Is online dating and/or dating apps safe?

First and foremost..   NO!  they’re not.  They’re as safe as you are.

There are many people who have tried online dating and they have ended up in very bad situations which make them feel apprehensive about online dating sites in general. When you go into a dating site, you need to remember that you are dealing with the same risks that people deal with in the real world. This means that you need to consider that there will be honest people and dishonest people just like it happens outside of the internet.   So just always take the same precautionary measures online as you would if you were out at a bar talking to strangers..   But realize, that online, people can be different than what they say they are.  Games can be played.  And if you are easily convinced to meet up for real, then that’s on you.  Be smarter than that.


Check out these statistics for example:

Dating online has always been something that has had mixed results for people. There are some people who create fake profiles and they get away with this until someone actually meets up with them and they are then reported by a member of the community and in other cases they will be reported by the actual people that own the photos they use. There is no doubt that dating sites provide a perfect platform for people to steal identities and pretend to be someone they are not, but there are also plenty of people who are genuinely interested in meeting someone they could date.


At Hey There, we are building artificial intelligence engines to identify fakes, and remove them from the platform.  We even review accounts manually to ensure people are legit.  This is one of the reasons we only allow people to log into our app with Facebook credentials.  We want to leverage Facebook’s constant attempts to make sure everyone on their platform is real to our advantage.  That coupled with additional tech to notice patterns that match normal fake/bot/scammer behavior and we’ve got you pretty well covered.  Add verified badges into the mix and you’re really well covered if you only go for the users who have a verified badge on their profile.


But even still..  we can’t catch everyone that puts up a fake profile..  it’s impossible.  So you have to be smart too.

catfishing scams


If you want to be able to make sure that you are not being catfished, you need to do certain things to find out if you are not going to end up disappointed. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a catfish is a person who goes on the internet and pretends to be someone else for a large number of reasons. Some people do it because they have nothing else to do. Others do it because they want to scam people out of their money, in any case, this is something that no one should ever have to experience.

scam alert


When you go on a free dating site and you find someone that you might be interested in, we suggest that you chat with them a few minutes and then request a live camera conversation. If they say they don’t have a webcam, this is a red flag and you should never buy into it. Anyone should have a webcam at this point and if they don’t and they really want to prove they are who they say they are, they will find a way to prove it to you.   If they’re full of crap, they’re not going to look for a way to prove it to you.  It’s that simple.


If they still insist they can’t have a webcam conversation, you should ask them to record a video to say hi and say that date. Anything that will prove to you that they are not using someone else’s image and pretending to be someone else. This is going to be very important if you want to avoid engaging in long conversations with someone for days and even months just to find out they are not who they claim to be. Some people have spent years in this situation without knowing that they are being lied to.


If you want to enjoy the free online dating sites that offer a lot of opportunities to meet someone, just try to avoid falling in love with someone until you know for sure they are whey say they are.

99 Problems But Matching Algorithms Ain’t One

Every site from eHarmoney to OKcupid loves to tout about their “secret sauce” matching algorithms. We’re sure you have seen the cheesy commercials boasting about how their sophisticated matching systems. We’ve done a lot of research here at Hey There and we asked ourselves…

are machines better matchmakers than we are?

How they (, OKcupid, eHarmony and others) can find singles everywhere a uniquely compatible soul mate at a click of a button is a mystery to all of us. Or is it? We are here to tell you it’s all FAKE NEWS! There is no scientific data to support any claim of matching algorithm superiority. Any claim is negligible at best!

fake news

Without any empirical data to support claims of matching algorithm success how can anyone say with any certainty that they are superior to any other form of matching or even matching people randomly? How do you honestly know their “algorithms” are actually taking into account any data at all and aren’t just literally “matching” you to whoever pops up in their system? Because they say so? really? You take them at their word?

Until the scientific community can get their hands on these mathematical cupid formulas to evaluate we are left to question their legitimacy. And there’s plenty of online daters who are NOT getting good matches who inevitably lead to question exactly that. Although we cannot produce a shred of evidence to back up their success due to their unwillingness to publish their algorithms we can make a determination about their fundamental flaw.

