Dates: A home for your most promising conversations

There’s never been a better time to reset and prioritize what matters most. Or in this case, who matters most. That’s why we’ve launched Dates: a first-of-its-kind feature that provides clarity and focus by moving members’ most important connections to a dedicated space within the app.  

Here’s how it works:

When you and a member reach a promising point in a conversation, we’ll ask if you’re ready to take the next step via an in-app prompt. If you both say yes, you’ll be moved to Dates.

Once a conversation moves to Dates, you’ll not only have a better idea of how that member feels about you – buh-bye, guessing games – but you’ll be able to better focus on that conversation – adios, cluttered inbox!

This new section also allows you to access unlimited video chat and discover each other’s first date preferences. From social distancing practices to favorite restaurants, you’ll have all the personal information you need to plan an actual date. Because after all, isn’t that what you came here for?

 Skip playing games and get to the good stuff faster with Dates.

Skip the small talk with #RealTalk

A lot has changed in 2020, and the way singles are connecting is no exception. Today, singles are exchanging 40% more messages compared to last year, but how often they’re talking is not the only change we’ve noticed.

Singles are now starting more meaningful conversations – covering topics like health, politics, religion, and sex and family  early on in the game. With this trend in mind, we recently launched #RealTalk: questions designed to help our members skip the boring banter and spark more meaningful conversations, helping singles get to know one another on a deeper level. That’s what they want, after all. And we have the numbers to prove it.

According to a recent survey of over 5,000 Match users:

  • 81% want to know more about a potential match’s stance on deeper topics before they can determine their potential 
  • 87% are more likely to move things forward after talking about more substantial topics
  • 61% would like support in moving from small talk to deeper conversations on a dating app

“All of a sudden, small talk just seems so insignificant,” says Rachel DeAlto, Chief Dating Expert at Match. “The world is facing real issues between the pandemic, social justice movements, and the election. Daters have recognized that this more significant and almost heavy energy is affecting every conversation. It doesn’t mean you can’t start with the weather or debating pour over versus drip coffee, but you won’t stay there long.”

Ready to get real? Add the latest Trending Topic to your profile and see where your next conversation takes you.

Introducing: Date Check-In

Feeling safe is a priority for our members, and our new in-app feature was designed with just that in mind. Introducing Date Check-In: an automated message that helps keep your friends and family informed while you’re on a date.

Gone are the days of having to text all your best friends individually every time you plan a new date (we’ve all done it!). With Date Check-In, you simply give us the details and we handle the outreach, giving you more time to prep and pamper for the big day. And who doesn’t want that?

How it works:

It all starts with your trusted contacts. By selecting the Date Check-In icon (upper right corner of each Match conversation), you can opt-in and add a name and phone number for up to three friends or family members.

Once your trusted contacts agree to participate in Date Check-Ins via text, they will receive automatic updates when you schedule a date. This will include the day, time, location and name of the person with whom you’re going out with.

At the start of your date, Match will send you a text to see how things are going. If all is well, no need to respond. If at any point in the date you do feel uncomfortable, you can reply YES, alerting us to notify your trusted contacts immediately.

Date Check-In is the first of many features we’ll be rolling out as part of our evolving Safety Center. Stay tuned!

Reminder: Date Check-In is not a replacement for emergency services, nor a replacement for using your best judgement. If you ever feel you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, dial 911 immediately.

As always, you can opt out of using the Date Check-In feature at any time by sending a text with the word STOP. Replying STOP will cancel all of your check-ins, and remove you if you are serving as a trusted contact for anyone else.

Match’s Most Eligible Valentines

Still looking for a Valentine? Whether you’re searching for fit and flawless or you’re all about the personality, these eight eligible bachelors and bachelorettes will show you some l-o-v-e just in time for Cupid’s favorite holiday.

Let’s meet the babes:

Jackson aka Mr. GQ

Do we really need to explain the nickname? I mean…look at that face. While he’s mastered all the model facials – smoldering, suspicious, you name it – he’s usually all smiles. At just eight months old and 55 pounds, he still has a little growing up to do (don’t all men?) and just wants someone to be silly with along the way.  

