Kathryn's Blog

Stats from the NYT

Here are some interesting figures from the NYT article I wrote about in my last posting:

According to Jupiter Research, online personals account for more than $500 million in annual Internet business. “No other industry makes as much money online from monthly fees, not even pornography.”

During the first five years of marriage, couples with the same religious background divorce at a rate of 24%. Divorce rates between mainline Protestants and Catholics jump to 38%, and between a Christian and a Jew, the rate is 42%.

Divorce rates for interracial couples are somewhat higher, as are rates where the woman is more that 4 years older than the man.

The lesson? The more similarities between you and your future spouse, the better your chances of staying married.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


And Now from the NYT…

Right after I finished yesterday’s posting about an earlier article in the Wall Street Journal, up pops yet another treatment of Internet dating in the New York Times.

The story leads with Elizabeth Brereton and Robert Smith who were part of one of the first (if not THE first) experiment in computer matching called Operation Match in 1965. Each received a list of ten possible dates after the data they provided was crunched by an impossibly big computer. They appeared on each other’s list, though never followed through in making contact.

Four years later, Smith went to a mixer for grad students at the University of Chicago, saw the proverbial “woman across a crowded room” and introduced himself. They both immediately knew that they had been paired earlier by Operation Match.

They were married four months later, and are still so.

The article goes on to discuss the comparatively new compatibility testing that dating sites are moving towards, a la eHarmony, PerfectMatch, and now Match.com’s Chemistry. Throwing in some interesting statistics on divorce (more of those in a later posting), the reporter David Leonhardt (and the compatibility matching dating sites) make a good case for matching like with like. Leonhardt quotes Pepper Schwartz, Perfectmatch’s pro behind their matching system: “What this does is try to narrow it down so you spend less time with people who are totally out of the question. We’re just upping your chances.”

If you’ve spent any time on Yahoo! Personals and Match.com sorting out who you’d like to meet from the millions listed, anything that saves you time would be welcome. I spoke to a new Romance Client this week who was lucky enough to get a charter membership to Chemistry. She said that she had met two very interesting guys through Chemistry who she would never have considered otherwise. Big advantage right there: You may be blinded by your own prejudices to very good candidates. See what another blog reader reported in about his experience with Chemistry.

I’m not a huge fan of the compatibility testing sites, but combining one of them with a listing on one of the big major sites (like Match.com or Yahoo! Personals) might serve you quite well.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


If the WSJ Says It…

You know something has made it when you read it in the Wall Street Journal.

On March 1, 2006, the WSJ carried a story about “adult” dating sites. For the uniformed, “adult dating sites” are a code term for matching sites that are blatantly sexual. The site the WSJ focused most on in the article was AdultFriendFinder.com.

According to the article, AdultFriendFinder gets over 10.1 million visitors a month. That’s TWICE the traffic of Match.com and Yahoo! Personals. Well, yikes! But also, thank goodness.

A nasty plague in the more mainstream dating sites like Match and Yahoo has been married folks (mostly men) pretending to be single and luring in the unsuspecting. Hopefully, these folks are going to find out about sites like AdultFriendFinder and cut to the chase, or perhaps more aptly, cut out the chase by going where it’s clear what you are looking for. Unless of course these “married but looking” folks get some kind of kick out of the lying and the luring. Probably there will always be a few.

One factor that is sure to keep the married guys looking on Match and Yahoo and the like is that on AdultFriendFinder, men outnumber women by more that 11 to 1.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Percentages Get Better and Better

A recent indicates that more and more singles are having success with Internet dating. on biz.yahoo.com, 76% of singles who used Internet dating sites found “someone special.” 58% had built an online connection into a relationship that lasted at least several months. Online dating (16% met their last dates online) now beats out every way except friends and family (21%) for meeting prospective partners.

Interestingly, the survey picked up that 82% of women say it is okay for the woman to call a man after the first date, 49% say they never make that call.

