Filtering: Not Just For Water Anymore

For those of you who like using but don’t like having to filter through all of the unwanted emails, in today’s tip I bring you good tidings of online dating joy! now offers inbox filtering services tailored to your filtering needs! Just go into your messages and you’ll now find a tab marked ‘Filtered mail.’ Click on ‘Settings’ next to the ‘Filtered mail’ tab, and emails from users falling outside of the criteria you’ve set will be automatically transferred to the filtered mail folder.

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How To Filter Your Online Dating Prospects

Dear Kinley,

I have been on for like 2 months now. What the heck is up with me only
getting men from India or “separated” men. gggrrrrr… any suggestions?

Single, Semi-attractive, Funny, Level-headed Woman in Portland, OR

Dear SSAFLHW in Portland, OR,

I did a bit of research and it appears that while on some sites you can change your message settings to filter out men in other countries or men who are separated, on you can only block specific members from contacting you.

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Looking for your perfect match? If you haven’t yet found him or her on or, you might be tempted to try your luck with, best described as a conflation of the two sites.

As with, allows you to design your own search criteria and search freely for other members, and like eHarmony, it generates a compatibility profile based on your answers to questions in eight core areas within the “Duet® Total Compatibility System”: romantic impulsivity, personal energy, outlook, predictability, flexibility, decision making style, emotionality, and self-nurturing; it then sends you ‘perfect matches’ that fit your compatibility profile.

With a basic (translation: FREE) membership, you get to complete and review the results of your Duet® compatibility profile, receive ‘perfect matches,’ whose profiles you can view in full, search for matches, and choose from a variety of “icebreakers” to send to other members, which are pre-selected multiple choice questions that can be sent with the intent to get to know a match a bit better before taking the email plunge (which is quite the plunge considering emailing other members requires membership with a hefty price tag attached).

With a premium (translation: PAID) membership, you are granted unlimited access to other members’ profiles, and may contact other members via email correspondence. There are other “advantages” of paid membership, but pay them no attention — really, you’re paying for the opportunity to correspond with other hopefuls.

I’m going to work backwards here and start with the Cons to this particular online dating website before the Pros. Cons

  • Very Few Matches In My Geographic Area. Okay, in a perfect world, I’d quit my job and commit myself full-time to the practice of searching for a mate. However, in the real world, I’m going to need to find somebody in the same city, or at least the outskirts. This shouldn’t be hard, as I live in a big city, but found me only one perfect match in my city, and others within 100+ miles. When I set my own search criteria (for example, non-smoker, college degree), the site found only 5 matches for me, none of whom lived in or near my city, and one of which was a woman named Kim, even though I clearly stated I was a female looking for a male.

    And while it hints at allowing you access to more matches with a premium (PAID) membership, it should really be enticing you to WANT to upgrade to a premium membership by giving you a decent snapshot into the desirable members in your zipcode with whom you’ll be able to make contact once you upgrade. Nobody wants to pay for a full pint of beer without sampling the taster, and nobody wants to pay a high membership price for what appears to be < one local match.

