Kathryn's Blog

Match.com Makes News:Bits

1.  Match.com is changing its look —and from appearances, the kind of singles it is trying to recruit.  Style-wise, the site has gone black and white, with a little crisp nave blue, and added the cute motto “It’s okay to look!”  And they have also added a stylist to help with advice for profiles and presentation.  (Although that guy Jay Manuel looks very weird.  Is he made out of plastic?)  Looks to me like they are aiming at a higher end market.  The site now makes regular sites like Yahoo! Personals and especially true.com look pretty cheesy.  , for sure, to $34.95 for a month, $16.99 each if you sign up for six.  Still a bargain, when you think that even at full price, that’s just a little over a dollar a day for access to millions of singles.

2.  Then, in a bow to just how famous Match.com has become, The Washington Post published a piece on 1/28/2007 that is basically an angry rant about the plight of single women by an anonymous woman in her 30’s.  It’s sort of amazing that the Post would even publish an anonymous piece, let alone one that blames Match.com and other dating sites for her ills.

However, like most rants, there are grains of truth.  Granted, men (and women) have gotten spoiled by the seeming plethora of “hotties” of both genders.  Never mind that these folks practically never return emails.  Anonymous goes on to list her demands for dignity and respect, for all single women to to start “dignified dating behavior.”  Some of the list makes sense, like honesty, keeping in shape and not dressing provocatively.  But just as her anger reduces the effect of her message, some of her guidelines negate the rest.  Like “If you don’t receive flowers by the third date, dump him.”  Gosh.

Remember, the Internet and dating sites like Match.com are the medium, like a telephone.  Phones changed people’s lives, too.  We are in the middle of a big change period for dating and mating.  It feels like with Internet dating going mainstream (out of the shadows), we are now in a bit of the opposite extreme, of people going sort of wild with expectations, and then having massive disappointment.

3.  Then, practically on the same day as the Post piece (1/29/2007), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about Match.com and baby boomers.  Match. now has the largest number of paid subscribers among U. S. dating sites.  Match.com’s subscribers (paid members) now number 1.3 million, up by 1/3 over the past two years.  How? Match has been reaching out to singles over 50 and divorcees, pitching itself as a destination for mainstream daters who want serious relationships.  Yowzah!  Is that what we want to hear or what???

Here’s more:

At Match, 23 percent of subscribers are over 50, more than double the number two years ago. Yahoo Personals has seen double-digit growth in the number of users over 50 in the past two years, thanks in part to a new service that provides extra control, privacy, and security. EHarmony’s fastest-growing age group last year was the over-50 segment.

Here’s something you rarely see: the number of paid subscribers to Match.com (1.3 million) and the number of “registered users” (15 million—total of PAID and UNPAID users), in the same article.  These figures are rarely paired together, because of what I call “Online Dating’s Dirty Little Secret”—by far the largest percentage of folks with their profiles on dating sites are unpaid, and therefore not able to answer your email without paying up first.  That’s more that 11 to 1, paid to unpaid, on Match.com.  That means for every 11+ first emails you send out, you should only expect to get 1 back!  Why is this so?  Read my earlier posting to find out.

Here’s a bit that I found interesting but confusing:

The site is also branching out to daters desiring privacy, like executives or teachers reluctant to post their pictures online where subordinates or students may find them. It has introduced Chemistry.com, a premium service that shows a subscriber’s profile only to those candidates deemed suitable by a personality test developed by an anthropologist.

I’ve had a number of clients who are professionals in their community and really worry that their clients will see and recognize them.  Some way for them to take advantage of online dating and protect their privacy would be great, but I don’t think Chemistry.com is going to do it.  Chemistry.com has dud written all over it.  The best part of Chemistry.com is it’s name.  I have heard no good buzz at all.  A commentator on Mark Brooks’ Online Personal Watch listed fiascos for 2007, and Chemistry.com is fifth on this list.

I love Match.com.  It’s where I met my Sweetie Drew in 1998.  But it’s not perfect.  And worst of all, it ignores ME!  A successful Romance Coach who met her now-husband right there!  The epitomy of dumbness, wouldn’t you think?  Now, Yahoo! Personals knows a good thing when they see it.  I got RECRUITED to write for Yahoo! Personals.  Wake up, Match,com!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Best Rules are to Forget Them

From my mailbag:

Ok Kathryn, I’m coming to you for more advice, if you don’t mind. 

