Kathryn's Blog: Match.com

Match.com is starting to screen for sex offenders

Looks like Match.com is jumping in on screening sign ups on the site.  True.com started that a few years ago and has been behind pushing for screening on dating sites (or posting prominently that the site does not).  True.com’s “movement” was pretty clearly self-serving, a way to get publicity by getting politicians to stump for what True.com was already doing.  It does seem that if some of the danger in online dating can be caught in a screening, then why not? 

The negatives have been the costs, whether the screenings would be comprehensive and meaningful, and whether the customers on dating sites would get a false reassurance of safety and relax their due diligence in screening date partners.

Do not let any claims of safety—anywhere—give you a false sense of security.  See what Match.com says in its own “Terms of Use Agreement”:

7. Your Interactions with Other Members. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other Members. You understand that Match.com does not in any way screen its Members, nor does Match.com inquire into the backgrounds of its Members or attempt to verify the statements of its Members. Match.com makes no representations or warranties as to the conduct of Members or their compatibility with any current or future Members. In no event shall Match.com be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to the conduct of you or anyone else in connection with the use of the Service, including without limitation, bodily injury, emotional distress, and/or any other damages resulting from communications or meetings with other registered users of this Service or persons you meet through this Service. You agree to take reasonable precautions in all interactions with other Members of the Service, particularly if you decide to meet offline or in person. In addition, you agree to review Match.com’s Dating Safety Tips prior to using the Service. You understand that Match.com makes no guarantees, either express or implied, regarding your ultimate compatibility with individuals you meet through the Service. You should not provide your financial information (for example, your credit card or bank account information) to other Members.

So proceed with caution, on Match.com or any other site.  You are responsible for your own safety.


SAQ#2 Why shouldn’t I use a free dating site?

Many people swear by free dating sites.  “Why should you pay when you can get the same thing for free?” is the argument.  Seems to make sense, doesn’t it?  But what you get is really not the same thing, some of the ways obvious, some not so obvious.  Basically, it comes down to two old truisms: “you get what you pay for,” and “you are known by the company you keep.”

PlentyofFish.com and OKCupid.com are two of the biggest free sites, with PlentyofFish and Match.com duking it out for first place in traffic month after month.  Go to the home pages of all three for a dramatic look at the differences.

PlentyofFish is plenty stark, no frill here.  The biggest problem I see with Plentyoffish is that the profile photos seem even worse than the usual poor pictures people post: distorted, and that must be the fault of the site.  Photos are SO important.  The site just seems so minimal, even trashy.  I wouldn’t want to be seen there, frankly.  I also think that the general allover look cheapens those who are listed.  Do you want that?  There is also a “free-for-all” feeling about the site, freewheeling as well as free.  I suspect a serious single could waste a lot of time here with inappropriate people interested in anything but a serious relationship.

OKCupid’s home page – which looks considerably better than Plentyoffish—doesn’t tip its hand by showing any singles, or at least more than one or two on the left side.  You need to do a sign up first to gawk.  OK does do a better job on the profile photos – they at least aren’t distorted.  I did a quick scan through the guys in my area – seem to be the usual bad photos, minimal writings in the “My self-summary” sections.  In general, though, the individuals seemed a bit scruffier and marginal than those on Match.

What’s the big deal in paying a little at a paid site like Match.com and cutting out the guff that you get on the unpaid sites?  I just checked, and you can join Match with the best package at just $17.99 per month with a six month membership!  That’s PEANUTS!  Even buying one month at a time is only $34.99, just over $1 a DAY!  Match has consistently kept its site clean and upscale.  Since Yahoo! Personals merged with Match, Match has become the biggest – and really only – show in town, other than eHarmony, which is in a class by itself.  If you are a serious dater, that’s what Match is known for: people who are seriously looking.  The pay feature cuts out a lot of the casual (and marginal) folks.

Remember, you get what you pay for, and you are known by the company you keep.  Plus, putting some money on the line in your search for love is its own investment and a real sign of commitment.


10 FAQ: 3. What is the best dating site for me?

What’s your pressing question about dating online?  Here’s my 10 FAQ, then my answer to 3. What is the best dating site for me? below.  I’ve already answered the first two, and you can see what I had to say by clicking the link after 1 and 2.

1. I am so scared I don’t know where to start.  What can I do?  For my answer, click here.
2. Does Internet dating work? For my answer, click here.
3. What is the best dating site for me? 
4.  Why don’t they answer my emails?
5. I don’t want to be recognized on a dating site by my family/friends/clients/co-workers/students.  What can I do to prevent that?
6. Shouldn’t I try eHarmony?
7. Is it okay to lie about my age?
8. How do I tell my date about xyz?
9. There are no good men/women where I live.  Should I even try?
10. This shouldn’t be so hard.  Why does Internet dating take so much time?  Shouldn’t love “just happen”?

