imageARE ONLINE DATING SERVICES TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD?
By: Edwin L. Crammer CPA – This Saturday, my beautiful wife and I celebrate our 50th wedding Anniversary. So what is a better time than now to talk about the business of online dating? The business of Social introductions has been around for a long time, as long as I can remember. Social introductions or as many people call it “Matchmaking” began many years ago. The social introduction business is where an individual sets themselves up into the business of matching single people who had trouble finding a suitable spouse or mate for themselves. These individuals turned to private organizations, that for a fee, helped them find the person of their dreams. Even today, with the advances in computer technologies these same types of services can be obtained through online dating sites, some of these direct in person sites still exist. If you look in the back pages of New York Magazine you will find a number of advertisements for these original types of dating sites still available.
Early in the history of television, a savvy television production company produced a show that played on this dating theme. “The Dating Game” was highly popular in the 60s and 70s. The premise of the show was that an individual either a single male or a single female would appear as a guest on the show. They would question three potential dates of the opposite sex, who were hidden from view, about various innocuous subjects. At the end of the show, the guest would choose one of the three contestants to go out on a date with him or her. The prize would be a weekend date, chaperoned at some resort hotel.
During that period, our family baby sitter, who was engaged to be married at the time, found out that her boyfriend was chosen to be a contestant on the show. Could you imagine the conversation between the two of them when he announced to her that he was chosen as a contestant. “Dear, guess what, I have been chosen to appear on the television show the Dating Game as a contestant. Don’t worry there is a one in three chance I will win.” What is the prize if you do win” she asks. He replies sheepishly, ” If I win I get to spend a weekend with the beautiful female guest, who chose me at a 5 star resort hotel, chaperoned of course”. She was not happy about this and was less happy when she found out that he had actually won. I am unhappy to say, the engagement broke up several months later.
​My only experience on the subject of online dating services is what other people tell me about their experiences with these types of sites and what I have read in other publications. However, I did have sort of an experience with an online dating site about 20 years ago which I will now relate to you.
​Approximately twenty years ago, I received a telephone call in my office here in Sunrise from a client who informed me that he was going to be starting up a new business in Fort Lauderdale. I asked him what type of business he was going to open. He told me it was going to be an online dating service. As you probably know, the Internet was in its infancy twenty years ago. I said to him, “what is an online dating service?” He went on to explain to me how it would work his company would get men and women to sign on to his service over the internet, pay a fee, at which time he would match them up for dates, all local.
​Two months later I went back to see him to find out how he was doing. He told me that the site was up and running, but the problem was he was getting a large number of women to sign up and only a few men. These women were paying a fee so needed to deliver the goods. His solution to the problem was to go out on a number of dates himself. This was so his clients would not ask for a refund. You also need to know that he was married at the time. The bottom line is about six months later his business failed along with his marriage.
​A lot has happened in the online dating business since then. Many new companies are springing up every day. The more prominent ones you have heard about such as Match.com and eharmony.com. But there are a number of specialty dating web-sites out there that you may not be aware of. I am not talking about Christianmingle.com or J-date.com
​Some of the unusual web-sites for dating out there are: FarmersDatingSite.com, for someone looking to hook up with a farmer. Here’s a cool one: Meet-An-inmate.com. Wow! Those dates can be quite interesting and finally PokerSingles.com for those of you who love gambling.
​The one online dating site that fascinates me the most it the one called AshleyMadison.com. This site is for married people looking to cheat on their spouses. I have not contacted them, but if any of you out there have, I would like for you to e-mail me with your experiences. If they are interesting I will discuss them in a future article, no names of course.
​It seems that people do not meet other people through traditional ways anymore. I do not know why, it may seem easier to go online and shop for a mate. Online shopping has become very popular in the last few years so why would it be any different to shop for a mate the same way.
​Over the last few years I have met a number of people who have found the love of their life through one on these dating sites. They have all sworn to me how happy they were in the results that they had achieved. On the other hand, I have not spoken to anyone about the bad results that they had in using one of these sites, These people would probably be too embarrassed to discuss this with me, or even let me know that they were using one of those sites. Therefore, the information regarding the results that I have received from the people I have spoken to are probably skewed. Because of this, I really cannot give a positive or negative opinion on these sites.
​As time goes by, more and more people are going to use one of these web-sites to find the love of their life. The barrage of advertisements on television for some of these major online dating sites, make it sound that this is the only way to go. My question in closing is does this method of choosing your mate take romance out of the art of dating. Only time will tell.
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I WONDER…….
​How many individuals who have signed up for the Affordable Care Act, realize next summer that they have been paying $400.00 or $500.00 more each month and the still had not satisfied their deductible. I wonder how many of those folks will say I have had enough, drop out and believe that the penalty is a better deal. I wonder?
You may contact Edwin L. Crammer at: Ed@www.eyeonsouthflorida.com

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