Kathryn's Blog

The Male Version of the Ticking Clock

Elline Lipkin wrote an interesting piece recently for Salon.com called “The Mating Game.”  35 and certainly entering the “Ticking Clock” time zone herself, she fled New York for Texas to save herself from becoming “a particular stereotype that I’d sworn never to become: the overanxious, time’s a-tickin’, neurotic single woman over 35 living in New York.”  Instead, she found herself suddenly thrust into middle age, since marrying before 30 is not the unknown in Texas that it is in NYC. 

So she hit the Net to try her luck, and found herself bombarded with men 10 to 15 years or more older, who suddenly “wanted it all” and were most concerned about the state of her womb and age of her eggs.  These guys looked primarily for women under 35.  Lipkin writes: “Now that they’d set the goal of getting married, they seemed more than a little surprised (bewildered, in fact) that this was one goal they couldn’t make happen by simply applying their will.” and “I didn’t disavow that someone 10 years older might have something in common with me, but when I met these men, it was rarely the case. Their grizzled hair (or what was left of it), paunchy bellies and lined faces placed them in a life stage that seemed distant from mine—still finding my way into a new career, longing to start down the path to family with someone also navigating the way for the first time.”

Certainly a huge complaint of women who are in the same age range as these over 40, 50 and 60 guys is that the men are looking for much yournger flesh than theres.  Who knows, maybe they’ll find it—particularly if they have the assets (ie money) to pay for it.  But most men are going to find that like Lipkin, most women 35 and under are looking for guys their own age. Read my earlier blog posting to see what eHarmony’s Neil Clark Warren has to say about the same subject.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Top Dating Sites in US by Usage

Top Dating Sites as measured by ‘Unique visitors”:

In December 2006—

Total Web users in the U. S. (age 15+)        152,350,000

Personals Total                                 20,555,000

Yahoo! Personals                               4,153,000

Match.com                                     3,970,000

True.com                                       3,086,000

Spark Networks                                 2,504,000

Singlesnet.com                                 2,173,000


Gender Ratios on Online Dating Sites

From The New York Times, 2/26/2007:

Drilling Down
On Niche Dating Sites, Many More Women

During the week of Feb. 5, men and women visited online dating Web sites in nearly equal numbers, according to Hitwise, which measures online traffic. And to look at the 10 most popular sites not directed toward gay people, you might think that every dating site on the Internet was rigorously gender-balanced. All but one of the 10 largest sites came within 10 percentage points of being evenly split.

But among the smaller dating Web sites, many were drastically skewed. SeniorPeopleMeet, the 41st most popular site, had 80.8 percent women. BBW Datefinder, for “big beautiful women and admirers,” was No. 63, and had 76.3 percent women; and Catholic Match, No. 81, had 72 percent.

“It is a problem for them,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise. “It’s like any market; you want an equal number of buyers and sellers.”

But Greg Waldorf, the chief executive of eHarmony, the sixth most popular site and one with 68.6 percent women visitors, begged to differ. “If you asked me would I rather have more women or men, I’d rather have more women. If you have a good healthy population of women, I think men are attracted to that.” ALEX MINDLIN

My comment about this article that I posted on Mark Brooks’ Online Personals Watch

“If you asked me would I rather have more women or men, I’d rather have more women. If you have a good healthy population of women, I think men are attracted to that.” Well, duh! Yes, it’s good news for dating sites who want to increase their memberships, and great for guys who want easier pickings. But it is disaster for women, particularly those in the older age ranges, when the numbers are skewed enough as it is.

It’s so important that this kind of information (the gender ratios on sites) becomes available. Sites like eHarmony and Chemistry appeal to women because the are more “passive,” in that the site does the work of the matching and women do not need to put themselves so much on the line. What women don’t understand is that the numbers are so bad for them.

Openness and transparency (big buzz words nowadays) would go a long ways with Internet dating. Keeping women happy and on dating sites will be key to success. If all singles understood the gender ratios and the paid vs. unpaid numbers, then they could pick sites that would be most likely to work for them. The gender ratios would balance out, singles would get more responses to their emails, more matches would be made, customers would be happier, which would be great advertising, and dating sites would get more business. What could be better?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Online Dating Liars, Cheats and Scammers, Beware!

If you lie, cheat, or mislead people via Internet dating (or if you are concerned that someone will do it to you), you need to go on over to http://www.playersnitch.com/ and see the newest trend: reporting on who did what, with pictures, sceen names, and even full reports with identifying information.  I wrote about dontdatehimgirl.com earlier, which is a similar site. 

