Questions? 888.282.9777
Questions? 888.282.9777

True love and Chemistry – Exploring Myth and Reality

When you think about the qualities found in a true “soul mate” relationship, what one word comes up most often on the top of your list?

Is it CHEMISTRY? Probably.

Just the mention of this term conjures up powerful feelings and images for anyone who has ever been in or seeking a love relationship. It is often described as a feeling that leaves you breathless, excited and weak in the knees. Palms sweat, the heart races and the body tingles with nervous anticipation.

It is believed by virtually everyone that true love cannot exist without chemistry. Therefore, the conclusion most would-be lovers come to is that if they experience these intense feelings towards someone, they have the basis for an ideal and lasting relationship.

Right? Maybe not. For this definition of chemistry is limited to one’s physical response to another person. It lacks an entire dimension that resides in our values, beliefs, personalities and worldview

In order to know you have the right connection with a potential (or existing) partner, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of what real chemistry consists of, instead of embracing only the myths that surround it. This can be difficult to do. This intense, physical passion is the stuff that Oscar winning movies and best-selling books are made of. So, take a step back for a minute and see if you recognize yourself in the following.

Sarah is a thirty something, very attractive and successful, professional female. She has been in a relationship for over a year with a man who is unfaithful, disrespectful and incapable (unwilling) to make any commitment to her. Yet, when he makes late night “booty calls”, forgets her birthday, or stands her up repeatedly – she remains available and willing, in spite of her general unhappiness and upset over their “relationship”. Why? “I think I have mistaken great sex for love. I feel this intense chemistry and physical intimacy when we are having sex, even though he offers me nothing else. Over time, it has left me unhappy and feeling badly about myself.”

John is an attractive, intelligent, 30 something male who owns his own successful business. He’s dating a woman that he thinks he is in love with. He has knowledge that she has been out with other men. She cancels dates and is often critical and emotionally distant. She refuses to discuss commitment or taking the relationship to the next level. Yet, she turns to John for emotional, physical and financial help whenever she feels she needs it. Why does John continue to see her? “She’s beautiful and the sex is great. We have such strong physical chemistry. It’s almost like an addiction for me. My friends can’t stand her and even I know she’s not really a “keeper”, but it’s hard to walk away.

These vignettes are great examples of how physical chemistry can be mistaken for the real thing. The attraction on one level is strong, yet these are not relationships that have the right elements to grow into happy and satisfying partnerships.

So, what is missing?

Kahlil Gibran defines it as “spiritual affinity”. It’s the hidden element of chemistry. It’s when two beings meet and connect on a deeper level. It can only be felt in the heart and soul. It’s about friendship, respect, humor and the feelings of warmth and contentment that come when you are in his/her presence.

People often report finding one without the other. This is understandably a cause of great frustration and confusion about whom should we choose and why. In order to understand this better, it is helpful to know how and when each facet of chemistry occurs.

Physical attraction (or lust) generally begins during our first contact with someone. It can DEVELOP into something more over time, yet some pull is there from the beginning. The chemical that results from this attraction (and intensifies it) is phenyl ethylamine – or PEA. It is a naturally occurring substance in the brain. Essentially, it is a natural amphetamine. It stimulates us and increases both physical and emotional energy. The attraction causes us to produce more PEA, which results in those dizzying feelings associated with romantic love. Another substance that is released by PEA is dopamine. This chemical increases a desire to be physically close and intimately connected.

When these chemicals are being secreted in larger doses, they send signals from the brain to the other organs of the body. If you wonder why you or someone is attracted to the “wrong” person, it may be because you are high on the physical response to these substances, which overwhelm your ability to use your head and exercise “good judgment and common sense”.

“Spiritual affinity” develops over time and repeated contact. When these feelings begin to emerge, the brain produces endorphins. These are more like morphine and result in an increased sense of calm that reduces anxiety and helps to build attachment. As relationships move into this phase they are characterized by more comfort, commitment and friendship.

