What does an online dating email scam look like?

Gator20081017Everyone talks about the hustles, the hustlers, the gold-diggers on the                Top Online Dating Sites.

How can you tell if you are being hit up by a scoundrel scammer?

His opening email will look just like this:

Hello dear,
How are you doing ? Wow! You look very beautiful, i really like what am seeing in you as a woman… I would like to communicate with you, kindly text me, (650) 434-7—-. or you feel free to email me ( randyvincent @ /y/a/h/o/o/. com ) I think i am capable to offer your heart desires. I have heard about so i gave it a trial but i will be glad to use this opportunity to meet someone that i can build friendship with and probably go from there. Thank you and i will look forward to hear from you.


Top Clues:

1. English is not his first language, dear.

2. Afflicted by Bad Punctuation or an ee cummings wannabe?

3. Wants to get off the dating site ASAP and go to Y/a/h/o/o –  and will look forward  to build friendship with…and perhaps you have some money he needs…wow, you beautiful woman.


Quits20060522These guys troll EHarmony, Match, Ourtime…all the major dating websites.

You better watch out – – your better not reply~

You better tell the dating company about Not so Randy Vincent.

Good luck!

Posted in Dating Coach in Marin, Dating Diva advice, Marin County, Page Larkin Marin, Relationship, single in Marin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Top 20 Best Ice Breaking Conversation Starters

photo_21523_20120317Kevin, is brand new at the dating game was clueless when it came to “chatting.”

He was a superb interviewer and adroit cross-examiner, and eloquent closing argument kind of a guy…He was too nervous for small talk on a first, (or second, date.)

He asked me for 10 – 20 Opening Lines/Ice Breakers when talking to ‘Someone of the Opposite Sex.’   Voila!

 The Top 20 Questions to Break the Ice

1. Tell me about your best friend.

2. Tell me about your very worst job.

  1. What was your very first car?
  2. What was your very best job?

5. Tell me about your family and where you grew up.

6. Tell me about your very favorite relative.

7. Tell me the Top Five places you’ve worked

8. Who is your all-time favorite female movie star?

  1. What passions / hobbies do you spend money on?
  2. What’s you very favorite song?
  3. Tell me one really life-changing moment?
  4. When did you meet your very first girlfriend/boyfriend?
  5. Where and when was your first kiss and with whom?
  6. What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
  7. What is the worst prank you’ve pulled?
  8. Tell me the most romantic date you’ve ever planned.
  9. They say, “Women shop and men buy.” What is one store you wouldn’t be caught dead in?
  10. Alaska or Hawaii – what is your choice?
  11. Tell me what your perfect day-off looks like?

20. If someone gave you two free tickets to anywhere in the world – where would you go?

photo_8735_20081228 Note To Dater: Do Not ask all these questions – at once- to the same person. Your goals to create a conversation – not conduct a job interview.

Have fun out there!

Posted in Dating at 50, Page Larkin Marin, Relationship, single in Marin, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Lost: Dating Mojo – last seen 1977

lock on old broken doorwayAfter another five dead-end, awkward dates, Kevin swore off dating. His original visions of wild and sexy affairs with lurid, wanton women weren’t happening.

He had watched one too many eHarmony television commercials and thought everything was going to be a bed of roses…well, at least a bed of something.

Confused and Confounded

He was confused by things women wrote: “Not going Glamping” What the heck was glamping? “I only drink Holy Water?” What? And what was a “Burning Man- Lover?”

Always one to defer to research, he read a few “How-to” dating books and slowly realized he was out of his element and not quite in the 2014 swing of things

One woman, “SF Frisky,” responded to Kevin’s opening, email, with “TLTR.” He had to Google the acronym to learn it meant, Too Long to Read. Really, one paragraph? Kevin had lost his patience and mojo.

Try, Try, Again?

A week later, Sherrey from Tiburon contacted him. She was bubbly, friendly and wanted to meet him. She said she really liked his picture.  Nobody had liked this picture- until now.

