Images of love competition

Something cute and fluffy for a Saturday morning: Angela Mazur, a talented photographer based in London, is holding a competition where you could win a one hour photo session for you and someone you love. It can be you and your special someone, you and a parent, you and a child or anyone else you love. All you need to do is send a picture of that person with a note expressing your love for them.

More details on Angela Mazur’s photography page.

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What’s more attractive? Men and women agree on everything apart from boob size

I’m used to seeing pretty shoddy surveys and bits of research involving “156 psychology students” or “200 members of a dating site”, so it’s quite reassuring to see an actual experiment based on significant data. The Huff Post reports on a massive psychological experiment looking into what men and women find attractive in the female shape. It’s always been assumed that women are good at anticipating what males find attractive. The article lists a psychological theory that states that this is because when women know what men find attractive, they can rate themselves accordingly and subconsciously pick a mate who’s “in the same league”, ensuring relationship longevity. This also works in reverse – men rate themselves in the same way to find a woman not likely to trade up at the first opportunity. Interesting theory, though I’m not sure it matches up with reality. The very phrase “out of your league” wouldn’t have been coined if people (especially guys) didn’t constantly try to get it together with mates significantly more attractive than they were. Both men and women tend to also spend a lot of time trying to manipulate their physical appearance to match what they see as the other sex’s beauty ideal – so they can get a better class of date. And let’s not forget that according to evolutionary psychology, we’re not even trying to work towards relationship longevity. We’re trying to improve the human race by breeding children with those less genetically challenged than us.

But strange theories aside, it seems that men and women agree on most things to do with the female body – lower weight, narrower waist, longer legs (the sort of leg shape you get by wearing heels) – but disagree on one thing – breast size. It seems that women prefer smaller boobs and men still prefer larger ones. This is apparently (according to some research) why today’s fashion models have smaller breasts and Playboy models have bigger ones and also why mannequins have smaller breasts (this according to the article. Personally I’ve seen some mannequins with pretty huge breasts)- women look at fashion models and men look at porn, seems to be what this theory is saying. Roll on a flurry of explanations as to why that is – smaller breasts being more practical, androgynous body types being perceived by women as stronger, more intelligent and more “guy like” – qualities the modern woman appreciates and more. The trend of women viewing curvaceous ladies as ideal has been diminishing over the past 50 years, apparently.

Of course, it’s a chicken and egg thing. Little girls grow up looking at fashion models and they learn to shape their beauty ideals on what they see. If the women in these magazines had curvy bodies, full hips and large breasts, would this ideal be different? The fact that women’s magazines used to show curvy women and women used to view curvy women as more attractive in those days would imply to me that this is the case. At least, I see it as a theory that’s just as valid as the one that assumes women readers drive the visual choices these magazines make. Heroin chic, for example, which is pretty much the epitome of androgynous fashion, drew a lot of criticism when it kicked off and much of it was to do with the personal choices of fashion photographers who were actually either addicted to heroin or in love with models who were. And let us not forget fashion – I’m leaning towards thinking that androgynous, skinny body types are easier to design the sort of out of this world sculptural pieces high fashion seems to favour nowadays. You know, the sort of stuff that’s more about art and fantasy than reality. Narrow, straight bodies can take on whatever shape you give them. Curvy bodies tend to sort of dictate the style.

And here’s your radical feminist thought for the day – the richer and better fed a society is, the more it attempts to control its women by making the feminine body type ideal impossible to match for the vast majority of women. You could argue that this habit funds a huge industry of everything from gyms and supplements but beyond everything else, it also keeps women preoccupied with their appearance to the point where they become so obsessed with it, they forget the power they have over men.

Scientists say the androgynous body type is more masculine. I reckon it’s more child like, Lolita style. This body type, in reality, usually (not always, but usually) comes with a smaller boob size, unless you’ve got implants. Maybe women are just trying to be realistic. Of course, when we have heroins like Lara Croft to show us a totally unachievable body type with a tiny waist and gigantic boobs, I guess reality’s not necessarily high on guys’ minds. I guess if there’s one message we can take away from this research is: if you want to get that brain scientist quarterback underwear model, ladies, keep wearing those heels, popping the diet pills and stuffing your bra.

New UK documentary about dating and relationships seeking case studies

I got contacted by the assistant producer of an upcoming UK documentary about women who date younger men (they’ve not used the word “cougars”, which I like!). If this means you and you’re interested in talking about your experience, then see their message below and get in touch with them to discuss.

