Online daters usually select their best photos and highlight their positive traits when creating their profiles.
Settle for Love, however, is a free online dating site that takes a more upfront approach. In addition to highlighting their good sides, users are encouraged to share their imperfections.
“I’m funny, loyal and a good listener,” a profile might read. “Cons” may include “unemployed and shy.”
Users are encouraged to upload some of their less flattering photos, such as women posing makeup-free.
Like many other singles, Settle for Love co-founder David Wheeler experienced frustration with other dating sites. While using these sites, he often found a discrepancy between how women portrayed themselves online and in the real world.
“I just felt like everyone is trying to sell themselves as opposed to really be themselves,” said Wheeler in an email interview.
Wheeler and business partner Jacob Thompson said they noticed a need for truth telling in traditional online dating, and the site was launched in 2013.
“We all have imperfections, so we thought why not make a site that’s about honesty so you can find someone who loves you for who you are,” said Wheeler.
“Anything that draws people together based on similar compatibility is a good thing,” said online dating expert and matchmaker Carmelia Ray. “To be transparent about these qualities I think is really great.” The candid nature of the site allows for one to weed out any dissimilar matches. “I’ve had people say that they don’t want to meet a uber-ambitious person, or a gym buff because they’re not interested in that stuff,” said Ray.
Being introverted, for example, may be considered a negative trait; so two introverts would be able to discuss this shared experience.
“In my experience, people tend to inflate and exaggerate their traits,” said Ray. “If men are going to exaggerate anything, they typically lie about income and height, whereas women typically lie about weight and age.”
Honesty will triumph in the search for love in the long run, Wheeler said.
“When people have that encouragement to be a bit more honest they are more likely to put it out there because they see that everyone else is doing it,” said Wheeler. “Then it helps people to bond more.”
Isaiah Littley, 30, a first-year Sustainable Energy and Building Technology student at Humber College, had success using the popular dating site Plenty of Fish.
“I found that when I was reading some other profiles, they all seemed kind of the same,” said Littley. “When I was looking at profiles I was looking at someone who was being more honest or something unique about them that stood out.
“It’s important to be honest from the beginning, if you’re not being honest it will eventually show later on, then you will have wasted all of that time if you’re not compatible.”