I find with my clients that right after the first date is when things either pick up or start dropping off. While it is natural to have mixed feelings so early in the game (you can’t possibly be ready to MARRY yet, for heaven’s sake), it’s important to register strong interest about seeing your date again, unless you already fell a strong “No!” Both men and women are nervous and quick to pick up signals that are not clear. Many would rather fade away than get rejected, so that’s what happens. They fade away.

Fade away prevention: Register your interest clearly. Do not leave a date you’d like to see again without a clear plan for the next contact. Go to the date prepared with a suggestion for another meeting.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


More Good News for the Pre-Boomers

Deborah Carr, a Rutgers sociologist, reported that “Romantic Relationships among the elderly (over 65) are on the rise simply because the Internet has made it easier for older singles to meet.  In the article “Online dating helps many find love at any age” from The Grand Rapids Press, we meet Gloria Bursey Slykhouse (she admits to being over 65) and Harry Borgman (77) who are “keeping company” in such exotic places as Puerto Vallerta, Mexico.  Slykhouse found Borgman’s profile on Yahoo! Personals.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


First Dates at Bookstores?

, meeting at a book store is the second favorite venue for blind dates. Restaurants are at the top. Since many bookstores now have cafes attached, you get to have both a coffee date as well as plenty to talk about on the book shelves.

Bookstores are also good places to meet other singles. Try monitoring the stacks near titles or topics that interest you.

Since the actual BUYING of books is moving more and more to the web, bookstores are becoming more recreational. I don’t know about you, but I love waundering around in a good bookstore, picking up anything that interests me, and then deciding what to buy over a latte in the coffee shop. I get most of my good dating books that way, by browsing.

And we all need to take care to patronize (ie spend money at) businesses that we want to continue to exist. Don’t take it for granted that we will always have great bricks and mortar bookstores—or innovative dating sites—if you aren’t willing to pay for them.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Using Dating Sites for Social Networking

If you are moving, traveling, or even if you are not, it’s easy to use Internet dating sites as a way of meeting people where you are going or living.

Moving or thinking about it? Plug in the zip code of where you are going and search for singles there. Especially if you are planning a trip soon, this could be a great way to meet local who chould show you around, give advice, and maybe even take you out to dinner.

As any experienced online dater knows, you may meet many perfectly nice people who could make good friends, even if they are not Mr. or Ms. Right. Susan Gladstone from Miami reported in an article on detnews.com that after she had back surgery recently, she got half a dozen emails from men she’d met online, checking on how she was doing.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Bad First Dates: Deadbeats Beware

Just as good folks are finding it easier to locate each other via the Net and dating sites, and crooks are finding ingenious ways to use the technology for nefarious activities, nice people are figuring out how to use the Internet to trap the baddies.

A dead beat dad was located and arrested through his online dating action. Brian Lee Todd owed a pile of money in child support and was on the run. Police heard that he was active on a dating site. A female detective posted a profile, communicated with Todd, and they arranged to meet.

The first time, Todd got in an accident on the way to the date, wrecking his 1990 Cadillac. His driver’s license was suspended, so he wasn’t even driving legally. Right after getting out of the hospital, he got in touch with the detective again and set up another date.

Talk about rough first dates: he recognized her, started running, but got caught and arrested.
Lesson: Just because typing away and sending missives into cyberspace feels private, it’s not. Be careful what you write. And it pays to be honest. People can find out if you are not.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Not Quite Internet Dating, But Hey!

(of the popular “You’re Beautiful” fame) confesses an ebay addiction that even has included putting his sister up for sale. It’s not as tacky as it sounds.

Blunt’s sister needed to get to Ireland for a funeral and none of the usual ways were working. So Blunt wrote an ebay ad saying “Damsel in distress, needs to get to Southern Ireland. What will you get out of it as bidder? You’ll just get to be a knight in shining armor.” Lots of folks jumped into the bidding, and the guy who won had a helicopter. So she got to the funeral…and started dating the knight. 18 months later, they are living together.

