Kathryn's Blog

We Love Love Stories, Febraury #2

February is a great month for finding stories about couples who met on the Net. Here’s a summary of the ones I have seen lately:

From “Dating Web sites now attracting mainstream singles”: L. Dean Hendrix (50) and Sherri Moran met online and have been married almost two years.

David Smith wrote “We are the quintessential love story” about Tom Blue and Jay Shippole who married this Valentine’s Day.

In a Rapid City Journal article, Mary Garrigan wrote about newlyweds Steven and Cheryl Smart who met on eHarmony in July 2004. eHarmony estimates 16,630 marriages of eHarmony matches couples inbetween September 2004 through August 2005.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Men Looking for Much Younger Women?

According to Christopher Palmeri’s article “Must Love Wing Tips,” Match.com says that men do indeed seek younger women: typcially 13 years younger. But at eHarmony (where 25% of men over 55 want women under 40), Dr. Neil Clark Warren often finds himself in the awkward position of explaining to these guys that the younger women just aren’t interested. “I’ve had men ask: ‘Do they know what I’m worth?” Warren says.

I guess these guys are aware that they are making a deal, they just don’t know the price yet.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


How Thin Can You Slice That Hair?

Boy meets girl, gets phone number. Girl waits by phone. Boy finally calls and a date is made.

That is horse and buggy days, folks. There are now so many ways to negotiate that first set of moves that it will boggle your mind.

There’s email and text-messaging, instant messaging and blackberries. And each one lessens the degree of risk that walking up and saying “hi” or making that first phone call elicits.

Which in many ways is good, since lower risk would tend to encourage more overtures.

On the other hand, the easier and more casual the “Let’s get together” messages become, the less importance the getting together actually seems. Remember when people got dressed up to go to church or fly in an airplane? Now folks go practically in their pyjamas. And wear pyjamas on dates, as well. If you ever tune in to soap operas, you’ll notice that the characters now are either naked or dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns. That’s how far they have to go to denote special.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Ben’s Report From the Field

A reader sent in this report on his experience with Chemistry.com, Match.com’s answer to the profile matching that eHarmony and PerfectMatch do.  Also, here’s a link to blog entries of other folks who are trying out Chemistry for the first time.  Anyone else out there wanting to chime in on Chemistry?  Let’s hear some commments!

Hi Kathryn,
I hope that things are well with you at your new place.

I thought that you might appreciate a brief report on my experiences with Chemistry.com. They gave me a free lifetime subscription, as long as I keep my Match subscription.

So far, it’s okay. I like the structured nature of the service. I basically just log on, check the 5 matches that they send me, and give a yea/nay. When a prospective match occurs, there’s a survey and then a short answers to survey questions before going onto the email stage. I’m pretty sure it’s similar to how Eharmony does it. For me, structured activity is more activity.

On Match.com, it’s easy to just log on every now and then, not doing anything further (what I’m doing right now).

However, I cannot shake the impression that they are just sending me random people, in spite of the personality test, telling me that they are compatible with me, just to see if anything sticks.

I also think that not very many people are signed up with Chemistry. At the beginning, The women I said “yea” to would say “nay” pretty quickly, and they would drop off my list within a few days. Now, there are people who haven’t responded in 15+ days. This might indicate that they aren’t actual or active members.

I also keep wondering whether they are just sending regular Match.com people to me. Today, something new happened. Among my matches were two that did not have compatibility information. Instead, they had text… “Chemistry has selected **** as a match for you based
on the profile information we have received at this point. You can see how you match at this stage in the chart below. When **** completes her entire Chemistry Profile, you’ll be able to learn more about her. “**** is scheduled to complete her profile in the next stage of the process. If you see potential at this point, indicate you are interested to move her into your Active Matches. Then continue along the guided communication process to see if there’s chemistry. Good luck!

… which seems to indicate that this woman hasn’t actually signed up with Chemistry (since completing the personality test is the first thing you have to do when you sign up). Instead, what they sent me was the usual Match.com “do we match” chart.

Regarding the personality test and matching itself, Iam not especially impressed with it. It seems a bit bogus. Chemistry doesn’t seem to be promoting the anthropologist that they originally had when the service was launched.

I’m not sure what Match’s long-term strategy is for Chemistry. With the Dr. Phil thing, they seem to begoing in two different directions.

Please let me know if you have any questions about howChemistry works.



Dating and Technology Primer

Okay, I admit it. I am still working on mastering my computer. I have only really used three out of the six technologies listed below. But for your education, here is the latest with the romantic usages.