Mathematical matching algorithms are powered by two principles: similarities and opposite qualities. It is pretty much common sense to think that a match is best made when two people have more similarities versus people that are more dissimilar. It is also fair to go by the old adage that “opposites attract.” But don’t those two contradict each other? Even though it might make sense superficially, there is little evidence to support it as scientifically true. In fact there have been scientific studies that suggest neither principle has any impact on relationship quality. There are too many factors at play in human relationship building to think for a single second that a cookie cutter algorithm could predict anything. Far too many!

opposites attract in love

The facts are that no matching algorithm can predict long term success. They lack real life interactions and social circumstances. The algorithms are only as good as the data they process and so far the data is circumstantial at best. We have to realize that a lot of times the answers given to the questionnaires on dating platforms are often falsified and/or bent truths. Real life insights are the data points that matter. But how can we get that online?

Let me introduce you to “Hey There” which was created because it’s time for a change of approach.
hey there app icon

Our theory is that, even though we can’t process interaction between two people to predict relationship success we can at least provide real world insights. That is why we base initial matching off basic data like location, age, gender, and interests. But then we combine that with social insights from friends that have true relevance to matching. We believe where math matchmaking falls short our system based on people matching works best. Insights come from us as humans not machines.

The Best Pictures to use for your Online Dating Profile

Most people work very very hard to put their best face forward in their profile pictures. They know it’s not totally real, but they cannot help themselves. Some of us take 50 selfies only to finally choose 5 or 6 from that to post to our profile. Our photographs on our online dating profile serve as the first impression, so it makes sense that we stress out over it. That makes this task pretty hard.. You want to look sexy but not desperate, intelligent but not weird, fun but not TOO fun, adventurous but not daredevilish, etc.. It can be quite a task to get the right picture. Heres’s some tips on choosing them that have been shown to be good rules of thumb.

fake profile pictures versus real profile pictures

1. Post Real and Current pictures of you.

Too many people pick photos from more than 2 years ago. You probably don’t look like you did back then, so why are you posting that picture of you? Because it’s the best pic? because you’re slimmer? because you have better muscle tone? Well stop it. You do realize if you end up on a date with someone they’re going to be pissed off if you show up and look nothing like your pictures right? You’ll ruin the chances straight from the get go. There’s no point to lure them in digitally with falsehoods when the ultimate goal is to meet them in person. It’s deception and people don’t like to be deceived, not by salesman, not by anyone. By all means pick the most flattering pictures of you that you can find, but do make sure it’s not older than a couple years. Unless you look EXACTLY the same. You’re the one that will suffer in the end.


be careful of what you have in the background of your pictures

2. Go Natural.. but beware of what’s in the background

Some people take selfies for their profile pictures.. Some have pictures taken professionally. Some hand a friend a camera and hope for the best. Whichever way you choose to go, there’s one rule of thumb to go for. Strive to look relaxed and natural. People pick up on it if you look contrived. And people respond better to pictures that show you in your normal every day element. They can relate better, and can envision you in that element as a real person. But the picture shouldn’t be “so natural” that it’s a blurry picture you took of yourself in the bathroom mirror. Blurry bathroom selfies are certainly not the best foot forward. Also be sure to examine the background of the picture too to make sure there’s no embarrassing items or people lurking behind you. Case in point.


women friends laughing

3. Pick a Picture that Speaks to your Personality

Choose a picture that shows off your personality. Are you always happy and bubbly? Well then pick something that conveys that. It’s better to make it look like you have a personality rather than picking a picture that has you wearing a fake smile. Even if you’re hair looks better. Do you have a pet? Include a picture with you and you’re pet. Play a sport? A smiling head-shot taken while you enjoy a favorite pastime will definitely show you off in a positive light. People need to be able to read into your lives with the pictures you post. So let them read a chapter on who you are and what you love.


confused woman4. Keep it simple.. don’t confuse the viewer

Pictures of you at a party with all your friends are great.. If maybe one or two of them are used and you’re not too scantily clad. But using those kinds of pictures for every photo in your profile is not advised. The viewer might get confused on which one you are. Look directly at the camera, and have a nice expression on your face. It seems simple but I cant tell you how many profile pictures we see of people that are very far from it. The goal is to add pictures that convey who you are and what you’re all about. You want to attract the right person… Pretend you’re telling a story with your pictures. Each picture designed to speak to the user and tell them a story about you that they’ll want to hear more about.

