Dating FYI, Feature

Where Is Everybody? 1 in 3 People Meet Online Today

Meeting someone in real life today is incredibly difficult. Why? Because we are all on our phones, behind one screen or another, which has made it difficult for people to meet the old fashioned way – in person, in real life.

I asked a matchmaker this question and she agrees.* I’d love for a guy to come up to me and hand me his number saying we should go for coffee sometime, but apparently this likely won’t ever happen, according to  my expert.

Why? Because men are afraid we will think they are stalking us, pervy, or creeps. And I guess to some extent this might be true. Which is kind of sad because online dating has its pitfalls, to be sure, and makes it hard to determine if you would like to go on a date or meet up with someone.

If you meet a man or woman in person say at a coffee shop or the grocery store, you know instantly if there’s chemistry or a desire to at least sit down and see if there’s chemistry. When it’s just a face on a screen with a picture that could very well be five years old, it’s almost impossible to know if you will click with this person. So a lot more trial and error and EFFORT happens when meeting people online.

Remember, 1 in 3 people meet online now, with that number increasing to 1 in 2 within the next decade. If you aren’t online, you’re missing out on meeting someone.

Yes, still try to meet people through activities and in real life. Network at church or whatever religious place of worship you visit, and through connections with friends and family (the top two ways people meet their future mates, followed by online), but if you don’t attend a place of worship and have a limited network, then you need to go online.

If all else fails, try sitting at a bar and having a drink somewhere like another dating expert suggests as the best way to meet someone. I don’t think it works, but give it a go. And report back if it does!

Image credit: rosie-kerr-395321-unsplash
Dating FYI, Feature

Catfishing: It’s real

Finding love online comes with risks.

But you probably already know this. I damn well hope so anyway. If not, consider yourself warned.

If you haven’t tried online dating yet or are rather new to it, then you won’t be thinking that you have to watch out for the fakes and cons and scam artists. But you very much do have to.

Not everyone is who they appear to be online. I feel silly for even typing that out because I think it would be common knowledge. But it isn’t. They made a show based on people’s naivety and Dr. Phil *still* has women going on his show thinking they’ve found love and a loved one wrote in to Phil begging him to help their family member see the truth about the “love of their life.” It’s sad. And these women lose tens of thousands of dollars because they didn’t stop to think for a minute.

I have swiped on quite a few catfishers in my almost two years online. Nobody got the better of me though because I literally read every website and article I could on this once I got wind of what was going on. I armed myself with knowledge and you should too.

I talk a lot about this in my upcoming book, so I’ll keep this short here.

If a guy seems too good to be real, he is 99.9% of the time.

If he asks for money and starts calling you baby and love almost right away, he’s likely a scammer from Nigeria (where a large portion of these scams take place).

If he says he’s in the military and can’t get away yet unless you help him with funds for a variety of reasons, he’s likely a scammer. Military romance scams are the fastest growing and largest online dating romance scam going on. Read this website for how to protect yourself: http://www.cid.army.mil/romancescam.html 

No guy will start professing his love for you and tell you he wants a soulmate and wants to marry you within a few weeks of getting to know you. Think about it: Men don’t talk or act like that!! We can barely get them to agree to go on a friggin’ date lol or be monogamous. That’s a typical guy, not the guy saying he wants the heart of his heart and love of his love … within a week.

These scammers play on your heart strings. They KNOW you are lonely and want love and will likely pay to keep it. So he gives a sob story about needing money in hopes your love for him is strong enough to have you send it to him. DO NOT.

Run his image through a Google image search or https://tineye.com  to see if his image pops up elsewhere online. If no matches come up, MAYBE this guy is for real. Maybe. Dig around. Check Facebook, verify facts he gives you. If he’s vague, beware.

No matter what, don’t send these guys a fucking dime.

Check out www.scambusters.org and www.datingbusters.com and http://www.yourittoday.com/scammers.php to read stories and see if the guy you’re dealing with sounds familiar in these other women’s stories. You will fast learn what their MO is and how they operate and then use your head, not your heart, to determine if you’re being catfished or not.

 

 

Dating Dos and Don'ts, Feature

Online Dating Dos #1

Use current pictures.

I think the number one concern men AND women share is that the person they meet won’t look like the pictures they used online.

I’ve had this happen to me a few times and needless to say it is disappointing and you feel…cheated, lied to. And essentially you were.

Use recent pics that show what you look like, today. Not ten years ago when your hair was longer and you were twenty pounds lighter. Be honest about who you are today because that is the person the man will meet … and expect.

If he sees you look different from what you presented as you today, chances are good he will walk away before your first meeting is up, or you won’t hear from him again, simply because you lied, and, really, how can he trust you going forward?

You will want the same from the men you date. But they will lie and conceal too. That doesn’t mean you should start a relationship based on a lie and half truth because men might do it to you.

So I say it again…

Use current pictures.

