Kathryn's Blog

Mom’s Getting Married!

Those of you who read my enewsletter *eMAIL to eMATE* know that my 81 year old mother (her birthday is today—Happy Birthday, Mom!) is getting married this Saturday, April 2. (If you aren’t a subscriber to my newsletter, you ought to be: Click here to sign up!) Anyway, Drew and I are leaving tomorrow for Florida to help get the new couple married off, so I will not be posting here on my blog until I get back on April 5. I PROMISE to put in a picture or two of the happy couple. Drew’s the official photographer, so we should have lots.

Since the groom is 86, none of my clients in their 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s get any sympathy from me when they fuss about being too old and they will never find a Sweetheart. If Mom did it, so can you. No whiners allowed.

I am leaving my cats in charge, and you’ll see from the photos that they are good office staff. And if you’d like to send good wishes to my mother and her beau, post them here and I’ll pass them on!


Peri, My A#1 Assistant

That’s Peri, helping me with my website. He’s a very hard worker.Posted by Hello


TJ, Our Junk Yard Kitty

And this is TJ, our Junk Yard Kitty. He’s the guy that Peri adopted, and then we had little choice in the matter. I posted Peri and TJ’s story in an earlier post.  TJ is a very grateful cat, loves his home and family. Posted by Hello


How to Make Your Profile Stand Out From the Rest

In my last posting, I wrote about the best profile essay I had ever seen. I went back to the search page and grabbed the snippets of profile essays that appeared on both sides of one that I thought was so good. Here they are below, along with the good one embedded:

I am an interesting woman who is looking for an interesting man. I want someone who is like me in that they are curious, ...

I live at home with my daughter and her husband and there three kids… I would like someone to think that I am special…

Me: Old but still beautiful. Rich sultry radio voice, lots of silky hair, curvy body, moody, physically passionate, intell….

I am a passionate, spontaneous and independent woman who loves life and life’s challenges. Being cozy with stimulating con ...

I’m said to be a very giving, kind, affectionat, loyal, sincere, honest, fun loving, intelligent, attractive youthful woman…

See why my favorite stood out so from the others? Nothing WRONG with those others, except they are BORING. What makes them boring? Well, they all look the same. They start with “I” and then list a string of descriptors that are trite. How about figuring out a way to SHOW that you are passionate and spontaneous, rather than just saying so? Having to “say so” negates the words, really. How does saying “I am a passionate, spontaneous” sound passionate and spontaneous? It doesn’t. Now my favorite uses “passionate” to describe herself, but look how she shows it: “Rich sultry radio voice, lots of silky hair, curvy body, moody, physically passionate, intell….” She uses passionate imagery in her word choice. Take that first one: “I am an interesting woman who is looking for an interesting man.” She sounds so UNINTERESTING. How could she have spiced up what she wrote?

When you get ready to write your profile, look up others who are like you (same gender and age range) in your geographical area and see what they have written. Then think: “What could I do that would make me stand out in a list with all these others?” The last thing you want is to be the same in a boring list.


The Greatest Profile I Have Ever Seen!

I occasionally go cruising on dating sites, not for old-time’s sake (Drew and I met on Match.com), but looking for good and bad examples of profile write-ups. I’m writing a book now on how to build a great Internet profile and will be using some of my “find’s” in that text. Yesterday, I stumbled on the best profile I have ever seen, made just that much more striking for being in the middle of a page listing nine other singles with the usual boring formats. Tell me if you had the same “Wow!” reaction that I did—here it is:

Me: Old but still beautiful. Rich sultry radio voice, lots of silky hair, curvy body, moody, physically passionate, intellectually challenging. Multi-cat, uni-dog household, avant garde non-traditional lifestyle. You: I love men with tatts and long hair, who can tune up a harley, run a sound board, play a riff and quote 19th century love poetry.Or some other combination of raunchy rebel and demon/angel poet.Orbiting in my life: old houses, vegetable and ornamental gardens, orchards, music, writing, coffee, cooking. And I want to visit Australia and New Zealand!( to see if the blood rushes to your head, hehe)

This woman’s headline was equally provoking (I won’t include it to give her a bit of anonymity) and her photo alluring. She may not be what you’re looking for, and she may present herself in ways that would be uncomfortable for you, but what a graphic picture she paints with words! And didn’t it STAND OUT on the page?

That’s the effect that I try to help my clients create: Your profile needs to get noticed. “Wow!” is the reaction your perfect match should register when he/she read what you present. You future partner should be able to recognize you and WANT to get in touch.

BTW, I had to look up “tatts.” I guess it means tattoos, and not knowing dates me, doesn’t it?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS Have you got other great profile essays that I’d enjoy seeing? Send them on:


Speed Dating, Internet Dating, and First Impressions

I love the expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” don’t you? It’s one of those wonderful short, concise sentences that makes complete sense the first and tenth time you hear it. Like “Liars need good memories” or “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “That’s so true!” I always think. And that’s what makes these sayings memorable.