Generally speaking, all “soul mate relationships” require at least some measure of each of these. The important thing to remember is that they come in stages, which is not to say that the physical attraction passes as one moves into a deeper connection. However, it changes. We cannot sustain those intense emotions as we travel down the road to commitment and a shared life. However, in healthy relationships those moments of intensity can and do occur for brief intervals at intermittent times.

Remember not to confuse great sex or deep friendship with romantic love. Instead, look for a measure of both of these in your feelings for another. For then you have the ingredients that lasting love is made from.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

10 Ways to boost your confidence sex appeal

Confidence is everything in the dating game – so if you want to attract many dates and find the right mate, be open-minded to giving yourself a Confidence Face Lift. As a Dating Coach and Author of SMART Man Hunting (, my goal is to help you beam with confidence sex appeal.

While confidence comes from within, can help you let it shine online in your photos and profile. By putting your best face online, you will also feel more confident about your presentation.

The results will show in the positive tone of your emails and phone calls, along with helping you attract dates with your top picks.

Why is confidence so important?

One 35-year-old lawyer told me, “A woman who carries herself well is 10 times more attractive to me.” Another 30-something TV Producer shared, “My Mr. Wonderful is really confident in himself and it’s something that I just pick up on.”


  • Is SMART and Sexy!
  • Lets dates know you like yourself and won’t put up with nonsense
  • Means you know there are many singles who are anxious to go out with you – which only makes you more attractive
  • Is when you take rejection lightly and not personally
  • Allows you to relax and enjoy the dating process
  • Makes it clear that you are not desperate – the date killer
  • Makes dating fun
  • Means you’re happy with yourself, your looks and your life

Here are 10 confidence boosters that can significantly increase your dating numbers, ego and odds of finding your mate:

10 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Sex Appeal:

  1. Recognize that you are a Hot Ticket – Start believing that you deserve only the best!
  2. Pamper Yourself – Take care of your body with makeovers, nails, new hair, and new styles – ask your friends for tips that will make you feel better about you.
  3. Treat Yourself Better – Are you eating, sleeping and exercising enough?
  4. Surround Yourself with Positive People – Find friends who are cheerleaders and make you feel good inside.
  5. Define Your Own Sexy – Don’t dress to play a part. Dress in what makes you feel sexy.
  6. Jump into your Passions – Make time for things that you love to do. You will plant a more natural smile on your face and draw the right dates.
  7. Try Something New – Try yoga, horseback riding or take a ski lesson to expand your world!
  8. Follow a No Bull Policy – Be decisive and know that you can take it or leave it. If a date doesn’t fit right, just say Next!
  9. Go After Your Dreams – Think outside your home box of possibilities and aim high with your dreams! By going after your passions, you will feel good inside.
  10. Create a Dating Plan – The more you date, the more confident you will be. One book fan in Los Angeles told me, “You’ve given me so much more confidence about dating. You got me to practice and now I found a great guy who just gets me.” And let help you with your photos, profile and dating coaching services.

You can do it too. Be brave. Be bold – and remember to let that confidence sex appeal shine online and offline!

Happy Hunting!

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

How to Know if You’ve Been Sent a “Form Email”

How can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest?

How can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest?

On a dating site, any reasonably attractive woman with a decent picture and a half  decent profile will get emails. Guys? Not so much.

The same dynamic that makes women wait for men to hit on them in the real world works on the Web as well. If men want some attention they need to step up their game.

They need great photos and a compelling and unique profile.

The men who figure out this formula do extremely well online. They end up with a host of beautiful women to choose from.

But they’re rare. Most men on dating sites still haven’t figured out how to market themselves. They still use crappy photos and dull profiles. They get hardly any responses, and when they get ignored, some get desperate.

Instead of improving the way they look, they play the numbers. If only one woman in ten writes back to them and only one in ten of those produces a date, they assume they just need to write to more women.

So these guys send emails to EVERYBODY! They forget about being selective, write one email and spray it at everyone on the dating site.

