Archives for July 2007

Online Dating Magazine Opens Dating Humor Section

Online Dating Magazine has opened a new section for online daters called the Dating Humor Fun Zone. The new section allows daters to explore the humorous side of dating. The section includes dating videos, dating cartoons, dating jokes, and dating games.

Online Dating Magazine is in the middle of a massive expansion of its publication. Next week the publication is expected to announce the addition of two new columnists, along with a new section. In addition to covering the online dating industry, Online Dating Magazine is a watchdog group for online daters. Last week, the magazine issued a public warning to single parents regarding sexual offenders using online dating services.

The Dating Humor Fun Zone will be updated weekly with new content and Online Dating Magazine welcomes your recommendations. You can email them to jtracy@onlinedatingmagazine.com.

Prescription for Love – Just What the Doctor Ordered?

On July 15, 2004, American Ricky Durham lost someone close to him – his brother who had been battling Crohns Disease. Ricky saw his brother face many struggles, including dating. He had to use a colostomy bag; something that doesn’t make for pleasant conversation on a date.

Inspired by his brother, Ricky opened up a new online dating service last year for people who face various diseases. Called Prescription4Love, the mission of the dating service is “to be the premier resource for people with special conditions to find each other for happiness.” The site is dedicated to the memory of Ricky’s brother – James Keith Durham.

“My brother Keith passed away July 15, 2004,” says Ricky on his site. “Back then the website was in the developmental stage but he liked the idea. As we were developing the website, it came to my attention that there were so many people who had different conditions that might want to use my website for friendship or love.”

The online dating service has more than 1,000 members, targetting people with the following conditions:

HIV/AIDS
Cancer
Obesity
Deafness
Diabetes
IBS
Infertility / Impotence
Allergies
Herpes
Hepatitis
Recovering Alcoholics
Epilepsy
Arthritis
Little People
Multiple Sclerosis
Paraplegic
Quadriplegic
Transplant Patients
Parkinson’s Disease
Burn Victims
Lupus
HPB

“Finding others with similar circumstances is a natural desire for everyone,” says Ricky. “Honesty is important, but finding an opportunity to mention such subjects can be difficult. By using Prescription4Love.com, you can be honest in advance and progress to the next stages of friendships and relationships.”

Joe’s Comments
Seeing an niche online dating service started out of a passion for love – versus a passion for money – is very refreshing.

Dating Tips – Confessions of a Matchmaker #4

Here are some dating tips, offered by matchmaker Patti Novak, from the fourth episode of Confessions of a Matchmaker:

Episode 4 (Mary) – Dating Tips:

– Don’t keep a list of “requirements” for the type of person you want to date.

– Consider a haircut (or look) to make you look younger. Stay away from things that make you look older.

– Sexual innuendos or bantering can make your date feel uncomfortable.

– When on a date, flirting with the waiter/waitress or someone else (except your date) is highly inappropriate.

– You should hold a conversation on your date, not a “job interview”.

Joe’s Comments
Not as many tips in this episode as half of it was dedicated to a speed dating event that Novak’s business was putting on. The irony of people who are picky (and making lists) is that they may miss out on their true soul-mate because of a list. Matters of the heart can be predetermined with a “list” and lists only serve to create a more shallow dating (and romantic) experience.

For those that didn’t see this episode, Mary had a list of 42 things that a guy must meet in order to be a potential boyfriend. Novak had to get her to burn her list and put “requirements” out of her mind in order to make her matchable material.

More Than 29,000 Sex Offenders on MySpace

On Saturday, the Online Dating News Blog published a warning from Online Dating Magazine about sex offenders that target parents on online dating services. Now, three days later, comes news that MySpace has found more than 29,000 registered sex offenders in its database.

Attorney Generals from several states had been pressing MySpace to release official numbers. Back in May, MySpace had said it purged 7,000 profiles from registered sex offenders. Now they say the number of sex offenders on their service tops 29,000.

Several days ago, Online Dating Magazine issued a warning to single parents about the dangers of sex offenders who use online dating services to target children. This comes after a sex offender was caught communicating on Match.com with someone he thought was a mother with two children. It was a sting operation organized by an children’s advocacy group who had received tips about the sex offender. 

Joe’s Comments
This number – 29,000 – is stunning, particularly when you see the number of teens and children that use the service. This should serve as a wake up call to parents and communities. Also, since putting out our warning, I’ve been surprised that no media have contacted us (a rarity) for a story. This is an issue that the media should be warning the public about so that they may be more aware of what to do.

