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.

Falling in love and following up on first dates – when’s ok?

Okay, so you’ve read and digested everything there is to know about how you should attract, achieve and behave on a first date and it’s paid dividends (see tag #datingguruuk if you need a recap). The night has gone perfectly, you’ve not embarrassed yourself or your online dating partner (now your offline beau) and there were several hints that you both wanted to see each other again. Fantastic – you can’t beat a bit of bully, can you?

You’ve done the ‘text me when you get home safely’ bit, if you’ve not dropped them off or got them a cab back home (if not, why not!?) and you can go to sleep easy – if you can drop down off cloud nine to actually get into bed, obviously. But when’s the best time to follow up? Should you be on their case first thing the next morning? Is leaving it the traditional three days too long, given how hyper-connected we are, both socially and with our love lives?

For those of you old enough to remember a time before e-mail, mobile phones and online dating, the ideal grace period was three days. That was, of course, when homes only had one telephone, a man came around to light your gas lamps, you used to have a bath in front of the fireplace on a Sunday night whether you needed one or not and it didn’t half get cold on the WC in winter when you had to go in the outhouse.

I can categorically tell you that, based on one dating site’s survey earlier in the year, the ideal follow-up time is now one and a half days and not the traditional three, from when the height of social media activity was a party-line phone shared by one and all in different flats in the same block.

Don’t be overly keen – give them chance to breathe, but don’t take too long, making them think you’re not into them. If you’ve been out Friday night, then Sunday dinnertime’s the perfect time to see if the second date is still on the cards.

And talking of overly keen – one last tip for would be offline daters, if you’ve only just progressed from the online dating scenario. Do not rush your opposite number into a relationship they may not be ready for, for a whole host of reasons (remember, they’ll tell you why in good time).

Nothing is scarier than someone developing an all-enveloping crush on you after you’ve only met once or twice and there is little else I can think of more likely to put someone off meeting you again than a relatively new love interest constantly mithering you that you should.

As we aspired to in the first #datingguruuk article this week, love is like a flower and will blossom naturally given the correct bedding and by allowing it to bask in the sunshine. Smothering someone will crush any desire they have to be with you. Let them breathe and give them time to respond – you will only come across as desperate if you keep texting and leaving voice-mails and pm’s on your dating site!

So that’s that – we’ve come full circle in this mini-series designed to help out us poor Brits who are crap at UK dating! And all this advice, you could have paid through the nose for from a relationship expert in EST, USA. And we’ve given it you free – aren’t we just the best!?

Here’s looking forward to your company in February; I’ll let you know where to send my card to. Love always, dating.org.uk.

Demographs, dentures and dating sites

At the risk of sounding ageist (or ancient), dating sites are not purely the retreat of the young and inexperienced; far from it.

If the recent reports are accurate, seniors (those aged fifty-five plus, for those of us in the UK dating world) is the largest expanding group in the world of online dating. The baby boomers have, of course, been there, done it and got the ‘World’s best grandad’ t-shirt to prove it. Now that they’ve done the whole family-rearing thing and, for one reason or another, find themselves with time on their hands after (gratefully) handing back the grandkids, and are turning their hands to the Internet to find the opening pages of the next chapter of their lives.

There are specialised dating sites that target seniors looking for love online but, as individual dating sites populations grow, many of the mainstream sites now have multiple platforms for users of all ages; even differing sexual orientations can now meet under the same roof, in some instances.

The very real theme aimed for by popular sites is that of a dating community, which works on two different levels other than a singles hook-up joint.

Losing a loved one can be devastating for the one left behind. Not only at the time of loss and then bereavement, but in the period afterwards, too. After twenty or thirty years of marriage, couples develop a similar, shared social network. When one of the members of that couple moves on, either to the afterlife or pastures new in the corporeal world, it can be difficult for the one left behind to remain in the same social circles.

What has stopped ‘seniors’ from being part of the online dating community in the past is that t’Internet has literally been ‘new-fangled’. For the baby boomers who are just achieving that milestone, being a senior – or reaching middle age, as we’d say this side of the pond – they have used computers and the Internet as part of their day-to-day working life for the past fifteen years and it is no longer a foreign concept to the more experiences members of society at all.

So, is it any surprise that those who face retirement want to sail off into the sunset with an exciting, new partner they find on a dating site? Oh, I do hope not…

How to create the perfect dating site profile

Writing your dating site profile should be a simple task. Hah! The first time you come to do it, if you’re serious about getting other singles to respond to your ad (and make no mistake, you are selling yourself and your virtues across your dating site platform), you may get just a tad flumoxed. No fear, dating.org.uk‘s here with a veritable plethora of useful tips to help you create the perfect online dating presence.