Everyone wants to know what the best dating site is for their search. It’s a good question, because there are hundreds if not thousands of dating sites out there at any one time.  For good reason: Internet dating sites – the big ones, anyway – make a lot of money.  So lots of folks are trying to get in on the game by starting a dating site with some new angle.  And most of them fade away.  As appealing as it may seem to be on a site that caters to vegetarians, dog-lovers, or the tattooed, the name of this mating game is numbers: the higher the numbers, the more choice you have, and the more likely it is that you will find just the right mate.

The biggest site, actually, is free: PlentyofFish.com, but I do not recommend it, ever. First, you get what you pay for. Free sites attract people who can’t pay or don’t want to, folks who are there to play or for all sorts of reasons other than to look for serious love. PlentyofFish wastes no money on frills like good resolution so that your pictures won’t get distorted. In short, don’t got there.

eHarmony advertizes a lot, and usually comes to mind for people thinking about looking for love online.  eHarmony has appeal, sending you matches based on your own answers to hundreds of questions.  But eHarmony has a number of serious flaws, the biggest of which are the matches that they do send. How do you (or they) know what is the best match for you, and what about the people that they do NOT send you, those you never see? Most of my clients report frustration with the process, how long it takes, and the huge numbers of inappropriate candidates they are sent.  If you want to know more about my gripes with eHarmony, go to my blog and click eHarmony (listed in the categories on the lower left) My advice: avoid eHarmony. 

Why waste your time and money? Match.com is really the best place to go. Not only is Match.com about the oldest of the dating sites, but also, they now run Yahoo! Personals, which was Match’s biggest competitor. It’s hard to get real figures on dating sites, and even Match’s own numbers conflict (Match variously claims 20,000 and 60,000 new registrants daily), but suffice it to say, Match is where the best action is. Match has also worked hard to keep the site “clean” (no crotch shot photos or erotic essays) and stylish. Yes, the numbers are big, but really, that’s what you want.  Match will send you suggestions for matches.  But you will have the best results if you search and contact potentials yourself.  You just need to figure out how to wade through and sort.  Remember, you only have to get lucky once. Go to Match.com and get started. Now.


10 FAQ: 2. Does Internet dating work?

I’m working on answers to my 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions.  This entry is my response to question 2. Does Internet dating work? Here’s the list of the full 10, then my answer to 2. Does Internet dating work? below. Probably one or two are questions that you have too.  I’ve already answered 1., and you can find those responses by clicking the link.

1. I am so scared I don’t know where to start.  What can I do?  For my answer, click here.
2. Does Internet dating work?
3. What is the best dating site for me? 
4.  Why don’t they answer my emails?
5. I don’t want to be recognized on a dating site by my family/friends/clients/co-workers/students.  What can I do to prevent that?
6. Shouldn’t I try eHarmony?
7. Is it okay to lie about my age?
8. How do I tell my date about xyz?
9. There are no good men/women where I live.  Should I even try?
10. This shouldn’t be so hard.  Why does Internet dating take so much time?  Shouldn’t love “just happen”?

2. Does Internet dating work?

Now, on the surface, this sounds like a dumb question to a Romance Coach who met her husband on Match.com.  Of course!  We are living evidence that Internet dating does indeed work, and work well.  And it is not just Drew and me.  Internet dating is working so well now that 17% of newly marrieds over the last three years say they met online, 30% of those on Match.com.  Particularly since 9/11, online dating has gone mainstream.  If it wasn’t working, people wouldn’t be saying so.

The important thing to recognize is that Internet dating sites are not really the matchmakers some would like you to think.  It’s better to realize that they are like glorified telephone books or catalogs.

Everyone listed is looking for someone.  You can’t be sure what they are looking FOR, or how available they really are, but they are looking.

It’s up to you, though, to do the work and make your luck.  The phone book won’t make the call for you, but will help you find the phone number for an individual or business.  The catalogue won’t order a shirt or dress for you that is the right size and looks great.  You have to do the picking and choosing yourself.

A better question would be “Does hiring a Romance Coach work?” For that, the answer is an unqualified “Yes!”  At least, hiring THIS Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord.

Every one of the singles who have hired me to help them find love, have taken my advice, and have stuck with the process has found a loving partner. Every single one.  And by the way, I have NEVER advised anyone to stop looking.  Very occasionally, there will be someone who, for whatever reason, I simply cannot work with.  We may agree to disagree.  But never have I given up working with someone who really wants to find love and is willing to keep going until they do.

So here’s the secret: Internet dating works, and works very well, IF you know how to work it and are willing to keep at it until you succeed.  Part of the success may be hiring a coach to help you with what you don’t know.  But if you find yourself saying “Internet dating doesn’t work,” the real reason is that you haven’t figured out how to make it work for you.  That’s where I can help.  Because Internet dating DOES work.


Match.com scores big in new members!