Dating Tips – Confessions of a Matchmaker #3

Confessions of a Matchmaker is a show on A&E that follows matchmaker Patti Novak as she matches couples in Buffalo, New York. Here are some dating tips she offers in the third episode.

Episode 3 (Kevin and Brenda) – Dating Tips:

– Showing a lot of nervousness, saying “um” a lot, fidgeting, and displaying insecurity could make your date think you are socially awkward. Be confident!

– If you think you might forget the person’s name on the first date, then say his/her name 10 times in a row before arriving.

– Continuing to do things, as you get older, that you did when you were younger (like partying) could keep you from finding a long-term relationship and attract the wrong people (who are looking for something different – like just a fling) into your life.

– If you want commitment, remember that “party guys” don’t commit.

– Talk clear on your first date. Don’t mumble.

– Ask a lot of questions (particularly if you’re a guy).

– Don’t assume control on the first date (like ordering a drink for both of you without asking what the other person wants first). (This tip wasn’t from Novak, but rather from a girl who was matched with Kevin. He ordered them both white wine. She just wanted a beer and it bothered her a bit).

Joe’s Comments
Patti starts this episode by saying, “one of the biggest obstacles in finding love is learning how to date.” The simple fact is that online dating is only one part of the equation to finding true love. The other is what happens when you meet. It’s the in person meeting that brings out your true colors.

Once I met a nice woman from Santa Maria, CA and our first  date was to the Japanese Gardens in Santa Barbara (I like first dates that don’t involve “meeting at a coffee place”). We had a great time. However, during one of our talks, she said it was the first date she had been on in eight years! That’s probably information I didn’t need to know, because until that point I had no clue. And when a person volunteers that type of information on a first date, another might wonder “what’s wrong that this person hasn’t been on a date in so long?”  In this case, it wasn’t a big deal to me, but to someone else, it might have been.

I once went on a date with a woman who was a casting agent for a network TV show and learned first hand that there were things I shouldn’t mention on a first date. We went miniature golfing in Sherman Oaks (saw Gary Busey there – the actor that looks like Nick Nolte) and then to dinner. At dinner she asked me about my job. I told her that I was the publisher of Online Dating Magazine and to her that threw up some red flags. She asked me if I was just on the date as “part of my job.” I assured her I wasn’t, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it still bothered her.

The point is that some things are best left unsaid until later in your dating experience with the same person. Sometimes what you say may seem harmless to you on a first date, but the person you are with may misinterpret it. Learn from these mistakes in order to have a better dating experience going forward.

Dating Tips – Confessions of a Matchmaker #2

Here are some dating tips from the second episode of Confessions of a Matchmaker with Patti Novak. You can catch the show on A&E:

Episode 2 (John) – Dating Tips:

– On the first date, don’t talk about self-esteem issues (i.e. John was a 41-year old virgin and Novak tolk him never to talk about that on a first date).

– Show self-esteem and self-confidence (even if you have to “fake” it).

– Don’t talk about your past dating history on a first date.

– Don’t talk about anything painful in your past on a first date.

– If you’re asked about your dating history, simply say, “you know I’ve dated a lot of girls/guys… I just haven’t met the right one yet” and leave it at that.

Joe’s Comments
What I love about this show is that the advice Patti Novak gives is right on. These are tips everyone should follow. Interestingly enough, in this episode John’s date with a woman didn’t go so well and after some further discussion, Novak presented the idea of him going on a casual date with a guy. He agreed and seemed to have a much better time.

Dating Tips – Confessions of a Matchmaker #1

One of the best shows that singles can watch for great dating tips is A&E’s Confessions of a Matchmaker starring matchmaker Patti Novak. It airs in half-hour segments every week and features Novak’s adventures with clients in Buffalo, New York. Novak is a no-nonsense person who tells it as it is and when clients listen, they find success where none existed before.

As a service to our readers, we will break down the valuable tips that Novak presents in each episode, starting with the first one in this post:

Episode 1 (Charlie & Ashley) – Dating Tips:

– Control what you put into your mouth because what you put into your mouth affects your confidence.

– Don’t tan a lot. It’s bad for your skin and makes people think you’re “covering something up”.

– Your looks will determine the type of person you meet (i.e. women trying to look too sexy can attract all the wrong guys).

– A softer look makes you more approachable.

– When trying to correct a lifestyle issue or habit that is inhibiting your dating, just “trying” to fix it isn’t good enough. You must do it.

– When on a date, don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s gross.

– Getting wasted on a first date usually doesn’t lead to a second date.