Sure enough, in speed dating (as I have been writing about here this past week), first impressions are IT. First impressions and the far-reaching judgments based on them are what speed dating is all about. That’s not quite so clear with Internet dating, but in actuality, first impressions are VITALLY important here too

Most Internet dating sites allow visitors to do a search from the site’s home page: You specify whether you are male or female, and whether you are looking for the same or opposite sex, the age range, and usually your zip code for geographical closeness, and then the site presents you with all the possible candidates listed there who fit your criteria. Those possibles are presented all together, ten or more to a page, with sometimes just a photo and screen name, nothing more! If you are lucky, you might get a couple of lines of the poster’s writing so you can get more of a feel for them besides the quality of their photo.

All it takes is a quick search and scan to see how little time and effort so many hopeful Internet daters put to that so important first impression. That all critical photo? Most are not above average, many are down-right horrible. The screen names? How can Jon735 or LTCSPA get an interested Sweetie to click through to their profile?

Arrgh! Take time. Spend a little money and get a good photo! I recommend LookBetterOnline. All my clients who have used LookBetterOnline have gotten excellent results. And if you’re not a good writer, get help! I do profile reviews and shape-ups, as do a number of other online resources. I’m not going to tell you about the others, because I think you should use me, of course. You can find the others on your own, but why? Frankly, I’m the best. And I am not modest, as you can tell.

Remember, you’re looking for your life partner! First impressions count, and with Internet dating, you may have only a second or two to make a good one. The better you present to the world, the better choice you will have in partners! Why would you want anything less? Make your tiny space on the search screen really count.


But Does Speed Dating Work?

“Does (you name the technique—Internet dating, speed dating, going to singles events) work?” is always a question that stumps me. “Compared with what?” I ask. Compared with doing nothing, speed dating probably works pretty well. Anything is better than nothing, and what’s the likelihood that doing nothing will “work”? As our cat Peri says, “Not good, Dad. Not good.”

Does speed dating “work” better than Internet dating? Who knows? But what I am sure of is that the more you do to make finding a mate more likely, the more likely it is that you will find the love of your life. I do hear more and more reports of couples who met at speed dating events, just as it is not at all uncommon for new romance clients to tell me that they know one or more couples, now married, who met on the net.

Speed dating puts the all-important “Chemistry,” that illusive “something” most singles look for in a potential partner, stage center. Checking out “chemistry” usually has to wait until the first face-to-face meeting with Internet daters. Not a problem with speed dating: Here’s you chance to check for chemistry with a dozen or more candidates, no time wasted.

Most of us feel that “chemistry” or attraction is an important part of romantic love. But how do you know that the excitement you feel is a healthy attraction? How do you know the feeling is not fear, or a tapping into a not-so-healthy past experience?

Research is coming out that supports both the “working” of speed dating and Internet dating. I wrote about the research on Internet dating in an earlier blog entry, so I won’t go into that here again. But here’s what’s coming out about speed dating: Researchers at University of Pennsylvania worked with HurryDate to collect data on 10,526 anonymous participants of speed dating events.

Robert Kurzban, the research leader, said that most participants made their decisions with three seconds. Since participants have no prior information about the other candidates, they make their decisions based solely on first impressions, that “chemistry” again. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about similar observations, that contrary to what the individuals at speed dating events SAY they want beforehand, they decided whether or not to pursue a relationship based on intuitive, non-verbal information. What this research is not able to say though is if the initial attraction found at a speed dating event can then translate into a good, solid long term commitment. The research on Internet dating however does seem to indicate that if the participants who met online used the Internet and the telephone to get to know each other before meeting, they were highly likely to want to meet again, and even pursure the relationship for at least months.

Here are some positives I have been hearing: As you could imagine, speed dating would be particularly suited to cities where you would have a big draw of like to like. In other words, filling up an event with enough professional men and women in a certain age range would be possible. Or sports fans or music lovers. Interestingly, the ages specified for the groupings are often three to five years younger for women than men. While that follows usual dating patterns of men dating younger women, if you are older and female, ouch! The pickings (and events) are slim and far between. Often, too, the events will have a cut off age, like 35 or 40. Older folks—male or female—may be out of luck. Here’s and interesting tidbit: More women tend to sign up for speed dating events, but more men actually show up.

A commonality between speed dating events and Internet dating sites is that people going to speed dating events are there for one purpose only—they are interested in meeting someone who also is available, and they are paying to do so. That alone lends a note of seriousness, and of course, self-screens out anyone who is not.

If chemistry is important to you, then you may want to give speed dating a try. But be aware of your less healthy relationship patterns. And if you are over 40 and female, let me know if you actually find an event that will accept you.


“Your Wonderful Blog” and Women Making the First Move

Yesterday, I got two separate email blog compliments—one titled “Your Wonderful Blog”! Yea! I am doing something right! The other emailer asked that I write about “Is it okay for women to make the first move on Internet dating?” That’s a great question, and I said an immediate “Yes!” Here’s the short answer I sent back to the writer: “Absolutely! The Internet is a great leveler, and not only is it okay for women to take the initiative, I really urge them to. You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking yourself.”

Here’s a bit more detail: Even though we keep hearing the worn-out advice for women to hold back, that men like to pursue, lots of men find that role burdensome. Not only that, often guys are so discouraged themselves that they find it impossible to risk rejection. I interviewed one fellow who was a highly eligible professional, recently divorced, and so traumatized by the ending of his marriage that he didn’t even write his own profile—a woman friend did it for him. And he was determined that he would contact No One on his own. He sat and waited, and sure enough, his now lady friend got in touch with him first. He was so relieved.

