Romantic Valentine’s Day in Six Words: Show Her the Sweet Creative Side

It seems the whole world has gone six-word crazy. Couples can join the craze, be creative and show each other how much love inspires on this Valentine’s Day.

Inspiration for Six-Word Memoirs

The idea of the six-word “book” or memoir originated with Ernest Hemingway. Known for his brevity and for being succinct in his writing, he boasted he could write a novel in six words. This is what he came up with: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Those few words tell a tale of sadness, but they inspired Smith Magazine to begin a search for six-word memoirs from writers, “famous and obscure.”

The first book, Not Quite What I was Planning (Harper Perennial) edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith, was a huge success, making the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks. It told tales of love found and love lost, of lives torn apart and brought together, of drama and tragedy, and of lives fully lived, all in six words. Life stories distilled.

Even Newsweek got in on the act. It now carries a section for writers to sum up the stories they’ve read in six words. Now in its new re-formatted version the magazine solicits six-word comments on the topic of the week. Thousands have written in and several are published in each edition.

Love Life in Six Words

The second book, Six-Word Memoir on Love & Heartbreak (Harper Perennial) also edited by Fershleiser and Smith, was a success too and focused exclusively on tales of lovers and of love lost and found. It is touted as “five hundred love stories, all in one book,” by the Smith Magazine website. The tales are sad: “It hurts worse in French” – Derek Pollard. And uplifting: “At twelve found soulmate, still together” – Nancy Miner. All creative and clever and inspiring. Putting together a little gift basket with the book, chocolates and of course flowers would certainly show a boyfriend or girlfriend he or she is special. But, writing personal six-word memoirs about the relationship would be even better.

Love Poem in Six Lines of Six words

It can be daunting, to write six-word “sweet-nothings.” Here is how. Couples should think about words describing feelings for that special person and write them down. It could be: “You make me feel so ________” (special, loved, inspired, fuzzy) whatever is personal to the couples relationship. Or it may be some act that is unique to just her . “You always kiss me good night.” To continue with the theme six lines of six words works well.

Yes, the whole world seems to have joined the cause of summarizing life and love in six words, but couples can join and still have it unique to their love. “I know you can do it!”


How to Personally Connect Online after the Initial Contact is Made

You’ve already had the first contact made, whether it was a wink or some other expression of interest. Maybe it was a good first letter. But often people get stuck after that and feel that letter writing is artificial and it’s difficult to connect. You don’t know what to write about and what to say.

Look at the Profile

Really. The profile of your interest is where you can get some of your best ideas from. What are the hobbies and interests expressed in the profile? If you wrote someone with an empty profile and got a response, then you could be in trouble. Why did you write that person? Purely because of the picture? Even so, you’re not lost! You can mention that the profile you read is blank, even tease a little about that and say that they must be hiding their interests or have a lot of secret, is your interest a spy? Or maybe someone with a secret identity?

The profile also includes career and other information. If this is something that you can relate to, ask about that and how the person got into it. What does s/he like about it? Do they see themselves doing that in 10 years? Not only does it give you an opener, it tells you a little about what this person thinks of the work world and his future career.

Get Clues from the Other Person’s Letter

You’ve had at least a wink, flirt or basic letter from the other person. Ask about it! There is no nicer opener than saying, “Hey, I noticed you noticing me. What was it that you liked about my profile?” And then go on a bit about the note or something in that other person’s profile. It’s always easy to relate and write about what the other person says. Even if you have to do a little research into it, that shows that you are genuinely interested in the other person, and not just the pictures.

Always be Polite

Never talk about sex, politics, or controversial topics in the first few emails. Save that for until you actually know the person a little better. Maybe after a few phone calls, or even a few dates, would be better to talk about areas that tend to get people’s emotions stirring. And sex is a topic to avoid until after a few dates for sure!

When writing letters, make sure to spell check them twice. The first is by using a spellchecker on your computer. The second is by reading it out loud to yourself. There you will notice such simple errors as using the wrong typing of a word, such as writing the word “manger” instead of “manager”, which your spellchecker won’t catch.

Be Yourself – Really!

Don’t play act and write what you think the other person wants to read. Just write your own thoughts and opinions. And always be truthful, especially about who you are. Any lies and falsehoods are only going to come out in the long run, and then your whole relationship is gone. And you don’t really want that, do you?

All the best! And good luck in your online search for love.


