Disclaimer: I do not and never have worked for or with Yelp. In fact, Yelp will probably hate me for even posting this, because, you know, now skeevy internet daters will probably start creeping on all their users!
Yelp is actually the best dating site that no one’s ever used for dating.
I’m a dating consultant (I run Dateworking.com), and I’ve actually been using Yelp for dating for over 2 years. It’s damn effective.
Here’s the way I see it: my first dates with people almost always involve either coffee, food, or drinks. So why would I ever pass up the opportunity to definitively KNOW exactly where my potential dates like to go out to eat and drink?!
Let’s break this down a bit further. What are the features that make a dating site awesome? I’d argue that Yelp already has most, if not all of them:
Yelp has them, and you’ll get more honest personal info from Yelp than from half of the online dating profiles out there.
Yep! No photo limits, either :P And look at all that proof of site activity beneath the tagline. No fake accounts here.
Check! You can follow, compliment, message, or even add users as friends.
4. Personality Insights
Bam! People are actually quite honest and forthright on Yelp. You can very quickly get a sense of someone’s communication style, their general life outlook, their sense of humor, and more from just reading their reviews.
5. Declaring Romantic / Physical Intentions
There is, of course, one critical element missing from Yelp that basically explains why it’s NOT seen as a dating site: INTENT.
People don’t typically go on Yelp looking to date, so it can be hard to a) judge whether someone is single, and b) judge whether someone wants to be approached. But hey, isn’t that the problem everyone faces each and every time they walk into a bar? The online dating industry was created to solve the problem of declaring romantic/physical intent, and although Yelp doesn’t specifically solve that problem, it does at least give you a leg up on the competition. After all, when you message someone on Yelp and ask them out for coffee, I can guarantee that you’ll know a lot more about them than a random person asking them out at a bar. Also, and perhaps most importantly, you can always ensure that the coffee spot you recommend is the one they’ve already rated 5 stars!
If anyone needs help on the dating front, I encourage you to reach out to me anytime. I’m a matchmaker and a date coach, and I take all the online dating feedback my clients give me and throw it right back at the dating site CEOs themselves, challenging them to update and amend their sites so their users (in essence, me and my friends) can have better on-site experiences. Check Dateworking.com for some of my blog posts, consulting packages, and other insights.