View Jackson’s profile

Demi aka Netflix & Chill (in the good way)

This 10-pound female chihuahua is the perfect mate for anyone into really big…ears! While she’s only one year old, she has mastered the art of relaxation, making her the dream companion for binging that new documentary. (Yes, Netflix, we’re stillll watching…)

View Demi’s profile

Zoe aka Little Spoon

If you’re one of those bizarre singles who doesn’t like to cuddle, this ain’t ya girl. This 65-pound sweetheart loves to snuggle up after a long day of work or play. She’s also a great walking companion as her little legs and affectionate spirit are always turning heads.

View Zoe’s profile

Jimbo aka The Jock

Jimbo is like the football player you had a crush on in high school, but with a wayyy better personality. He’s two years old and the perfect partner for long runs, hikes or just throwing the ball in the yard. His upbeat attitude and silly spunk will always make you smile.

View Jimbo’s profile

Tyga aka Teddy Bear

If the big warm teddy bear is your type, look no further. Tyga is 80 pounds, four years old and has plenty of love to share. He’s also the perfect guy to introduce your parents and friends to – no really, he gets along with everyone.

View Tyga’s profile

Dizzy aka Mr. Dependable

No matter what kind of day you’ve had, you’ll love going home to this handsome hunk of love. At 83 pounds, Dizzy is the perfect protector, but loves to be silly too. He’s always ready for a walk or a good belly rub (aren’t we all?) and is looking for a stable partner to provide him both.

View Dizzy’s profile

Bernice aka Down for Whateva

Bernice is one of those babes who prides herself on being low maintenance. Whether you want to explore the open road, pick up new friends at the park or just kick it on the couch, she’s game for anything. She doesn’t let her past get in the way (no ex bashing here!) and is ready for a new partner in crime to enjoy the future with.

View Bernice’s profile

Allie aka Sugar Mama

Sweet and sophisticated with plenty of skills, Allie is pretty much everyone’s type – so better keep an eye on your friends around her. She loves meeting new people, long walks on the beach (or the street) and sharing her love. And what’s better than that?   

Ready to match with one of these cuties? You’re in luck. All are currently available for adoption through Wags & Walks, an LA-based adoption center dedicated to helping rescue dogs find their forever homes. 

Let’s get you to the first date faster.

You can message back and forth all day long, but when it comes to an actual date, you have to put yourself out there. While the rom-coms make asking someone out look like second nature, we know there’s usually some anxiety involved. No shame.

Meet Match’s Dating Expert: Sylvi

With over 25 years in healthcare, Sylvi has dedicated her life to helping others. This passion eventually evolved from a focus on physical health to emotional health as she helps singles navigate relationships. Sylvi’s specialty is perfecting members’ profiles to attract who they’re looking for.

Q: How do I ask for a date without coming off as pushy or too eager?

A: Let your match know that you’re enjoying getting to know them and would like to meet up sometime soon. Ask them what their schedule is like. This confirms your interest in spending time with them and is a low-pressure invitation. It’s also a great way to feel out if the interest is mutual without making it awkward.

Q: I was turned down. What should I do?

A: We’ve all been there. If it’s clear that there will be no further contact, let them know that you appreciate their time and wish them well. If it’s a temporary situation – for example, your match is going out of town or has previous plans – ask again in a few days or sooner if your match brings it up. Life gets busy, so “no” doesn’t always mean never.

Q: My match accepted the date. Now how do I know who pays?

A: It’s 2021, so there’s no more hard-and-fast rules on who pays. However, if you initiated the date, be prepared to pay for both of you. If you didn’t initiate the date but feel strongly about paying or splitting the bill, feel free to let them know how you like to handle things beforehand. For example, you can work into the conversation, “I’m old school and pay for all of my dates. I hope that’s okay with you.” Or, “I know you asked me out, but I picked the restaurant, so can we split the bill this time?” If it doesn’t come up naturally and you feel strongly about paying, you can always excuse yourself to the bathroom and quietly take care of the check before returning.

