Kathryn's Blog: Money Matters

If Forbes says it, it must be true…

The period between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day is always the BEST for online dating.  The economic slump has interestingly magnified that good news.  People look for relationships and love in times of stress, and we are stressed. 

Depressed Dow Drives Americans into Arms of Online Dating

A handful of online dating sites are reporting activity spikes following September’s global financial crisis.

“On days when the US Dow Jones industrial went down […] by more than 100 points, more people were likely to log in and spend more time on the site,”
stated Senior Research Scientist Gian Gonzaga in an interview with Reuters.

“People seek out companionship in times of stress. Studies repeatedly show that being in a relationship can help a person’s psychological and physical health.”

CEO Thomas Enraght-Moony of Match.com corroborates Gonzaga’s view. “During these trying times, people are looking for hope in their inbox,” he said.

November brought Match.com its largest membership increase in the last seven years.

But even lesser-known dating sites, like Perfectmatch.com, are seeing bounty. The latter reported a 47% hike in membership in the three months to November compared to the previous quarter.

An Opinion Research Corp. poll, sponsored by eHarmony, found 57% of Americans worry more about their love lives amidst the credit crunch. Married men were most affected, with 63% stressed over love.

And 75% of poll-takers between 25 and 34 worried whether the economy would negatively impact their love lives. Younger, single respondents were more likely to pursue a relationship as a result of these concerns.

Older respondents, which were more likely to be married, still worried financial issues would harm their existing relationships. “There are often more fights over bills and household budgets” among couples in climates like this one, Gonzaga pointed out.

The Opinion/eHarmony poll comprised 1,092 users. Meanwhile, a survey by Avalanche LLC — which operates date.com, matchmaker.com and amor.com — found 84% of people are spending more time online or over the phone before meeting face-to-face.

With all that in mind, it bodes well for the online dating industry that the Dow is down 35% this year.

Online dating services became aggressive advertisers in ‘07, with eHarmony spending the most: $110.1 million in total as of February last year. Match.com followed, spending $66.4 million in total.

Their efforts weren’t wasted. Prior to 2008, Mediamark Research found US adults were increasingly receptive to online dating, which was previously stigmatized as an arena for the desperate and unloveable. Men were slightly more likely to log onto an online dating site (52.2% versus 47.8%), and people between 18-34 consisted of over half of the online dating population. Single parents were significantly more likely than average to pursue a ‘net-based romance.

The face of online dating in general has evolved since then. Online speed dating debuted late last year. And last month, online dating conglomerate eHarmony lost a three-year-old suit for refusing to match gays, lesbians and bisexuals. The company will launch a gay dating site, “Compatible Partners,” in early 2009.


Get smart and protect yourself from scams

Now, if the following piece isn’t enough to put you off those millionaire sites, I don’t know what is.  This guy was able to swindle eight women by posing as a music mogul.  It seems pretty clear that these women assumed that the guy was telling the truth.  Likely, that he had presented himself as rich and that these women were looking for rich (since both were listed on MillionaireMatch) blinded these ladies.  The guy was HOMELESS.  They sent the money to his ex-wife’s address!  A simple background search would have alerted a wise single. 

I’m working all the time to help singles avoid being scammed.  Take a look at my One Page $1 Wonders ...  Not only will you be better able to protect yourself with my concise, digestible reports on scamming, but also, you get a 25% discount from my favorite background checking source, AssetSearchPros.com

Homeless man gets more than $100,000 from online conquests
By Sofia Diogo Mateus
Last updated: 1:17 PM BST 05/06/2008
A homeless man posing as a millionaire was arrested for scamming 13 women for more than $100,000.

Through the website MillionaireMatch.com, Paul Kruger, 50, met and convinced eight women that he was a Grammy-nominated music mogul who had worked with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, amongst others.

He met the other five alleged victims through one of the women he met on the website.

Later he said needed money for a CD and DVD manufacturing investment, for which the women sent him a total $102,000.

One of the victims was even shown a false stock reports, the court heard, since the operation apparently involved group investment in stock options.

“He did have a good story,” said one victim, a sales manager in Costa Mesa, Calif., who records show gave him $10,000.

