Category Archives: Insiders look

Insiders look into the business. What we’ve tried, what actually worked and what didn’t.

11 shocking facts about online dating

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Millions of people join dating sites each year, looking for their long-lost love or at least new friends to spend the days with. The vast majority do so without knowing much about online dating, except for all those urban legends, a few word-of-mouth reports and, of course, whatever the convincing advertisements say. For them, this list of 11 shocking facts about online dating in the United States, according to Statistics Brain, will be very enlightening.

71% of users believe in love at first sight

This fact can say a lot about the people who go online to find love. Perhaps they are die-hard romantics who wear their hearts on their sleeves, and believe there is one person out there that’s right for them. A big part of online dating is finding someone who will go on dates which are “no strings attached”. But the statistics don’t lie: finding true love is the ultimate goal for most. There is still some romance left in the dating world, even when it’s online.

20% of committed relationships began online

Some people swear by the convenience and success of online dating websites, while others disregard them as equally or more ineffective than regular dating. However, according to the statistics, internet dating does work for at least 20 percent of the people who make a commitment to keep at it. Starting a committed relationship with someone you met online is possible, just as it is with real-life dating.

17% of marriages are from online dating

Whether dating online or in person, the goal for many single people is marriage. They want to settle down, tie the knot, and start a family with the person they deeply love.  However, online dating may not be the best option for these people. Only an average of 17% of marriages are from relationships that began from online dating, and, with divorce rates in the U.S. skyrocketing, there’s no telling if those marriages will actually last.

18 months average courtship before marriage

Relationships take months and even years to develop before a couple finally decides to take the proverbial plunge. This is also true for online dating. After moving from trading messages, to meeting, to dating in real life, it can take an average of 18 months before online daters get married. Couples take time to decide if they are as compatible as the website made them seem.

38% of women prefer “nice guys”

Nice guys finish last? Not always. Squeaky-clean men don’t have to hide their natural personalities to attract girls online. It’s most likely a tired cliché that all girls like the “bad boy”. In actuality, women are usually more attracted to confidence, a sense of humor, and men who know how to treat women with the respect they most certainly deserve.

The men who are planning to alter their personalities online just to get a date should look at this statistic and think again. As people often say, just be yourself.

42% of men prefer “modern career girl”

This statistic tells us that a healthy percentage of men would rather date or commit to a modern career girl over someone who, perhaps, doesn’t have their life quite figured out. Just like women, men seem to want their potential significant others to be confident, assertive, and extremely independent. Maturity seems to be the most desired trait for both genders.

Women’s online desirability peaks at age 21

It’s common for women to get more private messages than men, especially if these women are 21 years old and younger. The number of women being contacted peaks for those who list their age at 21, declining steadily after this point. It’s a cliché, but it’s commonly believed that men are biologically programmed to chase younger and consequently more fertile women, which may be the reason for this statistic.

Younger women have most online pursuers

This is where the numbers get tricky. Although women’s online desirability peaks at 21, they have the most active pursuers around the age of 26. Close to half of men prefer a modern career girl, and a woman in her late 20s is more likely to have a stable career (or at least working to develop one) than a younger girl. However, 26 year old still fulfill the ‘youth’ preference of many men.

Older men have double the online pursuers of young men

In a trend which opposes that of men seeking women, the older that a man is in the online dating world, the more women will seek him out. This may be because older men are perceived to be more financially and emotionally stable, having lived a longer life with more character-building experiences than men in their 30s and 20s.

Men at this age have likely had more relationships too. As a result, they may be perceived to have developed more maturity. Maturity in men is a good sign that they’re more willing to commit to a long-term relationship or even marriage, which many single women will be seeking online.

Men lie about age, height, income

Men often lie about their personality or daily life in order to seem more attractive, just like with normal dating. It’s quite natural to tell a few white lies here and there. However, with online dating, men lie about their major physical attributes and financial stability -including lies about age, height, and income.

Men might be sabotaging themselves when doing so. Within just one date, women will quickly work out the lies regarding height and age, at least.

Women lie about weight, physical build, age

Women also lie in their online dating profiles. However, their lies differ from men’s with exaggerations or misinformation focused on their weight, build, as well as their age. This may be a side effect of a dating culture that focuses on women’s looks over their personalities and accomplishments.

