Facebook Introduces New Pages For Couples

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You know that annoying couple you're friends with on Facebook? The one who's always putting up soppy status updates, cutesy pictures, and stomach-churningly sweet wall posts?

Prepare yourself: they're about to get even more annoying.

Facebook has recently launched a digital version of relationships at Facebook.com/us. If you're in a relationship on Facebook, the new page collects all posts, events, and photos that both you and your significant other are tagged in. It's a one stop shop for all the details of your digital romance.

Reviews are...mixed, to say the least.

"I want to vomit," wrote blogger Jennifer Wright on TheGloss.

Emma Barnett, an editor at The Telegraph, wrote that she's considering breaking up with her husband on Facebook just so she can get rid of the couple's page. "Mr. Zuckerberg: by all means keep giving people new tools -- as you did when you created Facebook," she wrote. "But when you start doing things for us -- the experience is anything but social or remotely positive. You have infantilised my relationship for me with the creation of www.facebook.com/us. Only I should get to do that."


Others aren't feeling quite so harsh about the new development. "There's nothing creepy here, that I can see, just more out of proportion reactions to something new, different and innovative," wrote Justin McLachlan in response to The Telegraph's article. "It's no different, really, than typing your name into Google and seeing your face and other personal details from social networks mashed up in sidebar."

In fact, the new Relationship pages aren't really much different from the Friendship pages that have existed on the site for more than two years. Both are getting a makeover to look like Facebook's more visual Timeline profile. Both show your history with someone else on the site. The only real difference is that there is a direct Internet address - Facebook.com/us - to access the Relationship page.

If you don't like the page, you're out of luck. It can't be deactivated, but you can control the info that appears on your page using the privacy settings on each post.

"The friendship page respects the privacy setting of each post," Facebook's Jessie Baker told CNN. "This means the person viewing the friendship page may see each post elsewhere on Facebook, like on either friend's timeline or in news feed. You can curate your friendship page by hiding stories you do not want to appear."

What do you think of Facebook's new Relationship pages? Are they a step forward or a step back?

If you are single and are looking for a relationship on a social network, then you should read about how to use Facebook as a dating tool.

LoveGeist 2012-2013

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The countdown to Match.com's 2012 LoveGeist Report has begun!

I was a huge fan of the report last year, so I can't wait to see what interesting facts and figures Match has to share this year. In prep for its official release, Match has revealed a few teasing tidbits of what the 2012 LoveGeist Report has in store.

Match's latest research has shed some light on the infamous post-date text. Singles in Britain, says the report, spend an average of 14 and a half minutes making sure that each text they send to their sweethearts is perfect. That sounds like an insane amount of time to spend on one text to me, but the report says it's time well-spent. Almost a third (29%) of survey respondents admitted that the content of a post-date text could be a dealbreaker, so I guess that 14 and a half minutes isn't so crazy after all!

What's on the list of turn-offs that could make a text a dealbreaker? The biggest turn-off was bad spelling, followed closely by Web abbreviations, like "gr8" and "l8r," and acronyms like LOL and LMAO. Discerning daters also dislike one word messages, emoticons, and "double texting" (failing to wait for a response to your first message before sending a second).

Women may have the reputation for consulting their friends about their love lives, but Match's research shows that single men are 60% more likely than women to enlist a friend to review their post-date texts for a second opinion before sending them.

It's no wonder men feel so much pressure to get the post-text date right: over half of single women surveyed (52%) said the burden of sending the first text after a date rests on the man. In fact, only 16% of ladies surveyed said women should take responsibility for sending the first message.

Come on, ladies, it's 2012 - step your game up!

One of Match.com's relationship experts, Kate Taylor, comments on the post-date text: "In recent years the way we use technology to communicate after a date has made the post-date follow-up more important than ever. Not only do you now need to perform well on the date itself, if your follow-up message isn't up to scratch, then you might be out of contention for a second meeting."