The website, which describes itself as the “number one dating site for succesful singles and admirers”, is free and unregulated and anyone can join and claim to be a millionaire, simply by saying that they win $150,000 or more annually.

Steve Kasper, the marketing vice president of Successfulmatch.com, the parent company of MillionaireMatch.com, both bases in Toronto, said it was up to users to self-police.

“We do tell all of our members on all of our sites that you have to take precautions when you’re on the Internet and looking at people that you’re going to meet,” he said.

Charges were filed in Souderton, Pennsylvania, because that is where he told women to send him money; it is also the address of the home of his ex-wife, authorities said.

The money was used to fuel his gambling addiction, since he had various VIP casino accounts, authorities said.

Mr Krueger declined to comment to reporters as he was arraigned on charges of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception, deceptive or fraudulent business practices and Pennsylvania Securities Act violations.

The Californian woman said she was willing to be a witness but that the experience had not put her off online dating.

“You have to be careful whereever you go,” said the woman, who is in her 30s. “You could get scammed meeting someone at a bar. It doesn’t matter. You just have to do your due diligence, and I didn’t.”


How to marry a millionaire (a woman!)

Here you go, rich ladies and gorgeous men, a dating site just for you.  PocketChange.com hosts a speed dating section: Men 35 and under can apply, based solely on appearance.  They must submit 5 photos for judgment.  Women must be over 35 can apply,and must qualify (solely based on wealth) in one of four ways: Must make more than $500K, have liquid assets, entrusted assets, or a divorce settlement of $4MM+.  (I’ll show my ignorance: How much is $4MM?  I guess if I don’t know, I haven’t got it.)


For Aspiring Sugar Daddies, Mamas, and Babies

Is it about love or money?  Well, at least sites like SeekingArrangement.com make it absolutely clear, that on this site at least, it’s about money.  Here’s what the site says about itself:  “SeekingArrangement is the premier Sugar Daddy Dating site. We are a matchmaking website for wealthy benefactors, and attractive guys & gals.”  And “An Arrangement is short for “Mutually Beneficial Relationship” between two people. Such a relationship is usually between an older and wealthy individual who gives a young person expensive gifts or financial assistance in return for friendship, intimacy or sex.”

This site is certainly a step or so beyond the already obnoxious millionaire matching sites I have already written about.

Okay, in some ways I can see how this can be good.  Another route to get those who are not serious about looking for a long term, faithful, equal and honest relationship can go.  And it is surely capitalistic: if you’ve got the money, flaunt it and buy what you want.

One of the most popular postings on my blog comment-wise is a short one about sugar mamas  I have one guy after another (and at least one woman) who would love to find a woman to support them. 

It is hard to believe.  But look at the evidence.

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


Big Money in Dating Scams

The total dollars that scammers are getting are going up.  First, a story out of Ghana where a man posing as a woman was looking “for a Christian man” to marry.  The scammer knit a convoluted series of stories that eventually got over $150,000 from his American victim.  Read the article to get a sense of what twists and turns were invented to keep the victim paying up.

Then, a Jacksonville, FL, lawyer (48) has made lemonade out of lemons with his new book “How Not to get Burned By Internet Dating and Mail-Order Brides: A Guide for the Potential Victim.”  Anthony Penoso shelled out $75,000 in cash and gifts for his Romanian girlfriend, who literally ditched him at the alter and flew on to California with her new/old boyfriend.  Perhaps the fact that the woman was 26 to his 48 ought to have been a bit of a red flag. 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


How to get a credit score and reports

From daughter Mishelle:

eloan.com will give you your credit score free, once a year.  Loook under “Tools and Calculators.”

annualcreditreport.com will give you your free credit report, once a year. Have to fill out a bunch of online forms, but you get your free report from each of the three services. It’s highly recommended that we all do this once a year.  One in four people have an error in their credit report.


Who Pays Redux

I got this note from a client who has met a great sounding guy on Match.com.  He has asked her out on a real date, and she needs to find a babysitter:

Assuming I get one, and he and I go out, is it appropriate for him to pay for the date? (we’ll probably go out to dinner) I’m no longer sure about any of this. I used to rely on The Rules. And my instinct still says ‘yes, he should pay’. What I bring
to the date will be great care in looking my absolute best, and being there for him as a pleasant, cordial, gracious companion. What do you think? Do you agree?