Their call out follows:

Are you a woman in a relationship with a younger man? Are you also the main bread winner?
Perhaps you are a woman who prefers younger men?
If so, you are part of a major growing trend in Britain.
We would like to speak to couples & singles, both men and women, willing to talk about the good and bad aspects of their experience of this.
Please contact us with your daytime contact number by emailing us at relationships@redhousetv.co.uk or call us on 0203 189 3412.

Please stop trying to spam my site

Seriously. I’ve just had to remove 100 attempted spam post from some lame dating site I won’t mention by name because I don’t want to give them any publicity.

Seriously guys. I don’t know if you’ve outsourced your link building to some cheap ass company or whether your own SEO guy thinks this is cool, but seriously, a 100 comments of crappy spam? Yeah, that’s gonna get you very far in this business. Oh yeah and I pre-moderate every single comment on this blog. Nothing goes up unless I personally approve it, so give this shit up. Now.

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Online dating plays a part in Libyan revolution

This is very cool. Apparently, while Gaddafi and his henchmen were busy monitoring Twitter and Facebook for signs of dissent, some Libyans were exchanging coded revolutionary messages on a local dating site.

They used a profile on the site to recruit new supporters and assess how many people were willing to join in on actions.

You can read the full story here.

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Pope blesses social networking

It’s official – social networking has got the seal of approval from the Catholic church. Pope Benedict XVI has given a speech talking about both the benefits and the dangers of online social interaction, highlighting how useful social networks can be in helping people interact with each other. He warned about letting the virtual world take over your life and reminded people that real life relationships are the most important of all.

I am not religious nor a supporter of the Catholic church in general, but those are definitely wise words.

Although he didn’t mention online dating sites specifically ( I don’t think), I think this speech perhaps implies that he is not opposed to them as long as it’s all done for the right purpose and in the respectfull manner?

You can read more about this story here.

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My 10 favourite love songs of all times (for today at least)

No special occasion whatsoever. I was just listening to one of these today and thought it would be nice to give credit to some of my favourite music on a Sunday afternoon.

Feel free to comment and add yours. 🙂

10. The Source Featuring Candi Staton – You Got The Love

9. The Smiths – There’s a light that never goes out

8. Joanna Newsom – Easy

7. Lamb – Gorecki

6. Bob Dylan – You belong to me

5. Florence and the Machine – Cosmic Love

4. The Cure – Lovesong

3. Nine Inch Nails – Closer

Yes, I count this as a love song 🙂 (It has very explicit lyrics).

2. Tim Buckley – Song to the siren

1. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

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Do Atheists really get more responses to their online dating messages?

More about the OKcupid survey…
A recent article in the Telegraph reported the results of a statistical survey conducted by free dating site OKCupid. The survey aimed to discover the makings of the perfect first online dating message, on OKcupid at least.

Unfortunately, by the time the story got around, the headline presented it in a more sensationalist way that seemed to imply, well, that saying you are an Atheist (or at least, not mentioning God) will get you more responses anywhere.

It wasn’t long before the Christian sites intervened and pointed out the fact that on many sites (and not only those specifically catering for people of particular religions), presenting yourself as an Atheist would not be quite as good. OKCupid is known as a pretty secular site and you need only look at the list of user-submitted compatibility questions to get a clear vision of topics that are of interest to its users. Questions about alternative lifestyles and life choices are as common as those about personal hygene and family values.

OKCupid themselves clarified the results of their survey and suggested Atheists may generally open with expressing their non-religious views, while Christians or other religious people may not necessarily discuss religion specifics with each other.
A good point, though I do have a guess of my own about why mentioning the word “God” in a message resulted in less people responding to such messages. Read any dating scammer messages lately? There’s a whole range of scam messages from “God fearing” folk.
As a free dating site, OKCupid is full of scammers who, undoubtedly, try to contact members with such messages on a regular basis and get ignored. The advantage this site over many other free sites is, of course, the compatibility algorithm that shows you better matches once you’ve answered a few hundred questions, but the scammers are still out there sending their messages. I do believe the large number of such messages is the reason why mentioning God in a message is seen as such a negative thing.

OKCupid is a large, popular site and there are certainly some interesting things we can learn from their survey about online interaction, but when it comes to social trends and preferences, things need to be put in perspective. Every site has a particular vibe and a particular type of people who date on there. If everywhere was exactly the same, there’d be no need for all the different dating sites out there, after all.

You can read the original article here.

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DatingDirect Affinity 7 day free trial

Are you here because you are looking for the DatingDirect Affinity 7 days free trial? Nowadays, DatingDirect.com and match.com are owned by the same company, most of the promotions are happening for MatchAffinity which is basically the same.

You can check here to see if there are any free trials or free communications weekends happening in the near future.