I guess it helps if you have a famous brother, but it is not clear the bidders knew that.
If a single had a particularly good set of attributes to offer, maybe ebay is the way to go. At least it might help pay for the wedding.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Me and The Geez Go At It Again

My loyal chum, reader, and frequent critic The Geezer sent me another volley this week on the subject of “Who pays for dates?” Here’s the link to the article that The Geez sent, and a link to the article referred to there. I’ve written about the etiquette of who pays before, a number of times, actually, and even run workshops on the issue. Seems like this is the top place that the pre-feminists, feminists, post-feminists, and all sorts of other varieties that men and women fall into fight out their differences.

The Geez (and his favorite author Glenn Sachs) argue that men should not be expected to pay on dates. Frankly, I agree. But whether or not they SHOULD, men ARE expected to pay and many fine judgments occur if they do or don’t, or have any hesitation about offering when the check comes.

By the same token, men watch women closely, too, and will form opinions about their date’s character, based on the woman’s assertiveness (or lack of it) around money issues.

The best idea for how to handle this awkwardness that takes care of the matter in the most proactive way comes from my money coach friend Lynn Hornyak: Lynn suggests anticipating the dilemma by bringing it up before the check arrives—we all know the check is coming sooner or later.

I can’t imagine a guy who would not be impressed by a woman saying “The check should be arriving soon. How would you like to handle it?” This gives a guy warning that he has a date who is willing to negotiate around financial issues. This also would be an opportunity for the man to make a generous offer (much appreciated by women) to pay this time, and then set a precedent for future dates by saying “Next time, you can treat me,” or “Next time, we’ll split the bill.” Even if the man pays, a woman offering to leave the tip would give a positive message.

Remember, men and women, you are both watching the other, and however you handle situations where money is exchanged will be noticed by your partner and reflected in his/her assessment of you.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Hooking Up for the Long Term

Let’s hope that “Hook-up” here is not just for sex:

HOOK-UP HOT SPOTS, according to theage.com.au

Top three hook-up hot spots for women:

Lisdoonvarna, Ireland
The Irish have a long tradition of matchmaking, and in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, the annual September Matchmaking Festival attracts 100,000 international visitors. A healthy 75 per cent are men, and the organisers claim 100 weddings result each year from their efforts.

Anchorage, Alaska
This remote city has so many single men per woman it’s known as “Manchorage”. It’s cold, but you’ll have an extensive choice of human hot-water bottles.

Silicon Valley, USAIn this Californian tech city, single men outnumber single women by almost 5500. And they’re not all geeks. This is one of the world’s most educated and wealthy bachelor populations.

Top three hook-up hot spots for men:

Anywhere in Italy
Surprised? Consider the logic; thanks to all those movies and books about lonely women finding love with Tuscan hunks, Italy now attracts one-third more female single tourists than male. Canny blokes should head there and snap up the surplus.

St Croix, Virgin Islands, Caribbean
With a 54 per cent resident (and stunning) female population as well as thousands of wealthy bachelorettes dropping in each year, a red-blooded male can’t avoid action here.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Club Dance Holidays specialises in breaks with dance lessons in Latin American locations. The tango trips to Buenos Aires are considered the sultriest, with 70 per cent of participants single and women outnumbering men.

Always trying to keep my readers informed.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


How Not To Break Up

Eeeuw! Did you know that restauranteurs prepare for nasty scenes that occur when couples break up over dinner? So common is the phenomenon that some places have code phrases like “Code Red” or “Code White” to signal when the wine has gotten tossed in the face of the bearer of the bad news.

While it is standard advice to Internet daters to meet—and stay—in a public place on the first date for safety’s sake, picking a meal at a restaurant to say you want to break up seems particularly nasty.

Likely, safety (or protection from bad behavior) is again the reason. But what a mean trick, to deliver such a potentially devasting blow in a fully public place, where the receiver (probably surprised) has to struggle to maintain some emotional control. Or relinquish control and face the embarrassment of a horrid scene.