Stand out from the (madding) crowd

To make an impression on the masses of seasoned pros who are gathering online in search of their perfect partner – or just a bit of flirtatious fun, no harm done – you have to craft a vision of you that will stop the dating site community dead in its tracks – it can be done!

There are several absolute key aspects to remember when writing a good résumè and what you can offer to prospective singles. Yes, it’s got to be about you, but what does “brand you” offer over and above the gift-wrapped extra special range of dating site membership or put you in a higher bracket than the smart price daters whose profiles lack the poise and finesse that you want yours to possess, if only you knew the recipe for dating site success. Well, here are the staple ingredients; add that splash of you to cook up something spectacular.

Be true to yourself

When you’re first browsing other singles on a new dating network, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to love everyone who entices you to click through their photo and read more about them. But it’s like: where do you start? That’s what we’ll look to uncover, the start, finish and bit in the middle to bring you the ultimate online dating experience.

A lot of the advice contained over the following articles will require the use of a notepad of the old fashioned kind, not the word processor you have on your laptop, you know – with a pencil – remember them? Once you’ve read through this, print it off (copy the text into Word, or similar, otherwise the pink background may use a lot of your ink!) and digest the information thus far, so that you’re building a cut out and keep reference to refer to forever and ever, Amen. So, before we move on to the next article, pop off and get your A4 pad and a pencil. See you back here on dating in a second, here

How to create the perfect dating site profile 2

back so soon? Glad you could make it.

Okay, dating sites: always keep in the forefront of your mind that it’s impossible to meet everyone who you quite fancy; for some of the dating sites with in excess of 7-figure membership, like this one, you couldn’t even PM them all in a lifetime.

So, write down what it is about someone that really floats your boat. Make notes of user names, even create a grid and score your potential partners in areas such as hobbies, smoking, dietary requirements, size of their feet, attitude, outlook on life and, most importantly, what do they want from their dating experience – if they’re looking for bit of adult fun only and you need commitment, move on; you’ll only be wasting both of yours time by initiating contact.

There are so many attributes that can make a difference to your online dating being a success or a failure and you need to be aware of them all. People who get the most out of online dating put the most effort in, it is that simple.

A picture paints a thousand words – pish – not on dating site profiles!

You’ll soon come to learn that, although it’s a profile photograph that initially grabs your attention – causing whiplash if you see another singleton who really does it for you, instantly – it’s the words beneath that will make you want to follow through and initiate contact.

Whether you start with a wink, a smile or, if you’ve upgraded to a paid dating service (recommended), e-mail or a private message, it’s the words that count, time and again. Honest, articulate and *spelt correctly*; anything less and it will come across as if you couldn’t care less. There’s no excuse for spelling things incorrectly; if you’ve got MS Word or similar word processing software, use the spellchecker on there before you send your intimate musings. It genuinely is the little details that make you more attractive than the competition.

Right – we’ll leave lesson one there. Grab that notepad and pencil (you’ll do some erasing, so stick to the lead – bet you thought you’d be needing a different sort of rubber, eh?!). Print off this piece – here’s a tip: sign up to the RSS at the bottom of the page and add it to your feeds; it’s a lot easier to print or share, especially if you’re adding it to your Google reader, and you’re guaranteed never to miss another article by Y. T. Then, write on your notepad what it is you want from online dating, what you expect from a partner and then make yourself a grid or tick-sheet, sticking to what you think is relavent to your search, to build up a profile of your perfect date; you’ll start to recognise quickly genuine candidates, as and when you come across them.

Stuck for ideas? If your sheet’s pretty blank, have a browse around some of the free UK dating sites to get an idea of what criteria other singles are writing about themselves or characteristics they’re judging others on. Then, in no particular order, you’ll be starting to fill in some of the blanks. ‘Til Saturday, then. x

Savvy single or hapless hopeful

Wherever there’s a gang of mixed friends, there’s always the one who states categorically that they prefer the single life when, in truth, you all know that they’re just hopeless with the opposite sex. Very often they’re named Steve or Dave if they’re blokes, Ange or Debbie if they’re of the fairer sex.  If you sent them into a room full of desperate singles, they’d only come out pulling their…

…okay, face, but you know what I mean?

