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The Pros and Cons of Online Dating


Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon but it is now the leading method of finding a partner because of easy access, the number of users available and the personal control one has over it. Those who do not know or understand online dating needlessly fear it, while those who have had bad experiences from it are highly critical of it. But the kind of people for whom it has proven negative are likely to be the kind who would have had a bad experience terrestrially anyway. They carry their fears and unreasonable expectations on to it which then become self-fulfilling.

The best way to enjoy online dating is by being ourselves: exactly how we would behave if we went into a pub or club or attend an event to meet a date. The fact that the anonymity of the Internet is there shouldn't make any difference to our aims and experience because, if we are genuine, we are bound to meet someone at some time. So the best thing is to simply be ourselves, uphold our own standards and go for it. It could be quite an experience.

The PROs
1. The biggest advantage of online dating is its ACCESSIBILITY. The Internet is in the privacy of your own home and easily accessible within it. For women who dislike going anywhere on their own, this is an excellent advantage because, just from their computer, they can take control of whom they meet, talk with and eventually see.

2. It is very INEXPENSIVE compared to having to go to a club, concert or other event to find someone. There is little outlay or any kind of spending until an actual meeting, no matter how long it takes to find a date. The cost is always the same: the broadband/connection charges plus the fee for the actual dating site, and that is usually no more than $8 per month, maximum. One can actually try most sites without paying but would need to join to contact the members or reply to contacts.

3. The opportunity for finding a potential date is vast because of the VOLUME of people who use the Internet. The number of users on British websites alone now run to over 7 millions per year, let alone for bigger countries. So people who are running any kind of dating sites are certainly making some money! It also means a wider VARIETY of dates instead of the same kind of people one might meet in a particular venue. In fact, there are online dating sites to suit all kinds of needs and situations.

4. Internet dating sites are the SAFEST for adults. There has hardly been anything bad happening to anyone that has been connected to online dating. This is because dating sites tend to attract genuine people looking for some kind of relationship. They also have to pay by their credit card which means their personal details are revealed to the website owners as well as to the online payment centre (like Paypal or WorldPay).

5. It is much easier to COMMUNICATE with people because the anonymity helps to lose some of the shyness one might feel in approaching a stranger. With many sites having a chat facility it is very easy to strike up a dialogue with someone and interact with them online. For example, the most whirlwind interaction I have ever had with onlne dating was a guy whom I began to converse with in the chat at 3.50 pm one day. He said he didn't like using chat boxes so could he ring me, please. I thought, what the heck, and gave him my number. By 4 pm we were on the phone.

When I saw his picture I didn't think I would like him too much because he was larger in weight than I expected. Anyway, we spoke for over an hour on the phone then agreed to meet that evening at 8 pm for dinner. He was pretty keen! We got on so well, much to my surprise, we met again two days later, then the weekend following. The relationship lasted 5 months, one of the most loving I have ever had, in which he proposed to me within two weeks of meeting! He said I was his ideal woman. But, for a variety if reasons, he wasn't my ideal man and I reluctantly ended it. But this friendship showed the surprise the Universe can have in store for us when we just let go and not try to control everything or be too rigid in our expectations or actions. Always trust your instincts because they are likely to be right.

6. It does not take too long to find a MATCH. That can be done in a few minutes, a few hours, days or weeks, depending on how long the individuals wish to prolong the meeting process. Some people drag out the email and talking for too long (especially women) while some expect everyone to react the same way (especially men) and are disappointed when that doesn't happen. The time factor is one which is a main advantage of online dating. One can literally have a date for that day just by striking up a conversation with someone online and feeling good vibes with it.

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The CONs
1. Because of the global appeal of online dating sites, all kinds of people will be available to you. This variety and anonymity lend itself well to attracting LIARS and PLAYERS. Sifting out the people who might be married, those in relationships already, or who are just after a one night stand or a fling from those who are truly genuine comes with experience. As I am very comfortable with online dating, I can tell within three lines of online text whether I wish to proceed with someone or not. A newcomer won't have that skill in dealing with potential players and so might end up getting hurt.

As a rule of thumb, expect five types of people to use online dating. The first type are the genuine ones who are seeking long-term relationships (about 45% of users). They tend to be cautious but are very sincere in their actions and are keen to get on with it. They are likely to want to know more about you and to treat you with respect. Second are the singles who are not after any kind of commitment (mainly people under 35), just friendship and occasional dating/sex (about 30%). Fearful in their lives, they prefer to keep things on a superficial basis and seem to be serial monogamists when it comes to dating due to the variety of people they can choose from. They tend to be ambiguous in their behaviour, depending on the person they are dealing with, to help them to decide how to play it. The third type are the definite players who treat dating websites like a candy shop, full of their favourite sweets (about 10%). They don't know which ones to choose so they enjoy going through the lot, often having a few at a time! This boosts their ego and makes them feel significant that they are able to attract so many people to them! Many pretend they are Casanovas and are ready to make your day! So it is almost like a game except that some real genuine, unsuspecting people get entangled in it.

The fourth type are those who are unhappy in their marriages/relationships and are just needing external gratification, someone on the side (12%). Some of them are honest about it and will say that in their profile. Many others deliberately deceive on this aspect because they know that if they revealed their true status many people would shy away from them. Their approach is usually mainly around sex or wanting love and affection without the commitment. Finally, are the people who have never used online dating, are confused by the process and the interactions and are not sure what they are (3%). They believe that they have to behave differently than usual and tend to be taken advantage of by those who know the ropes and are up to no good! They tend to have no information or photos on their profile and often find online dating frustrating.

The best advice to handle such a broad variety is to take time to talk to anyone who approaches you, to find out the kind of personality they are. You can usually tell within a few statements what that person is after because it will be revealed by what they focus on, the terms they use (whether sexual or routine), whether they are really interested in knowing about you or not, what they reveal about themselves, if anything, and how they cope with the interaction.

2. The ANONYMITY can be off-putting, especially for genuine users who believe others might not be playing fair. Like when people put false ages, false pictures or out of date photos, false information or are economical with the truth. There are also those who just wish to chat endlessly without progressing the interaction, perhaps because they have not been truthful about their situation or they have lots of conversations on the go with various 'friends'. All that tend to spoil the experience for many people.

3. The DIFFERENT AGENDAS can be confusing and waste a lot of time having to find out what that person's real objective is. One can never take a profile at face value because many users just copy words from other people's profiles, the ones they think will appeal the most to the readers they are trying to impress. That's why many men say they are 'easy going' or 'sporty' (when they are couch potatoes) and women say how they 'like to travel' and 'look good in a little black number', ready clichés they feel will appeal. As a rule, people who seem very individual in their words and firm and clear in what they are seeking tend to be the genuine bets.

4. Talking to someone online, and getting on fine is one thing, but that does not necessarily transfer into CHEMISTRY on meeting. May online dating experiences fall flat at this crucial stage when the two people meet and discover that they have a good rapport (the physical chemistry) but the emotional chemistry or bond needed to progress the friendship is not there. The enthusiasm then peters out as people become disappointed or disillusioned. Then they are likely to find fault with the process or each other when there is nothing wrong expect that they get on well in dialogue but there isn't enough there to take it further. That is why speaking on the phone at length first before meeting is always advisable.

5. Being online and anonymous, dating sites tend to be big on people of LOW CONFIDENCE and esteem, those who are 'shy' and perhaps find it difficult to meet people in other ways. That can make for some bad experiences, especially if they meet the less than genuine types who have questionable motives. As most people are not aware of the five types they are likely to meet anyway, there is the mistaken belief that everyone is after the same thing: a long term relationship/marriage, and nothing could be further from the truth!

6. SCAM SITES without any real people on them which are just set up to get your money! This is one of the worst aspects of online dating because they can be difficult to spot to the newcomer. The best thing to do is to find out which are the most popular dating sites, tried and tested, and stick to them. They do charge (apart from PlentyofFish which is completely free!) but at least you know what you're getting. If the site's members have not been online for a while, that's a scam. And if you are not allowed to search or see any details until you sign up, that's likely to be a scam too.

With all that in mind, the best way to enjoy online dating is to be yourself, be genuine in the same way you would wish to be treated and have certain standards and stick to them. You will draw similar types to you, other sincere people with the same aims, while easily recognising the players. In this way, online dating could be an enriching and enhancing experience.