I can’t find anything on-line that really answers this.  I have two problems: 

One, the guy that I initiated the contact with first—We had two dates and I thought we really hit it off well.  The second date he mentioned a restaurant he wanted to take me to the next week.  I never heard another word.  Even though I e-mailed him first, at that point I was waiting for him to make the moves—right?  Now I’m wondering if I should have continued to e-mail him to keep it going, and not wait for him.  Is there any possibility that by not e-mailing him, that he thinks I wasn’t interested?  Or is this just what it looks like, that he changed his mind and is not “that into me”?  I guess since I made the first move, it’s hard to justify reverting to the old-fashioned “let him chase me” rules.  What is the rule these days? 

Second problem:  Went for a first meet.  I’m not interested.  But he went so overboard about how successful this date was and on and on that I felt put on the spot.  And you know how bad I am about saying my true thoughts!!  So I guess I’ve got a second date.  Should I just e-mail him and end it?  How do you gracefully say you’re not compatible? 

Thanks so much for any advice you can give.  Roberta

Hey Robin Roberta – oh, those {“who chases who” rules, and how to say “No.”  Here’s what I say:

Guy #1:  You were on the right track in that you made the first move.  You are much more likely to get what you want when you do the picking.  Yea.  I do not think it is a good idea for women to hang back at any point, with the idea that guys want to chase, if indeed the lady is interested.  I say, “If something is important for you, do not give the control away to someone else.” 

Of course, you can’t MAKE him like you, but you can make sure that he knows you are interested and would like to see him again.  At the very least, you should follow up a successful date with an email saying how much you enjoyed yourself and how you are looking forward to seeing him again.  That is a MINIMAL response.  I strongly suggest going beyond that.  Go on a date with an idea about what to do next, if you like the guy.  I call it “Building a bridge.”  If you know that you want to see him again, start the ball rolling with “There’s a great movie opening in town next week that I want to see.  Would you like to go?”  Or something like that.

He will either say yes or no, or will act that out (saying yes but canceling) so that then you know rather than having to guess.  Guys get scared too, and back off for the slightest reasons.  Make sure it is not because he does not know if you are interested.

Guy #2:  Opposite side of the same problem.  Nobody wants to be the recipient of a pity date.  If you don’t want to indicate a “no” during a first date, say you want to think about it, then email a clearly worded “I don’t see a match here” statement, and then don’t back off. 

I have yet to hear ONE guy say they do not like it if women take the lead.  They LOVE it.  Resist the game playing that “The Rules” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” have spawned.”

Keep me posted!  K


I’m on Online-Dating-Confessions…

I just never know where I am going to turn up.  I just got an email that noted I was on Online-Dating-Confessions scroll down to see me—not as juicy as it sounds, just recorded interviews with me and other online dating folks.  According to the copy here, I’m pretty good. 


Match and paid/unpaid

Here’s a posting I ran across on the net about the paid/unpaid dilemma on the dating sites that I have written about before.  This guy describes another wrinkle: Match seems to alter emails containing email address so that the recipient can reply outside of the Match.com system.  It does confound me how and why people would try to get around the rules of dating sites.  Goodness! The fees are dirt cheap if you join for 6 months or more.  Not bad even for a month.  Wouldn’t you pay a dollar a day for access to so many singles? 

Subject: a warning about match.com

Hello all!

Well, after being a paid member of Match.com for a week, it behooves me to share what some may consider a not completely honest business practice of Match.com.

So here’s the deal. If you are an unpaid member (I fathom many females belong to this class), email messages sent to you may be altered before you receive it! I (male) sent some email messages to a couple of female members but got no response. Having a relatively high self-esteem, I wanted to test out the match.com email system. After setting up an test (unpaid) account, I used my paid account to send an email with my hotmail address in the body of the email to the test account (and CC’ed it to my paid account). In the CC’ed email, the email looks exactly as I wrote it. However, in the unpaid account, the original hotmail address became the talkmatch.com address (the address Match.com assigns to its (both paid and unpaid) members!
Maybe Match.com specified this behavior in its member agreement (but who reads it?), but I still think the email system of Match.com is not honest in that the CC’ed message looks unaltered. I bet this behavior has caused many men to think something’s wrong with them because the unpaid females members don’t respond (unpaid members cannot send replies).

Just something for you all to keep in mind the next time you think about signing up for an online dating service.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS Take a look at this blog posting for more on the matter of paid and unpaid.


Kathryn’s on Yahoo!

