Kathryn's Blog: Niche Dating Sites

Not truth, not a lie, but something inbetween

A few weeks ago, there was a short article in the New York Times’ Style section called “I’m not real, but neither are you.”  It was about a new dating site (sort of) called cloudgirlfriend.com The site helps you build a fantasy profile, complete with photos they provide (which were rather spooky— the women’s ones were all gorgeous, young, and with huge unworldly photo shopped eyes), then matches you with other fantasy profiles. I joined (not without trepidation) and was immediately sent matches to scroll through. In the first ten, three of the photos were exactly the same, though the written material was different, which was pretty eerie.

Anyway, the premise is to allow someone to build a fantasy self, similar to people joining Second Life, then meet others in cyberspace doing the exact same thing. It’s a fabulous idea, melding dating sites with fantasy, having the fantasy be open and above board . Interestingly, quite a number of folks who have met on Second Life have met up in real life and gone on to form real relationships and even marriages. In the documentary I was a consultant for “When Strangers Click,” the last story was about such a couple. Click here to see a film clip.

This kind of site has a blatant acknowledgement that the individual presentations are not “real.” There is an up-front agreement between members that nothing in the profiles should be taken as “true.” The fantasy characters (as in Second Life) do have some aspects of “truth” to them, though: fantasy allows members to express parts of themselves that otherwise are hidden or negated by “true circumstances” like physical appearances.

I’d like to see this idea taken a step beyond. I regularly work with singles who really worry about being recognized on dating sites. Usually these folks are not married, not worrying about being found out. They tend to be prominent people in their communities who would be easily recognized. They feel both exposed in a private matter, and are concerned that it would seem rather unseemly for someone in their position to be on a dating site.

A dating site built on the premise of fantasy profiles, that everyone going in KNOWS that the picture is not “real,” but that there would be a blend of reality from the written words, could be of real service to these folks. As well, a fantasy photo that is “me, though better,” would cut through the 90% of us who are not the 10’s getting all the attention.


Twitter meets Sweethearts

I’ve been experimenting with Twitter a few months now, and I’d have to say I am semi-hooked.  How’s that for ambivalence?  It’s fun watching the Tweets of the people I am following scroll down the left side of my screen (I use Twitbin to do it).  And I like the quick, immediate way Twitter allows me to communicate with MY followers, which are accumulating every day.  That part is fun to watch too, those folks who find me somehow and sign on for the ride. 

People get hooked on Twitter.  Interesting as well as useless applications turn up every day.  But here is one that really floored me: Leave it to the Twitterites to come up with a DATING SITE base on Twitter:  http://www.mytweetheart.com/  You’ve got all the standard dating match-up possibilities, men seeking women, women seeking men, men for men and women for women, as well as men seeking men/women and women seeking men/women.  I just saw a posting by a man seeking men/women and the picture he had posted was with his wife and kids!  Lordy. 

But it is free, and it would be a real challenge to write a profile in less than 140 characters.


Cat Lovers Unite!

I checked out this new niche dating site for cat lovers and was in for a treat, maybe you too.  I normally don’t cover or recommend small niche dating sites, but this one caught my eye. If you go to Purrsonals.com and wait just a few seconds, what look like a live avatar comes out of the left margin, a woman holding a cat, and both look real.  She talks about the dating site, but I couldn’t help but see that she had hired our very own TJ to work with her to promote the site.  You can see him relaxing here.

A site like this will probably have a very low sign-up rate and many more women than men, even though it’s a cute idea.

What do you think of avatar?  Do you like them or do they turn you off?


Green dating?

I don’t tend to suggest niche dating sites, green or otherwise.  Internet dating is about numbers, and niche sites are, by definition, about small slices of the singles community.  This article below struck me as pretty west coast, Seattle in particular, but I went ahead and took a look at the GreenSingles.com site anyway.  I did a search on Florida, men looking for women, and a surprising 224 guys came up.  And most seem to be the over-40 crowd.  However, there were 379 ladies looking for men in Florida too.  That’s about 50% more women than men.  (Always check the gender ratios and go for the sites that you have an advantage in)  I checked Maine, too, and while the numbers were smaller, they were respectable.  Though the ladies outnumbered the men 2 to 1. 