And here’s another angle: If you only respond to contacts and never initiate, then you are restricted to whoever happens to stumble onto your profile and then have the guts to get in touch. Do you really want to limit your choice that way? What about the guys whose searches don’t come up with you? I found my Drew—he would never have found me, because he was searching closer to home, within 100 miles. I searched 500 miles, and he was 482 miles away, door to door.

Any more questions? Send ‘em on!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


What’s Speed Dating, Where Did It Come From, and What’s It Like?

What’s speed dating and where did it come from?

Speed dating is definitely the runaway hit of the dating scene these days. Over just the past couple of weeks that I have been watching, I’ve seen articles on speed dating in India, England(big hit there), Australia, New Mexico, at basketball games (not too successful), and for Rock ‘n Roll fans in Boston. A Google search on “speed dating” brings up 114,000 listings. The UK and Australia seem particularly well-represented.

Speed dating was “invented” in 1999 by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo in southern California as a way “to directly facilitate Jewish continuity by helping Jews meet Jews.” As we know, online dating took a huge jump up in activity after 9/11, when suddenly, being public about looking for love was okay. Old fashioned dating services and matchmakers suddenly became in vogue again too, and the market was ripe for the Next New Idea. Enter speed dating. Speed dating quickly moved out of Jewish circles, into the mainstream, and around the world. Entrepreneurs moved into the lucrative singles market with this new and enticing way of facilitating match-ups, and singles equally quickly snapped up the new bait.

What’s a speed dating event like?

Businesses have sprung up (HurryDate, 8MinuteDating, or BlinkDating, for instance) that plan and organize speed dating events for a fee, usually around $30 or $35. Folks who register meet at a specific place and time, often a bar or restaurant. Usually the format is for women to sit at tables and the men move from one table to another at a signal. I’ve seen the number of potential dates as anything between 8 and 25. The two new acquaintances talk for 3 to 10 minutes, depending on what the structure allows, then at the signal, men move to the next candidate.

After each contact, both people rate or score the person they have just met, checking something like “Interested,” “Maybe,” or “Not interested.” The scores are tabulated later, and if a match has occurred (both indicate “Interested” or “Maybe”), then the parties are notified, given contact information, and then the individuals take it from there.

A new slant on speed dating is getting going in India, via the British Asian singles market, where individuals can buy cheaper tickets to watch and not participate. I can see it now: stadiums full of people watching the action. Well, why not a reality show? Sounds like a match made in heaven.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Googling and Zoominfo

Here’s a newer twist on the relatively new practice of Googling (see my posting on Googling below): an article in “Wired” posted 3/21/05 describes a new service offered by zoominfo that allows you to search your own name and get a summary of what’s available publically on the web under your name. Then—and here’s the good part—you can make changes for free. Zoominfo can’t erase what’s on the web or make it not come up in searches, but you may be able to influence the order that comes up in such a search.

I did my own name, and came up first of five listed. I clicked on my name and found a page of my personal summary that included a variety of places on the Net where my name appears, as well as articles I have written that are posted all over everywhere. Then I could click on a link “Is this your Web Summary? You can update ithere…” and be led through a series of steps to make any changes I’d like.

Just as it is a good idea to check your credit report for irregularities, running your name through zoominfo might be a precaution you’d like to add to your to-do calendar as well. As you may be Googling your prospective partners, they’ll likely be Googling you, too. You should know what the web says about you, for your own information, but also, just in case you may need to do some explaining.


“Googling for Love”

Here’s a article I wrote awhile back about Googling—I’m posting it here because of a new resource I discovered this morning. I’ll write about it in the next blog entry, but this is background material:

Google: (GOO.gul) v. To use an Internet search engine such as Google.com to look for information related to a new or potential girlfriend or boyfriend.

Have you Googled yourself yet? Can anyone resist? If you haven’t had the pleasure, here’s how:

Go to Google.com, type your name in quotation marks, and see what comes up.

A lot depends on how common your name is (like John Smith). I tend to get references to nobility (that’s the Lord part), and the genealogy citations are many. But sure enough, there’s my house in Maine (I rent it during the summer from an Internet ad) and stained glass courses that my husband Drew and I have taught. When I add my middle initial B, then the references are pure cyber romance. Yea!

Drew’s name gets his scientific publications. If I had googled him when we were courting, I would not have made the embarrassing gaff of bragging about my publications (2). He had me beat hands down. But also, that google search would have added to his credibility, because he is cited over and over as a scientist and connected with the Army Corps of Engineers. I would have been reassured.

But what if other connections had come up? Somebody with my name is a personnel expert. Also, it sounds as if my name is common in England. Maybe there is worse, buried under my name in the Net.

Seems like it is a good idea to be aware of what comes up if your name is Googled, sort of like keeping track of your credit report. If something negative comes up under your name and it’s not you, you need to know that and be able to explain it to another. If it’s not so good and IS you, you need to know and explain that, too.

While visiting some of my older relatives recently, they were quite interested in being Googled. My favorite uncle, who has an unusual spelling of his last name, shares that spelling with a rather well known gay porn star. Or at least, we assume the gay porn star and my uncle are not the same guy. The porn star does sound like he has some rather amazing physical attributes.