Did you know that I write for Yahoo! Personals?  Every few weeks or so, a link one of my articles is posted on the front page of Yahoo!, and watch out! Visits to my website go up times ten or more, I get stacks of emails from singles asking for coaching and advice, and new readers join the mailing list of my enewsletter *eMAIL to eMATE* (You aren’t a subscriber???  Sign up here.)  It lasts for about a day, then it is back to the normal flow.  I can practically tell to the minute when my article goes off the board and the new stuff comes up. 

I was a Yahoo! star earlier this week ( Yahoo! featured), and right in the middle of all the emails came the following:

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge in the dating arena. After reading your article on “Are you ready for a new relationship”, it helped me to understand more about myself, and what to present to my future significant other.

Thank you again for your contribution to this modern problem that many people face.


Isn’t that wonderful?  That makes all my work worthwhile.

I also heard from one of my old therapy clients who now is single, found me via Yahoo!, and wants Romance Coaching.  And I heard from a Romance client from way back who is getting married.  Yahoo!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



How Many Millionaire Can There Be? Not Many


Oooh, lordy, this one is a doozy!  Here’s yet another entry to the legions of dating websites dedicated to fixing up accommodating women with rich men:  DateAMillionaire.com  In what appears to be the most contradictory advertising message of the 2007, here’s the first paragraph of DatAMillionaire’s press release:

First Beat Media recently launched a new online dating site for rich singles, or people looking to meet wealthy singles at http://www.DateAMillionaire.com. The site is offering free full membership packages for life to the first 5000 users of the site, including future upgrades. There are already approximately three hundred members on the dating site, since its launch in mid-December.

Tell me why, oh why, a dating site for millionaires needs to offer free memberships?

So guess what?  I zipped over to take a look and did a brief search for men between 20 and 40.  Here’s a sample of what came up:

Fla’single male athletic built’blonde’blue’eyes’like dineing danceing’motorcycle rideing’ horse back rideing’ all women email gets reply

someone i can treat good Age 56   6’1” white male 56 and slim. love to travel and do nice things. young at heart

well, my is miguel. i’m 24 with long curly black hair.i am a laid back person who enjoys trying things. i hate arguing, and conflict.i love affection, caressing, and holding. want to know anything else just ask.

These are just the first three that came up!

Somehow, I have a hard time imagining these guys as millionaires.  But you never know.

I’ve written about these sites extensively.  Take a look at my blog entries under “Money Matters”  I just can’t see how any of this bodes well for men OR women.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


“Biggest Loser,” “Ugly Betty,” and Downright Mean

I’ve found myself in a nasty quagmire a few times lately over
meanness.  When I heard about the shows “Ugly Betty” and “The
Biggest Loser,” I couldn’t believe the shows’ titles.  Whatever
the actual shows were about, those titles are MEAN.  I decided
not to watch either just on principle.  Not even to see what they
were about.

Around the same time, “Borat” hit the theaters around here.  What
did “Borat” mean?  No negative connotations that I could
determine, but the reviews both piqued my interest and turned me
off at the same time.  I did have what I called a perverse
interest in seeing it, even though I was worried that I would
laugh and then be embarrassed that I had found something funny.

I couldn’t talk anyone into going with me.  Drew doesn’t like
comedies.  Meg wasn’t interested.  But then we were all at a
party where several people raved about how much they had liked
it.  Meg went without me, and then reported back that she hated
it and found it had “no redeeming social value at all.”  Since
Meg has a finely tuned ethical barometer, I believed her.  She
did say that the guy she went with laughed and that made her mad
—at him.  Since the premise of “Borat” seems to be tricking
real people into acting like their real selves on film, no matter
how caddish they are, I am glad I did not go.  Tricking people
and laughing at them is not something I find funny.  No matter how
boorish they are.

Then, I slid into some very disturbing conversations with “The
Biggest Loser” fans who tried to convince me how great the show
was, how it was really educational (fat people would learn how to
eat and exercise by watching it), and how the
biggest loser was really a winner.  Somehow, I couldn’t be
convinced.  How could a show that played on the commonly
understood phrase “the biggest loser” (as in “He is the biggest
loser”) possibly be construed as a positive experience for people
struggling with weight?  Which more and more people in this
country are doing every day.

Rather than break my pledge to myself not to add to the Nielson
ratings of “The Biggest Loser,” I Googled the show and found this
Entertainment Weekly review which put my
worst fears into words.  Here are a few of them:

But there’s a loathsome, mock-the-fatty undertow to Biggest
Loser. Part of the ugliness comes courtesy of the editing. ....

