Kathryn's Blog

Googling Updated

Was it just three years ago when I was writing here about the new tool for singles: Googling potential dates? Does new stuff more into the mainstream fast or what?  Back then, Googling a date was very controversial.  It felt invasive and prying.  But now, it seems that folks take it for granted that they will Google and be Googled.  See the article below for more.

Pew survey: Half of us have looked up people we know on Internet

Ellen Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, December 17, 2007

About half of the online adult population has looked up themselves or someone else online, according to a survey released Sunday.

A good 36 percent said they have searched the Web for someone with whom they’ve lost touch, and 9 percent have dug up information on someone they were dating.

At the same time, 60 percent said they are not worried about how much information about them is on the Internet.

The findings, published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, reflect how people are sharing more and more of their lives on the Internet, as well as how Web 2.0 sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace are encouraging users to post their home videos, photographs and personal profiles online, including data ranging from their favorite movies to their cell phone number.

The increasing amount of personal information online has drawn concern among privacy advocates, who worry about how it could be used and who controls it. Most recently, they decried a new Facebook advertising program that broadcasted its users’ online purchases and other online actions to their friends and network. In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized and gave users the ability to permanently shut off the program.

But the Pew report suggested that most Internet users are not concerned about their personal information online. The study found that 61 percent have not felt compelled to limit it, while 38 percent have taken steps to control it.

Among adults who have a visible social-networking profile, 60 percent said that anyone who happens upon it can see it, and 38 percent said they restrict access to their friends, the report said.

“People aren’t being super cautious about what they’re doing or presenting online,” said Mary Madden, co-author of the report and a senior research specialist with Pew.

The report also found that 47 percent of Internet users have searched for themselves online, up from 22 percent in 2002. And 53 percent, mostly those under the age of 50, have looked up an acquaintance on the Web.

Women were slightly more likely than men to have researched someone they were dating or someone they were about to meet. More men than women, on the other hand, said they have looked up friends, someone from their past or a colleague or competitor.

In light of recent recommendations that job hunters not post photographs or personal information that could hurt their chances with employers, 11 percent said they have searched online for someone they were about to hire or work with.


Cupid or Fate? Nah!

Oh Lordy, if you want a giggle, trace down the leads in this short piece below.  I did, and GAWD, I love the British sense of humor!  Match.com in Britain has launched a series of ads about two characters called Fate and Cupid.  The main point is “Do you want to leave your chances of finding love to Fate and Cupid?” And with these specimens, for goodness sake, NO! 

First, I went to and did a search using “Match.com+ads+Cupid” and got a whole line-up (8) ads featuring these precious inventions.  I can just imagine the sessions the writers had when they were thinking these commercials up.

Then I found that Cupid and Fate have their own website, which is even better.  All the videos are there, and they even have a game.

Why doesn’t Match.com launch this campaign in the USA?  Probably because we don’t have as good a sense of humor as the Brits.

Not only are the ads hysterical, they bring up the best point: Leaving your love life to Cupid and Fate?  Come ON!  Get real.

Best, Kathryn

Match.com unveils campaign for New Year push

Match.com, the online dating site, is encouraging people to “make love happen rather than leaving it to cupid and fate” in a new advertising campaign that breaks on New Year’s Eve.

The campaign introduces two “lazy, hapless” characters called Cupid and Fate, who spend their time doing their hair and filling in magazine quizzes rather than connecting two star-crossed lovers. It has the strapline: “Don’t wait for Cupid and Fate. Find love for yourself at Match.com”.


So what else is new?

This article below from Reuters describes some really ho-hum research.  And with only 25 subjects??? Come on!

However, some common mistakes that women make are illustrated inadvertently.  For instance, “But they still wanted the man to make the first move and expected him pick up the tab.” And “Complaints include a preponderance of men who are looking for much younger women, as well as men who misrepresent their looks, interests or marital status, or who show little interest in moving the relationship offline, she said.”

Well, yeah.  Why should Internet dating be that much different from the real world in those respects?  What needs to change is both women’s and men’s poor attitudes.  If you behave the same as always (waiting for men to make the first move, let’s say) or expect the same as always (men—and women—are going to misrepresent themselves, look for younger women or wealthy men), that’s what you will find.  People tend to find what they are looking for: Surprise!

I like the image of Internet dating sites as being the world’s biggest singles’ bar: Where else are you going to find so many singles who are looking all in one place?  But what is different is: The absence of alcohol, the safety of your own home, and more freedom for women to take the initiative.