  • You Need A Perfect Income To Pay For Perfect Matches. The website offers a membership of three months for $36.95/month, and six months for $33.33/month. Now to be fair, I’ve been spoiled by my membership, which I purchased several years back at an extremely affordable rate of $16.99/month for six months. It renews every six months at that same rate at which I initially subscribed. Comparing current prices for other paid sites, it appears that, according to this site, three months at is comparable at $39.95/month, and $29.95/month for six months, whereas wins the price war by a landslide at $19.99/month for three months, and $16.99 for six months. So perhaps if you felt investing in a membership was money well spent, you will be willing to pay a similar price at
  • Profile Setup And Format Not Conducive To Efficiency Or Productivity. Two major problems jumped out at me after I began navigating the site. First, because creating an ‘about me’ section is optional and the opportunity to create that section only comes after the pricing is revealed, many people won’t make it to that step in the process. So there are innumerable incomplete profiles floating around on that are nothing but answers to personality and compatibility questions, but missing a personalized ‘about me’ summary and pictures. Which brings me to the second major problem, which is a profile that doesn’t reveal whether a profile is active or inactive; in other words, you don’t know if the person checked his or her profile within the last 24 hours, or the last 24 years. Most other dating websites will provide information regarding the person’s activity on the site, so that you’re not waiting around for a response to an email from somebody who has long forgotten that compatibility profile they filled out six months ago.
  • Compatibility Profile May Be a Bunch of Hooey. Call me a skeptic, but I found the compatibility profile, which it claims “actually describes and explains complete personality types” to be scant and suspiciously brief. Can answering a total of six true/false questions per core ‘compatibility’ area really describe and explain my personality and those personalities with whom I’ll develop romantic chemistry? According to the website, this Duet® compatibility system “has proven to be the most sophisticated and effective than any romantic matching tool on or off the Internet,” which, besides being a grammatically incorrect statement, appears to be an unfounded assertion given the lack of research I could find on the internet supporting this tool or explaining the research methodologies used to arrive at this conclusion. Pros

  • Serious Users Encouraged. By developing a compatibility profile reminiscent of the eHarmony compatibility system, this site gives the impression that it is one of the more serious dating sites, intended for members who are really searching for a relationship as opposed to casual dating or a fling. The price, also, weeds out those who aren’t looking very seriously for a relationship, as the people looking for casual dates will more likely end up on the free dating websites. We’ve all met our share of the type who participates in the online dating game merely for sport, and is not conducive to such players. So if you’re in the dating game looking to win someone’s heart – and for someone to win yours – this website is designed for people like you.
  • Access To Dating Advice And Support. Okay, for some of us, the ability to make a good impression on a first date is pretty intuitive, but for those who find online dating awkward and intimidating, this site includes dating articles, dating tips, and an advice column written by the site’s founder, Dr. Pepper Schwartz. Plenty of users won’t find these accessories particularly helpful, but the nervous dater might feel more at ease equipped with these suggestions and tips.

Bottom Line

In the romantic comedy “Must Love Dogs,” Diane Lane found love with John Cusack after meeting him on If you haven’t found luck with the more popular paid dating sites ( and being the frontrunners), and you aren’t finding the serious daters you were hoping for on the free sites, then you might want to try Please comment and add your story if you find that you have a positive experience with the site. But unless your life is a romantic comedy, don’t expect to find your John Cusack as easily as Diane Lane did.

It’s a Small World After All

During a recent online date that was going so well it makes you forget all of the
disastrous dates in which you partook to get to this awesome one, my handsome, funny,
smart, and engaging date said something that left me momentarily stupefied.

“I don’t mean to embarrass you,” he began, ” But you winked at my brother after you and
I started emailing.”

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The Bad Online Date That Really Happened

In honor of the holiday season, I offer a lighthearted comic interlude for all you singles
and looking – an oldie but goodie extracted from an online outing in which I partook
several years ago.

Disclaimer: His profile appeared normal. No red flags were detected.

We met downtown one evening at a coffee shop. He couldn’t find the coffee shop, even
though I gave him the exact cross streets, but a number of texts and phone calls later he
overcame his spatial incompetence to meet me.

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Not Interested? Not Interested in Hearing About It.

You’ll find that offers you the option of sending an automated “No thank you” to an interested wink-er. “Not interested?” it asks when it sends you an email notification that you’re the recipient of a wink.

“Give Dork43920 [not a real user name that I know of – apologies if this happens to be your user name] the courtesy of knowing you’re not interested. Say ‘No Thanks.’”

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What Women Want

Women want a man, a REAL man. They want a man with confidence who is willing to take a risk. What they DON’T want is the shy guy who sits in the corner and is too afraid to ask them out. After all, if you never muster up the courage to ask them out, how do you expect to even stand a chance?