– On a first date it is inappropriate to force your territory on someone (i.e. bringing friends and introducing them, etc.).

– Too much makeup can make you look insecure and fake.

Joe’s Comments
One thing you learn from this show is that tips are only good if you follow them. For example, in this episode, Ashley came to Novak for help. Novak told her to stop tanning and wearing so much makeup in order to get that softer look. Ashley agreed, but then ignored the advice and her first date was a disaster, partially because the guy thought she wore too much makeup.

When people seek out advice, it only does them good if they learn to follow that advice.

Online Dating Magazine Warns Single Parents About Sex Predators

Online Dating Magazine, a watchdog publication for online daters, issued a warning today to single parents who use online dating services. Online Dating Magazine warns parents that some sex predators or sex offenders may be using services to search for new victims.

“There are some sexual predators and sex offenders who specifically use online dating services to target single parents in order to get to their kids,” says Joe Tracy, Publisher of Online Dating Magazine. “It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.”

Online Dating Magazine’s warning was issued after a convicted child molester was caught in a sting operation, emailing a supposed mother of two kids.

Parents for Megan’s Law, a child advocacy group, received anonymous emails that Michael Bradley, a convicted sex offender in New York, was using Match.com. As a result, the group set up a fake profile of a mother of two boys and emailed Bradley. He responded, breaking a court order not allowing him to seek romantic relationships online. As a result his computer was confiscated and Bradley now faces the possibility of having his parole revoked.

“It is the responsibility of consumers to protect their safety and that of their families, so do not rely on the assurances of dating sites that attempt to screen out predators,” said Dr. James Houran, spokesperson and feature columnist for Online Dating Magazine. “The best protection is to use your head in matters of the heart. Do not get so caught up in the excitement of online dating that you are not constantly alert – instead assume everyone online is a potential predator.”

Online Dating Magazine has issued the following six tips that it recommends single parents use when using an online dating service:

  1. Never post photos of your children in your profile or anywhere online.
  2. Don’t talk about your children in your profile.
  3. Don’t mention what gender your children are.
  4. If you’re dating someone, wait several months – until you are more serious – before introducing your date to your children.
  5. Run a background and sex offender check on the person you’re dating before introducing them to your children.
  6. Most online dating services have the option to list whether you have children. Because honesty is important, go ahead and list it, just don’t mention your children anywhere else in your profile.

Online Dating Magazine urges online daters to take a cautious approach to online dating, even though it is generally reconized as a safe way to meet people.

Number of “Sugar Daddy” Dating Services Growing

The number of “Sugar Daddy” dating services, where rich men seek younger beautiful women (or younger women seek rich men), is growing as the niche sees a boom in popularity.

Here are just a few, out of nearly two dozen, of the “Sugar Daddy” type services:

Millionaire Match
Wealthy Men
Seeking Arrangement
SugarDaddie.com
Sugar Daddy for Me
Sugar Daddy Babes
SugarDaddies.com

Brandon Wade is the founder of Seeking Arrangements and he recently told the Globe and Mail that it doesn’t make him a virtual pimp. Here’s the quote from the article:

Mr. Wade insists that accommodating these partnerships does not make him a virtual pimp. “In prostitution, you exchange money for sex,” he says. “In an arrangement, sex is not always involved or does not come into play until much later. This involves a component of romancing.”

Joe’s Comments
With the types of niche online dating services reaching a platue, we are now seeing a lot of duplicate niche services, particularly in the more successful areas like Sugar Daddy dating or people seeking millionaires. On average, we see three new online dating services opening up every day and more and more of those services are targetting niche markets whereas three years ago, most were generic online dating services.

New Online Dating Service Offers Refunds

One thing you never find with an online dating service is the opportunity to obtain a refund if the service doesn’t work out for you (or if you find love on the first day). New online dating service Let’s Grab a Drink is breaking the mold by refunding users, once they cancel, for time left on their membership.

Launched just last Spring, Let’s Grab a Drink could change the way many online dating services handle cancellations. In order for a service to successfully break into the online dating industry, it must find a unique selling point that other services don’t have. Let’s Grab a Drink has found that and more.

Online Dating Magazine has interviewed Let’s Grab a Drink’s president about his philosophy and will be publishing that interview in a few weeks.

Joe’s Comments
I highly applaud Let’s Grab a Drink for putting online daters first. Online daters are getting tired of feeling they are being taken advantage of by online dating services who charge high monthly rates and don’t refund money. In fact, some services (like True.com) have in the past made it very hard for users to cancel their accounts.

The more services take advantage of online daters, the more online daters will move to services that put them first.