Don’t make the same mistake these women seem to: If the match isn’t there, thank heaven or cyberspace for telling you so quickly and move on.  Do not lose sleep over the one who is not right.

Online dating brings hope, frustration - survey
Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:02pm IST

By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO (Reuters Life!) - Online dating renews women’s hope in love and sex, but can be just as disappointing as the real-life dating scene, according to new Canadian research.

Susan Frohlick, an anthropology professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, says the women she surveyed gained a sense of empowerment from their online dating experiences.

But they still wanted the man to make the first move and expected him pick up the tab.

“Women are finding it as a useful tool to enter into the dating world, they find that it’s safe, they find that they can be a little more bold than they would in face-to-face relationships,” Frohlick said of her survey, which looks at how women over 30 view online dating.

“But, at the same time, they are experiencing frustration because it does seem that the Internet in many ways is just the same old bar scene.”

Complaints include a preponderance of men who are looking for much younger women, as well as men who misrepresent their looks, interests or marital status, or who show little interest in moving the relationship offline, she said.

“There’s not much of a difference between the virtual world and the real world,” said Linda, 33, a Toronto professional who has used an online dating site on and off, three or four times for a few months each time.

“It’s sad and equally as frustrating.”

Linda says she knows it can work out, noting that a friend met her husband after spending more than two years on different Web sites, but she admits she’s given up on the game.

“At least when you’re in the bar, you know what they look like,” she said, citing examples of meeting bald men whose profile pictures displayed a full head of hair.

“A lot more successful, attractive women are using these tools—I don’t think the men match up.”

Lori Miller, a singles and dating expert for http://www.lavalife.com in Toronto, says dating via the Web can mimic the bar scene. But it also gives women the chance to approach and meet dozens of men while knowing a little something about them beforehand.

“You’re literally thrown into the largest singles bar,” she said. “It is a lot of work, it is the luck of the draw just like being in that coffee shop and meeting the one.”

Frohlick’s small survey, to be completed in April, is questioning up to 25 Canadian women about their online dating habits. She hopes it will become a pilot for a far larger survey of women across North America.


More on Finding Love, Matchmaker Style

Here’s a story about other ways to find love other than Internet dating, if you are getting tired of that.  I do think the stats they quote are wrong, though --- More like 10-15% of couples are meeting online, rather than the 3% quoted.  Maybe folks still aren’t saying if they met on the Net?  I’ve written quite a bit about matchmakers before—take a look here.

A match made ... where?
By Gina Kim - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, August 17, 2007

Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and girl live happily ever after.

But what the fairy tales never seem to say is: How does boy even meet girl?

Now that we’re marrying older, working harder and socializing less, sometimes we need a little extra help from a modern-day matchmaker.

Most couples today still meet through traditional channels, according to a 2006 report on online dating by the Pew Internet & American Life Project: 38 percent of those surveyed met at work or school, 34 percent met through family or friends, and 13 percent met at a nightclub, bar or other social gathering.

But people continue to discover new ways to catch Cupid’s arrow, with 3 percent meeting through the Internet and 1 percent being set up on a blind date or through a dating service.

Modern matchmakers range from the professionals—such as a new Roseville company that sends singles on dates—to friends who just seem to understand the ingredients for love.

“Seventy-five percent of single people believe finding love is more of an art than a science,” says Trish McDermott, chief matchmaker at Engage.com and former dating expert at Match.com, as well as a former professional matchmaker.

“You certainly don’t need a degree to be a good matchmaker, but certain people are better at it—these rare people have good strong instinctual feelings and communicate well.”

Make me a match

The numbers say we’re getting married later and not staying married as long as we used to. Since 1960, the proportion of currently married Americans, ages 15 and older, has declined by 13 percent, according to a 2007 report on marriage by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not interested in wedding bells. About 85 percent of Americans are expected to visit the altar at some time in their lives; it’s 70 percent in some European nations, the report found.

“Love has persevered because it feels good,” says McDermott, who noted a departure from that original purpose of coupledom—reproduction and protection. “We want to reach out and make connections, and most if not all of us feel an emptiness if we don’t.”

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, singles stepped up their date-seeking avenues, hoping to find a partner to experience difficult times with, McDermott says.