A niche site that appeals to a part of you might be worth some time and investment, but pick on IN ADDITION to your big name, big membership site.

Single Shot: The eco-dating game Special green services want to help you find a sustainable soul mate


Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if everybody’s trying to out-green one another these days. A woman I was talking to at a restaurant the other night said she’s even using Seventh Generation diapers for her baby. I don’t know about you, but that seems like one really old diaper.

But such is the pressure to reduce, reuse and recycle.

As an apartment-dwelling single with nary a dependent, I can’t brag about how I use cardboard diapers for my kids. Nor can I point to the energy-efficient appliances I’ve purchased for my solar-powered yurt, or wax sanctimonious about my backyard worm bin (I’d install one in the kitchen but my lease says no pets).

But I can do one thing to keep from being completely left in the eco-dust. It’s called green dating.

Green dating officially got its start about five years ago, around the same time niche sites like LargeFriends.com and EquestrianSingles.com began cropping up faster than recycling ordinances in the city of Seattle.

GreenSingles.com, a personal-connection site for people in the environmental, vegetarian and animal-rights communities, probably has been around the longest, hooking up singles who share a “global consciousness influenced by holistic philosophies, green politics and a willingness to explore the mind, body and spirit” (i.e., tree-huggers looking for love) since 1985.

A quick search through the site - “made with 100 percent recycled electrons!” - yielded me 71 potential dates in the greater Seattle area (I’m thinking global, but dating local), including a marine biologist, a musical gardener and some guy who lives on a permaculture farm in the woods. (Does that mean he grows pot?)

Over at Green-Passions.com, brought to you by the same folks who created StachePassions, MulletPassions and TruckerPassions (what, no TrailerParkPassions?), I didn’t have nearly as much luck. My search netted only four eco-friendly singles in my area, plus the site kept crashing every time I tried to check out the guys’ profiles.

Not that it really mattered. Butted up next to each match was a large ad for a hot pink waterless composting toilet. I’m all for saving water and everything, but talk about a buzz kill (not to mention a not-so-subtle reminder that my love life was in the crapper).

Undaunted, I plowed ahead and soon found a handful of other sites where a green - or even celery-colored - single could find a sustainable soul mate.

DemocraticSingles.net ponied up 86 matches from a pool of more than 25,000 environmentally and politically aware mates, including one guy interested in “trees, mountains, sex, wild birds and conversation” (or was that conservation?). Earth Wise Singles (ewsingles.com) gave me 21 candidates, among them a tall slender sensualist into environmental design and another guy hoping to find someone who likes to garden naked.

Let’s hope he doesn’t keep raspberries.

EthicalSingles.com is a matchmaking portal for people concerned about human rights, animal rights, pollution, global warming, genetic engineering, organic farming, timber sourcing, circus animals and a slew of other topics you’ll never hear discussed on Fox News.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single ethical date in my area. At least not until I widened my search criteria by 60 years, lied about my home state and switched my sexual preference. None of which felt exactly, well, ethical.

Dateless but undampened, I surfed over to GreenSpeedDating.com, which touts itself as a new way for singles to find “carbon neutral love.” Only around for a matter of months, the L.A.-based Web site recently held its first event in Santa Monica in which 16 singles hiked, biked, bused and (gasp!) drove to a bar for complimentary fruits and veggies and a raft of three-minute minidates.

Although there was nothing on the calendar for Seattle, singles across the country are encouraged to set up their own GSD events (just go to the site and click on the appropriate link). Not only will you up your chances of finding the low-impact love of your life, your $25 fee will go into a fund designed to take solar energy to rural Nicaragua.

And there are greener pastures yet.

In June, Portland’s Pedalpalooza sponsored a “bicycle speed dating” event, drawing 40 single cyclists in all their helmet-haired glory. Here at home, there’s SeattleGreenDrinks.org, a big green monster of a gathering held the second Tuesday of each month (for those who don’t like crowds, there’s the more intimate Green Lunches).

Although the group isn’t a singles organization per se, there’s plenty of environmentally savvy eye candy plus lots of opportunity for, if you’ll pardon the expression, icebreakers (“Soooo � are you as concerned about toxic sex toys as I am?”)

