Why Online Daters Have to Be Proactive With Their Search

06/09/2014 12:44 pm ET | Updated Aug 09, 2014

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There's no doubt about it. Singles are obsessed about how people date and how to find decent dates, no matter what city they live in. However, most singles struggling to find love think their city is the worst to find a compatible mate.

Amy Webb lives in Philadelphia, a city where she calculated that she'd only find 35 compatible dates in the entire city if she waited to find a single guy that met her criteria.

Then Webb took matters into her own hands. With her data-centric mind, she casted a wide net and joined JDate to find a husband. Her family said she was too picky when it came to men. As a dating coach and digital matchmaker, I have to tell you that everyone is too picky when they describe their perfect match. Women create a list that is typically too unrealistic. If a man reads through their list, they'd probably run for the hills thinking that they'd never be able to make her happy.

The reasons why online dating works so well is that that 50% of the 111 million singles in the United States are dating online and that it's available 24 hours a day. The reason that online dating fails for many is that they aren't taking a proactive approach to the process. If you just post a few photos, a bio, and who your perfect date should be and wait for someone to find you, your date card won't be filling up fast.

A beautiful woman in her 40s who I've been coaching thinks online dating takes too long to find a good guy. She was frustrated that men weren't writing to her. She met two guys, one who wanted her to take her profile down before they even met, and another who didn't call her for a second date. Finding two dates in one week, whether they advance to a second date or not, is not a bad statistic for online dating. This is actually the normal dating process.

The problem is, she doesn't believe it's proper for a woman to contact a man and wasn't using the tools to benefit from the algorithms that the site provided. After one month of online dating, she wondered what she was doing wrong and why it wasn't working. While she "liked" and "favorited" a few guys she saw on Match, she waited for them to write back to her so she could be pursued in an old-fashioned traditional way.

What she doesn't understand is that everyone's digital dating behaviors and patterns vary. Some men will only read emails from women and don't use all of the features of the sites. Others only look at photos. They may not look to see who has viewed them, hot listed them, winked, flirted, or liked their photos. Dating is a two-way street. Men are trained to be the pursuers, but when they get frustrated when they don't receive responses online from women, they slack off a bit. When women take a passive approach to online dating it simply just doesn't work.

Ossa Fisher,'s SVP of Strategy & Analytics defines this dating type as a "Cherry Picker," or one who has a hard time finding a date because they post a beautiful profile and sit and wait. Even though finding love is a priority, a cherry picker doesn't take matters into their own hands.

Many dating sites have sophisticated algorithms. When I visited's headquarters recently, we talked about their dating algorithms. The only way these algorithms work to help you find a compatible date is to make sure you are an active user of the dating site. Simply put, the more often you log on, the more data the site receives on your likes, dislikes, and communications.

Fisher states the only way to maximize your experience on dating sites is to be truly engaged in the process. She says that compared to Match users who haven't met someone, those who have met someone sent 30% more likes, favorited 26% more users, and responded to 3-7% more messages.

Once the "Cherry Picker" started writing short emails to five to ten men a day, the results were dramatic. Men who wrote back were flattered to receive her email and pursued her. They knew that unlike many other women they had contacted, that they would likely receive a reply so a dialog could start and the dating process could continue, rather then coming up empty-handed.

Modern day dating must include a proactive approach and old dating rules need to be tossed out the window. This is no different than looking for your dream job. The digital playground is crowded, but the possibilities are huge for singles looking for love online.

At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win. This is why Amy Webb's success story is an inspiration to others.

Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and is the founder of Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

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