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Consumer Affairs' founder and former editor, Jim Hood formerly headed Associated Press Broadcast News, directing coverage of major news events worldwide.
As with all the services featured here, read the contract carefully, be sure you understand it and keep a copy. If a dating service says it will introduce you to two people a month, it's not realistic to expect it to produce more than that. Maybe it's just that folks really are friendly (or at least very cold) in Canada and unusually grateful for human warmth but for whatever reason, Lifemates Canada seems to have a stellar record of forging new alliances.
You could meet people you don't like, people who don't like you, people who are boring or even downright dangerous. We're not saying these are the best sites for you -- that's something you need to decide for yourself -- but like examining puppies or seaside condos, looking can be half the fun. Remember how we said there were sites that cater to every demographic slice imaginable?
But the same is true of just about any other method of meeting people. What it comes down to is that there are risks in everything so as long as you take the obvious precautions -- don't meet strangers in dark places, don't send money to someone you've never met and don't reveal all your personal information in a single gush -- online dating is probably less dangerous than crossing a busy street or trying to clean out your gutters on a windy day. Many cater to individual tastes -- there are sites for gays, Jews, Christians, equestrians, millionaires, Hispanics and old white people. Well, here's one that specializes in New England, a locale that can be a little forbidding and frosty to the uninitiated.
"We are an invitation-only club of people like you spending social time having fun with like-minded people."It gets high marks from Consumer Affairs reviewers like Bob of Phoenix, who wrote: "Since I joined Events and Adventures I’ve attended probably close to a hundred events like pottery painting... I had a great time at the Extreme Adventure Course up in Flagstaff.... I’ve made a lot of friends and found a significant other through Events and Adventures."The monthly events range from a simple wine-tasting to outdoor sports and expeditions to foreign lands.
To join, applicants must be successfully interviewed and must certify that they are single.
"Lifemates introduces you to members whom, because of common values, goals, professional backgrounds and other similarities, provide the highest likelihood that you will move your date into a true relationship."Lifemates Canada has been in business for more than 20 years and has 10 offices around the country. Lunch is OK but what if you want to go skydiving or horseback riding? Operating in nine cities, Events and Adventures organizes a series of events each month for its invitation-only clients."In a group, there’s no pressure, everyone relaxes, and you can be yourself.
Each month is packed with 30-50 great event choices: foodie, night out, active adventure, casual hangout," the company says.With offices in major cities, it's not restricted to a single geographic area.The reviews we're received at Consumer Affairs the last few years have been largely positive, like this one from Michael of North Carolina: "By and large I have been satisfied with the experiences gained from the group.It's perhaps the difference between using a personal shopper at Nordstrom and just going online and buying something that looks about right on e Bay.As you would expect, this creates a lot more room for error.But my favorite was the Halloween haunted house party bus."Like other higher-end services, E&A doesn't list its prices on its website so be sure you understand the pricing and have read the contract carefully before signing anything. The dating services we've looked at so far have all been, to one degree or another, what the MBA types call niche plays -- designed to appeal to a certain slice of society, and generally a higher socio-economic slice at that.