eHarmony Free Communication Oct 30 to Nov 3 2013

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eHarmony is having a free communication weekend right now. It started the day before Halloween and ends Sunday November 3rd just before midnight (PST).

These free communication weekends are the perfect time for someone who hasn't tried eHarmony to give the service a try. You can not only create your profile and answer the in-depth questionnaire for free but you will also receive your matches and be able to communicate with them at no cost, and with no credit card required. Free communication includes the guided communication process and email. The guided communication process is designed to allow matches to easily break the ice and introduce conversation starters. This is achieved by each match asking and answering a few questions so the person you are communicating with has a better understanding of you as a person. As always free communication events do not include photos, the secure call phone service, and skip to email.

The last free eHarmony communication weekend was at the end of September (see Story). For more on this dating site you can read our review of eHarmony.

How About We offers Service for Couples

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How About We may be the first online dating site that offers a service especially for couples. Their latest venture, How About We For Couples, aims to plan, book, and arrange dates for people who are looking to spice up their relationships. They launched in New York and San Francisco and are planning other cities in the near future. So far, they have 130,000 couples signed up.

The founders noticed a trend among couples of relying on Netflix and take-out meals for entertainment, losing the magic that comes with the headiness and excitement of a new relationship. So instead of sitting on the couch, How About We for Couples provides ideas to get you both inspired and to cultivate relationships instead of letting them go stale.

How About We have been innovators from the beginning. When its founders Brian Schechter and Aaron Schildkrout first started researching the online dating industry, they noticed a fundamental problem: online dating sites don't push people to meet offline and build relationships from there. In fact, the industry's success depends on members sitting in front of their laptops scrolling through endless profiles rather than forming real life relationships.

With this in mind, the founders created an innovative new way to date online - by taking it offline quickly. Members post and view first date ideas, rather than scrolling through dating profiles. An example might be, "How about we...go for a picnic in the park, followed by live music at North Bar?" If someone found that idea enticing, they'd connect with each other and set something up. The focus is not on the dating profiles, but on the real-life meeting.

The problem? It became too successful. Many users of How About We started to couple up, and the company started to lose members. But instead of messing with its success, the founders extended the basic premise of great date ideas to those who are already in relationships.

The How About We editorial team comes up with the date plan, which centers on fun new places to go and creating opportunities for the couples to really connect. If you want to upgrade, you can purchase their concierge service to have How About We plan your date down to the smallest detail, like delivering flowers or hiring car service for the night.

"We're curating the dates for our couple members. The concept is still the same, but we've become the experts," Schildkrout told news magazine Business Insider. "This really filled out the whole vision of the company, which isn't only about helping people fall in love, but also about helping people stay in love."

Do You Keep Returning To Your Ex?

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Breaking up with someone you love can feel like the world is falling apart. Many times, we long for a chance to rekindle those old flames, to get back what we've lost. We think that when we reunite, things will be different, that our lives are better with our ex in the picture rather than going forward on our own.

But what really happens when you return to the person who broke your heart? Do you enter into a relationship weary, or with a sense of purpose to make sure things go well? Does your relationship fall into the same patterns, or have you been able to move forward together?

Getting back together with an ex can be difficult, especially if not enough time has gone by and you're both feeling lonely. Nobody can change overnight, and there is a reason the two of you didn't work out. Everyone needs time to process feelings, anger, and grief after a break-up, so getting back together right away isn't always the best solution, no matter how strong the chemistry is.

But let's say you and your ex haven't dated in a while - perhaps even years. But when you see him, your knees go weak and you can't control your feelings and attraction. Maybe your jealousy still rages when you see him with another woman. You wonder what's wrong, why you can't seem to get over him.

Some people in our lives can have a strong pull on our hearts. But this doesn't mean that they are long-term relationship material for us. Sometimes, they can teach us the most valuable lessons about ourselves.

While it's tempting to get back together with an ex, to throw caution to the wind and embrace the chemistry you share, often it doesn't last. You could find yourself devastated once again, wondering what happened.

Before you enter into another relationship, ask yourself a few questions first: is he emotionally (and physically) available for you? Are you both looking for the same thing (long term relationship vs. fling)? Does he make you feel good about yourself, or does he tend to pick you apart? Does he need you, or is he fully capable of taking care of himself in a mature relationship?

We gravitate towards what we know and what we feel comfortable with. If we like projects, or unavailable men, etc., we tend to pick the same type of romantic partner over and over again (or in this case, the same actual partner). And so we keep repeating the same mistakes, instead of moving forward in our love lives.

So instead of going back to your ex, take a bold step forward. Ask someone out who seems totally different. Don't spend your time thinking about what your ex is doing, live your own life. Make new friends. See what happens in unfamiliar territory, and go from there.

Default Pics: Distance and Clarity

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There’s a common trend in online dating profiles - or, more specifically, in their pictures. It’s not unusual to see someone try to sneak in one (or several) old photos - even if those photos aren’t necessarily more flattering.

In fact, you don’t even have to have an online dating profile to see this in action. Just show someone an old (but still post-adolescent) photo of themselves. “Wow,” you might hear. “I looked so young! And cute!”

“I worried about my weight so much at that age,” one might say with a sigh. “And look: I was just fine. I should have enjoyed myself then - if only I weighed that much now!”

Once I was helping a friend compile photos for his online dating profile, and he tried to include a few that were at least three years old. He actually objectively looked much better in the present: he was dressing in more flattering clothes, he was more confident, and his haircut in the old photos seemed dated.