Match offers the following advice on getting the trick post-date text right:

  • Keep it short, sweet, and honest.
  • Send it shortly after the date is over, so the experience is fresh in your date's mind.
  • Perform a spelling and grammar before hitting Send.
  • Play it safe by keeping it clear and simple - humor and sarcasm don't always translate well into text.
  • Forget about the outdated three day rule. In the 21st century we prefer communication to be quick.

For more information on this dating site you can read our Match.com UK review (those in the US should read this review of Match.com).

Facebook Rules After a Break-Up

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Many of us are addicted to Facebook - or at least we try and check it a couple of times a day. And while it's a great tool to connect people virtually, it can wreak havoc on your heart after a break-up.

Instead of using Facebook as a weapon or retreating from your online life altogether to lick your wounds, there are some basic guidelines to help you navigate your social media world to avoid confrontation, unhappiness, and just general bad blood between you and your ex. (Pay special attention if you're in the middle of divorce - your Facebook status updates and comments can be used in court.)

Avoid these mistakes when you're posting and commenting on FB.

Watch those party pictures. Don't post photos of yourself out partying with other girls if you just broke up with your girlfriend. Even if she dumped you for another man. Allow some time and distance first, and don't do it in retaliation. You'll thank yourself once the anger passes. You don't want to come off looking desperate and jealous.

Avoid posting on his/her wall. There's no need to get snarky with comments or blow off steam by posting a rant on your ex's wall. Even if you need to get something off your chest, don't do it in a public forum where your words could be easily misconstrued (as those of a crazy ex). Instead, talk in person or over the phone if you need to air out your grievances. Don't do it over Facebook.

Don't stalk. While it's tempting to see what your ex up to every minute, refrain from looking at his Facebook page. You don't need to question who all of his new female friends are, or see what he did last night. This will keep you stuck in the past, dwelling on him and what might have been. If you can't help looking and have to de-friend him, then do it.

Your wall isn't a blog. Avoid writing all the gory details about your break-up for all to see. They don't want to know all of the circumstances leading up to it, and once it's out there, it's hard to erase. Err on the side of caution and use restraint.

Don't involve your FB friends. They don't belong in the middle of the fight you might be having with your ex. They aren't social media referees. Instead of engaging them in a three-way conversation with your ex, keep it classy. If you want to vent to a friend, that's fine, but take it offline.

Have you tried to use this social network as a dating tool? To find out how you should read our Facebook review.

eHarmony offers Free Communication Tuesday Evenings (Dec 2012)

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In a surprising move eHarmony in the US is offering free communication on Tuesdays. Usually free communication is only offered during special long weekends. Over the next 3 Tuesdays (December 4th, December 11th and December 18th) from 3pm to 11:59pm PST all members of eHarmony will be able to communicate at no cost.

If you would like to try out this promotion (no credit card is required) all you need to do is create a free members account and fill in the profile. This process will take you about 30 minutes to an hour. When you are finished you will then start to receive your targeted matches. You can take a look at your matches and figure out which ones you would like to contact. Then, all you need to do is wait for 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday to communicate with your matches. Free communication events do not include photos, Skip to Email (of the guided communication process) and Secure Call (a phone service).

The last free eHarmony communication event was held in November (see Story). To find out more about this popular dating service you can read our eHarmony review.

You Had Me At Your Hashtag: Dating Through Social Media

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It's not destined to be a classic like "You had me at hello," but "You had me at your hastag" has a certain ring to it, don't you think?

If you answered "yes," you're not alone. I'm not sure what the new black is this season in fashion, but I do know that social media dating is well on its way to becoming the new online dating.

Think of it this way, says Bianca Bosker in the Huffington Post: "traditional online dating sites offer the internet equivalent of a speed dating session," while "social networking sites are the cocktail parties of the web." On a dating site, you're focused on presenting a very specific side of yourself. When you concentrate that hard on meticulously-crafted self-representation, you lose the spontaneity of dating in real life.