As a result, they lie to seem more attractive to potential pursuers. It’s easy to list false information in a general profile, but it’s unclear how these lies impact the success of face-to-face meetings.

Source: TheRichest

Russian wedding traditions

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Russian traditional wedding is different from what people are used to in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Europe. There are no rehearsals, bridesmaids, and flower girls. The best man and the maid of honor are called “witnesses” or in Russian “svideteli”. The wedding celebration usually lasts for two days (or more) and requires preparation of about 1 to 6 months. The registration of marriage takes place at the department of public services or in Russian – “ZAGS”. Nowadays many couples also choose the church ceremony (source: Barynya).

1. Ransom for the bride

The groom is coming to the bride’s home with his closest friends and relatives. To get the bride he has to pay some ransom to the folks on the bride’s side. Everything is played out as a joke and both sides are mostly competing in the sense of humor. After getting the bride, the couple gets out of the house into the car (usually limousine) to go for the marriage registration. On the way from the house to the car groom and his crew also have to deal with the neighbors and kids, who all want coins, candies and free drinks. In return neighbors solute the couple and sprinkle them with coins and rice.

2. Orthodox marriage ceremony

If the couple decides to get married in the Russian Orthodox Church, the ceremony is usually 30 to 120 minutes long with all the Russian orthodox traditions taking place. Orthodox marriage ceremony is well described in Tolstoy’s books and other classical literature. I just have to mention that the ceremony is very beautiful and is almost breathtaking both for the couple and the guests.

3. Civil ceremony

The civil ceremony takes place at the department of public services (“ZAGS”). At the entry to the registration hall the couple is greeted by the guests with bread and salt. Afterwards they are led by the receptionist inside the hall, where the actual ceremony is held. The ceremony is about 15 minutes long and at the end of it the couple exchanges rings, says “I do” and signs the book of registry. Then they are pronounced the man and wife and walk out of the hall to the music of Mendelssohn played by the Russian Wedding Orchestra. The civil ceremony is an official part of the wedding but the real celebration starts afterwards.

4. Limousine and places

After the official part, it is customary for the bride and groom, and some of their close friends and relatives to go on a tour of the historic sites of the city, taking pictures and drinking champagne. In Moscow, popular stops include the Red Square, Grave of the Unknown Soldier and Sparrow Hills near Moscow State University. Usually by the end of the tour many guests are already singing and dancing.

5. Russian wedding reception

But all of the above is just a prelude to the main celebration – the gala feast! Unlike wedding receptions in the West, Russian wedding receptions are very loud and they last for two days or sometimes even longer. They include a lot of Russian music, singing, dancing, long toasts, and the abundance of food and drinks to go with it. The guests love to sing Russian traditional songs to the sounds of accordion, bayan or garmoshka.

Bread and salt

It is offered to the newlyweds by both parents as a symbol of health, prosperity and long life. Both bride and groom must take a bite of the bread and the one that takes the largest bite will be the head of the family!

Wedding toasts and broken glasses

At the beginning of the reception a relative or close friend makes a wedding toast to the bride and groom. By Russian tradition everyone throws their champagne glasses on the floor and it is considered a good luck if the glasses break when they hit the ground.

Stealing the bride

The groom should constantly keep his eyes on the bride. If the bride gets out of the groom’s sight, she could be stolen by his friends and the groom will have to pay the ransom.

5. Day number two

Celebration goes on with no less fun than the day before. After some rest more drinking, singing, dancing, and fighting takes place. Never miss the second day of the traditional Russian wedding.  There is a rule that the second day of the Russian wedding celebration is even more fun than the first day.

 

Online dating profiles: women choose nice guys over “bad boys”

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Online dating profiles: women choose nice guys over “bad boys”, but only after seeing they’re emotionally unavailable (source: Medical Daily).

The “nice guy” paradox asserts that although women say they want to date a nice, kind, sensitive  guy, when actually given a choice, women end up rejecting him for a “bad boy” with an alpha male personality. However, according to a Journal of Experimental Social Psychology study, this stereotype doesn’t apply to online dating: nice guys actually finish first compared to emotionally unavailable men with other salient characteristics, such as physical attractiveness.

Social psychologists conducted two experiments in which men and women viewed a series of online dating profiles that included different combinations of desirable and undesirable information about their physical appearance and their emotional availability.  The participants rated profile photos and, in addition, answers to questions that described how emotionally available the individuals are.