That’s the kind of google citations associated with your name that it is good to know about!

There seems to be some embarrassment associated with Googling a prospective date or partner, but I can’t see why that would be so. Unless it appears being a little too interested, like “I can’t be bothered to check credentials, even though I have an easy way to do so. This person just doesn’t matter that much to me.” Why would you want to convey that message?

Especially if you are using the Internet for a mate search, it only makes good sense that you would use one of CyberSpace’s best tools to help you make a safe and secure match.

But it also points out the need to keep one’s cyber nose clean. It follows that if you are doing something that you wouldn’t want anyone to know that you are doing, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.


“How Fast Can We Do It?  Speed Dating Online and Off”

My mind’s been on speed dating lately, which has taken off lately in the same way that Internet dating took off after 9/11. Here’s an article I wrote a year or so ago that is still relevant, which is saying something, since in this day and age, once you have finished an article, it becomes an antique:

“How Fast Can We Do It? Speed Dating Online and Off”

In an effort to cut down the time between meeting and mating to as close to zero as possible, up has popped Speed Dating!

For the uninitiated, speed dating happens when groups of singles meet together at a predetermined location. In an organized fashion, these folks talk to each other individually for under ten minutes (usually six to eight) per person, then switch to the next one in line. Next, each single rates interest (or no interest) in pursuing each contact. Afterwards, the organizers put the parties who indicated mutual interest in touch with each other, with what happens next up to the individuals concerned. Sort of like an adult version of Musical Chairs.

Offered by various businesses like HurryDate.com, and Pre-Dating.com, even the online dating veteran Match.com is jumping into the fray. Match.com sponsors live, face-to-face events in various cities.

But Match.com also been beta testing a completely online version that does not even require that you leave home—all you need is a computer online and another phone line or cell phone to use at the same time. After having a chance to look at the other’s profile and photo, the Match.com answer to supersonic speed puts you on the phone with one guy or gal after another—for an even shorter four minutes! Then, up comes the form, and just indicate your choice: “Yes, no, or maybe.”

Like most face to face events that I hear about (and I include the Match.com computer-based speed dating in this category), it sounds as if women usually outnumber men. Why? Well, women may just be more comfortable in these more social, on-the-spot sort of events. If you are not quick with words or good handling things on your feet, you’d be at a disadvantage. Guys report feeling trapped and uncomfortable. And there can be an air of competition that could make men antsy, not wanting to participate in something where they could lose or feel foolish.
There’s a message here for guys: Given the ratios, these kind of events would be great places for you to try. And they would provide great practice in mastering a social patter that would be useful in other situations.

The advantages to both men and women? Well, clearly, speed. And practice. And to “get your feet wet” and get a sense that there is plenty of choice out there. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky!

The disadvantages? With face-to-face as well as online speed dating, you’ve got next to no screening except signing up /paying up / showing up. So you find a range of people, likely most of whom will not be even a passable fit for you.

With regular online dating, at least you get to screen to your heart’s content in total privacy, before making even one direct contact. You get to sift out potentials who are clearly wrong for you.

With speed dating events, what you see is what you get. As one woman reported, “When you see all those plaid jackets and missing teeth, it can be pretty depressing.”

Think about it: How fast do we really want to do this? After all, this is a life-partner search. What if the perfect guy or lady for you does not show him or herself the best in four to eight minutes?

Internet dating has already made the meeting process more efficient than we have ever known before. If we figure out many more ways to cut the time down, we’ll be saying “no” before any contact at all. That sounds suspiciously like staying home and doing nothing!


“Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell, and Speed Dating

My latest favorite book came right from my Sweetie Drew. Drew is an NPR and PBS fan and is forever ordering books he hears about on radio and TV. Recently he heard about by Malcolm Galdwell. He loved the book, and while he was reading it, Drew kept telling me how much he thought I would like it. Well, I did.

“Blink” is all about that instantaneous flash of insight we can have that does not seem to be connected to rational thought. The coaching world calls this flash “intuition,” and we are taught to pay attention to such flashes and use them in our work with clients. Gladwell never uses the word “intuition,” but he tells story after story of instances where people “just knew” something that defied logic. Gladwell attributes these flashes of insight to the unconscious mind, a huge repository of information which we all have and of which we are largely unaware. Unaware however does not mean unused.

I think that much of what Gladwell describes is the process daters call “chemistry.” Internet daters are particularly concerned about chemistry, because meeting online, even with pictures and phone calls, leaves out all the subtle physical cues that come full force when people meet face to face. And as we all know, that chemistry can be Wow! Or Yick. And it’s important.

Gladwell even writes about speed dating! Hooray! Speed dating seems MADE for the thin slicing of decision making, and in some ways, that is so. I’ll talk more about speed dating in future postings. Speed dating relies on instant decision-making about interest and attraction. Gladwell writes much about how these flashes of insight proved correct. But also, he gives plenty of examples of when the insight does not work well, and is sometimes dead wrong. We all know of couples who hated each other on first meeting, but later felt strongly attracted. He says that good decision making rests on a balance between deliberate and instinctual thinking. And secondly, that too many choices reduces the effectiveness of the process. Speed dating involves many choices, and what might actually be a good match could get lost in the frenzy.

