The cost of cupid

Online dating sites offer a seductively slick alternative to real-world pick-up joints. But, because many dating sites are cagey about any fees they impose, clarifying costs can be as difficult as comparing mobile phone plans.

So for your convenience we have thrashed out what you get for your money, literally and figuratively. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Why didn’t he call? New app tackles dating dilemma

Ever been dumped without explanation?

A new dating app, WotWentWrong, launched on January 24 by Melbourne woman Audrey Melnik, might help shed some light.

The 35-year-old, who has built online businesses for clients including the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the Yellow Pages, designed the app to address a classic dilemma: “Why doesn’t he or she call?” Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Big bucks: the handsome gap in the marriage market

Australia’s booming wedding industry is worth $4.3 billion a year, with the average wedding costing $36,000, according to the market research group IBISWorld.
That figure marks a 6.5 per cent rise from 2010, and is predicted to grow to $4.7 billion in five years.
Scores of businesses attuned to this massive market target their marketing at the bride, while the beefy side of the bargain, the groom, goes neglected – or did.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney balloon cruise

‘You’re going looney?” my mother asks when I announce I’m going ballooning. Probably because ballooning is such an offbeat pastime; everyone else I tell initially mishears or double-takes before responding with envy. Clearly, we are suckers for the idea of gracing the sky in a luminous vehicle redolent of a calmer, cleaner age.
To achieve that vision, you need to fly at dawn when the air is usually still. In case of rain, I must ring my flight operator at 3am for an update – to stay awake, as with a long-haul flight, I sit in a nightclub, only to learn that my trip is cancelled. The next day I rebook and undergo another extended night out, thinking I must be crazy. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald [onlined at Travelroads]…

Love’s little lies: the dating claptrap guide

Ever wonder where the beautiful people have gone? They’re all online, judging by the profiles on internet dating sites, where everyone projects themselves as a winner. Nobody – surprise, surprise – admits to being ugly, stupid or a loser magnet.

We’ve all heard those blind date horror stories where the “handsome prince” turns out to be an ordinary Joe; or the “hot babe” a plain Jane. Online dating is like a hall of mirrors where no assertion reflects reality: hype and spin that would shame even the most ardent résumé embroiderer prevail.

On one level, it’s natural to “play up” our best side on a personals ad, says Dr Bruce Findlay, a senior psychology lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology. “To say, ‘I’m witty and intelligent and good fun to be with’, that’s fair enough. But if you say, ‘I’m 24 and a hunk’ when you’re really 45 and middle-aged Fred, you won’t get away with it.” Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald…