Deano’s answer to: “How does dating work in the real world?”

In the "real world", dating is largely about taking chances, and exposing vulnerabilities in order to attract and comfort a potential mate.

Online, it's precisely the opposite: trying to attract and bond with someone without going out on a limb, or revealing one's negative traits as much as possible.

Whereas all sorts of unspoken signals (body language, hygiene, fashion) are immediately related when bumping into someone promising in a bar, their corresponding online proxies (spelling, grammar, writing style, and photoshopped pictures) do not actually provide an insight into the "real world" experience of meeting a particular person.

In fact, the online information more accurately conveys a combination of how this person behaves AFTER they are comfortable with someone, or just as likely how they aspire to be, rather than how they actually are. This can lead to all kinds of unmeetable expectations being set, with corresponding heartbreaks when the real world finally disturbs the perfection of online relating.

More recently, the particular phenomenon of group dating/looser coupling has grown in popularity. But this, as well as other "tactical" real world dating structures (speed dating, for example) HAVE been transitioned with much greater positive effect than the "catalog match" format, which is a closer analog to newspaper classified ads.

Without giving too much away about NaviDate's intents, I could suggest that a few things online could be better at are:

  • putting two people together when they are "both at their best"
  • getting people to go on more dates
  • making the dates people go on more fun, and less stressful
  • helping people to "fix" their most glaring in-person dating issues
  • helping people focus on matching their short, medium, and longterm relationship goals with the right partner – even when that means matching them to multiple people for different purposes
  • Making dating an individual, non-competitive process

Nailing any one of these should produce a profitable business. Nailing them all could easily upset the current leaderboard of dating companies.

How does dating work in the real world?

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