Loser’s challenges are even more manipulative: Many of the stunts
have no goal but to ridicule - or punish - the contestants. One
can argue that forcing out-of-shape folks to climb to the top of
that L.A. building was a lesson in perseverance. But what’s the
point of making them squeeze in and out of car windows too small
for them? Or forcing them to build a tower of pastries using only
their mouths? Or compete for a bag of lard? (Thereby forcing a
nation to make an immediate, collective ‘‘tub of’’ reference.)

More Googling, this time on “Ugly Betty”, brought up the ABC
“Ugly Betty” website.  The banner across the top reads: “Ugly is
in!  Go to the ABC store to buy this T-shirt and get an Ugly
Betty ring free!  ABC’s net proceeds to benefit Girls Inc.,
inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.”

Then I go to girlsinc.com where I find the following:

Girls Inc. is teaming up with ABC on the “BE UGLY ‘07” campaign.
The campaign encourages people to be real in a superficial world,
just like the title character of ABC’s hit show, Ugly Betty.
Girls Inc. kicked off the partnership at a luncheon event hosted
by ABC Entertainment and CosmoGIRL! magazine, where Girls Inc.
girls met the show’s star, America Ferrera. Congratulations to
America Ferrera and the Ugly Betty team on their recent Golden
Globe wins!

First off, the girls in the accompanying photo with “Ugly Betty”
start America Ferrera (what a name) did not particularly happy or
in on the joke.  And Ferrera was by far the prettiest girl in the
picture.  And co-host COSMOGIRL???  Go on over to that site.
No ugly girls there.

ABC has made a half-hearted attempt to defend the show name “Ugly
Betty” by starting a “movement” to reclaim ugly and make the term
a positive one.  Like black folks reclaiming n****r and gay folks
reclaiming queer, faggot, and dyke.  The difference that self-
serving ABC does not see is that n****r, queer, faggot and dyke
are only okay when used by the minority group with each other,
usually affectionately.  Those terms have a far different
connotation when used by the non-minority group members.  Ugly
has a long ways to go.  Who would ever want to be called “ugly,”
whether or not the namer was ugly, too?

Even more ridiculous is that the “Ugly Betty” character is not
ugly!  The actress who plays her is beautiful, and the “ugliness”
seems to be glasses, braces, and a bad fashion sense.  She looks
like a gawky 13 year old girl who could easily become a real
beauty in just a few years.  What about someone truly ugly?  A
disfigured actress who looked it?  Would that be so funny?

What about a reality series about people who were messy and
needed help getting organized?  We could call it “The Dirtiest
****”!  You name the minority.  Lots would fit.  They could get a
free house makeover.  Why stop there?  How about a free new house
to the dirtiest?

Segue to a story from the Netherlands:

Dutch shock at proposed dating show for ‘visibly disfigured’

The Netherlands, the country that has pioneered reality shows
like “Big Brother”, is planning a new first - a dating programme
for the visibly disfigured.

The broadcaster SBS 6 is seeking candidates for its “Love at
Second Sight” show due to be launched in February.

“Do you have a visible serious handicap and are you looking for a
partner?” says an appeal on its Web site.

“The programme is a platform for people with such problems to
share experiences and feelings in a positive way with the rest of
the Netherlands and to show that they are absolutely not
pitiful,” the broadcaster said.

“The main aim of the programme is to remove prejudice about these
people, to create more acceptance and respect and, of course, to
find the love of their lives.”

But the majority of Dutch viewers are turned off by the show that
was initially set to be called “Monster Love”.

A poll by the mass circulation De Telegraaf daily showed 85
percent do not like the idea, with only 9 percent in favour.

MosterMonster Love”?  Need I say more???


An Online Dating Wedding

My friend Meg drove to Louisiana last weekend for the wedding of
her guy friend Shef.  Why is that of interest to you?  Well,
because Shef met his bride on eHarmony during 2006. Come to find
out (via Meg), Shef’s new sister-in-law met her spouse online

I don’t know all the details, since I haven’t seen Shef since he
fell in love—he’s been spending a lot of time on I-10 between
here and there.  But I do know that Shef is Of a Certain Age
(over 50), and apparently the two are going to conduct their
marriage long distance while her daughters finish high school.
Yea for them both, and my heartiest congratulations!

You know that I am all in favor of online romance.  And I
understand long distance ones, too.  Drew and I were 482 miles
apart, door to door, when we met.  Lucky for both of us, I could
move and did, or we would have been burning up the miles like
Shef and his Sweetie.