They’re a kind of human “email hose.” And they’re the kind of guys you really want to avoid.

So how can you tell if the email you just received was sprayed from a hose or expresses real interest? There are few tell-tale signs:

They’re the first in line.

The first emails you receive on a dating site are likely to be hosed. Sprayers believe that new users are clueless and will be so happy to get an email that they’ll reply right away. They’ve also hit on everyone else already. So they monitor lists of “new members” and check “who’s online” carefully looking for new faces.

The email is impersonal.

“Form emails” are cut and pasted. They make no reference to anything in your profile.

Here’s a real example:

“You seem like you might be a lotta fun. We should grab a drink sometime.”

There’s no chance that this guy read the profile. He just pasted his message into the box and hit Send. If he didn’t give you the time of day, why should you give him any of your time?

The message contains a profile.

If the email repeats information from the profile, like his age, where he lives or the color of his eyes, there’s a good chance it’s a “form email.” It’s all about the sender (who doesn’t change) and nothing about the recipient (who does). Here’s another real example:

“My name is Michael. I am a 48 year old man near Del Mar. I am originally from England and came to San Diego 18 years ago for my work . I would love to chat with you Looking forward to hearing back from you”

It’s not hard to spot a “form email” — and it’s just as easy to delete them. Reply only to the personal emails that clearly indicate that the person has read your profile. You want someone who really wants to know you, not the kind of guy who approaches every woman at a bar.

Did you ever reply to a form email? Care to share?

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Your online profile ad – Write for success

Where are all the good men/women? You go to parties, sign up for various activities and ask friends and family if they know anyone they can introduce you to. Yet, your dating life has been more than a little disappointing. What is a guy/girl supposed to do to find quality people?

Begin by continuing to do what you have been doing. These are all good ways to meet people. However, you may need to expand your search to the world of online dating. This would allow you to expand your search and come into contact with interested and available singles you would never meet in the existing circles in which you now move.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I have already tried this with little or mixed success.” Maybe this too has become a source of disappointment and frustration and even despair. If so, you could be going about it the wrong way, or be in need of some information to put you on a track to better success. The first important step is writing your online profile “ad” and choosing a good site to place it on.

The following are tips to help you write a great online profile.

Be Yourself

The goal of your ad is to attract the kind of person who would be compatible with you. You are looking for someone who shares your goals, values, sense of humor, lifestyle and perhaps religion or other specific criteria. If you put in information that is not true to who you are, you could send potentially good dates on to the next ad. You may also attract the kind of person you are not interested in.

Be Sincere

Nothing is more attractive than sincerity. Think about it. Isn’t this a turn-on for you? If you are funny, be funny. If you are serious, be that. Use honesty in describing your traits and desires in a potential mate. If there is something that is a must-have for you in any future relationship, highlight it. Remember that when and if you move to the next step, the other person will experience you as you really are, regardless of what the picture you drew for them in your ad looked like.

Write Like You Talk

This goes right along with being you. Don’t make your ad seem too contrived or rehearsed. You will loose that feeling of sincerity. Write a few drafts and just let the thoughts flow. Then go back and edit it. Make sure you spell check and check again. There is no bigger turn-off than someone who appears to have poor grammar or spelling.

Be Specific, But Leave Out Hang-Ups and Other Negatives

This is a first step. You want to put your true best forward. The picture you paint should be upbeat and positive. Everyone has a past. It’s not wise too tell too much too soon. If you feel something is important, than put it in. A good example is “single mom”, “divorced father of two”, etc. Leave out the part about looking for someone to help me heal from a painful divorce.

Do not mention past relationships except to inform that you had one.

Highlight Your Uniqueness

There are things about us all that make us uniquely who we are. Let your ad portray this. If you have a special talent, interesting career or pastime, let people know about it. If it’s important to you, it tells others much. If someone out there shares it, they will be drawn to what you have written.

Find a unique way to highlight yourself. If you look like someone well known, put that in. Just remember, if you look like Woody Allen, don’t portray yourself as a Robert Redford type.

