Kathryn's Blog: Mind Your Manners

FAQ #4 Why don’t they answer my emails?

Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, I talk to who has spent any time on an Internet dating site asks me “Why don’t they answer my emails?” The nastiest littlest-known secret is because the guy or gal you wrote to probably is too cheap to join the site: Most sites require that you pay before you communicate.

Think about it: It’s to the dating site’s advantage to encourage you to post your profile, and they make it free to do so. Every dating site needs lots of people’s profiles and pics to draw other new members. But dating sites, like any business, need money to continue offering and improving their services, and they get people to pay up by making emailing a paid-only privilege.

So if you, in good faith, pay your membership fees, then email a cutie or two or three, you can see how the odds are really against you. It’s a very high probability that the object of your interest has not paid up, 10 or more to 1, unpaid to paid. And you have no way of knowing, because there’s no indication of payment status on profiles. So from the cutie’s point of view, with each contact they receive, they need to decide if the privilege to respond to adorable you is worth the $25 or so it will take them to join up.

The second biggest reason that they don’t answer your emails is that they are rude. Even if someone is not interested, a short, polite note saying something like “Thanks for your interest, but I don’t see a match here” takes only seconds. You can boilerplate a No, thanks” message and just paste and copy your message into an email. Match.com even has a button below the email you get to make it super-easy: Say “No, thanks.”  Why not use it? An unanswered email is so distressing. Event though “No, thanks,” might not be what you want to hear, at least you know.

Unfortunately, rude is becoming the norm. It is absolutely customary now for younger people (older people, too) to just ignore emails they are not interested in. In some ways, this makes sense, because email is so easy to send that many of us are deluged every day. Sorting out what we really want to see from the junk and the communications that we simply aren’t interested in has become a major daily chore. Many people now are simply using the delete key rather than responding. I have also noticed that on sites like Match.com, new emails in your email box have a thumbnail photo, plus age and location. It’s not uncommon for people to not even open the email, based on that tiny bit of information.

So here you have it: Non-answered introductory emails likely mean he/she is cheap or rude. Subset of rude: people who routinely don’t answer any email because they are not interested.  You don’t want to be cheap or rude, do you? Nor do you want to be seen as cheap or rude either, so pay up and say “Thanks but no thanks” to all who think you are a hunk.

P.S. If you post a profile, play fair: Pay the fee! Most sites offer great deals for multiple months (less that 50 cents a day!). You’ll be financially supporting the site you are using and sharing the costs with the other fair-playing members. The dating sites will be able to improve their services with the money you send. And your posted profile, which implies that you are available for communication, will actually be telling the truth!


Dating Advice Tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not use a date as a confessional. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an exit strategy.

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Undateable? Intense competition online

Ellen Gammerman writes for the Wall Street Journal and seems to be their onsite expert on online dating.  She wrote a lengthy piece called “An online nightmare: Becoming ‘Undateable’” that is worth a look.  It’s so dense with stories that I won’t summarize it here. other to say it describes a good idea gone bad.

I know that when I was doing online dating, I wished there was some kind of reporting system so that others could be at least warned about caddish behavior.  And some sites have developed systems to do so.  But like any good idea, people are always around who are ready to misuse it (like the scammers who are now such a part of everyday Internet life).  And people have figured out ways to abuse and manipulate rating systems. 

I guess the only route is the middle one: Behave yourself and use good manners, do the best you can with your online profile, making sure it also accurately presents you as you are now, and keep you antennae up and in the “receiving” position.  Don’t be a cad yourself, and learn how to spot them.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS Read my blog postings on “Mind Your Manners” for help with etiquette.

PPS I do profile reviews and workups.  My clients LOVE the results.  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you would like me to do yours.


Winners Never Cheat

And cheaters never win—have you heard that one?  Evidently, not everyone believes it, since cheating of one sort or another is pretty common.  One reason people cheat is because they can: Folks are much more likely to lie or cheat if they think they can get away with it. 

The Internet (and Internet dating) has oddly made it easier to cheat and easier to get caught.  The seemingly private nature of your computer, sitting alone and typing messages onto a machine, encourages people to bend the rules if they think it will suit them.  It’s a vicious circle: Online daters hear and experience the lies and distortions of other singles online, so they often feel that they have to lie too, just to stay competitive. 