Mark de la Viña wrote this interesting piece that appeared in the Mercury News on January 29:

Technology in dating: a users manual

BEST USE: Making that initial contact, establishing a rapport before moving onto more immediate forms of communication, such as instant messaging or the phone.
ADVANTAGES: A casual way get to know that potential squeeze. Less intrusive and more secure than communicating via phone.
DISADVANTAGES: As the first form of long-term contact, enables unscrupulous suitors to conceal more about themselves than they could face-to-face. Possible lag time between sending and receiving answer.

Text messaging
BEST USE: Confirming a meeting, sending a quick verbal acknowledgment or flirting with someone across a bar.
ADVANTAGES: Short can be sweet; allows a suitor to craft a message, reducing the risk of a foot in the mouth.
DISADVANTAGES: Minimal information exchanged; sore thumbs.

Instant messaging/ online messenger
BEST USE: Moving beyond e-mailing before a phone conversation seems comfortable.
ADVANTAGES: Getting a better sense of a someone’s personality than with text messaging.
DISADVANTAGES: Having to endure bad grammar and entire text written in upper case.

Palmtop (Treo, BlackBerry, etc.)
BEST USE: Sending and receiving e-mail from remote locations.
ADVANTAGES: Ability to reply to e-mail promptly; always wired.
DISADVANTAGES: You’re always wired, so delays and no responses are harder to excuse.

Cell phone
BEST USE: Stepping up toward an actual date.
ADVANTAGES: Accessibility.
DISADVANTAGES: Accessibility.

BEST USE: Letting someone know you are really interested.
ADVANTAGES: Privacy; no roaming charges, comfort of home.
DISADVANTAGES: Potentially intrusive; they have your home phone number!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Think Valentine’s Day is Burdensome?

If you writhe under the pressure of getting just the right Valentine’s Day gift or card, be glad you aren’t living in South Korea. There, merchants have Seen the Light of money-making possibilities in holidays devoted to love and have come up with about 20 per year.

Here are just a few:

January 14 is Diary Day, when lovers are encouraged to buy calendars and mark all their special days.

February 14 is—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. Only women buy men chocolate.

March 14 is White Day. Now the guys buy candies for the ladies.

April 14 is Black Day. This is the love holiday for singles, who eat black food that day.

Got the picture? Be glad that February 14th occurs only once a year.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Love Those Love Stories: February Version

Here are two lovely stories out of Bozeman, Montana, for heaven’s sake! Dan and Carolyn Hopper met on ChristianScienceSingles.com, he living in Washington state, she in Montana. They are now living in Bozeman, happily married.

Marcia and David Crowell met online in 2002. But talk about long-distance relationships! Marcia (who contacted David first) was living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, while David was in Bozeman. It was only a couple of months after their first face to face meeting in Brazil before David proposed. “It was love at first sight,” says David.

And here are two more, this time in Plesanton, California. Vina (60) and Gary (63) Dugan met on eHarmony and married just a few months later. Marilyn Rogers (62) and a grandma had over 500 guys get in touch before she started steadily dating Peir Delfrate.

This one is a long-distance affair: Amy Shorter and John Whitaker were separated by 670 and 13 years (he was 35 and she was 22). And Ian Parker and Michelle Joseph have an even bigger age difference—17 years. But both couples met online (Amy and John in a chat room for military history, Ian and Michelle on Friends Reunited Dating. John and Amy are already married, and Ian and Michelle have a wedding date of April 29, 2006 - are year to the date from when they met.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


My Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

Since I am a Romance Coach specializing in helping singles find partners using Internet dating sites, I read with interest Vanessa Juarez’s articlewww.findlovehere.com” in the February 20th issue.

The first half of the article is essentially correct, but falters in the second half when Juarez starts talking about specific dating sites. First off, folks 50 and over, divorced or not, find the best and most choices on the largest Internet dating sites, Match.com (where I met my husband in 1998) and Yahoo! Personals. Smaller sites have correspondingly smaller numbers.

What Juarez did not mention is that sites like PerfectMatch and eHarmony (which have built-in a more passive role for singles—the web site does the matching—and therefore appeal to women) have very skewed gender ratios that do not favor women. PerfectMatch openly courts men, enticing them with 2:1 male to female ratios. That would include all age ranges, so likely the older women get (when they outnumber men anyway), the worse the ratios.

Most of my clients are women over 40, and I NEVER suggest either eHarmony or PerfectMatch for these because of those bad numbers. All have gone to either Match.com or Yahoo! Personals or both and been pleased and astounded at the large numbers of quality men just waiting to hear from them. Internet dating is in large part a numbers game, and a single is best served by going to the sites where the numbers are in his or her favor— large numbers of singles in gender ratios that favor the individual.

Best, Kathryn Lord


Your Romance Coach on the Front Page!!!

