Fall Date Ideas, Inspired by Halloween

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This is my favorite time of the year - the air is turning a little cool in the evenings, new shows are starting to premiere on TV, and the best part - Halloween is around the corner. Fall is a fun time in my opinion, and a good time to actively date.

Fall brings many possibilities for new and different date ideas to help you get over the lingering effects of summer and prepare for the holiday season. So take advantage and go outside your dinner and a movie comfort zone to try some once-a-year activities.

Following are some seasonal ideas to get you started:

Costume shopping - If you want a little creativity and inspiration, ask your date to go shopping for Halloween costumes with you. Instead of renting or buying those pre-fab expensive ones, try local thrift stores and come up with your own designs. It's much more fun, and it shows off your creative side. (Even if you already planned a costume, it can't hurt to look together.)

Haunted things - whether it's a hayride through an old cemetery or a haunted theme park or shopping mall, taking your date to a spooky event can be fun and will definitely give you something to talk about - even if it was kind of lame. You can share a drink afterward and calm your nerves.

Pumpkin carving - Visited a pumpkin farm lately? If not, you might want to take your date along with you. Grab a couple of pumpkins and show off your carving skills, maybe while you're watching some scary movies. Most farms offer some carving tool kits if you want to get detailed about it.

Farmer's markets - I love strolling through these on weekend mornings - the produce changes depending on the time of year. It's a different kind of date - you can gather a few items for a picnic at a nearby park.

Art shows - I'm not sure why this is, but the fall seems to be the best time for catching new art shows that come to town - whether it's a museum or art gallery. Check your local listings and wander through a new exhibit. If you're feeling the chemistry, stick around for a drink or bite to eat nearby.

Host a themed gathering - Even if you live in a small place, it's fun to invite a few people over along with your date to watch scary movies and create some Halloween-inspired drinks and food. Decorating a little helps to set the mood, too. Happy Halloween!

JDate.com Review Update

JDate
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JDate.com is a popular Jewish dating site that has been in business since 1997. We have just finished updating our JDate review with the latest information about what the service offers to its members, and the features it provides which will make your online dating experience not only eventful but exciting. The last major update to this review happened just over 2 years ago. So what has changed since 2010 with JDate.com? Here is a list of the major changes we found:

  • JDate now offers a mobile website and iPhone dating app
  • For most subscription terms it is now much cheaper to use JDate
  • No more audio or video chatting
  • Kibitz Corner - Tell members more about yourself and catch someone’s eye with your witty or profound response
  • Redesigned member dashboard that allows for easier navigation and searching
  • Updated dating profile and color code personality test questions
  • Revamped Likes & Interests
  • JMag and JBlog are updated much more frequently. A lot more JDate Videos are now available

To find out more about this popular Jewish dating site and the changes please read our updated JDate.com review.

A Man’s Guide To Seeking Love On Match.com

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I've read dating advice from just about every source imaginable, and the truth is that it gets real old, real fast. Half of the "experts" doling out advice haven't even tried online dating themselves...what good does that do? What I want is real, relatable dating advice from someone who has actually been in the trenches and experienced the (all's fair in love and) war first-hand.

This month, I'm in luck. A. Chertorofsky, a "single widowed man age 49 who has met some personable, attractive women on Match.com," has written a guide for women about how to find the right man on Match.com. Finally - real advice from a real person!

"I want to be honest about what works and what doesn't from a guy who genuinely likes women," writes Chertorofsky. "Not just the sex part. The whole Venus and Mars planetary divide part. Take it for what's it worth -- free advice from one on the other end."

Here are his top 6 tips from the other side:

  1. Ignore men who aren't polite, genuine, and thoughtful. If a man introduces himself by sending you a "Wink," don't dignify his overture with a response. "That's just some lazy slob who probably can't write or has decided you are not worth the time to write," Chertorofsky says.
  2. Your photos really do matter, so choose wisely. Like it or not, online dating is a bit like choosing real estate - you're going to go with whatever property looks best in the pictures. If you can't find at least 3 photos of yourself that you like, it's time to crack out the camera. Do: smile. Don't: take a selfie in the bathroom mirror.
  3. You're only as good as your worst picture. This is my new favorite online dating motto (Thanks, Chertorofsky!). You could put up 9 great pictures and 1 disastrous picture, but it's the disastrous shot that's going to be remembered. Don't post photos that aren't an accurate representation of what you really look like, but do take the time to choose your most flattering shots.
  4. Be congruent. If you're a sex kitten in your photos and talk about how much you want a serious relationship in your profile, what message are you sending? A confusing one, that's what. Decide what you're looking for and stick with it, or you risking attracting men who aren't actually right for you.
  5. Do not write "I am a sexually confident woman." It's not that you can't be a sexually confident woman (you should be!)...but writing it is likely to attract the attention of suitors you don't want. If sex isn't your goal, don't make it the focus of your profile.
  6. Be honest. Write what you want to write, about who you really are. Don't write the profile that you think men will be attracted to. If it's not true, it doesn't belong in your profile.