Q: My last date didn’t look anything like their photos. How do I avoid this happening again?

A: Start by looking at your match’s photos and asking them to tell you about them. For example, if they have a lot of travel pictures, you can ask when they took those trips. Due to the pandemic, some photos may be over a year old. You can also look out for signs of discrepancy, such as obvious or heavy editing, super close headshots where you can’t see their entire face, and no full-body photos.

I also always recommend scheduling a Vibe Check prior to setting up a date. Video chats not only give you a chance to talk and see each other live, but can ease some of the anxiety that comes with meeting in person for the first time.­­

How to make dating fun again

We get it. Dating can feel dull sometimes. Whether all your dates are starting to blend together, or you’re not even motivated to truly put yourself out there, it happens. This doesn’t have to be the norm though. Simply shaking up your routine can be exactly what it takes to bring back the excitement.

Match’s Dating Expert: Brooklyn

While mathematics is her specialty, Brooklyn knows there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for relationships. With this in mind, she’s made it her mission to help singles with their specific struggles, whether moving on from a previous relationship, or simply moving out of their comfort zone.

Q: I’m in a dinner date rut. How do I liven up my first dates while ensuring the other person is having fun too?

A: It’s easy to get caught in a revolving door of dinner dates. A new setting is what you need. While you’re still in the chatting phase, be sure to learn about your potential date’s hobbies, interests & even the activities they loved growing up. For example, if they used to play competitive sports, introduce some healthy competition with a round of mini golf. If they’re creative, consider a paint & sip class. Even if your date prefers a more traditional approach, moving that meal outside for a picnic or bringing takeout to a cool drive-in movie can make all the difference.

Q: When is a good time to start bringing my date on group outings?

A: I would suggest waiting until you’ve been on a few dates. It’s good to get in some quality one-on-one time together before introducing them to a group. However, if you’re someone who feels more secure meeting for the first time with friends, make sure you gauge your date’s comfort level first. After all, meeting your crew might feel a bit intimidating. Suggest they bring some of their friends along to ensure they feel more at ease.

Q: I’m out of my comfort zone now that I’m dating again. Any tips on how to overcome the anxiety & actually enjoy myself?

A: You’re not alone in this feeling. The majority of members are either new to online dating or getting back into the swing of things. Start by setting boundaries for yourself. If scrolling through tons of profiles is nerve-racking, set yourself a manageable time limit for how long you’ll sift through prospective matches each day. Maybe even reward yourself by doing something you love afterwards. If sending the first message makes you uneasy, compose a message template that allows you to customize the details depending on the person you’re reaching out to. And if it’s the actual in-person date that’s giving you the blues, consider setting up video dates to get better acquainted with them beforehand. The more comfortable you are, the more fun you’ll have.

How to (politely) end it

Not every match you talk to will end in happily ever after, and that’s okay. But ending a relationship – or what could have become a relationship – can be tricky. It may seem easier to just “ghost” or “slow-fade,” but it’s important to remember there’s a real person on the other side of the screen.

Match’s Dating Expert: Ilissa

A previous Learning Coach in the luxury hospitality industry, Ilissa has trained numerous new hires to reach their full potential. She takes that same direct and practical approach to show singles how to increase their success one message at a time.

How to end it when:

You haven’t met in person yet but have been messaging for a while.

Sometimes you don’t have to meet face to face to know the chemistry is not there. If you’ve sent a few messages back and forth or exchanged phone numbers, I recommend sending a short message letting them know you’re no longer interested.

For example,

“It’s been great getting to know you. I don’t think we’re a good match for dating, but I wish you all the best in your search going forward.”

If they respond and ask for an explanation, it’s up to you if you’d like to elaborate. Just know you’ve already done your due diligence by being direct with them.

You’ve gone on one date.

You don’t have to call or meet in person to break things off. A quick text is more than appropriate.