Playersnitch seems less catty and maybe less likely to be abused by folks who are just mad about a relationship gone bad.  I liked the reporting style—a whole list of possible sins: See list below this posting.  I was impressed frankly by the “restraint” of the reporters.  I think that the reporting style the site uses encourages preciseness and not just angry blasts.

The owner of the site sent me that you might want to check out—to see if you are pictured, or anyone you are dating.  I looked up some of the screen names of those identified as posting on Match.com.  Some were still there, using the same screen name.

So fair warning: If you lie, cheat or behave badly, more and more ways are springing up for your behavior to be reported.  If you don’t want your name and picture appearing on one of these sites, then keep your behavior impeccable.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that lying and bad behavior brings daters no advantage at all, and in fact, is destructive to the liar themselves.  Your best defense is absolute honesty, above-board, kind and responsible behavior.  And insist on the same from others.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

In a relationship
Last relationship is not over
Only wants sex
Dates multiple people
Sleeps with multiple people
Lies about age
Lies about height
Lies weight
Lies about body type
Lies about grey or balding hair
Lies about having children
Lies about employment status
Lies about financial security
Lies about where they live
Lies about health
Lies about smoking
Lies about drinking
Lies about drug use
Lies about what they are seeking
Lies about education
Posted old or misleading photos
Overly secretive
Is moody
Has a bad temper
Is a control freak
Is overly jealous
Will not commit to a relationship
Is an active alcoholic
Is a drug addict
Cyber stalking
Is physically violent
Steals money or property
Commits fraud for personal gain
Forges signatures or documents
Improperly transfers assets to self
Sexual assault
Claim of sexual interference by a child


Book Review - “The Sociopath Next Door”

I’ve been a psychotherapist for 30 years and now a Romance Coach for 5, and the hardest personality styles for me to understand (and then explain to my clients) are character disorders.  We all have a tendency to assume that others are like us, and since even author Martha Stout would agree that 96% of people are NOT sociopaths, then our assumption is understandable.  Most of us (that 96%) have a sense of right and wrong and a conscience that guide our behavior.  4% of us do not, and because of that, the rest of us are pretty easy prey.

Sociopaths are the very people singles do NOT want to get mixed up with.  Some of them are easy to identify and avoid—they may be sociopaths, but they are not very skilled and end up getting found out, maybe even being put in jail.  But bright, talented sociopaths can be very successful, can even get elected to some of the most powerful positions in the world.  And a skilled sociopath can wreak havoc on a vulnerable singles.  Just look at the press scammers are getting with their tricks do get money from people they meet on dating sites. 

Martha Stout’s book “The Sociopath Next Door” is a fantastic layman’s guide to the sociopathic personality, and better yet, how to recognize one.  Even with all my years in the business, I learned from this book.  And you can too.  We all ought to have this knowledge in our repertoire, but especially if you are single and looking for a life partner.  Put this book on your “Must read” list, and then read it.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Book Review - “Self-Made Man”

I just finished THE most interesting book I have read in a long time: “Self-Made Man” by Norah Vincent.  The subtitle says it all: “One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back.” 

Vincent mastered male disguise and surreptitiously made her way into one traditional males-only bastion after another, all the way from a men’s bowling league and strip joints to a Catholic monastery and a Rober Bly-style men’s group.  And not once for each of these venues, but over and over and over again. 

Both female and lesbian, Vincent was a double outsider in these all-male and mostly heterosexual groups.  Her struggles to master male dress and behavior (and subsequent constant fear of discovery of her female-ness) and her constant surprises as her experiences of these men belied her expectations made for fascinating reading.

Interestingly, Vincent used Internet dating for her forays into heterosexual love (if you can call a lesbian masquerading as a man, trying to date women, as heterosexual love).  The Internet part is rater incidental to Vincent’s main point that dating and love, which she thought would be the easiest for her as a man, were the hardest.  You’ll have to read the book to find out why.

