If you're looking for the newest trend in online dating, it most definitely includes online dating websites that utilize social media (see our review on Circl.es) or simply, social media itself. Think about it: Facebook has 1.06 billion (Yes, BILLION) monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, and 9 million apps. Most people we know have largely given up on the notion of real privacy when it comes to Facebook. Instead, we have largely come to terms with doing the best we can to lock down our own pages, try to stay on top of frequently changing privacy controls, and have learned to assume that anything we post may likely be re-posted, and has the potential to harm us or others. We focus on the positives (staying connected to faraway friends, the ability to share photos and cool stuff with one click, and of course, as the ubiquitous time passer).
Isn't it only natural to use this giant pool of social contacts, friends of friends of friends, to see who is single and open to dating?
"Tweet-Up" aka Twitter Meet-Ups
A tweet-up is what happens when people come together in the real world for an event that was organized through Twitter. Example: a cooking demonstration at Sur La Table which was tweeted and organized by a cooking fan, member of a cooking club, magazine, or a cookbook author. Why not use your interests to create or attend a twitter event which has the potential to lead you to your future partner, or just a good dating potential in a natural environment?
Jules, a 28 year old photojournalist from Baltimore, writes:
I had tried all the big dating websites, and even though I was still registered on two, I had pretty much decided to take a break from online dating. Too much obsessional checking of mail, getting frustrated when someone didn't answer my note...I nervously decided to go to a tweetup for online bloggers, and had a blast. I met people I considered virtual friends, but most importantly, I met THEIR friends and co-workers! I hit it off with Rolf, who was also a friend of my twitter friend Tom, and Rolf ended up becoming my boyfriend! I totally recommend trying a twitter meetup for the social opportunities which surround a topic you are already interested in.
How About a Little Dating Yelp Here?
First there was Consumer Reports, then there was Angie's List and now, the free website Yelp, where local reviewers have the opportunity to critique local businesses and services. In fact, Yelp is now pretty much used as a verb, as in, "Let me Yelp what bar has the best martinis in Brooklyn". Reading Yelpers' reviews, rants and comments about places in your community can be an invaluable pool of available singles. Writing your own reviews and comments also allows you to insert your own game, and puts you out there as well.
Think about it: that cute girl (most Yelpers show a pic) who has frequented all your favorite dim sum places in Minneapolis, and seems to check in to the same coffee shop several mornings just might be someone you could bump into there sometime. Drop her a complement about her review, and ask her if she's tried the glutinous shrimp jellyroll at Abc Dim Sum yet? Work it! Perhaps a casual invite might yield a great date. Yelp has a feature where you can add other yelpers as friends, or contact other Yelpers through "complementing" them.
Yelp events are a little known aspect of Yelp for many which can be an amazing way to see what's happening in your area, who is planning on attending, or who indicates interest in attending. Example: Hop Scotch Beer and Scotch Festival in Fremont, a Seattle suburb, or listed under "Yelp Geeks Out", an upcoming, free Pinball tournament at a micro-creamery ice cream shop, where the winner gets a prize. The possibilities for meeting people and increasing your social circle are endless. Just check it out.
Facebook for Dating?
Your circle of dating possibilities just increased exponentially. Your FB friends and their friends are all potential new friends of yours.
- If you notice someone you think is cute, funny, witty, or has something in common with you, you can add comments after their comment, or drop them a line in a message (not on their page), using a very relaxed approach. Don't be creepy!
Example: Hey! I'm a friend of Adrias, and I noticed that you mentioned Jonathan Wilson's new tour in Las Vegas coming up. I just discovered him too--a friend turned me on to him--doesn't he remind you of a mixture of Neil Young and Pink Floyd?
Perhaps this low-key approach will pave the way for an ongoing conversation, if you don't blow it by being creepy, or commenting on his/her appearance, or try to move too fast.
- Ask your friend to "introduce" you to that cool friend of theirs who interests you. Suggest they let the object of your affection know you guys may have some things in common, and that you are available. Having a mutual friend make an introduction and vouch for you is worth it's weight in gold.