If you are looking for a current offer for a serious dating site with a good personality compatibility test, you can use this link to go to Parship who are currently offering 50% off 3 month subscriptions to reader of my blog. Use discount code: 12C57 when prompted.

eHarmony UK are also offering some serious discounts on their subscription rates. This famous dating site was the first to offer personality testing and was designed by an American Christian psychologist (though not designed solely for Christians). The UK version was apparently adapted to the UK by an Oxford University team. Until the end of November, you can get 3 months for the price of two by following This link and using code: EHNOV1 when prompted.

What is DatingDirectAffinity?

This is the new compatibility testing / matching dating site from DatingDirect.com.
I guess this is their answer to eHarmony.

The site has a pricing structure that I’m guessing meant to encourage serious daters. The minimum subscription term is 3 months, which costs £87.00. This makes it £29 a month, which is quite pricey. If you decide to go for 6 months, you’ll only pay £19 per month, which is quite a big discount, but at £114 as a single payment, that can be quite a risk if you’re unsure of the whole thing. There is also 12 months’ membership at £12 a month.
(by the way, if you want to find out how long you’re likely to have to stay on a dating site before you meet someone, you can take my tool).

So back to the site. I am personally not a big fan of personality testing on dating site on the whole and I wouldn’t personally pay extra just for a personality test, no matter how in-depth and sophisticated it is. I’ve done the Affinity personality test and, frankly, I’m not convinced. It seemed rather shallow, to be honest, and many of the questions seemed quite limiting, so I doubt they could possibly have captured my real personality well enough to deliver me my perfect soulmate. It’s worth doing the test for fun and looking at it as a good opportunity to get sent a bunch of new matches to your account every day that you might have not otherwise seen, but nothing more.

The main attraction of the site, for me, is the fact that they provide date coaching as part of the subscription, so you can speak to dating experts on the phone and get (hopefully) useful advice to help with your online dating experience. I think a lot of people will find this useful and it’s actually rather a good deal. Definitely worth the slightly higher cost of their subscription, especially as standard date coaching can get quite expensive.

Also, unlike many other compatibility sites (eHarmony included, as far as I remember), this site does actually let you search for matches as you would on a normal dating site. It’s also likely to draw a crowd looking for serious online dating, i.e. marriage or long-term relationships and the higher price is more likely to deter scammers and timewasters.

I’d say the free week is definitely a good opportunity to give this site a go if you’re interested in finding a long term partner and are looking for a site that caters to people looking for serious relationships.

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Dear comment spammers

Please stop trying to post useless comments that are only aimed at pushing your own sites. Comments on this blog are moderated and I just won’t approve any of your comments.

By the way, If you’re looking for links to your sites to make Google love you, you should go and read up on WordPress and “nofollow” before attempting to spam me or any other WordPress bloggers. This blog uses nofollow on all user-submitted links. If you don’t know what that means, you should probably hire someone to do your link building for you. I recommend these people.

Basically, unless you have something useful to contribute to the discussion, please take your spam elsewhere. I want to keep my comments for people who actually have relevant things to say or questions to ask.

Thank you and good night.

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Online dating as a Christmas present?

A few years ago when I was single and getting over a bad relationship, my friend got me a Christmas gift that made it clear she thought it was time for me to start dating again. I don’t remember the exact contents of the little box she got me, but I remember it included some nice pampery products like body lotion or bubble bath, some incense (for atmosphere) and, of course, some condoms. I was reminded of that Christmas gift recently when I saw the Christmas offering by MySingleFriend.com

It’s a dating site membership that you can get for someone else. Great for a last minute gift idea for someone who might be feeling lonely this Christmas. While many dating sites offer you the chance to pay for someone else’s subscription if they are already registered, MySingleFriend.com is the only site I know of that lets you set up someone from scratch.

It’s a well known fact in the online dating industry that Christmas is the busiest time of year on online dating sites. Why is it that the Christmas spike beats even Valentine’s day when it comes to people rushing to the sites to find love?

Christmas is one of those times of year when being alone can, frankly, really suck. All those images of happy families everywhere are bad enough, so couple that with the pressures of spending time with your family and the miserable weather and it might account for some of the reasons behind the traditional rush. Also, with people being off work, there’s plenty of free time to be spent alone wishing someone else was there with them.

But while some people turn to online dating in a bid to change their lives, others are still not sold on the idea. Others (like me a few years back), may have given up on the idea of dating altogether and may need a gentle shove in the right direction.

If you think your single friend would secretly like to try online dating but is a bit too shy or proud (or if you think they should but they’re not convinced), Christmas is your chance to give them a present that may actually change their life (or give them a good laugh at the very least!). A month’s membership to the site could be the push they need to get started and see if they like the concept of online dating. Even if they grumble, you know they’ll be curious enough to have a look.