5 Great Myths of Internet Dating


Myth No.1 - Age is just a number

No, it is not. Age is just a number mainly for the people (particularly men) whose confidence and self-esteem are so low, they need younger people to enhance them, because it doesn't work in reverse! The supreme irony of this little chestnut is that the very men, or women, who shout loudest about age being only a number are often the ones who would NOT date anyone of, or even near, their own age, and they can't see the contradiction or hypocrisy! Yet what they are saying by those words is that they feel terrible about their own age and want some young thing to make them feel good. Wherever I see this statement I run like the wind because I know there is one terribly fearful person hiding behind it, and that is not attractive.

If age is really just a number, it would apply in ALL cases, so there would be no need to stress it. People would take it as given. The biggest indicator of the youthfulness of anyone is their ATTITUDE to life (this is covered in Myth No.5). When we love ourselves and are proud of ourselves we soon realise that age is NOT just a number. Age is a special gift to those lucky enough to get it. It represents achievement, wisdom, maturity, knowledge, experience and a marker for where we are on our personal journey. There is nothing more amazing than two people linking up with similar experiences, attitude and aspirations. If we are tempted to use this cliche, we need to be sure our choice of date does not contradict our stated belief and make us look silly!!

Myth No.2 - Facial hair on older men is great for pulling women
No, it is not. Nothing ages an older guy even faster than facial hair. Some women do like beards and moustaches on a man, but they are in a minority, for TWO main reasons:

a. If you have skin like mine, which is beautifully soft and smooth, the last thing you want rubbing up roughly against it is rough facial hair. It is not at all romantic, unless one is seeking some extra thrill!!

b. Few women want to date Santa Claus! Clean shaven is always more attractive and is likely to feel better too. However, facial hair does give some men character, and men have to enjoy their own personalities and uniqueness too. The trick is to find the women who want it. The tragedy is that many men are unlikely to be told that their facial hair robbed them of a great date. So if you are getting constant refusals and are not sure why, have a look in the mirror. That beard and moustache could be costing you dearly, especially if they really don't matter that much to you!

Myth No.3 - There is no value in having one's children-toys-pets in pictures on dating sites?

Yes, there is. It immediately tells a date what that person's priorities are! Whatever anyone includes in their pictures matters to them, LOTS. Be thankful if they are parading their grandchildren, pets, etc., because they show you where you will come in the pecking order - a distant second or third, perhaps!

Someone with three dogs in their picture is sending some important unspoken messages, like:

a. These are my priority, not you.

b. I expect you to share in the daily walking, upkeep and entertainment.

c. I expect your freedom to be curtailed because we won't be able to spontaneously do anything without them.

d. Your needs will always be second best.

e. Their upkeep will be pretty expensive which you will be expected to shoulder.

f. Trying to arrange a date could be problematic because of them.

If you have never had pets, and don't want any, you should be thankful for that picture before you get in touch.

Dating sites are for two people to get to know each other. Nothing else. The only person to be emphasised in any picture is the dater. Once the communication starts, that is the time to reveal everything about one's self. A picture really paints a thousand words and you ignore it at your peril.

Myth No.4 - Slim women want big men
No, they do not, unless they have a superficial agenda around money or possessions. Women who look after themselves desire someone equally attractive who also value themselves. I am 9st. 10lbs (size 12), and I keep my figure through lots of dancing and exercise. I allow up to another three stones in my date that I feel comfortable with, and expect my date to look after himself too. Yet I have lots of people who are clearly very overweight (15-18 stones) expecting me to date them! They are not shy in telling me how I would look good on their arm. Yes, no problem with that, but what am I getting in return? Where is my eye-candy to look good beside me?

A relationship is not a one-way thing of one person being pleased while the other makes do. It has to be a two-way process to work. The most important question to ask before any dating takes place is: What can I contribute to that person's life, or what will they be GETTING from me? Not what they will be giving you. If they are asking the same question too, that would be a match to die for. It means there will be TWO GIVERS who care about each other's needs, rather than or one giver and a taker, or two takers who are only for themselves.

Myth No.5 - Saying one is 'youthful' shows that one is still young
No, it does not. The single biggest factor that makes someone appears youthful is ATTITUDE. In fact, some of the older men are the most fearful of life. Stuck in their ways and back in the past, often unable to cope with new technology (not even able to post a picture on a site!) they mistakenly believe that if they SAY they are youthful then they are! But youthfulness is not just about the right words. It's about experimenting, basking in the sheer joy of living, discoveries, an impatience to get on with life and make the most of it, and on action rather than just intentions.

Youthfulness is not about fear. It's about enjoying being one's self and being ready to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Most important, youthfulness is not burdened by experience and anxiety. It's spontaneous, full of potential, laid back, and a truly delightful place to be for the person who is both mentally and emotionally young in their approach to life.

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Do Online Relationships Really Last?


Q. If your relationship/marriage was made online, there's a one in three chance that you will be sitting in front of a marriage counsellor, say experts. Psychiatrists have recorded an increase in the number of couples, who met in cyberspace, seeking counselling. Online profiles and personalities often mask the person's real identity, which, say experts, is the main reason for the breakdown of relationships. They say that people who interact over the Net normally have a very independent way of thinking and cannot, at times, shoulder the responsibilities that come with relationships. Your opinion?

A. There is no reason why online relationships should not last. Meeting someone online is just one other optional way of finding a partner: like going to the pub, to clubs, to church or wherever we feel comfortable to make ourselves visible. The reason why there is so much distrust around it is that, like anything new, until people really feel confident about it, until it has worked for them, and until they can see the benefits for themselves, they will always be sceptical. Then there is the fear factor that it might not work and something might go horribly wrong. But that is life: good and bad, pleasure annd pain, we have to accept it. Another thing is that people expect to immediately like everyone they meet on the Internet because of the ease of coming together. But liking a profile and picture does not mean liking the person in reality. That takes time to evolve and depends heavily on mutual chemistry

Personally, I have heard of many people finding happiness online and settling down and getting married. That does not surprise me because the only uncomfortable part about online dating are those first awkward moments before the couple actually meet. But once they meet and get to know each other, it is like any other form of dating. Nothing is different. Yes, people's identity and intentions are often masked, but those are the kind of people who would have been crap at a relationship anyway in person, and so the Internet comes in handy to carry on in the same vein and behave badly. Most people on the Net are 'normal' people, seeking happiness and friendship, hoping to meet others of similar motives. It can be painful for them when they meet someone who perhaps isn't that sincere. But, like everything else, we have to learn in life and soon one begins to know the time wasters and avoid them.

As a woman, I prefer the Internet for dating. I can do it from the privacy of my home without anyone else knowing my business; I don't even have to leave my study to go anywhere. It means I can control the type of person I actually meet; I do not have to hang out in bars or pubs as a single woman to seek anyone and, at the press of a button, I can either allow that person into my life or reject his attentions. I also take a while to get to know them on the phone before we meet. I never meet if it doesn't feel right, and will only have a second date if I am very happy and there's lots of chemistry, which hasn't happened a lot! In the process I have dated some great people and met someone I called the love of my life, with nearly three years of amazing bliss. Like anywhere else, the Internet is what we make of it. If we expect problems and negative behaviour, that is all we will attract to us. If we expect kindness and love, that is all we will attract too. I treat people with courtesy, honesty and firmness, wherever I am, whether on the Internet or in my home town. And guess what? They treat me exactly the same too.

As to having a one in three chance of failure, normal marriages in Britain now have a one in TWO chance, which is worse than the Internet rate! So the Internet cannot be blamed for anything once people meet. Often it is too many unrealistic expectations, a desire for perfection, taking a partner for granted and sheer selfishness that kill relationships.

So I have no complaints at all about online dating. It has certainly worked for me.

The 5 main reasons dating sites don't work for some people


Last night someone wrote to ask me how I was doing on this website we were both on (I was try it it out for the first time), because he had decided to leave it. He was 'fed up' of trying to find 'needles in a haystack'.

I don't think he took it very well when I wrote back to illustrate that the problem of his lack of success had very little to do with the website but a lot to do with his attitude towards it and expectation of it! Whereas we are more patient with people we might meet everyday, not expecting to find Mr/Ms Right immediately, with such a lot of 'potential' on the sites, some people translate that to mean 'definites' and then get disappointed when those definites don't materialise.