According to Online Dating Insider, Match.com gets 25,000 new members a DAY!  Match is always the top dating site that I recommend.  Yes, you’ll see the same old profiles that get posted by non-paying members and then never taken down.  What’s the risk if you are not paying anything?  But a serious dater needs to check Match daily to see who is new.  Do not fall into the trap of “there’s no one here that I like today, so Match.com is no good.”  Keep looking!  Match is the best show in town.


Cupid or Fate? Nah!

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

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

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

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

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

Best, Kathryn

Match.com unveils campaign for New Year push

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

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


Facts and More Facts

The numbers keep rising…

From an article on DailyVidette.com

Last year (2006?), more than 500,000 reported to Match.com that they had “found a relationship that had changed their lives.”

90 million people in the US are single, 60 million are online, and 33 million are open to meeting a romantic partner online.

60,000 people register on Match.com every day.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Top Dating Sites in US by Usage

Top Dating Sites as measured by ‘Unique visitors”:

In December 2006—

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

Personals Total                                 20,555,000

Yahoo! Personals                               4,153,000

Match.com                                     3,970,000

True.com                                       3,086,000

Spark Networks                                 2,504,000

Singlesnet.com                                 2,173,000


FINALLY—The Truth Comes Out

In a powerful article aobutabout Online dating in the 1/30/2007 Scientific American (how much more legitimate can you get???), finally, validation of what I have been preaching about for years:

According to Trish McDermott, a longtime spokesperson for Match and now an executive at Engage.com, the confusion over membership ­figures results from the fact that while a large company such as Match might advertise that it has 15 million members, less than a million are actually paying customers. The others have full profiles online—an important marketing draw—but cannot respond to e-mails. This is one of several reasons, according to McDermott, why many paying members get frustrated by a lack of response to their e-mails; the vast majority of people in the profiles simply cannot respond.

Trish McDermott was the “Vice President of Love” (or some such title) at Match.com for years.  In fact, before we met, both my now-husband and I heard Trish on NPR’s “Technation” and were inspired to sign up on Match.com, where we met a few months later.  So, thank you Trish!  On many levels.

See my earlier blog postings (rants?) on this topic:  1/31/07, 3/06/05

This paid/unpaid secret that almost all dating sites have exploited is the worst and most discouraging aspect of online dating.  EVERY SINGLE ONE of my clients asks “Why don’t they answer my emails?”  And NONE have understood the odds of paid/unpaid until I explained it.  On Match.com, the odds are great than 11 to 1 that the person behind the profile has NOT paid.

Non-responses to first emails are very ego-bruising.  Dating sites need to keep in mind that it is extremely easy for people who gather up courage to email a stranger to feel rejected and even crushed.  These folks very often drop off the dating site—and convert to being non-paying!  These are your best customers, dating sites!!!  They PAY!

The reasons that dating sites are set up this way—they allow people to post for free, and the profiles look just like those who have paid—is that then the dating site has more profiles listed and looks busier.  And then, if the unpaid people are contacted by the folks who have paid, then maybe the unpaid people will convert to paying clients. 

However, that means that the paying clients are supporting all the rest, and do not know the full story.  I tell my clients that you know three things about someone who does not respond to you initial email:  They are either rude (because is the polite thing to do to at least send a “Thanks, but no thanks” email to those who put themselves out to contact you) or they are cheap (because they haven’t paid up and are freeloading), or they are both rude and cheap.

Come on, dating sites.  Come up with come kind of system that indicates to everyone who has paid and who hasn’t.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Match.com Makes News:Bits

1.  Match.com is changing its look —and from appearances, the kind of singles it is trying to recruit.  Style-wise, the site has gone black and white, with a little crisp nave blue, and added the cute motto “It’s okay to look!”  And they have also added a stylist to help with advice for profiles and presentation.  (Although that guy Jay Manuel looks very weird.  Is he made out of plastic?)  Looks to me like they are aiming at a higher end market.  The site now makes regular sites like Yahoo! Personals and especially true.com look pretty cheesy.  , for sure, to $34.95 for a month, $16.99 each if you sign up for six.  Still a bargain, when you think that even at full price, that’s just a little over a dollar a day for access to millions of singles.

2.  Then, in a bow to just how famous Match.com has become, The Washington Post published a piece on 1/28/2007 that is basically an angry rant about the plight of single women by an anonymous woman in her 30’s.  It’s sort of amazing that the Post would even publish an anonymous piece, let alone one that blames Match.com and other dating sites for her ills.

However, like most rants, there are grains of truth.  Granted, men (and women) have gotten spoiled by the seeming plethora of “hotties” of both genders.  Never mind that these folks practically never return emails.  Anonymous goes on to list her demands for dignity and respect, for all single women to to start “dignified dating behavior.”  Some of the list makes sense, like honesty, keeping in shape and not dressing provocatively.  But just as her anger reduces the effect of her message, some of her guidelines negate the rest.  Like “If you don’t receive flowers by the third date, dump him.”  Gosh.