My answer:

Well, you know what I think of “The Rules” business.  I think frankly that The Rules are insulting to both men and women’s intelligence.  You are a grown up adult and so is he.  And also, you have a hint that he is sensitive to money issues, probably will be looking at how you handle him and the “who pays?” part.  I hear over and over that men do watch this closely. 

Also, I know that you have wanted to be asked out on “a date” and this guy is certainly doing so.  That’s a refreshing change, right? 

Think about how a real grown-up woman would handle this situation.  How about directly?  You could say/write something about how you love being asked on a date, with all that implies.  You could even say that you are going to let him pay, since he did the asking.  (Or you could say “How would you like to handle the ‘who pays for what?’”  Either beforehand, or at dinner.  If at dinner, when it time for the check to come, say “The check will be here soon.  How would you like to handle it?”) 

But then I strongly suggest that you open a discussion on how time together will be financed.  Maybe whoever invites pays, or all expenses are shared?  The first time Drew and I met, he pulled out his wallet for everything and I let him.  But after that time and before the next, I emailed him and told him how much I had enjoyed that part, but that I wanted us to share the expenses of getting together.  Believe me, he was very impressed.  It also gave me power and a say in what happened.

Here’s a link to a Q and A I saw today which is close to this issue, but with a much more oblivious question, and a straight-on answer.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


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.


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


The Millionaire’s Club - Canada

Watch out, Canada!  The Millionaire’s Club is coming to you!

Watch a video clip from CityNews of an interview of Millionaire’s Club owner Patty Stanger as she talks about matching women with rich men.  All the time with a huge bed in the background. 

And read the article with the standard fodder about rich men looking for “the perfect 10” women. 

But then start putting things together: Stanger boasts 10,000 women members worldwide—but takes “only 5 new millionaires a month in each city, to up the odds.”  Then she says that four out of five members get into a relationship as a result—but does not clarify that those members are probably men. 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Female, Fabulous, and From the Carolinas?

Matchmaker Janis Spindel may be looking for you!

Reportedly the Manhattan matchmaker has been paid $50,000 up front by a “prominent Carolinas bachelor” to find him a mate. 

You need to be “27 to 37 years old, well-educated, sophisticated yet understated, a traveler who want to settle down and raise children.”  And oh yes, very attractive.  “Men are very visual,” says Spindel.

Uh oh.  Interviews are scheduled for December 1 to 3.  You may be too late.  Even if you qualify.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Downsides of Marrying for Money

If you’ve ever thought about finding a millionaire to marry, you ought to read Valerie Gibson’s article in the Toronto Sun: “A Million Reasons to Marry”  While the middle of the article is all about Patty Stanger’s site The Millionaire’s Club, Gibson throws in some interesting tidbits at the beginning and end. 

(You might also want to take a look at The Millionaire’s Club site: I can’t believe anyone with ten cents would join such a tacky looking site, frankly.  But the deal is obvious, I guess.)

(And I have written here about the Millionaire’s Club before: take a look.)

Here’s what Gibson identifies as the risk of marrying rich: 

He may not stay a millionaire.  He could lose his money and/or end up in jail. 

You may be treated as an acquisition that he bought and paid for—which in a sense he did.  And he may feel that money is all he needs to contribute to the relationship.

Here’s my piece:

You could become as disposable as last year’s Lexis.  Especially as you age and lose your looks.  Rich men want the goods they are paying for, and looks and youth are usually part of the deal.

Your rich guy may not be rich.  The fancy car could be leased, the debt could be sky high.

And if you have money, don’t bother signing up with The Millionaire’s Club.  Owner Patty Stanger says “Most successful men don’t want successful women.”  Stanger also lists advice for women who want to marry a millionaire:

Always be a lady.

Always be nice to him and make him happy (being a good cook is essential).

Make his life easier.

Stay positive.

Be willing to relocate.

Don’t be a gold digger.

Be energetic and enthusiastic.

Have long hair and wear minimal makeup.

Cultivate what you shine at.