At the latest count, 8 million people in Britain currently use dating sites to find a partner and the number is even more massive across the continent, especially as there are far more American dating sites. A dating site is not an avoidable option anymore, it is actually becoming the major vehicle for selecting soulmates for people who do not have a wide variety of social activity, are not affiliated to specific clubs or religious organisations and, especially, for women who find it safe, convenient, private and accessible.

When I left my marriage and changed areas, lost most of the contacts we shared as a couple, it was almost like rebuilding one's life from scratch, especially in a block of flats where people tend to be more impersonal, detached and singular. The Internet gave me a window to the world and access to suitable men, while I virtually started to rebuild my life at the age of 54, without my children (who had taken sides), any relatives (who were all abroad) and many of the friends we shared. It could have been a pretty lonely and depressing time, as it is for many single people at that time of their lives. But it has been an amazing and self-affirming time for me, thanks to the Internet, and I have met some great professionals in the process, including one man to whom I dedicated two books!

In the eight years I have used the Internet off and on for dates, I have learned a tremendous amount which has gradually improved my confidence and knowledge of it and has helped me to avoid the pitfalls to which many more naive people are often subjected. First of all, the novelty of Internet dating has allowed people to treat others in an extraordinary manner instead of the usual way we would treat someone in the street. With seemingly so any people to choose from, many users seem to abandon all common sense and get into a situation of impossible expectations, where perfection is the key requirement. Of course, this is bound to lead to TONS of disappointment. However, there are five major reasons which prevent dating site users from truly enjoying the experience.

REASON 1 - Ageism
Look on any website and men, in particular, are likely to write off all women over 50. Yet, if they walked into a pub and fancied someone, they would never ask the person's age. They would simply accept it as they assume it to be, whatever it was! All that would matter to them is whether the person attracts them or not! Not so on the Internet. Ages are clearly demarcated in this search for the perfect person and, as everyone is likely to be fishing in the pool of 25-45 year olds (24% of the British population), compared to the 40% of over-50s in existence, there is bound to be lots of dashed expectations. The best thing in this regard is to put as wide a required age range as possible, or none at all. I do not have an upper limit, unless the person is truly old-fashioned and clearly unsuitable, but I don't date men younger than my son, and he's 38.

REASON 2 - Compromising Values
With Internet dating appearing like a virtual candy shop of delights, some people appear to take leave of their common sense! People might be more easily accessible, yes, but it doesn't make them any more available or suitable to us. For example, before I even begin to decide whether someone might be suitable for me, or not, even before the first hello, the following values have to be taken into account. They are paramount to me, listed in priority order:

- how intelligent/articulate he is

- whether he smokes

- whether he's married/in relationship

- ageist or racist

- emotional readiness for a relationship

- confidence and personality

- how much he drinks

- whether he's vegetarian

- his location/distance

- exactly what he is seeking compared to me

These are what I call my '10 point checklist'. Any of the top five observed and it is definitely a NO GO. They are non-negotiable. The last five could be compromised, but they would not be ignored. For example, my middle name is a communicator. I love both the printed and spoken word and adore learning for its own sake. I am more turned on sometimes by a great conversation after sex than the sex itself! It would be a disaster to link up with someone who cannot even string two words together, can't express themselves properly, hardly reads, has nothing to say or care little about self development. No matter how good he is otherwise, what on earth would we talk about?

I never compromise on those key aspects because they are clear warning signs of incompatibility before anything at all develops. Most people would ignore them, if the person is physically attractive (like accepting smokers when they themselves DON'T smoke) or have an agreeable personality. But it really won't work down the line. Soon those aspects will begin to gradually irritate or disappoint. Then the fault-finding begins.

REASON 3 - Unrealistic Expectations
Too many people treat the Internet like an online order store where one puts down precise requirements of the individual they want and, hey presto, they will materialise in a shopping basket and its out to the checkout! That might be fine for products. But humans are flawed beings. Unless we are prepared to accept someone as they are, though aligning with the main aspects we are seeking, we won't ever get what we want. Unless we can create the exact type of person from scratch, such flawless humans don't exist! Best to make a list of your chief values, prioritise the ones that are non-negotiable (as few as possible!) and then be prepared for compromise to get as near what you seek as possible. Many lonely people are compounding their loneliness even further through their desire for perfection which keeps them continually skirting around other users, with the vain hope of finding Mr/Ms Right, while never really engaging wholeheartedly or sincerely with anyone in case there is better round the corner!

REASON 4 - The Law of Attraction
Many Internet users do not realise that they don't attract the ideal they seek, they actually attract who they are! It means that if you are the playboy/playgirl type, or someone dishonest in your own details, secretive and fearful, that's precisely the type of person you will also attract. We all draw people like ourselves toward us. You simply have to BE the person you are seeking to get the ideal you desire. The Internet has worked for me because I do know what I am seeking; I live up to my own values; I do not demand one thing of others while living another; I am honest, sincere and non-judgemental, expressive and courteous most of the time, and that type of living to my values it brings similar people towards me. Hence why the Internet has worked for me, and in some spectacular ways too.


Like all new innovations, the Internet comes with its own degree of fear. But, like anything else, it is a microcosm of the world we already inhabit. Yes, it lends itself well to anonymity, but, for people looking partners, they can't be anonymous for long! With the law of attraction, whatever we fear we get because that is all we attract. We fret and worry about the negatives so much, and the power of thoughts mean that's all we'll concentrate on, which brings it back to haunt us.

I cannot say I have had a bad experience on any dating site, apart from the odd rude person who obviously lacks the confidence or skills to interact adequately with others. I believe sincerely that I will meet great people, even if we are unmatched, and that's mostly what I have had, 99% of the time. In fact, statistically, for adults, the Internet is the safest place to meet someone, so I have absolutely no fears around it, so long as certain basic precautions are followed.

The 6 main types of people who use dating sites


To the unsuspecting newcomer who is not used to a dating site, everything might seem simple and straightforward: just register and start looking for the ideal date. But nothing could be further from the truth. Dating sites can be very disappointing to the starry-eyed or the fearful, as each are likely to be used by unsuspecting others. The main thing to know about dating sites is that they contain all kinds of people, so one can never take someone purely on face value until there has been some interaction, neither should one be too quick to judge everyone negatively, especially if they wish to be judged sincerely themselves.

Dating sites seem to attract six main types of people, depending on the type of website and its particular aims:

First, are the sincere single ones who are genuinely looking for long term relationships, usually about 30% of all users. They tend to be honest, often divulging all their phone numbers to prove their sincerity, are genuinely interested in developing the friendship and are keen to date and often make the first approach.

Next come the married/attached types who are after a fling. Some of them reveal that they are married in their profiles while many operate covertly, either admitting it when you meet them or never at all until you find out. But the clues are always there in the pattern of their behaviour (they won't be in touch on a weekend for which they'll find many excuses; more likely to be able to see you only once per week; can't speak except during work hours and reveal only one phone number - their mobile).

Third, are the playboys/girls who believe they are in a candy shop and can't seem to choose what they want so they are on a serial cycle of dating. They will chat up everything in sight, mainly basking in the attention, but with little idea of commitment, especially if they are single and probably in mid-life. Dating them can be a frustrating experience as the fear of the future, or making the 'wrong' choice, or proving something to themselves or others, keeps them stuck where they are, always seeking something elusive but not quite sure what it is or what they really desire.

Fourth, are the ones who have no intention of meeting at all, who are perhaps living a lie about themselves and are happily confusing everyone else as to their true intentions. They will seem sincere, too, but they will spend ages emailing back and forth without ever suggesting a meet or moving to speak on the phone. Or, if they do suggest one, it is far in the future and they are likely to keep changing the date. It can be very frustrating trying to progress any friendship with this type, especially as they are intent on manipulating the situation to suit themselves.

Why Ignorance isn't Bliss

Fifth, are the newbies who are testing the dating sites. They tend to be blissfully ignorant about what is available and how to make best use of it, they are not sure what they want either, they are weak on social interaction and are often prey to those who know better (especially the playboys/girls and the scammers. Additionally, as people attract what they think and who they are, it means that they will mainly attract the type they are to them and not what they truly desire.