As for me, I may decide to join one of the eco-dating sites (many offer free or discounted memberships to those who donate to green causes) or spend some quality time discussing all things organic over a biodegradable cup of green beer.

Then again I may decide to simply stick to the basics: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Surely I have to have at least one old boyfriend I can ease back into the dating picture. Heck, I’ve recycled before; why quibble about doing it now when resources are so tight?

Or maybe I’ll ask around to see if anyone in my circle of friends has discarded some perfectly good soul mate. Instead of letting him just go to waste, I can pick him up, dust him off and see if he wants to get eco-friendly. The two of us can ditch the car (relatively easy for me since I don’t have one), skip the wasteful wining and dining and go for a nice long (trash-collecting) walk on the beach.

Who knows? If we like the cut of each other’s carbon footprint, we might even come back to my place for a quick game of spin the recyclable bottle.


Me in a Men’s Magazine? NOT the centerfold…

I got a request a few weeks back for comments about AshleyMadison.com and similar sites which are set up to help married folks who want to have extramarital affairs.  One would wonder: Do these folks really need help?  Well, yes, I think so, but not the kind of help these sites try to give.  That said, I do have comments and wrote them back to the article’s author.  Don’t know if or when my words will be in print (this has got to be a first for me, being quoted in a man’s mag), but I will let you know when and if the time comes.

Here are the writer’s questions (in red) and my response:

You’ve been critical of Ashley Madison and similar sites in the past. No sane person would “condone” infidelity, so beyond that, what’s your criticism? Do you not like how they do business? Do you find them dishonest? Do you think it allows people in unhappy relationships a too-easy way out?

I’m a Romance Coach now, working with singles to help them find a Sweetheart using online dating sites.  So married people who use sites set up for singles to find love are a real problem.  But also, I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 30 years, and my specialty as a therapist was helping married couples when one partner had had an affair.  So I have seen the devastation that occurs with infidelity, way too many times. 

Those prejudices aside, I am actually glad that these sites—like AshleyMadison, IllicitEncounters.com, AdultFriendFinder (not strictly promoting affairs, but certainly providing a venue for all sorts of fringe sexual behaviors), Philanderers.com (not a dating site but full of suggestions on how to successfully have an extramarital affair) – exist. 

Married folks looking for sex outside their marriage (mostly men) have been a problem on the mainstream dating sites like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.  Speculation has been that as many as 30% of men listing were married (Jupiter Research reported 12% in 2005), though of course they stated otherwise.  Sites springing up like AshleyMadison.com give these people a place to go and act out their fantasies without contaminating the pool of singles who are honestly and straightforwardly looking for a legitimate, above-board monogamous relationship.  In the last couple of years, I have not heard as many complaints about married men on mainstream sites.  I suspect that they have migrated to AshleyMadison and the like, either because the sites exist, or because of the fear of being found out, a real likelihood when profiles without pictures don’t get looked at.  Good riddance.

That said, joining one of these sites is does not signify one of life’s high points.  While the titillation of sex and “romance” are strong, just the premise of an affair – lying to and betraying one’s spouse – is the nadir of sleaze.  And everyone there is of similar character quality.  Yick. 

If you find yourself tempted to patronize sites set up to allow you to misbehave, you need to look back at yourself and question how you got here in the first place.  What does participating in lying and deceit say about you?  Is that what you want, to be a liar and a cheat?  Would you like to have people say, after you die, he was an enthusiastic player on infidelity websites?  He (she) really screwed over his (her) wife (or husband)?  That you were so self-absorbed and self-centered that you could justify all kinds of bad behavior to get what you wanted?  Don’t delude yourself: People can and do find out.  If this is what you have to do to get sex and a parody of romance, you need to do some character work, pronto. 

P. S.  Guys, your fantasy of finding a willing woman on one of these websites to have an affair with is probably destined for failure.  Men FAR outnumber women on these sites. 


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.)


Is this something to be proud of or what???

Married folks lurking around on dating sites and trying to snag the unexpected has been a concern for online dating singles.  I haven’t heard so much aobut this being a problem lately, and maybe it’s because of sites like this one and AshleyMadison.com Yeesh.  Talk about yucky—sites that enable extramarital affairs.  Well, at least they may be doing a service and giving these folks a place to go rather that the mainline dating sites.  We should be thankful.