For example,

“Thanks for meeting up last night. After spending some time together, I don’t think our personalities are the right fit. But I wish you the best and hope you find what you’re looking for.”

If your date was rude, awkward or not what you were expecting, it’s best to be upfront sooner rather than later. Consider a more direct approach like, “Thank you for meeting with me tonight. I wanted to reach out and let you know I’m not interested in going out again.”

This message is clear, concise and direct without being cruel or allowing the other person to think there might be a chance to go out again.

You’ve gone on several dates.

When you’ve been out multiple times and established a deeper connection, you shouldn’t end things over text.

If you opt for a phone call, be sure to let them know you need to talk in advance and confirm a time prior to calling. This way you don’t end up leaving a voicemail or catching them off guard.

If you decide to end things in person, be sure you’re in an environment that’s conducive to conversation. Avoid crowded places like loud restaurants or busy coffee shops.

For either option, the conversation can follow a similar flow. Start off with something positive, then explain what problems you’ve been having and end it with your next steps. Be sure to give them a chance to respond and share their feelings as well.

For example,

“I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve spent together. You’re always fun to be around. However, I noticed that you’re unresponsive when we’re not together and it’s hard for me to get in touch with you. I really need someone who makes communication a priority. I’m willing to listen if you feel differently or if we can work on finding a balance. But if not, then it’s best if we no longer see each other.”

Summer of Love

This summer looks a lot different than last year, and we couldn’t be more relieved. With more singles ready to get out and mingle, finding who you’re looking for has never been more attainable. Match has the numbers to prove it.

70% of singles are ready to put themselves out there as much as possible this summer.

And it’s not just hookups they’re after. While this time of year has a reputation for people not wanting to be tied down, many singles want to be just that.

71% of singles are looking for a serious relationship.

Ready to experience it for yourself?

Tips for savoring the Summer of Love:

Be clear about your intentions.

Singles don’t want their time wasted, especially after 2020. If you’re just looking for something casual, that’s fine. But be honest about it. Setting expectations early on not only helps you find someone looking for the same thing but avoids misleading anyone.

Don’t be afraid to share your vaccination status.

We know preventing COVID isn’t the sexiest conversation, but feel free to put it out there.

After all, more than 50% of respondents wanted to know their date’s vaccination status.

Remember that dating is a process.

Let’s be real: not every date you go on this summer is going to be sizzling. If one is a total flop, don’t get down about it or worry you’ve wasted your time.

Meet Match’s Dating Expert: Lauren

“There’s something you can learn from every date, so make a mental note or write in a journal what went well and what didn’t. That way when you have your next date, you know what to avoid and look out for.”

Avoid dating fatigue.

Got a new date every other day of the week? We love to hear it. Just make sure you’re still taking time for yourself, loved ones, and your other hobbies. This helps ensure you don’t get too burned out from dating before you find who you’re looking for.

Go somewhere new.

Speaking of getting burned out, make sure you’re changing up your date routine a bit. It’s a new season, after all. And while it’s nice to go to bars and restaurants you’re comfortable at, you shouldn’t go to the same place with all your dates. Trying a new venue or activity entirely (think: kayaking, an outdoor movie, the farmers market) is a great way to keep things fresh and fun.

Never settle.

After a year like 2020, dating anyone might seem better than being alone. But don’t sell yourself short. If you go on a few dates with someone and the chemistry just isn’t there, be honest with them and move on. Remember, it’s summer. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than fireworks.

These stats are based on the behaviors of 1,850 single Match users, ages 18-60, and was fielded May of 2021.

The 5 Best Travel Practices For New Couples

With 2020 in the rearview mirror and summer upon us, it’s safe to say the travel bug has bit us all. Singles are no exception. After feeling like a year of their life was ripped away, they’re ready to make up for lost time. And for many, that means exploring somewhere new with someone new.

This isn’t a new concept though. Many singles talking to members in another city or state use trips to meet each other in person for the first time. While this makes sense from a geographic and logistics perspective – especially if meeting halfway between their two homes – it’s a step that shouldn’t be treaded lightly.