Finally are the international scammers who seem to plague dating sites looking for rich pickings. They take various forms but are usually from abroad, very young compared to the person they are targeting, and are interested in grooming their prey for either money or a passport. Some of the more reputable sites tend to keep the scammers at bay, but their hallmark is a cut and pasted profile with the words of others; poor English when they actually interact; a sad story about their lives, especially being widows/widower with young children, and wooing older people with a view to flattering them and getting money or other things from them.

Armed with all this knowledge, Internet dating is manageable, safe and convenient. Soon one gets used to recognising the different types from afar and dealing with them appropriately, or simply ignoring them. The main aim is to make sure your individual profile says exactly what you want it to say about you and not try to please everyone who might read it. In that way, you are likely to attract only the ones you are seeking and who also desire what you are offering.

It seems the safest and most comfortable sites are eHarmony.com (they deliberately deter married members); Encounters, Soulmates and Kindred Spirit (all UK 'broadsheet' sites which are part of their newspapers and tend to attract a certain professional kind of user). They have few scammers. Also Dating Direct which is supposed to have the most members in the UK and Europe (7 million). It is good for numbers but rather weak on quality. Two other notable ones are American Match.com which seems to have a good reputation of matchmaking and Canadian PlentyofFish run by millionaire Markus Frind from his home.

It is the ONLY completely FREE dating site, thus attracting millions, but attracting mainly the lower quality end of the market. I guess wherever anything is free people don't value it so much. However, it is very well run by its owner who is apparently the highest paid Google affiliate per month, a multimillionaire. No wonder the site is free!! There are also a few Senior dating sites, like SeniorSingles and OverFifties Online. It is best to stick with those that have the reputation because there ate tons of sites that are cashing in on the dating market but with very little to offer and hardly any members either, yet posing as bonafide to catch your money.

Does it matter if someone lies about their pictures, smoking or their age?


A few guys have complained that some women have turned up on dates with cigarettes when they clearly put that they were seeking non-smokers on their profiles. I have had a few dates but no guy has ever smoked who said he didn't. But then, if they did, we would not have lasted 20 minutes on the date, let alone hours, because I am very strict in what matters to me and expect to adhere to what my date requires as well. It's called mutual respect.

We all tell little white lies at some point, either to enhance ourselves, to impress or to gain approval. However, when someone lies on their profile, on important things that matter to a couple trying to exist together - and those three items DO matter - it does not portend well for other aspects of that person. The biggest question then becomes: What else are they lying about? which is a major trust issue. Secondly, if they feel the need to lie to attract someone, how long will that relationship last when the lies begin to unravel, because the first lie has to be propped up by subsequent lies until the truth is revealed.

I dislike smoking intensely, having been a former nurse who saw the consequences of it in the lungs of the people who smoked. It left a lasting impression on me, not to mention the smell. So I do not date smokers, not just because of the act of smoking, but also the mindset around it that pretends that cigarette is good for one's body.

Smokers are entitled to smoke. It is their right whatever they wish to do with their body. But it is also my right to avoid it too. So if someone deliberately lies about his smoking to date me, how could I trust him in anything else again? How can I believe anything he says, unless we are both going to lie too?

When it comes to ageing, quite a few people reduce their age on dating sites to get into the searches, especially with so many men and women who seem to fear older daters. That is more understandable than other lies, especially if everyone is doing it. However, it should be corrected somewhere in the profile, or mentioned in the very FIRST contact that the age is not right. It means that from the very first day, there is transparency and honesty between the daters. Heck, even I use a different headline age, but my true age is stated right at the start of the profile.

As a rule, I do not date men who clearly look older than me, who say they are younger in their profile, yet do not admit to changing their age. What's that about? I am not interested in anyone who is ashamed of themselves, or feel they have to lie outrightly to get my attention. That would be an awfully slippery foundation for a friendship.

Profile Photos
As to pictures, there is one guy who has a picture of himself about 20 years younger than his main photo. When you click on his profile, the current picture is so different from the main one, I would be surprised if anyone even says hello to him. The contrast is too great for people to accept. Best not to put up pictures of more than 5 years old, otherwise you beg comparisons which might not be flattering to you now. If you wish to show off your younger pictures, make sure they are NOT the main pictures. Show the current pictures clearly, and date them too to show their authenticity.

It is laughable how some women, in particular, put photos of themselves that go back years. So what happens when they meet someone now? Of course they are going to look entirely different. If women appear so desperate as to lie about themselves, they need lessons in building their confidence and esteem, not having to resort to lying because there is nothing worse than great disappointment on a date when the descriptions do not match up to the reality, and that includes men and their height too.

Many men feel they have to lie about their height to get noticed, but women cannot stand liars in that regard. Better to say exactly who you are and be proud of it, because those who are looking for exactly that will rush towards you. If you lie to get dates, it will ALWAYS backfire in one way or another, and often when you least expect it. By lying to get attention, you set yourself up to be rejected, sooner rather than later.

After all, think back before the Internet. We met people, at events or in a pub, and we accepted them as we SAW them and vice versa. We did not lie about our physicality. Just because we are dealing with a medium which is largely detached and anonymous, does not change the rules in any way. Be proud of who you are, warts and all. You are unique in history. There will NEVER be another person like you in your lifetime. Revel in your uniqueness because, by accepting yourself, by loving yourself, you encourage others to love and accept you too. There is no other way to lasting relationships.

Next time someone turns up with a cigarette on your date, or are clearly dishonest with their pictures, tell them that you don't date liars and leave as soon as possible. Make standards that you stick to, and don't compromise them through your need for attention. Otherwise, people will simply take advantage of you to please themselves. Most important, if you have no respect for yourself and your needs, how can anyone else have any respect for you, or treat you in the way you desire?

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Does physical beauty REALLY matter?


I get an awful lot of attention because of my pictures and one guy even asked me recently if I could 'date someone ugly'. Could I date someone regardless of how his facial or body appearance is? Does beauty have to be on the outside as well as the inside?

Having thought about this question over a long period, I truly believe that anyone who says beauty doesn't matter is likely to be lying. If they are not, the statement has an association with how they view themself and their own experience. It suggests they do not consider themselves to be any great 'beauty' so they are hoping people will ignore their physicality to concentrate on the inner person. But there are some things in conflict with this approach.

First, until we open our mouths and speak, nature has only one way of bringing people together: their looks. Thus the whole process starts with whether someone's physical appearance appeals to us in any way for us to take it further and discover more about them. Then it moves to voice, then personality and finally the whole person. Yes, we have to have that inner beauty of warmth, compassion and care. But we cannot know anything about someone's inner beauty until we make physical contact, and it is the outer beauty that decides the fate of the connection before anything else. So, when someone says that looks doesn't matter and it is only the inner being that should count, they might as well date a horse or a dog, because for them, only what's inside that matters!

Secondly, when we speak of looks, we are not talking about some inflexible version of beauty, or certain socially engineeered perceptions of beauty, like the Brad Pitts and Denzel Washingtons of this world. Looks are individual to the person they appeal to. That is why I adore Richard Gere and Robert de Niro, but see nothing so handsome in Brad Pitt. Yet millions of panting women would disagree with me. I am judging Gere and de Niro by my own personal interpretation of what constitutes 'beauty' which might not match that of many other women.

So, could we date someone who isn't good looking?

Yes, we could. Looks are not defined by the rest of the world, but by our own individual perception and yardstick of what we find appealing in another human being, which might then appear 'ugly' and unattractive to others. Looks are also racially, culturally and gender referenced. So what might be regarded by outsiders as 'ugly' in one culture might be simply beautiful within it. Thus our soulmate's looks has to appeal to us personally for us to appreciate it, not a universal appeal which is vague and undefining. That's why we always wonder at the pairing of some couples because we cannot see what they can see in each other. Yet, to that couple, the mutual beauty is clear and unmistakable. We are not able to see the attraction because we are judging that couple from our yardstick of beauty, not theirs.

Looks do matter, in all forms, particularly one's face - and boobs! It's just that some people like to pretend that it doesn't, if their own feelings about themselves tend to be negative. The only sure thing about looks is that they are individual in appeal to whomever is attracted, while they can be repelling to someone else, but they are essential in bringing us together for pairing. Everything else is secondary!

