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Is Your Dating App Baiting You to Buy?

January is the busiest month of the year when it comes Boston singles downloading new dating apps. Maybe you’re ready for online upgrade? A super profile! Unlimited messages! Although there’s no secret sauce to how many apps you should be on, we can all agree that this is the most enticing time of year with “try for free” weekends. As Christmas comes to a close, we are bombarded with both health club memberships and commercials of free trials of online dating services. Whether you choose to download 1, 2 or more dating apps, (and there is no right answer to how many you should juggle) you have to decide how much cash you want to spend to get the keys to the kingdom. Remember online dating is an approximately $2 billion industry. And January is their Super Bowl. You’re welcome.

The best salespeople know that people buy based on emotion. There is nothing more emotional than the tug of a lonely heart just after a New Year’s spent alone. So what do you see when you download these dating apps? Beautiful people. Attractive people. People you probably wouldn’t meet in real life. Boyfriend potential! Girlfriend potential! Here’s what you should watch out before laying out some money for a dating site that seems too good to be true…

Fake and Ghost Profiles are Rampant

Free talk weekends offered with larger dating sites (you know the ones I’m talking about) allow thousands of people to try with no strings attached. Downside? These profiles are floating out there right now and you’re bumping into them. 90% of Match profiles are free. You have no idea who’s actually out there looking for love or just filled out a free profile on a whim. Although the dating industry knows about scammers, hackers, frauds, and abandoned profiles, there is no online dating service that is proactively cleaning that up. Remember, the bigger the dating pool is, the more likely you’ll spend your money.

Your Profile is Swipeable Forever

Unless you go in and permanently delete your app. They have you. Privacy aside, think about how many people delete their apps from their phone without going in and deleting their profile? I have spoken to a number of men and women both that did this and had no idea their profile was still out there. It’s not that these singles are trying to entice you with false promises, many people just aren’t that vested in free sites or no had mistakenly left their profiles active for others to view. So besides the scammers and hackers, you have profiles that you’re swiping on that should be deleted. Is there any chance you’ll meet Prince Charming on these sites? Hmmmm….

You have to Pay More to Get the Goodies

Name your poison. With Match, you need to upgrade to be a top spot profile during peak hours. With Tinder, you need to pay a monthly fee to switch cities or have unlimited likes. And OKCupid? You’ll need to pay to get on their A-List to have access to messages and likes. Beware of prompts that ask you to pay before seeing a message from a great looking stranger.

Online Dating Algorithms Don’t Actually Work

Now I’m not saying people don’t get into relationships or start dating from dating apps. If you’re single, you should use every resource available to meet people, apps included. But I don’t want you to believe that the questions and answers you’re filling out on these sites actually “pick” better partners for you. They don’t. These sites can predict who’ll be selected as hot or not. But partner material? That continues be elusive and a bit more complicated. The human touch is still required.

And a special human touch is just what you may need! Hey, you’re planning on spending money and dating in the New Year any way. Armed with this new online dating knowledge, you may want to second guess your strategy. Professional matchmakers can not show you a fake or ghost profile. In fact, matchmakers like those at LunchDates, personally vet out the best professional Boston singles. Imagine you pay for a matchmaking service and no one shows up at the date? Or you have to pay extra to have a conversation? That would never happen. Remember you get what you pay for. And in this New Year, if you really want a quality relationship, you may want to skip the free trial weekend online and hire a headhunter for your love life.

Aimee Burke has over a decade of experience as a relationship coaching professional. She is an avid writer and researcher for the Boston dating scene. She’s also the main contributor to LunchDates’ dating advice blog.


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