Writing an Effective Online Dating Profile

Writing an effective online dating profile that attracts people you are most interested in and compatible with can be a daunting task, but it needn’t be. By following some very simple tips you can make sure you are meeting people for coffee, dating people you enjoy being with and increasing your odds of finding that quality relationship you seek.

Be Positive

Your online profile is the first introduction to you that others see. Make it the most positive reflection of who you are. Stay away from laundry listing things you don’t like or want to avoid. Mention that you are looking for someone who is achieving his own goals and dreams in life is far more positive than stating if you don’t have a job, don’t contact me

Be Honest

Never lie. It will come back to haunt you. If you smoke, declare it. If you are trying to quit, declare it. Lying about your age, height, vices or lack of vices will not get you anywhere. You might get the first date, but you are guaranteed never to get any more. Deception is never a good way to begin a relationship because the very basis for a quality lasting relationship is trust. Don’t start eroding that foundation before you’ve even met the person.

Tell Enough But Not Too Much

The challenge of writing an online dating profile is to arouse interest and create the desire for the person viewing your profile to want to know more. Tell about yourself but resist the opportunity to tell all. You don’t need to mention you’ve been divorced twice or that you are currently on a debt repayment program since the divorce. There is plenty of time to tell that to the people who are interested enough to spend time with you past a second or third date. Remember, the online dating profile is a snapshot, not the full volume of you.

Let Your Personality Show Through

Try to avoid listing things you like to do and things you want in a prospective partner. Anyone can make a list. Share more about your perspectives, thoughts, goals, and lifestyle. Instead of simply saying “I like hanging out by the backyard pool in the summer”, say “During the summer months you’ll most likely find me poolside with a mixed drink, some close friends, steaks on the barbie and tunes from the iPod, while we swap stories about last weekend’s camping misadventures.” The latter gives the reader some insight into your preferences and your lifestyle. Your laid back personality that enjoys time with friends outdoors shows through in a memorable and engaging way.

Follow the Rules of Good Writing

You don’t have to be a published author to write a decent online profile but paying attention to spelling, punctuation and correct grammar will increase your odds of getting dates. People generally skim profiles the first time through to get a feel for the tone of the person writing the profile. If someone is interested they will go back and reread your profile in more depth. Profiles that are filled with spelling errors, typos, poor grammar and lacking punctuation are too difficult to read and are more likely to be passed over. People do make judgments about you based on how well you write. Make sure you get a friend to help if you are not confident about your writing ability.

Post Photos

A photo doesn’t tell all but it does let the person know you are confident enough in yourself and your appearance to post a photo. It indicates that you are a genuine person and not someone other than who you say you are. Post several photos of yourself to give people an idea of what you really look like. Make sure your photos are recent. Posting photos that are outdated or inaccurate are not helpful and can be considered deceptive when you finally meet the person. Include photos in a variety of settings and include some full body shots. This helps your prospective date get an idea of what you look like and what your lifestyle is like as well. When you meet for the first time your date will appreciate being able to recognize you. He/she will also figure that if you told the truth with your photo you probably told the truth with the rest of your profile too.

Read Other Profiles

If you are struggling with writer’s block, then take a break and do a reverse search. To do this, in the search boxes just enter in the preferences for the people who are most like you to see what others your age and sex are writing. For example, if you are a 35-year-old female, enter in the search criteria that you are male looking for women 30 to 40 years of age. This will give you a listing of all the women and their profiles. Read what other people are writing and how they are crafting their profiles. The really positive interesting ones will stand out. Maybe someone did something creative with their headline or their section that is in their own words that will spark ideas for something you can try. Maybe there is something every one else is doing (posting pictures of their boat, motorcycle, house, etc) that you can avoid doing. Simple little differences like this are sure to get noticed by the observant online dater.

Remember, it is never okay to copy another person’s writing or take their words. You have to use your own, but looking at how others approached the same task is sometimes a good place to start if you simply need ideas.

Following these few simple steps when writing your online dating profile will be valuable in helping you get dates with the people whose company you will most enjoy. It takes some time, a little bit of thought and effort but if you end up in a lasting relationship as a result, won’t you think the effort was well worth it?


Working With an Online Dating Consultant

Internet dating is a great way to meet new people, but it can be frustrating when responses are slow. Online daters may wonder what they are doing wrong, or perhaps even feel a bit of self-doubt at the lack of interest. For someone to be successful with Internet dating, it takes two things: a great profile and the right approach.

