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TargetLove crosses the pond as a feature in the BBC News

Taking on the role as a modern-day cupid, TargetLove is helping the lovelorn find their way. The article also discusses the controversy around such a service. What do you think?

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An explanation of Virtual Dating, and why you don't need to Do-It-Yourself

Tired of trolling through online dating sites? If so, I guess you're not alone. Check out this article which discusses how to hire out the entire online dating process. One small caveat is that you are still required to show up for the dates. There is also a quick mention of TargetLove's writing services in the middle of the piece.

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TargetLove is featured in Matchmaking Article in Washington Post

I wanted to repost this article as I've been getting more and more inquiries around the business of matchmaking. This article is a quick learn on the field, plus, it also features TargetLove, and ahem, a photo of yours truly. Since I'm in teacher-mode, the pic isn't the most flattering, but you get the gist. Enjoy!

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TargetLove featured on NPR and Sirius Talk Radio Show!

While the Mid-Atlantic storm of 2010 kept most folks indoors and out of the blistering cold, Nancianne Sterling fought the elements in order to make her radio debut on the Diane Rehm Show on WAMU 88.5 FM. Nancianne was on a panel of esteemed guests to discuss the pros and cons of online dating along with:

Ellen McCarthy, reporter, Washington Post

Helen Fisher, Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University.

Gian Gonzaga, senior director of research and development, eHarmony and head of eHarmony Labs

Click here to listen to the online dating segment. (Once directed, click on Real Audio, or Windows Media Player to start audio stream.)

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Online Dating Seminar Makes Television Debut Wednesday, May 21th at 11pm EST

Yes indeedy. The TargetLove.com online dating seminars are generating interest, and not just from singles. On the May 21st 11 o'clock news, WUSA9 (Washington DC CBS affiliate) is airing a segment on the "TargetLove.com seminar" as well as a live webchat afterward with yours truly.

So, what exactly will the webchat entail? Not exactly certain, but below is the insert from the Channel 9 news page:

Online dating: do you know how to make your profile stand out among all the others? Do you know what to write and not write online? Need some advice on attracting that perfect man or woman?

Wednesday night, from 10:45pm-11:45pm, join 9NEWS NOW's live web chat with Nancianne Sterling of TargetLove.com. She'll help you get that perfect digital dream date. All you have to do is log onto wusa9.com.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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Dating 101

This Washington Post article will give you some suggestions to kick your dating life into high gear! And, you'll note the reporter's mention of TargetLove toward the end of the article. Enjoy!

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▣ February 25, 2008

Searching is like voting, you can't complain about the outcome unless you do it!

So frequently I hear people say the following:

"I tried online dating, and no one good wrote me, so I removed my profile after three weeks."

Way to put yourself out there.

Try to think about this a bit differently. Let's say that I am interested in finding a new job. So, I completely update my resume and display it on any one of the huge, well-known online job sites. Three weeks go by. The only responses that I get are from companies that want me to do 100% commission, cold-calling sales jobs when my resume clearly states an interest in working with established customers. That wasn't the type of work I wanted, so why did they even bother?

Well, actually, as a sales professional, I have an answer to that question:

1. I never specifically said that I did NOT want a commission-based job. I mean, some cold-calling jobs have an amazing financial upside. Perhaps they were hoping that I was motivated by the money.

2. The turnover in those types of jobs is very high, so they are probably always looking for new sales associates.

3. They read enough of my resume to see the word "Sales"

4. It is really easy to contact anyone and everyone.

Based on my results from this three week trial, I can conclude that posting a resume on a big career website is hopeless because I did not find anything that I wanted. I'm not going to use resume sites anymore. I'll just find a new job if a good one comes my way.

So, do you see the parallels here? It's easy to become frustrated when things do not go as smoothly as we hope. And whether it is job hunting or online dating, you're going to hear from people that you do not desire because contacting you online is very easy. However, if you're old enough to read my blog you probably know that life is full of challenges and unpredictability. The goal is to work on those things in which we do have control.

Now, looking at these above setbacks as opportunities, here are some suggestions:

1. Be proactive about searching. Job postings and dating profiles are added, updated, and removed constantly. Running a daily query of the ones that interest you will still give you thousands of options. In online dating, I advise doing extremely meticulous searches so that you can see all those eligible with the traits that you desire.