Best, Kathryn

100,000th member looks for an extra marital affair….

IllicitEncounters.com, the world’s biggest extra marital dating website, has signed up its 100,000th UK member . A site spokesman told us “With membership soaring by a couple of thousand a week, IllicitEncounters.com is a clear indication that the 34% of married people having an affair - now choose to look for one online”. There are now more than 10,000 members in Scotland, 6,000 in Wales, 2,500 in Northern Ireland, 500 in Southern Ireland, 2,500 non-UK and the remaining 78,500 are in England.


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


Fly Alone Alot?

When I fly, I look at the experience as a time to zone out and read, practically uninterrupted.  But if you are single and fly regularly by yourself, you may be missing a great opportunity to have a congenial seatmate that might turn into something more.  AirTroductions.com would seem made for you.

Here’s what you do (taken right off the home page of AirTroductions.com):

1.  Enter a profile!  Who would you like to sit next to you?  Enter as much or as little information as you’d like—remember, your personal details are always kept private.

2.  Enter your itinerary!  The next time you book your ticket, come over to AirTroductions and enter your flight information.  Flight number, airports, date and time.

3.  The system will automatically show you a list of everyone else on your flight who has a profile.  And if more people join your flight after you, we’ll send you an email.

In an article about AirTroductions.com on The Daily Free Press, the site’s owner Peter Shankman. you list for free, but if you decide that you would like to connect with another passenger, you pay $5.  Interestingly, 70% of users say they want to meet someone, and 30% say they want to be seated with someone who will leave them alone.  Can do. 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Want to Win a Range Rover?

In my continuing campaign to get those folks who are interested in “just sex” off the mainline dating sites, onlinebootycall (I’ve written about them before) is having a contest and giving away a 2006 Range Rover as first prize.  This is what you have to do to win:

Members with the most referrals who sign-up from September 1 through November 30, will win; there will be three winners. First prize will drive away with the 2006 Supercharged Range Rover; second prize will bring home $5,000.00 in cash; and third will revel in $2500.00.

I could use a new vehicle, but I’m not even going to try on this one.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


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


IMBRA and Mail Order Brides

I’ve written before about the dangers of looking for mates through sites offering women from Russia, Nigeria, or other economically distressed countries.  Not only are American men easy targets for scams, the women are easily manipulated by men who are not the kind of wholesome mate material that they’d like us to think.

Keli Dailey in “I Wish They All Could Be Mail-Order Girls” writes about the newly enacted International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), which was passed as a rider to the Violence Against Women Act, all of which took effect this last March.  While I had felt squeamish about the whole idea of men going abroad to find wives (often openly courted by the sites or marriage brokers with allusions that the women being offered were old-fashioned in their values and not like modern American women), this article tells some of the distasteful stories, along with the implications of IMBRA for men still looking abroad.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


A Most Unusual Love Story

Now, here’s a story that has a number of unusual twists:

Rita Manning lived in Fresno, CA.  48 Years old, in 1993 she weighed 594.  Following surgery, she lost 232 which left her at a still hefty 362.  Widowed, she was ready for something new.  Rita signed on to BBWDatefinder.com, a dating site dedicated to “Big Beautiful Women and Their Admirers.”

Well, she found one.  An admirer.  David Richardson of Eudora, Kansas, emailed her.  49 years old, David had never been married. 

Kansas is a long way from Fresno, but Rita was taking a long-distance trucking course and happened to be driving through Kansas as part of her training.  The met for the first time at a convenience store parking lot of I-70.

Rita ended up moving to Eudora and the two married on June 30.  Take a look at the story in the Lawrence Journal-World: there’s even a slide show!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

PS I have heard other good reports from women who have joined the BBWDatefinder site.  So if you are not the “slim and trim” that most guys seem to want, hop (or stroll) on over.  BTW, what most guys want is not what they are going to get, since the average weight of white women at age 50 is 155 pounds, 175 for Black women.