The biggest single reason why many daters get hurt on dating sites


On dating sites like these, there is a constant frantic search for that magical 'chemistry' which everyone believes will lift them high and carry them off on a cloud of loving and living. The problem with chemistry is that, as most people don't know what it is, or when it is there, it can prove pretty elusive. It is also very easy to confuse chemistry with something which is an important part of chemistry, but which won't deliver the goods on its own: RAPPORT.

I used to correspond with someone whose writing was simply exquisite, with a personality to match. If it weren't for what I do as a job, I would have thought that the obvious sparks which flew between us were the real thing - the great chemistry. But it wasn't - not on my part anyway. What we shared in a lovely way, was rapport. The easy flow of empathy and understanding between two people who are drawn together by intellect - or great communication. He was always asking me why I wouldn't date him when we got on so well. But I liked what we had in our interaction, and I knew that it was not enough to sustain a relationship because other factors about him spoke volumes against it.

Rapport is often mistaken for chemistry, especially when people are also physically drawn together. Being able to talk each other silly and have a few laughs might feel wonderful initially, but there are other crucial elements which forge a relationship and a good rapport is only one of them. Rapport is a consequence of the 'comfort' that people feel with each other. But there are six parts to chemistry and having just the 'comfort' aspect won't do the job, as time eventually reveals! Furthermore, because rapport tends to be the first pleasurable element that a couple enjoys together, there is a natural feeling to want to prolong it by dating in order to get even more of it. But, being blinded by rapport, we are likely to miss all the other unsuitable qualities which would be waving frantically in front of us.

The cornerstone of real chemistry is being valued AND sharing the same values. No matter how great the banter is between two people, if that pillar of feeling valued, and sharing values, is not there, that's a short and even painful relationship in the making. Good banter and rapport do not take the place of being valued; of feeling that the person really cares, is interested in us and truly shares what we cherish. It is always a great disappointment further down the line when we slowly realise how little we might actually have in common with that person, regardless of the enjoyment of the communication involved.

Finding someone with whom we have great rapport is always a good start, like the opening of a mysterious door. But to get through that door to the desired oasis of love takes much, much more. Having that rapport certainly helps the process, but listening to one's instincts, and checking other things that matter, are far better barometers of the potential for a relationship than rushing to make a date with the wrong person.

To all the SHY guys!


Imagine the scenario: a guy sees a woman he likes, but he is shy, so he waits for her to make contact. However, he doesn't know that she too is shy, so she does nothing. Result: Nada, Zilch, nothing. Hence why many lonely people are shy people because shyness severely limits the potential to form relationships.

Shyness is a sense of unease with the self, not being happy in one's skin, and a fear of interacting with others in various social situations. It is an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness, a major obstacle to greater enjoyment of life. Shy people do not trust themselves to know the 'right' things to say, or the 'right' way to act, though there is no one right way of living life! They are loathe to meet others, especially in a group, to talk with them face to face, or to share anything with them directly because they are likely to feel inadequate. They also do not trust others to interact as they expect, and so FEAR tends to dictate their reactions.

Worse still, shyness encourages introversion so that a shy person tends to take no interest in others, does not usually invite sharing or confidences, does not like to initiate contacts and tends to focus on perceived weaknesses rather than strengths. Sadly, that attitude, being rather fearful and detached, would not endear them to others either, which then isolates them even further. Shy people are also self-focused and are constantly comparing themselves with others and coming out wanting. This means they lack the booster they need to feel good about themselves because they seldom get any social reinforcement from others.

Shyness encourages a belief of having little to offer the world and so shy people leave it up to others to make the first move. But that tends to be counter-productive as it not only makes them seem like TAKERS, just waiting on others to act, but they are often deprived of the very opportunities they need to demonstrate their capabilities in using their initiative. Worst still, because they are so introspective and disinterested in others, they often appear to be rather selfish, boring people when they are often very interesting in their own right, once they have the opportunity to shine.

Where does shyness come from?

Shyness would have orginated from how one is treated in childhood: whether one was given attention, affirmed and reinforced as a valued person, or was mainly criticised and made to feel inadequate in whatever one did. It is also related to whether one was given enough responsibility and trust, or overly protected from life. It is then difficult to have a strong sense of self or to develop confidence in one's abilities, especially if even one's parent's didn't think highly of one either. Unfortunately, shyness is self-reinforcing in a vicious circle.

Adult shyness continues through persistent low self image, low confidence and self belief, and negative feelings about self-worth. It is based on a desire to be perfect (or to avoid being hurt), a lack of trust, and the mistaken belief that everyone else is perhaps more perfect, which makes the shy person feel unworthy to share their company. The main idea that everyone out there is better than we are, perhaps better looking, more clever or social interaction experts, constantly dogs the shy person. Hence to be really shy robs the individual of essential interaction with others and new experiences, while allowing them to have a distorted view of their world and their true value. In a mild form, shyness can be dealt with by acquiring greater confidence, but the extremes of shyness can be ongoing social anxiety, a definite phobia against certain things or people or even panic attacks at the thought of interacting.

In general, shyness prevents full expression of one's person: in thought, behaviour and feelings, so that the shy person tends to live inside himherself, desiring freedom in social interactions, but being the eternal observer to other people's actions. Controlled by fear, there is always the overriding feeling of being on the periphery of life, being undesirable, unable to trust and being definitely unappreciated and undervalued. Often not a great place to be and one which more extrovert people often fail to understand or appreciate.

Digging for Gold....A little dilemma


I often read profiles that say starkly, and very clearly, "If you are a gold digger, pass me by", or "I don't want any gold diggers". Fine if they have gold to dig for. But then these same wise men go on to list every possession they have in order to attract the same women they say they DON'T want! What's that about? Surely, the best way to attract the type one wants is NOT to say what one has.

For a start, whatever we focus on in life we get because THOUGHTS make our world. We only have to think something to give it life and reality hence why we are all typing on a computer which came out of someone's thought. If someone is focusing on gold diggers instead of on positive females that's whom he'll draw towards him, in the first instance. It also suggests that money and possessions are his focus, too, so he won't be able to attract anyone different.

James Allen, writing in 1902, said something very profound that has stood the test of time:
"Men do not attract what they seek. They attract who they are."

If you are attracting a certain type of lady who is always causing you pain and angst, or who only seems to be after your money, the answer could lie within you, not her! What signals are you giving like a beacon which are a drawing such types towards you?

Think about it...:o)

Are you attracting liars to you? There are reasons for that!


If you go on any dating site, there will be lots of men and women who stress in their profiles that they are seeking people who don't lie or deceive because they have met too many of those kinds already! They stress honesty above all. I have never had to tell people how to behave because they tend to treat me with respect, and I with them. It got me thinking as to why some people get more than their fair share of adult liars, and have come to the conclusion that the first place to look for an answer is within the self. Not with the other person.

Adults lie mainly for three reasons: to avoid the consequences of their actions, to live up to the impossible standards set by those they care about, and to impress or manipulate the people who matter to them most. I guess I have no need to lie, and would not attract liars because I take full responsibility for my actions, regardless of the outcomes, I allow people to be themselves, without pre-judging them or seeking perfection from them, and I have no need to manipulate anyone to get what I want, or impress anyone who can't accept me as I am as I do not seek approval for being me. Neither would I expect them to impress me more than they really are. Perhaps that could explain why I have interacted with some of the most sincere people around.

The first reason for lying, avoidance of the consequences, is the most common one. It is based on fear and a desire to avoid pain and hurt. We lie instead to get the kind of result we want, or to avoid the pressure and stress from another. Yet pain and pleasure are twin sides of life. The most painful thing is death or closure, and death is as much a part of life as life itself. It is inevitable. Yet people who lack confidence, who live in fear, who tend to blame others unnecessarily and who can't bear anything bad resulting from their actions, tend to lie to avoid those results.

It follows that if a guy (or gal) meets a potential soulmate and feels that anything he says about his lifestyle might keep that gal away (like smoking), he might be tempted to lie about it to avoid the consequence of losing that date, instead of owning up from the first minute to the fact that he smokes, and damn the consequences.

