeth the Valentine’s Day lesson

When you first sign up to a dating site, there can be a lot of information to take in. One of the best recent innovations in the world of online dating is that the newer dating sites appearing on the market are tailored towards users of existing social media sites. The features are getting more familiar as the line between the two platforms gets thinner with every passing month. So it may all look slightly different but the functionality should be similar.

Most dating sites have an intranet, whereby there is a network for the site by the site on the site, where your inbox is within your dashboard, along with the control over your dating site profile information, such as your likes, dislikes and photo galleries for paid dating sites. Likewise, upgrading to a paid membership now often gives you access to one-on-one video-cam, where you can check out for real that you’re dating a real person and see if they are like their profile photo and personality.

And don’t be nervous about using these features. Everyone on your new dating site has had to get used to the web-cam or the ‘wink‘ feature or the one specific aspect of the dating site which makes it unique. Your blissful ignorance and lack of experience with these features is a sure-fire way to attract interest by asking for help on the forum or chatroom! With all this technology to hand, there is no excuse in being backwards at coming forwards.

When you do say ‘hi’ to someone, be a bit specific about why you have approached them. There are some drop-dead gorgeous profile galleries on show in dating land, which attract literally hundreds of these little ‘hi, I like your photo’ one line introductions – they are mostly ignored. The whole point of making contact with someone on a dating site is because you feel as if you could connect with the person who’s caught your eye. Tell them why (briefly – you can expand, later) you felt moved to contact them and end your introduction with an indirect question. They may be genuinely shy and not know what to say in their response – give them that angle to get back in touch. Even if it’s just because you like someone’s write-up, but they’ve not included a photo – ask them for one. They may be willing to send one privately, but have a genuine reason for their anonymity in the public domain.

And lastly, a UK dating site is a dynamic thing, a beast subject to metamorphosis as new members sign up, offers on membership deals arise and new innovations in technology enhance existing or introduce new features. It’s not a set and forget platform for you to just activate, sit back and hope for the best. Like everything in life, you’ll get out of your dating experience what you put in. Keep your information fresh, update your profile to match offline achievements to invite a whole new audience, keep safe, but, most of all, dating should be fun!

Enjoy. Have a great Valentine’s Day and we hope you’ve enjoyed this week and the crash course in getting the best from your dating site! Love, one and all, from dating.org.uk. xxx

p.s. Send us an e-mail if you’ve had a success story or tale of woe or if there’s anything you’d like us to cover in the news – we’d be only too happy to check it out. xxx

Widen your net; you’ll be surprised at the catches out there

When you first start out online dating, getting the hang of one dating site can be daunting enough without thinking about juggling multiple inboxes and trying to respond to all of the singles who contact you. Especially in the first few days. Not only will you get genuine messages of welcome (you’ll find that women respond to both sexes with a hearty greeting, whereas men only to women – it’s the old alpha male thing; you’ll soon get used to all that testosterone), but there can often be peaks when you first join any dating site. This is purely down to members or (even admin staff) who dutifully trudge through the new sign-ups to ensure they’re not missing out on anything.

So don’t panic if you think you’re never going to able to cope – it’s just the newbie rush, especially around dates like Valentine’s Day. Some of the paid dating sites do impose a limit on the number of e-mails new sign-ups can receive to prevent exactly this eventuality. If you see someone new and you can’t get a message through, it may be down to this reason, not because they’re not interested – they may just be being shielded from too much of an influx of interested parties. If you are one of those who find themselves not being able to contact someone you really like, set yourself a reminder and keep checking back. A little bit of competition is good for the soul, so they say.

If, however, that avenue is cut off to you for whatever reason and you’re not finding the exact match you were looking for, it may be that you’ve perhaps set your dating site expectations slightly too high. It’s amazing that, from sites boasting millions of members – not all of those may be currently dating, it’s worth stating – you may literally filter your search down to only a half a dozen close matches.

That’s because people are people and there are so many aspects that go into one personality, finding someone with the exact traits you’re looking for, minus the ones you’re not, would be some achievement. All relationships have a level of compromise (believe me, I’m talking from experience, there), so you may only ever find Mr or Mrs Nearly-Right.

If you’re not getting the success from your dating site that you expected, try broadening your horizons. Ask yourself if age is so very important? Does your potential partner have to live on your doorstep before you’ll consider dating them or is it worth going that extra mile for that special someone? And would it be so bad if you were taller than your man in high heels? Well, if he put high heels on to compete then you may have an issue, but really? Joining a dating site is a wonderful new opportunity to express yourself and extend yourself. Don’t blow it by being blinkered.

Let your dating profile picture tell its own story

In the UK dating arena, unlike many other global dating site platforms, profile pictures are critical to the amount of click-throughs and e-mails you get from your prospective audience. Certainly on the Continent, it is the words that matter, even your name can be the difference between whether you’re a dating site genius or utter online dating disaster.

Filtering this aspect of your dating site profile further, there are profile pics that work and those that don’t.

Before we go into the whys and wherefores, when you’re choosing your photograph, think about why you joined the dating site in the first place. Did you just want a quick fling then drop your partner like a ton of bricks come February 15th? Is a fling not your thing? Is it a long-term partner you’re after, a sugar daddy, a cougar, a toy-boy or sugar baby? Your photograph, like the old adage goes, paints a thousand words and it will determine the type of character that visits your profile.

Needless to say, if you’ve followed this week’s articles and set about finding the perfect dating site, choosing the aspects from other peoples profiles that suit you (and turned them into your own words, of course!) and found a membership package that’s ideal, do not let your picture spoil all of the rest of your hard work.

A couple if tips gleaned from past studies: guys, look smart, comb your hair, shave and brush your teeth – yes, even for your photo. You may well have had sixteen pints the night before you’ve asked your mate to come around to take a decent photo, but that cannot show through in your image. A good quality digital camera image that you can crop and resize, depending upon your dating sites perameters and storage limits, is what you need.

And ladies, a similar message applies. One golden rule – do NOT wear too much make up – guys genuinely like to see the real you, the one that they’ll wake up to every morning. They do not want to see a Beatties make-up assistant whose skin resembles that of the Tango Man and whose eye-lashes and -lids are that thick with mascara and shadow, it could be anyone hiding beneath the war paint.

And, ladies, if you do use a professionally shot photograph, beware that it doesn’t look too contrived. It will convey the message that you and you alone are the most important thing in your life; if a shot looks too polished and you will attract no one if your image is too domineering or ma suggest ‘high maintenance’ from the outset.

Of course, the more up to date the better, but recent studies have shown that women’s photos tended to be from eighteen months ago, whilst men’s are half a year old. But keep them fresh. Remember, non-paying members may only have access to that one single profile picture and not your entire gallery. And singles, to entice them to sign up to dating sites, like an array of different images – your perfect partner may have passed over your image a dozen times but then homes in on a you taken from another angle!

There’s much more on site about dating site profiles if you put that term in the search box. More about profile creation, next.