Be intelligent and educated.


From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


More on Wealthy Men and the Women Who Want Them…

Rich men will pay big money to get (pretty, young) women.  And women look for men who don’t mind a definite financial element in the deal.  So what’s new about that?

Well, nothing much, but there’s been a lot of attention to it lately on the wires.  Must be a slow news season, huh?  Not actually.  Most of the stuff came out right around the election, and that was plenty newsy.  But maybe the print media wanted to write about plain old heterosexual sex and money, rather that politics, pederasts, and male ministers willing to pay for sex with men.

Dr. Phil chimed in early (before the election on November 3) with a show on Sugar Daddies and Cougars (the female version of Sugar Daddies—older women with younger men, though money did not seem to be so much a part of that equation).  Sanjay (40) and Jacqueline (18) met on SugarDaddie.com  Creepy site, creepy couple.  You can read some of the online postings that the show generated here.

The Seattle Times’ Meghan Barr wrote “Online dating sites where Mr. Right is Mr. Rich” which appeared on 11/15/2006.  The article mentions SugarDaddie.com of the Sanjay and Jacqueline fame, and WealthyMen.com.  A seeming big advantage for men is the gender ratio: Meghan Barr writes that the male/female ratio on sites like Match.com and AmericanSingles.com is 70/30.  (I wonder about those stats—what I had heard was more like 55/45.)  But even so, WealthyMen.com claims a male/female ratio of 1/5.  Pretty good for the guys, wouldn’t you say?  But not so good for the ladies.  Maybe women think they have at least a 20% chance at the big $$$.  Better odds than the lottery, for sure.

BTW, sites that women like (eHarmony, PerfectMatch) have ratios that favor men.  EHarmony avoids stating the ratios, but PerfectMatch blatantly advertises to men their good numbers: female to male: 2 to 1.  I suspect eHarmony is similar.  And PerfectMatch seems to have really dropped in the ratings.  Mark Brooks’ blog listings (top 15) don’t even include PerfectMatch.
Mark Brooks blogged about Meghan Barr’s article, and I commented.  Here’s what I wrote:

There are a number of sites aiming to hook up (appropriate term?) women with wealthy men. As long as the guys recognize the bargain, I suppose there’s no problem. But I have run across wealthy folks, both male and female, who are in a quandary about how to find a mate who will love them for who they are and not for their money. How can they get to know someone while being open and honest and not have their wealth become the prime focus? One guy naively joined one of these sites and honestly answered all questions, including income. He was swamped with offers from women, clogged up his mail box, and had eight proposals of marriage in the first contacts. It’s not easy being rich.

Kathryn Lord
Your Romance Coach

PS Interestingly, one of my blog posts that has been getting attention lately is about Sugar Mama’s. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .


MillionaireMatch.com Wants Me!

I’ve written before about dating sites aimed at wealthy guys (who want gorgeous young women and —implied—are willing to pay for them) and the women who want them : Take a look at Sincere Millionaires Only: Please Apply! and
Internet Dating or a Matchmaker? What should you try?  Clearly, I’m not a big fan of this search strategy.

The other day, I got this note through my website:

I have visited your site.I think there would be much match
potential between our sites.I wonder if we both sites could join
hands to achieve win-win cooperation.

I represent the largest dating site for rich/millionaire singles [millionairematch.com]
in the world with page rank (5) and alexa (6,031) rating. Our
clients include CEOs, professional athletes, professional models
and cheerleaders, and movie directors, just to name a few.Even
some hollywood celebrities come to date on our site.

I wonder if you can add a small featured banner on your index
page, In return, we will pay you 20$ commission for each paid
member you drive us and link back to you on our site.

I believe this is something that may be of interest to your
visitors.We have high gold member turnout.The monthly commmssion
will not disappoint you.

I’d like to know what you think of it, or/ and any other
promotion ideas and suggestion.

Best regards,

Here’s what I wrote back:

Hi Kent—Thanks for the nice words about my site.  I’ll think
about your offer, but actually the whole idea of looking for a
mate based on wealth makes me very uncomfortable.  I just looked
at your free signup page because it struck me as odd that you
would need to offer free memberships to a millionaire’s site.
And those three levels of membership odder still—why not call
it the $150,000 club?