There are genuinely people who prefer the single life; the field is there to be played, whether it’s bars or dating sites it doesn’t matter; they work hard all week building a nest egg for the future and they go out and have a bit of fun of the weekend. If, for whatever reason, they don’t pull, it’s water of a duck’s back – they’ll be here or there again next week, giving it another bash.

Then there are those gagging for a relationship, but that desperation reeks more than the half a bottle of smelly-nice they put on as they leave the house, nip back in to apply a bit more just to be sure, and that overpowering combination sees them skulking off before the end of the night because they’ve been rejected, yet again.

It’s difficult to put your finger on exactly what it is they’re doing wrong but, like a virgin on a first date with Quagmire, their fate is sealed before they even leave the house, ponging of Kouros and desperation.

There’s an interesting article just been published in The States about what hapless singles may be doing wrong in their approach to the opposite sex; over the next two articles, I’ll translate that post for a UK dating audience so that, even if you’re not Dave or Debbie, you can perhaps pass on a few pointers for them next time they log on to their dating site or you can arm yourself with the information to really rub it in next time you’re pulling, there knot.

1. Being picky
Is your friend looking for too much in a date, therefore narrowing their options to such a point that the likelihood of them finding an exact match is still awaiting the copy-editors red pen in a Disney studio, somewhere?

Let’s face it, for a guy, the next Kate Moss or Claudia Schiffer is not going to be the next person to walk through the door of your local spit and sawdust bar. For the girls, the Nick Camen’s of this world do not drop by and strip in the launderette to a Marvin Gaye soundtrack.

If that’s where your friend’s hanging out, he gets what he gets; girls dreaming whilst watching the washing machine go around, likewise. The same can be said about dating sites. If Ange is only flitting between the free dating site services, just scrolling down profiles that don’t match the list of 20 ‘must-have’s in a potential partner, she’s hardly going to find someone who’s a) all of the above and, b) unwilling to invest the requisite time, effort and hard earned cash in finding the perfect match online to make a go of a relationship of any description. Again, you get what you pay for.

More in the next two articles (click the tag ‘Debbie and Dave’ on Friday to bring up the entire dating site thread for this mini series), starting with positivity and integrity, two key factors to making your dating site work for you.

Can we just stay friends?

If, like many of the UK dating population, you are members of more than one dating site, you are inevitably going to have to let some of the budding singles who contact you down. A lot of people take this slight on their advances for granted, forget about it and move on to their next target.

For the one doing the letting down, in this instance you, it can be just as painful as it is for those who don’t take rejection well, especially if you’re addressing an online relationship that has run any course of time. On social media platforms, you have no issue with yourself about blocking someone or rolling a circle out of existence, so why does it feel different on dating sites?

If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to blur that line between “friendship only” and . Although many of the newer dating sites have the feel of your facebook or google plus networking site, the dating site community on there have signed up for a completely different reason.

Let’s just flip the coin, taking you as the ever-hopeful single looking for romance on your laptop screen, as the example.

You must understand that some singles never have the intention of actually meeting up with a date, instead just like the idea of cyberspace penpals with whom they can flirt all night, bottle of wine or beer at their side and they feel like they’ve had a night in on the pull, but the majority do, at some point in the future, want to meet that special someone on the dating site platform(s) of their choosing.

As long as that individual discloses that information in the first instance, then, if you start to fall in love with that person – yep, it can happen – then the onus of responsibility not to let your feelings muddy the issue falls directly on your shoulders.

And that really is the crux of the issue – be totally honest about what you want from your dating site membership when you’re filling in your profile at the outset. Many dating sites have a drop-down menu when you sign up. In order to protect yours and others feelings, choose the healthy option, which is often ‘romance’, rather than anything that points to long term commitment.

If you don’t want to be in the position of asking the ‘can we still be friends’ question, take heed from The Wonderstuff song, from way back in the day: Don’t let me down, gently, ah, don’t let me down at all

Are you looking for a date or a penpal?

Having notched up my 100th post on dating.org.uk this week, I can safely say I’m beginning to get an insight into how the online dating industry works. There are many dating sites – thousands, in fact – ranging from free dating services to paid membership sites; and when I say ‘paid’, I’m talking serious wedge, as in some of the top city high-fliers pay more per month for their dating site membership than I take home as a writer.

One of the most curious aspects I have found is that many people, especially on UK dating sites where we live in a tiny little country compared with the Australias, Africas and US States of this world, are satisfied with leaving their dating in an online status. In larger countries, you could understand why people who have genuine feelings for each other can never actually meet in person.

