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Sunday, December 11, 2011

7 Online Dating Mistakes That Could Break Your Heart Bank

Cindy McDonald from Best Christian Dating Sites kindly wrote a guest post for me on the pitfalls of online dating. "If youre single and looking for love or companionship online in this day in age... its no secret that it can be tough out there," the article reads. "And because of the dangers hiding behind every '.com,' not only do you have to protect your fragile heart from being broken, but you also have to protect your wallet from being robbed. So before you take to the dating scene on the web, it is essential to educate yourself on the various mistakes that could leave you loveless and penniless. Check out the following financial pitfalls in online dating and tips for avoiding them in your quest for a cyber-relationship:... (For the full 7 Online Dating Mistakes That Could Break Your Heart Bank story, click here.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Safe Dating

I read an article on the Internet recently claiming that women can tell if you are ugly or attractive, merely by reading your profile online. They say women are more intuitive than men; maybe they can pick up on clues, like your choice of words. As Australia's Herald Sun rereported yesterday (November 14): "A study to be released by psychologist Rebecca Brand from the Villanova University in Philadelphia found more attractive men were able to portray their level of sex-appeal in their self-description." Which makes sense to me; sexy guys are more likely to be confident in everything they do, including their online banter. And nine-tenths of sex appeal is confidence. Confidence is one thing, however, con artistry is another; it would be foolish to believe everything you read on the Internet. Best Black Dating Sites is an African-American organisation committed to safe dating on the Internet, and regularly reviews hundreds of online black dating sites to help readers quickly find the best deals, coupons and dating sites that do not compromise on safety. "You might think you know a person after a few emails, but the truth of the matter is that it could be anyone sitting on the other side of the internet," the Best Black Dating Sites warns on its homepage. "If you meet someone online who you feel could be a potential match, it can be tempting not to rush into meeting them face to face. But be tempted you mustn't. Take the time to exchange some 'get to know you' emails and even a few phone calls to be sure that the person with whom you are communicating is genuine and even worthy of your precious time."

subway bangalore: Complete review here.
What this made me realize is how much a place like Subway in the United States has become associated with Indianness. Indians run many of the Subway franchises. I'm not really sure why, and I'm sure I might find something in the work of my friend and colleague Pawan Dhingra who works on Indian business owners and motelling etc. (Well that is a part of his work I remember, though I'm not giving it to the proper complexity it deserves) to explain why so many Subways franchises are run by people from the homeland. There is certainly a long standing tradition of convenience stores owned by desis (think Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the Simpsons) but maybe the subway desi franchising is something we all know and recognize but just haven't gotten around to documenting.

Absolute Agency: Liberian Girls, Liberian Women.
"LOVE is the greatest," writes one 000baby, a 25-year-old woman from Monrovia, on Absolute Agency. She was one of five pages of Liberian girls listed by the agency the last time I checked up, in mid April 2009. Whether it is love you are looking for or rather lust, you might find it at Absolute Agency. "Am searching for my soulmate to share my wonderful world with," writes Olive_love, 29. "Want to meet someone serious for long term relationship or marriage," writes Alainalove, aged 30. "I am a very fun, romantic, kind, loyal, caring, affectionate and bright lady," writes Cuddlelove, aged 33. "A woman that doesn't care about what you have, but who you are..."
Warning: if you do become a member (as I did), expect to endure a gruelling and intrusive online questionaire. You will be asked a lot of questions such as "what is the last book you read?" On top of that, you also have to complete a psychological examination which "should only take 15 or 20 minutes(!)", as the website guarantees. Some will wonder: why do they need all that information? Sure it will help you find compatible partners, but it could also be sold to marketers to help them spam you. Whatever... such are the perils of online dating. Those free hookup sites have to make their money somehow. In any case, doing that psychological profile could be eye-opening, and is interesting in its own sake...

African Princess: African and Ethiopian Brides Seeking Dating, Romance and Marriage.
Picture courtesy African Princess

"PARTNERS not players," is the motto of African Princess, which seems to be devoted to helping African women find a home in the West. "Here at our staff of concerned, human moderators work full time to 'take out the trash'," the website guarantees. "We are always on the lookout for scammers and players, any kind of insincere person who would waste your time and affections. At the end of the day, is better than the rest, because our members are not messing around, they are sincere they hope to find quality partners for love and marriage."
Spam is of course always a problem when dating online with the Dark Continent. Busy Mom Dahl says: "For the first time in a long time, I have received spam from an African princess or something. She wants to know if any of my relatives have abandoned money from her bank and if I can send her the information so she can scam them. AhcI have missed these hilarious emails (that are completely untrue and a total scam, BTW)..."
Adding to the caution, the Crawford Homepage from Denmark warns: "Several dating sites (including many aimed directly at the African/black community) has a high percentage of FAKE profiles posted. Many users are not aware that the person writing love letters to them through dating sites is not always what he/she appears to be.
"From what I haven been told by several users, the fake profiles are probably made only for one purpose: to cheat naive men into sending money to the person hiding behind a false name and picture. The excuses used are money for an airline ticket, hospital treatments, school fees or similar. The love-seeking men will never see their money again and surely never see the person they thought to be mailing with. The profiles are hiding behind fake pictures and who knows... often the beautiful young woman is in fact a man. There is some patterns to see in the way the false profiles are used and it gives the impression that these are pretty well-organised frauds..."

