Tuesday March 4, 2014
Have you ever wanted to create an online dating profile that attracted exactly the kind of member you were looking to meet, yet struggled to find the 'right' way to show off your amazingness? Most of us have, and many will enlist the help of a profile writing expert to assist with choosing the right words, images and feel. There has to be an easier way though, right? I mean, if my Android phone can automatically tell me I should expect a package today (from an email that I received three days ago, with only the tracking number to go on), my phone, email and/or search engine should be able to tell me how to best present myself to other singles out there.
A few companies have attempted to assist singles looking for love, lust, or something in between with a variety of metrics-based online tools that focus on the profile creation stage. OkCupid was the first (that I know of) with MyBestFace, where registered members of OkCupid can submit photos for review by other members, eventually spitting out a list of what worked and what didn't (as well as for what kinds of people and their basic demographics) once you've done the same for about 15 minutes' -worth of profiles yourself. It's a great, free program (other than an investment of your time) however it only focuses on your profile picture, and completely ignores what you're actually, you know, saying.
This is where Plumer steps in, an app-in-progress that hopes to change the confusion surrounding what to say, how to say it, and which pictures to use on your online dating profiles through concrete testing and statistics. Plumer, a name inspired by some birds' attempts at a mating call through re-arranging their feathers, wants to "remove a huge pain point" for new online daters through their system, and they're rushing to get it out singles just like you.
Why the rush, and why am I writing about an app that's still in the works? Here's where Plumer's story gets interesting: the developers are currently (until 9AM PST March 5, 2014) on a StartupBus, coding, planning and optimizing as fast as they can, while other teams on the same bus try to out-maneuver each other for entrepreneurial success. Each team has only 72 hours on the bus to create, flesh out, and get their business up and running, and everything is shared live-time on the web - a bit shaky I must admit, yet wildly fascinating and definitely worth a look if you're entrepreneurial, or at the very least curious. Check out StartupBus.com for the North American teams, buses and projects.
Plumer is currently accepting Beta testers (until their time runs out tomorrow morning) for the project; if you'd like to get involved, or want more information, check them out here.
More Dating Apps: SinglesSquare, DatingDNA, LoveStruck, Yoke, POF for Android, StreetSpark, MeetMoi, SinglesAroundMe, Hinge for iPhone.
Friday February 28, 2014
Although the research is a few years old, and the information geared towards first emails, I think this information bears repeating to anyone using online dating sites to meet people: when crafting a dating email, avoid the use of netspeak - unless you're laughing.
Why? OkCupid decided to look into what kinds of emails their members replied to most. They gleaned lots of tangible, relevant information from a sampling of 500,000 first contact dating emails, some of which was surprising, like:
- A unique salutation (such as 'yo' or 'howdy') fared better than the standard 'hello', or 'hi';
- Use the word 'pretty' as an adverb (i.e. pretty sure) rather than an adjective (i.e. you're pretty) for a higher number of replies; and
- Avoid comments that refer to the other person's physical appearance, even if you're complimenting them, for a higher response rate.
see: What To Say In a First Message for the original data.
There were a few tidbits that made me sigh with relief however. Notably, the use of textspeak garnered significantly less email responses (ur instead of your, wat as opposed to what, etc.). Yet 'lol' or 'haha' are acceptable, and might even increase your online dating responses.
So, what do you think? When you receive a dating email riddled with textspeak, do you reply? Do you send emails that compliment the other person? Has it made any difference with regards to the number of replies received?
Friday February 28, 2014
Have you ever had a date that you knew you'd never forget, no matter what happened with the relationship? One that took your breath away, one that made you giggle, or one that just plain made you feel great?
I've heard some dating disaster doozies, and a lot of love stories that made my heart swell. But what I'm after are those dates that will go down in your personal history as one of the best dates of all time - and I'd love to know why said date was so amazing. Did you share great chemistry, or did the words just flow like with no one else? Was it a first date, or was it with someone you'd been dating for years? Were any intimacies exchanged, or was it more lighthearted and and carefree? Did you share your first kiss on the date, or did you do something else - or nothing at all?
I'd like to collect a huge database of the best dates ever, so that other singles and dating couples can read through the list, get inspired, try some of the great date ideas themselves, and report back how their amazing date fared. So don't be shy and share your good date stories - and maybe even win the reader story of the week.
Saturday February 15, 2014
Chloe asks: "I'm 18 and my boyfriend is 31. He's ready to start a family with me, but I feel like I'm too young to even start thinking about having kids. I'm flattered that he wants me as the mother of his children but the thought scares me too. He's the only guy I've ever dated, and I really care about him a lot. How do I tell him I'm not ready for kids without him breaking up with me over it?"
What concerns me most about your question Chloe is the older man aspect of your equation. You probably already know, but dating someone who is thirteen years older than you at this stage of your life is a challenge at the best of times. He's ready to settle down and you aren't. He's already learned how to be independent and live as an adult, whereas you're just getting started - and may still be finishing high school. Basically, your goals and aspirations aren't going to jive with your boyfriends'.
This might be difficult to hear, and I realize its not what you're asking, but you need to tell him that you're not ready to have kids yet and prepare yourself for the relationship ending because of it. This isn't your time to start a family, and from what you've said, that won't change anytime soon. If he's dead set on having kids ASAP, then it might be best for both of you if things ended now.
Related: Relationship Expectations, Will Our Relationship Last Quiz, Communication Skills Quiz for Couples, Should We Take This Relationship To The Next Level or End It?