Good luck out there!

5 Ways to Become Instantly More Attractive to Women

When it comes to initially attracting women, it’s really not rocket science. As long as you’re insanely good looking, super fly and smooth as silk with your delivery you shouldn’t have any problems. The problem is, none of us are Fabio ( am I dating myself with that reference?). If you’re reading this blog article it’s safe to say you are looking for some pointers on the subject. So let’s dig in to see what you can do immediately to “become more attractive” to women shall we? Top 5.. here we go.

Oh.. and remember.. it’s up to you. Put in the effort, and you will get the reward.

go to the gym

1. Go to the gym

Whether you like it or not, women like men who stay in shape. You don’t have to bench 300 pounds and look like a top-heavy gorilla to get a girl to compliment your physique, but you need to invest in your health to be more attractive to women. A little bit of muscle tone can go a long way. Start out by going to the gym just to walk on the treadmill. You never know who you’ll meet there too! Start slow, and stay consistent. It’s easy to fail here so you have to stay mentally committed. Do that, and your body will follow wherever your mind takes you.

you're really pretty

2. Don’t tell them they’re pretty like a cave man…

Women who actually are pretty usually hear “oh wow.. you’re pretty!” a lot. It gets old, fast! And when you say it, it makes them instantly think you’re unoriginal. You don’t want to be labelled as unoriginal. But more importantly, women want to be noticed for who they are, not for what they look like or what clothes they’re wearing. Sure they’re flattered when they come to find out that you REALLY love their eyes or cute dimples.. but don’t blurt that sh$t out right away. Ease into it. Even if they are decked out to the 9’s with makeup galore, they’d much rather you notice them for what’s inside instead of commenting on their looks. They know their pretty, and they know you think their pretty. You’re looking at them aren’t you? Be different, talk to them about what they do, what they believe, what they feel, and you will find an easier path to everything else.

3. Keep a neat and tidy apartment, and cut your damn hair

Hygiene people.. HYGIENE.. women have it.. lots of single men absolutely don’t. It’s too easy to get lost in the shuffle of watching netflix, drinking beers, and thinking about buying a bed frame for your mattress on the floor and ultimately end up realizing you haven’t showered in 3 days. Go take a shower, trim your beard up so it looks nice and tight, and get a haircut. Women notice things like shoes, neckline trim jobs, and ear hair. So keep it tidy and you will be better off. And you’re apartment too. If you bring a woman home and there’s underwear thrown in a corner, and a way too old banana rotting on the counter she’s gonna be turned off.
Let me throw a list at ya…

Haircut, Shave/Trim beard, moisturize your dry skin, clean and clip your nails (including toes!), wash your clothes, then put your clothes away!, wipe the counters, clean the toilet, put the toilet seat down, light a candle, windex the windows, vacuum the Dorito crumbs off the rug, take a shower every day, don’t leave food out for the ants, wash the dishes in the sink, and for god’s sake change your damn sheets once in awhile.


dont put this picture on facebook

4. Clean up your Facebook profile

Use social media to show yourself off when you’re single. Cause people you are talking with on a dating app such as Hey There ( are probably going to try to find you on there to snoop around. Keep your profile clean, and relevant. Pictures of you insanely wasted after a night at the strippy should probably not end up on your social profile. Also.. women are freaked out by guys posing for selfies with their guns.. don’t do it. Remember.. women will cyberstalk you. So spruce up your social media profiles to convey the best parts about you or everything in them will be used against you.


find a job5. A Job, get one.

Women love a guy who’s sensitive, caring, tender, romantic, strong and sweet. But they’re not going to love you very long if you have no job and they have to pay for everything. Don’t be a dead beat, get a job. Doesn’t have to be glamorous.. Any job shows that you care about your well-being in life and want to continue to grow professionally in some capacity. Women feel more secure when you are working and even more so when you are passionate about what you do. Find a job that boosts your confidence in yourself and gives you stability in life. I’d even go as far as to say you should do this before you even begin looking for a woman. Sure, there are women who “don’t care about that” and “like you for you, not for what you do or how much money you make”…. and they’re called liars. Get a damn job.