If you are trying to find a mate online, lying is totally a losing game.  For absolute sure, don’t say anything in your profile or early conversations that will make you out to be a liar at your first meeting!  An out-of-date photo is the most common sort of lie, or shaving pounds off your weight or adding inches in height.  People get angry when they think you are trying to trick them, and most do not want to continue a relationship with someone who clearly lies.  Do not lie!  It is not worth the risk.

People who lie are getting caught in other ways than by sight at the first date.  Many folks now know how to do background checks for criminal records, divorce records, house and land ownership, and they do them—routinely.  Often my clients tell me things that they have found out about potential dates.  Other sources of information are Google (common practice to Google someone’s name to see citations), sites like DontDatHimGirl.com (where women can post “reviews” of men they have dated, using real names and photos), and even dating sites (like Consumating.com, whose charming tag line is “A new way to find people who don’t suck”—read about a Consumating user’s dreadful experience here).

Don’t lie, distort or evade in general, because if you do, you will know it, even if your date/partner does not.  You will be worried that he/she will find out, what you will do when they do, and your secret will get in the way of your relationship’s development. 

And not only don’t lie: Behave yourself, too.  Bad behavior can get you bad reviews.  As easy as it is just not to answer an unwanted email approach, on some sites, it can get you branded as rude. 

Just as I said at the beginning of this post, people are more likely to lie or cheat if they think they can get away with it.  Don’t get lulled into thinking your online (or offline) behavior is private.  Not anymore.  Folks are watching, even if you can’t see them doing it.

From Your Romance Coach,

Kathryn Lord


When to Take Down Your Profile?

New technologies shape new behaviors.  Did you know that “Hello” as a greeting was sort of invented because telephone users needed some sort of greeting that signaled one had answered the ring?

Internet daters have had to develop whole codes and shadings of behaviors not in existance before online dating.  Men and women are now on equal footing as to who makes the first contact. 

How long do you email before moving to the phone?  I’d say within two weeks, not longer than a month or two, because that leaves too much room for fantasy.

When and how do you meet for the first time? How long do you allow for that meeting?  What about safety rules?

An altogether new wrinkle is when to take down your Internet dating profile.  Do you leave it up until the both of you decide to be exclusive?  It kind of has the feeling like the old-fashioned being “pinned.”  Do young folks still do that?  Not like getting engaged, but a sign of seriousness. 

The underside of leaving your profile up is that your date can go online and check if you are still there and looking.  Of course, you can do the same for her.  Here’s what Shirly Malove had to say in the Miami Herald:

Q: I’ve been dating a great guy for three months, BUT he still has an active profile on http://www.match.com. I took my profile down after we started dating. I casually asked if he was still seeking dates online and he said, ‘No. I have you.’ Why is he still checking his profile every night? And why am I checking to see if he is checking his profile? Am I insecure?

A: You have some specific questions about your boyfriend and yourself that are difficult to answer without being able to see inside of you. However, what I do notice is that you seem to have sensed something was amiss between the two of you, which led you to check up on his online activity.

For some reason, both of you are reluctant to candidly express your feelings or concerns about where your relationship stands and where it is going. Because you are both engaged in activities that are kept secret from the other, establishing a trusting relationship becomes difficult. Trust and communication are the building blocks of a solid relationship. Feeling uncertain about his commitment to you is both uncomfortable and puzzling and probably explains your tendency to secretly monitor his online involvement.

However, if you each continue on this path, your relationship will be mired in deception and doubt. You must find a way to openly express your concerns and needs in this relationship, along with your hopes and dreams for the future while encouraging him to do the same. By doing so, you discover things about each other which will likely give you better insight and enable you to decide whether investing in a long-term relationship with this person is right for you.

No matter how awkward it may feel to raise the topic, it would be more harmful in the long run for these issues to be ignored. Unless you can openly talk about the unspoken feelings between the two of you, a barrier will continue to grow and interfere with the establishment of a caring and fulfilling relationship, which is most likely what you were both searching for when you began dating. Perhaps this is the source of the insecurity you are experiencing.

What do you think?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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.


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


How Not To Break Up

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

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

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

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Cheap or Rude?  The Numbers Game

From a reader and loyal fan:

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

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

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

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

Too weird.

