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There are other services that you might need from time to time including dating and matchmaking services.  While I cannot endorse these services, I can offer information here and some tips and ideas to help you make wise decisions about selecting them and using them.

EVEN BEFORE THERE WAS ONLINE DATING, THERE WAS THIS...

Update May 2, 2016  Even before there was online dating and even before there was the Internet, there was this other way to make connections: ID numbers on cars that were linked to a central registry so you could make contact without having to pull off the highway. The video report below is one that I did about this "singles club" back in the mid-1980s in South Florida. It really wasn't a bad idea because there was no telling lies about what kind of car you drove and there was no posting ten-year old photos like some people do on the Internet today.

SHERRI MURPHY LAUNCHES MATCHMAKING DIVISION FOR THE RICH AND FAMOUS

Update August 8, 2014  Murphy International Matchmaking of Beverly Hills which has been in the matchmaking business for 20 years has started a division that serves high profile singles including professionals, celebrities, politicians and high profile business people.  The company is a familiar name in the entertainment industry and has been featured on a variety of shows including the OWN Network and TVOne.  Their website is www.Murphy-International.com or you can call them at 323-487-8737 for information.

PAYING FOR ONLINE DATING SERVICES

Update December 29, 2013  If you sign up for an online dating service, carefully check your subscription and rules of the online company for how your subscription is charged and renewed.  Usually a credit card or debit card must be used to sign up and pay for membership and fees. 

You might think you are signing up for a one-month "test" but you might actually be signing up for an automatically renewing membership.  For example, a website advertises a one-month subscription at (for example) $23.99 but also a 3-month subscription at $49.99.  But you chose the one-month option because you only wanted to "test" the system even though the three-month subscription has a lower monthly cost.  At the end of the one-month "test" at $23.99 you might be automatically renewed and your credit card charged -- and this is because the "fine print" of the website calls for automatic renewals.  And the same might be true if you signed up for a 3-month trial -- and at the end of the three months that might also be automatically renewed. 

ONLINE DATING SERVICES 

I was a member of one online dating service and it made for some interesting dates and-- some miserable dates.  Use dating and matchmaking services carefully and wisely.  Be careful what you post online.  Be careful about the dates and meetings you make and I would always suggest first meetings in very public places such as restaurants and coffee shops.  Have fun when you can.  And best of luck.  (Gulp.)

USING SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AS DATING SITES

Update July 28, 2013  If there is a new trend in online dating it might be that singles are using social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and even Twitter as online dating sites.  The advantage of these sites is that they are free to join and you can strike up a conversation on these social media sites the same way you can on a pay-to-date site.  The objectives are still the same: find someone with similar interests who also is appealing and try to connect.  But LinkedIn which is supposed to be a site for business professionals might be a harder site for Romeos and Juliets to work.  Facebook is probably a bit easier to use, and you can send out a Tweet for just about anything these days.

Of course there are also the more conventional dating sites that are still available, and recently some specialty sites for certain demographics including over age 50 have started.

Spark Networks is a leading provider of online personal services in the United States and internationally with online dating sites such as JDate and Black Singles and Christian Mingle.  Spark Networks has been helping people make connections and foster meaningful relationships since 1997.   Spark Networks offers different sites that are targeted to specific markets and are dedicated to specific demographics and their interests.

IF YOU THOUGHT J-DATE WAS A CRAPS SHOOT, TRY MEET AN INMATE

Update May 2, 2012  Every so often we hear about a hot and trendy dating website.  Today, the news is all about the unique dating website www.meet-an-inmate.com because of some rather interesting news coverage it is receiving.

Yes, meet-an-inmate.com shows photos and prison profiles of inmates who would like to get to know you via the U.S. Mail, and please send them some postage stamps because, as many of them point out in their website profiles, postage stamps are hard to come by in prison.  By the way, in some cases sending those "Forever Stamps" might be appropriate.

In the interests of objective journalism, I checked out meet-an-inmate.com and found it is a lot like the other bigger-name websites such as Match.com and JDate.com.  You can select an inmate based on age and photo and a snapshot description of their lives such as education before prison, expected release date, and activities in prison.  But if you thought dating someone on J-Date was a craps shoot because pictures can lie, you really could be taking a chance on being surprised with meet-an-inmate.com.

But look, not all prison inmates are bad people.  Many of the profiles state in the very first line the same thing:  "I am honest and caring."  Some of the profiles leave no doubt as to what the Inmate has been doing for the last five, ten or fifteen years -- "I made a mistake, but I'm getting out soon."  And the release date just might coincide with your own release date -- when your divorce becomes final.

Anyone who has ever been on a "web date" knows that in person your date might have have absolutely no resemblance to their website photo.  And you have that risk also with meet-an-inmate.  You have to wonder when that photo in the bikini or the jogging suit or the party dress was taken?  It certainly wasn't their booking photo ten years earlier.

I'm not putting these folks down.  Just realize that some of these inmates -- even the cute girls who are showing their prom pictures and cheerleading photos -- were not sent to prison only for stealing hearts.  Some admit to drug-related convictions.  Some were convicted of DUI with a fatality.  You'll find a murderer or two.  You'll also find those wrongly convicted who have a lawyer, need some cash to fund their appeals, and they know they'll be getting out of jail in the fall years before their sentence is up because the appeals court will see it their way that they were wrongly convicted.

I think everyone should have a second chance at love, and a second chance at life, even after doing fifteen to twenty for battery.

My Dad and my Uncle grew up in the rough part of New York City in the 1930s and 1940s and many of their buddies were gangsters.  Real gangsters.  "But they were the greatest guys in the world," I was told even if they were still doing time when I was growing up in the 1950's.  When I look at the cute photos of the gal inmates it makes me wonder how such sweet looking gals could be behind bars?  But that only makes you realize that even sweet looking gals and good looking guys you see at work, or at the mall, or at a singles' bar could be doing things that will land them behind bars.

Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.  Our Best Buys TV Show has the best TV deals and is the only regularly scheduled weekly best deals TV show in Southern California.  We show you the best buys and best deals on TV and more deals and bargains on www.alanbestbuys.com and www.bestbuystvshow.com and watch for our Las Vegas TV show Vegas Best Buys.  Some of the content can come from paid advertising and from our advertiser paid TV infomercial programs.  The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.  AlanBestBuys.com has the highest ranking among competitive sites in Southern California according to the independent website ranking companies Alexa.com and Quantcast.com and our Best Buys TV Show is the most watched shopping and consumer information show in Southern California.

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