According to her profile she was blonde, 39+, loved skiing, tennis, wine tasting and the opera.

What’s not to like?

He wrote back immediately and agreed to meet her Saturday morning at the Starbucks in San Rafael.

Kevin was ready! Finally, a woman found him attractive and had contacted him. Things were beginning to look up. He found the Starbucks and scored a table. He sat next to a brunette woman and pretended to read his Wall Street Journal, his eye on the door.

Only a few minutes went by before the woman on his right tapped him on the shoulder and asked him if he was “Kevin SF Giants.”

Startled, he nodded and she announced that she was Sherrey from Tiburon. Kevin stared. He was supposed to meet a blonde 39-year-old tennis playing, opera buff.

This woman was 50 – if she was a day -and she had long dark hair. She couldn’t be the blonde, tennis player- there had to be a mistake. He was flummoxed – mumbled and fumbled. Again, not knowing what to make of this total stranger.

“You play tennis?” popped out of his mouth. She laughed. It was a raspy, smoker’s voice and said, “No, but I love to watch it on TV.”

Eventually, he calmed down and went through the motions. His mind was flapping back to the online photo he had glanced at, just this morning, and the woman sitting across from him. There was absolutely no resemblance. This would not be a one-time-only event.

Flash Forward: Six Months.

Kevin had a total of 32 first dates and no second dates. Was he  a slow study or just striking out? He claimed he had met every “possible” 35 to 55-year-old woman (under 200 pounds) within 30 miles of his ZIP code.


Kevin Learns the Ropes

In time, with practice and a spread sheet- he eventually became a more astute “dater.”

First, he devised, a formulaic introductory e-mail. Statistically, five out of 10 women responded.

Second: Two e-mails later: he invited a phone conversation and included his telephone number. He even suggested a good time for the woman to call him. Seven out of ten women called him back.

Kevin had a “Top-Five Question List” that he nonchalantly asked each woman. He thought he was getting really good at this. Never mind about the person on the other end of the phone was feeling like she was on a job interview.

Note to reader: Predictable questions are a buzz kill- they indicate no joi de vivre – no spontaneity. Dull times three.


NEXT: The Secret to Kevin’s Success -

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Can a small town girl meet a great guy? The first step



Take the first step…

Cathy: 53, divorced, two kids launched, decided to start looking for her ‘Date for Life.’ No more speed- dating or redundant coffee dates or hiking buddies – she wanted a relationship.

One small drawback: Geography?

She lives in a very, very, small town nestled in the redwoods in Northern California. A writer and an English major who loves the Pacific Northwest and the Arts, she subscribes to the New York Review of Books. Last year – a little lonely and fuelled by one too many espressos- she decided try the NYRB Personal Ads.

For months, she had been amused and intrigued by the ads and – in a C’est le guerre kind of mood – she crafted a succinct and attractive ad.

$5.00 will buy you one word

Cathy ponied up $150 for a well-crafted, 30-word ad and sat back. Who would respond? David in Brooklyn or Donald in New Haven? John E-Be-Good in San Francisco?

The ad ran for one week and produced one, single, beguiling response from ‘John M. D.’

Stranger than fiction

Quelle surprise: John M D lived 15 miles away. He, too read the New York Review of Books and was intrigued by Cathy’s well-written 30-word ad. They met for the first time, they clicked, and have been together ever since. It happens.

Dare to write your Personal Ad?  Avoid dangling your participles.

When you are paying a hefty $5 per word for a Personals Ad, one tends to choose their nouns carefully. On the other hand, if you are writing a Craigslist ad – free of charge – you might be a little less discreet about your word choice and message. Who said, “You get what you pay for?”

Why not try a 7-Day Free Online Dating offer? Seriously check out an join a Meetup.com Group (see: hiking, biking wine-tasting, dancing, music, film-lovers, Mount Tam Wednesday Walkers) …Give it a try!

Page Larkin’s Rules of the Day

Stop complaining that all the good ones are taken.