Online daters have gotten spoiled in a comparatively short time,
not wanting to travel at all for love.  But I wanted the best,
and he was an eight hour drive away.

Just two years ago, WeddingChannel.com’s survey found that “12%
of engaged or recently married couples met online.”  I was wowed
by that figure then. reported on January 4, 2007,
that a survey by WedAlert.com found that 20% of the respondents
met through the Internet.  Wow, WOW!

A year ago, eHarmony claimed slightly over 90 marriages a DAY.
I’m not crazy about eHarmony for a variety of reasons.  You can
read some of them on my blog (category: eHarmony):
But hey, you can’t quarrel with eHarmony’s success, and that they
have spent the money to track it.

Internet dating is HOT!  And this is the best time EVER to get
online and look for love.  Remember, memberships on dating sites
go up around 30% between now and Valentine’s day.  That means new
faces, maybe one of them your future spouse.  Get on and get

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Sour Valentine’s

and found that the period between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day is prime for break-ups: more than twice as prime.  Kindly, Yahoo! Personals has developed a section for   Want to read the survey results in details? 

Infidelity expert Ruth Houston says that infidelity peaks on Valentine’s Day.  Isn’t that dandy?  Houston has a questionnaire posted to help you figure out if your mate is cheating.

Want to get even?  will help you with that, too.  If you’d like to chose from the most creative ways imaginable to get back at your ex, try www.Poisonpen.com “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Worst>’  www.deadroses.com will send… dead roses.  And www.ThePayback.com has about everything an angry ex should need. 

Not that I suggest actually DOING any of these things.  Remember what you do is about you, really, and not you ex or whatever evil they have done TO you.  But you might have fun just looking around a bit.

If you are tempted to DO any of these tricks, take two aspirin and go to bed, then think about it again tomorrow.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


What’s In Store for Internet Dating in 2007?

From my January 1, 2007, *eMAIL to eMATE*:

Internet dating is LOOKING GOOD!

My, how things have changed since I first tried online dating on
Match.com in 1997.  Looking for love on the Net was brandy new
then and quite suspect.  A few brave souls were tip-toeing onto
the sites and trying out the medium, but, land sakes, was it
scary or what?  And no help anywhere.  I know, because I looked.

For you newbies to the Internet dating scene, matters took a
dramatic turn after 9/11.  The tragedy suddenly refocused the
country: Everyone now ached for connection and family.  Singles
started signing up on dating sites by the hundreds of thousands.

Listing on a dating site became okay, even mainstream.  No longer
is it unusual to hear that a couple met online.  Now, your
computer is second only to friends and family as a way to connect
with possible mate candidates.

The influx was heady.  Online dating sites experienced mammoth
growth for several years as folks signed up and plunked down
their credit cards.  Growth has slowed to single digits, but that
does not mean that Internet dating is a fading fad.  Far from it.

Did you know that online dating is one of the top money makers
online? “After nearly a decade of double-digit growth, online
dating revenue rose 7% last year to slightly more than $515
million, per Jupiter Media. (Match’s share is about $250

Remember that there is only a somewhat finite number of singles,
so at some point the growth would have to stop as the percentage
got close to 100.  At present, the estimates are 1/3 of singles
have visited online dating sites.  Also, people come on and off
the sites every day.  Taking your profile down off the dating
site where you and your Sweetie met has become a sign of
increasing commitment with cyber couples.

My buddy Mark Brooks recently posted some interesting info on his
OnlinePersonalsWatch.com blog: Here’s a summary and link to an
article on dating site usage in 2006.
Interestingly, Yahoo! Personals is pulling way ahead of
the crowd in membership and visits.  Since I write for Yahoo!
Personals, I’ll take a little credit for their #1 position.

True.com’s stats are deceptive, as comparing the two charts show.
(I cannot recommend True.com—if you wonder why, look at my
https://find-a-sweetheart.com/blog/C37/ ” title=“many blog posts”>many blog posts:.

Match.com (my personal favorite, since that’s where I met hubby
Drew) is stumbling on in 3rd and 4th place on the two charts.

Another of Mark’s postings led me to
Distilling the verbiage, it looks like number of visits
to dating sites are down, but revenue is nicely up.  To me, that
says daters are getting serious and paying up, and fewer people
are visiting sites to snoop.  Good.