As a Romance Coach working with heterosexuals who are trying to meaningfully connect with each other, I found “Self-Made Man” a page-turner, and am almost ready to say it is a “must-read” for all my clients, female and male.  Vincent’s attempts to span the gender gap, her struggles to fit in, and the realization that she never would, plus her guilt and discomfort with being in disguise and essentially fooling these often endearing men, made for riveting reading.  I think this book can definitely help women understand men better, and interestingly, men have more understanding for women.  Plus help both to gain an increased appreciation for the “unbridgeable gap” between the two.  Five chocolate dipped strawberries!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Establish Identity and Background Checking Resources

Trufina.com: Prove you are you with a free Trufina ID Card   Share your Trufina ID anytime you need to prove your identity online

Here’s how the Trufina site says you can use it’s services for online dating.

Intelius.com:  Background Check By Social Security Number
Background Check Includes: Criminal report, sex offender check, lawsuits, judgments, liens, bankruptcies, home value & property ownership, 30 year address history, relatives & associates, neighbors, marriage records, and more.

You can view a sample report by clicking a link on the Intelius site.

The Corra Group  This service does background checks for businesses, but will also do searches for individual uses.

Also, don’t forget to Google your date’s name, or do a search on MySpace, remembering that many people may share the same name.  I just searched my name on MySpace and got five girlie’s, some of them pretty young.

If you live in the Pittsburg, PA, area, you can check out the website maintained by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department to catch dead-beat parents.


Watch Out, Guys!

Here’s a chilling story that sounds like entrapment, but falls in the murky gray area of the law.  Men all over the country were taken in by ads on Craig’s list that sounded like a young woman looking for a sexy, good time, but were actually written by a man.  Nude photos of the guys along with identifying information were posted on a now-defunct website called craiglist-perverts.  Spouses and employers were also notified of the men’s online activities.

Be very, very careful what you put out there into cyberspace.  Remember, you do not know who these people are!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Screening Date Candidates

Ever since I started working to help singles find love using the Internet, I have been astounded at the numbers of people who get impatient at the process and try to hurry it along or quit altogether.  “Three emails and then meet for coffee or I am done.”  “I met three different guys and they all lied about their age, so I pulled my profile.”

Folks who rush the process are depriving themselves of one of the chief advantages of meeting online: The ability (if you use it) to prescreen potential dates. 

Because you get information via a person’s online dating profile that you would seldom get before a traditional date with a relative stranger, and because you are meeting online rather than in real time and space, you can study what the other presents, ask questions, look for gaps or inconsistencies, and read the lines as well as between them.  You can learn a lot by what and how a person writes, as well as what they don’t.  And all without dealing with the nerves and worries of a first date. 

You are bound to waste a lot of time (and drink a lot of coffee) if you move too fast from first contact to first “real time and space” meeting.  You could also be inviting trouble.  Move gradually, starting with emails through the website, then through a safe email address (Have you set up a Yahoo! or Hotmail email account that is not traceable to you?  You can email me for instructions on how to do so).  Then, phone contact: Use a cell phone, block your phone number using *67, or set up an anonymous phone number (see my blog piece on how to do so) 

We all have the responsibility to prove that we are normal, real and truthful people to potential dates—and they have that responsibility to us, too.  Regular, predictable contact over time will allow you both to build trust—or not. 

From Your Romance Caoch, Kathryn Lord


Get Anonymous Phone Numbers

Via an article on Time.com:

..thanks to Vumber you can get many numbers with only one phone — and even numbers from more desirable area codes. You can be reached at a New York City number one minute and L.A. the next, or small-town Alabama, where you really live. If the person dialing one of the numbers turns out to be a less than desirable caller, poof! the number disappears with a few keystrokes. “You can vanish without a trace,” said Geoff Schneider, executive vice president of Vumber.

Vumber is free for the first 100 minutes, then $4.95 for the first month. then $9.95.  You can also buy packages of minutes, but with the way singles tend to talk on the phone, a monthly plan sounds best to me. 

I have a client who lives in New Jersey but would like to date women in Manhattan.  This could give him a Manhattan phone number, though the cheat wouldn’t work forever.

Match.com offers Matchtalk, which uses Jangl’s technology.  MatchTalk was offered for free, but will soon be a $6.99 per month add-on to a Match.com membership.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



A tool to estimate what your Sweetie could be worth, or at least his/her house:  Go to Zillow.com and plug in the address.  Zillow will make an estimate, based on sales prices for houses in the area.

Caveat: Zillow.com could not find the house we just sold in Mississippi, but did find our house in Tallahassee, with a pretty close and realistic value.

What Zillow does NOT show is what is owed on the house (mortgages, etc).  Or whether the resident actually owns the house.  But the market value has some interest. 

Read here how one single used Zillow to check out her Sweetheart.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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