Couple it with new lipstick for a woman and a pair of new underwear (or something equally ridicilous) for a bloke and you’re laughing, or swap those round for an even bigger laugh 🙂

Of course, you can also set yourself up and get your friends to write about you…
Christmas gift idea aside, I find < MySingleFriend.com to be one of the best sites in the UK. It’s the place where all the trendy people you never thought would be caught dead on an online dating site go, which may make it more likely to appeal to people who cringe at the concept. It’s a bit low on the feature list (searching and messaing is about all you can do there), but most people who use it don’t seem to mind. All in all, the perfect present for those who may otherwise never try online dating even though they really should.

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Please help my friend

A very close friend of mine has been wrongfully arrested and detained in Dubai since the 26th of January. So far, without being officially charged.

31-year-old Cat Le-Huy, Head of Technology at Endemol UK, was detained and arrested during a tourist visit to Dubai for carrying melatonin, an over-the-counter jet lag aid. Though once in custody Le-Huy tested negative for drugs and his melatonin was cleared by officials, he is still in Dubai jail with no charges and no release date.

Full story can be found on the Free Diz page where you can also donate to his mounting legal defense fund. Talk about Dubai being a tourist trap…

All of his family and friends (myself included) are shocked and worried.

Please pass this on to friends and family. Also, please spread the word around that Dubai is NOT a safe place for Western tourists, regardless of what their advertising campaigns say.

More information about this and other similarly horrible cases can be found on the BBC news site.

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Online Dating Blog Carnival – August 8, 2007

Welcome to the August 8, 2007 edition of online dating blog carnival.

When I decided to experiment with the whole blog carnival thing last month, I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen. There didn’t seem to be much interest to begin with, making me think that maybe the whole thing was a waste of time. Luckily,
after the rather modest beginning in July (thanks to all those that contributed!) it seems things are starting to pick up for this carnival. This month sees a broader range of topics covered with an interesting choice of topics. So here we go…

Dating & relationship tips or advice

Laura Young presents It’s Never the Answer Anyone Wants to Hear posted at Dragon Slayer, saying, “She was second and third guessing every step she was taking in her new relationship because she didn’t want to get burned yet again. “How do I control these thoughts?” she wondered, exasperated and desperately wanting to just “figure this relationship thing out” so she could relax and, um, enjoy it.”

Online Dating tips or advice

Bonny Albo presents Opening Lines Not To Use in Your Online Dating Profile posted at Web Dating.

Warren Wong presents How To Get Over a Guy / Girl posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Are you feeling sad and lonely because of a guy or a girl? Here’s how you get over them and move on.”

Warren Wong presents How to Stop Hurt Feelings From Dating posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Are your feelings hurt from dating or being in a relationship? Here’s some practical advice about how not to be.”

The Demon presents Facebook And Myspace: A Picture Is Worth 1000 Dates posted at Date Demon, saying, “When someone sees your profile picture on facebook or myspace, it is that picture that defines you. Your picture will be the first thing someone looks at in order to make a first impression of you. This article explains how to optimize your picture to get the most out of it in a dating context.”

site reviews

Nick Roy presents Greek Dating and Social Networking Site for Greek Singles posted at Workplace Visions.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
online dating blog carnival
using ourcarnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on ourblog carnival index page.

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Online Dating Blog Carnival #1

Welcome to the July 16, 2007 edition of the Online Dating Blog Carnival.
After some unexpected downtime, this edition (which happens to be the first) is finally happening. I’ve had an interesting range of submissions and tried to keep the content fairly diverse.

Here is what people have come up with.

Dating & relationship tips or advice

FitBuff presents 4 Reasons Why She Doesn’t Call You Back posted at FitBuff.com’s Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog, saying, “Next day. She still hasn’t called back. She must be busy, right? Probably hasn’t checked her voicemail yet. Day 3: Still nothing. But, she gave me her real number, so I know she likes me, and she’ll call back! Day 4, 5, 6: (crickets chirping)”

Conan Stevens presents Tall Guys And Relationships / Finding a Girlfriend posted at Conan Stevens Online.

edithyeung presents The 7 Rules of Networking Made Easy posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
online dating blog carnival using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page
.

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, .

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Introducing the Online Dating Blog Carnival

Blog CarnivalI’ve just joined Blog Carnival and I am setting up an online dating carnival. Blog carnivals are blog-hosted columns that collect expert-written articles on a particular topic. Sort of like a little news aggregators hosted on a blog. It’s a good way to forge links with other blogs and get stuff out there. I am giving it a go to see if it turns into anything interesting. I have no idea if anyone ever looks at the thing.
If you have a blog that’s to do with online dating in any way, feel free to read all about blog carnivals and submit your own posts to be included in mine.

