How many strikes until you’re done with online dating?

Woman at bat

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In the Los Angeles Times, Nicole Christopher writes that after three (admittedly awful) online dating experiences, she’s sworn it off:

He stood me up a second time but called six hours later. That prompted me to start digging. I found out that Leigh didn’t live where he said he did. He wasn’t technically divorced, and “Leigh” was one of several names he used. I didn’t know who I was dating. I was done.

What would have to happen to completely turn you off of online dating?


A way to find a pet AND a boyfriend?

A speed date at the dog park?

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Speed dating has been around forever. One enterprising pet rescue has decided to take the concept one step further, helping match dogs owners with, well, dogs:

On five-minute “dates,” the potential adopters will interact one-on-one with a furry suitor. This time is used to see if chemistry exists between the dog and person.

Event organizer Pam Partis hopes to arrange for eight dogs to attend the event.

Personally, I love this idea as a way to find new homes for well-socialized dogs. At last year’s Portland White Party, I was able to take a break from the human socializing to spend time with some of Oregon Humane Society‘s special guests:

(photo by Michelle Pearl Gee)

I also wonder how effective an event like this would be for matching up humans? You already know everyone else there loves dogs…

Would you use an event like this as a way to meet singles? Or is that not fair to the poor homeless puppies?

5 easy ways to make my knees snap shut on a date

Bored woman

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Treat the waiter like crap. Societies are judged based on how we treat our least fortunate members, and I’m going to judge you based on how you treat the woman who refills your water glass. Say please and thank you, make eye contact, and tip. Otherwise, I’m going to think you’re a narcissistic, entitled shitheel.

Do all the talking. While I do want to learn more about you, make an effort to pick up on the signs. If I’m glazing over after the eighth straight minute of your soliloquy about a specific kind of diesel engine, change the subject and ask me what I drive. I promise I’ll do the same if you start nodding off while I’m talking about my dog.

Pay more attention to your phone than me. Chances are I shaved my legs and put on some very nice perfume for you. Put away your phone before you’re using it as a suppository.

Brag. So you have a vacation home and a boat and are accustomed to dating supermodels? How nice. All you’re really telling me is that you’re a superficial assclown whose priorities I don’t share, and that you’re probably lying.

Be picky. If there’s only one steakhouse you’ll go to, or only one part of town you’ll meet in, this tells me you’re inflexible, and possibly a bit of a snob. In any event, it’s high maintenance and not something I want to deal with on a first date. I once went out on an OKCupid date with a guy who didn’t like garlic, or onions, or dairy, or…

So those are my five date killers – what are yours? I’m curious how much overlap there is for men and women.

Speed dating comes to mobile – on your schedule!

Man and woman with smartphones

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We’re glad to see another app that bypasses the potential for endless online back-and-forth in favor of bringing people together in real life to find out if they’re truly compatible:

MiniDates joins Cheek’d and Coffee Meets Bagel in pushing a real-life connection much harder than a virtual one, by simply scheduling dates (or MiniDates) for you based on your schedule and suitor preferences. No messaging, no browsing, just a real-life blind date at a neutral, public location.


Interestingly enough, MiniDates is a mobile-friendly HTML5 app, not a native mobile app for the iPhone or Android. How this will affect functionality is up for debate, but one commenter at TechCrunch has already pointed out the screening effect of excluding Internet Explorer users.


New (almost) free mobile dating app for Jewish singles!

While has been the go-to web and mobile app for the Chosen People, many have balked at paying recurring subscription fees for dating apps in the post-OKCupid world. Enter Jewish Dating:

Screens from the iTunes app store for Jewish Dating

Built on the Dating DNA platform, the Jewish Dating app costs $.99 to buy (with a premium version for $4.99) with no ongoing fees.

While it’s still too early to tell if this model will attract enough customers to make the app worthwhile, it’s always good to see new options.

Shocking user-created content on dating sites!

Laptop photoshopped into a painting

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Sites like OKCupid let potential daters upload their own questions for themselves and others to answer. But what happens when the questions reveal more than the answers? Teresa Johnson at The Horn shares some doozies:

“No means NO!”

To me, this isn’t a question up for discussion. And the only user response I consider acceptable is “Always. Period.” But there are three other possible responses that chill me to the bone:

-“Mostly, but occasionally it’s really a Yes in disguise.”