“You have your friends, you have your family, but there’s nothing like coming home and cuddling with somebody who tells you everything’s going to be all right,” says Julie Paiva, founder and chief executive officer of Table for Six Total Adventures, a personal matchmaking company that began in San Francisco in 1997 and expanded to Sacramento four years ago.

Yet with 92 million unmarried Americans—42 percent of U.S. adults in 2006, according to the Census Bureau—there is obviously some bewilderment over how to discover that perfect mate.

“In the past, people used to stay in the same community all their lives. They would meet their sweetheart in high school, or it was someone they went to church with,” Paiva says. “Now, we’re constantly moving and really gypsylike. ... There are no common touchstones.”

… Find me a find

Professional matchmaking has grown into a $236 million industry with at least 1,300 matchmakers, says Lisa Clampitt, co-founder of the Matchmaking Institute, a training and certification organization based in New York. The dating industry as a whole, including online dating, rakes in $1 billion each year, she says.

The Roseville professional matchmaking firm DinnerMatch is joining other dating services in the Sacramento area later this month, setting up three couples at a time during group dinners.

“The personal touch of matchmaking is coming back into style,” says Trish Stokell, who started the company with Ally Bush.

DinnerMatch not only gives singles the opportunity to meet other singles during dinners, whitewater-rafting trips, theater outings and trivia nights, the company also coaches clients on how to improve their appearance, conversational skills and manners. Memberships start at $1,200 a year. But while the company sets the scene, it doesn’t promise that sparks will fly.

“Chemistry is the mysterious element that is unpredictable in any new relationship. You can’t really predict if chemistry will be there—it just happens, it explodes,” Stokell says. “But the more people you meet, the better the chance of meeting the one you have chemistry with.”

Paiva of Table for Six, which charges clients $1,995 for a two-year membership, goes a step further and advises her clients to look beyond initial attraction.

“A lot of people think it’s just chemistry, but when they start a life with them, they’re disappointed when they can’t fulfill many of their needs, whether it’s communication or intimacy,” Paiva says. “People really need to look at a person and think, ‘Would he be a good husband? Would this be a good father?’ “

Paiva says she believes, like the Jewish yenta and the nayan in India, that values-based matches might be the key to lasting happiness.

“It’s not a bad idea to look at it from that angle, of will these lives mesh together easily,” Paiva says. “Physical characteristics are important—I’m not suggesting someone go completely against chemistry—but I think they would be a lot happier if they were looking below the surface and getting to know that authentic person.”

… Catch me a catch

While it may take a village to raise a child, that village may also be necessary to trigger that thing called love.

“It’s hard to meet people,” says Kevin Wehr, assistant professor of sociology at California State University, Sacramento.

Perhaps you’ve met everyone in your softball league and at the dog park. You’ve dated everyone available at work and your yoga studio, too. But you have yet to be bitten by the love bug.

“We’re more and more busy today, and we’re working harder than we’ve ever worked,” Wehr says. “Those things tend to isolate us more in terms of our social lives.”

Plus, Americans are getting their careers on track first and marrying later—the median age of women walking down the aisle is 26, up from 20 in 1960; and men are getting hitched at 27 instead of 23, according to the National Marriage project report.

By the time someone decides wedding bells are in order, it might feel a bit urgent, Wehr says.

Online dating has expanded from what Engage.com’s McDermott calls a “warehouse” model, with millions of people waiting for someone to sift through profile after profile and then offer a wink or a message, into a social community that happens to be on the World Wide Web.

Engage.com was launched in 2005 and allows singles to post the usual profile. Then it allows their single and non-single friends to authenticate what they say and look like, and set them up with other users, all for free. The goal is to move away from exaggeration over one’s rock-solid body or high-paying job.

“If you ask what people in their lives make the best matchmakers, it’s their friends,” McDermott says. “Sites like Engage provide opportunities for people to use technology to fall in love the good-old fashioned way, with a little help from our friends.”

… And make me a perfect match

Friends may know us best. But that doesn’t mean every friend is a qualified matchmaker. Experts agree that some people simply have the right intuition.

Trudy Somers, 47, an English teacher at Franklin High School, has set up at least 20 couples, mostly during her 20s and 30s, with at least half of the relationships ending in marriage.

“I don’t know what it was with me. I was always on the lookout for good matches,” Somers says. “I like to see people happy together, and it seems like when they were alone, they were miserable.”

Somers also had an active social calendar and served in a leadership role at her church. And she has always been a good listener who remembers the interests of her friends.

“I’ve had very few failures, and I think it’s because I figure out where they’re at at their core,” Somers says.