If you are interested in broadening your knowledge of the mysteries of attraction, then “Blink” needs to be on your reading list.


“Who Lies?” from the Elle/MSNBC Survey

“How can I tell if they are lying?” is one of the top questions that I hear from almost every one of my Romance Clients. I’ve written a great article with lots of things to look for that will help you detect lying. If you’d like a copy, email me at and you’ll get my article sent right back to you. The Elle/MSNBC survey that I wrote about in the last entry had some interesting findings on the prevalence of lying on dating sites. Here’s what they found:

Only one in ten women said they were “less than truthful” about their weight or appearance. 72% of men and women said they didn’t lie about appearance at all. However, 20% of the guys admitted to saying they were single when they were not. And at least 29% of the guys said they go online “intending to cheat.”

Here’s a helpful hint from the study author Janet Lever: Men who don’t post photos are twice as likely to be married. When you think about it, that makes good sense, doesn’t it? What if the guy’s wife is cruising around looking, too, and stumbles on his pic?

While the vast majority of men and women online are genuine, credible, and truth-telling, some aren’t. That’s the same as off-line, right? I sure hear of plenty of deceptive, nefarious men and women who meet their prey just about anywhere, including places you’d assume safe, like church. As a matter of fact, if you go to online sites that are associated with a religion (like CatholicMtch.com or ChristianMatchmaker.com or Jdate or LDSPromise, do not assume that you are with people like you and therefore are safe. Crooks looking for victims get on those sites, too. They are well-aware that such sites help people feel safe and drop their guard. Here’s a chilling article about one such person. Note the quotes from her profile about Bible reading.

Safety hint: Print off and save ALL communications that you get from prospective Sweethearts. And review your correspondence for inconsistencies. For more hints, get my article on detecting lying by emailing me at .


Results from the Elle/MSNBC Survey on Online Dating -Finally!

Over a year ago now, I told my readers about an online survey by Elle magazine and MSNBC for adults on Internet dating experiences. I know that at least some of my folks zipped over and participated in the research. Then, both the survey disappeared (it was only up for two weeks) and I couldn’t find anything about the results. So the other day, I was tracking down hyperlinks, and low and behold, came across articles in Elle about the survey. Hooray! I’ll be writing about it here now and in the next few blog entries.

15,246 people participated, of which 3/4 were men. That’s a bit surprising, since the survey was sponsored by a women’s magazine. Average age: Men 38, women 34. According to the survey, both men and women are see positive results from their online dating efforts: 44% of the women and 33% of the men report more dates, more sex, and more lasting love. Interestingly, the survey’s author Janet Lever says that women, particularly those over 40, are having the best luck. More than a quarter of women over 40 are finding a mate through their online dating efforts.

That observation also fits with what I have seen: for older women raised with traditional gender role expectations (women sit and wait for men to make the moves), the level playing field of Internet dating sites is tremendously liberating. Not only can women make the first moves, men seem to appreciate it. Yea all around!


Books for Computer Illiterates

I’ve been writing about how great computers and the Internet are for older folks.  I’d just love to get everyone wired up!  Unfortunately, getting wired does not mean that the individual can actually USE the contraption.  Often, my over-50 clients know enough about cyberspace to check me out online and fire off an email, but not much else.  Once they start Internet dating, the wires can get humming pretty fast, and a lack of skills can make an anxiety-provoking (and exciting) process enough to make you want to tear your hair out.

So I’ve been looking for books that might help.  Here’s the three I currently have come up with:

“The Senior’s Guide to Easy Computing” by Rebecca Sharp Colmer
“Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics” by Michael Miller
“The Senior’s Guide to PC Basics” published by Gateway

“The Senior’s Guide to Easy Computing” is basic, very basic.  It’s all in a question and answer format, one to a page.  You can look up terms in the index and find related answers.  The answers are simple and crystal-clear.  But they are not comprehensive—for instance, last night I opened the book while on the phone with a client who did not know how to send an attachment.  I looked up “Attachments” in the index, got one reference, and turned to the page.  The “answer” tells you how to open an attachment, but then goes on for three paragraphs on why you should not open attachments, and then, nothing on how to send one.  Nothing.  And the book has no pictures, which astounds me in a computer book. How can you give good computer lessons—such a visual medium—with no pictures?

“Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics” is, from the looks of it, quite complete.  For instance, I looked up “Attachments” here too, and the book gave a short, clear description of how to send a file as an attachment.  The directions do assume the reader knows how to browse and find the wanted file.  So I looked up “browsing” and “finding files” with no luck.  Since the directions for sending attachments were on page 225, I’ll have to trust that the reader would have learned about browsing and file-finding already.  I do prefer a book that you do not have to read from beginning to end to understand one small part.  “Absolute Beginner’s” does have pictures and illustrations of what the author is explaining.  The index is pages and pages long, the longest of these three books.  However, the writing is extensive, detailed, and perhaps too verbose for technophobes.

When I got “The Senior’s Guide to PC Basics,” I was so pleased! Lots and lots of pictures, very colorful, large easy-to-read type, and not too wordy.  It’s published by Gateway, the computer maker, and the first part of the book, about the computer hardware, may or may not be helpful for non-Gateway owners.  The rest however may be just what we are looking for.  Unfortunately,this book does not pass the “Attachments” test—I can’t even find attachments listed in the index. But I do think that this book could teach the adult computer-unschooled user the essentials of getting around the desk top and the Internet.  This book does the job without going on and on.  It’s my current top pick.