Dating FYI, Feature

When He Still Has An Active Profile…

So you’ve been seeing a guy for a few weeks, months now, and you find out he still has an active profile on his dating site (or sites). You don’t know how to feel about this, but you do know you’re angry and confused, and wondering how serious he is about you after all.

There are two responses to this and they are based on your level of commitment to each other.

You are in an actual relationship and have had the exclusivity talk. 

If this is the case, then you have a right to be upset and confused because this guy, your boyfriend, has committed to an exclusive relationship with you and you only. Unless you discussed being in an open relationship, you are totally correct in assuming you’d be the only one he focuses on. So finding out he’s still online chatting with other women is upsetting and I’d be pissed off too.

What do you do? Well, this is where it gets tricky. How did you find out about him being online and chatting with other women? Were you snooping and spying on him? If so, you are totally screwed because by confronting him about his online infidelity you are admitting to having had trust issues from the get-go

(with reason too it seems) and this is going to upset him. No one likes being tracked and spied on.

So you need to bring the topic up casually. “Hey, have you closed all your online dating accounts? I did that last week when realized I had one still open. I’m sure you have. I just wanted you to know I’m not online anymore.” That kind of thing is what you say. Then see how he responds. Does he say, oh yeah I’m off or good point I should. Maybe he will actually say he’s still online. If he lies to your face and says he isn’t, then you now have two red flags with this guy: he’s still seeing other women (or at least talking to them) while in a relationship with you and he just lied to you straight up. You might want to reconsider being with this guy.

You could fess up and say you know he’s still online and see how that goes.

You could wait it out a few months then ask him again and then just tell him you know damn well he still is.

Either way, this guy is not commitment ready and you should know this going in. Stick around if you want, but he’s not all that into you and is just biding his time till he finds someone that suits him better. Why else would he still be online? He’s pursuing, other women, that aren’t you.

You are not in an exclusive relationship with this guy. 

This answer is easy and short: he owes you nothing and he can totally still be online chatting and meeting other women. Unless you have had some kind of conversation that squarely places you as the only one he is seeing and he says so clearly, then it’s fair game. For you too!!

Keep dating other men. Don’t quit once you find someone you are seeing casually. You are allowed to date a few guys at once. They did it in the 50s so I think we can damn well do it today lol. How else will you know what you like, want, need?

Until a conversation is had regarding exclusivity, it’s fair game for both sides. He isn’t doing anything wrong being online while dating you.

 

Dating FYI

Dating Fatigue

Dating fatigue?

Huh?

It’s a real thing. Dating can be exhausting, and it is exhausting. When you date regularly, and are constantly messaging and meeting with men, it gets tiring after a while because a lot of the time it leads nowhere, or the conversations are mundane or pervy, and you’re getting all dressed up to meet for coffee or drinks only to discover there is zero chemistry and you kinda would have preferred to stay home in your PJs watching Netflix alone.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times you will meet with someone and it’s a nice hour of chatting and being out, but you know it won’t go anywhere because there’s just nothing there to pursue anything more. Dating is a great way to meet new people, socialize, get out there…but, really, at the end of it all we date to mate, on whatever level we want (sex, love, marriage etc.).

Even men get dating fatigue and take themselves off the market for a bit. And so should you if you just feel like it’s a chore after a while. Dating should be fun. If it is no longer fun and more like work, pull yourself out of the game for a bit.

I know many dating “experts” say not to do this because if you don’t date you won’t mate, but what’s the point if you’re tired and your best won’t be put forward? Who knows, maybe this break is when you’ll meet someone while grocery shopping or standing in line at the pharmacy. Like those couples who get pregnant a month after trying so hard for years. All I know is if you aren’t feeling it, stop and take a break until you have your mojo back. Yeah, mojo lol.

You don’t have to delete your profiles; simply stop them from showing up in searches. Easy. Now you can just focus on you for a bit, relax, eat good food, read a book, walk, do yoga, whatever you want all without having to worry about men and dating and when you’ll find the one you click with. It’ll happen. It just might take some time. In the meantime, focus on you. You’re awesome company, so take a minute to hang with yourself for a bit.

 

 

Dating FYI, Matchmakers

Matchmakers: Yes or no?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

Matchmaking is another way to meet men if online dating isn’t your thing or you’ve tired of it. It is definitely a more civilized way of meeting a potential match for a number of reasons:

  • Your matchmaker takes time to get to know you through various methods (in-person meeting, questionnaires) and then hand selects a person for you.
  • The matchmaker will have met both you and a potential match, so some level of screening has taken place.
  • It saves you the time and hassle of weeding through hundreds of men online, and having many pointless conversations just to filter down to the two or three you might want to meet.

I’ve researched local matchmakers and contacted three last November. I went with local boutique type matchmakers and not the huge ones across Canada. I’ve heard from reliable sources that the large matchmaking services (not all) often charge thousands upon thousands of dollars and sometimes get you no picks or just pick any old person for you just to say they got you matches. So I picked local women who had tiny firms. I picked:

Single in the City

I paid the $125.00 initial consultation fee and waited for Laura to call me to set up an initial meeting. The $125 is a one-time fee and then you pay $50 for every date she sets you up on. Seems reasonable. That $125 includes a $50 credit towards any event she throws.