Or if a women is too weighty and the guy wants someone 'slim', she might post inappropriate photos or lie about her size so as not to lose his interest. The sad thing is that she might hold his interest for a while, but she would lose it for good once they meet because he would be rather disappointed! Worse still, he will wonder what else she was lying about. So trust, a crucial factor in friendships, would be out the window.

Expectations of Perfection

The second reason for lying, to live up to impossible expectations, is a really sad one, which tends to occur in families and at work. People in these situations can see that what is being demanded of them is either not fair or improbable to live up to, but they value those people so much, they still persist in trying to comply, regardless of the emotional costs to them. This ends up with them not being who they wish to be because they have to constantly lie to live up to the expectation of perfection set by others for them. This kind of lie is regular between parents and grown up kids, where the son or daughter leads a life they know the parents/significant others won't agree with, or won't accept readily. Or they wish to do something important in their life which won't get the approval they seek. Instead, they prefer to live up to the perfect ideals of those people rather than being themselves, openly and honestly. This kind of lie usually carries heavy emotional costs in the form of constant pretence, angst and stress which often translate into physical illnesses.

Finally, we lie to impress. Many people, especially anonymous ones on the Internet, tend to lie to impress the people they interact with, for whatever reasons. That is why many of those types tend to be economical with personal information, or sound too good to be true. Some people in dating situations will even take up a sport or activity they hate, just to impress a potential partner. That might work for a little bit but a relationship founded on lies will lack the solid basis for development. It will simply crumble at the first hurdle. Again, a lot of people love the attention they receive from others without really liking the people giving that attention. Of course, in these scenarios, one or both parties are trying to impress and in an insincere fashion too. There would be trouble ahead when the attention seeker gets bored, or the lack of reciprocity annoys the attention giver.

We all tell little while lies, especially when we don't wish to hurt someone's feelings. But if we find ourselves telling habitual lies which can affect a person in a significant way, it is time to stop and ask ourselves why we are lying, get to the root cause of why we cannot simply tell the truth, and start again on a honest footing. We will not only feel better for it, but we will earn far more respect for it, too, and from the people who matter. Most of all, we won't have to keep inventing stories to maintain that lie.

If you find that you are habitually attracting liars, could it be that your expectation of perfection is encouraging them to be or do, what they are not? Are they trying to impress or manipulate you? Often people can sense whether we really want the truth or not and give us what we prefer. Could they simply fear you and the possible consequences of telling you the truth? Or do you often lie, too, for expediency which attracts other liars to you? It is really worth exploring so that you attract far more of the types of sincere people with whom you are keen to interact. You won't then be afraid of meeting liars and deceivers because there would be no place for them in your orbit.

Why do some guys whinge and complain so much?


There are dating sites with diaries for the members and almost every diary entry, by both men and women, tends to complain about daters behaviour in one form or another. Very depressing. It got me asking the question: why do guys complain so much, when things are not going as expected? And I have come up with some possible answers. But, of course, the guys can always put me right.

1. Guys are treating dating sites as extraordinary places peopled by caricatures instead of real people. Hence, they expect every woman on the site to behave exactly the same way and to react as desired. They find it hard to accept difference, they do not acknowledge women's individuality and so feel put out when they do not get the desired reaction.

Yet a dating site is a microcosm of our world, with a diversity of people who will act in unexpected ways, especially as they are anonymous too. In fact, there are six types of people who inhabit dating sites and, being aware that what we are seeking will only come through patience and trial and error, and from ONLY a few, is the best approach. Men cannot expect women to be clones of each other.

2. They focus on the negatives and get even more of the same bad behaviour. We are dictated by our thoughts. If all we concentrate on are the blockers, the ones who don't respond, and the ones that treat us with disrespect, that's ALL we will keep attracting, because positivity cannot be drawn to negative thoughts. To get the people we desire we have to focus on them, develop a standard that will draw them to us and stick to it. Otherwise, if we are only thinking of the bad things that are happening, it will be shown in our behaviour and will repel more positive people from associating with us.

For example, I notice that when something bad happens to some guys they immediately brand ALL women with the same brush, when they should just ignore it, move on from it and go to someone else. Who knows, a great person might be waiting impatiently for their attention. Instead some men's low confidence allow them to interpret everything personally instead of simply ignoring bad behaviour and depriving it of the oxygen of attention!

3. They do not know what they want and so appear to respond to every wink they get, which makes them appear desperate. Of course, when they do not get replies, they feel worse. I get an average of 6 winks a day. I never respond to any of them unless they are from people who fulfil the criteria I have set in my profile, though I always respond to a message in some way. I think it is the least I can do if the person has taken the trouble to write.

Knowing what you want saves a lot of angst because you will recognise it almost immediately when it is not there. But some men crave attention so much, they ignore the actual person who is sending them winks and reply willy nilly, even though that person might be highly unsuitable. Of course, that kind of association wouldn't really go far. PLEASE NOTE too, guys, that if you get winks from 'inactive' members, be thankful you did not progress it because they were more likely scammers who have been deactivated by the system.

4. They expect every woman THEY like to respond equally in return. But just because a man likes a woman doesn''t mean she will like him back. It's a sign of maturity and confidence when we can make an approach and keep an open mind as to what reply we will get. By keeping that open mind - that it could be a yes or a no, while we continue to explore possibilities, we are prepared for anything and can take it in our stride. We won't automatically expect what we want and will appreciate that difference in people.

5. If women behave badly towards men, block them or don't respond, they wouldn't be the right partners anyway, so why even mention it or give attention to it? Who would want such people who block first before they engage you or find out about you? That's an ignorant person who would be lacking the necessary confidence, empathy and social skills to form a relationship.

The trouble with whingeing all the time is that it makes that person so unattractive and it keeps away good women. After all, if all one can see is complaining, what is there to draw the women? Better to write about positive thoughts and positive happenings, and ignore the bad behaviour. There really are many other fish in the sea. It's just a matter of time, self knowledge and patience to find the right person for us.

I have real concerns about my blind date, are they justified?


Q. On the date he just about talked me to death. Maybe he was just as nervous as me and that's not really how he is. But he would not walk beside me. He always darted out in front of me. Another thing, when we were eating, at one point he asked me a question. When I answered, halfway through my sentence, he got up and said he had to go to the bathroom. Could he not have waited 5 seconds? I just thought that was rude. And during the movie we went to see, he felt the need to explain every character to me. Am I just being picky here? Should I be bothered by these things? I have accepted a second date to see if he's different.

A. Yes, you should be bothered, and I wouldn't accept a second date. Trust your instincts with people. It is the most accurate guide to how you will get on with others. There are three main things that should leap out at you now as alarm bells for the future:

1. He talked about himself non-stop. That's a person who is entirely self absorbed. He is not in the least bit interested in you, it is all about him. Yes, people are always a bit nervous when they go on first dates, but once they calm down, there should be MUTUAL conversation, not just one person talking (a taker) while the other person listens (a giver).

2. A basic lack of respect. Anyone who asks you a question then interrupts your answer to continue talking, or worse still, gets up to go somewhere in the middle of it, is showing you no respect at all. In fact, the strongest message he is giving you here is: "You are not worth listening to, so I will go off and please myself instead". But that is not surprising with self-absorbed people. They mainly talk about them, without asking questions to learn about others, because they make themselves feel important through that self focus. Respect is at the heart of every relationship. If he shows you none now, especially, when this is the time when people try to impress each other, he will not show you much more later. His behaviour will only get worse.

3. His desire to control your input into the date by interrupting your response, walking ahead of you instead of beside you and explaining things to you in the film as if you were a child. Apart from the fact that his action in a public place was rather rude anyway, it shows his perception of you, or women in general. This a a man with a low opinion of himself who boosts that low ego at the expense of others, namely dates like you. He has little interest in you as a person. You are just an object he uses to boost his confidence, hence why he does not allow you to give an input and would try to treat you like a child. You give him the opportunity to show off, to reinforce his pretence of being somebody worth knowing and to feel in charge. But you mean very little to him as a person.

Finally, you are not over-analysing at all. Your instincts are giving you messages you need to heed. If you don't pay attention to them, you could pay quite a price in being treated with little respect and certainly no love. As to his physical behaviour (no friendly touch etc), he has to be allowed to be himself until he gets used to you, but even that could be a part of his controlling approach where he decides whether to touch or not, etc. However, that should not be held against anyone just because it does not conform to your expectations.