Meet Match’s Dating Expert: Ilissa

“When you travel with someone, you quickly get to know their quirks and habits. So, the stakes can feel much higher when you’re dating that person. Traveling is a great way to determine compatibility and see new sides of your partner, which can be exciting and even a little scary. Think of your first trip as a test run for the future. An easy way to take some of the pressure off is to be sure you’re prepared.”

After all, according to a recent Instagram survey conducted by Rachel DeAlto, Match’s Chief Dating Expert, 25% of participants have experienced a breakup as a result of traveling together.

The 5 best travel practices for new couples.

1. Keep the trip to 3 days or less

Seriously. Even if you have no doubt it will be a success, keep that first getaway to a long weekend. That way if things don’t turn out like you planned, you’re not stuck somewhere uncomfortable for a long period of time.

2. Discuss intimacy expectations

This was ranked as the most important rule to follow when traveling with someone for the first time. Setting boundaries and expectations in advance – like deciding if you’ll share a room – will help ensure there are no awkward moments or disappointments that could kill the vacation’s vibe.

3. Set a budget

Given that finances are one of the top causes for arguments among couples, we have to call this out. Discussing what you both feel comfortable spending and who will be responsible for what, will take a lot of stress out of the experience. Plus, you can plan ahead and know what to expect.  

4. Consider going with a group

This can be a great way to take the pressure off. Just make sure the friends or family you bring along gel with one another. That way, if you do want to sneak off for a little alone time, they won’t mind.

5. Go in with realistic expectations

Let’s be real, the trip won’t be perfect. Whether flights are delayed, luggage gets lost, or experiences get rained out, there are bound to be bumps in the road. Remember to be flexible and don’t let minor inconveniences kill your spirit. After all, you’re showing them how you’ll handle future conflicts.

How soon to book your first getaway?

Knowing when you’re ready to travel together is different for every relationship. That being said, 53% of Instagram participants said going anywhere after only knowing each other for a few weeks was too soon. Our Dating Experts recommend waiting three months before taking your relationship on the road.

Happy travels!

When should you follow up for that second date?

Many Americans pressed pause on in-person dates this past year. But with cities relaxing regulations, vaccinations being administered & hope being restored, more Americans are returning to their regular date routines every day. And it feels sooo good. That said, not even a pandemic could put to bed some of those age-old dating questions.

Meet Match’s Dating Expert: Sean

With a background in marketing & performing arts, Sean has extensive insight on how to present your best self, whether in front of a crowd or on a first date. As a veteran Dating Expert, he works tirelessly to ensure everyone is on a path to relationship success.

Q: When should I expect someone to follow up for a second date?

A: It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has different ideas of what a perfect first date looks like. I always say that if you enjoyed the first date, then you should bring up the idea of a second date 24 hours after your first to see what they say. If you’re waiting for the other person to follow up for a second date, then I would be patient & wait about 3 to 5 days. If they still haven’t brought it up, take the initiative & bring it up yourself so you know whether or not it will work out.

Q: I often feel like a date goes well, but don’t hear anything after. What signals should I look for to confirm they’re feeling the same way?

A:  Exchanging laughter, smiles & stories is always a good sign. If they bring up future plans with you, that’s another reassuring sign that they’re thinking ahead. Remember, communication is key. If you don’t hear anything after the date, take the initiative to follow up & ask if they would be open to a second date. This is always better than waiting around and wondering.

Q:  I’m waiting for that “when you know, you know” moment after a first date & not having it. Why?

A: I totally get what you mean! First dates aren’t always going to be like the movies, so you have to set realistic expectations. Also understand that your date may be nervous or have other things going on in their life. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If you didn’t have that “when you know, you know” moment but you feel like there is potential, maybe that second date will turn things around. If you still haven’t had that moment, then it’s okay to search for someone else.

For the Love of Music

Music plays a powerful role in relationships. Hearing a song on a first date can spark an instant connection. Lyrics can help you articulate emotions when you can’t find the words. And putting on the perfect playlist can set the mood for a chill evening in. 