Well, of Section B in the Tallahassee Democrat today: Take a look! Thanks, Jeff Burlew for that nice article. And as a result, before I was even up this morning, the phone rang from a local DJ, John Dawson or the “John and Tammy Show” on Star Radio 98.9 here in Tallahassee. So without even coffee or a shower, I was on the air for 1.5 hours! We had so much fun that we are talking about a regular appearance. All RIGHT! Thanks, Tallahassee Democrat and Star Radio!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Ghad!  Terrible advice!

I just read the following letter and answer in an advice column by Dr. Erika Schwartz in the Boston Herald:

Q. I am a 45-year-old widow who has started dating again after 10 years of raising four children alone. I am embarrassed to say, I desperately want to meet a good man but I won’t use the Internet dating sites. Is there hope for me, or should I just give up?
- K.P., Brockton
A. As long as we are alive there is hope. You successfully raised a large brood; why would you doubt your ability to meet the right man now that you have experience and wisdom? Join a church or synagogue, book club, social club, charity or adult-education class, anything that piques your interest. I am confident the right man will find you. Just keep your eyes open and enjoy the process.

What a sad letter and what aninadequatee answer! First off, what’s embarrassing about wanting to meet a good man? And hasn’t this woman been listening to what’s been happening the last few years as far as Internet dating is concerned? It’s mainstream, for heaven’s sake! And dating sites provide the very best way to meet more singles than you could ever meet in any other way combined.

The good doctor gives all the old saw advice about joining religious groups, clubs, charities, most of which are dominated by women. Then says the right man will find her. Aaaahhh! 45 year old women are not Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. It is highly unlikely that some man is going to find this poor lady with out some effort on her part.

And now the “desperate” part: Nothing is more unattractive than desperation. And desperation clouds good judgmentt. I can’t think of a better cure for desperation than getting on a good online dating site like Yahoo! Personals or Match.com and seeing how many guys are as interested in finding a mate as you are. Instant relief.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Desperate Bachelorette—Eeuw!

I knew that there was a good reason why I haven’t watched the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, beyond the fact that they are embarrassingly shallow. Evidently in the latest go-around in Paris, Dr. Travis Stork (Can you believe that name?) is the picker, and Dr. Allie G was one of the 25 pickee’s. Dr. Allie, 33, in a snatched semi-private moment with Dr. Travis announced that she was entering “the reproductive phase of my life.” Bomb. Dr. Allie gets dumped from the show.

Then she confronts Dr. T and demanded to know if it was her breasts or fanny (too small or too big, respectively). Dr. T said he was ready to reproduce.


But, as the article states, not the best things to say on a first date.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Long Distance Romance? Talk About a DEAL!

WOW! I just read about this great new website Site59.com. Talk about a service for long-distance romances! Whew!

Here’s what it does: It’s like Travelocity (which is going to add a similar feature soon), in that you put in the city you are leaving from and where you would like to go, and then it searches and gives you options. BUT… you can do arrangements for up to four people in two different places, and the trips are short notice! Two weeks or less.

Here’s what happened when I tried it out:

I tried Tallahassee, where I am, and Jackson, Mississippi, the closest airport for Drew. And I picked the weekend before Valentine’s Day. Both our flights (coordinated so that we would arrive and leave Boston about the same time), plus the costs of 3 nights in a nice Boston hotel (Four Points by Sheraton), for $739.10. Total. We could add a car for $87 more. But nobody wants a car in Boston. So we could do a romantic weekend for $370 each. AND...the site automatically calculates how much time you would have together: For the trip I planned, 2 days, 19 hours, and 31 minutes.

Almost makes me want to start dating again.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


What Are Online Daters Looking For?

Cahterine Holahan recently wrote an article for NorthJersey.com on the motivations of online daters. In the true “If it bleeds, it leads” tradition, Holahan led with the Nielson?NetRatings survey stats that 30% of men and only 8% of women are using online dating sites to find a “No strings” fling. Okay, so what’s news about that?

Then buried in the article are more optimistic numbers:42% of women and 46% of men on Internet dating sites are looking for long-term relationships. Now why were those numbers buried? Because they are boring! At least as far as grabbing eyes is concerned.

But I don’t think that 42% and 46% are boring at all! Those figures include ages 21 or so all the way up. You’d expect younger men and women to be more casual in what they were looking for. I’ll lay money that the older the individual, the more serious their intent. Frankly, it’s all good news, as far as I am concerned.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


PerfectMatch.com and Kentucky Fried Chicken???

Okay, first Match.com paired up with Dr. Phil, and then Yahoo! Personals got hitched with Starbucks. But get this one: PerfectMatch.com and Kentucky Fried Chicken are talking romance.