And even if fireworks didn’t explode at first, some of Somers’ matches found love in different packages than they were looking for—bringing meaning to the stories of frogs turning into princes.

“You have to have an open heart. Sometimes what you think you want is not the best fit,” Somers says. “I have friends who I would never set up because they’re so narrow and closed off, and they only want a certain type of person. ...

“But sometimes I can see that two people will mesh well together because their goals are the same, they want the same things and they’re both sincere about what they want—I think that’s the key.”


Too Much Petting

LOVE ME, LOVE MY PET. Heavy petting prevents singles from finding love.

• Nearly half of Britain’s singles now own a pet – 6.1 million people
• Singles spend £5.6 billion each year pampering their pets
• Owning a pet can reduce your chances of finding love by as much as 40%
• One in four men wouldn’t date a woman with two or more cats
• A third of women won’t date a man who shares his pillow with a pet
• If push came to shove 25% of singles would choose their pet over a new partner
• Nearly two thirds of singles say they really love their pet and think of him/her as a member of the family

According to new research from PARSHIP, the UK’s largest serious online dating service, more singles than ever before are turning to pets for companionship. Nearly half (47%) of Britain’s 13 million singles now own a pet, spending an average of £928 and dedicating 21 days a year to their animal’s wellbeing and upkeep. However, PARSHIP advises that single pet-owners could be putting romance at serious risk: owning a pet could reduce your chances of finding love by as much as 40%.

Treating pets as children (12% of respondents), sharing your bed with your pet (33%), over-indulging your pooch with the latest designer accessories (40%), or simply owning two cats or more (23%) – these were just some of the factors that influenced other singles against dating a pet-owner. What’s more, if push came to shove 25% of singles would favour their pet over a new partner.

The implications of this could be serious, considering Britain’s singles own 1.24 million cats, 1.18 million dogs, 624,000 fish, 436,800 hamsters, rats and gerbils, 187,200 birds, 124,000 horses, donkeys and pigs, 64,000 snakes, and 120,000 exotic animals as pets – which includes spiders and insects. That’s a lot of two-, four-, six- and eight-legged creatures edging their way between Britain’s singles and their potential happiness with another human being.

• The puss on the pillow reduces your chances of finding love by a third

In conjunction with YouGov, and covering 2,000 singles, PARSHIP conducted a wide-ranging study exploring singles’ relationships with their pets. A third of singles say they wouldn’t date someone who shares their bed with their pet, (29% of men/36% of women), 23% are turned off by owners of two or more cats (26% of men/21% of women), and 22% are repelled by owners of snakes (18% of men/26% of women) and spiders 40% (33% of men/48% of women). 40% wouldn’t date people who overindulge their pets by spending £100 or more a week on animal upkeep (44% of men/37% of women), while going as far as treating a pet as a member of your family will alienate you from 13% of men or 11% of women; on the other hand, NOT doing so will alienate you from 11% of men or 12% of women

• The animal attraction

So what’s driving this animal love affair? Nearly two thirds (58%) say they love their pet and think of him/her as a member of the family, compared to just 27% who love their pet as an animal, but not as a surrogate human. In fact, singles love their pets so much that in some instances they would put their pet’s feelings above their own.

• Pets over partners

Sometimes they will even put their pet’s feelings above their lover’s. One quarter (25%) of men and women say that if their live-in partner developed an allergic reaction to their pet, under no circumstances would they put their boyfriend or girlfriend before the animal: Mr or Ms Right would just have to find somewhere else to live. More encouragingly, 15% of men and 22% of women said they’d visit a top Harley Street specialist – no matter what it cost – in the hope of finding an effective treatment for the allergy, while 32% of men and 19% of women said they’d find a loving new home for the problem-causing pet.

Dr Victoria Lukats, psychiatrist and PARSHIP’s dating and relationship expert commented:

“People invest a lot in their pets emotionally, but whilst some singles may see their pets as surrogate partners or children, this research shows that these people are in the small minority. Rather than the stereotype of a spinster with several cats, the reality is that many singles simply enjoy owning a pet but they would probably put their human relationships first.”

“Provided the balance is there and pet owners don’t avoid socialising or dating and that they maintain a healthy attitude to their pet then it shouldn’t interfere with their love life. But perhaps single pet owners would be wise to take note of this research: if there’s seems to be potential for a long-term relationship developing then it might be best not to boast about how much you indulge your pet and avoid making harsh statements about how your pet comes first, especially on the first few dates.”