Examples of Good Dating Profiles

A great Internet dating profile helps showcase the personality of the dater. Each dater is unique, and the profile should give a sense of the dater’s likes, humor, intelligence and interests. A potential date should get an idea of what the person would be like to hang out with by reading the profile. In short, it should generate enough interest that the person reading it will want to send an email in order to start a conversation.

Part of the secret in getting a great profile is having it written by a professional. Daters who are not skilled in writing can benefit from hiring an online dating consultant. The key in working with a writer is to make the profile sound every bit as unique and special as the person it represents.

Where to Find Internet Dating Consultants

Online dating profile writers can be found in a variety of places. Many dating sites offer a professional writing service, but daters can also find consultants through blogs and other popular dating advice websites. Many times online dating consultants have written books on the subject, so a quick browse through or even the local bookstore can net some places to start.

Making an Internet Dating Profile Stand Out

Internet dating sites offer hundreds and sometimes even thousands of different profiles. So creating one that stands out from the rest can be a challenge. Daters should work closely with their online dating consultant to make sure their profile sounds like them. Everyone has a unique way of looking at the world, and a profile should reflect that.

A good Internet dating consultant will interview a dater to get a sense of his voice, style, and even what he is looking for in a potential match. Consultants will also offer suggestions on profile pictures, the right headline to use, the best search criteria, and how to answer the short-answer questions.

An online dating profile is much like a billboard. It’s meant to attract attention. That doesn’t mean every single person who responds will be a perfect match, but it does mean more of the right people will want to start a conversation.


Tips for Reading Men’s Profiles on Online Dating Sites

Women who are dating after a divorce are often a bit older than the never-married gals on or other online dating sites. Since divorced women have been out of the dating scene for a while, they may benefit from these small tips.

Men’s Dating Profiles

No woman can ever really get to know a man through his online dating profile, however, there are some key phrases that require special attention and more investigation. Sometimes nice guys write the same phrases that jerks or slackers write, but nice guys don’t mean them in the same way. So it may not be necessary to delete a man’s profile because of one red flag. All women need to look at the phrases in context and decide if there is a pattern of problematic areas.

Some fellows have no idea what to write and just repeat things they have heard before. is only one of many good dating sites, however all sites have similar sections where a man can write his biography and describe his ideal girlfriend. On the main essay section is called “About Me and Who I’m Looking For”.

“About Me and About Who I’m Looking For”

When reading a man’s profile, look to see if the fellow has written a long essay about himself and no one else. Should his profile be renamed “About Me”? Some guys really do not know what to write, but with other men, everything in life really is all about them and no one else. Look at the rest of the guy’s profile to see if there is a pattern.

Also, is there a long list of things that the man wants, or does not want, in a girlfriend? A woman should reread this section to see if the man sounds like a control freak or a perfectionist who can never be satisfied.

Possible Red Flags

Women should remember that they are trying to understand a man through his written words. It is easier for a gal to misinterpret written words than words spoken by a man who is right in front of her. However, here are a few phrases that might give away an irresponsible man:

  • “I love to just hang out.” He might be broke. (Or, this phrase can also mean that he’s shy.)
  • “I like to be spontaneous and ready to take off on a moment’s notice.” Will this guy take off when the rent is due?
  • “I like to play pool and darts.” This sounds like a man who has spent a fair amount of time in bars.
  • “I’ve done a few different things in my career.” This could mean that the guy is not successful or cannot keep a job. It could also mean that he has started a better job with each move, though that is less likely.
  • “Just started a new job.” This may mean he is broke.

Here are phrases that have to do with relationships and a guy’s relationship history. Sometimes a man says more about himself than he knows.

  • “I don’t like to play games.” He was hurt in his last relationship.
  • “I’m easy to talk to.” He may want someone to listen to him and his problems.
  • “I treat people with respect.” This means that he wants to be treated “with respect”, whatever that means.
  • “I don’t want to possess or control you.” This often means just the opposite.
  • “Looking for an independent woman.” He wants a woman who can pay her own way. He might be looking for a “mommy”.

Words and Phrases

Try to read between the lines. These are possible translations of what a man probably means to say. Some of these phrases are not necessarily bad.

  • “Hardworking.” This usually means he’s blue collar, but a solid guy.
  • “Fine dining / gourmet dining.” He’s blue collar, but he tries to please and impress a woman.
  • “Baggage.” No matter how a man mentions this, it usually means he has “baggage”. (Everyone does, but what matters is if his “baggage” controls his new relationships.)
  • “Excitement and romance.” This means, “Sex with someone new.”
  • “Hopeful / hopeful romantic.” This man is just about to give up his search for a girlfriend. He may be willing to do more for you than some of the other contenders.