I am very careful about linking to other sites, and I suspect
that this is not a good match.

Best, Kathryn


Comments about WealthyMen.com

Here’s an article that is too good not to quote in full, Mike Dunham’s piece in the Anchorage Daily News about WealthyMen.com, one of several online dating sites appealing directly to greed (for the women) and sex (for the guys):

Personals site flaunts men who make six figures
HOT: With every other kind of dating service under the sun, why

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: September 9, 2006)

This week I heard a radio ad for an Internet dating site where,
the sultry announcer said, “women outnumber men by 10 to one.”
The name of the site: “wealthymen.com.”

Strictly out of professional curiosity, I checked it out. The
home page promised women that here they would find (their grammar
and punctuation) “professional men making over $100k a year. ...
each profile is of real men who have excelled greatly in their
life, but are still seeking a partner to share their experiences
with. All women can set up a free profile, however, only a select
few men can join Wealthy Men as each of our members are verified
by a salary approval process. This is your chance to be a part of
a larger than life experience in an online personals website who
make their dreams a reality. Your prince awaits.”

You have to register to get past the home page and, being a male
who is eminently unqualified, salary-wise, I didn’t do that.
Instead I clicked on “customer service” and submitted a request
for an interview with whoever runs this thing on the premise that
readers might want to know what was on their minds when they
thought it up. Well, we know what’s on their minds—increasing
their own income by at least $100,000 a year—but it would
sound better if they said it.

I didn’t get a response, but I did get an eyeful. The home page
featured older men with chiseled faces posed next to young women
with chiseled abdomens. The men wore pricey, formal-yet-casual
fashions that brought to mind Hugh Heffner. The women were clad
in underwear.

For men, the site had this message: “Tired of receiving few
email/contacts due to so many guy members? At WM, you are the few
and proud. Finally a personals site to celebrate your success.
Enjoy. You’ve worked hard, now play harder.”

I’m clueless about such things as true love, but do guys making
$100 grand a year really have a hard time finding dates? If
they’re smart enough to earn that much through labor or well-
managed investments, wouldn’t they rather meet an accountant, MBA
or tax lawyer than a lingerie model?

Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked. It’s just a cyber-age variation on
a story as old as the Book of Judges. There are dating sites for
born-again Christians, Orthodox Jews, lonely liberals and
passionate conservatives seeking like-minded company. A site that
connects guys who have too much money with gals who find six-
figure incomes attractive in a man may be just what society

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Match.com for $7.45 per month??!!

Match.com has a deal going that is too good to miss.  ($89.04 total) and follow some simple rules, and then if you don’t find a Sweetheart within those six months, you can get six more months on Match.com for FREE!  That comes to $7.45 per month!!!  Who says online dating is too expensive?

This is Match.com’s   While you do have to follow some rules (like make five contacts with Match.com members a month), those rules are good ones, getting you to be active in your own mate search.

Looks like this offer is good through the end of 2006.  If you haven’t signed up already, go do it.  This is a great offer.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Nigerian Dating Scams-Again!

On July 18th, two different TV stations covered Nigerian scam stories involving three separate female victims.  Read about their experiences here via and and here from KUSA

I’ve written a lot about scams and bad advice.  Take a look here.  In a nutshell (accurate word, nutshell), never, never, never give money to someone you met online. Not for a long, long while anyway.  And then think aobut it more than twice.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


72 But Feeling 60

I get letters from visitors to my website and readers of my enewsletter all the time.  When I think that the questions posed are of interest to more than the writer, I often alter the writer’s note to conceal identifying details, then publish the relevant content here or in my free *eMAIL to eMATE* enewsletter. (Not a subscriber? Sign up here!)

Dear Kathryn -

How much does Romance Coaching cost?  I live on Social Security
only…a very small limited income.  Money is very scarce.  And
what’s the chance of finding love at 72 when I feel 60, and am
not attracted to men my age?  Thanks, Betty

Hey Betty—

Probably, individual coaching would be out of your price range.
I charge $75 per half hour on the phone, with unlimited email
support in between.  I’d suggest that you take advantage of my
lower cost options.  There’s tons of free information on my
website.  I’m doing one of my “Talk to Your Romance Coach for
FREE!” hours on July 12.  It’ll be on the phone with whoever
signs up and calls in.  These hours are always lively and

I offer regular workshops (listed on my website) for far less
than individual coaching.  My book “Find a Sweetheart Soon!” is
only about $30 and does a thorough job getting you ready for a
mate search.