My Current Favorite Niche Dating Site

I always recommend the Big Guys for online dating: Match.com where I met my husband Drew in 1998 and Yahoo! Personals (Did you know that I write for Yahoo! Personals’ online magazine?  Here are two of my recent publications: and )

But sometimes it can be fun - and useful - to also list on a second, smaller site related to a special interest or fact about you.  I just saw a new site for coooking enthusiasts and food lovers—that’s me!  www.Pairings.us looks like it could be great for foodies, and is offering a lifetime membership for $29.95 cheap.  However, like on any of the niche sites, I wouldn’t look to spectacular results.  Usually the numbers are just too small.  But who knows? 

If you have an unusual interest, google “dating sites”+ “your interest” and see what comes up.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Looking for a Jewish Mate?

The one religious group I hear from regularly looking for spouses of the same faith are Jewish.  Actually, who I hear from are Jewish women, usually 40 and over.  The slice of this subgroup having the most difficult time seem to be never married women in their 40’s.  Women in their 50’s and 60’s, even those never married, have an easier time.

Several demographics problematically come together for these age 40’s women: The national trend of both men and women to put of first marriages well into their 30’s; The proverbial ticking clock (approaching menopause) which combines with the seeming heavier-than-average stress on marriage, family and children for Jewish adults; Men’s awareness (and avoidance) of women’s growing pressure to get on with marriage and child-bearing; The fact that both men and women in this group have successfully avoided getting married yet; And the low proportion of Jews in the general population (2%).  If you add in that the individual in question may live outside the geographical concentrations of Jewish population (rural, sparsely populated areas are the worse), these women have a big problem.

Jared Shelly in “The Jewish Exponent” describes the demographics and problems succinctly in his article “Search for a mate gets complicated.”  Shelly writes: “But while age can present a barrier to Jewish daters, it is not the only obstacle to finding one’s match. In a growing trend, as college graduates find jobs or seek graduate degrees outside their native regions, the Jewish community’s net has both expanded across the country and thinned out. There are now a smaller number of Jews in the places where they once traditionally lived.”  Take a look at Shelly’s article for an extensive treatment of this subject.

Internet dating seems made for this spread-out group, and Jdate.com, with its more than 70,000 members, fills a big gap.  Speed dating was INVENTED by a rabbi, for goodness sake, and speed dating events for Jewish singles are very popular.  Speed dating, in fact, seems to have taken a place right beside Internet dating in popularity for all singles.  Seems like the rabbi was onto something. 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Married and Wanting to Fool Around?

KOLR in the Ozarks is doing an investigation of online adultery and the AshleyMadison.com dating site.  AshleyMadison.com, for those who don’t know, bills itself as the site for folks “When monogamy becomes Monotony.”  The site helps married men and women connect to have affairs.

KOLR had a man and a woman list themselves on the site.  Within two days, the woman got 40 messages from interested men.  The KOLR man got none. I’ve heard that the men far outnumber the women on these sites, and the KOLR findings support that.

I’ve written about ol’ Ashley before.  While I cringe at the whole premise, let’s get those married cruisers off the mainline sites like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Lawyers in Love

Years ago when I was living on my Maine island, two lawyers lived on my road, in separate houses about a mile apart.  Both were married to different spouses, then each got divorced.  We joked about lawyers in love, scurrying through the woods to meet.  Well, sure enough, they did!  They are now married.

Somebody was listening, because now there’s a dating site called LawyersInLove.com.  Lawyer Eleana Albamonte started the site last year, and the site now has 1,500+ members.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


We Love Love Stories and Pets

One of my clients rightfully complained: “Why, when I say clearly
in my profile that I am an animal lover, they write back telling
me they like to hunt?”  Well, maybe they can’t read.  But I sent her an article
which would seem to be made for women like her.

Tucked in the article was the story about Brenda Nieb and Jon
Dube.  While they didn’t meet on the Net (Dube was foster-
parenting a cat named Molly, Nieb and her mother were looking for
one), Dube thought Brenda was cute and started emailing her,
using checking on Molly as an excuse.  It took tickets to see
Garrison Keillor to finally get Brenda to go on a date, but it
worked.  They got married on November 8, 2003.  They now have
four cats.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Want to date Charlie Sheen?  NOT!