With live music put on hold this past year, we wanted to do something this Valentine’s Day to show our love for music. We’re releasing an exclusive playlist curated by NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, to help showcase Texas artists and bring back the music. Called Texas Love Songs, the playlist features 50 love songs and gives singles, festival-goers, and everyone in between the chance to explore new artists during this season of love. 

Why Texas? Texas has been our home for more than 20 years, and in a state famous for authentic voices and big emotions, it’s a perfect time to honor these great Texas love songs.

Match is also proud to be supporting NIVA with a donation of up to $50,000. We will be donating $25,000 and we will match an additional $25,000 through February 28th, to reach a total goal of $75,000. With the pandemic threatening the future of live music, NIVA is working to preserve local venues through critical funding — making sure artists have a stage to return to when the pandemic is over. 


Forget the flowers and chocolates this year, and give your date the gift of music. Donate here: https://www.nivassoc.org/donate.

Lockdown…A Time For Love?

By: Helen Fisher

We weren’t built to live 24/7 with a lover.  For millions of years men regularly set off to hunt, sometimes for days.  And women went gathering and often visited friends or family in another camp for weeks.  We are a nomadic species—built to leave home regularly for adventures of all kinds.  So being cooped up during this pandemic requires resourcefulness, particularly if you are single and used to stepping out. 

    Oddly, however—this nasty virus has given you some perks: foremost, time to date.  Even if you are working at home, you won’t be dressing, commuting or meeting friends after office hours. 

    And you have something meaningful to talk about: this disease.  The chit-chat of most first meetings is gone; instead you are inclined to trade stories of fear and hope.  This self-disclosure spurs intimacy, love and commitment.  (And psychologists report that men are just as likely to reveal their innermost feelings as women).  So during this lockdown, you might get to know vital things about a potential partner fast.  That’s a plus.

     Moreover, sex is, at least temporarily, out.  When you meet in person, you’re obliged to navigate this nether world.  “Do I kiss him?”  “Should I take her hand?”  “What do I do if they invite me back to their pad?” You might have some sexy conversations…but real sex is of the table.

      Money is off the table too.  On a regular first date, you are required to negotiate who pays: “Should we meet in a cheap café or an expensive bar?”  “Should I offer to split the bill?”  Nope: who pays is history.

     And fortunately, you have a new tool for courting: video chatting.  From data collected on 6,004 Match members over the weekend of April 12, only 6% said that they used video chatting before Covid-19 hit.  Now 69% of these singles are open to video chatting with a potential partner.  And a third already have someone with whom they’d like to talk via video.  

But when using this technology, I recommend you do two things: 

Foremost: after you have actually seen and talked with nine potential partners, stop.   And get to know at least one of these people better. The brain is not well-built to absorb a host of options.  Indeed, about nine is max.  Then we burn out; faced with too many alternatives we choose none. Moreover, the more you get to know someone, the more you are inclined to like them.   

     Second: think of reasons to say “yes.”  The brain is designed to remember the negative, not the positive.  Forget that he likes cats and you like dogs.  Focus on what you do like about him or her.  But remember: these are not dating apps—they’re introducing apps.  The only real algorithm is your own brain.  You must ‘show up’ for these video chats.

      Oddly, video chatting has another benefit: it’s slowing down the courtship process—accelerating a current trend I call Slow Love.  And data shows that the longer you court and the later you marry, the more likely you are to build a happy long-term partnership.  In fact, I’ve come to realize, (from my brain scanning studies), that romantic love can be sparked instantly; but feelings of trust and attachment take time to develop. 

      So this pandemic has created a new stage in the courtship process: video chatting.  And I think it will continue after this lockdown ends.  Why? Because it has some genuine benefits: With video chatting, not only can you weed out non-starters before you meet in person—enabling you to save time and money, as well as kiss fewer frogs.  But you can get to know potential partners more slowly, a natural process in the brain that builds trust and attachment.  Now’s a perfect time to let Cupid do his job.