Interestingly, the article also points to what I have sensed:
Singles get busy after Christmas, and particularly after New
Year’s.  Online dating sites’ business soars then (and so does
mine).  Seems as if the loneliness of the holiday coupled with
New Year’s as a time to start new habits gets folks off the

Tip: That means new people are signing up, right now!  This is a
particularly good time of year to be active and looking on your
favorite site.  Remember, new people come on every day—and
others drop off as they find partners.  Be ready with your spick
and span profile.  Be proactive: Contact others.  Don’t wait,
because you don’t know how much longer this new Cutie might be

A third posting on OnlinePersonalsWatch is an interview with
Match.com’s CEO Jim Safka.  Looks like Match is going stylish and
pursuing a more upscale market: a new look to its site (adding
lots of snazzy black), offering a stylist to help with photos
Lots of
black and white there, too.  And Match is piloting a real
matchmaking program with what looks like real matchmakers:
Platinum.Match.com  It’ll probably be
pricey, sounds like perhaps around $1000 per year.  Still less
that a tractional matchmaker, though.

Yahoo! Personals still looks about the same, and I think is a bit
more unwieldy to maneuver than Match.com.  But they are doing
something right at Yahoo!  You can’t argue with #1.

So I will stick with Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.  Why go
elsewhere, except for a special niche site like JDate?  Stay
where the numbers are.

From YOur Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Dating Advice Tidbits

Here’s a collection of little bits and pieces that have been collecting on my desk and are not long enough for full article treatment:

“Guilt coffee”—what you agree to when you can’t say “no,” even when you know this is not a match.

“Don’t ask for anything that you can’t bring to the table, and beware of those who do.”  Like good finances, youth and vigor, good health, basic truthfulness.

Especially on the first date, turn off your cell phone, pager or Blackberry and do not talk about you ex.  Do not make or take phone calls, answer a page,  or check or send emails during a date.

Act and dress your age, in other words, like an adult, and one who is on a date.  Spare the flip flops and cutoffs.

Ask questions.  You want to find out as much as you can about the other person.  And people like it if you ask about them.

Be honest so that you can back up what you say later if you have to.  While you shouldn’t be afraid to mention accomplishments, do not brag.

Be attentive and listen for clues about your date.  You may need or be able to use them later.

Do not use a date as a confessional. 

Not everyone is going to like you.  In fact, at least 95% of people won’t.  You don’t like everyone, do you?  So why do you expect everyone to like you, or get upset when they don’t?  Get real.  And if everyone DID like you, you would be completely overwhelmed.  Thank the universe for doing much of the sorting for you.

Know the expression “No pain, no gain”?  In dating, it’s more like “No risk, no gain.”  Falling in love means taking risks.  Sometimes you get brusied.  It’s part of the game.  And then you are back to the pain part. 

Dare to make the first contact.  If you don’t, you will be limited to those few weho contact you first.  You are much more likely to get what you want if you do the picking.

Try to get some distance on the whole “Looking-for-Love” business and not get too attached to the outcome.  Particularly with specific individuals.  Always send out multiple first contacts and do not allow yourself to get focused on one potential candidate.  You have no idea if they will respond to you at all until they do, and even then, take your time.

You can’t win if you don’t play the game.  And your chances are much better than winning the lottery.

Singles often lie or distort in an attempt to get an edge over others, to “get their foot in the door,” with someone who might otherwise not contact them.  It’s a waste of time, because they are much more likely to get the opposite reaction: anger.  People who discover they have been lied to feel tricked.

Have an exit strategy.

If you lie, you can’t complain that others do.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Facts from MIT about Internet Dating Habits

From my October 1, 2006, newsletter, too good not to reprint here:

We really know that Internet dating has made it solidly when
academics start studying it.  What could be more impressive that
MIT’s Sloan School of Management?  Gunter J. Hitsch, Ali
Hortacsu, and Dan Ariely have written “What Makes You Click?—
Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating,” a
working paper on their study.

At 62 pages long, almost half of which are graphs and charts,
this is not an easy read.  And there are formulas: here’s a short
example— Um(m,w)>- vm(m)  (not written here exactly right, but
you get the idea).

Lucky you: I’ve managed to digest most of it and pull out what is
really interesting, so here goes.  Keep in mind, this study is
reporting on singles’ actual data and behavior—this is not as
things “should be,” but as things “really are.”

The authors used data supplied by an Internet dating company for
22,000 users in the Boston and San Diego area.  While they did
not have access to the actual identities of the users, the
researchers did have just about everything else: Profiles,
photos, and preference data, as well as records of who browsed
who, when and if contact was made and reciprocated or not, and if
a meeting was requested or planned.  Yikes.