• Is it time to put the cat out?

25% of singles wouldn’t date someone with two or more cats. In most cases this is attributable to an allergy, with 26% of adults suffering from sneezes and discomfort when close to a feline. There are very few treatments available to counter the allergic reaction. However, there’s good news for the 40% of singles who wouldn’t date someone who owned a pet spider: Even a single session of real-life exposure based therapy can be effective for up to 90% of phobic individuals. (Ost, Brandberg and Alm, 1997, Ost, Salkovskis and Helstrom, 1991)), so you really could learn to love your partner’s little (or not so little) eight-legged friend ….

PARSHIP is Europe’s largest and most successful serious online matchmaking service, with over 2.4 million members, PARSHIP draws its strength from its unique psychometric compatibility test and a methodology which ensures that its members are only matched with people who are genuinely right for them.

Dr Victoria Lukats, explains how the test works:

“The factors that make two people a good romantic match are highly complex. Common interests such as a love of animals can help but the importance of complimentary personality traits in determining the long-term success of a relationship cannot be underestimated.”

“PARSHIP uses a unique psychometric test to match members with similar and complimentary characteristics. Many people believe that opposites attract, whereas others believe that similar personalities are compatible with one another. In fact, both these points of view can be valid, as research conducted over many years by leading psychologists has demonstrated. “

“For example, if an individual highly values domesticity or has a high need for emotional intimacy, then he or she would be well matched with a partner with similar values.”

“For other characteristics, differing scores on the test can be acceptable, even desirable, although wildly opposing scores could spell disaster. A member who is extremely assertive in their communication style would not be well matched with someone who was similarly assertive as this could lead to a major clash of personalities. Likewise, an individual who is slightly shy might be drawn out of themselves by someone who is slightly more outgoing, whereas a complete introvert is less likely to be successfully matched with someone who is the complete opposite.”

In addition to matching members through their personality profiles, members can also choose to specify what they are looking in a potential partner including age, height, location, whether they prefer a non-smoker and whether a potential partner has a pet.

Overall the PARSHIP test has been shown to be an accurate reflection of an individual’s personality and furthermore it has proven to be a highly successful method to help people find the love of their life.

For Further information or case studies please contact Penny Conway on , or email

The research was conducted by YouGov between 30th June and 4th July 2007 questioned 2,353 adults over the age of 18 and by PARSHIP questioning 200,000 singles from its UK database.

About Dr Victoria Lukats (http://www.drlukats.com)

Dr Victoria Lukats, MBBS MRCPsych MSc is a psychiatrist, agony aunt and dating and relationship expert. As well as working as a relationship and dating expert for PARSHIP Dr Lukats is a Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry at Sussex Partnership NHS Trust in Brighton


Ost LG, Salkovskis P M and Hellstrom K (1991) One-session therapist directed exposure vs. self-exposure in the treatment of spider phobia. Behaviour Therapy. 22: 407-422

Ost L G, Brandberg M and Alm T (1997) One versus five sessions of exposure in the treatment of flying phobia. Behaviour research and Therapy. 35: 987-996


Scams and How to Report

Hey, I’m always looking for helps for singles looking for love, and unfortunately, that means alerting you to scams and how to report.  Here’s the meat of the matter…

Internet Scam Reporting

Mark Brooks, Online Personals Watch

Users who have been scammed should report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Statistics on internet scamming are available here.  Of those individuals who reported a dollar loss, the highest median losses were found among Nigerian letter fraud ($5,100), check fraud ($3,744), and other investment fraud ($2,695) complainants


JDate Woes

Here’s an article about Jewish dating sites, particularly JDate, which gets some bad press here.  I’ve put in bold a paragraph that is also true of many other dating sites, the problem with paid vs. unpaid members.  Here’s a blurb about my article that addresses it, and how to order:

Internet Dating’s Dirty Little Secret: The Single Biggest Reason They Don’t Answer Your Emails

If you are like most of my single clients looking for love, one of your very first questions to me will be “Why don’t they answer my emails?” Much as the dating sites may try to convince you that it’s because of something you are doing – or not doing – at least 90% of unanswered emails don’t have anything to do with you at all.  I figured it out, and now you can know too.  Get the answer to “Why don’t they answer my emails?” right here, right now.