2. Target better. I mentioned in my job hunting example that my resume mentioned my interest in account management role. I could go a step further, BE MORE SPECIFIC and mention that I am interested in account management, particularly in the healthcare industry. This is also applicable to dating profiles.

3. Tailor each email communication as though it were a phone conversation. If "Hey, how are you doing? I really like your profile, give me a shout!" is not what you'd say over the phone, why would you make that your first impression over email? The former can also be said for cover letters.

I know that some of these suggestions might be no-brainers, but sometimes in the frenzy of it all it is nice to be reminded.

If you have any topics that you would like to see discussed, please email me.

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▣ January 21, 2008

Nancianne, Why do men ask us for our phone numbers and then never call?

Let me tell you a little story. Slick Rick meets Sweet Susie at the local watering hole. Rick and Susie end up chatting over a couple of festive beverages for 45 minutes. Rick asks Susie for her number. Susie obliges. Rick then leaves the scene never to be heard from again.

Luckily for Slick, it turns out that he has entered into the witness protection program to save himself from the hoards of women around town that are in pursuit of his elucidation. After all, hunting season is in session.

But, just in case the witness protection program did accept your man's application, here are several other "reasons" as to his vanishing.

He felt obligated. Guys don't want to hurt your feelings or cause an awkward situation. In fact, most of them want to avoid this more than they do Oprah. After conversing with a woman for an extended period of time, some guys think it would be rude to just up and leave, so, to avoid being uncouth, they ask for your number prior to departure.

Fear of rejection. So, he's a wimp. Why are so many guys such weenies? Clearly rejection is an ego blow, but it goes beyond just that. What men desire most is to be admired and respected by women. Being blown off by a woman makes a guy feel that he is less than a man. For a lot of men, being a weenie at least leaves them with the notion that things stopped on their own terms.

Feels stupid the next day. Perhaps Slick Rick had two beverages with Susie, but before Susie showed up he finished off a six-pack and then had another three beverages after their convo. Rick recalls the night as a blur. He's certain that Susie must have been amused by his behavior, and feels a bit of a douche. Or, even if Rick does not come to the realization, Rick's more sober friends inform him of his behavior and tell him not to call. And, like the douche that he is, Rick listens.

He's got game. It's not just for the NBA. Like that three pointer game at Six Flags that costs $10 to win the cheap, stuffed animal, guys don't do it for the prize (which would be you, of course!), they do it to boost their seemingly low self-esteems. After Rick left the scene he displayed Susie's digits to Bob and Joe, proving yet again that he’s heard his slick nickname.

So, that may bring us to another question. Ladies, should we ask men for their numbers so that we can ensure follow-up?

The short answer to that question is no.

If a woman asks a man for his number, men presume that she will not call. Really. In fact, a man who really wants to hear your voice again will ask that the number exchange be mutual. Or, if the girl is worried about giving out her number, he'll suggest getting an email address.

I know there is that he's just not that into you vibe with my answer, but it holds true. Granted, there might be that rare instance where a Type A gal and a type B fellow meet up and she ends up calling and it works out, but don't count on it. If you really want to increase the likelihood of hearing from your Rick again, give him your email address. Men feel less threatened by rejection via writing (I'm sure I'll address the issue of "Getting Dumped on Gmail" soon). There is no one-on-one awkwardness with it and he can craft his response to you.

Finally, there are those intangibles, those things that we'll never really know. Maybe Rick was casually dating Adrianna Lima and he's gotten the green light from her. Or he lost your number. (Most guys program those into the cell phone these days, so not likely). Or he got the call to move to Albuquerque. Regardless of the scenario, Slick Rick had to give it all up for the witness protection program because he's a weenie. Susie is better off this way. She doesn't want to date a weenie. And neither do you.

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▣ January 14, 2008

Dear Nancianne, Even though I live in a big city and I know people who have online dated, I still can't help but see online dating as a last resort. I mean, there are lots of ways to meet people where I live, and use of the Internet is associated with those people that can't find a mate in the usual ways. -Amelia

Thank you for your honesty. I live in Washington DC. There are lots of places to go and organizations to join where one could meet singles. In fact, some events are specifically designed for singles so that they can meet each other without the awkwardness of the "So, are you in a relationship?" hurdle.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Challenge #1: If I join a running club and start dating Speedy Sam, that's wonderful. If Sam and I break up, I probably won't continue to be in the running club because it would be strained. Even if I stay in the club, I could probably kiss off the idea of meeting another guy because these people know Sam, and that makes me off limits. Worse, I might have to see that Sam found another woman, and I don't need that.