A single’s financial status will be important to your potential mate. 
And dating costs money. You might want to think about ways to
supplement your income.  Since you feel 60, you may very well
have some good money-making opportunities that would get you
out and about, and also give you some extra money to spend on
dating related activities.

As far as your chances of finding love, everything that you can
do to increase the possibilities helps your chances.  Internet
dating is a fantastic resource.  Keep in mind that there are men
your age that feel and look 60, too.  Widen your parameters on
who would be possible mates.  Watch your critical thinking and
start noticing what you do want, rather than what you don’t.  The
route most likely to fail: Do nothing.

Best of luck, Kathryn


Finances Count

I get letters from visitors to my website and readers of my enewsletter all the time.  When I think that the questions posed are of interest to more than the writer, I often alter the writer’s note to conceal identifying details, then publish the relevant content here or in my free *eMAIL to eMATE* enewsletter. (Not a subscriber? Sign up here!)

Dear Kathryn,

I am 44 years old, single, white, nonsmoker, and consider myself a decent person.  Yet, I don’t have much luck in finding the right one.  I am never married, although, there has been one or two in my past that have reasonably close.  My longest relationship is six months.  ( I guess by now you are laughing.)  Most of my friends from high school are divorced at least once.

I have noticed that today, girls my age are more focused on whether you can provide them with a Lexus SUV and an unlimited checking account.  I cannot.  I only make $18,000 a year with my wonderful BA degree and real estate license.

I don’t smoke, dip snuff, or have any tattoos.  In fact, I guess you could say I am more like Wally on Leave It To Beaver.  Yet, I think some girls out there are looking for bad boy types on Harleys.

I am without a clue and just about given up on the prospect that I will ever find anyone for me.

I get mostly rejection….Women run from me and interrogate me more about my career and finances than about whether I like the Dallas Cowboys or what is my favorite color. 

Can you tell me five things that most women like and what I should be doing.  I have no clue anymore.


Yeeoweekazowee, Roger.  What a saga.  Well, I think you know the answer to your question.  It is all over your email.  You are wrong about the Lexus and unlimited bank account, but women looking at a 46 year old guy will want to know that he can at least fill a gas tank.  How do you even buy food on $18,000 a year?  If you were 22 and not 44, the $18,000 would not be that big a deal, but 44???!!!

You sell real estate.  You know that the value of a property is what someone is willing to sell (or trade) for it.  What is your value on the mate market?  You sound like a nice guy, but at 44, an American man should be well established in a career, near or at the top of his earning capacity, own property and have a good net worth.  Women—and nowadays men too—look carefully at that in a potential partner.  They ask “Will this man/woman pull his/her financial weight in the relationship?  Is he/she saving for retirement and the future?  Will he/she be able to take care of me if I get sick?  What about children and the skills and ability to support a family?”  If the individual comes up short, then why?  Does he/she have other attributes to offer (beauty, charm, skills, etc) that tip the balance?  Is there an explanation of the current financial situation that makes sense, and a plan to change it?  Like the individual is retraining for a more lucrative field, has made or lost his/her first million and is gearing up for a second, or is living on a trust fund that will pay off big in the future (that last one is not that good, but better than nothing)?  Or are they planning to win the lottery (wishful thinking)?

Income and financial stability is more that just about dollars.  It[s a rough indicator of ability to set goals and plan, to organize oneself, to anticipate the future.  It can say something about character: amibition, realistic thinking, self-respect.

You need to look at what can be done to increase your dating worth.  The easiest and most under your control is figure out how to make more money.  Sorry, but it’s not just women looking for dollar signs.  At your age, you should be more financially set.