Afrika Dating: African Singles, Personals, Dating.
Picture courtesy Afrika Dating IF you are like me, you are probably skeptical of African dating sites. A friend of mine got scammed all the way to London (via Moscow) in a west African sting, he tagged along as an assistant to his Japanese buddy. That was back in the days of snail mail, and the Japanese guy got cold feet in London, just before they boarded their plane to Nigeria. Like everyone else, I get my west African spam in my mailbox. and like at least a couple of folk, my first impression on visiting Afrika Dating, was that it was some kind of fraud. "The ladies who go to Willy's Internet Cafe in Shanzu, Mombasa (Omatec Cyber Cafe, near to Jeff's Pub and Chill-Out Pub - painted in CelTel colours with luminous green doors), have been asking if the site actually works," reported one Afrika Dating visitor. "Well - Palesa from South Africa told us she had met the right person on AfrikaDating, and was making wedding arrangements. Bina from Germany met her true love in Ghana on AfrikaDating. Chris from Tanzania met Precious from the USA and is shifting to America. He said: 'I think this was meant to be my meeting point for the love of ma life whom I will always treasure and regard as my wife. It's so interesting that this site is all free and it has made me have my future queen. Certainly we will be glad to share our success story with you whenever you will want to have it posted. I wish you all the best on this site we treasure so much. GOD BLESS YOU SO ABUNDANTLY!!' (Cheers, Chris). ...And yes, a number of our Jungu visitors have already made the trip to Africa to see their freinds (and more) they met here. This is just a little of what we do know has happened thanks to AfrikaDating, as we don't push so much for testimonials. So, ladies from Shanzu, it does work and its still free. You'll only have to pay Willy (and his boss) to use their services! And if you find someone, do tell us!"

Afro Introductions: African Women, African Dating, African Singles. describes itself as a leading African dating site linking the world to African women and singles. Last time I checked there were 875,000 members, 1166 of them online. Click on to the women's page, to see all the females represented by headshots. A nice touch, that -- and presumably all the men are indexed the same way. Here you can find girls from Oakland, California; New York City, New York State; Helsinki, Finland; Al Jamaliyah, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Mombasa, Kenya; Touba, Cote-Diyore; Gogounou, Benin; and even Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rebecca from Abidjan writes: "je me nomme REBECCA je suis africaine de teint claire naturelle je suis une femme respectueuse serieuse et bien jaimerais trouver mon amesoeur lhomme avec qui je vais passer le reste de ma vie celui avec qui je vais construire une vie damour dans la quelle nous aurrons beaucou de bonnheur dans lentente le respect mutuelle et la comprehenssion fonder notre famille merci..."
Afro Romance: Specialists in Interracial Dating.

DESPITE the name, this site seems to specialize in American dating. This is for white guys who want to hook up with black girls, and black guys who want to hook up with white girls. The ladies of color here hail from places like Los Angeles, California; Cambridge. Massachusetts; San Antonio, Texas. Even remote, obscure places like Niles, Illinois. jcinderella comes from Raleigh, North Carolina, and describes herself: "I am very laidback and relax type of person. I love to laugh, yet I can have a serious side and hold good conversation. I consider myself geeky," although she hardly looks it. "For the record. I have a passport and citizenship, so I am not looking to get hitched," writes nikkiboxers, from Little Rock. "I am an American citizen born and raised in Arkansas."