Avoid classic turn-offs

If you place a heavy emphasis on finding someone who is “beautiful” or “wealthy”, you will turn off many people- often the very people who hope to attract. No one wants to be wanted for his or her looks or bank account. It also says something about you. How about superficial?

Use a Picture

This is very important. Ads that don’t have one get far fewer responses. Many singles are having a professional picture made of them. You want to look like your BEST self. A professional can usually do a much better job at a very reasonable cost if you shop around a bit.

Post Your Ad On The Right Site

There are so many choices out there. Look for one that has a large membership of people who appear to be compatible with you. Make sure they have an enforced safety and privacy policy. There are specialty sites for people who seek a partner with a very particular passion or lifestyle. These include but are not limited to: animal lovers, vegetarians, advanced degreed professionals, and sites for people seeking those of the same faith.

If your requirements include someone within a close geographical distance, look for the sites that offer you a good selection.

Once you have given it careful thought and a little research and energy, write and post your ad for success.

Remember, we attract what we are, not what we want.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Do You Dress Up… And Down, Stay In… And Go Out?

You might think that surfing online dating sites and checking out profiles can only be fun.

You’d be wrong.

While you hope that the next page could reveal the love of your life, blurred pictures and clichéd descriptions can lose their shine after the first dozen or so. In this month’s newsletter, we reveal how to dump the dull phrases and let the real you shine through.

And with online dating now as mainstream as sushi for two, we explain why you still shouldn’t put all your eggs on the Web, and reveal the secret that turns online singles into happy couples.

Read on…

Do You Dress Up… And Down, Stay In… And Go Out?

Log on to any major dating site, and you’ll be told that gazillions of people are members, billions are currently online and millions have already met, married and are living happily ever after. Or almost as many.

With huge numbers of people flooding dating sites, you’d expect that reading a profile would be like opening a new book. Each would be unique, individual and filled with character, just like the person who wrote it.

And yet, spend more than half an hour on any dating site, and you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re looking at a matchmaking company for Stepford Wives.

Every other profile says exactly the same thing. The same phrases turn up on profile after profile:

“I’m comfortable in jeans… and a little black dress.”

“I like going out… and staying in sometimes to watch TV.”

“I like movies, books and music…”

Well, of course you do. Everybody wears clothes, which is what the first phrase says. Everybody likes to leave their house sometimes and to come back to it after a while, which is what the second sentence says. And everyone likes to entertain themselves with entertainment products. That’s what they’re for.

The reader can safely assume that the person behind the profile can wear clothes that suit different occasions. He can also assume that he’ll like to laugh (the laughter itself is usually a giveaway), that he’s loyal to his friends (the people he’s not loyal to are called “bosses”) and that he’s passionate about something (even if it’s lying in bed from Friday night to Monday morning).

There are some things about each other that we can just take for granted. You don’t need to mention them on a profile.

What you can mention on a profile though, is where you go when you get dressed up, which movie you saw last and what you thought of it. And what you’d really like to do if you didn’t have to work for a living and had a private jet at your disposal.

All of those things tell the reader who you are. They tell the reader what’s unique about you and what they can expect life with you to be like. And they do it without wasting space on a profile with phrases that say nothing.

If your profile makes you sound like a robot, cut the clichés and talk about you. It’s what we want to know.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

How to Choose Online dating photos

We like to think that when dating online, daters are spoilt for choice. With so many singles available, the toughest decision you should have to make is who to write to first.

That might well be your toughest decision, but it won’t be your first. To make the most of the opportunities on your dating site you will need great online dating photos (this is key). For many people, that means scouring through their hard drive and picking out the pictures that show them at their best. But how do you choose a photo that wins looks, emails and dates? Here’s what you should consider as you’re digging through your pictures folder.

Are your features clear?

Most photographs are taken to record a moment but a profile photo should be a record of you. “We should be able to see your eyes, your features and definitely your smile,” says Merav Knafo, co-founder of, a service that matches online singles with professional photographers. “Good online dating photos don’t just show what you look like, they reveal who you are.”

