Kathryn's Blog: PerfectMatch.com

More on Wealthy Men and the Women Who Want Them…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathryn Lord
Your Romance Coach

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


More Info From and About PerfectMatch.com

PerfectMatch.com has added new bells and whistles.  They’ve
developed what they are calling Duet(R) Analysis Profile.
Probably using more testing (Argh!  Don’t we all LOVE those
looong personality tests?), PerfectMatch then coughs up more data
for those looking for a mate: In addition to the basic details
(location, age, occupation) the site also identifies the person’s
values and ideals, does a “Life and Lovestyle” descrition, and
analysizes personality factors (risk-taking, intensity and pace,
outlook on life, and variety).  All look good.  I’d love to have
that info if I were actively looking right now.

PerfectMatch gets mixed reviews, from me and others.
Particularly for women, because the gender ratio is so bad: At
least 2 women for every guy.  Of course, that’s good for the men-

This also points to the importance of taking those questionnaires
VERY seriously.  TAKE YOUR TIME if you sign up for a site that
uses them.  Do not rush through the process!  It’s your future.
It’s important.  Go slow.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Uh Oh…Dating Sites Have Troubles

eHarmony has a suit pending.

John Claasen is suing eHarmony because they refused to match him after he had spent two hours filling out the matching survey. eHarmony routinely refuses to match married folks, and Claasen is not yet divorced, just legally separated. Claasen asserts that eHarmony is discriminating against him because of his marital status, which may indeed be breaeaking California’s civil code, section 51.

PerfectMatch has unresolved complaints filed with the Washington state Attorney General’s office and the local Better Business Bureau gives PerfectMatch an unsatisfactory rating.

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


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


DavidLA68"s UnPerfectMatch

I got this very amusing link yesterday from a reader, evidently in response to my review of “Must Love Dogs” and PerfectMatch.com’s rather blatant product placement in that film. The reader is Dave, the author of the linked article. It chronicles amusingly his experience last February with being matched on “Dr. Phil” by the PerfectMatch folks. Or at least he thought he was going to be matched, because it seems from the article that he never was. Dr. Phil and the show come across pretty well (see Dave’s “Editor Note” that prefaces the article), but PerfectMatch gets raked over the coals.

I saw the “Dr. Phil” show that Dave was on, and indeed, the guys looked pretty much like deer in the head lights. The show as a whole was not one of Dr. Phil’s best, to say the least. But I did again recognize the coup of PerfectMatch and product placement. See my review of “Must Love Dogs.” Somebody at PerfectMatch is doing a pretty terrific job with product placement. Follow through does not seem to be the strong point of PerfectMatch, however, at least according to Dave. Far from Perfect.

Dave is no longer on PerfectMatch, but he’s still looking for Los Angeles women on Match.com. You can find him there under DavidLA68 . I just checked. He’s cute!

Dave’s article also reinforces what I have said before: PerfectMatch and eHarmony are not the best sites for women. The odds are very poor—at least PerfectMatch is honest about it, advertising to men that the female to male ratio is 2:1. And likely, the older the women get, the more out of whack the odds. I think it is similar at eHarmony, though it’s hard to find that stated anywhere.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


I wish I could recommend eHarmony, True.com or PerfectMatch, but I can’t!

Why are the three top sites that potentially have so much to offer so flawed? All three say that they are “relationship sites”—places for serious singles to meet serious partners. Serious means wanting a long-term, committed relationship or marriage. eHarmony has led the way in differentiating “dating sites” from “relationship sites”—Match.com would be a traditional dating site, where you can meet for friendship or casual dating as well as more serious, long term relationships. All three use some kind of “compatibility testing” for matching singles—long sets of questions that each poster fills out, and then the sites’ computers match one with another, using some sort of formula. All sounds good, right? No wonder so many are flocking to join up.

But I’ve got reservations about eHarmony, and I am not alone. Jennifer Hahn writes extensively about eHarmony’s founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren’s evangelist Christian roots in her article “Love Machines” for LA City Beat. I, like Hahn, think there are lots of problems in the site and how they match singles. eHarmony’s largest black mark is that the site will not work with Gays and Lesbians. And it doesn’t take much of a Google search to come up with more fodder. The site also TURNS DOWN one in five applicants: Can you imagine getting this message after you screwed up your courage to sign on in the first place, and then spent several hours filling out the questionnaire?

“Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching system is not suitable for about 20% of potential users, so 1 in 5 people simply would not benefit from our service. We hope that you understand that we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time. “

I’ve written plenty lately about True.com and their questionable practices. Here’s the message you get on their home page:

“Married people will be prosecuted. Because we care, we screen members against public records to check marital status.”

Isn’t that cheery? And for some odd reason, , not women, for posting. That is really strange, since these “relationship sites” tend to attract far more women than men.

That’s PerfectMatch‘s problem (eHarmony’s too) and does PerfectMatch ever have it bad! PerfectMatch is now offering men two months for free, just to get more to sign up!

PerfectMatch’s ratios are now two women for every guy. Well, at least they say so. Getting gender ratios for other dating sites is nearly impossible. I must say, that other than the poor numbers for women, I have no other complaints about PerfectMatch. Pepper Schwartz is their resident expert and designed their compatibility profiling. I’ve known of Pepper Schwartz for years and respected her work, so I am assuming she is doing a good job here, too. But if the guys would only sign up there… Hey, guys, it’s free, for heaven’s sake! And the numbers are great, for you, anyway. Git on over!


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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