Online dating: 3.0

Apps, consultants, grow next-generation romance economy


Tiny coverLasting Connections
Lake Oswego

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy a curated introduction. That’s the gig of professional matchmaker Sameera Sullivan, whose company, Lasting Connections, provides “concierge” matchmaking services to elite singles.

Sullivan expects to take that concept to the next level in March 2017 with the launch of Love Atlas, a smartphone app that will let high-income, low-free-time singles outsource the hunt for a mate to professional matchmakers. For $299 a month, paying customers will get access to a Zillow-like geodatabase of potential mates vetted by Sullivan’s nationwide network of matchmakers. To weed out flakes and not-really-singles, the matchmakers conduct background checks and income verification and interview all candidates personally by Skype.

Sullivan sees Love Atlas as a solution for busy professionals who want to skip online meat markets like OkCupid or swipe-left-or-right hookup sites like Tinder.

“Technology has made meeting people so efficient that the grass is always greener on the other side,” Sullivan says. “With apps like Tinder, people can meet somebody and hook up anytime they want, so that commitment mentality is not there anymore ... Atlas is all about quality, and having access to people that you’re not having access to on Match or eHarmony.”

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Fern
Portland

Too tender for Tinder? Fern helps singles of all ages put their best digital face forward. But don’t call Ladan Radafshar a matchmaker. “That’s such an old-fashioned term,” she bristles. As founder of the startup, Radafshar won’t necessarily find your lifelong mate, but she will make navigating and succeeding in the online dating world easier. “Our mission is ‘No bad dates.’”

Radafshar offers an a la carte menu of services to singles looking to cut through the cluttered world of online profiles. For a base price of $875, she and a duo of part-time employees will redesign a profile. The service includes a photo brief, a photo shoot, personal styling, professionally written copy and placement on appropriate dating sites.

If a client needs more, Radafshar is there. Fashion challenged? She offers a total wardrobe reboot. Shy? She will help craft messages and responses to potential dates. Just too busy? Radafshar will personally sift through hundreds of profiles, curating half a dozen or so possibilities.

Formerly a social media specialist with Nike, Radafshar spent the last decade giving this service away to friends and family for free. She founded Fern a year ago, after meeting with a career counselor, and business has grown since, thanks to word of mouth and positive Google and Yelp reviews.

“We’ve gone from a couple of clients a month to a couple a week,” she reports. Clients range in age from 26 to 74 and work in a variety of fields. The list includes: a dentist who owns his own practice, a director of sales at a local tech firm, an attorney and an artist.

“It’s everyone because everyone is online dating,” she explains. While there are no marriages or Fern babies on the horizon yet, customers appear satisfied with better-quality matches. “My formula is about compatibility,” she insists. “Lots of my clients stay friends with their dates even if the chemistry isn’t there.”

7 comments

  • Chris
    Chris Tuesday, 13 December 2016 01:16 Comment Link

    Nowadays online dating is just usual thing.
    I met my wife on victoriyaclub.com.
    So everything is possible!

  • Selfmatch
    Selfmatch Saturday, 10 December 2016 09:26 Comment Link

    I agree. Compatibility is the KEY. About 85% of relationships fail because it is natural for people to fall in love with incompatible partners.
    How about potential partners explore compatibility on their own using common sense, logic, and asking the right questions? Online dating sites help you meet many potential matches but then it's your job to conduct further compatibility research. I'm trying to build a tool to help people do that. Check it out http://www.self-match.com This is just a fun project for now but I am building a professional web-based application with more features.
    Again, the idea in a nut-shell: research the heck out of your potential partner and then fall in love :)

  • Bethany
    Bethany Friday, 02 December 2016 02:31 Comment Link

    Interesting article!

