Let’s talk video date etiquette

People assumed the trend of video dating would die when social distancing did, but let’s set the record straight. According to Match’s Singles in America study, video dates are here to stay and “a new step in today’s courtship process.” We can’t say we’re surprised.

71% of singles say video chatting helped determine if they wanted to meet up in person, and 47% think it helps avoid a bad date.

So how can you ensure you’re making the most of the movement? Start by following these tips:

Location, location, location.

While your bathroom might have great lighting, your toilet and tub don’t exactly scream romance. The same can be said for a pile of laundry or sink full of dishes. That doesn’t mean you have to aim for a blank canvas though. Positioning yourself in front of a bookshelf or cool piece of art can help spark conversation. If the lighting isn’t ideal, consider investing in a little ring light that hooks on your phone or laptop.

Don’t just dress from the waist up.

While video calls typically focus on the face, you never know when your phone or laptop might slip, or you might have to jump up to answer the front door. So play it safe and put on pants. You’ll thank us later.

Prepare some conversation starters ahead of time.

Just like when you’re meeting face-to-face, there can be lulls in the conversation. Have a few easy topics up your sleeve – whether it’s a funny story from your weekend or a specific question regarding one of their interests – to help break awkward silences.

78% of singles have felt romantic chemistry during a video date. 

Be game for games.

It might sound childish, but playing a game is a great way to break the ice and get to know each other. You can opt for something simple like 21 Questions or Have You Ever, or each download a game that allows you to play against each other while you chat.

Get creative.

Games aren’t the only way to liven up a video call. Consider an activity you can do together. Whether it’s cooking the same meal, taking each other on a virtual house tour, or introducing your pets, having something to do with your hands can help take the pressure off.

Keep it positive.

It might be tempting to spend half the call discussing the ongoing pandemic or whatever the latest news headline is that day. But try not to let negative topics dominate the conversation. You want them to leave the chat feeling happy and optimistic.

Don’t catch them off guard.

Spontaneity can be sweet, but not when it comes to video calls. Always agree on a time to chat beforehand, that way you’re not putting anyone in an awkward position.  Ready to put our tips to the test? Schedule a Vibe Check today.

5 tips to be authentic in your dating profile

Portraying yourself accurately in the online dating world means more than just being honest about age, height, and career. It means giving others a clear look into your personality and everyday life, not just the life you aspire to have. Afterall, authentic profiles attract authentic people.

Keep your photos fresh.

You’re probably already aware of how to choose solid profile photos (no filters, good lighting, no hats or sunglasses, and so on). There’s more to consider though. When and where your photos were taken, for example. We recommend keeping them within the last year to ensure they represent the current you. There’s nothing wrong with a snap of you at a black-tie event, but make sure you also have photos of what you look like every day. Lastly, opt for an image that shows off an interest. Whether it’s travel, hiking or hanging out with your four-legged friend, these make the best conversation starters.

Only select your actual interests.

It might be tempting to select every interest under the sun – we get it, you’re well-rounded – but this can actually do more harm than good. For one, you’re probably not coming across very genuine (no one has time to travel the world while volunteering every weekend, skydiving on a regular basis, and playing on every intramural team). And two, the couple of interests you are serious about will likely get overlooked.

“Our rule of thumb is if you haven’t done the activity in the last few months, don’t include it in your profile. The same can be said for seasonal interests. Once winter comes to an end, consider updating your profile with your favorite spring and summer pastimes.”

Match’s Dating Expert, Lauren

No need to write a novel.

While we never recommend one-sentence bios or one-word Topic responses, there’s no need to go overboard. Including too many details and specifics in your profile can overwhelm members. Stick to important points like what your everyday life looks like, your personality, and the kind of person you’re looking for. Everything else can be discovered later.

Be honest about what you want.

If you’re looking for a serious relationship, that should be communicated in your profile. Oftentimes, members will want something long-term but will think that’s not what others want to hear. If you’re not “just looking for someone to hit up happy hours with,” then your bio shouldn’t say so. It’s that simple.