Over-analysing and fault-finding comes from fear and a desire for perfection, when we ourselves are far from perfect. How would you like someone to be constantly picking at everything you did? It would soon start to grate on you. Everyone, including you, has a right to be whom they wish to be without being criticised for it. We shouldn't try to be making people over because that's what makes them unique. The only thing we should ask ourselves when we meet someone new is this: "How comfortable do I feel with this person, AS THEY ARE?" If you don't feel comfortable with them, or you have any sense of unease, get out of there fast.

If that is the kind of man you seek, then have a second date. But your instincts are giving you warning signs. Please do not ignore them, as your own desire for approval might get you sucked into a relationship which might not only belittle you gradually as it goes along, but would rob you every day of your resources. That man is a taker, and one usually gets nothing from takers. They merely drain you in the end as you will never be able to please them fully.

Why don't some guys at least hide their profiles?


Yesterday I went to the profile of someone who had visited mine (and seemed interesting) and was quite surprised by what I saw. His advert said that he had found the lady for him and he was now 'off limits' but thanked anyone for visiting.

Guys, dating sites are not community noticeboards where you post news of everything happening in your life for all to see! This is a dating site where people are seeking dates and partners. The best and most decent thing to do, especially when we have found someone, is to get off the site and enjoy them! One never knows how new friendships will work out, but they have not a hope in hell if the person is still looking while trying to chat up another.

His profile brought up a lot of questions which I think need addressing, because he isn't the only one who is doing that:

1. If he has found a lady for him, what is he still doing on the site? What does that say about his sincerity?

2. What about the trust of the lady he's found? She perhaps happily thinks he is off the site, while he is still on it seeking attention, still visiting women's profiles. Would she be able to trust anything else he says?

3. Why is he hedging his bets by still looking around, instead of exploring the possibilities and rejoining, if it didn't work out? He can't think much of the lady he was praising if he's still here.

4. Doesn't such a profile make one appear expedient and superficial? After all, if he is 'off-limits' as he says, why is his profile still up? Why isn't it hidden or deleted? How is someone to know that he's 'off limits' without reading his profile?

We all hope that when we meet that certain person, the profiles will be hidden or removed to give the new friendship a chance. If a guy (or gal) is still hanging about on the site after meeting someone, what exactly are they saying about themselves?

Perhaps there are people who just wish to have their cake and eat it, or whose esteem is so low they cannot do without the daily buzz of people giving them attention. But it is players like that who give dating sites a bad name. He didn't seem so interesting anymore because, with that kind of insincere approach, how can anyone really trust him?

8 Tired Online Dating Clichés That Should Be Avoided!


Go on any dating site, especially where Britons are, and it is as if they are all copying each other in a revolving fest of cliches that make you feel you have seen everyone by the time you have been through the first few profiles. They tend to be very predictable descriptions that become boring after a while because original thoughts tend to be thin on the ground! One wonders if there is anyone with an ounce of creativity on the site. Often meaningless and bland, these cliches detract from, rather than add anything to, the overall appeal.

The worst culprits seem to be the folllowing,

1. I am solvent
Not sure how many people are looking for things to sniff on a website but I wouldn't think there would be too many looking for solvents! Many people don't understand the word either, judging by the context they have used it in. But monetary matters should be left for when people have made contact. If the solvency of someone is all that potential date is interested in then that's a poor match from the beginning.

2. A wicked sense of humour
What on earth is a 'wicked' sense of humour (British men are famous for claiming this one!)? One that's misbehaving? One that tempts the date to be really bad? How is it different from just plain old bog-standard humour one can get anywhere else? Is it the kind that bores one to death with forced jokes? Can it be seen playing up and being cheeky when other humour is behaving sedately? The mind truly boggles with this one.

3. Scrubs up well
What's with the British and 'scrubbing up'? How many people are seeking pots and pans when they go on to a dating site? Not many, I am sure. Yet there is this continual emphasis on dates scrubbing up well, as though they are usually greasy and dingy and need lots of scrubbing! There would be very few people who wouldn't dress well when the occasion calls for it, so what's with the constant scrubbing?

4. DVD and a bottle of red

This must be one of the most awful phrases being bandied about. There is nothing remotely romantic in someone telling you that they can't wait to sit in front of a TV with a 'dvd and a bottle of red'. Red what? Red polish? Red beans? Red rum? It has a low, common sound to it. Not something one would put at the top of one's list of most exciting dating moments!

5. Eclectic taste

If I hear that phrase one more time, I shall go spare! Someone obviously saw the word somewhere, thought they would copy it to sound posh and others have been copying it ever since. What's wrong with 'diverse' or 'varied' taste? Simple, easy to appreciate and even more effective.

6. Not desperate

I doubt if anyone seeking a date is ever really desperate. We all have some urgency in finding that special person as we don't want to be doing it forever. But it seems the low confident ones love to point out that they are not really in a hurry. Why do they need to do that? Could it be because they they have an inferiority complex about embarking on the search? Well, if they have to emphasise that point, then they are desperate, hence why they probably feel pretty self-conscious about it.

7. Little black dress/number

Where do we get these little black numbers from? Is there a specific shop where women with all kinds of odd shapes and sizes line up to try to force their varied frames into their tiny little black dresses to satisfy men's fantasies? What happened to being a unique person with one's own style and having that appreciated? It seems that's the standard issue of a 'sexy' woman: black dress and high heels to match. Heaven save us from these stereotypes!

8. Easy going and friendly

Gosh, phew, we can breathe again knowing we're in good hands! I can see everyone rushing to find someone who is NOT easy going and friendly. The problem with all these easy going people who feel that such a personality needs stressing is that they are likely to be really hard work when we do get to know them. Their former partners could probably add some comment on just how 'easy going' they are!

We can always get by on a dating site copying other people's words on our profile when we don't know what to say and when we think we will impress. But the most interesting profile anywhere is one that is from the heart, with the interests that matter to you and in your very own words. They give the best flavour of the person you truly are. Most of all, they will attract only the people who like what you say, saving you much time and effort, while appealing to the more genuine potential dates who are not seeking perfection.

Blocking and all that...


I once used a dating site where members could block you even without you seeing their profile. Naturally, that gave the ageists and racists a field day. That was the first dating site I had seen where members are allowed to block someone just for LOOKING at their profile! I had to ask if it was a dating site because one HAS to look at someone's pictures, and read their profile, to ensure whether one would like to take it forward. How else will one know whether there is any potential?

Another little known factor about blocking relates to the personal FILTERING. It seems those settings automatically block people of the selected ages. So when it seems as though someone has blocked you, when you haven't even looked at their profile, it could be the selected filters in operation and the 'blockers' are not even aware of it.

In fact, I reviewed this website and it lost a full star simply because of this negative feature! That's partially because, in my case, if someone were to block me, I have the added dimension of wondering whether they blocked purely through being racist. It then makes you wonder whether the site is inadvertently encouraging its members to show their petty prejudices and insecurity under the guise of being selective! Personally, I couldn't care less about it because it immediately shows me the poisonous, low confidence types, I really wouldn't wish to associate with. So they can block away to their hearts' content!

However, for those who have never used a dating site, such mindless blocking can be quite an unsettling experience, until they learn the ropes, especially when women tend to require men to make the first move, despite our age of equality. It can be hard enough for any man at the best of times, but to make that approach and have it needlessly blocked, would be cruel, to say the least.

Blocking should only ever be used for rude, offensive and persistent people.

For example, some people say they prefer an answer, but cannot accept the response, if they don't like it, then can become rude! However, for those who use the blocking tool with gay abandon, it says far more about them than the ones being blocked. In fact it suggests the 4 major factors, that:

1. They have not fully understood the function of the blocking tool and are ignorant of its correct usage.

2. They lack confidence and esteem and feel inadequate to deal with someone else on an assertive level. Perhaps terribly insecure about themselves - very sensitive to negative reactions or perceived 'rejections' - and protect their personal feelings by striking first to feel in control.

3. They lack adequate interpersonal skills in reacting to others, and so feel more powerful blocking them. We have to remember that the Internet is a new phenomenon which requires some interactive and linguistic competence, which many people lack. Hence some might take refuge in merely enjoying the 'power' of keeping others at bay, rather than revealing that inadequacy.

