Definitely A Dating Do: Good Grammar

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Remember 6th grade? Remember how much you hated your grammar lessons? Remember when your teacher swore that knowledge would come in handy someday, even though it seemed pointless at the time?

This is that someday. It's right here, right now. It's your online dating profile.

Maybe being a writer makes me a little extra picky, but the spelling and grammar mistakes on dating sites are a total turn off, and there are tons of them. Is it really that difficult to use spell check or even - gasp! - proofread by hand?

The fine folks at eHarmony and the professional proofreaders over at Kibin teamed up to research the effects of bad grammar on your dating life. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Women are more concerned with good grammar than men.
  2. 43% of people say poor grammar is a turn off.
  3. Over 80% of online daters publish their profiles without having someone else look them over for errors.

Grammar may seem insignificant, but even small mistakes can have surprisingly weighty consequences.

Of the 1,700 online daters polled, 22% said they're indifferent to grammar despite the fact that 43% said incorrect usage is a major turn off and 35% said correct usage is a major turn on.

Grammar usage may also tie in to a person's income. The poll found that those earning more than $100k per year care 10% more about good grammar than those earning less than $100k. If you're a sugar baby looking for a mommy or daddy, the profiles with the best grammar skills may be your best bet! And when you're on scammer alert, profiles that claim over $100k in income but are riddled with grammar errors may not be the real thing.

Like it or not, your writing reflects on you. It's not just the pictures you post and the boxes you tick for smoking, income, and education level. Your words are a chance for you to shine, an opportunity to stand out from the other millions of online daters...you don't want your incorrect use of their, there, and they're to be the most memorable part of your profile.

Keep an eye out for these 10 common grammatical mistakes:

  1. Your vs. You're
  2. It's vs. Its
  3. There vs. Their vs. They're
  4. Affect vs. Effect
  5. Then vs. Than
  6. Loose vs. Lose
  7. Me vs. Myself vs. I
  8. Fewer vs. Less
  9. "Could of, would of, should of" instead of "Could have, would have, should have"
  10. Complement vs. Compliment

Next time you're about to hi "Post," take the time to do a double check or find a second set of eyes to review your profile.

For more information on the site which brought us this survey you can take a look at our eHarmony review page.

eHarmony offers Free Communication March 14 - 18, 2013

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A free communication weekend (FCW) is happening at eHarmony for the United States and Canada starting Match 14th until the evening on March 18th. This five day event allows all members to receive matches and communicate with them at no charge and with no credit card required.

Free communication weekends are ideal for new members of eHarmony to figure out if it is the right online dating site for them. How it works is, you first need to fill in your profile and answer the personality questionnaire. After you have finished the questionnaire and the membership is finalized you will then receive your first round of quality matches. Matches are generated by eHarmony's in-depth matching algorithm which uses the 29 dimensions of compatibility. The matches you receive have the best chances at creating a long-term meaningful relationship. Once you have reviewed your matches you can then pick your favorite ones that spark your interest and then start the guided communication process which includes email. As always photos, skip straight to mail and Secure Call are not included with FCW.

The Valentine's Day weekend in February was the last time eHarmony had a free communication weekend (see Story). By our count this free communication weekend will be number 45. To find out more about this popular matchmaking service which helps members find long-term relationships you can take a look at our eHarmony information page.

Study Discovers The Dating Habits Of Senior Citizens

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Seniors are only interested in marriage, right?

Seniors don't care about sex, right?

And seniors definitely don't online date, right?

Wrong, wrong, and - you guessed it - wrong.

Matchmaker.com knows exactly what mature singles are up to, and it turns out they're not that much different from their younger counterparts.

First, let's clear up a few common misconceptions. Singles over the age of 55 represent 25% of Matchmaker.com's member base, so seniors definitely aren't shy about giving online dating a shot. And their attitudes toward dating, serious relationships, marriage, and sex might not be what you think.