Get a friend’s opinion.

Your perception of yourself can be slightly skewed, so it helps to get profile feedback from someone who knows you well. Friends are also great at helping you describe your best qualities if you don’t know what to write about.

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.

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.

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. 

Has #MeToo Changed Modern Dating? Half of Single Men Say Yes.

It’s been two years since the New York Times broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s egregious sexual abuse allegations, followed by actress Alyssa Milano posting a tweet heard round the world, echoing the call for unity first launched nearly a decade earlier by civil rights activist Tarana Burke: #MeToo. The hashtag went viral across social media platforms – in the first 24 hours, more than 12 million posts were made on Facebook. There was a global reckoning. So many women – our friends, sisters, girlfriends, mothers, daughters – had experienced some form of sexual harassment or sexual assault in their lifetime. People of all genders, ages, socioeconomic groups, race and ethnicity, across all walks of life, came forward to say they too had been victims/survivors of sexual misconduct, and it was time to hold people, especially badly-behaved men, accountable.

There can be no doubt that #MeToo became a larger social movement. A recognition that more work was needed. But as a behavioral scientist who studies sexuality, gender, and intimate relationships, I wondered whether this movement could both educate and in turn, curb the destructive behavior the world was finally openly talking about. Over the last 2 years there have been plenty of pundits, on either side of the political aisle, who have extorted their views on the effects of the #MeToo movement. Some saying it was long overdue, others arguing it’s gone too far. But none have had concrete data to base their opinions on, until now.

As part of the 9th annual Singles in America study with Match, in a national sample of over 5,000 adult single Americans, we assessed attitudes toward #MeToo and whether it has changed behavior, specifically at work and in one’s dating life. Close to 40% of the U.S. adult population is single at any given time, so knowing how singles feel about #MeToo is a strong barometer of impact on social life.

In our study, half of men (51%) say the #MeToo movement has caused them to act differently overall; more specifically, nearly 40% of men reported now being more reserved towards women colleagues at work and 34% of men said they act more reserved on a date because of the movement. In terms of age effects, this was especially true among Millennial men. Whether being more cautious and reserved is enough to reduce sexual harassment experienced by others remains an open question for additional research and observation.

When asked about #MeToo and various aspects of social life, both men and women reported being more reserved when approaching someone new in public (35%), as well as when on a date (33%), and also with what they post on social media (28%). When with a new potential partner, 19% of singles think twice about the jokes they make, 15% further consider the topics they discuss, and 15% are more cautious about inviting that person to come home with them.

When it came to attitudes toward the significance of these changes, more than half (59%) of today’s singles say the #MeToo movement is important to them (46% of men; 69% of women), and almost half say it has sparked necessary discussions. The movement has certainly led to much discussion, conversation, and debate. But some also see a downside, with 14% of all singles (19% of men; 10% of women) reporting that they think the #MeToo movement has made dating more challenging.

The #MeToo movement is affecting how single people approach social interactions. That 51% of men say the #MeToo movement has changed their behavior is truly remarkable. Other common risk-reduction programs, like smoking cessation or ending alcohol abuse, are often considered successful while only achieving much smaller changes in behavior. A behavior change intervention that managed to have half of participants report a positive change would almost certainly be viewed as a major success. Now imagine that at the level of an entire population, and seeing these changes in a relatively short period of time. We would regard this as an effective intervention and celebrate its success. Modifying human behavior at the level of entire populations, especially when involving culturally entrenched norms, has proved especially difficult. #MeToo appears to have turned the dial in multiple ways.

Sexual harassment and gender inequity remain global problems, with consequences for our intimate lives. Addressing these issues at a system-level has proved difficult, but it appears that the #MeToo social media campaign and related social justice movements have started to raise awareness, increase accountability, and change human behavior. Dating and relationship norms often adjust to the social and political times, and we may very well be on the cusp of a sea change in what Americans view as acceptable and effective ways to initiate and maintain romantic and sexual relationships.

