eHarmony Celebrates the Labor of Love

eHarmony
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The first Monday in September is almost upon us which means the Labor Day long weekend (or Labour Day in Canada) is just around the corner. eHarmony is celebrating this last long weekend this summer by having a free communication weekend in the United States and Canada. From August 29th to September 2nd all users can communicate with their matches for free.

Most of you know by now that eHarmony has a free communication weekend (FCW) about once a month and they usually fall around the holidays. This is the ideal time because many singles are home and close to their laptop or tablet and have the time to try out a dating service. eHarmony is extra busy on these weekends since you not only get to sign up for free and take the personality profile questionnaire at no cost, but once you receive your matches you can also communicate for free. Sending emails happens after you go through the guided communication process with one or more of your matches. This process allows you to get to know your match better in a structured way that helps to break the ice once you are able to send email messages.

FCW at eHarmony does not include photos in profiles, secure calls over your phone, or skipping the guided communication process.

For more information on this matchmaking service you can check out our posted reviews of eHarmony. This service had their last FCW a couple of weeks ago (see Story).

Social Media Guidelines for Dating

Social Networks
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Most of us are at least familiar with social media like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and the like. Many of us have accounts and check them on a regular basis. Some of us keep privacy settings high while others put themselves out there to gain a larger client and networking base. Some feel compelled to post constantly - where they are going for dinner or what they just said to a work colleague, while others prefer to post only occasionally with meaningful advice or news.

We all perceive social media in different ways and use it for different reasons. This is why it can get tricky when you incorporate dating into your virtual mix.

Obviously, there are a lot of opportunities for connecting with other singles over social media. But reaching out to people virtually comes with risk. How do you feel about potential dates - and strangers - knowing so much about you through Facebook or Twitter before you even meet face to face?

Following are a few basic guidelines to remember when dealing with social media and dating:

Don't be afraid to connect. There are many dating tools that utilize the power of Facebook to connect you with people in your social circles that you don't necessarily know. Check out CoffeeMeetsBagel or TheDatable if you want to promote your other single Facebook friends in the dating pool. These apps are selective about the information shared, limited to your likes and profile photos.

Know your privacy settings. You don't have to make your social media posts public to everyone. It's important to know your privacy settings, especially on Facebook or Google+ where you can customize by post or picture. It's good to be aware of how you present yourself online to people who don't know anything about you. This goes not only for dating, but also for your career.

Don't post rants about your dates. Think about it - if you were interested in someone, friended him on Facebook, and then saw posts about how terrible his last five dates were, you might reconsider asking him out. Try not to scare off potential dates by making them think you'll write about them, too. Keep your dating life discussions limited to in-person gatherings with your friends.

Exchange numbers first. While it might seem easier to connect on Facebook and drop a casual message to someone you just met at a party, it's better to exchange phone numbers. When you let someone into your Facebook world too soon, they have access to all kind of information - your exes, where you went to school, those party pics from last weekend. People often draw inaccurate conclusions quickly. Instead, keep a little mystery and send a text instead. Friend him later.

How To Spot A Date With Potential

Advice
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One of the best things about online dating is its ability to connect you with more potential partners, from anywhere in the world, than you would ever encounter in real life.

One of the worst things about online is its ability to connect you with more potential partners, from anywhere in the world, than you would ever encounter in real life. All that choice is more than a little overwhelming, and when we're faced with an overwhelming number of choices we tend not to make any decisions at all.

What's the point of spending all that time browsing profiles if you're only going to window shop? Online dating doesn't do you any good unless you actually remember to do the 'dating' part, too.

Learning how to online date efficiently wasn't easy, but after enough wasted hours and dead-end profiles I've finally figured out a few key ways to identify dates with real potential. If you're in the market for something more serious than a few flirty messages or a quick hookup, be on the lookout for these four signs you've found a promising partner:

  1. They've got a positive outlook on life. You wouldn't want to spend your life with someone who was consistently pessimistic, so why start a relationship with someone who is already showing off their negative side? Profiles that are cynical about relationships, whine about their exes, or otherwise talk about the ways life gets them down are not good date material.
  2. They're confident but humble. There's a fine line to walk when you're dating online - you have to present your positive qualities (because if you don't, who will?), but you don't want to come off as arrogant or narcissistic. Avoid profiles that cross the line and seem more interested in talking about themselves than learning about you.
  3. They've got something going for them. That 'something' can be pretty much anything - an intriguing hobby, a passion for travel, an interesting job - as long as it exists. What you don't want is a profile that seems totally directionless. If every picture takes place in a nightclub and is captioned with something about how wasted they were that night, long-term dating probably isn't in the cards.
  4. They're taking it seriously. We've all run across those profiles that consist of only a few sentences, one of which is probably something about how they don't know what to say or aren't really sure about the online dating thing. Don't date a waffler. Unless it's clear that they have a profile because they're genuinely interested in meeting someone to date, don't waste your time.