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


The Costs of Love

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

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

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

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

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

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


How Thin Can You Slice That Hair?

Boy meets girl, gets phone number. Girl waits by phone. Boy finally calls and a date is made.

That is horse and buggy days, folks. There are now so many ways to negotiate that first set of moves that it will boggle your mind.

There’s email and text-messaging, instant messaging and blackberries. And each one lessens the degree of risk that walking up and saying “hi” or making that first phone call elicits.

Which in many ways is good, since lower risk would tend to encourage more overtures.

On the other hand, the easier and more casual the “Let’s get together” messages become, the less importance the getting together actually seems. Remember when people got dressed up to go to church or fly in an airplane? Now folks go practically in their pyjamas. And wear pyjamas on dates, as well. If you ever tune in to soap operas, you’ll notice that the characters now are either naked or dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns. That’s how far they have to go to denote special.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Miss Manners on Proper Dressing for Dates

My daughter Mishelle loves Judith Martin, the columnist also known as Miss Manners. I like what Miss Manners has to say, too, and her column dated October 30 in the Tallahassee Democrat made some excellent points for singles.

Appropriate for the date of the column, Miss Manners wrote “How can we tell when it is Halloween now that everybody is playing dress up all year?” Like it or not, what you wear signals many things to others, and maybe not what you want to convey.

When you are going to meet your potential True Love, dress for the occasion. If you want to find a nice, respectable mate, dress for the part: Pick your wardrobe and your grooming so that you look like the partner of the nice respectable mate you want.

Guys, you wouldn’t believe the numbers of women I have heard describe quick turn-offs to a new date because of how he dressed. And I’m not talking about coming decked out like a fashion magazine. I’m talking about wearing clean, non-wrinkled clothing—without holes—that are becoming to you and look like you have respect for yourself and your date.

Ladies, even though 99% of the guys and maybe 98% of the women are thinking “sex,” don’t dress as if you are selling it. If you present yourself predominately as a hot ticket, that’s what the guys will think they are buying. Now, I’m not saying to dress like a nun, but save the tight, low cut numbers and the bare midrifts for when you know your date a little better.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Email etiquette for online daters

The question I always get from Internet daters is “Why don’t they answer my emails?” I’ve written about this before, about how something dating sites DON’T make clear is that a very large proportion of those with profiles posted on most sites are not paid members (as many as 70-90%), and only paid members can respond to emails unless they pay up. Beyond that obstacle (which is formidable), even if there has been one or two email exchanges, it’s not uncommon for one side of the correspondence to suddenly stop.

Just like with the regular mail, occasionally mail gets lost. Computers and cyberspace can break or do wacky things, we all know, and devouring email is one of them. So the first place to start is to re-email your last communication and ask if it had been received when you sent it ??? days ago.

Here’s some more guidelines:

1. Once you start communicating, respond in a timely manner. Check your email at least daily, and give yourself a 24 hour limit for writing back. Relationships that start online need to be fed, and the energy you put into your emails will pay off. Feed daily, at least.

2. The tone of your writing should be respectful in language and content. Do not try to be something you are not, but do be polite. Make your emails look like you care about what you are writing. Use good grammar, full sentences, your spell check, and keep the tone positive. Give your reader something to look forward to.

3. This is the time to ask the questions that are important to you—while trying not to be too harsh or intrusive. It’s perfectly appropriate to ask marital status, relationship history, or what your writing partner is looking for with online dating.

4. If you decide to end the communication after you have been having an email dialogue with a potential mate candidate, say what you are doing, with an explanation. Rather than wait for the email that never comes or wonder what could have happened, you can also tactfully and respectively ask why your correspondent stopped communicating. Whether and how your email contact answers will tell you a lot about them and what happened, and if you did do something that caused the breach, you can learn from the new information and make necessary corrections.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Internet Dating’s Dirty Little Secret

All the chatter that has been going on here on my blog the last couple of days (see postings and comments on “Who DOES eHarmony Work For Anyway?” and “Your 1% Towards Making the Internet Safe”) the last couple of days has really had me thinking again about the issue of paid/not paid memberships on dating sites. And my correspondents bdb777 and Jennifer have spurred me on to clarify my thoughts. Here they are:

Background for the uninformed—Most Internet dating sites allow people to post a profile without paying. This is to the dating site’s advantage, because they want to get lots of profiles up for people to look at. Big membership numbers are a big incentive to for singles to join a site.

