Online dating can suck. We're twins and dating coaches who help our clients make it not suck. Ask us anything!

Jonathan and David Bennett
Mar 7, 2018

Online dating is frustrating for many people. They struggle to get quality matches, only connecting with creeps, fakes, and crazies. Or, they might only get a handful of matches a month. In addition, getting from match to actual date (let alone a meaningful relationship) can seem nearly impossible.

We've researched the best practices of online dating across many platforms and help our clients implement major changes to match, message, and get out on actual dates with high quality men and women.

Web: http://thepopularman.com/

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What 3 things should one look for if they are trying to ween out a "wrong choice" on online dating?

Mar 8, 8:51PM EST0
Once a match is made, is it a good idea to research the person on social media and Google before the actual date? Is doing this an invasion of privacy?
Mar 4, 10:03AM EST0

If you can find a little bit of extra information, it’s not a bad idea at all. However, I believe this “stalking” should be primarily for safety purposes and to check for obvious red flags (like if someone is married, a criminal, or a known scammer). Don’t contact the person or add him or her on social media until he or she invites you to do so.- JB

Mar 7, 8:04AM EST0
Does the amount of people available in the selected area determine the successful a person is of finding matches online?
Mar 4, 2:35AM EST0

The number of people does matter as far as potential matches go. However, many dating apps (like Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel) limit the number of people you will see and who will see you, largely based on factors they determine (such as how new your profile is, and how attractive the algorithms think you are). But, if you live in a small town or rural area, it’ll definitely affect your results. If you’re closer to a larger metro area, I’d recommend going there and swiping a couple of times a week. Tinder Plus has an option  of “swiping in” you can use to save time and gas money.- DB

Mar 7, 8:06AM EST0
When setting up a dating profile, how much personal information should a person include to ensure both safety and interest?
Mar 3, 5:15PM EST0

Personally, I would limit personal information for tactical reasons: the more you share, the more reasons you give someone to reject you. In real life, we often “click” with people based on chemistry and a connection. Online, people get into “checklist mode” and become very picky. So, if you share a lot (such as your exact height, your most obscure interests, or faults), someone may exclude you based on that, whereas if they met you in person, they’d overlook them.- JB

Mar 7, 8:06AM EST0
When setting up an online dating profile, how does one ensure that visitors or interested matches actually read the profile and not just view the pictures?
Mar 3, 1:54PM EST0

Start with good photos, because they are what draws someone in to read the profile (notice how the dating apps all make photos the main focus). Unfortunately, you could be a famous rock star who also is a billionaire astronaut, but many people won’t know that if your photos don’t draw them in. Then, include something in your profile that gets people to pay attention enough to read further. I have sometimes used “9/10 people won’t even read past this sentence.”- DB

Mar 7, 8:07AM EST0
What is the appropriate course of action for dealing with a person that has misrepresented themselves online?
Mar 3, 12:58PM EST0

That depends on how you want to proceed. Online dating involves a lot of smaller “stretching the truth” in terms of guys shaving an inch off of their heights, women using angles to hide a few extra pounds, and so on. I’m not saying this is ideal or acceptable, but it’s a common reality and almost everyone does it to some degree. Even someone writing “I’m awesome” on a profile is a subtle form of stretching the truth (are they really awesome??).

However, for bigger matters, misrepresentation online is a good indicator of the person’s overall character. You have to decide if that’s something you can live with. Given that there are many, many fish in the sea, in most cases, you can probably find someone very similar, but who isn’t going to lie to you.- JB

Mar 7, 8:07AM EST0
How will it not adding a picture effect the responses to an online profile?
Mar 3, 6:04AM EST0

I would definitely include a photo. Most people don’t engage profiles without photos, and some sites penalize profiles without photos (by not showing them to most users). Multiple studies show that when evaluating online dating profiles, men and women both place a huge emphasis on the visual. By not including a photo, you’re greatly limiting your potential matches.- DB

Mar 7, 8:08AM EST0

In what ways does your expertise help LGBTQ individuals find better romantic matches?

Mar 2, 8:20PM EST0

We keep up with recent research in virtually every area related to attraction and relationships, including studies that relate to LGBTQ persons. Given the research that a lot of LGBTQ individuals in some areas resort to online dating because of safety concerns with real world dating, it becomes even more important to offer them a better online dating experience. We help everyone beat the algorithms as much as possible to have a positive (or at least less negative) online dating experience.

Mar 7, 8:34AM EST0
What are the rules involved when dating a match online but not yet in a steady relationship with that person?
Mar 2, 6:41PM EST0

The best rule is to be upfront about your intentions and actions and be on the same page with the other person. This avoids misunderstandings and hurt feelings. So, don’t imply that you’re exclusive or committed if you’re still dating around. There’s nothing wrong with exploring your options and seeing other people if you haven’t made a commitment to a single person. However, if you feel the relationship is moving in a more exclusive direction (or the opposite), it’s best to discuss it rather than assume the other person feels the same way.- JB

Mar 7, 8:09AM EST0
Is a successful match based on random chance or is it analysed statistically?
Mar 2, 12:50PM EST0

Matches aren’t exactly random. Each app has different algorithms that determine who gets seen and who doesn’t. For example, Tinder will “punish” you if you swipe right on everyone by only showing your profile to unattractive people (as defined by them). On Bumble, new users get priority over older ones, so if you travel to a new area, you may get more matches in an hour than you got in a week in your own area.