Please, if you are going to say “No” to anyone you have seen more than a couple of times, do it in a place where you will be safe, but where they can express their distress without public embarrassment. Picking an venue as public as a restaurant seems cowardly and mean.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


British Singles are Leading the Way Online

My, things have come a long ways since I first heard of Match.com and this thing called Internet dating, way back in 1997. And those singles in Great Britain seem to be taking to finding their mates in cyberspace like a good cup of tea. Maybe even better than us…

On January 31, an article in the Mirror (a UK company that bills itself as “The Best Newspaper on the Web”) listed tips for finding a partner. Look at what tops the list, and what author Flic Everett say about it:


THIS method of finding a partner offers the highest chance of success.

There are hundreds of good websites featuring literally millions of profiles - try www.mirror.co.uk/dating, where you can specify how near you’d like your matches to live, alongside age, interests and appearance. Online dating has a high success rate because you can check out a photo first and decide how much information to reveal - or not.

BEST FOR: Busy people looking for long-term love, because it offers a huge number of potential partners and allows you to communicate before you actually meet.

Even more interesting is the “Don’t try” list:

NIGHTCLUBS The people you meet will be drunk and on the pull.

YOUR MUM Mother does not know best when it comes to dating - and she’s still going on about that lovely boy/girl you dumped when you were 14.

THE CINEMA How are you going to get chatting in the middle of a film? If you like movies, join a film club to meet a partner.

BLIND DATES You’ll only be insulted by what your friends consider suitable date material.

WORK Although most Brits meet their partners at work, it’s not easy - because if you split up, there’s no place to hide.

I saw recently that more than 60% of British singles are looking for love online. That’s astonishing! I wonder if it has anything to do with how small the country is geographically? Searching all of British singles for possible mates would not pose as difficult a problem as it does here. The country is so small that even if your Sweetheart were at the opposite end of the country. likely you could get there in a day’s drive. Or an easy train ride.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Getting to the Bottom Line

I love it. Talk about nitty-gritty:

Leave it to the Wall Street Journal to get to the meat of the matter. Sarah Rubenstein writes that health insurance is becoming a hot commodity in the search for love. Folks are starting to ask for partners who “have health insurance and use it.”

Here’s why:

1. Having health insurance is an asset that signals “they are serious, professional and grounded.”
2. The lister may be needing health insurance for themselves and are looking for a mate who can provide it.

3. Health insurance usually comes along with a good job.

Want some ideas on how to integrate insurance benefits into your profile essay? Take a look at Rubenstien’s article.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Cheap or Rude?  The Numbers Game

From a reader and loyal fan:

So, Kathryn, I decided that my numbers were a bit lower than one positive response out of seven mails sent.  In the morning, two days ago, I sent out 16 emails that were long enough to elicit a response, by showing some interest, and demonstrating that I actually READ the profile, instead of just looking at the pictures.

Results, 48 hours later were one nice note from a hot southern belle who just moved up here, and not one single “go away” response.

What the h-e-double-hockeysticks is wrong with wimmin’ that they don’t even send a simple “no thanks”?  You only have to click a button, no effort required.  Are there that many rude folks in the world, or are they all non-payers?

If non-payers, why do they sign on each day?

Too weird.

Good question, my friend. Courtesy doesn’t take much time and costs nothing. What you know is that they are cheap or rude.  Or both.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Costs of Love

No doubt about it, love costs money. And I don’t mean the kind you buy by the hour.

A Yahoo! Personals survey last year found that men pay between $25 and $100 on a date, while most women said they paid less than $50. I doubt that less than $50 for women includes the hair, the make-up, and the new clothes.

A survey by the National Retail Association found that men average $135.67 for Valentine’s Day presents and dinner, and women spend $68.64.

It surprises me constantly that singles wanting a partner say they can’t afford the smallest expenditures that would help them find one.
Everyone pays when by far the biggest percentage of those listed on Internet dating sites are not paid members. That means a minority of those posted are funding the whole thing. If everyone paid, prices could go down and services go up.

If you’d like to find a partner and don’t feel that you can afford to pay for services that will help you find one, maybe that’s the first problem you ought to take on.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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