Oi!  Another good reason to avoid the sites that promise to hook you up with a millionaire: Charlie Sheen is looking for love through MillionaireMatch.com. You may remember Charlie as one of the clients of the “Hollywood Madame” Heidi Fleiss.  Read here what I have written previously about such sites.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


If the WSJ Says It…

You know something has made it when you read it in the Wall Street Journal.

On March 1, 2006, the WSJ carried a story about “adult” dating sites. For the uniformed, “adult dating sites” are a code term for matching sites that are blatantly sexual. The site the WSJ focused most on in the article was AdultFriendFinder.com.

According to the article, AdultFriendFinder gets over 10.1 million visitors a month. That’s TWICE the traffic of Match.com and Yahoo! Personals. Well, yikes! But also, thank goodness.

A nasty plague in the more mainstream dating sites like Match and Yahoo has been married folks (mostly men) pretending to be single and luring in the unsuspecting. Hopefully, these folks are going to find out about sites like AdultFriendFinder and cut to the chase, or perhaps more aptly, cut out the chase by going where it’s clear what you are looking for. Unless of course these “married but looking” folks get some kind of kick out of the lying and the luring. Probably there will always be a few.

One factor that is sure to keep the married guys looking on Match and Yahoo and the like is that on AdultFriendFinder, men outnumber women by more that 11 to 1.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


FarmersOnly.com Getting Lots of Attention

Since I wrote earlier about FarmersOnly.com, the site has gotten lots of attention. I’ve seen it mentioned in the press and on TV at least a couple of times. Guess that those lonely farm boys and girls really twang the imagination of urbanites, at least the journalists and producers.

FarmersOnly is getting a great big boost from reality TV: The producers of “American Idol” are hard at work on a matchmaking reality series based on a European reality show called “The Farmer Wants a Wife.” They are looking for handsome bachelor farmers (Does this sound like “Prairie Home Companion”? Or that one with Paris Hilton?). If the guy can’t get away for the casting call, he can email a photo and short description: . Go for it, guys.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Geeks to Geeks

If you are more comfortable at a computer keyboard than any other place in the world, if “geek” or “geeky” applies to you (or you are turned on by such), I have the site for you: www.gk2gk.com And good news if you are looks challenged: gk2gk doesn’t post pictures!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Internet Dating Sites Increasingly Specialize

When I was single and looking for a mate online, way back in 1998, the sites had not evolved like they have now. Match.com designed the site to appeal to women, figuring the men would come if the women were there, and they were right. But back then, site administrators did not police the sites as rigorously as they do now, and I stumbled occasionally on real crud. Like the guy who’s picture showed him nude on a bed with just a pillow over vital parts. He was no male model and it was not a pretty picture.

More and more, dating sites are popping up that cater to guys like that one, gals, and more. Read this interesting quote from Andrew Conru, the founder of FriendFinder.com:

“When we started FriendFinder early in 1996, we found a lot of guys were posting profiles that were more risque than we wanted on the site. We started out deleting them, but then we recognized the opportunity and started AdultFriendFinder.”

Now AdultFriendFinder far out draws its parent FriendFinder. This blatantly sexy site is a gold mine.

Thank goodness. If you want whips and chains, you are much more likely to find a willing partner on a site that specializes in such. Leave the mainline sites to mainstream folks. Keep ‘em clean.

BTW, if you are looking for some kind of site that caters to the “naughty niches,” a good way to find them is to do a good old Google search, using your interest, “whips and chains” for example, and “dating sites” for your search.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


gk2gk Daters REALLY Don’t Look At The Pictures

If you hate the fact that most online daters and dating sites rely heavily on pictures to make their first decisions on who to contact, you might like a site like http://www.gk2gk.com/. I found out about Geek 2 Geek from a “Dear Ellie” column in the Chicago Sun Times A guy wrote to Ellie about his lack of experience with women at age 34 because of his geeky appearance. He’s now met a woman through Geek 2 Geek, a dating site that does not have photos at all. Here’s what Geek 2 Geek says about their site:

Geek 2 Geek - find your geek match on this site. Whether you’re looking for romance or just friendship, this is the place to hook up. There is no appearance information on profiles (no pictures either), true geeks just don’t care about looks. Besides, our experience tells us that most people lie about their looks on other sites. Looks are not how our members form relationships.