Also, no surprise, studies show physically attractive people do much, much better on these apps than average looking people.- DB

Mar 7, 8:09AM EST0
When dealing with online dating sites, is it necessary to buy a membership?
Mar 2, 12:38PM EST0

We have found that buying a membership has its benefits on certain apps. Many sites are not even functional without paying (like Match). Some, like Tinder, provide many benefits. It honestly depends on how serious you are taking the experience, and what benefits you want. On Tinder, guys especially need to “boost” to see the best results, so paying for boosts will make the experience much better. However, if you just swipe a few times a day and aren’t that into online dating, I wouldn’t suggest paying.- DB

Mar 7, 8:10AM EST0
Which platform is better to use, an online dating application or a dating app, and how do they differ?
Mar 2, 10:49AM EST0

I’m assuming you are referring to a web based site (like OK Cupid) versus an app-only product, like Tinder. They tend to overlap these days (OK Cupid has an app, and Tinder can be used on a browser, for example), so that there isn’t much of a difference. Do whichever is most convenient for you. However, the advantage of a phone/tablet app is that you can have easy access to match and message all the time. In the competitive online dating market, this is essential.- DB

Mar 7, 8:11AM EST0
What must a person do if the person they are dating online is still active on their profiles?
Mar 2, 3:51AM EST0

First, I’d make sure what “active” means. Many companies (especially Bumble) keep inactive profiles up for a long, long time. So, if a friend sees the person’s profile, it doesn’t mean he or she is still active on the app and dating other people.

However, if you know the person is actively swiping and matching, then it’s time to have the “define the relationship” talk. At that point, you can decide to become more exclusive. If you decide to be more exclusive, or already are exclusive, then being truly active on those apps is cheating.- JB

Mar 7, 8:11AM EST0
What could be the reasons for a profile not getting responses and is there a particular way to ensure responses to a dating profile?
Mar 2, 2:41AM EST0

Unfortunately, there are many reasons you may not get responses. As a guy, you simply won’t get a lot of responses using online dating. Many women get thousands of likes and hundreds of messages. No woman can respond to all of those, so unless you really stand out, you’re not going to get many responses. She’s going to simply pick the best 10-15 messages and respond to those...maybe even fewer.

The best way to get attention is to stand out. Make sure you have great photos that show you in the most attractive and interesting light. And, make the written content of your profile equally interesting and exciting. And, use proper spelling and grammar! If a woman gets 1000 likes in a few months, she’s only going to pay attention to the absolute best.

Mar 7, 8:12AM EST0
If there is an interesting profile, what’s the best way to show interest, without it coming across as desperate or clingy?
Mar 1, 8:51PM EST0

You have to show some interest, because you could be competing with 20 other people, maybe more. So, a “hey” isn’t likely going to get much attention On the other hand, saying “you’re beautiful” or “you’re hot” is going to come across as too much, too soon, and seem clingy. I suggest finding something in the profile that interested you (like, for example, if you have a common interest) and making a statement or asking a question related to that. It shows interest and attention to detail, but isn’t desperate at all.- DB

Mar 7, 8:12AM EST0
What’s the best type of profile picture to ensure to attract the appropriate match?
Mar 1, 7:32PM EST0

Have photos that show you in the most attractive light possible, doing things that match your values and preferences. If you like exercise, then have one of you exercising. If you love pets, have one with a pet. However, the key is to choose photos that make you look your best and most attractive, simply because that is the number one thing people consider when matching.- DB

Mar 7, 8:13AM EST0
Does it make sense to use the same, generic message repeatedly when replying to a large number of messages or must more effort be put in to personalise each message?
Mar 1, 5:33PM EST0

We highly recommend personalized messages each and every time. The most attractive people using online dating get hundreds of messages (or more) in a week. If your message seems generic, it won’t stand out from the crowd.

A personalized message accomplishes a couple of things. First, it gives the other person an insight into what makes you unique. You can let your personality shine through. Second, it shows you actually paid attention to the other person’s profile enough to include it in your message.- JB

Mar 7, 8:13AM EST0
What can be done about people that are not of interest but continuously message?
Mar 1, 11:07AM EST0

I’d start by being polite. Say something like, “You’re a cool person, but I just don’t feel a connection. Best of luck on here!”

If the person doesn’t get the hint, then you can just block him or her. No sense wasting time and energy dealing with a creep who won’t take “no” for an answer.- JB

Mar 7, 8:14AM EST0
In online dating do similar interests always make the best matches or is it more of an “opposites attract” situation?
Mar 1, 8:46AM EST0

Online dating encourages a “checklist” mentality that often doesn’t exist in “real world” dating. In addition, the apps themselves put similar interests (like TV shows) front and center. As a result, common interests usually play a bigger role online than the “opposites attract” scenario.

However, like with anything related to romance, the most important factor is to be attractive. A person who is conventionally attractive with great photos could put “I have no interests” and still get hundreds of matches!- JB

Mar 7, 8:14AM EST0
How does a person handle a horrible first date after matching and interacting well with the person online?
Mar 1, 5:27AM EST0

The best way is to be upfront. Avoid ghosting the person or being a jerk. Just simply say something like this “I had a really good time, but I’ll be honest. I didn’t feel a spark in person.” That is upfront and respectful. Or, if you feel like there’s still hope, you can try to organize another date and see if it goes better. Sometimes, people are just awkward due to anxiety and the second date could align more with your online messaging experience.- DB

Mar 7, 8:15AM EST0
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