-“A No is just a Yes that needs a little convincing!”

-And “Never, they all want me. They just don’t know it.”

I would hope that the site she’s referring to allows her to see which user uploaded this question, so she can steer FAR clear of him – and suggest other women do the same.

Have you ever seen something on a dating site that made you say “oh HELL no”? Share it with the crowd!

How strong is your online dating password?

Secure Password of the Week

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The hacking of military dating site has been examined, and while the crux of the security weakness came from the site’s upload architecture and poorly protected data, customers made themselves especially vulnerable by using weak passwords:

Visualization of passwords

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How secure is the password you’re using on an online dating site? Test yours on the How Secure Is My Password? site, and if you get a poor rating, try adding numbers or other special characters, or try another tool.

Dating online is hard enough without the world finding out that your password is “loveskittens”!

5 essential tools for safe dating

Circle of 6

Circle of 6 app screenA simple, two-touch way to create a circle of trusted friends who can pick you up if you need a ride, interrupt a crappy date, or apply the clue-by-four when you need it. They even won the White House’s “Apps Against Abuse” challenge last year:

Cost: Free.

Availability: iPhone only.

The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de BeckerIt seems strange to include a dead-tree book in a list of “tools”, but this is one of the best resources for women to keep themselves safe, whether you’re dating or not.

Cost: Used copies sell for $5, or you can check it out from your local library for free.

Availability: Libraries and bookstores.


Streetsafe appWhen was the last time you were walking to your car or waiting for the train somewhere sketchy, and just wanted the safety of having someone on the phone? While I haven’t talked to anyone who’s shelled out the $20 a month for this app, Jezebel has.

Cost: $19.99 per month, or $149.99 per year.

Availability: Wherever your cell phone works.


Life360 app screensAnother app that uses your phone’s GPS for good instead of evil, Life360 uses data and SMS to let you check in with your family, and even has a panic button and a sex offender registry.

Cost: Free, although there’s a premium version as well.

Availability: iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

Bad Date Rescue

Bad Date Rescue appMore of a laugh than a serious safety app from eHarmony. Still who doesn’t like the idea of being able to set a “rescue” timer for a date quickly going downhill?

Cost: Free.

Availability: iPhone and iPad only.

How important is “compatibility”?

Stuff I like/ stuff you like Venn diagram

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I recently participated in a spirited Facebook discussion about the differences between what men want from an online dating app and what women want. The topic of compatibility became an integral difference – to wit, women care about it, men not so much.

One male friend of mine defended the typical male “shotgun” approach to dating sites – sending messages to as many women as possible in hopes of defeating what he said was a meager 10% response rate. When asked why men send messages to women they’re not actually compatible with, this was his response:

Most men are of the opinion that women in their mid-20s and earlier don’t really know what they’re looking for (versus what they say they’re looking for). Whether or not this is true is a different question, but the result is that men don’t care about compatibility so much as they care about not being filtered out.

This was a real eye-opener for me as a woman, and it got me thinking about different types of “compatibility” and how important they really are to a successful relationship.

Good on paper

Sites like OKCupid and eHarmony have made a crapton of money matching people based on “paper” compatibility – beliefs, hobbies, and personality traits people have in common. The more you have in common, the more likely you’ll be pushed at each other. But who really wants to date a copy of themselves, except for narcissists?

Some of the longest-lasting, funnest relationships I’ve had have been with people who liked radically different music than I did, or came from wildly different backgrounds. I love learning about new things from my friends – why would I want to date someone who only likes the same things I do?

The pheromone challenge

For me, the best indicator of whether I’m into someone enough to stick around and make a relationship work is if we have physical compatibility. Not just sex, but that pheromonal compatibility that I think of as “chemistry”. When someone just smells right.

So until someone builds a scratch-and-sniff web site, the only way to figure out if I’m truly compatible with someone is to meet them in the flesh. And, if it doesn’t seem too weird, smell his neck when he’s not looking.

Hey boy – why you didn’t call me?

The best song ever about the Houdini. Also, the story behind the song is hilarious.

A. You’re gay.

B. You’ve got a girlfriend.

C. You kinda thought I came on too strong.

D. I just wasn’t your thing (no ring).

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