Get Ready for eHarmony's Free Communication Weekend, 7/3-7/7

Looking for sparks that last after Independence Day? Listen up! eHarmony is having a free communication weekend, starting Thursday, July 3 until Sunday, July 7. "Free" sounds exciting, but singles always complain that they can't get enough accomplished during these four days. To solve your dating woes, here's a guide to help optimize your free trial:

1. Act quickly. Sign up as soon as the offer starts. Take the personality tests, complete your profile and upload your photo right away. You only get a select number of matches each day, so the sooner you complete your account, the sooner you can start eFlirting. Reviewing your matches each day will assure you get the maximum amount of connections during your complimentary trial.

2. Don't skimp. Fill out your profile completely — including photos — and put some thought into it. If you skimp on information, your matches won't be as responsive and your time won't be as productive.

3. Say yes to maybes. Go through your matches and start communicating. If you think someone's a "maybe," go for it. You never know who might surprise you! Maximizing the time you have and broaden your horizons.

4. Be available. A lot of new members will be taking advantage of this free weekend, so expect quicker response times. Choose the fast track so you can create the strongest bond possible before the trial ends. 

5. Download the app. If you're going to be out and about, download the app so you can stay connected and get offline with your matches sooner.

6. Give contact info. If your trial is coming to a close and you don't think the site is for you, give your contact info to all of your matches so you don't lose touch. Set up a separate Gmail account so your full name remains secure.   

7. Don't feel pressured. If you're not intrigued by a particular match, don't think that you have to go out with him or her. Just because you went through several steps of communication doesn't mean you should feel pressured. Trust your instincts. 

8. Meet sooner. You don't have to exchange a million emails before you meet. Just be sure to meet in a public place and plan something non-committal, like coffee or a drink.

9. Join! If you liked the experience, join the site. You can continue to communicate uninterrupted and will get a steady stream of new matches. 

10. Don't get discouraged. If your weekend wasn't as successful as you had hoped, that doesn't mean that online dating isn't for you. Nine times out of 10, it just means that you were on the wrong site! A dating site is only as good as your matches on it. Most major paid sites offer trials, and if you follow this blog you'll be in the know. In fact, Match.com offers three free days anytime!

Happy eFlirting!

Happiness Helps [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Ashley Parsons

Between all the new faces and initial-message anxiety, online dating can be rough! But did you know that meeting new people can actually make you happy? This infographic from Skout gives a bunch of fun info on happiness and how it can help.

Dos and Don’ts: What to Do About Writer’s Block

From Lovestruck

We’ve all been there: trying to think of something witty to say in your opening email to someone. So you sit, fingers poised for what seems like hours, waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, the page remains annoyingly blank.

Let’s face it, writing a good first message when online dating is critical to success. There’s no denying that something that sparks that person’s interest could definitely lead to more conversation, a date and a relationship – and maybe even, your happily ever after.

Here at Lovestruck.com, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to nail that opening message:

Do: Create an interesting subject
Don’t panic, this doesn’t need to be so witty that they fall off their chair laughing, or so literary they wonder whether you might be the next Shakespeare. Go for something fun and light hearted and keep it personal to them. If the guy or girl says they love a certain film and book, for example, use a quote from it because it shows you have read about them carefully and not just flicked through their pictures to see how hot they look.

Do: Use their name
Research has shown that when you use someone’s name in a conversation they will like you more. So instead of opening a conversation with “Hi,” say “Hi XXX.” (Make sure you spell their name right too.)

Do: Be interested
This may sound obvious, but make sure you ask them questions about themselves from something you have seen in their profile or pictures. Remember to keep your questions open, so they give you fuller answers and chat about general stuff, which you know will interest them.

Do: Make sure your profile is complete and up to date
It’s unlikely that someone will reply if your profile is brief or you haven’t uploaded pictures. And remember to keep everything up to date. Yes, we know you think you looked better in that holiday pic circa 2003…but that’s not the person your match will be meeting IRL.

Do: Read it before you send
We are sticklers for grammar and spelling, so make sure you give your email the once over before clicking send. And emails in the style of a text-mad teen are never good, so if you write “u r qt. R U up 4 a d8?” you’re unlikely to ever hear from anybody. Ever.

Don’t: Talk TOO much
As the saying goes, keep it short and sweet. No one wants to wade through paragraphs of stuff about someone they have never met. Say hi, talk about something you’ve seen in their profile and what you might have in common and ask a question. Voila! They will check out your profile, so don’t worry about selling yourself.

Don’t: Send it on a Saturday night
Even if you are watching re-runs of Breaking Bad in a tracksuit and are downing Chinese take-out, any prime times like Friday or Saturday nights are not the right time to send someone an email. You need to make yourself look social, in-demand and busy. Stick to sending messages during your lunch-hour or early evenings.

Don’t: Go Over the Top
Maybe you think they look like the lovechild of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, or Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds. Whatever you do, don’t flood them with comments like “you look so good,” or “are you a model?” It will send them running for the hills (and deleting your message, pronto).

Don’t: Use generic terminology
Saying things like “we’ve got so much in common,” or “I’d like to know more about you,” look like you’ve just cut, pasted and sent to 50 people. If you’ve read the person’s profile, you’ll know quite a lot about them, and if you really do have that much in common, say what those things are.

See? That wasn’t so hard. Do you have other first email tips? Tell us @lovestruck!