Sex, Romance Fades At JDate As World Of Jewish Fine Tunes Dating

Reported revenue for Jdate in the second quarter of 2007 was
$7 million. But how many members can actually make contact?

By Carole Rubinstein
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem ----August 17 ....... Talk about sex appeal, then talk about the World of Jewish. Talk about boredom and tired formulas, then talk JDate.

There was a time when Jewish singles looking for a match through the Internet went straight to JDate, the largest Internet based Jewish dating service. The idea was simple, fill in a short questionnaire based on your dating preferences and the JDate search engine would return a listing of all those of the opposite sex that answer to your criteria. If you saw someone in the listing, you paid JDate a good sum of money to be in touch by email with your potential match.

For a yearly fee approaching a couple of hundred dollars, you could search JDate’s listings and be in touch with whomever you desired. Now, when you think of it, a couple of hundred of dollars a year may not sound like so much, especially with this virtual smorgasbord of potential Jewish dating mates at your fingertips. It is a lot cheaper than going on a string of blind dates. So, people paid; well, not all people – only those that could afford it. Still, business was good – JDate has made millions of dollars every year from Jewish singles encompassing the Internet Jewish dating scene.

In seducing the Jewish dating market, Jdate is not honest. JDate featured ads of porn models from Europe posing as Jdate members. According to an article in the Israel daily Haaretz newspaper, JDate banner ads featured photos of porn models. For example, the Jdate Jewish dating ad banner showed a girl who was supposedly 22 and single and Jewish, but she is actually Kari Gold, an 18 year old porn model. The ad shows blonde-haired, 22-year-old Hila from Tel Aviv who’s “looking for a single Jewish guy.” Another shows 26-year-old Sharon who’s looking for a Jewish husband.

But as it turns out, there is no Hila from Tel Aviv. The woman in the Jewish dating picture is actually Hungarian porn star Kari Gold. She has told the media that she has a boyfriend and is not in fact looking for “a Jewish husband from a good family.” And Sharon? She’s really Devon Sweet, a bisexual model from the United States. Neither Kari Gold nor Devon Sweet are affiliated in any way with JDate. Their pictures were just randomly collected on the Internet. I guess this is another shocking reminder that advertisers sometimes bend (or completely disregard) the truth. Talk about deceptive advertising!

Is Kari Gold a Jdate member looking for a nice Jewish boy or in reality an European porn star looking for ...
We cropped the above photo of Kari, you can imagine the rest of the photograph or perform a Google Image search for Kari.

But the story thickens. Try performing a search now on Google for “Jdate Ads Haaretz”. What you will find is that Haaretz has partly removed the story from the Net and replaced it with Jdate ads and Jdate advertising revenue. Can money now buy censorship at Haaretz?

Current JDate rules that only allow paying members to reply to messages, if you buy a membership on JDate, only 3.5% of the people you send messages to will be able to reply or acknowledge your message in any way. See, JDate gives you no indication whether or not a profile you are interested in belongs to a paying member capable of replying. That kind of sucks. Imagine sending out 100 messages to 100 “active” members and only 3 (and a half) of them are capable of replying, let alone willing to reply!

Then, like mushrooms after a forest rain, all kind of JDate Jewish dating wannabes sprouted up – many of them also becoming quite lucrative. Jewish singles from Israel, the United States and Canada all know Blind-Date, Frumster, JMatch, Jewish Cafe’ and a host of other sites that offer basically the exact same thing as JDate, a monolithic wish list that costs money a good amount of money. Frumster, 2become1 and DosiDate offer their services to the more religiously inclined rather than to the general Jewish populace, but in none of these services is there really a significant difference between what they offer and what JDate offers, which is the opportunity for sex and maybe partnership – all for those that pay their dues.

The model that these Jewish dating services offer is quite problematic. First of all, not every Jewish single can afford full membership in these sites. But beyond the economic constraints, there exist moral problems as well. Many people tend to lie about the particulars they list on their personal profiles. Perhaps they are not really 38, but rather 44. Maybe they do not really have a six figure income currently, although they hope they some day will; further, if they do not send in their pictures for others to see, can it really be believed that they have such an outstandingly athletic figure as they say they do?

And even if they do send in their pictures, are these the Jewish guys you will meet in real life on that hoped for date?

Perhaps most disturbing, are they really single and looking to get married, or just married guys looking out for an evening of, well, whatever.

