Facebook recently announced a dating feature for meeting ‘non-friends’. If that ain’t Zuckerburg for friends with benefits, nothing is.
This invasion of Tinder’s personal space will enable you to curate a ‘secret’ dating profile, visible only to non-friends who are also using the feature. Facebook will then use its pool of questionably legal data to find you a soul-mate that likes (or hates) vapid celebrity TV as much as you do.
“Potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. (You’ll) have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events,” Facebook said in a statement.
You’ll then be able to browse through people’s profiles that show off a few photos, plus their basic info. If you’re both interested after this point you’ll be able to start a conversation in an inbox separate from Messenger and WhatsApp.
This is where Chris Manak, Melbourne’s leading dating coach for men (and owner of Manic Workshops), comes in. First we asked him—will Facebook really become a useful tool for dating? He began by pointing out—it already is.
“Facebook is best for situations where asking for a phone number is not optimal, like her being at work. I’ve dated many women from local bars doing this, and I have clients who have done the same from cafes and clothing stores.”
And he reckons its new dating feature will make these kinds of moments even easier to follow up on. As for advice, he says that when starting a conversation, if you’re stuck for witty one-liners, the best thing to do is:
“Find something about her profile that caught your attention.”
And once you’ve started chatting, how long should you wait until suggesting a meet up? Coach Chris says the best way to take things to the next level is simpler than you think.
“I had a phone consultation with a woman on the weekend who was two weeks into a fun, flirty chat with a guy, but he still hadn’t asked her out. Although he was probably just trying to play it right, she had interpreted it as him not being interested. So if you’re having a good chat, just ask. Don’t be weird about it.”
And as for the date: keep it simple.
“Personally I recommend a coffee or drinks for the immediate catch up. You don’t know each other in real life, so why set up some elaborate date (which for one looks try-hard) when you might not even like each other in the first five minutes?”
However when it comes to Facebook’s ability to match you with someone similar, Chris had some reservations; saying that although similar values are important, so are different interests.
“You need to see and approach life similarly—that’s how you move ahead together—but you need to inspire each other to try different things in order to keep things interesting.”
Gad Krebs, a relationship expert agreed, saying:
“Finding love necessitates a healthy flexibility towards options rather than stubborn rigidity towards specifications.”
In a climate of foam-padded newsfeeds—where you only subscribe to publications you agree with and talk to people you like—will Facebook’s dating app add to the noise of the ‘echo chamber’ as people increasingly find partners with similar world-views?
Only time will tell.
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