“I feel like I should include these photos to show what I looked like at my best,” he explained. “I mean, I was in the prime of life back then!”

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we automatically assume our older photos are more attractive?

Well, perhaps we fall a bit into a trap perpetuated by the media and society: that younger is better. Unless we’ve undergone a radical transformation for the better, we tend to assume that our younger selves are automatically more attractive, and that we look worse the older we get. Women tend to fall prey to this more than men - many men consider themselves “baby-faced” prior to a certain point, whereas many women might consider that same phase the height of their attractiveness. While it may hold true in Hollywood, that’s not necessarily the case in love.

However, the real factor may be more internal than external. It may simply be that we are less judgmental of our “former selves.” In the present, it’s easy to nit-pick every blemish, every bump, every flaw. We’re also used to seeing our current selves in a mirror image, and seeing ourselves in a photograph - not mirrored - can feel unpleasant and wrong. Once we get some distance, however, we can see ourselves more objectively - and, in many cases, more kindly.

So as you go to choose your default pictures, ask yourself why you prefer the ones you do. Are these photos that really show you in your best light - photos that friends and family would agree reveal the real you? Or are they shadows from a past remote enough that you can actually see yourself clearly?

One in 5 Americans Would Rather go on a Group Date

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First dates can be tough. When you're meeting someone for the first time, it's typical to feel nervous and self-conscious, especially when you are trying to think of things to say to keep the conversation going. Do you wonder sometimes if it would make things easier to ask a couple of friends along and take the pressure off of you?

According to a new study by, you're not alone in that thought. Twenty percent of those surveyed said they would rather go on a first date in a group than meet someone one-on-one.

Surprisingly, women seem to be embracing this concept more than men. The results show that they were twice as likely as men to prefer a group date for a first date.

Seniors were also more excited about the concept of a group first date, even more so than their younger counterparts. Twenty-four percent of those 65 and older said they would prefer it, compared to only 15% of those aged 25 to 34. Perhaps because group dating seems easier if you're jumping back into the dating pool for the first time after a divorce, rather than figuring out how to go it alone. However, 21% of 18 to 24 year-olds said they would rather go on a group date, which seems to be more typical among college students.

Asian-Americans were the most enthusiastic of the concept compared to other ethnicities, with more than 25% preferring a group date for the first date, compared with only 12% of African-Americans, the group least excited about the idea.

Income also seemed to play a factor. According to survey results, people with higher incomes (between $100,000 and $124,000 annually) preferred group dates, compared with those making $25,000 to $49,999 per year who were 54% less likely to want a group date.

Gay men and women were among the least likely groups to prefer group dates for first dates, at least three times less than heterosexuals.

The study posed an interesting question, because the group date seems to be gaining popularity, or at least the concept of it. Many people, especially those who are below 25 or above 65, seem to be less comfortable with the idea of meeting someone one-on-one for the first time. Maybe it's because they feel they don't have the skills or experience to have a good first date, or maybe it helps take the pressure off when you're trying to create a new life for yourself.

The study surveyed 1,080 participants across America, balancing age, race, gender, etc. according to the general population.

Yahoo Reveals the Top 10 Searches for Online Dating

Online Dating
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Looking for the best online dating site? There are many out there, but how do you know which sites are the ones most people are checking out? After all, you want a lot of choice when it comes to searching for love.

According to website, Yahoo has revealed the top 10 dating sites that people have searched for using their search engine. And surprisingly, OkCupid topped the list (with even more searches than standards like or eHarmony).

Another surprise? Men seem to be more interested in online dating, or at least, searching for sites and checking them out.

Here's the complete list:

OkCupid. This site tops the list, and maybe because their demographic skews younger and it's a little more engaging with members than some of the classic dating sites. Most of the searches were conducted by men (68%).

Match. This website is almost synonymous with online dating. It's been around a while, and is still going strong. Again, the majority of searches (73%) came from men.

MeetMe. A more casual site for dating and friendship, MeetMe is gaining marketshare when it comes to online dating. Or at least, people seem to be searching for the site. A hefty 67% of men (primarily from Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia) searched for it according to Yahoo.

Zoosk. This popular website touts is algorithms which allow members to "date smarter." Again, more than 70% of its searches came from men.

eHarmony. The go-to destination for those looking for committed relationships, eHarmony has remained near the top of the pack for a long time. Surprisingly, more men (54%) than women were searching for this website.

PlentyofFish. This dating site has a bit of a reputation, but that hasn't stopped people from checking it out. Formerly known for its "intimate encounters" section, POF has recently undergone an image change to focus on matching people with relationship potential.

JDate. The most popular site for those who are more religiously inclined, JDate has become the go-to source for Jewish singles. Not surprisingly, the most searches came from New Jersey, New York, and Florida, all with more concentrated Jewish populations.

Skout. Mobile apps also figured prominently into searches. Skout is a networking app that focuses on meeting people rather than having specific agendas for dating and relationships. Most of the searches for this site came from men (68%) residing in Texas, California, and Florida.

Christian Mingle. A popular religious-based dating site, Christian Mingle focuses on dating, friendships, and relationships. This is the only site that had more females searching for it, primarily from Texas, California and Pennsylvania.

Tinder. This mobile app was made popular by college students, a sort of "hot or not" version of online dating. With its easy-to-use and convenient set-up, the app has taken off among singles who like to see who's close by and wanting to meet a little more spontaneously.