  • Nick
    Nick Tuesday, 29 November 2016 15:44 Comment Link

    Money can’t buy love, but it can buy a call to/from person.
    On smth likehttps://victoriyaclub.com

  • Alisa
    Alisa Friday, 18 November 2016 10:45 Comment Link

    Once I red some article that really made me think about dating problems. Some guy wrote: "I have a good job. I am athletic and health oriented. I am the boy next door. I live right outside of one of the largest and gayest cities in the world. I have awesome family and friends. Oh, and I happen to have HIV."
    Is there any hope for his dating life? Or there are still so many uneducated people.
    Only support I saw in some online dating sites, so hiv dating can be possible.

  • Tina
    Tina Monday, 07 November 2016 08:37 Comment Link

    Dating sites are probably as old as the internet and with the range of services that the internet offers these days, you might think that even the best dating sites are changing. It is true that that even phone chats are changing but only for the better. It is gearing to help people in their cities connect with each other with easy access and a better way of communication.Once I started using this online chat - oregon.partyline.com , everything changed for the better. My social skills weren’t lacking anymore and I was making friends all the time who felt the same way I did, which made things so much easier. Now I meet new and interesting local singles and have a great time. This has made me a social butterfly and I am now able to open up and be myself without all that awkwardness.

  • Fernando Ardenghi
    Fernando Ardenghi Friday, 04 November 2016 18:33 Comment Link

    Please notice:

    The 3 milestone discoveries of the 2001 - 2010 decade for Theories of Romantic Relationships Development are:
    I) Several studies showing contraceptive pills users make different mate choices, on average, compared to non-users. "Only short-term but not long-term partner preferences tend to vary with the menstrual cycle"
    II) People often report partner preferences that are not compatible with their choices in real life. (Behavioural recommender systems or other system that learns your preferences are useless)
    III) What is important in attracting people to one another may not be important in making couples happy. Compatibility is all about a high level on personality similarity between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.

    The key to long-lasting romance; COMPATIBILITY is: STRICT PERSONALITY SIMILARITY and not "meet other people with similar interests".

    WorldWide, there are over 5,000 -five thousand- online dating sites
    but no one is using the 16PF5 (or similar) to assess personality of its members!
    but no one calculates similarity with a quantized pattern comparison method!
    but no one can show Compatibility Distribution Curves to each and every of its members!
    but no one is scientifically proven! No actual online dating site is "scientifically proven" because no one can prove its matching algorithm can match prospective partners who will have more stable and satisfying relationships -and very low divorce rates- than couples matched by chance, astrological destiny, personal preferences, searching on one's own, or other technique as the control group in a peer reviewed Scientific Paper for the majority (over 90%) of its members.
    but no one can show you a list of compatible persons like this:
    ( for a prospective male customer / sample but calculated with real values)
    “Over 1,000,000 million women database, here is the list of the 12 more compatible with you. Notice that woman#1 is the most compatible with you but she could be more compatible with other men right now.
    woman#01 is 95.58476277% compatible
    woman#02 is 95.56224356% compatible
    woman#03 is 95.52998273% compatible
    woman#04 is 94.18354278% compatible
    woman#05 is 93.00453871% compatible
    woman#06 is 93.00007524% compatible
    woman#07 is 92.99738452% compatible
    woman#08 is 92.37945551% compatible
    woman#09 is 92.29779173% compatible
    woman#10 is 92.27114287% compatible
    woman#11 is 92.19515551% compatible
    woman#12 is 92.12249558% compatible”

    The only way to revolutionize the Online Dating Industry is using the 16PF5 normative personality test, available in different languages to assess personality of members, or a proprietary test with exactly the same traits of the 16PF5 and expressing compatibility with eight decimals (needs a quantized pattern comparison method, part of pattern recognition by cross-correlation, to calculate similarity between prospective mates.)
    High precision in matching algorithms is precisely the key to open the door and leave the infancy of compatibility testing.

    Without offering the NORMATIVE 16PF5 (or similar test measuring exactly the 16 personality factors) for serious dating, it will be impossible to innovate and revolutionize the Online Dating Industry

    The Online Dating Industry does not need a 10% improvement, a 50% improvement or a 100% improvement. It does need "a 100 times better improvement"
    All other proposals are NOISE and perform as placebo.

    Regards,
    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    ardenghifer AT gmail DOT com

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