Best wishes, Kathryn


Deals on Dating Sites

You wouldn’t believe the percentage of people, even on the biggest dating sites, who are not paid members.  I’ve written about this before.  On Match.com, I’ve been able to extrapolate that the percentages are anywhere from 7:1 to 11:11, paid to unpaid.  That means that only 1 in 7 or 1 in 11 of the people you contact can email you back without paying the fee—a powerful disincentive to returning your email, unless you are clearly a “10.”

I can’t understand this unwillingness to pay your share for what is clearly a top knotch service.  Particularly when the prices are so good when you sign up for more than a month.

Match.com currently is charging $12.99 per month when you sign up for six months.  Yahoo! Personals is $12.49 per month for the six month contract.  Yahoo! Premier (recommended—here’s why) comes to $20.83 per month for the same period of time. 

Don’t worry about the six month factor: It’ll probably take you at least a month or two to get your feet wet on the dating site and get some experience in weeding out potential candidates.  Chances are very good that you will not meet Mr. or Ms. Right in your first month.  And so what if you do?  For an investment of under $100 that gives you access to scads of people looking for partners, even if you find your Life’s Love on the first DAY, it would still be a great deal.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PSD According to an article on biz.yahoo, Match has over 600,000 paid members and over 3,000,000 profiles (even those figures give a 5:1 unpaid to paid ratio).  60% of users are men (good news, ladies!), and Match has the highest percentage of over 35 users making $100,000 or more (7%).


More on Who Pays These Days

Steve Friedman writing for Match.com’s online newsletter tackles “Why must men always pay for dates?”  If you’re interested in the man’s point of view on this controversial issue, take a look at what Steve has to say.

Basically, Steve understands the meaning behind payment, particularly for women.  And he does pay, for up to three dates.  But then he introduces money into the conversations they are having about hopes and dreams, and if all goes well, the two start sharing the expenses of getting together. 

What’s really informative is that it is clear, through Steve, that men are watching the women, too, and how they handle (or don’t handle) who pays for what.  These days, when women easily can be making as much or more than their date, sharing not only seems fair, it seems expected.

So guys, expect to handle the costs in the beginning, but ladies, step up to the plate early on and plan to pony up some dollars.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS And see what I have written before on this topic here and here.


Anybody Can get Scammed

on May 10 describing a classic scam that I’m seeing lots of reports of out of Nigeria.  See the Nigerian connection pieces I have written.

Ben Coleman contacted Aileen Califano through a dating site.  After spending some time to gain Califano’s trust, Coleman asked for money, which Califano rightly refused.  Then Coleman sent her $3,800 in money orders, which he asked her to deposit in her bank account, then wire the money to Colorado. 

Califano was not fooled.  She was sure they were a fraud, and checked.  They were.

Sending phony money orders and asking the receiver to deposit the fake checks and then forward the money to another address is a common scam technique.  In the May 15, 2006, issue of the New Yorker, author Mitchell Zuckoff wrote about how John W. Worley, a Christian psychotherapist, was suckered into a classic Nigerian scam.  If you want to see how a perfectly normal, bright man gets suckered, take a look.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Money Money Money Money

If you are single and out of your teens, you are probably either building up some net worth or some net debt.  And if you are single and looking for a mate, you’d better put checking out your potential partner’s net worth and debt too. 

In an article in the Miami Herald, Jodi Mailander Farrell reports that 1/3 of 1,022 people sampled by Fair Isaac Corp said that a “lack of financial responsibility” damaged their relationships more than even infidelity.  And here’s another juicy tidbit: Respondents said more that twice as often that financial compatibility was more important than good sex. 

It’s a good idea to get your finances straight and understandable before you need to explain them to someone else.  Chapter 12 “Traveler’s Checks” of my book “Find a Sweetheart Soon!  Your Love Trip Planner for Women” takes you through taking control of your finances, if you need it. Click here to find out more about my book and how to order.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Me and The Geez Go At It Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Getting to the Bottom Line

I love it. Talk about nitty-gritty:

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

Here’s why:

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

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

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Costs of Love

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

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

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

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

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Want to Get Rich?  Get Married and Stay That Way

You’ve heard the saying: It’s as easy to fall in love with a rich woman as a poor one? Well, it’s all over the media this week: , a person who marries and stays married accumulates almost twice the wealth as someone who stays single or divorces. One reason for the greater net worth of marrieds is simple: It’s cheaper to maintain one household than two. Another is that married folks feel responsibility towards each other and are therefore more careful about their spending.