Are there any distractions?

Relationships are all about give-and-take but when you’re looking for the right partner for that relationship, you have to put your needs and yourself first. That means uploading a photograph that’s all about you – a picture which gives you the limelight and wins attention. As you’re doing the choosing, put aside any pictures in which the background, the foreground or your friends distract from what’s really important: you.

What does your expression say?

Every relationship starts with a look but it’s the type of look you give that determines whether the person you’re admiring looks back at you or overlooks you. Match a glance with a smile and you’re in with a shout. Combine your wink with a frown and you’ll look like someone to avoid.

That’s just as true of your photos as it is of the unspoken communication that happens at parties. “One of the questions that we always ask our photographers is what they do to help our clients relax,” explains Merav. “Your photo should create the impression that time with you will be fun. That can only come with an expression that suggests you’re happy and at ease.”

Are your Online dating photos good… or convenient?

Just about everyone today has pictures of themselves on their hard drive so uploading something rarely takes a great deal of effort. But a little extra work at this stage of your search can take you a long way. Just as you’d invest time in getting ready for a date, so it’s worth skipping the convenience of a photo you have available for a photo created specifically for dating.

You might have to do a little more than open your photos folder but the result could be less time looking for a date and more dates with the sort of people you’re looking for.

And remember that having great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

The Worst Ways to Start Your Online Dating Profile — Real Examples!

If you’ve spent time on any dating site, you know that after a while, all the profiles start to look and sound the same. Everyone is “loyal,” “passionate,” “honest,” “down-to-earth”… blah, blah, blah.

In this series of articles, we’re going to talk about your online dating profile and explain what you should or should not write in it.

Assuming that you’ve posted  good enough online dating photos to attract attention, people will read your profile so you’ll need to have an exciting start. You’ll need to avoid the clichés that make other daters click “next” faster than the speed of light. You’ll need to stay positive and you’ll need to avoid repeating information already on the page.

Here are some real examples of how NOT to start your profile. It really didn’t take long to pluck them off a dating site:

Openings to Make You Yawn

It’s not these these are bad starts or dishonest ones. They’re just dull and say nothing about any of the interesting things that make the person behind them unique:

  • I am a nice person with a great sense of humor. I love to spend time with my friends and family.
  • I’m looking for an honest, kind, loving person, the girl next door type, a best friend and a lover.
  • I am a simple guy that just wants to find that someone who compliments me.
  • I am an honest, loyal, caring and sincere person.
  • I am a pretty simple person.
  • Hi I’m a hard working man, that works to much.
  • I would describe myself as easy going, reliable, and honest.
  • I’m easy going, laid back, and love life.
  • I am committed to living life to the fullest.

Openings that Just Say No

Negativity doesn’t just bring you down. It also brings down the people you’re with. Who’s going to want to be with a person who starts a profile like this?

  • Disclaimer alert: If you are the type of person that believes not answering a persons email is the way to tell them you’ve changed your mind, then PLEASE move on!
  • OK. I’m starting to lose faith in this online stuff.

Openings We’ve Seen Before

Sometimes a cliche can be the quickest way to get across a point. Usually though, it just says that this person has no original thoughts:

  • If your looking for a man that works hard and plays hard with a good family outlook thats me
  • I am looking for a partner, my new best friend
  • I am looking for a woman who can live life to its fullest.
  • I live life to the fullest! Work hard and play even harder!
  • Just looking to meet some fun people to hang out with and see where it goes.
  • Where to begin…… I’m tall, dark and handsome

Openings That Are Really Complaints

People come to dating sites to be happy. That isn’t going to happen if they hitch themselves to someone who’s always complaining about dating sites… like these people:

