How to Date Online Without Really Trying

Our new favorite ways to date online.

Photograph: iStock photo

Just because a company is based online doesn’t make it a conventional dating site.  Here, we’ve culled a few of these unique dot-com operations for those weary of diving head first into the vast ocean that is online dating. Go ahead, get your feet wet.

The Grace List
Why We Love It: Meet your potential mate while making pizza, learning to sail or sipping on some wine. This social networking group takes the awkwardness out of dating by hosting monthly events that put singles in a lively setting with other successful individuals that share the same passion. “Dating should be fun and wonderful and about getting to know someone,” says Hattie Grace Elliot, founder of The Grace List. Initially starting the business so she could meet someone, Elliot now boasts an accomplished, attractive and adventurous clientele. Her trick? She picks places and people with a certain caliber in terms of age, demographic and success. “It’s about putting yourself out there and getting involved in something you’re passionate about,” she says. “You’re likely to meet your partner in crime that’s equally as passionate.”
Con: Elliot meets every potential member face-to-face. If you aren’t someone she would set up with one of her friends then, sorry, but you’ll get the boot.

ViDA: Virtual Dating Assistants
Why We Love It: This team of experts takes all the tediousness out of online dating. To start, they get to know you—your interests, personality, background, past experiences and current goals. From there, they create accounts for you on the various dating sites that fit best. Don’t fret, ViDA writes your profile for you and even picks the most flattering photo. Once you’re up and running, the ViDA team goes through countless profiles to find you a great match. You approve any messages that are sent out, and the team proceeds to make connections with your approved candidates. After arranging your dates, they catch you up to speed on what they’ve been doing behind the scenes and then send you on your way.
Con: Having a full time team can be pricey. The premium package has a $200 startup fee plus $720 per month. Want even more time dedicated to you? The executive package has a startup fee of $400 plus $1,440 per month.

How About We
Why We Love It: Even though this site is based online, it’s unlike like any dating site you’ve used before. Simply finish the sentence, “How about we…” with your favorite place to go on Sunday afternoon, or a new restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Let your imagination run wild and don’t hold back. Each day the site sends dates you create to other members with the same interests, while also sending you dates that might spark your curiosity. You can browse the site anytime for all the dates people have proposed, and it’s up to you how many you go on. Worried about coming up with a good rendezvous? The Datetropolis gives you a list of pre-designated dates that you can send out no sweat.
Con: If you aren’t located in New York City or the tri-state area, you’re out of luck.

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