It would also seem reasonable that it helps to be married AND happy, since folks divorcing start losing worth 4 years before the actual divorce. And getting divorced takes an average of 77% of a person’s worth. Most divorcing folks can testify to that.

I sat in on a lecture by Dr. Chris Peterson today. Dr. Peterson is a leading scholar in the study of happiness and is co-author with Martin Seligman of “CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND VIRTUES: A HANDBOOK AND CLASSIFICATION.” Peterson listed the five traits associated with happiness and life satisfaction across the life span: Love, hope, zest, gratitude, and curiosity. So if you want to increase your chances of happiness and wealth, find someone to love.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Sounds Good, But Worth the Price?

Marketdata Enterprises has just released I thought about getting a copy, but the jaw-dropping price of $250 for 57 pages drew me up short. I went to the site to check out the Table of Contents and was not impressed: “Your Odds of Success — Finding A Match” was dealt with in one page. “Types of Dating Services” got four pages. At almost $5 a page, that type better be pretty teensy to get your money’s worth.

The news release for the report has some juicy tidbits though, and here are some of them:

Some Major Findings:

* The Better Business Bureau reports that in most complaints received about dating services, the consumer is at fault because they did not thoroughly read the contract.

* A number of dating services have been sued by state Attorney General’s offices or by consumers. Do you know which ones?

* Research shows that members of minority groups, unattractive or overweight people, those with rigid religious beliefs, singles with more than two children living with them, and chain smokers will have limited success.

* Singles have an equal chance of finding their soul mate no matter what kind of dating service they use. A higher-priced service is no guarantee of better results, although many will claim that their match rate is superior.

* Off-line chains such as Together or Great Expectations typically charge $3,000-4,000. Independent matchmakers (which are growing in number in the U.S.) charge anywhere from $500 to $100,000 for their services. The top ones usually cost $10,000+.

* Virtually anyone can call themselves a matchmaker — no license or certification is required. They are also hard to find, since most do not advertise. Word-of-mouth referral is used instead.

* Matchmakers today may offer many other services to make you more marketable: image makeovers, personal training and weight loss, wardrobe assessment, hair/skin care consulting, professional photos, written profile editing, etc.

And related to my earlier post on dating and matchmaking services:

“In many ways, dating services is a wild west environment, where ‘let the buyer beware’ is very much the rule. The number of services, both on the Internet and companies with physical offices, has exploded since 2001. Each type of dating service has its own positives and negatives. Prices for services vary tremendously — from $20 per month to $50,000+. Consequently, it’s more important than ever for dating singles to know what they are getting into before signing contracts,” according to John LaRosa, Research Director.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Complaints About Dating Services

My clients and readers often ask about other resources than Internet dating sites for singles. Matchmakers (people who maintain a list of eligible singles and pair them up for a fee) are favorites with both men women, I think because it allows them to stay relatively passive while someone else (the matchmaker) does the work. Matchmakers charge stiff fees, and also, you are restricted to the people that they have on their lists. You can read more about what I have to say about matchmakers on one of my earlier blog postings.

Dating services are similar to matchmakers, except they seem to function more like business, not relying on one person (a matchmaker) and their intuitive skills, but on employees who change, sometimes rapidly. Dating services are also expensive, maybe somewhat less expensive than matchmakers, but still pricey, starting at a low of about $1000. You can buy a lot of months on a dating site for $1000.

Dating services have poor reputations. Here’s an article about a Houston dating service called Together Dating, poor service they gave one of their customers, and the dozens of complaints that had been filed against Together Dating with the Better Business Bureau. Together Dating appears to be a franchise, not unlike McDonald’s. If you are interested in buying a business, here’s how to get more info on how to purchase a Together Dating franchise—price $98,400 to $254,900.

I’m far too tight to spend that kind of money to have someone else do the picking for me. I want to see what is being offered, have LOTS of choice, and save my money to fix myself up to go on a date. What about you? Anyone out there tried matchmakers or dating services?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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