Arab Lounge: Algerian Girls, Algerian Dating and Matrimonials.
Picture courtesy Travelpod

IF you are looking for girls from North Africa, Arab Lounge is sure to be a good resource for you. On the Algerian singles page, most of the members seem to be from not North Africa however, but North America. Take for example the beautiful Algerian_QT, from Falls Church, Virginia, the United States. The QT says: "I for one hate talking about myself... but here are a few things you must know about me: I love a relaxing environment. I would rather relax at home with a great movie and good company than out clubbing... sometimes I get in the mood for clubs =) I am pretty open minded and I do not like to judge anyone (Not my place to do so) I have the ability to see different sides to every conflict. I would say the one (Main)thing I dislike about myself is the fact that I have absolutely no patience (Trying to work on that) I am looking for a partner that has a great sense of humor, sweet, caring, independent, honest, loyal, good looking, responsible, mature, open minded, goal oriented, God fearing. I do not ask for much as those are qualities I have and there for it's only fair that I would want the same in my partner. I believe the secret to a successful relationship is Trust, Honesty, Loyalty, Must have chemistry. My family and friends say that I am picky, but I don't think I am... I simply know what I want... Now that you know what I am looking for feel free to contact me if you think you have the qualities I am seeking in a Man =)."
Of course, Algeria is just one small part of the Arab world, and the African world. The Arab Lounge front page seduces: "Engage in online Arabic chat with beautiful single Egyptian women, or browse our detailed profiles of Iraqi singles. features include Arab photo galleries, an advice column, an Arab chat room, video Instant Messenger and much more.ArabLounge features include Arab photo galleries of single Arab women and men, Qiran dating, an advice column, and Arab chat room. This site also offers Muslim matrimonial and Arab matchmaking, video Instant Messenger of single Muslims and Arab Christians, and much more. Remember that at Arab Lounge you can always search for your Christian or your single Muslim soul mate in safety thanks to our 5-Star Safety Program. Your own Arab marriage could be one click away with this matrimonial and dating service; meeting Muslim Muslima singles or single Christian Arabs has never been easier..."

Berezka: South Africa Brides, Dating in South Africa.
Picture courtesy Berezka Personals

THERE are personals and dating forums covering the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Free State. Representing all the lovely ladies of South Africa! Some of the other countries represented here include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Singapore, Somalia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Humanitarian Dating: Meet the World in One Place.
THIS is a non-profit organization devoted specifically to those who work as development or aid workers in the developing world, and more generally to anyone who cares about making the world a better place. "We are a community of thousands of members who are straight, gay, lesbian and both young and old," the website says. "Our members come from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds from nearly every country on the planet." Languages available are English, Spanish and French. There seems to be plenty of networking going on. Posted by scooter in September 2008: "My friend and I are setting up an online social network to match volunteers (individuals and corporate) to charities all over the world who need help. It seeks to create a community of sharing and helping and transparency in the work that gets done. Go to and have a look. The prototype software will be ready for beta testing in 2 - 3 months. In the meantime, we welcome any feedback from individuals/companies/NGOs etc that may help us make Worldkey a better network. I hope at least one or 2 of you out there will be interested enuf to check this out. email me (LiLi) with any questions. or leave a comment here..."

Ethiopian Personals: Connecting Etihopians Worldwide.
CLAIMS to be the largest Ethiopian singles site on the web, which could well be true. Unlike other online disappointments, this site appears to be wellstocked with real women. In the women (aged 25 to 34) seeking men department the last time I checked there were roughly 11 pages of results. At the top of the pile writes zaddis, female, aged 24: "I am an Ethiopian woman living in Addis. I have education beyond h.s. My English is limited. Amharic speaking preferred... or someone willing to teach one another. I would like to meet a mate in the be near family. I love family, God, honesty..."

Jaamaara: South African Swinger Personals Community.
Picture courtesy Jaamaara South African Swingers

FEATURES here include a "romantic 3D chat", VOIP phone, Instant Messenger, forum and gallery. Members post provocative looking photos of themselves wearing usually next to nothing. They have provocative, alluring names like flash (aged 39), Perfectpair469, and cdeepdown (aged 37). Wrote the Afrikaans-speaking 80skids, from Pretoria: "Hello again... We have decided to give this another try. We are both straight, but very relaxed and comfortable with our sexuality. We have been told we are fun to have around and sexy. Both have a very good sense of humour. She is extremely hot, with an awesome body.We are looking at making friends and maintaining the friendships we've made so far. Honesty and respect is very important. We prefer meeting discreet couples who understand that taking time to get to know each other is important. We might want to talk about something after sex.... Thank you for reading our profile..."

Nairaland: Home of Nigerians and Friends of Nigerians.
THIS site has more than 500,000 members, with about the same number of topics under discussion, and is run by a dude called Seun Osewa. Before setting up this site, he started a place called Mobile Nigeria Forum. Mobile Nigeria Forum became Nairaland. Since then, Seun has apparently created other services allowing Nigerian motorists to avoid traffic jams in Lagos, among other things. I could be wrong. In a recent romance related discussion on Nairaland, a female called madlady remarked: "Nice guys are a rare bred, they deserve and get the best, in the end. Bad guys and fake good guys are ten a penny..."