I’d like to hear if you have suggestions for the technology naive—any resources online or off that you would recommend?


OK, Something Nice about eHarmony. Maybe.

Yesterday, I wrote about the technological hurdle lots of older folks need to jump in order to find love online. Evidently, plenty are doing so: In a story published yesterday in the Miami Herald, Vanessa Petit wrote of Glenn Zimmerly (70) and Dorothy Williams (68) who met on eHarmony in September 2003.

Petit goes on to quote new figures for the growth of the presence of singles 55 and over on Internet dating sites. Match.com attracted 704,000 visitors 55 or older in January 2005, up from16% from January 2004 when the figure was 606,000. eHarmony reports a jump of an astounding 86% over the same time period, from 196,000 to 350,000. Note that the numbers for Match.com are double those of eHarmony, but an 86% growth deserves attention. Imatchup.com reports growth in the 55 and over category of as much as 30%. And remember, this is at a time when growth rates for the online dating industry as a whole have slowed considerably from previous piping hot rates in the past few years. Seniors are driving a good part of the growth that is occurring, it would appear.

What I wonder about is the gender ratios. I know, ho-hum, I go on and on about this, don’t I? See my earlier postings: “I wish I could recommend eHarmony, True.com or PerfectMatch, but I can’t!”, “Gender Ratios and Internet Dating and Relationship Sites” But eHarmony has had ratios that do not favor the ladies, in the 60/40 female to male range. And when men and women get older, the natural ratios get more and more out of wack, as the men die off, and the ones that live tend to go for younger women. Since eHarmony already appeals to women more than men, I suspect that the ratios favor men more and more as the ages go up. The good news again is for guys: whatever your age, if you want the numbers in your favor, head for eHarmony. But ladies, I am not so sure… And eHarmony, if I am wrong, tell me, okay?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Getting Older, Getting Online, and Getting It On

I’ve got romance coaching clients all over the age spectrum, from early 20’s, all the way up to early 70’s. For people who have grown up with computers (those a bit younger than I am, for sure: we didn’t even have pocket calculators when I was in college, can you believe it?), using the Internet for your love life makes perfect sense, since every other part of your life can have computer connections, too. But for older folks without the easy familiarity of computers, technology can get in the way of finding other interested singles for company and even love.

Some years ago, I tried to give my parents a computer so that they could communicate easily with their kids and grand kids. Mom and Dad wanted none of it. No place to put it, they said. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how rude refusing to learn computerand Internet skills can seem? For those of us who live lots of our lives online, we can’t imagine life without easy email communication, and when someone doesn’t have a email address, we almost don’t know what to do. It’s the 21st century equivalent of not having a phone.

After my Dad died, I tried again to get my mother interested, this time showing her all the cute guys who were online looking for a honey. No, still not interested. “Who would want a 75 year old woman?” Even showing her men who clearly were was not enough of an enticement.

Well, Mom showed me, because she found a fella on her own, or more precisely, they found each other. They are getting married on April 2 (she’ll have just turned 81), and yes, I’ll put up a picture to prove it. In a neat twist, her honey George (he’s in his mid-80’s) is computer savvy, and we exchange an occasional email. Mom’s best friend up the street, also in her mid-80’s, bought herself a computer, took a course, and now is online too.

If you are 50, 60, 70, or older, or know someone single in that age category, daring to try computers and/or getting sharp in your keyboard and Internet skills with VASTLY open up life and options. More and more people just like you are daring to master PC’s . You’ll be so glad, once you have done it, too.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Sincere Millionaires Only: Please Apply!

Remember what I wrote just a few days ago in “Internet Dating or a Matchmaker?” about the Millionaire’s Club, a site that charges men between $10,000 and $150,000 for introductions to women? Here’s another one: the 4M Club (the four M’s are Multi Millionaire Match Making). The 4M site is super slick and flashy, worth a peek if you have time for the downloads.

The Seattle-based founder Chris Stelmack says she will accept non-millionaires, though the guy’s income needs to be at least six figures. Non-millionaires have to pay the same fees as millionaires, though—no sliding fees.  Currently, Stelmack says, all her men are real millionaires. Reassuringly, Stemack says she sreens out players and gold diggers: only the serious need apply.

The business model of the 4M Club is slightly different that the Millionaire’s Club: Stelmack charges men from $10,000 to $250,000, and the women are charged $250 “if accepted after photo approval and a lengthy phone interview.” I’ll bet not too many men OR women are turned down. Just a hundred women signing up would be worth $25,000! The Millionaire’s Club owner said she had 25,000 on file! On the website, Stelmack recorded voice enticingly states that she only accepts 5 men a month. Five at the bargain rate of $10,000? $50,000 smackaroos! Get in line, guys! Time’s a-wasting!

I’m in the wrong branch of the business, for sure. But at least what I do doesn’t make my skin crawl.