Take Africa, for example. Yes, it is the home of 419 fraud but there is a thriving online dating community there, too. Just imagine if you were living in Senegal, as one of the capital, Dakar’s, 2M+ population. You’re at home one night, the view out into the Atlantic’s not inspiring enough for you so you pop the laptop open and get onto Afrikadating.com or Africadarlings.com. Instant success, you happen to start up a relationship up with an attractive single in Khartoum.

A quick look at the map and you think – okay, same latitude, run along the border of Mauritania for a bit, skip through Mali, Niger and Chad and, Bob’s your uncle, you’re in the Sudan. Then you look at the scale of the map and realise that, to ever meet up with this potential partner pining for this tropical love affair, you’re gonna have to travel 3,000 miles.

Apathetic UK daters won’t put in the miles

Most Brits don’t even go that far for a holiday, so that far for one date? It would have to be an extra special person to get you shelling out for that, let alone sacrificing at least three days of your life for. And, let’s face it – with the current investigations into fraudsters from North Africa scamming millions from US and Europe dating site communities, you could understand a level of apprehension in taking on such a project.

But, come on. In the UK, even if you live at South-West/North-East extremities, you could take a plane at Newquay, have a night out in London while the plane stops at Gatwick, nip up to Aberdeen the following morning, spend the day with your date, fly back down to the capital, have a day’s shopping and be back in Cornwall in time for tea.

So why are UK daters content, even when paying for their membership, to utilise dating sites like they would a penpal’s site when you can literally be anywhere and back in little more than a day? Has the UK lost its explorer gene that helped sovereignty create the biggest empire the world has ever known? If anyone has the answer to this dating site conundrum, I’d love to hear from you.

Truckloads of men learning how to pick up

Online dating can be a daunting place when you have never done it before. It is one of the most competitive marketplaces online, with millions of new users signing up every month, in all the different variants, in many, many countries. How do you make yourself stand out in the crowd, in the face of possibly millions of other men competing for the same woman?

For a start, that is highly unlikely to happen. Especially on matchmaking sites, where you are aligned with other singles looking for love online based on information you have input about yourself in your dating site profile. Many members stretch the truth about themselves, but there is a degree of enhancing your image that is tolerated, expected even, in the world of online dating.

Despite the volumes of potential partners online, many men still struggle to land that first date. It can be a frustrating time, especially if you are paying for the privilege of being turned down and not just trying your luck on a free dating site. There is help at hand, however. As well as a multitude of (hopefully) helpful articles posted here, there is a new breed of dating site springing up online designed to give men the upper hand when setting out on that tortuos, and torturous, road of finding that elusive long-term relationship on your chosen dating site(s).

One of the rising stars in this genre, featured recently as part of a BBC article looking at how diverse the £2bn a year online dating industry has become, is the site Pick Up Artist Training. Although based in the US, it has ‘boot camps’ on both sides of the pond to help us limey’s new to UK dating approach, talk to and secure a date from women both off- and online.

First look at the site and it would appear to be like the title suggests, a pick-up site. But it is a little more subtle, especially when you start reading the blog.

Richard La Ruina, aka The Gambler, explained to the BBC earlier in the year that not everyone who attends the bootcamp is looking to make conquests of every woman they meet. Rather, many men genuinely struggle to find a comfort zone when attempting to approach a desired member of the opposite sex and the intensive course helps men who “…want to just meet the right person”.

The boot camps are run regularly, once or twice a month, in the UK.  If you’ve got £779* spare and would like expert advise on how to pick up women, then perhaps this is the course you’ve been looking for.
*price correct as at time of writing

Dating tips by the people for the people

There are very few diamonds in the rough in the world of online dating news. As alluded to in previous posts, there is too much black-hat ‘keyword stuffing‘ from poor-quality dating websites looking to fill their pages with ‘news’ illegible to anyone but the Google spiders; and then there are the global dating sites whose content is specific to their own product and does little to represent the online dating community outside of their own domain.

Lovestruck.com, however, is neither, providing quality, readable content that, as well as being insightful leaves you feeling better informed when you leave the site than before you first logged on.

In a recent post, they produced a guide for both sexes to literally hold your hand through the dating process, including tips for the build-up, the during and the after (to a point). So as not to totally plagiarise the writer’s content, the next few articles will compile a his, a hers, and a mutual ‘how-to-date-guide’ to ensure that, when you do meet that special someone on your dating site, you won’t let yourself down when your wooing hits the tarmac of reality.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what the guys and girls recommend in light of their own extensive (by their own admission) experience from the world of UK dating.

why should there be two sets of rules?