Author:Justin R. Garcia, PhD, is Acting Executive Director & Research Director of The Kinsey Institute, Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of Gender Studies, and IU Bicentennial Professor at Indiana University. Since 2010, Garcia has served as Scientific Advisor to Match. He is co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior. His next book is titled The Intimate Animal.

How To Be The CEO Of Your Dating Life

Last Saturday, Match spent the day at Create & Cultivate’s San Francisco Conference, where C&C transformed an old parking garage into an instagrammable hot spot for female hustlers. The event featured Kourtney Kardashian as the keynote speaker and attendees were A-list group of female influencers and business owners killing it in the panels held throughout the day.  

Match has long been known to have the most experience and insight into singles and dating culture, and C&C was the perfect opportunity to showcase our newest app feature – Date Coaching. Every Match subscriber has access to a free one-on-one call with one of our expert dating coaches to chat about everything from conversation starters to moving on after a bad breakup.

So, which of our experts was fit to take on the challenge of giving advice to thousands of love-seeking women? Enter, Rachel DeAlto: Match’s Chief Dating Expert (you may recognize her from Married at First Sight or Kate Plus Date).  attendees rushed to the “Dating Bubble”, where Rachel gave one-on-one sessions, answering all of their dating and relationship questions and lending an ear to the issues plaguing single women today. The takeaway for the day–take control and be the CEO of your dating life. Here are Rachel’s top three tips to get you started:

1. Date intentionally – There so many daters that have no idea what they are looking for. You have to be a gate keeper and set non-negotiables as to the qualities you are looking for. Not physical characteristics, but personality traits and values. Create a list of four and ONLY date people who meet those non-negotiables.

2. Go after what you want – Dating on Match is not the time to be timid and wait for your ideal person to reach out to you. Send initial messages (keeping them short, sweet, and personalized) and make the move to take it offline and into real life. Regardless of your gender, you are in charge of these initial stages. Act like the boss you are.

3. Make the time – Like any good CEO, you have to work on your time management, and it’s the same for dating! We all are busy, but if dating and the potential for love is a priority, make space for it. Set aside 1-2 nights a week for dates, and take time to create opportunities by searching and messaging. 

Dating takes work, but it should still be fun. If you’re feeling rundown by dating fatigue, overwhelmed by the idea of dating or just discouraged by all of the apps – call one of our coaches. Take control and be proactive. If you’re ready to be the CEO of your dating life – give us a call at 1-833-996-2824.

Spring Spike: How to Rejoin the Dating Scene this Season

Whether you’re back on the market after a breakup or are just getting serious about dating following a busy winter, a new season provides the perfect time to get your dating life off to a fresh start. And what better time than now? With the snow and ice beginning to melt away, spring inspires singles to embrace the sunshine and warm up to new possibilities.

We caught up with Rachel DeAlto – celebrated relationship expert and media personality – on her top tips for rejoining the dating scene.

  • Learn from the past: While we’re often encouraged to just “forgive and forget,” the past can actually help us prepare for the future. People have preferences for certain traits and characteristics, and you should be cognizant of what did and did not work in previous relationships. This helps you make informed decisions about which traits to look out for and which to avoid.
  • Set your intentions: Before racing off to your first date, figure out the type of romance you’re looking for. Maybe it’s a committed relationship with a long-term plan; maybe it’s just a plus one to attend all those upcoming weddings with. While it’s great to be open-minded, it’s important to have at least some clear goals for what you’re looking for and why. These can not only keep you motivated and moving through the inevitable highs and lows of dating, but also ensure you don’t settle.
  • The art of multi-dating: You read that right. Go on a maximum of two to three dates with different people per week. While it might be tempting to turn every day into date night, dating shouldn’t become your fulltime job. You still need time for yourself.
  • Scheduling the next date: Give it at least a couple of days between two dates with one person. There can be a rush to love where you want to see each other as much as possible, but keep in mind that the hottest fires burn out the fastest. Let it breathe.

According to DeAlto, there’s no green light that goes on when you’re ready to date. So, pay attention to your mindset and be true to what you want as you get back out there.