… How To Beat Them and Get a Relationship In the Process

There are a lot of reasons that people fail at online dating. It could be a bad profile, unflattering photos, or even just that they are being too passive or have unrealistic dating goals. One reason that most people don’t consider, however, is that the dating sites don’t actually want you to find love… at least not in less than 90 days. The good news is, that once you know why dating sites think like this and how they make it harder to find love, it is that much easier to beat them at their own game!

Don’t get me wrong. Online dating is a great way to find anything from a date, to a relationship, and even the love of your life. It’s how I met mine, and how many of my online dating coaching and profile writing clients have found true happiness. You just have to keep in mind that online dating sites are businesses, businesses with very high costs of customer acquisition. In speaking to executives from the dating industry over the year, I’ve seen the cost of getting new members skyrocket. Some execs have told me that they need a new member to stay subscribed for 90 days before the site makes any profit on them.  To me, that makes dating sites sound a lot like gyms. A gym’s business model isn’t for you to get fit, it’s for you to stay a member as long as possible. It’s up to you to make sure that you go in and use the tools they offer, instead of just being their tool for marketing and profit.

Three ways dating sites keep you from finding a date

In with the old

While the big dating sites like Match, POF, and eHarmony have millions of profiles, there’s a good chance that several of the singles you are considering for dates aren’t actually on the site. I’m not saying they are fake. I’m saying that dating sites will keep a profile up on their site for several months after the last time that person has logged in. They do this for two reasons. First, it makes the pool of singles feel bigger. Second, it is their hope that you email someone who hasn’t been on the site in a long time and they are interested enough in you to come back and become a member again.  They are using your interest in someone to rake in additional profit.

Useless algorithms

Dating sites promise all sorts of special matching tools and compatibility algorithms that are supposed to help you find love, but all they really do is waste your time. While some people are more willing to respond to an email from a match that has a high compatibility or “Mutual Match” score, those numbers really don’t mean anything and do nothing to help guarantee that the person is actually a good fit for you. There’s nothing in these scores that tell you about personality, chemistry, or even whether you are heading in the same direction in life (aside from whether or not you want to make more kids).

The membership mystery

As a rule, I generally advise my clients to focus on dating sites that require a paid subscription to communicate with other singles on the site. Free sites like POF are great, but I’ve found that people who are willing to pay a little bit of money to be on a site are generally more serious about finding a real relationship. The only problem is that, on the pay sites, you can’t tell who is there as a subscriber and who is just a free member. Some estimates place the non-paying to paying ration on some dating sites at up to 4:1. That means there’s a 75% chance you could be emailing someone that can’t email you back. Why do they do it? Two reasons: 1. They hope that a free member will decide to subscribe when they get notification that you’ve emailed them, and 2. If dating sites only showed their paid members who were recently online, they would look a lot less impressive to the average single man or woman looking for a date.

How to beat them at their own game

Become a master sorter

First thing’s first. Ignore those emails that dating sites send you with “your new matches!” Stick to the search tool on the site and do the hunting yourself. When you get your results, make sure that you choose the sorting option that organizes your matches by how recently they’ve logged in. If they haven’t been on the site in 72 hours, there’s a good chance that they aren’t serious about finding someone, or they’ve already abandoned their dating profile.

The best computer is between your ears

Forget any search tool that promises to tell you how compatible you are with anyone else. Use the basic criteria searches to find the people who have all your basic minimum requirements and don’t have any of your deal breakers. Look through those profiles to see if there’s real evidence that they are looking for someone like you as much as you are looking for someone like them.

Learn the ins-and-outs of your dating site

Several dating sites offer tools that can actually help you figure out who is a paid member and who isn’t. It is usually in the form of an email notification service that tells you if someone has looked at an email you wrote. If the person hasn’t even looked at your email, there’s a good chance that they can’t… because they aren’t a subscriber.