Remember, the Internet and dating sites like Match.com are the medium, like a telephone.  Phones changed people’s lives, too.  We are in the middle of a big change period for dating and mating.  It feels like with Internet dating going mainstream (out of the shadows), we are now in a bit of the opposite extreme, of people going sort of wild with expectations, and then having massive disappointment.

3.  Then, practically on the same day as the Post piece (1/29/2007), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about Match.com and baby boomers.  Match. now has the largest number of paid subscribers among U. S. dating sites.  Match.com’s subscribers (paid members) now number 1.3 million, up by 1/3 over the past two years.  How? Match has been reaching out to singles over 50 and divorcees, pitching itself as a destination for mainstream daters who want serious relationships.  Yowzah!  Is that what we want to hear or what???

Here’s more:

At Match, 23 percent of subscribers are over 50, more than double the number two years ago. Yahoo Personals has seen double-digit growth in the number of users over 50 in the past two years, thanks in part to a new service that provides extra control, privacy, and security. EHarmony’s fastest-growing age group last year was the over-50 segment.

Here’s something you rarely see: the number of paid subscribers to Match.com (1.3 million) and the number of “registered users” (15 million—total of PAID and UNPAID users), in the same article.  These figures are rarely paired together, because of what I call “Online Dating’s Dirty Little Secret”—by far the largest percentage of folks with their profiles on dating sites are unpaid, and therefore not able to answer your email without paying up first.  That’s more that 11 to 1, paid to unpaid, on Match.com.  That means for every 11+ first emails you send out, you should only expect to get 1 back!  Why is this so?  Read my earlier posting to find out.

Here’s a bit that I found interesting but confusing:

The site is also branching out to daters desiring privacy, like executives or teachers reluctant to post their pictures online where subordinates or students may find them. It has introduced Chemistry.com, a premium service that shows a subscriber’s profile only to those candidates deemed suitable by a personality test developed by an anthropologist.

I’ve had a number of clients who are professionals in their community and really worry that their clients will see and recognize them.  Some way for them to take advantage of online dating and protect their privacy would be great, but I don’t think Chemistry.com is going to do it.  Chemistry.com has dud written all over it.  The best part of Chemistry.com is it’s name.  I have heard no good buzz at all.  A commentator on Mark Brooks’ Online Personal Watch listed fiascos for 2007, and Chemistry.com is fifth on this list.

I love Match.com.  It’s where I met my Sweetie Drew in 1998.  But it’s not perfect.  And worst of all, it ignores ME!  A successful Romance Coach who met her now-husband right there!  The epitomy of dumbness, wouldn’t you think?  Now, Yahoo! Personals knows a good thing when they see it.  I got RECRUITED to write for Yahoo! Personals.  Wake up, Match,com!

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.


What’s In Store for Internet Dating in 2007?

From my January 1, 2007, *eMAIL to eMATE*:

Internet dating is LOOKING GOOD!

My, how things have changed since I first tried online dating on
Match.com in 1997.  Looking for love on the Net was brandy new
then and quite suspect.  A few brave souls were tip-toeing onto
the sites and trying out the medium, but, land sakes, was it
scary or what?  And no help anywhere.  I know, because I looked.

For you newbies to the Internet dating scene, matters took a
dramatic turn after 9/11.  The tragedy suddenly refocused the
country: Everyone now ached for connection and family.  Singles
started signing up on dating sites by the hundreds of thousands.

Listing on a dating site became okay, even mainstream.  No longer
is it unusual to hear that a couple met online.  Now, your
computer is second only to friends and family as a way to connect
with possible mate candidates.

The influx was heady.  Online dating sites experienced mammoth
growth for several years as folks signed up and plunked down
their credit cards.  Growth has slowed to single digits, but that
does not mean that Internet dating is a fading fad.  Far from it.

Did you know that online dating is one of the top money makers
online? “After nearly a decade of double-digit growth, online
dating revenue rose 7% last year to slightly more than $515
million, per Jupiter Media. (Match’s share is about $250

Remember that there is only a somewhat finite number of singles,
so at some point the growth would have to stop as the percentage
got close to 100.  At present, the estimates are 1/3 of singles
have visited online dating sites.  Also, people come on and off
the sites every day.  Taking your profile down off the dating
site where you and your Sweetie met has become a sign of
increasing commitment with cyber couples.

My buddy Mark Brooks recently posted some interesting info on his
OnlinePersonalsWatch.com blog: Here’s a summary and link to an
article on dating site usage in 2006.
Interestingly, Yahoo! Personals is pulling way ahead of
the crowd in membership and visits.  Since I write for Yahoo!
Personals, I’ll take a little credit for their #1 position.

True.com’s stats are deceptive, as comparing the two charts show.
(I cannot recommend True.com—if you wonder why, look at my
https://find-a-sweetheart.com/blog/C37/ ” title=“many blog posts”>many blog posts:.

