Not everyone wants or needs a Valentine, but if the recent holiday has left you longing for love, Washington may be among the best places to search for it.
A recent study by the website Nerd Wallet rates the District third best among American cities for single men (our Charm City neighbor, Baltimore, ranks at number two). Though the study doesn’t list D.C. among the greatest towns for all the single ladies, year after year Washington does top numerous lists as one of the country’s best places for online dating.
Is the Internet love’s great equalizer?
Emily Silbert, who has been dating online since “before it was cool or not taboo” believes that internet dating can be a game changer for people seeking a relationship or just a fun adventure. She recently started Rare Bird Coaching where she helps clients personalize online dating profiles to stand out among the nearly 40 million Americans US News and World Report says are dating online. So far, all of Silbert’s clients are women.
Silbert believes internet dating is especially useful for Washingtonians because the District’s online field is smart, cultured and passionate, allowing even the busiest professionals an efficient way to meet new people outside of their work life.
When braving a dating site “people have to believe that they are someone’s perfect ‘yes’,” explains Silbert, “because each person brings their own advantages. There isn’t a science to it, but most of the time people just don’t know what to say.”
Since starting Rare Bird last fall, Silbert’s coaching (she helps her client select photos and write their profile, but she won’t correspond for them with online suitors) can claim success for three long-term relationships. Here are some of her tips for romantics, hopeless or otherwise, seeking love online:
- Use a recent, flattering photo – no sunglasses, no other people in the picture.
- Don’t say what you’re not looking for – be positive.
- Be specific about yourself – list examples of your hobbies and details about your personality.
- Date more than one person at a time.
- Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, there’s never a bad time to join a dating site.
- If you’re serious about finding someone, use a pay site (Silbert recommends Match.com).
- If you’re casual about online dating, use a free site (Silbert recommends Plenty of Fish)
- Ask yourself if you’re having fun. If the answer is no, remove your profile.