Category Archives: Online Dating

Top 3 Ways to Handle Rejection in Online Dating


Rejection is a difficult thing to stomach and new research indicates it can even impact your nervous system.

One arena where rejection is a fact of life is online dating. The reality is that people use online dating for a variety of purposes, and on certain platforms like Tinder, the majority of users view it as a game and not a way to find a serious partner.

We've all been there. Photo credit: Mark Morgan
We’ve all been there. Photo credit: Mark Morgan

With such an unpleasant feeling as rejection bound to impact almost anyone who tries online dating, we thought it a good idea to list the best ways to keep rejection from ruining your day, week or month.

Here are the top three ways we know of to effectively deal with rejection in online dating:

1. Avoid expectations, or at least keep them very low

The best way to limit the disappointment of rejection is to keep your expectations in check in the first place. The odds are you will not meet your future spouse by the first or even tenth person you date.

Think of online dating as a form of social practice, where you have nothing to lose. Be sure to pick a restaurant or event that you have wanted to try regardless of of the date. Learn about the other person, even if you know immediately that he or she will not suit you as a long-term partner. Approaching your date as a learning experience will help quell any feelings of rejection after the fact.

Most of all, assume that the person you are on a first date with likely has other dates lined up after you…and you should follow suit! Avoid attachment after a first, second or even third date. Assume non-exclusivity until it is openly stated and don’t expect to find the perfect partner in a set period of time.

Finally, don’t put other areas of your social life on hold. Remember that you can just as easily meet someone randomly at a coffee shop or bookstore as you can online. In other words, don’t expect online dating to be a cure-all and don’t put all your eggs in the online dating basket. If you do, the feeling of rejection will only be amplified when it inevitably comes to you.

2. Exercise

Don’t stew on an unanswered messages or texts. Get some fresh air and exercise. Science has shown the correlation between exercise and strong mental and emotional health. Not getting a date is a poor reason to be inactive and your lack of activity may make you feel even worse!

Push yourself to leave the house, go to the gym and the benefits to your mood, body and state of mind will all be noticeable. Consider adding yoga and meditation to the mix to train your mind which will pay off when dealing with challenging situations. Consistent exercise will help stabilize your mood, immune system and make you more resilient to life’s ups and downs.

3. Don’t quit…unless you really want to

Keep in mind online dating is the ultimate numbers game. While we don’t encourage you to message everyone on the platform nor accept a date with just anyone who messages you without due diligence, flexibility and patience are keys to a successful online dating experience. Many people send hundreds of messages and go on dozens of dates before finding a partner. While the process can be frustrating, the reward, when and if it comes, could make the time investment worth it.

Don’t quit because you feel uniquely unsuccessful with online dating. Nearly everyone finds it frustrating at times. If however, you do feel frustrated, you may decide to take a break from your site for a few months or switch to a dating platform that might suit you better.

Choose to start or stop online dating on your own terms and regardless of whom you find to date, you can consider yourself a success.

Can “Grades” Improve Online Dating?


Another month brings another new online dating service. This time, it’s The Grade, a new iOS app that aims to build “community of high-quality” daters through using an algorithm to determine how often the daters profiles are liked, the quality and frequency of their messages. Users who receive consistently low grades will eventually be kicked off the platform.

The Grade motivates its users to write better messages and maintain an engaging profile. Or else.
The Grade motivates its users to write better messages and maintain an engaging profile. Or else. Photo credit: Robert Hruzek

In the age of Tinder, The Grade seems like at least a partial antidote to the rapid fire swiping and curt messages that have come to play a large role in online dating today.

But will The Grade’s grading system actually work? We think it could definitely improve the overall pool of daters on the platform, but it’s not likely to be a cure-all, especially when it comes to those dedicated to deception, and it may even encourage it.

Here are some online dater profiles The Grade could likely weed out:

The “Hey” Guy – We all know this type. They send out hundreds (or thousands?) of one-word messages per week to every woman from the age of 18-40, hoping to strike up a conversation (or at least their version of a conversation). The Grade should definitely knock out these monosyllabic, desperate types or at least make them up their conversational games. The question is if you want them to?

The Felipe – You can read more about this type on our previous blog post here, but suffice to say that the type of abuse that is common on Tinder would not win favorable grades.

The Infuriating Obscure Photo Profile – A single, mysterious photo of the back of your head looking at the Ocean. The baseball hat and sunglasses photo. The off-centered selfie. You know these profile photos suck. Just like in college when you turned in that crappy paper in a non-core class, you know this work isn’t good enough. So no one should complain when profile pictures like these receive a failing grade.

