Dating sites not necessarily the key to dating down under

Last week, we concentrated solely on getting you up and running on your dating site for Valentine’s Day so this week we’re going to move away from the UK dating scene and have a look at what’s going on around the rest of this marble we’re on.

We’ll start off as far away as possible, if that’s okay? No, not Inverness – Australia. Specifically Queensland and how their dating world has changed since online dating lost its cloak of indecency but, more specifically, since 46% of Australians, according to one recent study, have Smartphones with Internet access.

It’s not just dating sites that are being utilised to find a perfect match in minutes, either, and those are very real-time turn-around estimates. As both sexes of the Queensland 18-34 populace turn on a more regular basis to online dating and social media for their technological courtship, Facebook status recognition is being used as a barometer to check out whether your friends are up for a night out or whether they’re officially off the market.

After just three dates, a third of the younger singles are changing their circumstances to ‘in a relationship’ and twenty percent are just as quick to announce their single status as soon as the relationship they’re in has ran its course.

However, there are all the usual warnings of dating online, specifically from residents of Queensland sceptical of the medium.  Between the lines, there is a pressing urge for global dating site security to become a legality rather than a recommendation, a view shared the world over. This may be one of the reasons why the same report found that many of the singles are playing hard to get, a wise move until you are assured of the identity of the person you meet (and fall for) on your dating platform.

Yet, there are still many signs that traditional dating is still very much en vogue, down under. Despite more singles opting for the dating sites to make initial contact, a Mills and Boon survey suggests that a whopping 91% of women still prefer their man to actually call them to ask them out on a date rather than rely on a text message to announce their official interest.

And the majority of Australian women still hold their love lives dear, looking for long term commitment rather than a quick fling. According to Michelle LaForest, MD of Harlequin Enterprises Australia, for the many women turning to dating sites, retaining that balance is proving to be a challenge; rather, her comments suggest that after the initial online dating experience, women still prefer the traditional dating methods of a ‘real life’ encounter.

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 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

Social media and dating sites – what’s the difference?

The world has gone crazy for social media. It’s accessible from your mobile, your tablet and even the traditional way through your laptop or even older tower PC.

Whether it’s the facebook, Twitter or G+, it seems everyone has an account with one, two or all of them. Different friends, networks and, when you start filtering sites such as LinkedIn into the bargain, job opportunities, too.

Once the 9-5 is over, it’s straight onto your mobile to check your likes, +1’s or mentions and a night in peering over the top of the laptop catching bits and pieces of your favourite show while you catch up with all of your messages online.

All of the above, even the professional networking sites, allow you to display a profile, with pictures and your personal likes, dislkes and history. So what is the difference between sites like these and online dating sites?

It’s apparent, from the new dating sites that are springing up in cyberspace, that they are moving towards social media designs to help users find their feet more quickly.

So it’s only natural that people who already use social media would begin to use that platform to start dating.

facebook makeovers off the wall

Instead of family pets or two year old sons and daughters filling walls and pages, facebook users are beginning to post pouting profile pictures instead.

And, as well as old school friends and professional colleagues, their walls are being plastered with hopefuls who they’ve never met responding to teasing profiles, encouraging a response typically reserved for online dating sites.

extended networks of friends easily accessible

There are facilities that allow you to view, not only your friends, but your friends’ friends too.

A leapfrog over your own best mate to one of their buddies, deemed somewhat unacceptable offline without an introduction, is not only acceptable but almost expected. These sites are ways to meet friends, but you have to do the searching for someone who really interests you.

Hashtags are one way of searching, but they are in no way as filtered as the specific algorithms and scientific processes that dating sites use to pair couples based on the information they enter about themselves and what their ‘searchees’, or desired perfect partner, has entered about themselves.

Social Media has its place online and, as it continues to grow, will only continue to evolve. But into dating sites?

There may be similarities between free dating services and social media but they’ll never be able to produce the same results as the personal touch that a paid dating site membership can deliver.

Check out our choice of the top dating services based on our algorithms and see if you can tell the difference at a real dating site.

Online dating facing up to winkers

Social media and online dating are, inevitably, becoming more alike. More often than not, new dating sites are utilising the familiar aspects of social media in an attempt to help new singles site sign-ups get around their online platform in a manner they’re used to. has incorporated both aspects with the launch of their new dating site, which offers a free membership only and a whole host of extra services for those who wish to upgrade to ‘subscribers’ level with their dating site membership.

As social media is, for the most, free, you would think that there is little call for upgrading to a paid membership. However, the thousands of dating sites that are online prove that there is, explaining why there seems to be new dating sites springing up every week.

Facebook has its likes and G+ has its +1’s – it would appear that more and more dating sites are opting for winks as a way for one member to indicate to another that they’re interested in what they see in your profile. If, however, you’re not so keen when you receive such a notification, you can block the winkers, whether you have a paid or free membership on this dating site.

The site has a basic, simple to follow structure, allowing you to put in the most basic requirements for your search for your free membership, which you can customise and filter further with a paid package.

The subscriber plan allows you all of the basic benefits plus a whole host of extra services which increment the higher and longer the plan to which you subscribe.

For those serious about dating there is a choice of plans which range from a basic one-month upgrade for $35.99 to test the water up to the Best Value plan which is an all-singing and dancing membership for 6 months at $17.99/month.

The two 6-month packages they offer also include the guarantee, not available with any other of the services you choose to subscribe to.

Do be careful, whichever plan you choose, if you wish to withdraw your paid membership. have made it very clear that you will be charged at your existing membership rate automatically at the subscription level to which you have committed until you notify them to the contrary.  At least they have made this extremely clear, devoting a whole sidebar to the details which remains static as you flick through the choice of upgrades.

For the top five dating sites based on our market research, we have them at the click of a button to help you find your perfect partner in minutes.