  • I think describing oneself is (or at least should be) an almost impossible task, but..
  • Oh common, how the heck are you supposed to be able to describe all of your attributes with only space enough for 3500 characters or so?!
  • Where do I start this type of thing is so not me
  • This is the hard part for sure…I never know what to say about myself.
  • Ok, I would much rather talk in person, but here goes.
  • It is hard to describe one self in a few words because we keep learn evolve and change
  • In this box I am supposed to give a short description of myself and state what I am looking for. I thought this would be quite simple but as I am finding out it is not as easy as I thought.
  • I just can’t write this sort of thing. It sounds so pathetic
  • So I have to ask myself, “what should I write here?” What do you want to know about me?
  • PREAMBLE: Wow, I can’t believe I have to lead with this, but I guess I do…Please do not judge me for never having been married.
  • Writing “about me” is not easy. But here goes:
  • It’s difficult to really cover all the facets in someones personality in one paragraph
  • My cousin talked me into doing this
  • I am filling this in because I have to, I will update it at a later time when I can really describe what my ideal match is.
  • How do you describe yourself without sounding like a used car salesman

Openings That Just Don’t Open!

You’ve got a sentence, maybe two, to grab a reader’s attention and pull them in. Don’t waste that space… like these people did. Get straight to the point!

  • So here goes.
  • Ok well a little about me?
  • Hello there and thanks for taking the time to view my profile.
  • Never tried this before but I figured why not?
  • I’m single and looking
  • I’ll make it short and sweet.

Openings We Know

The description isn’t the only place we learn about people. There’s a whole bunch of facts and figures in the check-box section, and they don’t have to be repeated:

  • I am a guy 38 years old
  • I am about 6 feet 3 inches tall
  • Me: I am 40, never married(red flag!)

Openings We’d Rather Not Know

Sometimes you can come across an opening that has you raising your eyebrows, shaking your head, and searching for the “next” link all at the same time:

  • This is my friend’s old profile. I’m just using this until I can add my own text later.
  • PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED IF I LOOK AT YOUR PROFILE! It generally means I’m at least interested in what you have to say 🙂
  • Ive been told that my best feature is my butt
  • **DISCLAIMER** I have tattoos
  • I am the real deal
  • Have not dated much my entire life and hope this works!
  • 2011 Update: After about six months off of Match, as I dated a wonderful woman I met here, I considered changing my original profile.
  • ****Update**** Had my profile off for a long time and since then have sold Cool Change and bought a nicer boat.
  • ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** —– CAUTION REQUIRED —– ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** (Reading this profile may cause anxiety, uncontrollable excitement, dizziness…)
  • I’m not a paying customer but I’ve been browsing the site a little bit

Since so many people use one of the above openings, you’ll have a real advantage just by starting with something more original. Here are some ideas:

Dip into your past.

Where you’ve been helped put you where you are now. It’s a great way to build pictures and show humor.

“My Grandpa used to take me on the lake when I was a kid. He taught me so many things on those trips… like not to pee in the water when Grandpa’s trying to fish.”

Rock your world.

Everyone has something that makes them smile. You can’t ask for a more positive start than the thing that makes you happiest.

“I love techno music. It always makes me break out in wild, arm-thrashing dancing… even when I’m squeezed between two oversized commuters on the MUNI.”

Pick an Activity

What you do says much about who are. Choose an activity that you enjoy at the weekends, and start with action.

“I’m a keen Frisbee golf player. It involves throwing a set of discs around a special course. And running away before the golfers catch us.”

Start with Your Job

Yes, you can even talk about work… as long as you do it with enough flair to keep things interesting.

“I’m a systems analyst. If your system breaks down, I’ll always be willing to come around, analyze it and say that you need to format your hard drive.”

Start With a Quote

And if all else fails, you can always steal someone else’s idea. There are enough quotations out there to sum up anyone’s feelings:

“‘Life is supposed to be fun!’ That’s what Abraham-hicks said, and that’s how I live.”

Of course, to make any opening work, people have to see it. They’re only going to do that if your photo hits the spot. Pick up new, natural looking online dating photos today from LookBetterOnline, and if you need help writing your profile be sure to check out our profile review and writing services.

How do you start your profile?