To find out more about the dating site Chertorofsky had success with you can read our Match.com review.

Zoosk Is The Future Of Modern Romance

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When online dating first came along, everyone was horrified. "Meeting someone? Online? Sounds like a service for freaks and losers and axe murderers."

Then we all warmed up to the idea. "Online dating? It's awesome. You can meet people from all over the world without leaving your couch and you don't have to spend every Saturday night deflecting losers at the bar."

Now online dating seems almost...old-fashioned. Dating algorithms and static profiles nearly feel like a thing of the past, while low-key social networking is all the rage.

Zoosk, from day one, has managed to take the best of online dating and merge it with social networking, creating a site that's always ahead of the curve and stands a real chance of becoming the future of modern romance. Shayan Zadeh, co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk, recently had a chat with The Washington Times about where online dating is heading and what Zoosk is doing to stay on top of the game.

Zoosk's strategy is about one thing and one thing only: staying competitive. Zoosk began on the Facebook platform in 2007, then expanded into a website and mobile dating as the market changed. "We've focused on bringing together the best aspects of social networking (like news feed, live chat and video conversations) to the world of online romance," said Zadeh, ensuring that Zoosk is always relevant.

Now the market is changing again, and Zoosk is adapting to keep up. The question Zadeh and Zoosk are currently working to answer is "How could we keep Zoosk members engaged with the site, even after they found love?

Their solution - Couple Profiles - was launched in April. Couple Profiles give couples - whether or not they originally met on Zoosk - a "dedicated place to celebrate their relationship online" where they can "share photos and relationship milestones, like anniversaries, vacations and special events, with family and friends." Zoosk is aiming to turn itself into a "romantic social network," not just a dating site.

"We really see social networking for couples as being the next evolution of modern romance," explained Zadeh. A survey found that 77% of Zoosk members use technology to connect with their partners throughout the day (the majority interacted with their significant others 3 or more times each day). That's a massive market that Zoosk intends to conquer, with the new Couple Profiles feature and its mobile services.

The days of romantic social networking may have just begun, but I like the idea already. Can't wait to see where it goes.

To find out more about this popular dating site you can read our Zoosk.com review.

Meetup.com

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We have added a new review to the Social Networks dating category for the site Meetup. Like the other Social Networks that we have reviewed, Meetup is not strictly a dating or singles site. Meetup allows visitors to find various types of local groups in their neighbourhood. These groups have topics that range from fitness and hobbies, to businesses helping businesses. A large number of groups Meetup has though deal with singles looking to meet other singles. That is why we thought Meetup would be a good site to review since it does offer a way for singles to meet locally both online and off.

To find out more about this popular free group networking site please read our new Meetup review now.

OkCupid Takes On Ad-Blockers

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OkCupid has a reputation for being the hippest of the online dating sites, and after seeing the banners they recently put up for users using ad-blockers, I have to agree that it's a reputation well-deserved.

Ad-blockers are great for users...but they're not so great for ad-supported sites, like OkCupid, that rely on advertisements to stay in business. Now OkCupid is taking on the issue of ad-blockers in a creative, humorous way that I think has a real chance of swaying its users.

"So normally there would be an ad in this spot. But you're using an ad-blocker like a boss. Here's a solution: You donate $5 to us once, & we remove all ads from the site forever." That's part of the text from OkCupid's new banner that appears to members with ad-blocking software installed. It's not a premium service offered for an extra fee - OkCupid has that already - instead, it's a direct and clever appeal to those using ad-blockers to support the site they love.

The reality is that no site wants to bombard its users with off-putting ads, but in order to remain free, ads are necessary to make ends meet. "Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn't pay," explains Ars Technica. "Most sites... are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources...but provide...no revenue."

Hardly seems fair when it's put that way, does it?

OkCupid's new solution to the problem works like this:

So normally there would be an ad in this spot. But you're using an ad-blocker like a boss; like a boss who hates ads. & that's cool, except that OkCupid is ad-supported, & we need money to run this beast. Here's a solution: You donate $5 to us once, & we remove all ads from the site forever. You don't have to see garbage ads; we make a little of the money back that we're losing from the blocker. Everyone wins.

A plea like this could come off as desperate in the wrong hands, but in OkCupid's hands it works brilliantly. It's not asking users to put up with ads anyway, or pay an exorbitant fee for a package of (mostly useless) extra features that includes ad removal. It also doesn't feel like OkCupid is selling out or trying to overhaul its entire business model. Instead, the banner's direct, funny, and intelligent tone fits in perfectly with the attitude of the rest of the site, giving users a little bit more of what they love about OkCupid in the first place.

To find out more about this dating service please read our review of OkCupid.