It is harder for gents to get dates, it has to be said. Yes, they have a reputation of actually being less fussy, but the flip side is that women are, by their very nature, more choosy. There are plenty of arguments as to why this should be, but the favourite answer seems to be one akin to the theory of natural selection. The female of the species, as well as being more deadly than the male, has to carry the offspring produced by any physical liaison.

According to those who know about such things, there exists a switch that dates back to Neanderthal times buried deep within the female psyche, nearly as hard to find as that infamous place first defined by Regnier de Graaf way back in 1672.  This mystical node maintains a standard below which women will not drop when appraising any potential father to their future children. Much like the G-Spot, this switch can, and often is, flipped on or off by the application of Vodka and/or Stella Artois.

However, that is not a subject for the first date – that will come much, much later (no, don’t say it, don’t even think it!). First, we’ll see how we can guide the ‘him’ through that first date, flicking all the right switches to warrant a second encounter…

Dating sites look to unlock love’s lost links

If you look online for case studies into the behaviour of singles looking for love online, you will find a plethora of information on the subject. It would seem that everyone in the media, tabloid to social, is conducting their own Freudian research into what makes us tick when we approach someone on a dating site, how far we will go to betray our own true nature to get people to approach us and why, when the online world of matchmaking offers potential partners of so many varied cultures and backgrounds, as a species we tend to “stick to [our] own kind”.

The New York Times – in my humble opinion, having now written dozens of articles about online dating, based in hub central of the matchmaking world – has recently conducted a study on the studies conducted thus far. In a 1,600+ word piece, so concise it could be presented as a thesis on the subject of dating online, the NYT researchers have combined the results and produced an overview of the personalities and traits that categorise your typical online dating site member.

Some of the results are what you would expect in any walk of life when two people are hoping to attract each other – fibbing about their age, casually losing a few pounds when the situation merits or claiming to be a leading automotive distribution magnate when, in truth, they own a second-hand car dealership in Guildford.

the results were like opening Pandora’s box

Many of the other findings though, considering the enlightened age in which we are supposed to live, are nothing short of shocking. In the UK, we tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves when it comes to political bias – simply red, true blue, mellow yellow or going green. Across the pond, however, your alignment to your favoured member of congress can be as closely guarded a secret as the last time you went to the gynaecologist or had to take a trip to the clinic to be privately pubicly deloused.

Another trait that stood out like a banana in a bowl of cherries was how much people of race went for people with the same coloured skin. Whether there remains a deep-seated racist streak or a genuine fear of the unknown that people feel they are not allowed to show in public remains a mystery but what is fact is that, when dating site members choose their ‘match who [they] would most like to see results of’, a huge majority will only enter values for their own race.

Over the course of this week, we will drill down into each of the sectors highlighted in the study, what it means for UK dating (as much testing was carried out stateside) and, moreover, what the results mean for the average single, looking for love on line.

A date in a place but just no time

In my duties as writer for dating.org.uk, I see a lot of information fizzing through my feeds and alerts relating to the online dating industry. Much of it, no, the majority of it, gets trashed as soon as I open it up . There are two main reasons, namely:

1. it’s indecipherable ‘English’ pumped out by article mills in an attempt by a webmaster to dubiously ‘build [their] rank’, ie issue fresh content stuffed with keywords so that Google thinks it looks good but anyone with a minimum grasp of English will wonder what language the article is supposed to be written in, or,
2. the post is just crammed with figures and statistics that only perhaps accountants or mathematicians would have the faintest interest in.

However, one headline statistic did get me thinking, but only after I’d despatched it to the recycle bin; now I’m using the example, I wished I hadn’t, but the gist of it was that one woman, using her dating site membership, had managed to clock up $120,000 of free meals, all paid for by people she’d approached online on dating sites. Talk about your meal-ticket, or what?!

Whatever the membership fee was, she sure was getting her money’s worth.

What got me thinking was: how come this woman didn’t get a reputation so other members stayed well clear? Then I started considering the other numbers I’d seen flashing up on my screen after opening a ‘UK dating‘ feed or ‘online dating‘ alert. Some of the larger matchmaking sites boast membership numbers, globally and across the group brand, in the millions.

