A.S. writes -
Dr Dave, I have a question. During a talk you gave at the last Singles Fair, you made a
statement that it is possible to get money back from a dating service. When I first moved here,
I joined *******. The contract was for a two year deal, and they have since upped the contract
to 2 1/2 years. However, I have not received any service for the past year. Can you help?
Dr Dave responds:
Well, that depends on a few things. While many promises are made during the sale, it's only
what's in writing - in the contract - that counts. Your contract may simply state "one match
per month for two years, or a total of 24 matches, whichever comes first." Or, it may simply
state a time limit, not guaranteeing ANY matches. I've even seen some that state that - being
experts - THEY will determine the number of matches you will receive.... and who your best
matches are. Stories have been documented over the years of services sending completely
incompatible people out on dates simply to fulfill their contractual obligations. Also, it's
important to note that a service can give you a phone number - or a photo - and consider that
one of the 'dates'. It's not their job to make sure you actually go out with that person, the
contract may simply obligate them to provide you with contact information.
Bottom line: It's your contract that will tell you if there's anything that can be done.
Now, let's assume you've read the contract and feel they did not live up to their obligations.
What to do next?
Buy my book. While that may sound like a blatant sales attempt (which it is), I wrote the book
after helping many singles with the same problem, but solutions can vary greatly from state to
state, depending on laws, regulations (or lack thereof), etc. About a year ago, I ran into a
women at a singles function who had heard of me... she'd purchased my book. "Dave, I have
to tell you. I had joined a service in California, and was unhappy, and they were telling me I
would never get my money back. I saw your book in a bookstore, and bought it. It not only
gave me the information I needed, it made me so mad about what had been done to me that I
followed your advice, fought... and got my money back. Thanks for your help!".
Glad I COULD help. Please write again after you'd read the book, A.S., and let me know how
you did. I'll publish the results here.
S.G. of Phoenix, AZ writes:
I put a personal ad into a local paper, but haven't had much response. A friend of mine said
she received almost 25 responses, but so far, I've had only two. Did I do something wrong?
Dr Dave responds:
Hey S.G. - You didn't say what sex you are, so, it could be a couple of things. Men tend to
receive far fewer responses then women do, so, if you're a guy, it may not have been anything
you wrote. Either way, there are a few things anyone can do to increase their response rate.
Don't list shortcomings in your ad ("Attending anger management classes"), don't make the
ad negative ("I always meet losers through these things!") and don't forget to tell them about
YOU. Describe your good qualities, what's fun to you, what makes you different. Want more
help... for free? Most personal-ad newspapers have someone on staff that's an expert at
writing ads, and the more responses YOU get, the more money they make on callers who
respond to your ad! So... since they'll be happy to help, don't be afraid to ask!
Lisa G. of Scottsdale, AZ writes:
I think I tend to date people wrong for me. When I meet them, the fact that we're so different is
really exciting. They say opposites attract, and besides, how will I expand my horizons if I just
hang out with people similar to myself?
Dr Dave responds:
Yes, opposites attract... but they don't last. It IS true that dating a wide variety of people WILL
teach you more about the world - as well as yourself - than dating the same type all the time.
However... YOU are a certain type of person. You know what you like, and what you don't like.
You know what you believe, how you feel about religion, family, and smoking, how you like to
spend your weekends, where you'd like to be ten years from now. Dating someone who
doesn't agree on these (as well as other topics) will only lead to unhappiness. Best thing to
do? Find a group of people with interests similar to yours (such as a club), and then search
within that group. Also, you can try the personal ad route, making sure to mention your key
likes & dislikes! Lastly, attend singles functions - where you can meet hundreds of people in
one night - and get the word out on what you're looking for! The more people that you meet,
the better your chances!
My friend and I would like to meet 2 nice gentlemen. We're not out to get
married. We basically want a male companion who has similar interest such as
dancing. We've been to a couple of country/western bars, but it seems the guys
are just interested in the young girls and/or one night stands. What's wrong -
we're in our late thirties, attractive and fun?