The sites get non-paying members to convert to paying members, which the sites needs to stay in business, by restricting certain privileges. The most common restriction is that those people who do not pay cannot email anyone. On some sites, you can send out a “wink” or icebreaker, but nothing more.

Most sites give no indication on the profile of who has paid and who hasn’t. How this plays out is that if a non-paying member is emailed by a paying member (who doesn’t know if the other is paying or not), then the non-paying member has to decide if the contact looks good enough for them to pay a fee to make the first contact.

Having to pay a fee (around $20) to email is a powerful incentive not to do so, whether or not the person contacting is a possible match. Even though it seems rude, it’s all too easy online to simply not answer emails at all, especially on dating sites, because of the anonymity. So non-paying members account for a good percentage of the very high non-response rate to first email contacts. For instance, Match.com claims around 1 million paying members. While you never see the numbers paired, they also claim 8 - 10 million members. Only 1 in 8 or 1 in 10 members then (those registered and posting profiles) are paid members. So when a hopeful single sends an email to an attractive other, the odds of an email response may only be 10%.

As my correspondents have pointed out, this policy of free memberships with restrictions also works out well for lots of singles, who can post their profiles, wait to be contacted, and look at who is posting, all without paying. It’s like trolling for fish and throwing back all but the biggest guys. (I’ve always thought that “catch and release” made no sense and was cruel. Who says the fish don’t feel the huge hook in their mouth anyway? It could kill the darned fish, probably hurt like the dickens, and all for the fun of the fisherman.)

Additionally, if the poster is clever or the site allows or misses the action, the poster may also imbed an off-site email address, by-passing the need to join all together.

Who this does not work well for are the folks who are new or who haven’t figured out the system. Here’s why:

  • First, their fees are supporting the site for everyone who has posted and not paid up. Conceivably, those fees could be cheaper for all if more members paid their fair share
  • Second, newbies (or even seasoned daters) may not understand the difference in privileges between paid and unpaid, and most assume that because everyone is presented equally, that they are members at equal levels.
  • Third, new Internet daters are new—they are inexperienced, at least with online dating, and maybe to dating in general. They don’t know “the rules,” they are scared, and they are vulnerable.
  • Fourth, fear of rejection looms big with these folks, and even an unanswered “wink” can pack a wallop.
  • Fifth, they are jumping right on an already fast-moving speed boat with a “sink or swim” mentality. Who knows how many folks can quickly figure out a dog-paddle, or how many just sink and drop out?

I call this paid, full privileges and unpaid/restricted privileges memberships that dating sites routinely offer as “Internet dating’s dirty little secret.” Dating sites really don’t want you to know the differences. That’s why they never pair the paid and unpaid membership figures. Unless you are an experienced, savvy cyber dater and have figured this out on your own, or unless you have read my many writings on the subject or had me explain the phenomenon, you don’t know why you have such a high non-response rate to your emails. Every single time I have explained this phenomenon to singles, new daters or not, they are surprised. Usually, they assumed that everyone listing was a full member and able to email back. And all had no idea of the disproportionate numbers of paid versus unpaid members (80 or 90% unpaid on Match.com, for example).

Also, I don’t know what the figures are for first-time Internet daters versus the old timers, but I know that new folks are coming online all the time. And as Internet dating has moved into the mainstream, the users who have been on for awhile become more sophisticated and more able to manipulate the systems to their advantage. There is no T-Ball or Little League that I know of for new online daters. Every newbie jumps right into the major leagues, right along with veteran World Series players.

These new players are most often recently out of a long-term relationship and/or have not dated for a long time. They are tender, vulnerable, naive, and easily frightened or discouraged. They have not developed the thick skins that experienced daters, online or off, may have. However, they are excellent mate material, maybe even better than the experienced daters, who maybe jaded, calloused, or just plain not good mate material in the first place.

