Anyone who has ever online dated will know what a minefield it is out there! Endless profiles, random messages and men who wouldn't think twice at declaring undying love in opening emails (or filling a profile page with stories about dogs, but that's for another blog post).
Before you give up entirely and settle for a life of knitting and Sauvignon Blanc at midday you may want to read on. Finally a dating site that does the hard work for you and shows time wasters the red card.
The site was created by Eden and Charlie, two single people in the music industry who turned to online dating to meet people outside of the small industry circles they work in; after years of online dating and meeting people who were ‘not what it said on the tin’, decided to build a dating site to make meeting others as honest and straightforward as possible.
In short, an online dating site for genuine people with genuine goals, and I am thrilled to welcome Charlie Hoole, one of the founding members to the blog in an exclusive interview giving us an insight into the bewildering world of online dating and the message behind the master plan ...
You started the site after recognising that many people aren't who they say they are online, do you think this is more wide spread than people realize?
Definitely, though hopefully the recent rise in media horror stories, as well as the Catfish TV show, have opened people’s eyes to how widespread the issue is and made them more cautious. I think the more surprising aspect has been that many of the dating sites have been proved to be adding fake profiles to their own websites to reel members in; in fact research shows this is the number one concern amongst online daters.
Go on give us some horror stories! ..
Ooh, so many, but where to start? Well, there are the classic ones like the person in the picture turning out to be a good decade or so older, a few inches shorter, and with alarmingly less hair or teeth! Then there was this really cute guy I was chatting to on one site, we exchanged a bunch of messages and I was super excited to finally meet up with him as we seemed to have a lot in common and good banter. I arrive at the pub and the man that approached me bore precisely ZERO resemblance to the man I was expecting. It wasn’t a case of out of date pictures, it just wasn’t him full stop! As you can imagine I hightailed it out of there sharpish. Such a waste of good hair and make-up! As someone who wouldn’t dream of even telling a little white lie on my own profile – I’m very open about my love of Take That – I just can’t get my head around why anyone would pretend to be someone else, let alone have the nerve to actually turn up for a date. What do they genuinely expect to happen? The truth always comes to light eventually. We’ve heard some absolute jaw droppers over the past few months that put our own experiences in the shade.
What makes your site unique to other dating sites?
Our primary goal when setting up Would Like To Meet was to create a dating site for people genuinely looking for love. We hand verify every single member via webcam and also monitor every photo that’s subsequently added to ensure no rogues are slipped in for the life of each profile. We want to be the most honest face of online dating, where what you see is what you get, and you don’t have to worry about investing your time, energy and emotions into building a relationship with someone online, only for when you do actually meet that they turn out to be someone else entirely. Trust is such a huge part of a relationship and how can you ever have that if it starts with a lie?
Would you say it attracted a more genuine type of single person?
Yes, we believe it does; from the first timers who’ve never tried online dating and perhaps been wary because of the stories they’ve heard in the press or from their friends, through to the veteran online daters who’ve grown sick and tired of all the fake and spam profiles and are crying ‘hallelujah!’ that someone’s finally making the effort to verify their members.
Have you found the response to be positive, that you are not alone in recognizing that online dating can be an easy place to deceive?
Absolutely. We think the industry has been crying out for regulation and verification is a huge step towards creating a safer environment. The cornerstone of our site is the verification process, which can be done in two ways – either by recording a unique video using our inbuilt webcam system, or via FaceTime. The beauty of the ‘face to face’ webcam verification is that we’ve had a chance to talk direct to our members and hear their stories of previous online dating experiences, both the hilarious and the rather worrying. Similarly through spreading the word amongst our friends and working with various collaborators you soon realise that everyone has a story and can’t believe no-one’s done this kind of verification before. The internet is a wonderful creation but it’s also easily open to abuse by those who wish to deceive. You can set up a fake dating profile in the time it takes to make a cup of tea by simply grabbing photos and personal information of a stranger/friend/celebrity from other social networks, modeling sites, and the like.
What are your plans for the future, any thoughts on events, singles nights, speed dating etc where there would be certainly no place for lying about your age/height/weight! Etc
We’d love to bring the Would Like To Meet experience into the ‘real world’, so to speak, and have lots of ideas for events and singles nights in the future. But we want to hold events that aren’t the well worn road of ‘single nights in bars’ and alike…we have some really groundbreaking events in the development stages that should result in anyone that attends having gained more than just a few phone numbers! As we’re still very much in our infancy we’re focusing on making the site the best it can be and spreading the word of Would Like To Meet throughout the UK…so watch this space!
What advice would you give to singles with regards to recognizing the genuine and those who are slightly more creative with their profiles when online dating!
The biggest lies in online dating are generally height, income and age for guys, and weight and age for women. Age is a very subjective thing so it may not be immediately apparent from a photo whether they are someone who genuinely looks ten years younger, or if they’ve used a decade old snap. We try to help with this conundrum by ensuring the pictures a member uploads are an accurate representation of their current selves. On top of that we have a system where other members guess your age from your profile picture which we call ‘guesstimate’...if like millions of single people you look younger than you are this actually extends your search ability, and hopefully persuades people not to stretch the truth about their age in the first place! In terms of height and weight, it’s helpful if they have a selection of photos including a full length body shot, or perhaps a group shot where you get a better sense of perspective.
Check the fantastic site out for yourself over at https://www.wouldliketomeet.me/
follow them on twitter @wltmme or Facebook www.facebook.com/wouldliketomeet.me
And as if that wasn't enough Would Like To Meet are currently offering FREE lifetime membership for a limited time only!
Come on people, what are you waiting for? It's time to get real!