On Marriage:

  • Most senior singles don't want to get married again. 80% of women and 75% of men are only in it for a serious relationship.
  • Children are sometimes the reason senior singles prefer to steer clear of new marriages. 30% of women are worried that a second marriage would hurt their kids. On the other hand, only 4% of male seniors are concerned about the same thing.
  • Men who don't want to get married again also say they don't think they could fall in love again (52%), are only interested in companionship (37%), and don't want to share their finances (7%).
  • Women's reasons for wanting to stay unmarried tend to be different. Most are only looking for an activity partner, others have fears regarding children, apprehensions around finances, and concerns that they can't fall in love again.

On Sex:

  • Sex doesn't fall by the wayside as singles get older. In fact, for many, it becomes more important than ever. The majority of single senior men (65%) say they are much more sexually active now than when they were married. A significant portion of single senior women (45%) agree.
  • 95% of senior men rank sex as "Very important" in their lives, followed by 5% who say it's "Somewhat important" and 0% who say it's "Not at all important."
  • Most senior women also consider sex "Very important" (85%), though some think it's "Not at all important" (10%) and others say it's "Somewhat important" (5%).

On Relationships:

  • Senior men are primarily looking for a serious relationship (75%). Marriage (15%), meeting a sexual partner (7%), and finding a companion for activities (3%) are less important goals.
  • Senior women are generally in agreement. Most want a serious relationship (80%), but some are looking for marriage (11%), companionship (7%), or a sexual partner (2%).

On Love:

  • Senior men are more romantic than senior women. 55% of men who want to get married are hoping to fall in love again. Comparatively, only 25% of mature female singles hope to fall in love with a new partner.
  • Companionship is also a powerful motivator for new relationships. 25% of men and 60% of women say it's what led them to online dating.

To find out more about the dating site which borught you this service you can read our Matchmaker review.

Is Facebook The Next Big Thing In Online Dating?

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It's hard to imagine there's a digital frontier that Facebook hasn't conquered, but online dating might be it.

When Mark Zuckerberg launched the social site that would change the face of human interaction forever, he was adamant that it would not be a dating service. "I don't think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating," he wrote at the time to close friend Adam D'Angelo, who later became Facebook's CTO. "I think people are skeptical about joining dating things too."

Although it seems obvious that Facebook has plenty of dating potential, attempts to capitalize on it have yet to catch on. In early 2012, Kingfish Labs raised $500,000 to bring online dating functionality to Facebook through an app called Yoke. Yoke matched users who shared common connections or interests, but had no strategy for initiating communication other than a - perhaps unwelcome - cold message. With no way for Facebook users to signal their interest in being matched for dates, Yoke faded into obscurity.

Now someone is trying to play the online-dating-via-Facebook angle again, only this time it's Facebook itself. The company recently held a press event for Graph Search, "a new search engine that lets members use natural language to pull up recommendations for people, places and businesses from their social graph." (x) Although Graph Search promises to be useful in several ways, online dating is clearly near the top of that list.

Facebook's new feature blends traditional online dating, which connects people who don't know each other, with Facebook's original mission: connecting people who are already acquainted. Type "friends of my friends who are single and living in Austin" into Graph Search, and Facebook will return a list of possible dates culled from just outside your immediate social circle. Results can be filtered by interests, education, age, hometown, current city and more, all while using totally natural language.

If it takes off, Graph Search has the potential to revolutionize Facebook and rock the dating world. "I think the online dating business has to be looking at this announcement and saying this could either be the best thing ever for us, or it could be the beginning of the end," says Dan Slater, author of Love in the Time of Algorithms, On one hand, Graph Search could cut into dating sites' business. But on the other hand, Slater says, Facebook could help the dating industry by removing whatever "cultural barrier" remains for online dating.

It remains to be seen whether this latest attempt to bring online dating to Facebook can succeed where others have failed.

To see how Facebook currently ranks by singles when used as a dating tool you can read our Facebook review.

Plenty of Fish Membership Numbers

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The Plenty of fish blog just released some current traffic statistics for their dating site. It's good to see a snapshot of what the user base of Plenty of fish is. Marcus Frind released the statistics to highlight how his dating site has grown and to be more open on the number of members POF has.