When my clients ask me why their emails or overtures are not being answered, I tell them about non-paying members, how many of them there are on sites, and how they would have to pay a membership fee to answer back. Then I suggest that they think about what they can infer from this. Here are my theories:

  • Most likely, either the non-responding poster is too cheap to join the site and play fair, or he/she is rude, because whether paid or unpaid, not to respond to an overture from another is rude. Or both - cheap AND rude.
  • Or the poster may be lazy and not attending to his/her profile as he/she should: If the poster has met someone and is dating, so not available, or perhaps taking a break, planned or unplanned, the poster should hide their profile or resign from the site. Continuing to post when not really available is false advertising.
  • The other, more excusable but least likely, reasons for non-response might be broken computer at the other end, sick or dead, or possibly the site has kept up the profile even though the poster has dropped his/her membership (some dating sites reportedly do this routinely to keep the numbers of profiles up).

Spelling out these possible reasons for non-answered emails softens the sting somewhat. Over and over, I tell clients: “People tell you who they are from the very first contact. Are you really interested in someone who doesn’t care enough to be polite? Or is cheap and trying to manipulate the system?” Be aware, those of you who do not answer polite indications of interest: That’s how you may be being seen. Is that the image you want to convey?

It is to everyone’s advantage to take good care of these new daters. Dating sites ought to make clear the differences between paid and unpaid members with some kind of designation, like Yahoo! Premier is now doing. That designation could be seen as a premium and thereby encourage members to pay up. (Yahoo! Premier members have to pay and get a purple P seal on their profiles. While these profiles are mixed right in with all the other Yahoo! Personals, it’s easy to tell who is a Premier member. Yahoo! is also marketing the Premier designation as a membership level for singles who are serious about finding a committed relationship.)

Experienced daters should pay their fair share and kindly and politely email everyone who contacts them. Just because you can do something does not necessarily mean that you should. It’s all too easy on the Internet to be rude and callous in ways that you might never be in face-to-face dealings. Dating sites and experienced daters should take on the obligation of welcoming new folks and helping them get up to speed. Wouldn’t that add to the general ambiance? Isn’t finding a life partner hard enough as it is?

Just think: Your perfect match could be nervously writing their first profile right now, getting ready to post. Don’t you hope that other singles treat Mr. or Ms. Right well until you find him/her, or your Sweetheart finds you? Wouldn’t it be awful if your heart’s desire got treated rudely, got discouraged, and dropped offline? Before you ever met?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Your 1% Towards Making the Internet Safe

With all the talk lately about whether there’s a need for protection for Internet daters (I’ve written quite a bit: See one sample here), I’ve been thinking about the role of personal responsibility. The Internet is nothing more that a huge collection of folks just like us, sitting at computer terminals and typing away. So we all have a piece of responsibility in makeing what happens here safe and reliable.

I talked to a man the other day on the phone, an experienced Internet dater. I was explaining to him the advantages of the level of membership: to get a Premier seal on your profile, you have to be a paid member. (Knowing that someone has paid is an important piece of information, because paying implies seriousness. Also, on most sites, if you aren’t a paid member, you can’t respond to emails from prospective mates.) He retorted that he had no problem scamming Yahoo!, Match.com or any other dating site, because they all had plenty of money.

Frankly, I found his attitude appalling. To start out what you hope to be a life time loving relationship by cheating the business that is making it possible for your to meet possible mates seems designed to undermine your best efforts.

If you are a child of the 70’s like I am, you may remember the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s efforts to get the world meditating. The Maharishi believed that if just 1% of the world’s population were regularly meditating, we would have peace, or at least more of it.

Each 1% of us at those computer terminals, like meditators, can make a difference. How? If we all take it on ourselves to be honest, kind, and polite in our Internet dealings, 1% at a time, think of what a difference that could make overall. When might we reach the Tipping Point that Malcolm Gladwell describes, when honesty and reliability on the Internet would be so much the usual practice that one could simply assume that people were who they said they were?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



Contact Kathryn by phone at , by email at

home | kathryn's romance newsletter | test yourself | new, fun, free | facts
about kathryn and coaching | who is kathryn lord? | kathryn's own cyberromance story | what is romance coaching? | are you ready for romance coaching? | what kathryn's clients say | want to try romance coaching?
kathryn's blog | contact kathryn


Copyright 2003-2011 Kathryn B. Lord