On a social media site, your personality has a greater chance to shine. Instead of trying to appeal to someone you think is your ideal match, and feeling pressured to fall in love, a social media site is just about sharing your interests and connecting with like-minded people. It's much more like finding love offline - it all happens when you least expect it.

The options for dating via social media are endless.

Take Ashley, who told HuffPo that she courted her latest love on Twitter.

Or Danielle, who tried to track down a man who caught her eye through a particularly witty and scathing review of a Chinese restaurant on MenuPages.

Or Rayco and Nuria, a Spanish couple who met on Instagram following a sticker giveaway for fans of the app. They continued the conversation on Facebook, then began video chatting using Apple's FaceTime, and now plan to move to Barcelona together.

"Online dating to me is not online dating anymore," says Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and a professional online dating coach. "It's social dating and it's a social experience."

The Internet is the second most common way for couples in America to meet, said a 2012 Stanford University study, and social sites are increasingly becoming responsible for making those matches. A paper from Oxford University reported that less than 10% of couples met on social networking sites prior to 2000. Now that number has more than doubled, to 21%.

Of course, there are pros and cons to both approaches. Social media services are free, unlike many online dating sites, and boast millions more members. They also offer a serendipitous, algorithm-free experience that more accurately mimics offline dating. On the other hand, social media sites don't offer the pool of guaranteed-to-be-looking-for-love singles that online dating sites do.

For now, it looks like social media sites may slowly be edging out the competition. "We live a lot of our social lives on Facebook, Twitter and sites like that," says Laurie Davis, the founder of online dating consultancy eFlirt Expert, "so since dating is inherently a part of our social life - it only seems natural to find love that way as well."

To find out more on how the individual Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook are used for dating you can visit our Social Networks Dating category.

Dating Around The World

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Over the last couple of weeks, the Internet has been bubbling over with discussions of travel and dating. Would you travel to meet a date you met online? Would you use an online dating site to find no-strings-attached fun in a new city while traveling?

It turns out that traveling might be a boost for your love life, if you're looking for something specific in your dates.

For instance...

If you're prefer your dates big and beautiful, HuffPo says these are the best cities to date in:

  1. Ogden, Utah
  2. Whittier, California
  3. Metairie, Louisiana
  4. Medford, Oregon
  5. Spring, Texas
  6. Glendale, Arizona
  7. Montgomery, Alabama
  8. Carrollton, Texas
  9. Concord, California
  10. Torrance, California

OurTime.com, a dating site for singles over 50, identified the top 10 cities for plus-sized daters by analyzing the behavioral data of its users to find the location of the site's most popular users who self-identified as "big and beautiful."

If you're looking for interracial dating, try your luck in one of these states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, Arizona.

The data comes from InterracialDating.com, which surveyed its members to find - surprisingly - that political affiliation is not a good predictor of interest in interracial dating. 10 of the top 20 states for interracial dating have historically voted Republican over the past 5 presidential elections.

If you're gay and searching for a May-December relationship with benefits, SeekingArrangement.com recommends dating in these cities:

  1. New York, New York
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Beverly Hills, California
  6. Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Dallas Texas
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. San Francisco, California

The SeekingArrangement.com study found that the average gay sugar daddy is now 39 years old, has an annual income of approximately $215,482.39, and has a net worth of over $6 million.

SeekingArrangement also identified the most promiscuous cities in Europe, for tourists who are interested in a little more than sightseeing during their travels. The cities in which tourists are least likely to get busy with the locals are Edinburgh (Scotland), Naples (Italy), Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), and Hanover (Germany).

Instead, travelers who are hoping to get lucky should add Carlisle (United Kingdom), Prague (Czech Republic), Vienna (Austria), Mykonos (Greece), Barcelona (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Monaco (France), Paris (France), Dublin (Ireland), and Stockholm (Sweden) to their itineraries.

To find out more about the dating sites which offered these insights, you can read the OurTime review and the Seeking Arrangement review.