There’s a GREAT Top 10 Reasons why geeks make the best match. Looks to me like they make some terrific points.

Like most niche sites, Geek 2 Geek seems to have a very small membership base. I did searches for men looking for women and women looking for men, ages 40-60, within 500 miles of my zip code. Only one woman showed up ... But here’s the good news: 12 guys made the cut. Now the first one was a married lawyer, so that’s not so cool, but, hey. And all those 12 fellas would love to see more women sign up—and no photos!!!

Geeky or not, after you read the Top Ten Reasons for picking a geek, you might want to consider one!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


FarmersOnly.com—I love it!

I’ve lived country and know what it is like to see few if any prospective partners ever. So I just love what FarmersOnly.com is attempting to do: Hook up rural folks who have little time to date, let alone travel any distance to find a Sweetie. But this site and these poor singles definitely have an uphill battle on their hands. I just did a search “woman seeking man” with no other parameters, and 421 men showed up. Some of them looked pretty good, though most had no pictures to prove it.

But they are scattered all over everywhere! Ontario seems the best represented, but most are hither, thither and yon: North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio. Almost all farm, and do it most of their waking hours. The women seem a little more transportable—some live in towns or cities, but have rural roots or yearnings. But some of the ladies farm themselves: One has a herd of 430 alpacas!

If you are yearning to “get close to the land,” whether you are male or female, this site may be for you. But it’s going to be hard to get any of these folks who are farming already to come to meet you. Likely, you’ll have to do the traveling.

I’d suggest to these farmer bachelors and bachelorettes what they probably already know: They need to make time and space for mate-finding, and then relationship building. If your life is so full and rigid that you can’t even figure out how to make time to date, how do you expect to find someone? And if you do, you are hoping/expecting that this person drop their lives and adopt yours. Pretty big request.

And FarmersOnly.com listers: Y’all need some help with those profiles! Get a picture up, any picture is better than none! And use your spell check! Women, lots of your writings sounded jaded and pessimistic. Not too many fellas would be attracted to:

Tired of games - want to spend time with a man that doesn’t play games, doesn’t smoke regularly, doesn’t do drugs, ...


I am recently divorced and tired playing the ping pong game with the ex. He gave me the country life then took it away f ...

I do profile reviews and shape ups—they are a bargain at $99! See the comments below from one of my satisfied customers. It’ll help, I guarantee it!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

Kathryn, I am really happy I found your site and your help. I get compliments from men on my new profile wow. What a boost. Today a guy wrote to me on my ‘Yahoo’ personals .... “I noticed your profile and picture while entertaining my self with a yahoo personals search and I was motivated to give the yahoo people $20 bucks to contact you.” Can’t get much better than that, now can it?? None of them may work out, but at least I am getting contacts. It’s not like I am going out begging to be noticed. They notice me, now!!


Fit and Active? Snowmobiliers???

When I first saw this site www.fitness-singles.com described, I was offended. Here’s part of the press release:

“The website’s success in matching active, attractive singles, however, sometimes tempts the less active to the site. Whether ‘couch potatoes’ truly see themselves as fit or whether they want to be in relationship with those who are, Mattioli [President of the company] has a message for them - don’t bother.

“‘Not having a chiseled body isn’t a crime on our site, but passing yourself off as enjoying an active lifestyle when untrue does no good,’ explains Mattioli. ‘To save everyone the trouble of a bad match, we’re considering rejecting the truly unfit from our site.’”

Then I was perversely relieved. Get those folks who insist on"slender, attractive, fit and trim” partners off the regular dating sites and onto their own venue. Those demands discourage everyone who doesn’t measure up—or measure down, whatever thecase may be.

So I went over to take a look at the site. It’s nice and clean looking, lots of white. I do wish that the woman picture on the home page (otherwise very attractive and clean scrubbed looking)wasn’t leaning into the camera so much. The shot looks like thenasty surreptitious up-skirting and down-blousing photos that have been making the rounds.