Online dating Advice: Is Match Losing to PlentyofFish?

match vs plentyoffish is now a household name. The site’s huge marketing budgets and strong history have made it synonymous with online dating. PlentyOfFish, by contrast, is a minnow. But at the moment, the small fry is winning and if Match doesn’t do something fast, it could well find that it’s no longer the biggest fish in the pond.

There are a number of reasons I think Match is losing out to PlentyOfFish:

Easy Profile Creation

While the first registration step to Match is short and consists only of one form asking for username, email and password, the complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages.

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

I am sure that Match thinks its process is more organized — and it looks organized on the page — but for the member, it’s so much easier to be able to complete everything on one page without having to click to the next page, and the next page after that.

This problem continues with profile updates. Every time you want to update a piece of information, you have to figure out which screen you need to reach in order to edit it. It’s a very tedious process. Registration

Match’s complete profile is spread over no less than eight different pages

PlentyOfFish Registration

After the initial basic information screen, PlentyOfFish offers just one more page (followed by an optional quiz) to enter all the information you need.

Instant Approval

Match has to approve every word you submit before you can publish it. The same is true of photos. You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

Why is this bad? Because when people sign up to a dating site they are excited and optimistic. They want to start playing right away!

Start sending emails before your submissions have been approved though, and the people you write to will only see half a profile. They’ll ignore you.

Sure, you can wait 24 hours but when you’ve just seen someone you’d really like to meet, you don’t want to wait a day before you can contact them. The same happens when you update a profile. You can’t be spontaneous! You have to wait and wait and wait.

Match Pending Photo

You can upload any image you want, but you won’t be able to see it online until Match gives it a thumbs-up.

I can understand Match’s thinking: they don’t want anyone to post a photo of themselves naked or — God forbid — upload porn. It’s a valid concern that PlentyOfFish doesn’t worry about for two reasons:

  1. It’s free. When people get something for nothing, they’re less likely to complain.
  2. It’s a lively community. When someone abuses the system, others are quick to report it and the profile is taken down fast.

PlentyOfFish wins here because its active community means that even the worst case scenarios (porn, advertisements, spam, etc.), are corrected quickly, allowing users to start messaging immediately.


Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it. Sure, there are some interesting items to pull down and look at, but it’s not the kind of place that leads you start a conversation.


Logging into Match can be like walking into a library. It’s quiet, it’s boring, and if there are people there, you don’t really know it.

Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic. It has energy. It’s all down to the following features:

  • Who’s Online? – PlentyOfFish shows you who is currently online. If you’re interested, you can drop them a quick email and get a reply immediately. That’s instant gratification at its best!And because other people can see that you’re online, you get a lot more messages, giving you more reasons to come back.Match doesn’t have an “Who’s online?” page. You have to search, then tick a box. It’s too many steps for something so basic, and doesn’t incentivize returning to the site and staying on it.
  • Changing thumbnails – Each page on PlentyOfFish shows members’ thumbnails, often with the word “chat” below, inviting you to say hello. The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through.On Match, I have to search before I can see anyone. PlentyOfFish introduces potential dates to me.

    PlentyOfFish thumbnails

    The pictures change constantly so that you feel there’s always a lot of people flowing through

  • Forums – A forum is a basic feature for any online community. It suggests activity and shows real people online, posting, talking and interacting with each another. You can read or participate and even contact those who you think are cool based on what they write. Why doesn’t Match do this?

At PlentyOfFish, you really feel you’re joining a party.


Logging into PlentyOfFish though is like walking into a hot bar full of people. The site is alive, active and dynamic.

Easy Profiles

While the PlentyOfFish profile is straightforward and completed in a single page, the Match profile is complex and hard to use. You see only three photos initially. (It took me a while to realize I can click “See more” to see the rest of the photos, but when I do, I have to wait for a new page to load… and wait again when I want to see each picture. And I still can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time.)

match profile

On Match, I can’t see the picture and the profile at the same time

PlentyOfFish puts all the photo thumbnails at the top of the page and enlarges them with a cursor hover. There’s no need to go to a new page, no need to wait for pages to load and I can see all the information I need right away.