Start smiling more and talking to people – talk to strangers. Everyday.

So what if you live in a small town? Open your eyes, open your heart and you will meet ‘people.’

Go outside and play.

Blank white sandwich board on a city sidewalk


What do you say?

Posted in Dating in Marin, Page Larkin Marin, Relationship, single in Marin, suddenly single | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh! San Rafael! Oh! San Rafael, where the h*** is San Rafael?

“The San Rafael Song”


The Domincan College Fight Song

(It used to be a college and ‘No Boys Allowed’ was the sad truth…)

Once upon a time – the strident hazing of Freshmen Girls at Dominican consisted of learning the above referenced lyrics and  attending a Mixer at (choose your poison) USF or St. Mary’s College (located in a rural community called Moraga)

san rafael30


However, San Rafael will be wild this weekend!

Liquake is crossing the Bridge and San Raf will be teeming with literati, writers, readers, poets, bloggers, wanna be writers and fans – fan boys and fan girls.

A little something called the 37th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival will have people lining up in front of the Rafael Theater – many to see Dave Iverson’s outstanding film called, Capturing Grace. Bravo!

brifhe-29Welcome to San Rafael:

Let the

LITQUAKE Party Begin!


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Where to Meet Women in Marin: This Week

Fact: Women flock to the Mill Valley Film Festival

Volunteer – or (appear) at the Will Call Desk at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce

Swarms of happy, single, women appear an hour before every film. Then they stand in line – jostling and jolly and happy to be seeing the 5@5, the Frank Zappa movie- or Capturing Grace, Clouds of Sils Maria. (see: Mill Valley Film Festival)


Johnn, the prince of Volunteers, smiles and greets, each woman who approaches his Will Call station with a smile- he  asks for their last name, comments on their pretty necklace, ring, bacelet, shoes and smiles.

If time allows, he asks about the film. He is friendly. Women love friendly.

He encourages all to come back and tell him how they liked the movie. Many do – women like to talk about movies.

Talk to Strangers: It works

As he sits behind the Will Call Desk (any desk will do: Information, Free Maps, the very cool Fred Water booth) every time Johnn sees a single woman walk by – he says “Hi, how is it going?”

He is friendly and speaks to strangers. Try that five times a day. You, too will meet other singles.

He says he meets more “lovely, single women” as a volunteer than anywhere else.



 “I love to flirt, and I’ve never met a man I didn’t like.”     Dolly Parton

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Flirting 101: Taking the “Hi” road

Blank white sandwich board on a city sidewalk

Last  Thursday, I was walking down Fourth Street in San Rafael

    A man in jeans, a white T-shirt and running shoes was walking ahead of me.

It was a beautiful day and swarms of people were on the street. I noticed that practically every person this guy passed smiled and said ‘hey’ to  him.

I knew it was not Mill Valley Film Festival Guru and Sweetheart, Mark Fishkin, the guy was too short. I knew it wasn’t  Sean Penn, he’s too tall.  Consistently, almost every single man or woman either smiles, nods, laughs and says’ hi’ to this guy.

In my wildest imagination, I couldn’t fathom who he was or what he was doing to garner so much attention.

I picked up my pace a bit so we both were stopped at the red light. I nonchalantly looked over at him. Now even more than curious to see who this celebrity could be. He looked like any other good-looking, Irish-Catholic, healthy, handsome fireman guy.

 The Magic T-shirt

However, he was wearing a “Magic” T-shirt. His shirt was emblazoned with three words in varying fonts, color and sizes. The words on the front of his shirt were “Hi” “hey” and “hello.”

I had to laugh – and say hey.

Epiphany time

You want to meet people?

Call me prescient: all you have to do is: say ‘hello,’ hey’ or ‘hi.’ I guarantee you will meet singles everywhere.

Yes, Kids! – You can make that T-shirt – This afternoon!

For more info: see my Top Ten Places To meet Men in Marin


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