Match.com (my personal favorite, since that’s where I met hubby
Drew) is stumbling on in 3rd and 4th place on the two charts.

Another of Mark’s postings led me to
Distilling the verbiage, it looks like number of visits
to dating sites are down, but revenue is nicely up.  To me, that
says daters are getting serious and paying up, and fewer people
are visiting sites to snoop.  Good.

Interestingly, the article also points to what I have sensed:
Singles get busy after Christmas, and particularly after New
Year’s.  Online dating sites’ business soars then (and so does
mine).  Seems as if the loneliness of the holiday coupled with
New Year’s as a time to start new habits gets folks off the

Tip: That means new people are signing up, right now!  This is a
particularly good time of year to be active and looking on your
favorite site.  Remember, new people come on every day—and
others drop off as they find partners.  Be ready with your spick
and span profile.  Be proactive: Contact others.  Don’t wait,
because you don’t know how much longer this new Cutie might be

A third posting on OnlinePersonalsWatch is an interview with
Match.com’s CEO Jim Safka.  Looks like Match is going stylish and
pursuing a more upscale market: a new look to its site (adding
lots of snazzy black), offering a stylist to help with photos
Lots of
black and white there, too.  And Match is piloting a real
matchmaking program with what looks like real matchmakers:
Platinum.Match.com  It’ll probably be
pricey, sounds like perhaps around $1000 per year.  Still less
that a tractional matchmaker, though.

Yahoo! Personals still looks about the same, and I think is a bit
more unwieldy to maneuver than Match.com.  But they are doing
something right at Yahoo!  You can’t argue with #1.

So I will stick with Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.  Why go
elsewhere, except for a special niche site like JDate?  Stay
where the numbers are.

From YOur Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Kathryn’s Best Gift Picks

What to Buy for Your Single Friends Who Wish they Weren’t
Single (And Maybe for Yourself)

Holidays can be tough times for singles. You included. How
about thinking of your single friends (and you!) for some special
treatment this year? P. S. New Year’s is coming too, and what a
perfect time to resolve never to go through this time of year
alone again! Here are my best suggestions to help singles change
their status to coupled:


When I was doing online dating back in 1998, I couldn’t find ANY
books that helped. I was on my own. Now, thank goodness, lots
of writing has come out. My “Top Ten” list is posted on my

Here are three more books that I discovered this year and than I
have been recommending over and over:

“A Fine Romance” by Judith Sills. This is a fine, fine book.
The full title is ” A Fine Romance: The Passage from Meeting to
Marriage,” and Sills beautifully describes just that, the step-
by-step process from singlehood to being paired. Best of all,
Sills identifies “stuck points” along the way, common and
expected hitches in the process that can derail the best of couples.

And she tells you how to manage and move through the morass. A
“must read” for anyone contemplating looking for love.

“The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout. Now, here’s a book
for the other, less optimistic side of love. We’ve all heard the
scary stories about cyberlove gone wrong. I’m skeptical about
the real frequency of fraud and deception, but the stories do
sell papers, so we get them. And I also believe it is just as
easy (if not easier) to meet a fraud, rapist or murderer in
church as it is on the Internet. If we read all the news, we
know that. But some folks are out to get us (Stout says 1 in 25
Americans feel no guilt), and it is in our own best interest to
be able to spot them before they do us in. Martha Stout
describes with chilling clarity the sociopathic personality and
how to recognize it. Be prepared to recognize folks that you
know, particularly politicians. Maybe even family members.

“Did You Spot the Gorilla?” By Richard Wiseman. I’ve been
enjoying Richard Wiseman’s books for a few years now. Wiseman
is a British psychologist and former magician who researches all
kinds of interesting phenomenon like ghosts, the paranormal and
luck. He’s got a new book out that’s a short, easy read, and
that should be mandatory for online daters: “Did You Spot the
Gorilla? How to Recognize Hidden Opportunities.” It’s
essentially a training manual for learning to see what’s under
your nose—and often missed. Unfortunately, “Gorilla” doesn’t
seem to be available in the U. S. A. yet, but you can buy it
through the U. K. division of Amazon.
I didn’t know that it was possible to order books from Britain,
but Wiseman told me how to do so, and it works.

Dating Sites

If you have done any nosing around online, you know that there
are jillions of dating sites, and most come and go. Really,
unless you are part of a small minority and want to go where
others like you go too, then stick with the big sites that
everyone knows and lists on.

I ALWAYS suggest either Match.com or or both. I
met my Sweetie Drew on Match.com, so I hold a special fondness
for Match. But I have come to appreciate Yahoo! Personals
equally. And Yahoo! Personals appreciates me, too: I write for
Yahoo! Personals online magazine.