Sophisticated design doesn’t always mean good design. Sometimes, simplicity is exactly what the user needs.

No Horny Teens or Dirty Old Men

One of the biggest problems with online dating is that every schmo can contact you. Both Match and PlentyOfFish — and every other dating site — have this problem, and there really isn’t a full solution. However, PlentyOfFish does have a brilliant feature that cuts out many of the undesired emails before they even reach you: the site lets you control who can write to you! You can filter your emails by:

  • Age. So no more emails from horny 19-year olds or creepy 75-year olds!
  • Gender. No emails from females if that’s not your thing.
  • Country. Nigerians who want to send me money will just have to find my email address.
  • Radius. If you’re not into long distance relationships, you can restrict contact to just those within a 75-mile radius.
  • Email size. You can even specify how long the email must be for a first contact — so no “hi” emails.

All these restrictions work in just one direction. You can still contact whoever you want, unless they’ve filtered you out, of course. For me and for most women, it’s not about the quantity of emails, it’s about the quality.

Now if I could only control a few more options like height, children, etc, that would make it even more powerful!

It’s pretty simple, and I really don’t know why Match hasn’t copied it.

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

PlentyOfFish lets you control who can write to you!

More Emails

Even after restricting for age, country and radius I still receive about ten times more emails on PlentyOfFish than I do on Match. I opened both profiles on the same day with the same photos.

You might think that the quality of people on Match would be higher than the quality on a free site, but it really isn’t. Many people, like myself, use both sites and the quality varies on both.

I want options, which means more emails from quality members.

Better Email Notifications

When someone sends you a message on a dating site, you receive an email notification. When someone sends you a message from Match, that notification contains a whole bunch of functionality errors.

  1. The “from” email address changes with the user. The email always comes from [username]@talkMatch. Even if I add that address to my approved list, the next email — with a different username — will end up in my junk folder. It’s hugely frustrating.PlentyOfFish sends an email from the same address. You can add that address to your contacts, and messages will always go directly to your inbox.It’s a huge oversight on Match’s part and a very easy fix.
  2. The email contains too much information. Match’s emails don’t just contain the message. They also include the photo and some of the sender’s profile. But since most people don’t make a good first impression, I can ignore most of the messages I receive and never bother log in into Match. PlentyOfFish tells me that someone has been in touch but doesn’t tell me who they are or what they look like. It’s enough to make me curious, and that means I log in to the site. Once I’m there, even that person isn’t right for me, I’ll soon be browsing the thumbnails, chatting online and meeting new people. I’m an active user again.
  3. Wrong links. The link to the username on Match leads to a reply box, not the profile. It’s an odd thing and very annoying.

What Both Sites Are Missing

Where both Match and PlentyOfFish come up short is in the quality of the photos. On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best dating profile photos, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.

People do tend to look much better than the images they put on their profiles so posting bad dating profile photos reduce their opportunities every day. All a member needs is at least one good, professionally-taken photo of themselves, in a natural light at a flattering angle and with good composition.

Most people don’t expect to find a supermodel on a dating site, but they do want to know how you look like before they meet you, without having to guess and without taking a huge risk.

Both Match and PlentyOfFish do very little to educate their members about the importance of good photos, or offer easy solutions like which would allow them to take their online dating experience to the next level. On Match, for example, I can see ads for toothpaste and hotels but not for what members really need: good photos. PlentyOfFish advertises yet another dating site on which you can place a bad photo, but this time receive a bunch of fake emails and pay for rejection.

Online dating photos before and after

On dating sites, the best dates go to the people with the best pictures, leaving everyone else to settle for less than they could have won.


Match can keep acquiring free sites like OKCupid and still claim they are number one, but until they implement the appeal these free sites have — the simplicity, the ease of use, the instant gratification and a lively community — they will lose in the long run.

Do you think Match is losing this race?