Dr Dave responds:
Key hint in your letter: The word 'bars'.
While it's true many people who go to bars are single, it ain't true that they're
there looking for long term, meaningful relationships.... or even anything past
that night. Have you tried going to singles functions... more than once? Many
people think they wouldn't be caught dead at a singles activity, yet when they're
looking for clothes they go to the mall, when they want a book they go to a
bookstore, when they want a human being, they go... to a place that serves
There are hiking clubs, movie clubs, travel clubs, weekend dances, after-work
gatherings, religious functions, literally tons of places where singles get together
to meet one another. Try some... more than once.
Second point. In most situations - including cowboy bars - there ARE nice guys
there that WOULD like to meet a nice woman for companionship, etc. They're
easy to spot: they're the ones who DON'T think they're God's gift to the rest of
us. A few months back, a woman came to a singles party and met two guys.
She asked what I knew about them, and I told her: One was really nice and
seemed to be a really good guy. The other one (the real handsome one) had
been to many parties before, always taking home a different woman. I said he,
too, was nice, but that she should expect trouble if she dated him.
Guess which one she chose? (Postscript: She had an awful time, and swears
never to go to a singles event again because of the psychos at all of them. The
first guy she'd met is still single, and still a really nice guy.)
Open a singles paper, and go out and meet some singles. Let me know how it
I wish to date someone with the same qualities and morals as myself. Only problem
is that is not what I get. In the ads I've written, I have been blunt and said I am
looking for friendship, and that that must come first for me before anything else. I
have also mentioned that I am cautious and that I need to get to know a person
before I meet them. All I get are the weirdos asking me if I "do it" on the first date.
Why can't men get a life? There is more to life than sex. . . . At least I think so/
Besides, when did our society get so demoralized that everyone is "supposed" to
have sex before marriage. Yes, I am a 31 yr. old virgin, but that is my choice. What
can I do to attract the right kind of guy?
Doctor Dave responds:
When did our society get demoralized? Heck, it had to be when Clinton took office!
Or, it could have been the music kids listen to nowadays. Or the stuff they have on
television. Or what passes for 'news' at the grocery store checkout... or maybe it
was Elvis, or hoop skirts, or the Age of Aquarius...
People have sex because they enjoy it. And with more people postponing marriage
until later in life... or never.. does that mean they should never have sex?
I think anyone who asks you about 'doing it' on the first date is nuts, especially in
this age of AIDS. Question, though: Did they know you were a virgin when they
asked? They may have simply been asking to see your reaction. While there are
many 'it just happenned that way' reasons to be a virgin at 31, there are many more
religious/ emotional/ whatever reasons, and that might make up more of the
package then they desire.
In all my years at this, though, I can assure you of one thing: There's a guy out
there reading this thinking "that's the woman for me!". With a huge population of
single 20 year olds having babys, you are the exception... and a rare commodity, at
Try meeting people through methods that might attract men with similar views: Try a
church dance, or a religious singles group, or a religious newsletter. And
remember... you're a commodity. When they find you, I'm sure they'll appreciate
D.S. writes -
Dear Dr. Dave,
How does one that has been married for 17 years, recently newly single, get
back into the dating scene. It doesn't sound very fun to me. When do you
know you are ready?
Doctor Dave responds:
One clue: The fact that you're looking at a singles web site!
Seriously, though... that IS a valid clue. You would not even be THINKING
about dating again unless you were ready... or near ready.
As far as the single scene not being fun, that really depends on your attitude.
Consider this, though: There are over 80 million singles out there, and there
are zillions of things to do! Most importantly, one huge thing has changed
since the last time you went though the 'dating scene': Being divorced no
longer has a stigma attached to it. Years ago, divorce was rare and a 'no-no'.
Now it's a part of everyday life... even in prime time!
You're now part of the majority. So, eat what you want, watch what you want,
do whatever you want whenever you want... and when you're ready, come
meet some nice guys! (There are about 40 million of them looking for you!)
Have a question of your own?
Check our party schedule page,
and come visit me!