Keeping the faith

When you have been single for several years and have put yourself out there on numerous, often cringe-worthy, dates which haven’t led anywhere it can be very difficult to keep believing that you will eventually meet someone. It starts to become more and more of an effort to dress up, engage in small talk and, if there’s chemistry, open up, especially if you have encountered commitment-phobes who blow hot one moment, frozen the next.

Sometimes you need to make a major life change to ‘kick-start’ things and gain a fresh outlook. A couple of years ago a good friend of mine moved to Singapore and I considered going with her. At the time we were both single and had grown frustrated with not meeting any decent single men in London.

 To cut a long story short, she moved there, I stayed put. Within just a couple of months she met a great Australian guy and I spoke at their wedding last month (somewhat nervously as public speaking scares the hell out of me, I had to practice for the entirety of the hour’s train journey there much to the annoyance of the other passengers). Did she meet him due to her more positive outlook having taken the leap and moved half-way around the world, growing hugely in confidence through doing so? I’m a great believer in like attracting like – if you are in a positive place you tend to attract good things and vice versa.

Another friend of mine, having been single for five years and having tried lots of ways to meet men – speed-dating, online dating, wine dating, you name it she tried it – decided to resign herself to being single, bought a lovely flat and set about decorating it and learning how to grow things in the garden. Not long after she met someone at work and they have just bought a house together, I’m sure nuptials aren’t far off. So perhaps it is true that when you stop looking for something and learn to be happy and fulfilled on your own, cheesy as I know it sounds, love has a way of finding you.

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Scams on match.com

A woman in the U.S. has lost thousands of dollars after she willingly sent the money to a man she’d never even met. Authorities say she “fell in love” with a man on a dating site who then duped her into sending him the cash. The two singles met on the dating site match.com.

‘Jason Miller’ and the woman began a relationship online. According to her, “He always talked nice, sweet, didn’t try to lure me into bed and that kind of stuff.” ‘Jason’ told her he was living in London as a model.

He said that his mother was in the hospital, business wasn’t good and he needed money so the victim wired him $5,000 several times to London.

A friend of the woman’s eventually spotted ‘Jason’s picture on two other profiles; he was using different names and stories altogether.

After two months and $20,000 later, she contacted police and wrote him a final e-mail to which – surprise, surprise – he never replied. ‘Jason,’ or whatever his name really is, then deleted all of his match.com accounts.

Authorities say the chances of catching the guy and recovering the money are close to zero.

I’m sorry but how can someone fall in love without meeting the person?! You can see why scammers use dating sites when there are so many vulnerable women, and I’m sure men, online who will believe whatever they are told in the hope that they have found ‘the one’.

Hippos and wart hogs

Like the quote from Robert Hintze, founder of that not-shallow-at-all dating website BeautifulPeople.com, where only those deemed good-looking enough by existing members are allowed to join, on the news that the site has launched worldwide. Describing the difference between the subscribers on his site, and those on other dating sites, he says,

“Other sites are jungles of hippos and wart hogs.  BeautifulPeople is a wonderful game reserve of leopards and gazelles.”

But maybe what looks like a gazelle is actually a wart hog with a LOT of make-up and the photo was taken in very flattering light, three years ago – before she put on two stone?!

The 11 year itch

A new book claims that marriage should be viewed as an economic partnership which couples should expect to stop working when the emotional and economic benefits begin to wane. ‘Changing Relationships’ by Malcolm Brynin argues that people only stay together when it is to their individual advantage. It follows figures from the Office for National Statistics revealing that the number of marriages in the UK in 2007 fell 2.6% from the previous year, to 270,000. The 2007 data shows that the average length of marriages which ended in divorce was 11.5 years.

Brynin and other researchers in this area, including Michael Buchanan, the twice-divorced (!) author of a new book called ‘The Marriage Delusion’ argue that the natural duration of a marriage is around 11 years. Isn’t this all a bit mercenary? What happened to promising to stick with each other ’till death do us part’?!

The whole truth?

A good friend of mine is not having the best of luck meeting men through a dating website. The last man she went on a date with turned out to be a lot older than he had claimed.

There was me thinking that it’s just women who lie about their age in this increasingly youth and plastic surgery-obsessed society. No, it seems that men are often creative with their personal details on dating sites so that they don’t miss out when women search for potential dates within a certain age range.

Her date was a very ruddy cheeked farmer who had just sold his vast farm in Ireland, for a great profit, and was looking for both a farm in England and a wife to go with it (and to probably help out herding the sheep and delivering the calves). My friend noticed that his face looked a lot more lined than that of an average 39 year-old, the age on his profile, but she thought rather generously that he had spent most of his life battling the elements out with the animals and probably wasn’t the type to moisturise. During conversation on their first date at a cosy pub in Fulham he let it slip that he was 42 but she wasn’t that bothered, after all it was only a difference of a  few years.

When they met for a second time, for a Thai meal in South Kensington, however age came up again in conversation and he confessed that he was actually 50. At that point my friend lost all interest – I mean, how could she believe that he was 50 when he had already fibbed twice?! What else had he lied about?

I believe my friend and lots of others would benefit from a dating service where age and other personal details are checked – you would in effect have someone vetting potential dates for you. So much time and effort would be saved, and my friend could avoid unwittingly dating men who are close to retirement age. With more men using botox, especially in the city, this could become a bigger problem!

Sex attackers using online dating sites

Are women really aware of the dangers lurking online when it comes to meeting complete strangers through dating sites? Alarming reports of sex attackers using these sites seem to be increasing, as perverts realise that the ability to hide behind fake online profiles gives them the perfect way to meet and abuse women who are putting themselves in a very vulnerable position.

GP (that gives confidence in the NHS!) Anil Tangotra was this week jailed for 11 years after it was found that he drugged and raped women he met through the online dating site Shaadi.com.

He had portrayed himself as a successful young bachelor working in the City to attract young women. In reality he was a 53 year old violent sex attacker.

After wining and dining his victims, who were successful Asian women looking for a long-term relationship, the doctor spiked their drinks and subjected them to brutal sex attacks.

It is easy to portray oneself as far more attractive, successful, socially-skilled, interesting and educated online and in most cases, apart from disappointment and wasted time, people lying on dating sites doesn’t cause any harm. But in a few there is real danger and incidents like this will hopefully remind women to take precautions when meeting total strangers on first dates such as telling your friends where you are going and asking them to call you after half an hour or so to provide a quick get-out excuse if you’re feeling uneasy.

Are Sugardaddie dating sites more honest than other sites?

Sugardaddie dating is apparently the hottest trend in online dating right now. Sites such as www.SugarDaddie.com cater for generous benefactors with large bank accounts who are looking to pamper and spoil attractive younger single women in exchange for sex. The dating niche has been receiving lots of attention recently, with coverage in The New York Times in the U.S. and on the Richard and Judy TV show here in the UK.

As the sites make clear exactly who their target audience is, and what ‘Sugardaddies’ are offering women i.e. payment in the form of nice clothes, jewellery, etc in exchange for a physical relationship with no strings attached, there is less chance of false expectations and broken hearts. People who join the site know exactly what they are getting and there are no fake promises of committed relationships. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to dating online. Perhaps we will see the launch of some ‘Cougar’ sites (see my blog earlier in the week) for more mature women with money to burn and a high sex drive to satisfy?!