Online Dating Trends

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Online Dating Trends: Profile Highlighters – Hot or Not?A spread of trend words used in online dating

Online dating trends pave the way for the future as dating sites like OkCupid and Match.com try to out-rival each other with new user tools. One of the latest trends that has some mixed potential is the Profile Highlighter. David Evans recently blogged on Online Dating Insider about the benefits of this feature, and for the most part, I agree.

The best part of this feature is that it allows people to get feedback on their profile. As we all know, profiles and pictures are the key to success. This is what others see first and makes or breaks whether they want to click “send message.” So, isn’t it a good thing that there’s a tool that allows people to comment on specific lines of your profile? Maybe, or maybe not.

The Pros

There is no denying that good feedback is invaluable. If we don’t know what’s wrong, we can’t fix it. Constructive feedback is a very useful part of dating that most people don’t get to benefit from. Dr. Russell Lobsenz, founder of Dateraters.com, is a relationship coach who says “people who date online rarely know why a date doesn’t work out, and historically they haven’t been given a vehicle for getting feedback on their dating skills. Just like other aspects of life and work, feedback in dating is critical for behavior change.”
Exactly. Feedback is good. It initiates a change in behavior. Change is good, right? If you never get past the first or second date, there is most likely a reason. Honest feedback from your dates can help identify where you are going wrong.

The Cons

But is feedback always a good thing? I worry about the credibility of who is leaving it. Whose advice are you taking? Just because someone gives advice, does that mean you need to take it? The problem as I see it is that Profile Highlighters are semi-anonymous ways of leaving feedback. At least with sites like Dateraters.com, the feedback is from someone you actually went on a date with. You spent a couple hours with this person and formed your own opinions about them as well. You can decide for yourself whether or not you care what they thought. Sure, if several people say the same thing, maybe it is you, not them, that needs to make a change.

Now translate this scenario to your profile. You’ve put a great deal of effort into it. Just because another user says they don’t like something or suggests changes doesn’t mean you have to make them. You don’t know the person leaving comments at all. Okay, sure, an “I love this line!” will boost your ego, but then there’s the opposite effect to consider. Too many “constructive criticisms” could make a person feel insecure and depressed about the online dating experience. Or, a user may end up completely confused and overwhelmed by conflicting advice.

Even worse, if these tools are completely anonymous, there is the potential of destructive sabotaging-type comments from the competition.
Feedback is a good thing when taken with the right perspective. As long as dating sites have security measures built into their Highlighter tools to prevent abuse, then this new trend will be another fun way to maximize the online dating experience. First and foremost, however, users need to have a strong enough sense of self-awareness and confidence to be able to weed out good advice from the riff-raff.

Do you like profile highlighters? Vote now.

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