From Kathryn Lord, Your Romance Coach


Good Morning America, Samantha Daniels, and Suddenly Single

Good Morning America has been doing a series called “Suddenly Single,” and today the topic was starting dating again.  The expert of the day was Samantha Daniels, matchmaker and author of “Matchbook” that I reviewed in an earlier blog posting.  Don’t you just love how they tell you for two hours that what you want to see is coming up next?  Then you watch and watch what you don’t want to see before it finally comes up in the last half hour.

I’ve learned that you can’t depend on morning TV for in-depth coverage of subjects, but Daniels with three mid-life divorced women just didn’t shed much light on the topic.  As I said in my review of “Matchbook,” while the book was a fun read, a weakness was that Daniels had not been married.  Therefore, she certainly has not been divorced, and I don’t recall that her single clients were divorced, either.  So how could she speak with expertise about divorced women starting dating again?  Daniels kept repeating that the women needed to accept and feel okay about their divorced state, and be wary about talking too much about their kids.  Wow.  That really is a big help.

I can think of lots of folks who would have been better choices for this “Suddenly Single” series.  Like me, for instance.  ButI’m really not interested in being a Network TV “expert,” or I would have hired a publicist who got me that kind of gigue, whether it was appropriate or not.  Well, maybe if Charlie Gibson called me personally and begged.  Maybe.

By the way, the last segment was baby animals from the zoo, and the cloud panther kittens made my watching the rest worthwhile. They were so CUTE!


Hear for Yourself: Kathryn Reads “Trying to Change a Junk Yard Guy”

this is an audio post - click to play This audiopost is me reading one of my favorite pieces:  “Trying to Change a Junk Yard Guy.” It’s about guys who are like our Junk Yard kitty TJ. I wrote about TJ first in this blog when I told you about PeriWinkle, his buddy. TJ’s before and after pictures are below. I published “Trying to Change a Junk Yard Guy”  in my enewsletter August 2003 *eMAIL to eMATE* . I like it so much that it is worth a re-visit here. Take a listen ...

TJ After

This is how TJ looks nowadays. He is decidedly not skinny, and he is very clean and tidy. He purrs all the time and is a very happy cat. Posted by Hello


TJ Before

This is poor TJ when he was still a junk yard kitty. It’s a little hard to tell, but he was very skinny, dirty, and smelly. He had not let us touch him yet. Posted by Hello


Russian Brides—and Ukrainian Grooms?

Sometimes I think that on any given day, only three or four interesting ideas are bouncing around the world, and everyone is thinking and writing about those same three or four things. Like when I started writing about True.com. Suddenly, articles everywhere! Yesterday, it was Russian brides. Jane Ganahl wrote a fascinating article called “Turning the tables on male order” for http://www.sfgate.com/ (or maybe she works for the San Francisco Chronicle—it’s hard to tell). Ganahl says that more than 400 Internet sites are devoted to connecting up American men and foreign women, mostly from the former Soviet Union, the Philippines, Colombia, Costa Rica, and China.

Then last night, I get an email through my website from a guy who says he has met a Russian woman who wants to come here and live with him. His question? Is this real or a scam? My answer? Well, it could be either, but beware. There are women all over the world in desperate enough situations to try to marry an American to get here. Any American.

Interesting that eHarmony matches people up to be as similar as possible, and here are matching sites that inherently match people who are massively different. I’d like to see some stats on how well marriages between people of different nationalities, cultures, and languages fair.

Ganahl also included a couple of sites for the ladies: One (http://www.alovinghusband.com/) matches American women with foreign men. Intriguing idea, right? I looked up the site and did a couple of searches. No men at all over 50, and 11 between 40 and 50, every one from the Ukraine. Those guys ought to hook up with the Russian ladies. Not so far to travel for that first coffee date. The other site was http://www.mailorderhusbands.net/—a spoof, but definitely worth the visit.

So “Buyer beware!” about sites offering foreign pairings. Note that the matches come from countries where the financial situations are pretty bad, which would make financial incentives for matching with Americans likely.


More Questions About True.com’s Motives

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has written an interesting aricle about True.com’s being behind attempts to legislate background checks on Internet dating sites. Walters digs deeper and writes about questionable practices by Rapsheets.com and it’s owner ChoicePoint. True.com uses Rapsheets.com to do criminal records checks on True.com clients. Read Walters’ article for more detail.  And see my postings (2/28, 3/1) for more of my observations.


Internet Dating or a Matchmaker? What should you try?

Every once in awhile, one of my clients will ask about using a matchmaker to find a spouse. Since I have had no personal experience with matchmakers, I’ve been watching and reading to see what I could learn. I wrote about matchmaker Samantha Daniels in an earlier blog entry. Dr. Phil had a show on recently featuring women who self-identified as gold diggers. The segment about KT featured Patti Stanger of the Millionaire’s Club:

Dr. Phil introduces Patti Stanger, the founder and CEO of the Millionaire’s Club, an upscale matchmaking service where millionaires pay anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 to meet beautiful, single women. “It goes from the low-end millionaires up to the billionaires that you see in the news and hear about daily,” Patti says about her clientele. “They get married and they get into relationships fairly quickly. They’re marriage-minded men. They want to be married.”

As for the women, she says, “We have about 25,000 women on file and we continue to get new ones every single day. Women just log on, fill out an application, send in professional photos and then we screen them.”