They also don’t want the guy who bends over and gives them everything they ask for These guys will quickly be labeled as friends, and put on the “nice guy” list, or even worse, be chewed up and spit out after being sucked dry. If you want to treat your woman like a queen, fine, by all means do so, but don’t forget who’s the king.

Most women will go for the bad boy before they would settle with a nice guy, even if he is a jerk. So should you go out and be an asshole to women? No. Sure you can have success this way, but there’s a catch. Women will THINK they can change you, but when they can’t, they don’t want to put up with it and leave, or worse, they turn you into a nice guy.

So what does a women want? A woman wants a man who is strong, fearless and spontaneous. He can make her laugh with ease and is comfortable in his own skin. Women like to feel dainty, and a man who can make them feel this way melts their hearts. A man doesn’t care what others think about him, and he speaks his mind. The ideal man for any woman, is content and in control of all aspects of his life, even his emotions. When a women is in a bad mood or mad at him, he is quick to change the mood, he will bring her into his happiness because the real man is always happy. His presence is known when he enters the room.

Women are always complaining that there are no real men left, or that all the good ones are taken or gay. In a way they are right, most guys fall in line with what women don’t want. Some women will even settle because they want a nice guy to raise a family with, or a guy with money so they feel secure. The problem with this though, is women know where their heart is, and their heart will always long for a REAL man. There’s a fine line between the nice guy and the jerk, but once you find it, you will become irresistible to women.

Seek and You Will [Hopefully] Find

Have you noticed that the set-up of these online dating sites gives you the impression that you don’t have to work that hard? After all, if your preferred online dating site is so dedicated to your search for an e-lationship, what do you need to do besides sit back, stretch your legs, cross your arms, and wait to click on the perfect match sent by your site?

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FriendFinder Review


FriendFinder is one of bigger online dating sites, boasting over 1.4 million active members on its site. The main site has limited niche group involvement, but there is one click access to the other niche sites under the FriendFinder umbrella if you’re looking for a specific demographic to date. The site design is a bit busy with things stuffed together on one page and it takes some studying to understand what everything actually is. Even when you do figure it out, it is still too much on one page and I wish they did some streamlining to their site to make it easier to navigate.

The FriendFinder profile is nothing special to look at. It is really just a picture and text boxes. The questions asked are not thought provoking ones, but are generic “tell us about yourself” types of questions. The basic stuff (hair, weight, eyes, etc.) are the only things that are covered in any depth. Again, the profile suffers from too much info jammed onto one page. However, it is fully functional as you can send email, upload photos, send flowers, send bling, and read the profile all from the same page.

The search function is interesting in that you can only do a basic search as a non paying member. In order to search by more specific terms, you must pay to upgrade. Even then, though, there is nothing really special or creative about the search function. You can see who’s online now and who is new in your area, but that is about it. The search engine is one of the least busy pages on the whole site, though, and that is a good thing.

There are virtually no free benefits. You can create a profile and perform a basic search. FriendFinder has a tiered paid membership scheme. You can become a silver member for $22.99 per month. This allows you to view and contact members, get higher placement in searches, contact new members, and obtain partial access to blogs, magazines, etc. To become a gold member, you have to shell out $34.99 per month. This give you all the benefits of a silver member plus placement at the top of all searches, full access to magazines and blogs, and access to members’ instant messaging nicknames. Full access to introduction videos and customer support are also included.

FriendFinder Pros

  • Large, popular site
  • Tiered paid membership
  • Niche sites for different demographics.

FriendFinder Cons

  • Busy site design.
  • Very few free benefits.

FriendFinder is not a bad site. It is a little difficult to navigate at first, but you get used to it in time. It is chock full of features, but you need to be a paying member to access most of that. That’s understandable, but to hold back the advanced search functions is not very cool. It is nice that they have a tiered payment plan so that you can determine how much you want to spend, but the prices are high. You would expect the silver package to be a bit more reasonable. Still, it is comparable to other sites.

FriendFinder could easily be a first stop site in the online dating world. It has a lot of features, a lot of members, and is comparably priced. I’d recommend you take a look but with the caveats mentioned above.