Who The Grade likely won’t weed out:

While we’re excited that The Grade’s community policing approach could innovate when it comes to clearing out the dregs and time wasters of online dating, one should keep in mind that the deceptive, emotionally manipulative and high-level con artists thrive on being tested in such a manner.

Someone trying to hide their “true” self will have no problem putting up quality pictures and writing a detailed (albeit false) profile. Likewise, a scammer targeting online daters only needs to be successful once before disappearing (and perhaps reappearing under a new identity).

That’s why it’s always a good idea to consider a background check as part of your due diligence in online dating. The platforms – whether Tinder, Match or The Grade – will change, but your common sense should remain.

What do you think? Will grades improve the online dating experience? Let us know in the comments section.


Tinder’s Edge: The “Bye Felipe” Controversy

This week the harsh reality of what many women have to deal with in online dating was driven home by an Instagram account called Bye Felipe, which highlighted various men’s reactions to being turned down for dates, mostly via Tinder and OKCupid. The reactions are offensive, shocking and so ridiculous they are in many cases funny.

The Instagram everyone is talking about. Source: Urban Dictionary.

While the account provides an admittedly limited sample size of men, the widespread media and blog coverage seems to have struck a chord with many women dating online.

Perhaps the most disturbing element is how rapidly messages go from normal pick up lines or date requests to misogynistic and hateful insults. We’ve talked about the time pressure associated with Tinder and related apps before, but here that time pressure to respond now, make a date now, hook up now, is very evident—as are the potential consequences of moving too quickly with someone you barely know.

As the creator of the Bye Felipe account commentates after receiving yet another insulting message back from a man who was romantically courting her just moments earlier:

“Dodged another psychopath.”

The scary thing is that in many of these instances, the author of the site makes clear that she simply fell asleep between messages or was otherwise distracted from responding right away, which the men in question took for radio silence and then unleashed their tirades upon her. Their true personalities showed after only the smallest perceived slight.

If it wasn’t for this type of “fortunate” misunderstanding, the author could have found herself on a first date with a real-life psychopath, or at least someone unable to control his temper over minor disappointments.

The #ByeFelipe controversy only reinforces a point we have made repeatedly, that in online dating it’s best not to rush into a first date until you have a good idea of whom you’ll be meeting. This is why we have cautioned against the Tinder hook-up mentality. It’s also why we encourage to be vigilant for scammers and engage potential online dates in messages and to review their profiles and photos for inconsistencies before meeting up.

As part of this vigilance, making a background check part of your screening process can make sense. While a background check won’t detect a bad temper, it will highlight any major inconsistencies, including a history of criminal behavior that may make you choose to say, “Bye, Felipe!”

Potential Catfish Causes Man to Choke


The Huffington Post, along with a number of other online outlets, recently reported on a man choking a woman he met online for appearing different in real life as compared with her online dating profile. Police didn’t immediately confirm the exact nature of the man’s disappointment, but in any case we can note a number of things that went wrong here before this unpleasant incident n-CORNELIUS-largeoccurred.

The main point is that the accused choker was obviously over-invested in this particular meeting. While we have no idea if the man has a violent criminal record or previous issues with managing his disappointment, we do have a few suggestions on what he could have done differently to prevent this situation from occurring in the first place:

1. Don’t Assume Someone is Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend Until You’ve Met Them in Person.

A striking detail about the article is that the accused had attacked his “girlfriend.” That means he had already made an emotional commitment to the person before actually meeting them. While moving at the speed of Tinder can be dangerous, building up a romantic relationship exclusively online can be just as damaging and put you at risk for catfish scenarios or scams. Try to meet a romantic interest within a few weeks of conversing and before you get emotionally involved. If you feel uncertain, you can always run a background check.

2. Set Expectations Beforehand

Looks mean a lot to some people and physical chemistry can be a necessary starting point for many relationships. Dated photos are quite a common ploy on online dating sites, and many people don’t have sinister intentions by leaving a photo up of them from a year or more ago. It may not be a catfish scenario but it can be misleading. If physical appearance is important to you, be upfront about it. Ask to see a current selection of photos and connect to social media profiles for added verification.  A background check can help you uncover all of someone’s current and historical social media networks if you feel like you are at risk of being duped.

3. Keep First Meetings Low Stakes

The accused man not only drove across state lines but also actually moved from Kentucky to Georgia before seeing his online “girlfriend” for the first time. We suggest meeting up at a neighborhood coffee shop or nearby Public Park during the day for a first in-person date. The time and cost commitment will be low, so if you are disappointed by the person’s appearance or personality, you can make a quick exit without too severe of a loss of time or money.