Yahoo! Personals offers a gift certificate. Go to
and scroll down to the bottom of the
page, third line from the bottom, second hyperlink from the right
will take you to the page to set up the gift. It’s $24.95 for a

Now, if this is a GOOD friend—or yourself—I’d suggest the
real deal of 6 months on Yahoo! Personals for $74.95—that’s a
dirt cheap $12.49 per month. Or what I consider the First Class
Option, Yahoo! Personals Premier at $124.95 for six months (which
works out to $20.85 a month). If you would like to know why I
particularly recommend Yahoo! Premier, check out my blog entry

I’m not sure if you can give those longer subs to another person,
but you could offer to pay for your chum!

Match.com is slightly more expensive than Yahoo!—$24.99 for
one month, $14.99 if you sign up for six months. But I
discovered a deal that Match.com has running: If you sign up
for six months and follow their guidelines (very important that
you understand the rules and follow them), and have not met
someone special in that amount of time, Match.com will GIVE you
another six months. Who can pass on a deal like that? If you
find you need the next six months, then your costs are a measly
$7.49 per month. Find more info here.

Profile Resources

If you have looked around on dating sites, you know what a
profile is: Just about all the sites base their listings around a
personal essay of sorts, photos, and list of likes and dislikes.
Virtually every one of my clients has needed work to shape up
their online presentation. After all, it’s you 24 hour a day
billboard, and you hope that it finds you the very best partner
for life. It should be the best you can make.

I do profile reviews (looking over and critiquing what you
already have posted), rewrites (new essays), and complete work-
ups (starting from scratch). It’s a deal at $99 total. An even
better deal? Sign up for a basic coaching package (Four 1/2 hour
sessions) and get the $99 Profile Work up for free! Email me to
set up a profile review gift: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The most important part by far? A great photo. Just about
everyone needs a better one, and I ALWAYS suggest using
LookBetterOnline.com My clients have had very good results and
just those new photos would get them much more attention. The
cost is a very reasonable $129 for twelve Internet ready colored
photos. A deal. If you use LookBetterOnline.com, let them know
I sent you. They know me and treat my folks well.

Here’s what a Romance Client wrote me recently about her
LookBetterOnline.com photos:

“Here are my new photos taken last Friday. I look spectacular!!.
The photographer took 96 shots and I had to only pick 12 OH MY
The difference between the photo this woman had been
using and the new ones was astounding.

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


Stats About Baby Boomers

Here’s an interesting set of stats from Match.com about Baby Boomers that “Flying Solo” columnists Jan L. Warner and Jan Collins mentioned recently:

_70 percent of their boomer members are divorced or widowed;

_More than half of the boomers using their site exercise, and their favorite activities are walking, hiking, dancing, swimming, bowling, and golf.

_The boomers like the finer things in life: 39 percent enjoy dining out, 34 percent like to travel, 24 percent go to museums, 20 percent attend performing arts events, and 19 percent attend wine-tastings.

_Boomers say intelligence is the most important personality attribute in potential partners, followed closely by fidelity, confidence, and humor.

_Those boomers who have not retired are most likely to be self-employed entrepreneurs, followed by executives and physicians. Boomers using the site also have higher incomes than the average member (22 percent of the boomers earn $50,000 to $100,000 annually).

_38 percent are empty nesters.

_47 percent have a bachelor’s degree, while 15 percent have a graduate degree.

_Baby boomers’ biggest turn-off is sarcasm.

_Boomers are the least likely to believe they have only one soul mate.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


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%).


Dating Websites Focusing on Results

Internet dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony are venturing into new territory: Relationship building, marriage strengthening, and divorce prevention. While it is hard to know what is really going on, the first wave of divorces in couples who met on the Net has begun.

According to an article by Ellen Gamerman in the Wall Street Journal. US Census data says the median length of first marriages that end in divorce is eight years. Online dating got started with Match.com in 1995.

Since all marriages have a divorce rate of about 50%, cyber couples divorcing should be no surprise. And actually, I would venture to guess that the marriage survival rate for couples meeting on dating sites might turn out to be better, since the singles get more information up front about a potential partner than in ordinary dating.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


And Now from the NYT…

Right after I finished yesterday’s posting about an earlier article in the Wall Street Journal, up pops yet another treatment of Internet dating in the New York Times.

The story leads with Elizabeth Brereton and Robert Smith who were part of one of the first (if not THE first) experiment in computer matching called Operation Match in 1965. Each received a list of ten possible dates after the data they provided was crunched by an impossibly big computer. They appeared on each other’s list, though never followed through in making contact.

Four years later, Smith went to a mixer for grad students at the University of Chicago, saw the proverbial “woman across a crowded room” and introduced himself. They both immediately knew that they had been paired earlier by Operation Match.

They were married four months later, and are still so.

The article goes on to discuss the comparatively new compatibility testing that dating sites are moving towards, a la eHarmony, PerfectMatch, and now Match.com’s Chemistry. Throwing in some interesting statistics on divorce (more of those in a later posting), the reporter David Leonhardt (and the compatibility matching dating sites) make a good case for matching like with like. Leonhardt quotes Pepper Schwartz, Perfectmatch’s pro behind their matching system: “What this does is try to narrow it down so you spend less time with people who are totally out of the question. We’re just upping your chances.”