Get Ready for eHarmony's Free Communication Weekend, 4/17-4/20

Still trying to find your Valentine? Listen up! eHarmony is having a free communication weekend, starting Thursday, April 17 until Sunday, April 20. "Free" sounds exciting, but singles always complain that they can't get enough accomplished during these four days. To solve your dating woes, here's a guide to help optimize your free trial:

1. Act quickly. Sign up as soon as the offer starts. Take the personality tests, complete your profile and upload your photo right away. You only get a select number of matches each day, so the sooner you complete your account, the sooner you can start eFlirting. Reviewing your matches each day will assure you get the maximum amount of connections during your complimentary trial.

2. Don't skimp. Fill out your profile completely — including photos — and put some thought into it. If you skimp on information, your matches won't be as responsive and your time won't be as productive.

3. Say yes to maybes. Go through your matches and start communicating. If you think someone's a "maybe," go for it. You never know who might surprise you! Maximizing the time you have and broaden your horizons.

4. Be available. A lot of new members will be taking advantage of this free weekend, so expect quicker response times. Choose the fast track so you can create the strongest bond possible before the trial ends. 

5. Download the app. If you're going to be out and about, download the app so you can stay connected and get offline with your matches sooner.

6. Give contact info. If your trial is coming to a close and you don't think the site is for you, give your contact info to all of your matches so you don't lose touch. Set up a separate Gmail account so your full name remains secure.   

7. Don't feel pressured. If you're not intrigued by a particular match, don't think that you have to go out with him or her. Just because you went through several steps of communication doesn't mean you should feel pressured. Trust your instincts. 

8. Meet sooner. You don't have to exchange a million emails before you meet. Just be sure to meet in a public place and plan something non-committal, like coffee or a drink.

9. Join! If you liked the experience, join the site. You can continue to communicate uninterrupted and will get a steady stream of new matches. 

10. Don't get discouraged. If your weekend wasn't as successful as you had hoped, that doesn't mean that online dating isn't for you. Nine times out of 10, it just means that you were on the wrong site! A dating site is only as good as your matches on it. Most major paid sites offer trials, and if you follow this blog you'll be in the know. In fact, Match.com offers three free days anytime!

Happy eFlirting!

Big City Dating: Guide to dating around the world…

Credit: Paulina Astorga (Flickr)

Credit: Paulina Astorga (Flickr)

from Lovestruck.com

Dating is a complicated business. Not only to you have to think about what to wear, what to say, where to go and a million other things, but if your date is seriously hot and there’s a bucket-load of chemistry, you’ll want to make a good impression and make it to date number two territory. 

But what if you’re from London and they're from New York? Or you hail from Paris and they come from Down Under? Fret not! Here are Lovestruck, we thought we’d take you on a quick, guided love tour around the major cities of the world and list some dos and don’ts. Fasten your seatbelt…

Dating a New Yorker
Life moves fast in New York -- the city never sleeps, the people are hot, everyone works hard and most people party even harder. Dating a New Yorker can be an exhausting business; most are used to "multiple dating," especially the men because they have so much choice, so the “are we boyfriend/girlfriend” chat doesn’t normally happen until much later.

Don’t mention: Paying for the bill, ladies. Guys in New York like to pick it up at the end of the night.

Do mention: That you date online. A ton of New Yorkers date this way. You might be considered strange if you’re not online.

Dating a Londoner
Over half of London is single, hurray, so finding a Londoner who is looking for love is not unusual. It’s also safe to say that many Londoners are seriously into their careers, with a recent survey saying 45 percent think it is one of their top three focuses in life, so don’t expect them to pull a sickie any time soon.

Don’t mention: That you didn’t watch the London Olympics in 2012. As far as Londoners are concerned, this was the capital’s finest hour.

Do mention: Going to a gallery. Most Londoners are culture vultures and love a trip round a gallery or theatre.

Dating a Sydneysider
Like London and New York,  Sydney is seriously multicultural, so it’s pretty hard to list a "one size fits all" dating type, but we think it’s fair to say that most Aussies love the great outdoors and are avid sports fans; from cricket to tennis, to rugby and soccer, anything that is active and outdoors is a good thing.

Don’t mention: That you have never set foot on a surfboard. This is the equivalent to not being able to ride a bike or swim.

Do mention: That you love BBQ food. Anything Aussies don’t know about BBQs ain’t worth knowing.

Dating a Parisian
The French are known for their romantic attitudes, good looks and chic clothes. We repeat: they are VERY fashionable. If you’re considering wearing that dodgy shirt or yesterday’s dress, think again. Also, don’t be surprised if a French date pushes for monogamy early - this is normal. By the time you may have had a second date with a Londoner or New Yorker, you will be living with your Parisian and will have met their family, including Great Aunt Celine.

Don’t mention: That you would like him to help with the washing up, girls. Most French men have been waited on hand and foot by their mothers, so they will have no idea what being domestic entails…

Do mention:Je t’aime.” Many Parisians say this early on. Moving forward, you can expect to hear it a few times a day, so you can return the compliment.

Dating a Milanese
Basically much like a Parisian, you need to dress up and stay attuned to the latest fashions if you want to impress a Milanese. Remember: Italy is the country that gave us Casanova and Romeo. The men and women are incredibly sexy and passionate and they’re not raising their voice at you. Be patient, you will get a word in eventually.

Don’t mention: That you fancy the pants of him or her. The men and women from Milan (especially the men) love the thrill of the chase. So if you have your eyes set on him or her, make them work for it.

Do mention: That you are happy to drive. Milan is known to have some of the craziest roads of Europe, and the drivers can be pretty bonkers, too.

What do you think we should add to our little round-ups? Tell us @lovestruck!