Taking It Global: Inspire. Inform. Involve.
JOIN the largest online community of youth interested in global issues and creating positive change. That is the official spiel. Many of the members here come from Africa (statistically speaking, since Internet penetration in Africa is so low, the majority of members on this site are African.) While generally devoted to making the world a better place (fighting global warming, retiring African debt, etc) you can also play the field here romantically if you are so inclined. Discussion boards here are flourishing in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

One Love: Kenyan Singles.
Lava Place: Tanzania Singles, Dating, Personals.
"AM an african lady from tanzania," says Dodoma on Lava Place, she is aged 23. "i like wearing casual,am middle sized i aint slim. i would like to met different people without caring about their religion or ethinicity cause its on way to learn other people's culture..." Dodoma is one of many Tanzanian women seeking men on Lava Place, a dating site available in English and Russian. There are literally pages and pages of the girls. Take maisha, a 36-year-old Libran seeking an African-American male. "Im a women I dont have hasband no time to spend aIready tell you," maisha says.

Lurrenzinc: African Dating, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon.
Picture courtesy Lurrenzinc

THIS claims to be the fastest growing African social network boasting membership of thousands of beautiful African women, African girls and African men. By African women and men, Lurrenzinc basically means women and men from the countries of Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon, if my recent (April 17 2009) roadtrip was any guide. A lot of the west African dudes are pictured wearing hip hop gear. Apart from that, there is a splattering of members from more farflung corners of the west African diaspora such as Jamaica. Hopefully some Jamaican easy girls, not that I have ever had the chance to meet any! As well as hooking up, members can meet old school friends, promote their music, advance their career, share videos and photos and even watch African TV. has teamed up with top Nigerian telecommunication companies like MTN, Zain, Glo and Etisalat to bring to Nigerian members free recharge cards, which is a bonus if you are indeed Nigerian.
If you are lucky you could meet someone like Lish (pictured above), from Jamaica. Aged 22 in the year 2009, Lish claims to be looking for something "casual". Asked about her spending habits, Lish said she basically "spends money as soon as she gets it." Which would maker her a pretty good match for me, if Jamaican women were my thing...

Modern Ghana: Personals.
Picture courtesy Modern Ghana "AM looking for serious girl," posted Alfred Romantic here, on May 10 2009. "Hello all lady i am here for your love by i need those who are serious no games my name is alfred but my friend call me romantic in you like to be the one you can call me on my cell 0271976849 i am there for you kiss to you the ladys..."

One Love Net: Free Djibouti Dating.
I DON'T know the scene in Djibouti at all, I have never been there (although my brother Ben and his wife will be stopping in at Addis Adaba later this year, on their way to the treasures of Egypt.) I was in fact a little surprised to learn that they have a dating scene in Djibouti at all, but nonetheless, a scene they do have... partially online. At One Love Net you might occasionally get lucky, and find a Djibouti sista. The last time I checked up (mid April 2009) there were seven free Djibouti dating profiles, all of them (you guessed it) men looking for women. One men (aged 27) described his hobbies as thus: "Reading, writing, watching (watching what, exactly?), swimnming, shopping, kissing, singing and tourism)." Many of these being things which I also enjoy, for example travelling and people watching,..

Somali Net: SomaliNet Singles and Matrimonial.
SEX and the City it maybe not, but Mogadishu can be a swinging place to hang out, if you know the place. Or maybe not. One thing for sure is, no matter how rugged and rough conditions are on the street, you can always seek sanctuary and romance online. Perhaps this site aspires to become an online sanctuary for the Somali world. And east Africans in general. The last time I checked up there were 1028 male members, and 461 females. Hailing from such places as the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates... the United Africa Diaspora."
Here are some other sites you can check up on if you are looking for love in Mogadishu:
Mogadishu Dating Service: "Mogadishu dating women are the best women to get married with. They are beautiful, hard working, and they maintain and try to support their family relationship, respect their husbands, and usually let their men lead the family. When you meet with a Mogadishu girl, you will see what I am talking about here, and will see Mogadishu ladies are the most pretty women on the world. We want to say the beauty of Mogadishu women who are beautiful and gentle, patient and respectful to the Mogadishu custom; that is, they take a good care of their husband and children. Women in Mogadishu respect their men or their husband from the time they know their men until falling in love, and get married, and become the wives, they always respect the love that is giving by their husbands. A Mogadishu woman usually does not get divorced if she has an unfaithful husband because she always try to work it out to maintain her family and raise her children."
The hanging gardens of Mumbai, 2005

Die nuwe Afrikaanse Idol vir 2006. Contact the author Rob Sullivan at Anticopyright November 2011.