“For us, Jewish dating is important as is Jewish sex, something which can be openly discussed at the World of Jewish, but the stress here is to find companionship that does not lead to hurt”

- Social networking professional David Trombka

Numerous Internet blogs, such as JDaters anonymous, have sprung up over time with thousands of negative stories about the JDate experience. It is a kind of cultural joke, part of the Jewish singles ritual; but in reality the great majority of the Jewish dating site users remain, with or without the hilarious anecdotes or even the frequent horror story, decidedly single and fully departed from hundreds of dollars in registration fees.

Enter the fearless Davids that, with time, will eliminate the Goliaths.
JDate, JMatch, Jkarma and the whole host of univalent Jewish dating sites, while not yet being a thing of the past, are on their way out. There is a new generation of Jewish sites out there in virtual land for Jewish singles, consisting of lean and serious players like Shmooze, Koolanoo and perhaps the most interesting of them all, the World of Jewish.

These Jewish social networking sites have sex appeal, depth, purpose and punch, something lacking in the older but still mighty Goliaths of the earlier generation. Jewish dating will never be the same and can never go back to the JDate paradigm. It is simply a thing of the boring and expensive past.

What makes these new sites ‘sexier’ than the traditional dating sites? There are many features, especially the fact that they are free Jewish dating sites; these new players understand well the changing face of the Internet and they know that today the users rule, not like the time a little over a decade ago when start ups like Cupid and JDate pretty much held the user in their custody.

Most importantly, these new guys on the Jewish dating block are networking sites, multivalent offspring of the single minded dating sites. These sites offer their users the ability to find friends, not just partners, according to interest. Their search engines take into account the intricacies of Jewish life in a way that JDate or the other dating sites are just not equipped to deal with.

The World of Jewish leads the pack of newcomers with its almost total, creative coverage of the Jewish experience. It is for sure sexier, but in the sense of being kosher and sexier. Beyond the real time news and Kabala broadcasts, the World of Jewish offers its users employment jobs opportunity searches, a Jewish Yellow Pages, real estate ads, a Jewish travel section and a host of other innovative features that leave JDate and their other Jewish dating cronies light years behind.
“On Jdate only 3.5% of the people you send messages to will be able to reply or acknowledge your message in any way.”

While newcomer Koolanoo has made quite a splash with its expensive, creative and humorous viral marketing video advertisements on YouTube, it has many critics that see these broadcasts as cheapening Judaism and the Jewish experience. And now that Koolanoo is about to spend millions in the China social networking market, many believe that the Jewish site was nothing more than a turn key project for investors in China. The World of Jewish, on the other hand, aims at the highest common denominator and regards bagel and lox Judaism as a trend that is on its way out.

World of Jewish creator and founder, David Trombka, states: “People are looking for substance, not only in dating, but in their entire world outlook. Our site allows people to find others interested in Jewish education, or Jewish politics or philosophy, or a host of other interests, according to specific issues.
A woman may find a guy on the site that is interested not only in dating, but also in Jewish cuisine or Jewish mysticism and their relationship may start by exchanging recipes or thoughts about Kabala. It is really a far safer place than the single issue dating sites. In those sites, people can lie about their personal status, but it is much harder to lie about common interests as well, such as American Jewish literature or what they think about the role of Jewish tradition in their relationships.”

Trombka adds: “Our site and the other Jewish networking dating sites explore the fuller person and allow for a more truthful presentation to the other users. Jewish singles now have a home for expressing themselves in ways that never existed before – and all for free. Our site even has a women only section for women to discuss between themselves issues that affect their daily lives. With all due respect to JDate, it is passe’. The trend in the Internet industry in general is to restore to the users their rights without shaking down their wallets. The World of Jewish allows the users to be exactly who they really are, without putting a hole in their bank accounts and without the sometimes awkward sexual tensions that are practically automatic on JDate or the other sites because of their single issue orientation. This gives the users a far greater chance of finding true companionship, or even just like minded friends in a more relaxed and honest atmosphere.”

“For us, Jewish dating is important as is Jewish sex, something which can be openly discussed at the World of Jewish, but the stress here is to find companionship that does not lead to hurt,” says Trombka.

“I have it on inside information that the other sites know fully well that they are about selling sex and little more. They may put on a Jewish fac,ade, but that is not really their strong point. We are not against sex, not in the least. After all, our tradition considers sex a holy thing. We just don’t want that to be the sole focus. We believe that proper sensuality means not jumping straight to the bottom line, but rather taking a little more time to get to know the potential partner. I remember my roommate at college told me that the only way really to enjoy life is to make sure you do not hurt others. Sex and companionship are great litmus tests for that theory. We hope to push things in the proper direction.”