It took her four days to get back to me. She seems a little stiff on the phone and wouldn’t  meet anywhere but downtown or in Oakville. All three matchmakers actually only would meet downtown. So if you don’t live in Toronto you are SOL where matchmakers are concerned, unless you travel to them, and live within the GTA (mostly). This is an open market as far as matchmakers go. Maybe I’ll start up my own boutique lol

So we met and Laura was the sweetest, friendliest woman. Warm and intelligent, and easy to talk to. We chatted for two hours, and most of that time had nothing to do with men or matchmaking. We just hit it off. She went through my questionnaire, took some pics, and then said if she found anyone in her database she would let me know.

It has been six months! No matches. Well, one, but that 55-year-old declined meeting me. I wasn’t exactly hot-shit keen on meeting him because he’s as old as Moses as far as I’m concerned, but I was willing to try. I guess 42 isn’t young enough for him. Surprises me not.

Shanny in the City

I actually interviewed Shanny for my book months before I reached out to her about matchmaking services. She doesn’t recall that I did. I am predicting her fees will be high, like four to five to ten thousand dollars, so I am actually hesitant with going through with this because how awkward to say I can’t afford you even though I *know* she’d find me a man no problem. I just sense that about her.

The first meeting is $125 as well, but I had to cancel. One, she scared me, and two,  for the money she will charge, I don’t think I am ready. And … I don’t currently have the money she will charge, but paying it might be in my best interest to find a professional, attractive man with a good job and money. I will use her if all else fails. My last ditch effort as it were.

Friend of a Friend Matchmaking

This one I thought I might not hear back from because they even say on the application page that if you don’t get selected you won’t hear back. It’s based on your location (HAVE to be in Toronto) and what you write. I begged for them to pick me and said it’d be no problem getting into the city. But I did get in. Yay!

I got a code to enter a website where I paid my $427.00 (I know, kinda pricey), but if you consider how much online dating sites cost (the paid ones like Match, eHarmony, Zoosk, and even Plenty of Fish if you upgrade for $20/month) this isn’t that extravagant at all for a year. I paid and then got to download a terms and agreements page and then the 30+ questionnaire they needed me to fill in so they can match me with the love of my life.

(I am skeptical, gotta admit, but best to have all hands on deck with this one, especially since I don’t have family here to hook me up with someone, many friends here to hook me up with someone, and work from home. And I go to Pilates which has one man in the whole group. The gym you say? Please. I’m sweaty and gross when I go. And I wear sweats and old T-shirts a lot of the time so nobody is going to check me out. And who has ever gotten a date from the gym? Yes, Miranda on Sex in the City did. But not in my world that doesn’t happen…not yet anyway.)

I met my matchmaker January 3 in a coffee shop and they asked me a whole bunch of questions. It lasted 45 minutes and I was on my way. So matchmaker, matchmaker…make me a match. But it hasn’t happened yet! Not one hit from them. Am I that unmatchable? lol

Matchmaking does work, I’ve seen it work. It just hasn’t worked for me.

Boutique agencies are the way to go in my opinion, because they often are more affordable, and more legitimate. Read the terms and do your homework. If you live in Toronto, any of those three firms (or all!) will be great for you. Wonderful women who just want to help you find the perfect match.

 

 

Dating Dos and Don'ts

Kissing Strangers

When my marriage ended, I went online right away for a number of reasons. I wanted to distract myself from the crumbling foundation of my life around me and wanted to meet men to see what was going on eleven years later.

I went on Match.com first and paid my eighty or whatever dollars, loaded a picture, and a created a profile write-up. It felt empowering to be on there. I chatted with a few guys, and then decided to try another site and joined OkCupid. Now I was chatting with more guys and was learning terms I’d never heard of before, as well as behaviours.

Talk about men behaving badly!

Two months later, I decided to take it seriously to meet men rather than just remaining faceless and chatting only. A few weeks into that, I wrote an article about the breakdown of my marriage and my takeaways from online dating so far, though that crazy journey hadn’t even really begun.

A friend read the article and suggested I turn it into a book. So I did. I planned on doing a year in the life memoir of my online dating experiences and would learn everything I could, and experience as much as I could, so I could report back to other women about what was out there and how it all goes down…according to my experience.

That book won’t make the light of day. It’s too damn personal. What I did, though, was turn it into a quick and dirty guide to online dating based on my experiences so that other women heading into the pond have an idea as to what might hit them while swimming in shark-infested waters.

But why am I qualified? Well, I chatted with hundreds of men over the course of a year and a bit, went on many dates, and so I feel have a really good handle on men and what dating online is like, because… I dated hard and I did it for research lol.