The women list for free. It looks good, ladies, until you find out the pesky gender ratios again: Dr. Phil asked how many active male clients the site had, and as I remember, Stanger finally admitted to 200 or so. 200 guys to 25,000 women??? Guys, if you’ve got the money, got for it. But it doesn’t look too good for the women. Stanger’s website is www.millionairesclub123.com

I got a link this morning to a posting on Ryze.com, a networking site where I am a member. Steve Lewis, a professional matchmaker, wrote about the difficulties of starting a matchmaking business. Now, there’s something you rarely see spelled out, so if you are interested at all, I’d advise that you take a look. His point #9 is:

9. The business model offering women free has worked for many. Theses services usually have only a few male clients that pay 5-50K for a membership. You must be in a large area like NYC, Chicago, LA for this to work.

This seems exactly the model of the Millionaire’s Club. And who knows? Maybe True.com too, which is charging men and not women, evidently (see my last posting). Get lots of women to sign up for free, then the few guys who then pay get their choice of a HUGE pool of ladies. And guess what, ladies? If you are not under 30 and magazine cover material, you don’t stand much of a chance.


I wish I could recommend eHarmony, True.com or PerfectMatch, but I can’t!

Why are the three top sites that potentially have so much to offer so flawed? All three say that they are “relationship sites”—places for serious singles to meet serious partners. Serious means wanting a long-term, committed relationship or marriage. eHarmony has led the way in differentiating “dating sites” from “relationship sites”—Match.com would be a traditional dating site, where you can meet for friendship or casual dating as well as more serious, long term relationships. All three use some kind of “compatibility testing” for matching singles—long sets of questions that each poster fills out, and then the sites’ computers match one with another, using some sort of formula. All sounds good, right? No wonder so many are flocking to join up.

But I’ve got reservations about eHarmony, and I am not alone. Jennifer Hahn writes extensively about eHarmony’s founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren’s evangelist Christian roots in her article “Love Machines” for LA City Beat. I, like Hahn, think there are lots of problems in the site and how they match singles. eHarmony’s largest black mark is that the site will not work with Gays and Lesbians. And it doesn’t take much of a Google search to come up with more fodder. The site also TURNS DOWN one in five applicants: Can you imagine getting this message after you screwed up your courage to sign on in the first place, and then spent several hours filling out the questionnaire?

“Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching system is not suitable for about 20% of potential users, so 1 in 5 people simply would not benefit from our service. We hope that you understand that we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time. “

I’ve written plenty lately about True.com and their questionable practices. Here’s the message you get on their home page:

“Married people will be prosecuted. Because we care, we screen members against public records to check marital status.”

Isn’t that cheery? And for some odd reason, , not women, for posting. That is really strange, since these “relationship sites” tend to attract far more women than men.

That’s PerfectMatch‘s problem (eHarmony’s too) and does PerfectMatch ever have it bad! PerfectMatch is now offering men two months for free, just to get more to sign up!

PerfectMatch’s ratios are now two women for every guy. Well, at least they say so. Getting gender ratios for other dating sites is nearly impossible. I must say, that other than the poor numbers for women, I have no other complaints about PerfectMatch. Pepper Schwartz is their resident expert and designed their compatibility profiling. I’ve known of Pepper Schwartz for years and respected her work, so I am assuming she is doing a good job here, too. But if the guys would only sign up there… Hey, guys, it’s free, for heaven’s sake! And the numbers are great, for you, anyway. Git on over!


Proof that the Romance Coach Meets the Geezer

The Romance Coach meets the Geezer Posted by Hello


Romance Coach Meets the Geezer

Some of you may have noticed a flurry of comments posted the last few days in response to my blog entries (Like under the “Gender Ratios” piece or my rants about True.com). The comments are signed “The Geezer,” but the writer is much more handsome than his handle would suggest. Here’s a picture of the two of us when I took Mark out to dinner in Seattle, August 2003. Mark found my enewsletter about the second time I published it three years ago, and has been a loyal fan and gadfly ever since. He really takes me on when he thinks I am bashing men (MOI? Mais, non!), but then I smack him and he straightens up. He’s a sweetie, and gave me the greatest compliment after dinner: “Drew’s a lucky man.You’re better looking than your pictures.”


VA Legislators “See the Light” on True.com’s Efforts

Two articles came down the wire today about efforts I have been writing about (2/28, 3/1) by True.com to legislate background checks of singles by Internet dating sites. FINALLY I am seeing some clearly written analysis of the issues involved. The Washington Post one was dated 1/31/05, and the other on was published today.

Here’s a quote from the TechWeb article:

“We believe this legislation would save lives and prevent rapes, robberies and assaults,” Herb Vest, chief executive for True.com, said Thursday. “I believe this raises the bar on the industry and it would bring many more single people, currently not using online-dating services, into our industry, once it’s perceived as safe.”

To the rest of the industry, however, True.com is seen as trying to legislate its business model. The site is one of very few, if any, that checks members for criminal records and marital status.

“It’s special-interest legislation whereby you are taking a market differentiator of a particular company, and, through legislation, enforcing it on the rest of us,” said Kristin Kelly, senior director of public relations for Match.com, which is among the largest and oldest online dating services.

Yahooee! Finally, somebody said it!

Take a look at both articles for extended discussions about why background checks are not the answer.



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