For argument’s sake, the hotbed of discussion being ‘how did one woman stay under the radar by scamming so many men into taking her out for a meal?’ let’s just say we’re talking about one site – the phenomenon of 2011 online dating, Badoo. Recent reports suggest that over 1.4 million new users are joining every day. Yep – that’s right. 1,400,000 new profiles, pics and life stories to crunch every day of the week.

Okay – this site is out of the ordinary, like I say. If it was purely in the social media category, it would already rank number 4 in the world, but there will be an independent review of that site another day. Back to the number crunching I absolutely abhor, but it has its place in this post.

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Home of 419 fraud to host dating site

Talk about the lonely Christian walking unarmed into a pit of Gladiators, but that was the first image that sprang to mind when I heard that a new online dating site is in prelaunch mode – in Nigeria. My secondary image was of being smothered in honey and walking naked into the forest where bears doze in anticipation of hibernation, but then that thought started to stray in more adult dating territory so nipped it in the bud before, well, before I was lost in the blizzard of a fantasy winter woodland.

Bolanle Olayinka has identified a specific need in the African country for introducing like-minded singles in typical matchmaking fashion, however, there are additional filters which enhance the search facility in conjunction with the user’s culture, history and background. It is hoped that the depth of information input in the first instance will nurture friendships and closer relationships that will last a lifetime

The dating site, BestD8, as well as the in-depth profile assessment, will provide many features that you’d expect to find on a dedicated contact site plus a selection of other mediums that allow all possible mediums of online communication within its domain.

Using features such as private messaging, online chat and webcam video conferencing onsite will provide some level of security as long as the website admin monitor and verify its members. Alongside all of the dating tips and notifications, given the website’s location, we would strongly advise checking out exactly what verification methods the dating site is using. You could even ask one of the one-to-one advisors about it, if you take up the site’s offer of chatting to ‘relationship experts’.

dating site hoping to connect singles across the web

Although the site is aimed at connecting African singles by matching their cultural preferences, it is hoped that the site will attract a global audience by connecting its membership to a  world-wide dating community. Given the millions of dollars that are illegally elicited from US and UK dating sites, however, and the awareness of the problem being hammered home here by publishing up-to-the-minute online dating news via sites like dating.org.uk, we would have to say: “Yeah, right – good luck with that!”

No doubt there will be the odd fly that will accept the invitation to join the spider in their intricate web, but we would have to remind dating site members that the moment you leave the security of the dating site’s domain when you are asked to, you are exposing a soft underbelly which predators on the internet can smell from the thousands of miles away, deep in the heart of the African continent, where they reside.

It’s simple – never give money to your online date!

We bring to a conclusion our analysis of Action Fraud’s report on how to spot a dating site fraudster and how to protect yourself from being duped in this post. By the time you’ve read and digested this information you will be armed and able to spot a scam before you’ve read past the ‘Dear Sweetest Sweetheart’.

To the crunch – these conmen who target singles on dating sites across the world are after your money, pure and simple. Often, in order to entice you to donate to whichever mythical cause they have invented that needs your money to tide them over, they will mention the vast wealth they own that, for an equally untrue reason, they cannot get their hands on in time.

There will often be the promise that you will be paid back double, once the ‘plant’, the third party interjected into the tale of woe to instil confidence in their targeted dating site member, can get their money back to them. As Michael Stipe once crooned ‘if you believe they put a man on the moon, nothing is real, nothing is cool.’

Following investigations made by Australian fraud departments, as well as other crime fighting departments across the globe, the root of this evil is very often buried deep in African soil. There are crime syndicates who train many, many people to adopt multiple personas across singles and matchmaking sites in the US, Europe and particularly UK dating sites.

Wherever there is perceived wealth, you will find false dating profiles; often alluding to respected professions to gain your trust, they will groom you until your trust is believable and complete. Whether it be a high-ranking member of the armed forces, lawyers or doctors – all of whom will have had a back-story created to justify why they are where they are – you will be asked to send your money to Africa, more often than not.

And it will not be through PayPal or bank transfer – because of how difficult it is to trace once sent, your fraudulent online dating partner will ask you to send the cash by wire transfer. They will never ask you to pay it into their bank account, as that would mean revealing a name – this name would not match the moniker on the dating site profile, that’s for sure! Of course, this last aspect should not even arise; if you have picked up on any of the details in this series, you will not be considering sending money, full stop.

And that really is what it boils down to. Regardless of anything mentioned this week, or if your date is begging you for money in their barrage of letters before you’ve ever even met them, remember: DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE YOU HAVE MET ON A DATING SITE!