The real surprise is the list of “sports” they include and sort singles by:

Aerobics Archery Badminton Baseball Basketball BMX Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Canoe/Kayak Cheerleading Cricket Cross-Training Curling Cycling Dance Disc Equitation Fencing Field Hockey Figure-Skating Fishing Football Golf Gymnastics Handball Hiking/Backpacking Horseshoes Hunting Ice Skating Ice/Roller Hockey Jogging Lacrosse Marathon Martial Arts Motocross MountainBiking Orienteering Paintball Pilates Polo Racquetball Race Walking Rifle/Pistol/Skeet Rock Climbing Roller/Inline Skating Rope Skipping Rowing Rugby Running Sailing Scuba/Snorkeling Skateboarding Skiing Snowboarding Snowmobiling Soccer Softball Spinning Squash Surfing Swimming Table Tennis Tennis Track andField Triathlon Ultimate Frisbee Volleyball Walking/Fitness Water Exercise Water Polo Water Skiing Weight Training White Water Rafting Windsurfing Wrestling Yoga

It includes my favorite Racquetball! I’m meeting Drew this noon to play. Racquetball is the ONLY sport I have ever loved.

Now does that mean I would not be bounced off this site? Because I am a racquetball enthusiast? I’ve certainly got a few years and pounds on that cutie on the home page. And they include BMX, cheerleading, cricket, curling, fishing, horseshoes, hunting, motocross, paintball, rope skipping, and snowmobiling in that list of sports! Paintball? Snowmobiling? Those are SPORTS?? I can think of tons of examples of participants who are anything but chiseled and fit. In fact, they could be more described as tons. And what the heck is BMX? Why doesn’t the site include extreme shopping and channel surfing to really round things out?

So I find this site just plain confusing. If you are looking for “active” folks, then your list includes just about everyone. But if you are looking for “slender, attractive, fit and trim” then just say so and not let anyone else on who doesn’t pass the superficial looks test.

BTW, I did a search on racquetball. About 14 folks came up. About half had terrible pictures, a quarter lots of beefcake and too much skin showing for my taste. None looked even close inage to me (mid-fifties and a little chubby).

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Jonathan Leaf on Nerve.com

My Romance clients often ask what the best dating sites are, which would work the best for them, and what the sites are like. The last count I heard was that there are more than 1000 dating sites out there now! Clearly entrepreneurs have heard that Internet dating is a growth industry (though not with the steam it had a couple of years ago—this year’s projected growth is 9%). As you might suspect, I can’t possibly keep up with all the twists and turns of that many sites. I am hard-pressed to keep up with the changes that keep coming on the biggest ones like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.

I like big numbers, and I always suggest Yahoo! Personals or Match.com. Some folks like to pair a big site with a smaller, more specialized site like JDate.com (for people looking for Jewish partners). It’s a good idea to do your own research, and it’s easy to find resources on the web: Just do a Google search using “‘dating sites’+review” for your search terms and many sites with reviews come up.

Jonathan Leaf of http://www.nypress.com/ has started a series of columns on some to the bigger dating sites. If you’d like to read his most interesting impressions of Nerve.com, take a look at his column here. As I had already gotten the impression, Nerve.com (via Leaf’s writings) seems edgy, sexy, maybe brainier, and younger. It does not seem oriented for those looking for more mainstream, long-term relationships.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Four-legged Sweeties

If lovers with four legs seem like a better risk for you, read this story about a dandy service that operates like a dating site, except it matches people and pets. Petfinder.com provides a wonderful service, matching homeless pets with willing owners. I just did a search on kittens in my area, and if we didn’t already have a handful with three puddies, we’d be adopting a few more. They are sooo cute! Don’t go looking unless you want to fall in love.

Petfinder.com is also handling donations for Katrina pet victims. I just heard on TV that hungry dogs are now a big problem in the devastated areas.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


SeniorFriendFinder Membership Jumps

SeniorFriendFinder.com reports that their membership has increased 476% since June 2001. Most dating sites had a big jump in membership after 9/11, when many singles suddenly realized their desire for family and permanence. SeniorFriendFinder does not restrict members by age, but most are in their 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. I’ve heard a variety of reports from clients and readers about SeniorFriendFinder, good and not so good. I’d love to hear from you if you have tried this site.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord



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