Here are some of the conclusions they reached from their well-
massaged data:

Motivation for using the dating service:  Singles interested in a
long term relationship generated the most activity.  While 36% of
men and 39% of women declared that a relationship was what they
were looking for, 55% of all emails sent by men were from this
group, and 52% of all emails sent by women.  Those “just
looking/curious” (26% of men, 27% of women) did 22% of the
mailing (men) and 21% (women).  Only a small percentage of the
email generated was from those seeking casual relationships
or sex: 3.6% for men and 2.8% for women.

The authors thought it was likely that those who indicated they
were “just looking” were actually seriously looking, and
therefore the percentage of emails generated by people looking
seriously was closer to 75%.

Kathryn’s comments:  You can probably assume, at least on the
mainstream sites like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals, that
nowadays, most folks posting are seriously looking for a
relationship.  Sites like AdultFriendFinder.com have siphoned off
most of those just looking for sex, and AshelyMadison.com and the
like have gotten noticed by married folks looking to cheat.

Demographics:  Men dominated the site in both cities: 54.7% in
Boston. 56.1% in San Diego.  Age concentration was in the 26-35
year old range. 2/3’s were never married (sounds right, given the
age concentration).  Education and income levels were slightly
higher than national averages, but about right for Internet
users.  The authors conclude that “during recent years, online
dating has become an accepted and widespread means of partner

Reported physical characteristics:  I love this part.

The site asked users to rate their looks on a subjective scale:
19% of men and 24% of women rated themselves having “very good
looks.”  49% of men and 48% of women described themselves as
“above average.”  29% of men and 26% of women described
themselves as “looking like anyone else walking down the street.”
Less that 1% declared themselves “less than average looks.”  That
means that 78% of the men and 74% of the women were above average
looking, which is either statistically impossible, or the dating
site attracted only the most attractive people.  We do like to
think of ourselves as above average, don’t we?

Women reported they weighed less than the national averages:  6
lbs. less in the 20-29 age group, 18 lbs less in the 30-39 group,
and 20 lbs. less in the 40-49 age group.  Either these women
dieted before going on the site or are fibbing.  Men reported
weights slightly higher than the national averages.

Men’s reported heights were 1.3 inches above national average,
women’s 1 inch above average.

Kathryn’s comments:  Buyer beware! when it comes to an
individual’s self-description of attractiveness and physical
attributes.  People have a real tendency to distort or downright
lie.  Or maybe they really believe that they are “above average,”
whether you do or not.  To do your part, NEVER LIE!  It’s big
trouble.  See my recent blog posting:

Fascinating tidbits:  71% of men’s and 56% of women’s first
emails did not receive a reply.  Men are much more receptive to
first email contacts than women are.  The average man can expect
35% of the average women to respond, where the average woman can
expect 60% of the men she contacts to respond.  The more
attractive men and women are less likely to respond (are
“pickier”).  The least attractive are more likely to write back,
two or three times more likely.

First contacts are usually made by men.  Women receive an average
of 11.4 first emails, and men got 2.3.  56.4% of all men in the
sample did not get any first emails at all, with 21.1% of women
never being approached the first time.

Kathryn’ comments:  This absolutely validates what I have been
telling my women clients: Men like it when you email them
first!!!  Do the picking yourself.  You’ll be much more likely to
get what you want!!!  And remember, a 30% response rate to first
emails is GOOD!

Guys, if you want the contacts from women, be interested in a
long-term relationship.  Men are penalized and receive less
emails if they indicate that they want a casual relationship or
“just sex.”  Women however receive 17% MORE first contacts if
they are looking for casual or sex.

Looks:  Not surprisingly, the better looking folks got the most
emails.  Interestingly, men in the top 5% got about twice as many
contacts from women as the next 5%.  The researchers called this
the “superstar effect” and did not observe it with men’s contacts
of women.

Photos count—and I would add, good photos count even more.
Women with photos got at least twice as many emails, and men got
60% more.

Women like tall men: men 6’3” to 6’4” got 65% more emails than
men 5’7” to 5’8”.  Women are increasingly penalized the taller
they get.

Men prefer skinny women.  Really skinny women.  The researchers
used body mass index (BMI) which adjusts weight for height.  The
most preferred BMI by women in men is 27.  According to the
American Heart Association, a BMI of 27 for men is slightly
overweight.  Men however tended to prefer women with a BMI of
about 17, which is considered underweight and corresponds to the
figure of a super model.  Women tend to feel they look their best
between BMI’s of 20 and 22.  50 year old women at the 50% of
BMI’s would be about 27.

