Overcoming the Pitfalls of Online Dating Platforms

As some of you may know, I’ve been online dating for some time now. I’d like to share about my experiences in the hopes that they may guide others who venture into the space and save them some of the hassle I’ve gone through so far. This post focuses on one topic I’ve found particularly challenging.

It’s said in HR that the golden candidates are the ones who are passive job seekers — the ones who aren’t actively seeking out new roles but are open to the idea of exploring new opportunities should they prove to offer more for their career aspirations. The logic behind this is that those who are actively (aka desperately) job seeking are probably doing so for a reason and, 9 times out of 10, it’s a reason you wouldn’t want to hire them. What companies would prefer to have are the candidates who are well-adjusted in their current role, an asset to their current employer, but open to new opportunities because, well, they’re ambitious and don’t want to miss out on something that could turn into the next big thing for their career.

Similarly, we have the golden online daters — the ones who aren’t desperately looking for “the one” but who are open to the possibility of a new commitment. They’re not unhappy being single, but have sent a proverbial smoke signal up into the “cloud” signaling to other singles that they’re up for seeing where things go. If someone is desperately looking for a relationship, 9 times out of 10, it’s for a reason you wouldn’t want to date them. Elaboration on this is probably unnecessary, because we can likely all name a few people who fall into this category. If this describes you, consider therapy a prerequisite to any further online dating pursuits (please).

There are a variety of ways we can, and definitely should, vet (the crap out of) people to distinguish between the desperate searchers and the passively open. It’s worth mentioning that on the “spectrum” of desperate to passive, there are also, on the far end of passive, those who fall into the utterly passive/passive-predatorial categories. Filtering out these individuals is also necessary, but a topic deserving of it’s own future post.

One way to distinguish between these “market segments” if you will (is my marketer showing? #sorrynotsorry) and target the golden daters is the online dating platform we choose.

Tinder

This platform may have a few of the desperate relationship seekers, but caters more to the passive crowd — it’s worth it to download a free app with minimal setup requirements to see what’s out there, but they’re not willing to commit the time/money necessary to put in more effort. This low barrier to entry also attracts the utterly passive and passive-predatorial types, so watch out for the sharks in the Tinder waters.

OKcupid

With a bit more setup required and a bit more filtering capabilities, this app tends to be more attractive to the middle-of-the-road and the desperate seeker crowds. There’s the occasional predatorial outlier looking to take advantage of the desperate seekers, but unless you fall into that category (again, therapy first please) you’re probably OK. Just be sure to watch out for the desperate seekers — there’s a handful of them for sure.

Match

This is where things get really interesting. The perceived value (and marketing angle) of paid platforms usually rhymes with the theme of “you filter out the players with the fees, so you get the people who are serious about being in a relationship.” What many of us fail to do is ask why they’re so serious. On a paid platform like Match, you’ve got an abundance of the active seekers — they’re willing to put in the money and setup time and then spend lots of time searching the internet to find love, which is an immediate red flag. Your first line of questioning should insight lots of personally revealing conversation. You want to find out why this person is willing to put in the money and time investment — are they a desperate seeker, or a predatorial smooth-talker? In my experience, the real cost of using these platforms isn’t the fee, it’s figuring out how to keep your guard up for a longer period of time while still genuinely getting to know someone. My personal motto: all on match are guilty until proven innocent. Some are innocent, but they are few and far between.

eHarmony

Same as Match, but mostly composed of the on-the-fence religious crowd versions of similar personas — not ready to commit to ChristianMingle, but not ready to give up on finding the one who will lead them to God. Warning: Keep off grass. Unless you’re a therapist, in which case, a friendly tip from yours truly: advertise on this platform 😃

My two cents on this complex topic of online dating and finding the right “crowd,” for whatever my two cents are worth to you.

For a complimentary consultation on your online dating strategy, Tweet at me (bro): @SarahLaurins :)

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.