While misleading profiles come with the territory of a brave new world of online dating, we hope the steps above will help you to minimize any fallout.

Has a background check helped you avoid a hassle? Let us know in the comments.

10 Compelling Niche Online Dating Sites


According to eHarmony, 40 million Americans now date online, which equals roughly 40% of all single people in America. With such a huge pool of people to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to sift through messages and find a potential partner online, especially if you’re a woman who is bombarded with messages from guys wanting to take you out.

City folks just don’t get it, apparently.

One solution to this challenge has been found in the rise of niche online dating sites, which attempt to corral singles into similar cohorts by age, shared interests, ethnicity or religion. By narrowing your playing field of potential dates, you may paradoxically have a better chance of finding the right person for you. But how do you know what’s available? We took a look at this growing field for you and listed ten notable niche dating sites from the thoughtful to the bizarre.

  1. J Date – The original niche dating site, it concentrates on connecting Jewish singles and is already well established enough to be spoofed on mainstream sitcoms.
  1. ChristianMingle – A site for those sharing the Christian faith. We assume there are sub-filters to prevent Unitarians and Baptists from accidentally connecting.
  1. VeggieDate – A dating site for vegetarians and vegans. Why run the risk of someone lying about his or her dietary preferences on OKCupid?
  1. Alikewise – If you’re coming up empty on Goodreads, try this
    Ayn Rand fans can join Alikeable and The Atlasphere in their search for love.
    Ayn Rand fans can join Alikewise and The Atlasphere in their search for love.

    dating site that matches people by book taste.

  1. – A site only for the beautiful. Just don’t read their profiles.
  1. – Live in a small, remote town? Do the only two single people within 50 miles of you keep popping up on Match? Are both of them family members? Then try this rural-focused site.
  1. – The only dating site where red is the most common (and preferred) eye color.
  1. Amish Online Dating – For bonnets seeking beards.
  1. Mullet Passions – Joining comes with additional memberships at sites like Trucker Passions and Goth Passions. At no additional cost.

10. The Atlasphere – The good news is there a dating site for Ayn                 Rand enthusiasts. The bad news is 100% of its members are                     selfish in bed.

Do you have a favorite niche-dating site not on this list? Let us know in the comments.

And remember, no matter which online dating site you use, no amount of “filtering” can provide the peace of mind before a first date that a background check can.

Will A Criminal Record Lock Up Your Dating Life?


A criminal record doesn’t have to mean doom for your love life. Photo credit: Jason Clapp

All of us have skeletons in the closet, but some skeletons may appear to be scarier than others, especially in a dating context.

With people from all walks of life now able to run background checks affordably and instantly, you may feel like your past is obscuring your present and future prospects.  After all, if you have a criminal record, you are already aware of how it can interfere with employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and even basic necessities such as housing.

However, until relatively recently, beyond official purposes, criminal records were sufficiently private that a person with an incident in his or her past would have the chance to get to know someone before having to mention a criminal history.  Now however, it is entirely possible and even likely that someone could learn about your criminal history before you even get an opportunity to make a first impression.

So, how do you approach dating if you have a criminal incident on your record?

First, don’t lie.  While you may not have to share your entire criminal history with someone by the end of the first date, many potential partners will be more upset if you conceal the truth than they would have been about learning about the underlying criminal offense. Furthermore, if a criminal record is a deal-breaker for a potential partner, you not only waste their time, but yours, too, if you lie about it.

Second, take accountability for past mistakes. For many potential partners, it will not be enough for you to be honest about the details of your conviction, but also about the underlying details for the crime.  While you have every right to say you would like to wait to discuss them, the reality is that if a relationship progresses, you will need to discuss it at some point in time.  When you do describe the event, you will seem like you are trying to dodge responsibility if you blame others for what you did.

Third, ask yourself if you have you taken the steps needed to improve or change yourself since the criminal incident(s).  If the conviction involved drugs or alcohol, have you completed a rehabilitation program and are you currently sober?  If you were convicted with a group of people, have you changed associates?  If the conviction was for a violent crime, have you sought help to deal with any anger management issues or other problems with violence that you may have?

It is important to articulate the steps you have taken to put yourself in a different place than you were at when the criminal record was created. Many potential partners are not nearly as concerned about what is in your past as they are about what you are likely to be like in your future.

Therefore, any steps you have taken to help improve your chances of avoiding the same mistakes you have made in the past can be critical in keeping a new love interest onboard.