While the survey that the two cooperated on generated some interesting numbers ("More than 66 percent of respondents opted for the crispy chicken as an aphrodisiac they might actually like to eat, compared to oysters and other allegedly romantic fare. “) it’s hard for me to believe that any woman would be thrilled by a bucket of chicken and a video for a Valentine’s day treat.

This had got to be the oddest pairing I have heard of. Colonel Sanders is kind of cute, but he is dead, you know. Probably his cholesterol was out of sight.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Pentagon Makes Some Sense

Drew works as a research biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, and through him, I hear more military shorthand that I need to. There’s ERDC, SWWRP, and CHL, just to name a few. Can’t they call a program by it’s real name? I mean, really! Who’s supposed to remember all that alphabet stuff anyway?

But here are some initials that make more sense: “F. A. C. E. S.” (family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships, and skills that the individual brings to the relationship) and R. A. M. chart (Relationship Attachment Model). Army chaplains are being trained to use these tools to teach military men and women how to pick a good partner. The program is called, appropriately enough, “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk.”

“F. A. C. E. S.” teaches individuals to study a potential partner’s family background, their attitudes towards life and marriage, the compatibility of the couple, the experiences they have had in previous relationships, and what skills they bring to the union. Makes perfect sense to me. Just like your mother would tell you to do, and then some.

The R. A. M. chart goes further: It suggests “Don’t let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or level of knowledge of the other person.” Is that sane advice or what?

Finally, something that is useful to us all, and from the Pentagon, no less. Well, actually not: The program comes from Dr. John Van Epp. His website is nojerks.com. Hey, if the idea is a good one, use it, huh? Yea, Army!

From Your Romance Coach, Katharine Lord


Maybe The Geeze Is Right?  True.com on the Spot

Here’s a press release that just got posted which backs up what The Geeze wrote to me about a couple of days ago: According to Doug Glazebrook of www.cupidsreviews.com, a number of the larger dating sites seem to be doing some phishing. Take a look at what Glazebrook found out with a little sleuthing around. True.com was among the apparent deceptors. Yahoo! Personals and Match.com came up clean.

I’ve written about True.com before, not about phishing, but about other questionable marketing practices. Looks like what The Geeze described is just what Glazebrook found too.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Chemistry, Branjolina, and Lasting Relationships

We all have to stand in line at the grocery store once in awhile, and if so, you can’t have NOT seen the tabloids screaming about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I mean really, haven’t we got better things to think about? Like war, disease, and nuclear bombs? Well, maybe curiosity about Branjolina is a welcome distraction. Though the couple seems pretty boring to me.

Which leads to sex appeal and chemistry. Those two seem to have it, and everybody would like to have it, too. Certainly “Chemistry” is what every single who is doing online dating seems to want. Match.com even has its own url devoted to Chemistry. For sure, at least a little is nice.

But think about it: If chemistry was the most important factor in relationship success, Hollywood couples would have the longest lasting relationships in the world. And if so, what would the National Inquirer do for stories? Real news, maybe?

What folks call chemistry is a biological phenomenon designed to get individuals over their fears and obstacles so that they can have sex—lots of it—and reproduce. It usually lasts between six months and two years. Then, biologically, the needs of baby and family take over to keep the couple together. If you are lucky, your lust has snagged someone who also is of good character. You know what happens if you are unlucky.

In the heat of the moment, try to keep in mind that looks (and sex appeal) fade. Good character does not. Lust is not a good predictor of character. Try to keep your reasoning and logical brain involved in the process.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


News from the Trenches

My loyal correspondent “The Geezer” sent the following report from the dating front lines:

Hi Kathryn--

Hope your new digs are fitting you well.

I signed up for a 5 day freebie, knowing that wimmin’ attracted to True.com would not be sufficiently risk takers for me, and would be overly cautious.

So, I went to cancel and got an offer for a month free.  You can’t cancel on line, you have to talk to Mr. high pressure.

So, I told him no is no, and behold, the next day I start getting “thanks for winking at me” emails.

From wimmin’ with NO picture.

First, I do not wink. It is cheap, tawdry, and suggests those looking for low hanging fruit, which may be ok if ya just wanna gits laid, but not my style.

Second, I do not have ANY communication with wimmin’ who don’t show the goods, by posting a pix.  Any woman who knows so little of men as to not know they are VISUAL does not warrant my time.  There is someone for anyone, so it ain’t about being ugly.

So, where does this faux activity come from????

I smell a rat.


BTW, The Geezer is not as ancient as the name implies, nor is he really as cranky.  Thanks, Geez.  He’s actually kind of cute.  Take a look.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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