If you’ve spent any time on Yahoo! Personals and Match.com sorting out who you’d like to meet from the millions listed, anything that saves you time would be welcome. I spoke to a new Romance Client this week who was lucky enough to get a charter membership to Chemistry. She said that she had met two very interesting guys through Chemistry who she would never have considered otherwise. Big advantage right there: You may be blinded by your own prejudices to very good candidates. See what another blog reader reported in about his experience with Chemistry.

I’m not a huge fan of the compatibility testing sites, but combining one of them with a listing on one of the big major sites (like Match.com or Yahoo! Personals) might serve you quite well.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Ben’s Report From the Field

A reader sent in this report on his experience with Chemistry.com, Match.com’s answer to the profile matching that eHarmony and PerfectMatch do.  Also, here’s a link to blog entries of other folks who are trying out Chemistry for the first time.  Anyone else out there wanting to chime in on Chemistry?  Let’s hear some commments!

Hi Kathryn,
I hope that things are well with you at your new place.

I thought that you might appreciate a brief report on my experiences with Chemistry.com. They gave me a free lifetime subscription, as long as I keep my Match subscription.

So far, it’s okay. I like the structured nature of the service. I basically just log on, check the 5 matches that they send me, and give a yea/nay. When a prospective match occurs, there’s a survey and then a short answers to survey questions before going onto the email stage. I’m pretty sure it’s similar to how Eharmony does it. For me, structured activity is more activity.

On Match.com, it’s easy to just log on every now and then, not doing anything further (what I’m doing right now).

However, I cannot shake the impression that they are just sending me random people, in spite of the personality test, telling me that they are compatible with me, just to see if anything sticks.

I also think that not very many people are signed up with Chemistry. At the beginning, The women I said “yea” to would say “nay” pretty quickly, and they would drop off my list within a few days. Now, there are people who haven’t responded in 15+ days. This might indicate that they aren’t actual or active members.

I also keep wondering whether they are just sending regular Match.com people to me. Today, something new happened. Among my matches were two that did not have compatibility information. Instead, they had text… “Chemistry has selected **** as a match for you based
on the profile information we have received at this point. You can see how you match at this stage in the chart below. When **** completes her entire Chemistry Profile, you’ll be able to learn more about her. “**** is scheduled to complete her profile in the next stage of the process. If you see potential at this point, indicate you are interested to move her into your Active Matches. Then continue along the guided communication process to see if there’s chemistry. Good luck!

... which seems to indicate that this woman hasn’t actually signed up with Chemistry (since completing the personality test is the first thing you have to do when you sign up). Instead, what they sent me was the usual Match.com “do we match” chart.

Regarding the personality test and matching itself, Iam not especially impressed with it. It seems a bit bogus. Chemistry doesn’t seem to be promoting the anthropologist that they originally had when the service was launched.

I’m not sure what Match’s long-term strategy is for Chemistry. With the Dr. Phil thing, they seem to begoing in two different directions.

Please let me know if you have any questions about howChemistry works.



My Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

Since I am a Romance Coach specializing in helping singles find partners using Internet dating sites, I read with interest Vanessa Juarez’s articlewww.findlovehere.com” in the February 20th issue.

The first half of the article is essentially correct, but falters in the second half when Juarez starts talking about specific dating sites. First off, folks 50 and over, divorced or not, find the best and most choices on the largest Internet dating sites, Match.com (where I met my husband in 1998) and Yahoo! Personals. Smaller sites have correspondingly smaller numbers.

What Juarez did not mention is that sites like PerfectMatch and eHarmony (which have built-in a more passive role for singles—the web site does the matching—and therefore appeal to women) have very skewed gender ratios that do not favor women. PerfectMatch openly courts men, enticing them with 2:1 male to female ratios. That would include all age ranges, so likely the older women get (when they outnumber men anyway), the worse the ratios.

Most of my clients are women over 40, and I NEVER suggest either eHarmony or PerfectMatch for these because of those bad numbers. All have gone to either Match.com or Yahoo! Personals or both and been pleased and astounded at the large numbers of quality men just waiting to hear from them. Internet dating is in large part a numbers game, and a single is best served by going to the sites where the numbers are in his or her favor— large numbers of singles in gender ratios that favor the individual.

Best, Kathryn Lord


What Are the Numbers Anyway?

eHarmony released some eye-popping numbers on January 31: According to an independent survey by Harris Interactive, 16,630 marriages between September 1, 2004, and August 31, 2005, resulted from eHarmony matchups. Since each marriage consists of two people, that means slightly more than 90 singles per day get hitched because of Dr. Warren and company. (16,630 times 2 divided by 365 = 91.12) Those are some numbers by anyone’s calculations.