Challenge #2: If there is a singles event coming up this Thursday and I'm planning to spend my $40 and attend, I probably have the potential to meet a guy. However, I most likely will not meet more several guys because if guy #1 sees me flirting with guy #2, his ego will be bruised, he may fear rejection, and decide not to call me. Another realistic possibility is that on Thursday afternoon I come to find out that my work has a client deliverable pushed up to Friday morning. Goodbye singles event.

Challenge #3: Sexy Seth talks to me at The Pub on Saturday night and asks me out. Perfect. We go out twice. On our second date I come to find out that Sexy Seth does not want children. As someone who really wants a family, I know that he and I could never work. Unfortunately for me, such discussions are taboo in initial meetings. I was wasting my time going out with Seth. I could have been spending that time looking for a guy that is a good fit for me.

I could have been using an online dating site.

Online dating is a solution to every stumbling block mentioned in the above examples and then some. Here are some awesome benefits to finding a mate online:

You can search for mates at 3am
You see someone's values before you meet
Everyone online is single and looking
Chatting with several people simultaneously is realistic

Online dating should be revered as the way savvy people find a match, but it's not.

And we're the problem.

I've met many good men online, had several relationships, and been to weddings of friends who met online. Yet, when people asked me how I've met my boyfriends, I'd pause for a second, look down and give a reply such as "Well… actually, believe it or not… we met online."

I was a schmuck for giving such an answer. I should have been shouting off the walls how a great profile and a great attitude toward online dating can net you some great dates.

Every person who has met a great man or woman online should tell someone else about his/her experience. In business, this is called viral marketing. If normal people like you and I spread the word about the benefits of online dating then eventually people will start to see the concept through our lenses.

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▣ January 7, 2008

Do you and your mate speak a different language?

I have had a couple of boyfriends over the last five years. Each relationship was very different from the next. However, there was one thing that all the relationships had in common.

I bought every one of these men a copy of a book entitled The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.

I read this book back in 2001 on a recommendation from my friend, Brian. Brian had been married for ten years at the time, so I didn't really think this book would be applicable to me. I was wrong.

Below is a solid review of the book that I found on Amazon.com:

In Chapman's theory, there are five key ways in which people express and understand love. These five "languages" are Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Chapman believes that while some people can often express and understand love in any number of these languages, we all have a primary love language through which we are most comfortable expressing and receiving love. He goes on to say that tension in relationships often stems from not understanding the other person's primary love language --- not understanding how the other person is communicating their love and how that person needs to be communicated to in order to understand they are loved.

Though Chapman originally framed his teaching on the love languages in the context of marriage, it quickly became clear that people in all stages of life were connecting with the concept of the languages. And over the last several years, he has tailored his message for different groups in books including THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN, THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF TEENAGERS, THE LOVE LANGUAGES OF GOD, and now, THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES FOR SINGLES.

After reading this book I realized that I did not even know my own love language. I craved Quality Time from the men I dated because very few of them were able to give it to me. Naturally, I assumed Quality Time to be my primary love language. It is not. After reading the book, I recognized that quality time did not mean much to me unless it was coupled with Words of Affirmation. When all is said and done, I need those affirming words to feel loved. The quality time is secondary.

Of the four men for whom I purchased this book, I'm averaging .250 in successful completions. One guy told me to give him an executive summary. I did and he told me quality time was too much to give with his successful career. The next one read a few chapters but never anymore. The third BF never read it. Like Bachelor #1, he was very busy billing hours to his client. However, he did seem to make time for novels that he chose himself. Only the fourth, actually read the book.

Two caveats worth mentioning: First, Gary Chapman's writing is categorized as Christian because he is a pastor by trade. While he does have biblical references/teachings in the book, the overarching themes definitely reach across to the secular pond. Second, the Five Love Languages for Singles can be preachy and very conservative for the average reader. For this reason, I’d still recommend the original book, The Five Love Languages or The Five Love Languages for Men, regardless of your current relationship status.

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