Home > Articles

Don't Do It Yourself: Online Dating Services

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Turning to websites, discussion areas, and mailing lists for dating advice
  • Receiving editing help and advice from experienced dating counselors
  • Approaching professional counselors for advice on starting or ending relationships
  • Getting help with writing positive, engaging profiles
  • Enlisting the help of real-world matchmakers

Everyone needs a jump-start once in a while. You can't always repair your own car; and for some reason, the web pages you create from scratch seldom look as attractive as those made by professionals. The same is true of online dating. In many respects, it's far easier to jump into the dating pool in cyberspace than it is in "real" space. For many, though, joining a dating site, committing to a subscription, and creating a personal profile are all daunting prospects. They needn't be—you can find plenty of matchmakers and consultants who will help you come up with a good first impression or kick your existing dating activities up a notch.

If you need help and support in setting up dates, there are many sources online to which you can turn. Because you're looking for that special someone online, it only makes sense to look for a "romance coach" online, too: a consultant who can increase your chances of success even further. In the same way that the Internet can help you meet the love of your life, it can also help you find friends or advisers who can help you through the online dating experience.

Turning Online for Dating Advice

This book will get you started with choosing a dating service, preparing a compelling online profile, and meeting people either online or in person. I don't pretend to be the only resource on the subject, and I would be short-changing you if I didn't point you to some of the many websites, discussion groups, and other resources that you can turn to when you need personal support.

Web Resources

The Web abounds with ads and websites that proclaim they can solve all of your dating problems and consolidate your debts too. The problem, in fact, is not finding websites that claim they'll improve your love life, but in being selective about ones that can really deliver and ignoring those that are all about talking the talk and then taking your money.

Don't take any of these grandiose claims at face value. Read for yourself and determine which resources can be of use to you. It's not a one-size-fits-all kind of a deal. Shop around until you find what feels right to you. It's also okay to switch horses in the middle of the stream. Like working with a real estate agent who keeps showing you dumps, find another one who will pay more attention to what will be a dream come true for you.

TIP

If you're in high school or college, you'll find an excellent set of articles at the Teen Advice Online's Dating page (http://www.teenadviceonline.org/dating). Counselors who contribute articles and answer questions submitted by visitors run the site.

Discussion Groups

People traditionally discuss their love interests in the locker room, aerobics class, or any number of venues. Now, you can kiss and tell without leaving the privacy of your own home. The nice thing about discussion groups is the freedom that comes with anonymity: Discussion groups let you discuss people and situations without actually naming names. "Does anyone else think that dating site stinks?" or "Why are all the guys I meet such jerks?" are common types of inquiries.

AskMen.com has a great set of message boards (http://www.askmen.com/message_boards/index.html) with thousands of participants. The Love & Relationships section occasionally has threads centering on dating services or dating online. At this writing, there was a long set of posts complaining about Match.com and the difficulty with finding people there.

The Dating & Relationships Discussion Forum on the Network54 website (http://www.network54.com/Forum/84890) is excellent, and it's oriented toward both men and women. You'll find "worst date ever posts" along with posts congratulating online daters on their upcoming marriages—and everything in between.

GetRomantic.com (shown in Figure 3.1) has separate forums for men, women, teens, and those interested in long-distance relationships (http://www.getromantic.com/forum). One of the most active discussion areas is the one focusing on sexuality.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Dating websites run many discussion forums and cover a wide range of interpersonal topics.

Mailing Lists

A mailing list is a group of individuals who communicate by email. All mailing lists are not created equal, however, and you should be careful about which ones you join. Some mailing lists are announcement lists—that is, communication isn't interactive, it's a one-way street from an organization to the people who have signed up to receive messages from it. Others are discussion lists: The individuals on the list can post messages to all the other members, who then have the opportunity to post replies and initiate lively and fruitful exchanges.

You'll find well-traveled discussion groups on Usenet as well as on dating-related websites. (See Chapter 24 for some suggestions of groups on Usenet.) Depending on the selection of newsgroups provided by your ISP, you can also find groups within America Online, and groups centered on metropolitan areas such as Las Vegas, Sacramento, or New York.

Before you subscribe to any mailing list, make sure you want what is being provided. Plenty of dating sites invite visitors to join their mailing lists to "discover the secrets of hot dating success and find love online," or something similar. These are announcement lists. Essentially, you are signing up to receive unsolicited email from the site. I strongly recommend you make sure that any mailing list you join is a true discussion medium where members can help one another.

CAUTION

Mailing lists can quickly take up a lot of space in your inbox. Make sure you really want to be on the list, and that it's easy to get off the list if you don't want to participate any more.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020