Hair: Men with red hair had a moderate penalty, while women with
“salt and pepper” hair had a large penalty.  Men with “long curly
hair” got 18% less email than men with medium straight hair.

Kathryn’s comments:  The ideal guy?  6’3” tall, very attractive,
slightly overweight, with medium length straight brown hair.  The
ideal woman?  Be between 5’3” and 5’8”, very attractive,
emaciated (How can that thin be attractive???  It would hurt if
you bumped into them.), and have long, straight, blonde hair.
What’s new about that?

Of course, only 15% of men are over six feet tall.  And only
around 10% of women have a BMI of 17 or under.  (Want to
calculate your BMI and see where you stand compared with other
men or women? Go here:
http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmi.htm )  Less that 2% of
the world population has blonde hair.  Those stats cut out lots
and lots of perfectly lovely people.  Are you sure you want to do

Tidbit: You can tell the difference between natural and dyed
blonde hair by exposing it to ultraviolet light (bleached hair
will glow, while natural blonde hair will not).

Income:  Income strongly effects the dating success of men, while
only having a slight effect for women.  In general, the higher a
man’s income, the more first emails he got.

Education and occupations: Women seem to prefer men with similar
educational backgrounds.  They also preferred lawyers, fire
fighters, military, and health related professions.  Women’s
occupations and education had little influence on first email
results.  In fact, most women’s professions did not do as well as

Ethnicity:  Overall, 38% of women and 18% of men stated they
preferred mates of their own ethnicity.  49% of Caucasian women
and 22% of Caucasian men preferred Caucasian mates.  But only 30%
of black women and 8% of black men stated a preference for the
same ethnicity.  The researchers also found that even when the
individual stated that ethnicity did not matter, they behaved as
if it did, showing same ethnicity preference in their email

Kathryn’s comments:
  Guys, if you can make more money, you can
catch up to other men who may be taller or better looking.  The
researchers were actually able to figure out that a man at the
bottom in the looks category could make up for that with an
additional income (on TOP of the assumed $62,500 average) of
$186,000.  A man 5’6” tall needs to make $175,000 MORE that
$62,500 to compete equally with a guy 6 feet tall (assuming
everything else being equal).  Ethnicity is the most expensive
catch-up: for equal success with a white woman, an African-
American man needs $154,000, Hispanic men $77,000, and Asian men

Women cannot compensate for looks or ethnicity with higher
income.  It’s mostly about looks.  Sigh.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Another Love Story…

Yes, they are twenty-somethings, and yes, they are in Scotland, but it’s another sweet story about folks finding each other on the Internet.

And tucked in the article, this interesting tidbit:

Computer-based introductions are now even replacing traditional hotspots such as parties or holidays as the best way to meet a mate, according to a new survey by financial services firm Mint.

I knew it.

And here’s another one:

Chris and Jennifer Creary met online in 2004 when they both lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.  They are now married and living in Pensacola.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


No Good Ones On Dating Sites? Think Again…

Well, it does make a difference what you think of politicians.  Rep. Steve Rothman, U. S. Congressman from New Jersey, met his now-wife Jennifer Anne Beckenstein on Jdate.com.  See their photo here.  And it’s a nice story, so read it.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

P. S.  Rothman is 53, Beckenstein 48.


Sharp Eyes and Dumb Criminals

A man wanted for robbery and murder was spotted by an Internet dater who was looking at profiles on PlentyofFish.com.  26 year old Calvin Bennett had posted a profile and photo on PlentyofFish.com and had been contacting women while he traveled north from Arkansas, where he had committed the crime.  “America’s Most Wanted” had shown Bennett’s photo on the show, and a viewer called the U. S. Marshall’s office to say she recognized him.

In a path worthy of a terrific movie, the Marshall’s office contacted the website owner, who was able to trace messages that Bennett has sent to various women, and locate him in Wisconsin, where he was staying with a woman he had met on PlentyofFish.com.  The Marshall’s moved in and arrested Bennett.


1.  You are not private on the Net.  If you are a criminal, it is probably not a good idea to post you photo on an Internet dating site.

2.  Murderers and robbers have the same access to online dating sites as everyone else.

3.  Internet daters, beware.  Your potential mate has the duty and obligation to prove who they are and that their intentions are positive.  These people are strangers, and need to be treated as such until proved otherwise.

4.  Do not invite someone you don’t know into your home.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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