The phrases above are just a handful of hundreds of common phrases that men write in their profiles. And, remember that it’s impossible to know a man without meeting him at a safe and public place, like Starbucks.

While it usually takes a long time to find a nice guy online, they are out there. So, try not to overlook decent, solid guys who might not be “Mr. Excitement” but might make good, loving husbands. All women, who are dating after divorce, should look for these phrases and other patterns as they read men’s online profiles.


What About Those Internet Dating Sites?

Most of the sites are real, but the same cannot be said for some of the people who post on them.

How To Tell the Real From the Fake

Don’t depend on the site operators to tell you. The more posts they get, the more money they make. To be sure, there are a lot of genuine and sincere people looking for that special person to fit in their life. The problem is separating the real from the false. It’s entirely up to you to do all the homework. It’s time consuming, bothersome, and oftentimes frustrating, but well worth your while. The pictures can be phony, or the text, or both. Use your head as well as your heart.

Internet Dating – Red Flag Alert

This one is simple and easy to remember and should raise all the red flags in your mind. Ask them a LOT of questions, and then sit back to receive the answers and wonder why they haven’t asked you any! It’s a no-brainer. They don’t care. It’s all about them. There are some who call these on-line dating sites The good, the bad, and the ugly. For those in the know, it can be one, or all of these. With traditional dating sites it may be harder to detect a red flag as people usually message, which allows time to think of answers carefully. One has a much better chance to detect issues early by encouraging another party to get on the phone. Alternatively, there are free phone chat line out there that provide callers with ability to meet people by talking on the phone in real time. Chatting on the phone would save time on waiting for messages and help detect red flags much faster.

It’s All About Money

Many dating sites are free, if you can put up with all the ads they post there and hope you click on. Or, they try to lure you into paying for their “gold” membership to get rid of all the ads. Others will charge whatever they think the traffic will bear. The Online Publishers Association shows dating statistics from 2014 (up considerably at this date) that consumers spent $302 million on paid personals and dating content. Sites are listed by every imaginable consideration. Teens, Seniors, Disabled, Religious, ethnic, multi-racial, transgender, and a host of others.

About Those Dating Site Pictures

Are they real pictures of the person posting the ad? Some will place pictures of a good looking friend, or even a professional model. One big tip-off to a fake is one single picture. Maybe that’s all they could get or find. Ask for lots and lots of pictures. If they’re sincere, they’ll send them. Some on line sites have employees who will send you a wink or e-mail and want you to renew your subscription. They have many people to contact and will move on quickly. It’s time they can’t afford to spend on you, but your own time spent could well be the best investment you ever made.

Pay Attention to Your Gut Feelings

You’re not always going to be right, but you’re going to be right more often than wrong. Remember the old saying, “if it looks too good to be true…..” Before you dive head on into the deep side of the pool do everything you can to check out everyone you want to move any closer. One way or another, you’ll be glad you did.


Do you want to get serious or have some serious fun?

Theory #1 – There are those of us who date with one purpose, and that is to find a mate. We are dating until we find our life-long partner (“the one”), and then we will stop dating others. This will ideally lead to engagement and marriage. End of story, and that was simple, right? R-I-G-H-T! If only it were that easy!

What I am seeing an increase in, and I have yet to decide if it’s alarming to me or not, are those who date just to date. That brings me to Theory #2 Perhaps you are not interested in a long-term relationship. Maybe you are not interested in settling down and have no intention of becoming serious. But you are dating to have fun, to get out and get to know different people.

You may be dating to date for a variety of underlying causes. Perhaps you were just hurt badly in a previous relationship that ended, and you want to stay ‘on the scene,’ and don’t want to be home alone, but you are dating casually to protect yourself from becoming over-committed.

You may not have time for the personal, let’s call it ‘maintenance,’ the ups and downs that come with a steady relationship so maybe you just date on a casual level for something to do.

Maybe you are doing this for self-discovery, and to learn what you like and don’t like in potential mates, or more importantly, what you need and do not need.

Does your date know you are seeing other people? Do they know your intent is to get ? For those of you dating to date people . . while honesty may be difficult, and you may and will be tempted to play along if you like the guy/girl when they become more serious, I stress the importance of communication, tactful but open honest communication. It will save so many problems, heartache, and injured feelings down the road.