Are you unsure of what will show up on your background check? You can search instantly with BeenVerified to find out.


Tinder: When in Doubt, Swipe Left (Or Hit Block)


Tinder has changed the face of online dating. The process used to consist of hours crafting a detailed profile complete with one’s favorite foods and movies to tap into a network of complex algorithms in order to test for compatibility in connecting with a potential date. This was often followed by days or weeks of correspondence to determine if the date appeared worthwhile to meet for a preliminary coffee date.

Everyone is on Tinder these days.
Everyone is on Tinder these days. Photo credit: Tinder Hell.

Tinder, and similar sites such as Grindr, with their direct interfaces, emphasis over pictures rather than written profiles, seem to encourage users to do away with the complex “getting to know you” rituals of more traditional online dating. GPS compatibility adds to the urge of “meeting up now” rather than conducting due diligence over time on a potential match.

The fact that everyone seems to be using Tinder adds to the pressure to participate. While the majority of Tinder users seem to treat the app as more of a game or diversion as opposed to a dating or hook up site, the fact that “everyone” is on Tinder means that unsavory predators are on it, too. And without you being careful, they can find out your location, your appearance and perhaps even work their way onto your Facebook account.

The fact that Tinder relies on Facebook’s infrastructure to ensure “real people” are being matched with one another gives the dating platform a veneer of safety that could lead to complacency. The fact is that Tinder’s directness makes it a particularly attractive venue for scam artists, which as we’ve blogged about recently, have proliferated throughout the online dating universe.

Be sure to avoid seeing friends from work by checking the appropriate settings. Photo credit: Tinder Hell.
Be sure to avoid seeing friends from work by checking the appropriate settings. Photo credit: Tinder Hell.

Here are a few aspects of Tinder that you should consider “Swiping Left” on:

1. Catfish – Fake Facebook accounts can and are easily created for the purpose of Tinder, as this story reports. When engaging with a match, ask a lot of question and be ready to hit the block button if the answers don’t add up.

2. Facebook Friends – Make sure in Tinder’s settings you instruct it to avoid showing you Facebook friends in real life. It’s also a good idea to tighten up all of your Facebook security settings while you’re at it.

3. Con artists – Sex workers, automated bots and con artists looking to exploit Tinder’s location services have all been known to use the service for unsavory and illegal purposes. Again, use the block button if someone seems too good to be true and especially if they are intrusive.

And here are some ideas to “Swipe Right” on to ensure Tinder remains fun, useful and safe:

1. Background check – Keeping a background check app like BeenVerified next to your phone’s Tinder icon can make it extremely convenient to rule out some of the seamy characters listed above.

2. Make your first date in public – Use the same common sense approach you would for traditional or typical online dating. Meet in public, converse online until you’re comfortable and don’t feel rushed to make a connection.

3. Use the block feature – We can’t emphasize this one enough. As so many Tinder users treat the service like a game, it’s a reality that you will run into people with no investment in the service and are simply looking to joke around or even harass people. Use that block button early and often!

We hope the above tips will help you navigate the world of Tinder and similar match sites with ease.

Do you use Tinder? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section.

Which Online Dating Lies Will You Accept?


Which lies are OK?

Last week we focused on harmful lies and deceit associated with online dating scams and the financial distress they can cause the vulnerable. But what about the softer side of deception, when potential dates fudge some vitals or use an outdated photo? Which lies are acceptable and which go too far?

People lie in online dating in myriad ways.  Online dating profiles are, in many ways, mini-advertisements, and people try to sell you the very best versions of themselves in a short profile.  In addition, because many online dating sites have cut-off points that categorize people, some people might fudge their numbers to get into categories where they think they might be more compatible with group members.

For example, someone might alter their income because they are entry level in their field and expect to make more in a short period of time.  A guy might say that he is taller than he actually is because he knows that women may state a preference for taller men, and that few women would refuse to date a man she met in person because he was an inch or two shorter.  These lies are what many people would consider harmless puffery, but for some people could be deal breakers.

Now for the big one: pictures.  It seems natural to select your most attractive photo for your online dating profile.  However, it is important to ask yourself if you still look like the person in the photo.  If the photo is a few years old or if you have undergone a dramatic physical change in the interim, then using that photo is probably dishonest.  Why try to date someone who would only find a historical version of you attractive?  On the other hand, that someone’s photo is a few years old is probably not a reason to consider that person dishonest about appearance.

Another point to consider: sometimes people lie accidentally.  A new female applicant might not be able to figure out what half of the body type categories on eHarmony even mean. Some of the men viewing that profile could have honest disagreements about if the person meets those requirements. And what about those situations where friends help one another with wording and descriptions on their profiles to bring out their best characteristics? Is this honest, friendly input or a form of cheating?