Of course, it will take some time before the entire Jewish singles dating reality switches in mass from the pay for use single dimensionally of JDate to the free for use multiple uses of such sites as World of Jewish. But word is getting out that Goliath does not stand a chance; at least, not if people are looking for honest and kosher sex.


Single Parents Take Note

From ABC News:

Online Alert: Some Pedophiles Date Moms to Reach Kids

Aug. 23, 2007 —

More than 20 million Americans log on to their computers each month looking for love, according to Online Dating Magazine.

While getting to know a potential mate from the privacy of their home may be comforting to some—especially single women getting back in the dating pool—it is not without danger. A growing number of sexual predators and pedophiles are taking advantage of online anonymity and using dating sites to prey on single mothers and their children.

One single mother, who asked that her identity be withheld to protect her daughter, had such an experience.

She met her future husband online and within in six months, the couple were living together. Two years into the relationship they married.

“At the time, it just seemed magical,” she said. “It was the dream come true.”

Discovering the Truth

But FBI agents said they discovered the man’s true intentions when an undercover agent intercepted his e-mails during an online chat. “These e-mails indicated that he actually married the mother to have access to the child,” said FBI Special Agent Deborah McCarley.

Police said lonely women looking for companionship can be easy targets. In this case, the man took advantage of the mother’s vulnerability to get to her 6-year-old daughter.

“I think I was really looking for someone to rescue me, although I didn’t recognize it at the time,” the mother said.

The mother said she decided to speak out for the first time on “Good Morning America” to help other women.

Confronting the Allegations

The woman said she had no idea any abuse was taking place and saw no warning signs until the day the FBI knocked on her door.

“That day I felt like somebody stuck a straw in my ear and sucked out my brain,” she said. “It really just felt like I had been punched in the stomach.”

A tape obtained by “GMA” captured her anguish as she confronted her husband on the phone.

Mother: How could you do this to me?

Husband: How could I do it to anybody? I don’t know.

Mother: How could you do it to her?

Husband: I’m sorry. I have no answer.

Mother: I trusted you!

Husband: I know. You’re right.

Mother: I loved you with all my heart!

Husband: What I have done is evil and it’s wrong and there are going to be a lot of people that are going to hate me now. And I don’t blame any of them.

Not only did her now-former husband molest her daughter, but he also offered the girl to other pedophiles online. Authorities stepped in just in time.

“I’d never say that I was going to kill myself, but there’s times where I wish that I would die,” the mother said.

Now, the couple have divorced. The ex-husband currently is serving 30 years in prison for his crimes, while his victim continues her health process.

“She’s awesome,” the mother said. “She’s doing so well. She’s got her sense of self-worth back, and I’m so proud of her.”

A Disturbing Trend?

This case is just one example of predators using dating sites to supplement their crimes.

After conducting online searches and talking to law enforcement officers around the nation, “GMA” uncovered cases of dangerous online dating situations all across the country.

The research found instances of sex offenders trolling Web sites and not mentioning their pasts, Internet romances that led to beatings and rapes and felons who never addressed their convictions in their dating profiles.

“Once they feel comfortable on that Internet, they feel like they’re shielded because they’re on that computer,” said Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Andy Hill.

True.com is the only major online dating site that runs background screenings on all of its members in order to keep criminals and married people off the site. This includes filing civil lawsuits against convicted felons and registered sex offenders who lie about their records.

“I’m out to get them and I’m serious as a heart attack,” said True.com CEO Herb Vest. “I will get them. I want them off our Web site.”

Celeste Moyers, the director of the Safer Online Dating Alliance, said that if someone wants to do harm, that person will find a way to do it.

“People are caught off guard,” she said. “Even the smartest savviest online dater can be a victim of sexual assault.”

Protecting Yourself

States including New Jersey are considering legislation that will require dating sites to clearly disclose whether or not they conduct background screenings on members.

Even if you aren’t sure the site you use conducts criminal background checks, online dating doesn’t have to be off limits. Check out Safer Online Dating Alliance’s tips for protecting online daters.

Don’t use your personal e-mail address. Create a specific account just for dating. Don’t include information in this new address that would allow a predator to identify you.

Do not post pictures of your children or give out details about their sexes or ages.

Meet new dates in a public place, not at your home.



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