In the first experiment showed that women were more romantically interested in the emotionally responsive men when they had first looked at profiles of nonresponsive potential mates, compared to when they rated the profiles of emotionally responsive men first. These men were also rated as more physically attractive when their profile was viewed second, after nonresponsive men.

In the second experiment researchers focused specifically on how the order in which these profiles were seen affected interest in a potential date who was unattractive, but responsive. Participants only viewed two profiles and had to choose which they would prefer to date. Similar to what the first experiment found, the unattractive but responsive dates were much more likely to be chosen when their profiles were viewed after those of the nonresponsive potential dates. This dating choice did not depend on whether the person was attractive or unattractive.

“These results highlight the importance of the context in which dating decisions are made,” wrote the study authors. The order in which online dating profiles are viewed could boost someone’s odds of getting a date.

Another study found the best way to turn an online exchange into a real-life first date is to have the perfect handle, photos, and headline. Men preferred women with the most obvious screennames like “Blondie” or “Cutie” while women had a preference for screennames that indicated intelligence, like “Cultured.” When it came to the main photo, women liked a “genuine smile,” while men were intrigued by women who wear red and slightly tilted their head.

Also, you should be honest in your headline. The perfect description falls in a 70:30 ratio of what you are like to what you want. The typical yet effective, “Honest, good-looking, easy-going, educated female, good sense of humor, sporty, sociable, likes music and travel, seeks like-minded, good-natured guy to share quality times,” is viewed more often. Online daters are usually gender stereotypical, as men like fit women who do yoga but not bodybuilding, and women like bravery, courage, and risk-taking men more than kindness and altruism.

Our console for fighting scam

As scam is a hot topic in Russian dating, we explain a lot how much we’re interested in fighting scam. But one thing is to say, and another is to show how it works on our side. Here we go. As a blog author, I’d prefer our scam fighting tool looks like this: Fightscamtool

In reality, it’s nothing like that. Way less spectacular. This is the screenshot of the admin’s console in CuteOnly. The first thing to do for a day is check scammers (all removed for the day I took it).

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How scammers get to this list? We’ve got sophisticated algorithms working here, wrote by an invited mathematician genius (sorry, that’s a secret how they are functioning, we don’t want scammers know that).

This is how it looks on our side, the list of removed scammers for the previous day.
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I blurred out the personal data: spammers or not, we have a privacy policy and don’t disclose any personal identifiable information.
 
Weapon illustration courtesy of Bob Molesworth

Where do we get the girls?

Not a trade secret: mostly from search engines. Right now (May 1, 2013) we are #1 in the top Russian search engine, Yandex (60% of the market share) for the best search expression “знакомства с иностранцами” (could be translated as “date foreigners” or “meet foreigners”). Try it or see the screenshot:

How girls find CuteOnly?

How to recognize a scammer on a Russian dating site

Scammers, catched on CuteOnly, the Russian dating site

Here is a message we received from one of CuteOnly members, Robbie. Being a member for years, he met many girls and also got a proficiency in recognizing the true signs of scammers. Here’s his smart advice (text edited for publishing):

Most of the scammers are pretty easy to recognize. It came to my mind that there are 2 types of scammers: the “Sovjets” and the “Africans”. Continue reading

Payment gateways

When you deal with payment systems, it’s complicated. Payment systems are guys who process your credit card payments. But once you tell them you’re a dating site, many doors get shut. Continue reading

The new message center

The concept behind the current message center at CuteOnly is email.

  • Messages had subjects
  • There was a list of separate messages.

It leads to:

  1. Stupid subjects that all look alike. “Hi Jon”, “Hola love!” etc. People complain about fake emails.
  2. Chaos in the inbox. We don’t even have threads.

Now we switch to chat.

  1. No subjects needed anymore.
  2. Organized inbox. One person, one entry.
  3. Less clicking to respond messages.

Russian website for girls

It’s ugly now: www.cuteonly.com. It’s like every other shitty website in the market. Now we want to turn it. We need it

  • beautiful
  • standing
  • funny.

What to start with? With ass grabbing of course. Here’s the screenshot:

Translations are fun

A few years ago a girl posted her profile using our automated translation tool called Prompt. And the translation tool gave us this:

First intercourse, than will see.

What she meant was “First a conversation, than will see”. Sure not a sexual intercourse.