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The Dating Ring team (Katie, Soren, Emma, and Lauren) Courtesy of Lauren Kay Online dating can be a frustrating, hit-or-miss type of experience. "My biggest thing with online dating, it's been a second full-time job," The Dating Ring founder Lauren Kay tells Business Insider.
"You have to meet so many people to find one person who's compatible." , a three-month old New York-based startup, pegs itself as the future of dating. What sets The Dating Ring apart from the rest is its free, full-service matchmaking service and emphasis on group dates. , but The Dating Ring focuses more on romantic connections. Kay, just 24 years old, formerly founded a babysitting company, , but recently decided to really put her degree to work.
Kay attended Brown University where she studied American studies with a concentration on love, dating, and relationships. Here's how it works. First, you have to . It asks you about things like what you're looking for in someone, what you're not looking for, and which activities you like and dislike.
Only the matchmakers will read your responses, so you can feel free to be totally candid. If the matchmakers see you as a good fit for its pool of beta users, it will contact you for an in-person meeting with the matchmaker. The next step is meeting up at a bar with four or six potential matches. The Dating Ring has already partnered with 12 bars in Manhattan to hosts dates on their least busiest nights, which are typically Sunday through Thursday.
Even though the matchmaking service is free, you do have to pre-pay $20 for the date, which includes the first drink. Already, people are dating and in relationships thanks to The Dating Ring, Kay says. Since the matchmaking and scheduling process is pretty manual right now, Kay is aiming to release a more automated system to pick better matches and schedule dates sometime this winter.
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So on our site, we don't have dreaded profiles, which are basically impossible to do well. We do allow members to show photos, and my biggest suggestion there is definitely include photos where you're with other people! I've seen so many profiles where people will blur out the faces of other people, or only include solo shots. Don't do that! You want to show that you have friends :) In terms of dating advice, my favorite rule is the 60/40 rule.
Most people aren't super exciting in person, and you generally don't have instant rom-com ready chemistry. If you're totalllly not into it, don't waste your time on a second date. But if you think there's a 60% chance you maybe eventually will really like the person - go again! People nowadays write each other off too quickly. And that stinks, because most people are presenting the worst version of themselves on a first date.
First dates are hard. Go on seconds. And for our first 10 Product Hunt signups, you'll get even more where that came from, as we're giving an hour of dating coaching and advice to the first 10 who sign up with code hunted20 :) I love the idea. Love today (aka, finding the right partner), can be a complicated transaction for a lot of people. (I know we all like the idea of love as magical chemistry, and it happens all the time, but the reality is just different). Like all complicated transactions (raising Series A, buying an appartment, etc.) using a trusted third-party that is paid by the hour – not by the result – can be a game changer.
I like that idea of offering "just that little help from your friend" that helps breaking the ice. It's like being invited to a diner where a friend has invited that "other friend" just for you ;) I was just chatting with about dating apps like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel.
I'm a fan of them but (and yes, this is going to sound like a first-world problem) it takes a lot of effort to find someone and then once you go on a date, there's probably a good chance they're not a great fit. How do you determine what's a good match, ? I think this (determining a good match) is the big one with paid services.
The idea of curated matches is a great one - but if you pay $60/month for one match a week and they all end up being duds, it seems a bit wasteful. - how does Dating Ring plan to refine match curation if users find themselves totally discontent with their matches? Great question. We ask users for feedback on each match they receive, and each date they go on, and use this to improve future matches we send. So, if we see that someone isn't getting a lot of mutual matches, we're able to change the types of matches they're getting to improve their chance of connecting.
We also give our users feedback to help them improve their chances. Radio silence is one of the biggest complaints we hear from people about other dating services, and it's what we work our hardest to prevent. Because members are paying monthly and receiving a match along with a personal note about why that match was chosen, they're also much more likely to give that person a try and go on a date - unlike other applications where you're flooded with options, and it's easier just to ignore everyone.
I love the idea. Love today (aka, finding the right partner), can be a complicated transaction for a lot of people. (I know we all like the idea of love as magical chemistry, and it happens all the time, but the reality is just different). Like all complicated transactions (raising Series A, buying an appartment, etc.) using a trusted third-party that is paid by the hour – not by the result – can be a game changer.
I like that idea of offering "just that little help from your friend" that helps breaking the ice. It's like being invited to a diner where a friend has invited that "other friend" just for you ;) Edit.
Doubled this one. Can't delete? Thanks Simon, and you're spot on. Finding the right partner affects people's overall happiness, on average, more than anything else in their life. Unfortunately, many people sit and wait for 'fate' to bring them love. In reality, finding the right partner is much, much harder than finding the right job, or the right apartment. It takes a lot of searching and a lot of time.
Hiring an expert third party can help to make the seemingly impossible a lot more possible. And in the end, it's all worth it! We work with so many happy couples who are glad that they put in the extra effort. Very interesting. This is the best paragraph on the whole website by the way: "So, give us a try. Because what else are you going to do with that $20 bill? Make a sweet origami bow tie? Okay, that’s actually a pretty good use of your money..." Best of luck with your company and if you ever expand over to good old Europe I'll most definitely re-purpose that origami bow tie I made out of the 20€ bill.
;) Exactly - I went on tons and tons of online dates and generally found that people were very different in person from how they seemed online. Over the past year, our matchmakers met thousands of our members in person and then set up dates, so that we could analyze what worked, when it came to matchmaker intuition, and what didn't. We learned that most things do not affect matching directly - you might loathe Taylor Swift and I might know every word to her first album, but we can still have awesome chemistry in person.
So, we have created technology behind the scenes that assists our matchmakers with traits that we know are important to matches (age, height, educational background, to name a few.) We also ask our members for a very specific lists of curated interests - everything from gluten-free to Reddit to crossfit - to get a good sense of how their lifestyles would fit together. And our matchmakers approve each match with a personal note about why the match was suggested.
Hope that helps to answer your question! Sorry for all of the words.
To the Dating Ring Community: After an amazing five years of getting the chance to set up members, Dating Ring shut its doors on August 31, 2018. We set out to change the landscape of dating for good—to transform a traditionally frustrating experience into a positive one—and to bring more love into the world. And for five years, we were lucky enough to get the chance to do just that.
Best of luck in all of your dating adventures. If there's anything we've learned as matchmakers, it's to remember to always be as open as possible to meeting new people. Erase those filters, be kind, and get out there and have a good time!
xo, Lauren, Emma, Shearly, and the Dating Ring team
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