4. They have very little respect for themselves or the rights of others.

No one forces anyone to be on a dating site. That's a free choice. To then block similar daters for spurious and silly reasons - simply because one can - not only demoralises the genuine daters, it also makes a mockery of the usefulness of the blocking tool and trivialises its real purpose. In most cases, it simply demonstrates how insecure and fearful the blockers really feel! For them, perhaps a dating site represents the primary part of their existence, and they really should get a life!

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Have you encountered a Blocking Bully?


Some people, both men and women, need to get a life. Judging by some frequent complaints from the men (who can be as guilty as the women, though), I am still trying to work out why a person might block someone BEFORE they have visited a profile, or to prevent them visiting in the first place. It doesn't really make any sense and cheapens the value of Blocking as a protective security tool. This is a dating site, full of adults who are simply seeking to link up with other daters with the potential for relationships.

If there are people who are preventing others from accessing profiles in the usual routine of exploring possibilities, what is that about? What does it say about them, their emotional needs and opportunity for control? Most important, what would they do in a situation where they could not block anyone? How would they cope? My guess is that they would have real problems, because such blockers are likely to be weak on interactional skills and lack the competence to communicate in a confident and empathetic way.

Blocking Bullies - the type that block you without any cause or even a visit - have problems of self esteem which they compensate for with deluded feelings of superiority. They are likely to visit first, but block you from returning the visit.

Yet the only two reasons for using blocks which are necessary on any dating site are:
1. If someone is obviously offensive or abusive, or
2. If someone won't take no for an answer. Otherwise, why should grown adults need to block others?

Personally, I welcome being blocked, because, in my case, as some of them could be pretty racist too, they are really doing me a favour by giving me advanced warning! The real irony is that they are likely to be the type I would not even waste my time visiting, or look at a second time. Their insecure and fearful action tells me how moronic, low in confidence and lacking in genuine respect, they are - not the kind of man I would wish to associate with, or have in my orbit. I guess they block others to bring attention to themselvesor make themselves feel good at someone else's expense.

So why do they do it?

Blocking Bullies love the 'power' they get from acting superior, especially when they feel inferior to the person they are blocking. The worst of these bullies are the ones who contact you first in an insulting or offensive way, then block you to prevent any response. Being cowardly controllers who are only interested in their own voices, they can easily dish the dirt but cannot take it, so they have a handy tool to control interaction!

For example, there is one guy who took umbrage at a past diary entry, told me off roundly, then blocked any response. Yet, some time afterwards, he wrote to 'congratulate' me on another entry, with me still blocked, as if I give a fig what he thinks about my writing. He has been getting no attention, of HIS own making, so he has to seek it again with paltry compliments. That is so very sad and pathetic.

That is why the best remedy for blockers is to deprive them of any attention by not even mentioning their action, by deleting any messages they send and totally ignoring them. If they continue to contact you, while being blocked, the site managers will block them for you. But the best reaction is to move swiftly on to others. By not dwelling on their action, you are free of their negativity and ridiculous behaviour. Remember, we are not hurt by what people do, but by HOW we choose to react to it. We are the ones who give permission to be hurt through our reaction.

If a person blocks me when I didn't contact them at all, that tells me a lot about their feelings of inadequacy and I regard being blocked as doing my good deed for the day! After all, if they weren't able to block me, they wouldn't feel smug and bloated with self-importance. So, next time you are the victim of a Blocking Bully, be thankful. You don't know what they could be saving you from with that meanspirited action. Better still, you could even be responsible for some small pleasure in their sad, lonely and barren lives!

Why the double standard, Guys?


Recently someone sent me a wink, then tried to chat with me. He was 74. But as I was speaking to someone else at the time I couldn't respond. This morning, I had a good look at his profile, as I usually do when someone shows an interest, and something sad leapt out at me.

He claimed to have a young outlook on life, very active etc., so he would suit a 'younger woman', he said, which is where I came in, obviously. But he missed the complete irony that if he, at 74, could feel younger and more zippy, there would also be women of HIS age or older who would feel the same too. A feeling of youthfulness is not the preserve of the young - or just young women. So, using his flawed and ageist logic, that only younger people would match me too, I rejected his attention. By HIS rules and expectations, he was too old for me!

I deliberately quoted this because that guy is not alone. Many men really believe that if they feel young and act young, then only a younger woman will feel the same, which is the most idiotic logic, and does little to recommend their age to the younger women they seek! They are actually saying to others: "My age group is crap, but I am all right." So why on earth should younger people be interested in someone with so little confidence in his own age, so little appreciation for it and so little faith in his own ability to attract someone, regardless of age? Worse still, why should anyone accept such a double standard?

The one thing that interacting on dating sites has taught me, if I didn't know it before, is that every human being is unique. Humans don't come in predictable, homogenised packages. That is why the men with the shopping window syndrome come unstuck on dating sites because one cannot order a prescribed human to the exact specifications one might seek. What we have here are old mindsets around ageing, and personal fears, trying to cope with new technology and failing miserably.

The only TWO criteria we have always used to judge whether we wish to progress a friendship is how someone physically LOOKS and the level of ATTRACTION we feel towards herhim. Once those are established, then we usually find out details later on and, by then, we couldn't care less about the details if the person presses our buttons.

Some deluded men need to realise that if they feel good and look good, any woman can feel good and look good too, and it has very little to do with age. I am living proof of that. However, it has a lot to do with GENES, ATTITUDE and ASPIRATIONS. And just because one feels active and brimming with energy doesn't mean a younger person will be the only type to match. That is just looking at physicality without taking the emotional stage the person has reached into account, which is why many Internet relationships go to the wall.

Physicality is only one fifth of the five essential factors in making a relationship work. If that is all they focus on, when the emotional needs of a person come tops, some men really will have a lot of lessons to learn before they get it right!

Younger people do not have a monopoly on youthfulness. That kind of belief is usually found in men (and women) who lack confidence, self esteem and the self belief that no matter what age we are, it's our outlook on life and degree of positivity that decide how we look, act and attract others.

Have Closet Racists Found Refuge on dating sites?


Dating sites are public companies offering a specific service - to bring people together. They are not very private clubs with stringent membership rules. They are there for any member of the public who wishes to partake of their services. As such, they should aim to offer the same service to everyone, particularly through making participation inclusive. Currently, there are over 7 million users of dating sites in Britain, so any racism in the operations would be significant.

Most dating sites serving the UK have a choice of the colour of a partner. As they are predominantly white in membership, there is a virtual proliferation and promotion of racism against those who are not white, while encouraging them as members too. Yet that offensive choice is not necessary at all because everyone has the opportunity of screening out whom they do not like privately by ignoring certain approaches or politely declining any contacts from unwanted daters.

The worst culprits are Dating Direct (more than half of all males seem to use this option of choosing 'White/Caucasian') and the template used by the Times, Guardian and Telegraph dating sites which has the ridiculous anomaly of matching people up at a very high rate, yet without properly acknowledging the colour selected. How can someone wanting a white person match highly with a black person when the very act of being racist in choice would have negated that person from the very beginning?

As a Black woman who would have paid my money to use the service too, I would feel aggrieved to go into a profile which matches highly with me, only to see that the person has put "White/Caucasian" only. How on earth can I be a match for someone who wants a white partner? Surely, as that is an important requirement for some people, once they select that choice, it should make the match either very low or zero. I really cannot be an 84% match for a racist!

We are all entitled to the person of our choice, but in a mixed and diverse society, we have to ensure there is inclusion and fairness. There are three main reasons why such offensive choices are wrong and merely promote racism:

1. Every customer of any dating website deserves the same quality of service because they all pay the same fee to use it. The least one would expect is that they are not insulted by having to read profiles which are clearly exclusive and discriminatory of them. A customer is not being served if they are treated in any kind of offensive way.

2. Allowing people to make racist choices in a public forum belittles the users of that forum who do not match with the majority and treats them in a derogatory way.

3. It encourages racism in a public place, allowing it to be tolerated openly, when it would be against the law n other organisations.

There is no need to actually state a choice for colour on any dating site, unless that site specifically caters for a certain type of daters (like mixed relationships etc.), and that would be most obvious in its promotion and guidelines. Anything else is offensive and discriminatory and merely panders to the worst racism in users.