There are, however, some lies that cannot be considered harmless.  A married person claiming to be single, a mother or father claiming to be childless, or a person using fake pictures or fake names in their profiles are all red flags for bad behavior.  Running a background check through a service like BeenVerified probably will not tell you if your online love is really 5’11” instead of 6” tall, but it can reveal important information like marital status, criminal history, and whether or not the person has any children.

In online dating, we all conceal things about ourselves. That does not mean that all lies are harmless or that all lies are the same. Which online dating lies have you accepted after a date? Let us know in the comments.

You See Love, They See Gold: Yet Another Online Dating Scam


gold bars
Think carefully before sending money to someone new in your life, no matter how convincing the story sounds. Photo Credit: John Louis, used under Creative Commons license.

Yesterday we looked at the growing phenomenon of online dating scams that are cheating unsuspecting and vulnerable people out of millions of dollars across the globe. While we noted that online dating’s move to the mainstream is likely the main cause in the growing number of scams out there, another long-term trend is also partly responsible: Globalization.

Anyone reading the news today can become discouraged with the number of crises and conflicts in the world. Today’s news of conflicts, while terrible in their own right, can also provide scammers with fodder for their next ploy.

The BBC reported on the latest example of such a scam yesterday.  A woman from England was duped by a man she met through an online dating service into what she thought was assisting his “Syrian sheikh” buddy import valuables legally into the country. The elaborate scam involved the woman paying thousands in fake tax bills and custom fees. After the woman realized she had been scammed, it was too late. While the police were able to trace the money back to a location elsewhere in England, the culprit and money were long since gone.

As the victim in the story remarked, vulnerable people are especially susceptible to this type of scam, particularly when dealing with skillful con artists who can rip news from the headlines to help support and validate their schemes.

While this particular story may seem far-fetched, we would argue that this type of scam could potentially befall anyone, not just the especially vulnerable or naïve. When you make a connection with a potential mate, online and off, judgment can become clouded, particularly in matters of money. That’s why we encourage verifying the legitimacy of a potential date early on, before you feel emotional attachment.

BeenVerified makes it easy to take the first step in building trust online with a potential partner with our extensive, affordable and accessible background check service.

What is the sketchiest thing a date or partner has asked you to do for them early on in the dating process? Let us know in the comments, but keep it PG-13, please!

Your Next Date: A Con Artist?


Make sure your online date wants you–and not your money. Photo credit: Just Deon, under Creative Commons license.

As online dating has gone from niche to mainstream, scams targeting online daters are exploding, with more and more people using the Internet to prey upon the unsuspecting to make them fall in love and then steal their money.

British newspaper The Guardian recently called dating scams “the most costly in existence” and reported that in Australia there have already been 43 people this year who have lost more than $100,000 each in related scams.

Con artists spend time and effort to perfect their scams, which can make it difficult for the average person to determine whether a new online romantic interest is the real thing or simply a scam.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from a fraud.

Step 1: Scrutinize their profile. 

Keeping in mind that many people manage their profiles in such a way as to only present the best about themselves to potential dates, look at what you can see about them and honestly assess whether it looks too good to be true.  Conversely, profiles with minimal or vague information should also serve as a red flag. Is the text the work of a unique and down-to-earth individual, or are the phrases cookie cutter? Does the person seem to be in a rush to find a partner?

Step 2: Check out their pictures. 

First, are there pictures? In this day and age, it is safe to assume that someone who isn’t willing to share pictures and is trying to do online dating is likely hiding something.  Second, are the pictures all of the same person?  One thing that con artists do is make profiles from pictures that they have found that seem similar, but upon closer inspection, are actually of different people! Third, where else can you find the pictures?  Google has a feature that allows you to search for other locations of pictures online. Is that person’s picture an image used in multiple, seemingly unrelated websites? Or can you trace the picture back to a legitimate social media profile?

Step 3: Consider a background check. 

Is there a person matching that description?  Using a company like BeenVerified for a background check, you can find out if there is a person with that name and that age living where the person claims to live.  While it is possible for an adult to have no public record footprint, it is rare, and the lack of a verifiable identity is a huge warning sign that you may be on the verge of being scammed, or at least have caught a catfish.

The most important point of all: never send money to someone you haven’t yet met in person. Most online dating scams rely on building an emotional connection with the victim and getting money sent through services like PayPal or through other means online

Have you had any experience with online dating sketchiness? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments.