“My hair is fading fast and I’m a little too attached to my mom.”
Does this sound like a description that you would typically find from a guy on OKCupid or Match.com? Probably not, but it is one that you’ll find on SettleforLove.com, a new dating site that encourages users to expose their imperfections. When I first heard about Settle for Love I thought it had to be some kind of joke. I mean, if I revealed all of my imperfections I’d never get another date, not to mention probably being incarcerated. But this is no joke. Settle for Love is very real and is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter to improve the prototype site.
Everyone has their flaws, quirks, and imperfections that make them unique. However, when it comes to online dating, most of us tend to put our best foot forward. Although dating sites themselves don’t encourage their users to avoid the truth, many users don’t think twice about exaggerating, fudging facts, making liberal use of Photoshop, and sometimes even telling boldfaced lies. Who, me? After all, it is human nature to make the best first impression.
David Wheeler, who started Settle for Love with Jacob Thompson, was a member of at least five different online dating sites. What he discovered was that first impressions weren’t always accurate. “The biggest shock I had, honestly, was when I met a girl who had posted a picture when she was probably 18, and she was 30,” said Wheeler. Frustrated, he launched a prototype of Settle for Love in 2013.
“I started posting a picture of myself balding, because I don’t want girls to think I’m ugly or looking different when I’m in person,” Wheeler told Good Morning America. And, he isn’t the only one who thinks honesty will pay off in the quest for love.
“With other dating websites, people are afraid because they don’t want to be judged,” Settle for Love user, Ashley, 23, said in a video diary. “They don’t want to be rejected. This website encourages vulnerability and openness.”
Settle for Love ensures singles include good and bad pictures in their profile, while also laying out both their pros and cons — and what they would “settle for” in a partner. “We believe being upfront from the start will not only show one’s personality, but will build happier, healthier relationships,” explained Wheeler.
Some users have gone as far as to list: dog-hating, loyalty, clinginess, patience, unemployability, home ownership, and an addiction to Diet Mountain Dew. The pro and con categories are helpful in that you don’t have to categorize these qualities on your own. Because, who knows what’s considered a pro or a con these days.
Wheeler believes that getting real doesn’t mean giving up.
“People think that, ‘Oh, this is all about settling. It’s a bunch of losers,’” he said. “That’s not what this is about. Our site’s all about just representing who you are.”
Laurel House, author of “Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love,” says Settle for Love helps speed up the dating dance. “Instead of waiting three, four, five dates, one month, three months, 10 months, why don’t you show them right now?” the relationship coach suggested.
So why is the site asking for funding on Kickstarter? The prototype, according to Wheeler, “is slow.” He elaborates, “It’s also ugly. It’s built atop unsustainable code with barebones functionality.” But, he continues with the theme from “Love Actually” swelling in the background, “it shows the potential this concept has to bring fun and honesty to online dating.” So, Settle for Love may not be good looking and may have lots of problems, but it also has a lot of potential, if you would only give it a chance. It’s just a website standing in front of single people who use dating websites and asking them to love it.