Hello and happy Friday. My name is Camila, and when it comes to new clothes, subscription boxes or online dating sites, I’ll try everything once. If you’ve been reading my posts for a while now, you know that I love OK Cupid and that it’s the site I’ve most consistently used throughout the years, but still that doesn’t mean that I only resort to this site.
That’s why when I saw an Instagram ad for this site/app called Dating.com, I decided to test it out. I didn’t screenshot anything during my signing in process, but now I deeply regret it because it would have been very illustrative. Anyway, I’ll stick to what I can remember. The whole initial process was pretty standard: your username is your first name if I’m not mistaken, you get to upload a picture, you fill in personal information and select the gender of the people you’d like to meet, as well as your mood. So, for example, if you’re feeling “romantic,” your matches would be people looking for long term relationships.
I thought that “mood” feature was pretty cool because it could help avoid misunderstandings that I’ve had on OK Cupid, even when I’ve specified I want to meet men for relationships and not for hooking up. Then you get to the home page, where you can see your matches, and that’s when I started suspecting that Dating.com wasn’t a regular dating website (and this is coming from someone who’s tried Seeking Arrangement and Miss Travel). All my matches, regardless of their race or ethnicity, were cute. And I mean, they were model cute.
Now, I know we all choose our best pictures for these sites, but there’s still a difference between real beauty and model beauty. There are some people that are just above us all in the looks department, and those people aren’t on dating sites, let alone a relatively new and unknown one. Whenever I encounter a profile of a guy that looks just too pretty, I swipe left because my initial thought will always be “this is a fake profile.” Yet here I was, surrounded by what appeared to be fake profiles.
I started getting “likes” right away, which also happens whenever I disable and then re-enable my account on OK Cupid. What was weir was the fact that, again, only hot men liked me. What about the not-so-hot men? Were they suddenly intimidated by my looks? I didn’t think that was the case, but still, I kept exploring the site.
What do we get after the “likes”? That’s right, we get messages. I very rarely message first, but in this app that wasn’t a problem because I started getting tons of them. And they weren’t “hey” or “what’s up,” which I despise. No, these model-cute men were sending me stuff like “I want you to be my princess,” only most of the cheesy messages had grammar mistakes. Honestly, some of them didn’t even make sense.
Again, I thought it was super weird and didn’t reply to any message. I googled the site and found out that, in fact, it is a scam. Here’s how it works: you download the app for free and start getting all these nice messages, right? Well, turns out the people behind the profiles are models, getting paid to send those messages. They’ll make you feel like the most important person in the universe. Of course, some people will fall for that strategy because they’ll think it’s genuine.
I’m not sure about this part because I read about it but (thankfully) didn’t experience it: you’ll get to a point in which the free membership will not be enough. I’m thinking it’s something similar to what happens on Tinder when you’ve reached your “likes” limit: you either pay to get more, or you have to wait for twelve hours. In the case of dating.com, I think it has to do with reaching a message limit.
Imagine that you’re talking to a potential partner who seems perfect. You’re in that early stage in which you talk to them for hours because you want to know everything about them. Your only means of communication with them is an app, but suddenly you get a notification saying that you can’t keep messaging this person unless you pay for the full membership or whatever. I know I’m the complete opposite of a “chill” kind of person, so of course my immediate thought wouldn’t be “well, that was nice, now let’s move on and hope that Mr. Perfect is online tomorrow.” I’d freak out, and yes, I’d probably fall right into the trap and pay to keep talking to this guy.
I honestly can’t believe there’s a group of people behind this app, paying models to play with the feelings of men and women who are just hoping to meet someone, and to take advantage of their vulnerability to make money. I’ve been in the online dating scene for five years now and I’ve had pretty crazy experiences including almost getting engaged. I don’t think my experience has made me cynical; I have a tougher skin now and a more critical eye when it comes to online dating, but even I get excited when I start talking to a new match, and I can’t help but picture a future with a guy who happened to find me attractive enough to talk to me.
I don’t feel like asking a question in the comments, so maybe just say hi and tell me what brought you to this blog.
Love, Miss Camila