These are the “hardest” numbers that I have seen so far, at least gathered in what appears to be a legitimate effort. Up until now, the only number I have seen have been from Match.com, and those are self-reports: From my website—“In 2003, more than 200,000 members reported that they were resigning from Match.com because they had met the person they were seeking.” And ” Match.com claims to initiate over 130 engagements and marriages each month.”
There’s a big gap between 130 engagements and marriages a month (3,120 a year at that rate) and 200,000 satisfied resignations. Even eHarmony’s numbers are only 33,260 happy singles a year.

Probably the truth is somewhere inbetween. Or maybe not, since those figures are a year or two old. We know that Internet dating continues to grow as an industry, though not as fast as the 75% growth rates of a few years ago.

Regardless, that’s a lot of happy people, or at least we hope that they are all happy. If “The proof is in the pudding,” that’s quite a set of plums.

I do wonder if Harris Interactive asked about couples who met on other dating sites like Match and Yahoo! And I also wonder how many couples, total, got married in the time frame specified. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Though a survry in mid-2004 indicated that about 15% of marrying couples met online.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


We Love Love Stories—Here are Six!

In my continuing quest to bring you good news about Internet romances, here’s a three for the price of one story. See the side bar on the right for details.

George and Erika Eloff met on eHarmony. They got married last March.

Here’s a novel way to get married: At the office party! Terry Duso and Joe Emerson met on friendfinder.com

Robin Galiano and Art Russell met on Match.com. Art was the third person Robin met through online dating. And Art staged a proposal that you’ve got to read.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Love Stories

I love love stories, and I know my readers do, too. Here are some I have read lately:

These two thirty-something’s met on Match.com.

Here’s another story about more thirty-something’s. These two really took their time writing back and forth online, and didn’t even share pictures before they met.

eHarmony came through for Kenneth Jones. Kenneth got lucky when he widened his search beyond his home area of Austin and San Antonio. His Sweetie Bettie Harrell live in Florida. They are getting married August 13.

, two stories in the same article. And it contains a great idea: bribe your kids to help!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Gender Ratios and Internet Dating and Relationship Sites

Dating and matchmaking sites are having to compete harder and harder for your dollars. More than 850 different sites now crowd the wires, and the fast pace of visitor traffic has slowed from the red hot growth of the past five years. One of the ways some of the larger sites are trying to differentiate themselves from the pack is to define themselves as “Relationship sites” as opposed to “Dating sites.” Serious daters are to become paying subscribers than more casual singles. eHarmony, PerfectMatch.com, and True.com are the top three calling themselves “Relationship sites.” YahooPersonals is trying to straddle the fence with it’s new “Premier” designation (see my blog entry). Match.com, the industry biggie, is moving in that direction as well.

eHarmony, PerfectMatch, and True all use what they call “scientific” means to pair folks with the best matches. That means questionnaires for subscribers to fill out and some sort of matching procedure that takes place behind the scene (read: the computer somehow “reads” the questionnaires and then pulls out “matches” based on some kind of formula). These sites tend to appeal to women, because of the purported seriousness (a relationships-only orientation), the safety (True’s background checks and attempts to keep married people out), and the highly structured, more active role of the dating site in doing the actual matching and communicating (eHarmony). Men tend to find the sites irritating: They don’t like the long questionnaires, they don’t like being matched by the computer, and they don’t like not being able to cruise through the profiles and pick for themselves. Guys particularly don’t like not being able to see photos (eHarmony).

This trend plays out in the gender ratios. Dating sites have tended to mirror the gender ratios of the Internet in general—around 60/40, male to female.

However, in these “Relationship sites,” the ratios tend to be just the opposite, or even more skewed: More like 60/40 female to male, or worse at PerfectMatch. A reader (male) just sent me this from PerfectMatch: “Thanks in part to our new relationship with the Lifetime television; women now outnumber men on PerfectMatch.com two to one! Men, for a limited time, you can receive 3 months for only $59.95 on PerfectMatch.com. That’s right, a full three months, all access premium subscription, for only $59.95, a savings of over $100!” (PerfectMatch got partnered with Dr. Phil. He did a show about online dating around Valentine’s. PerfectMatch gave away 1,000,000 free memberships before 2/28, and 90% of those who signed up are women. )

These gender ratios are probably even worse for older single women. The male to female ratios even out around 40 and 50, then tip towards women outnumbering men as the ages go up. And of course, we have the issue of men looking for younger women, which tilts the tables even more against older women.

So guys: The numbers favor you at those “Relationship sites.” Particularly if you are older. If you are tired of no or low response, you might want to try one of them out. Ladies: Even though “Relationship sites” may feel more appealing, the numbers are not great for you. Particularly if you are older. If you must, use one of these “Relationship sites,” but hedge you bets and also sign up on a big site where the odds favor you more. My current favorite is YahooPersonals. Sign up for the Premier version and get the best of both worlds.



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