The first edition of this will be posted on July 10, assuming I get enough posts to include. Otherwise, I’ll just extend the deadline 🙂
If it looks like it’s going to get any interest, I’ll move this stuff to its own page.

Seeing as I can’t seem to be able to put the widget on this blog for now, please submit via our Blog Carnival index page or email any links to info@onlinedatingbook.co.uk

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Offseting: not just for carbon anymore!

Introducing: CheatNeutral :

Jealousy and heartbreak are a natural part of modern life. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it’s just not possible to be faithful.

At Cheatneutral, we believe that we should all try to reduce the amount we cheat on our partners, but we also realise that fidelity isn’t always possible.

That’s why we help you neutralise your cheating. Your actions are offset by a global network of fidelity, developed by us. By paying Cheatneutral, you’re funding monogamy-boosting offset projects – we simply invest the money you give us in monogamous, faithful or just plain single people, to encourage them to stay that way.

Will all the married guys lurking on dating sites please give generously and help make our world a better place!

OK, so it’s actually a joke to make a statement about how carbon offsetting is a joke, but I still love it 🙂

(Thanks to Roy for this one)

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New “sexual attraction” hits London

Amora, a new themed interactive tourist attraction has opened in London this week. The theme is love, dating and sex.
We are in the process of arranging a partnership with them, so I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Amora while they were still putting the final touches on the place. I must say I was pretty impressed, although the site of rugged builders putting the final touches on the “orgasm tunnel” and the likes was rather amusing, to say the least.
Amora manages to be very explicit, but stylish at the same time while maintaining mass-market appeal, which is pretty impressive in itself.
The hi-tech interactive displays are very inspired. My personal favourite was the “find the G-spot” game with life-size body casts (male and female) that light up and moan when you hit the right spot. The “kissing mirror” was not operational when I visited, but promises to be very educational as well. I wonder what the tourists will make of it.

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Online dating – good for your health?

Is this thing for real?!

Researchers at Arizona State University released a survey on Monday showing that writing love letters lowers cholesterol levels.

(Full article here)

Apparently writing love letters for 20 minutes, 3 times a week lowered cholesterol more than writing about “insignificant topics”

So by this token, heavy users of dating sites should be fitter than Madonna!!

Unless, of course, they use txtspeak, or talk about football…

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Woman posts dating profile on a job site

I’ve often said that online dating is not a million miles away from job hunting. Now someone has gone that extra mile.

A woman looking for Mr Right decided not to use a dating site (because some of her friends have had bad experiences) and has posted a “job advert” for a husband on a UK job site instead. So you thought online dating was pragmatic and business-like? It’s got nothing on this. It did get her far more exposure (and press) than an ad on a dating site ever would though, so good on her. Dunno what else to say, really.
Not a good advert for online dating in the UK, but it made me laugh.

Full article on the BBC site and here’s a link to her ad

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BBC: Many net users ‘not safety-aware’

A new survey conducted in the UK by an organisation called Get Safe Online has found that only 48% of UK net users feel that it is their responsiblity to ensure their own safety online. Here’s a link to the BBC article and a pretty chart representation of most findings. Scarily enough, about 18% of the people questioned admitted to having replied to spam. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 12% said they had been victims of Internet fraud.

In a bit of good news, the UK government is actually fostering education, rather than empty measures like those being passed in the US. The people surveyed themselves seemed to be interested in being taught how to fend for themselves online, rather than rely on external measures. 78% even went as far as suggesting Internet safety lessons should be given to kids in schools.

The Get Safe Online site has a new online dating safety section meant to teach users how to use dating sites safely. It’s pretty short, but covers all the basics generally discussed in the safety sections of any decent site.

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Oh what a beautiful morning

Nothing like waking up in the morning and finding out some asshole has gone and spammed the hell out of my blog with all kinds of dodgy drugs and sex sites. As flattered as I am about my blog being chosen to promote East European criminals, I’ve now removed the lot and stopped all trackbacks. If anyone knows how to stop this from happening with WordPress, please let me know.

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The mystery of the random characters

So I’ve downloaded this theme for this site and I have to say that after a bit of tweaking, I quite like it. But I’ve just noticed all these weird characters appearing in odd bits of the site. I’ve looked through the code but I can’t for the life of me tell where they are coming from. This is truly bizarre. It’s going to be driving me crazy for weeks now. In case someone is actually reading this, feel free to let me know how to fix it, if you’ve come across it before.

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