Match.com Stir Events Now in Canada

Match.com
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Match.com's popular Stir events have come to Canada. A Stir event is an organized singles party that is held at a physical venue like a bar or restaurant. This week events are being held in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.

Starting August 26,2013 Match.com Canadian members can sign up for Stir events by visiting the Events tab in the Match.com membership area. Invitation to events are sent out based on a user’s demographic information, age, and physical location.

When you go to a Stir happy hour event you know the relationship status of everyone there is single. Events are arranged and invites are sent out to members based on their location to the event and the age range the event is designed for. When you get to the event you also can connect with your mobile phone to find out who else is in attendance, what they are looking for in a match and, view their profile and photos.

For more information on Stir events you can read our page on Match.com or you can check out the press release.

Dating Site Sued For Sharing HIV & STI Statuses Of Members

PositiveSingles.com
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Facebook and Google probably know more about you than some of your friends do.

We're all guilty of it. In this age of oversharing, we live in public. Every detail of every day is shared with friends, family, fans, and followers with little regard for privacy or potential future repercussions. We assume that the sites we choose to reveal that information to keep our data safe and confidential. It's just blind trust, and sometimes our trust isn't rewarded.

Case in point: Successful Match, which has allegedly posted the HIV and STI statuses of its customers on affiliate dating sites without their knowledge. Successful Match is now facing a class action lawsuit claiming the conglomerate broke the law and its promises of confidentiality to customers on PositiveSingles.com. Positive Singles shared users' HIV and STI statuses with 'thousands' of spinoff sites, alleges the suit, including HIVGayMen.com, STDHookup.com and Blackpoz.com.

The two female plaintiffs say they were promised "fully anonymous profiles" in a service that would connect them with other singles with the same status when they joined Positive Singles. "What it does not do, however, is disclose that there are upwards of a thousand other websites that link to PositiveSingles.com," all of which use the same database of profiles, the women say in the suit.

The suit also alleges that Successful Match created all its websites with identical formats, despite promising that each website was "unique" and "exclusive." The plaintiffs say the websites' forms were intentionally designed to prevent the majority of members from ever seeing the Terms of Service. The Terms of Service could not be printed, and instead could only be obtained by personally contacting SuccessfulMatch.com to request a copy.

The provisions in the Terms of Service gave Successful Match.com the right to share all user profiles created on PositiveSingles.com. They also granted Successful Match the rights to all information entered in the site and gave the conglomerate permission to share the profiles.

The Positive Singles homepage now includes a disclaimer, but it's unclear when the disclaimer was posted:

PositiveSingles is part of a network of affiliated sites serving persons who are STD positive. Please see our Privacy Policy for details of how user profiles are accessible to others in the network.

Currently, the lawsuit seeks class certification, restitution, declaratory judgment, a permanent injunction against the defendant's business plan and collection of fees, and compensatory and punitive damages.

9 Ways To Be An Online Dating Superstar

Advice
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The big news in the dating world these days is that relationships formed on the Web may last longer and be happier than relationships that start offline. With explosive research like that hitting the scene, online dating is bound to be on the agenda of just about everyone - even the ones who never thought they would try it.

But it can be tricky to navigate the brave new world of online dating profiles if it's totally unfamiliar territory, and the difference between a newbie profile and an expert profile is vast. That's why I've put together 9 of my best tips to get you started on your journey to becoming an online dating superstar:

Superstar Secret #1: You don't have to do it alone.

Your friends are a valuable source of support as you begin your online dating adventures. Ask them to help with your profile if you can't figure out what to write. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself.

Superstar Secret #2: Clichés are not cute.

It seems like obvious advice, but a lot of people who are new to online dating get it wrong. 'Long walks on the beach' may very well be a hobby for you, but they're not an interesting conversation starter. What really makes you unique?

Superstar Secret #3: When you talk about your interests, focus mainly on sociable hobbies.

Potential dates want to envision how they'll fit into your life. If your hobbies are all things that are best done solo, like reading or surfing the Web for LOLcats, they won't be able to.

Superstar Secret #4: Use photos that spark conversation.

Action shots say more about who you are and what you're into, and they offer potential dates an easy way to start a conversation. Show off what makes your life exceptional.

Superstar Secret #5: Stay upbeat.

Positive profiles get way more traction than negative ones. Be positive about yourself, about dating, and about life in general. Negative tones are a big turn-off online.

Superstar Secret #6: Be honest.

Honesty is always the best policy online. A relationship founded on lies is no relationship at all. And even if you think you can keep up your lies online, they're going to be much harder to maintain once you meet in person.

Superstar Secret #7: Be specific.

The more clear you are on the type of person you want to date, the more likely you are to find them. And the more specific you are when you talk about yourself, the more likely they are to find you.

Superstar Secret #8: Spelling and grammar matter.

Poor grammar and spelling are turn-offs for a lot of people. A profile that's full of mistakes says 'I don't care enough about this online dating thing to make an effort.'

Superstar Secret #9: Update regularly.

Consider your online dating profile a work in progress. Keep your photos and information up-to-date to present the most accurate picture of yourself.