The user statistics released are based on active daily registered users. This means that the user must be logged into POF.com to be considered part of the statistic group. I am assuming that the numbers given are an average but it doesn’t say what the timeline is for that. It probably is for last month (January) but I am only guessing that he would release the latest numbers available. The user statistics could very well be for last year, last quarter or some other time period.

Plenty of Fish’s largest market is the United States with 2 million active daily registered users. This is followed by the United Kingdom with 550,000 and then Canada with 450,000. POF estimates that if you take the roughly 1400 dating site (non-adult) found in the United States and combine their paying members you will come out with 2.5 million subscribers. Combining these numbers together sounds like a lot of people and it is, but online dating has a lot of room to grow. The population of the United States sits at about 313 million with about 100 million people actually single. This shows that about 1/3 of the population is single. The United Kingdom has a population of about 63 million and Canada is close to 35 million. If we assume that the proportions of singles in these countries are about the same as the US then there are about 21 million single people in the UK and about 12 million in Canada.

In the US I figure that there are about 5.5 million people actively using a dating site every day. I came up with this number by adding Plenty of Fish’s 2 million active users with 2.5 million US paid subscribers, and then adding in an extra million singles for all of the other free dating sites that people use. This means only 5.5 percent of all singles in the United States are actively using an online dating site. Since about 78% of the US has internet access (according to Wikipedia) then this percentage only slightly improves to about 7 percent. The potential for growth in the online dating industry is still huge when your untapped market sits at over 90 percent.

I also found a few other related statistics. Plenty of Fish currently reports (from July 2012) that they have had 45 million members register since launch in 2003. Their current rate of growth is 40,000 new members signing up every day which works out to about 30 percent a year. Members of POF send out 20 million messages a day generating 7 million conversations. Currently the average age on POF is 35. In 2009 the average member was 40 years old.

To find out more about this dating site you should read our Plenty of fish review.

Why Seniors Try Online Dating

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What inspires seniors to venture into the brave new world of online dating?

The same things that inspire everyone else, of course! (You didn't think seniors would really be so different, did you?) According to AARP, the top three reasons people over 50 turn to online dating are:

  1. A serious relationship (48%)
  2. Friendship/Companionship (26%)
  3. Casual dating (14%)

Amongst seniors, gender, age, income, occupation, and education play a role in what brings singles to online dating services.

Women are significantly more likely to be looking for friendship and companionship, while more men than women are looking for intimacy and sexual relations. Younger seniors, age 50-59, are looking for serious relationships more often than older seniors, age 60-69, who are primarily looking for companionship.

Looking at external factors, half of those with incomes greater than $50K are primarily in search of serious relationships. Those making more than $100K choose relationships based on physical intimacy instead. The more educated a senior single is, the more likely he/she is looking for a serious relationship and the less likely he/she is to want something casual or platonic.

Employment shows similar stats: those who are employed use online dating to enter serious relationships more often than those who are retired. Retirees, on the other hand, more commonly use online dating services to meet new friends.

Of course, not all seniors are interested in incorporating the Internet into their love lives. The top 3 reasons people over 50 don't try online dating, other than that they are currently dating someone, are:

  1. Online dating does not fit their lifestyle (18%)
  2. They've heard too many negative stories about online dating (13%)
  3. They feel it's too risky to talk to strangers online (12%)

Again, these reasons can be divided further by other factors.

Men are more likely to feel that online dating doesn't fit their lifestyle, while women are more likely to fear negative consequences from talking to strangers online. Mid income levels are also more likely to say online dating doesn't fit their lifestyle than lower income levels. By employment, retirees tend to feel the same way and by location, seniors living in the West agree.

Education levels reveal slightly different results. Those with high school diplomas or some college are more likely to believe it's too risky to talk to strangers online. Those who have graduated from college, on the other hand, are more likely to skip online dating because they believe there is no trusted site geared specifically to the over-50 age group.

If you are interested in finding out more about a great seniors dating site you should read our Our Time review.