Hey There… is not just a dating app – It’s a study in human psychology


A few years ago my best friend and I came up with what we believed to be a pretty great idea. As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly combing our everyday reality with our “is there anything that could improve on this experience” filter to see if there’s a new idea or product lurking.  At the time, we had just shut down a previous fitness app idea were determined to come up with a new software concept to pursue as a side project, that had one overarching theme..   helping people.  We spent a year in our basement think tank researching, planning, thinking, conceptualizing, and rethinking the concept that we would ultimately create.  As it turned out, the concept ended up being in the social networking / dating app realm.  And despite all the urging from many not to attempt to enter a market where giants lived, we did so anyways.  We noticed a gaping hole in the current offerings, and our entrepreneurial nature told us we needed to plug it, no matter how large the barrier to entry.  Little did we know that after 2 years of development efforts it would spawn into something that was going to be a hit with online daters.  The problem we aimed to solve was seemingly obvious and relatively simple.  The solution, was less so.  The problem was in how people made NEW connections in social networking.  We felt it was a bit broken with regard to making connections with people you don’t know you need to make a connection with.  Let us explain. 

The current landscape

All sites that we researched made connections based on 2 primary drivers:

  1. People you already know.
  2. People you may know because of people you already know.

* These 2 assumptions are the backbone of all social networking sites from Facebook to LinkedIn and outside real life connecting are the primary engines for making connections with people you don’t already know.

All social networking sites start out with the connections you already know.  Let’s say for example you just joined Facebook for the first time.  FB, will make recommendations based on your contact lists on your phone, email, other social network sites you’re already in, etc… as to whom you are already in contact with off-site who are also in FB.  The majority of these connections are going to be people you interact with already.  These connections are most likely already in your immediate social circle.  Once you get through that list, FB will start showing you people who you interacted with before, but maybe haven’t talked to in quite a while.  Sounds like a good formula to get you connected up right? Yes, this is #1 above and serves its purpose adequately.

The second driver, “people you may know”, is really the networking part of social networking, and the essence of every social based site.  It is likely that you do not know a single person presented in this list of friend recommendations but since they are curated based on people your friends know we have a natural tendency to believe maybe we should know them.  We may know them from a one time meeting while out with friends (and somehow FB knows that), or know “of” them through talking with our friends. Or maybe we have no idea who they are and ignore them immediately when maybe we shouldn’t.  Either way, this second driver is the one that’s flawed and/or doesn’t go far enough to benefit you as the user.

The problem

The problem we identified though, is that there is no list on any social network dedicated to “people we SHOULD know” and might never know if we do not blindly connect via these “people we may know” connections portals.  Where’s the degree of separation beyond first line?  Are people inclined to blindly friend everyone on the “people you may know” list and then inquire with them about why they should be friends?  NO!  That’s weird!  And as a result, there are countless instances of missed connections because people do not know who to connect with or why they should connect with them.

Why hasn’t this been addressed?
How could this be solved in a way that improves people’s lives?
Why would solving this make for a better social networking experience?
How could something that solves this improve an industry and help people meet others that they would be better off to know?

As entrepreneurs we are programmed to look for a problem and then solve it.  That, however, isn’t always the full answer.  You may be able to solve a “problem” but is your solution worth anything to anyone?  As important as solving the problem is figuring out a way to apply the solution so it brings value to someone.  We also looked at this as well and determined a specific application for our solution.  More on this later.

The “Warm Handshake”

We need a digital form of the “warm handshake”.  What is that?  Think about what you would do if you needed a service provider such as a plumber or electrician.  You’d likely ask your friends, family and/or neighbors for recommendations based on people they know and or have hired in the past.  Common scenario right?  It makes sense to do this because a past positive experience from someone you trust to tell you the truth is what you want to hear about before you potentially hire someone to come into your home, and fix your pipes.  It’s a comfort, trust and security thing.  Scenarios where we are formally introduced to someone we don’t know from someone we do know and trust are called “warm handshake” introductions.    This “warm handshake” gives all parties direct insights into the reasoning for being connected.  You know the plumber isn’t going to screw you over, and the plumber knows you’re not going to screw him.  “Warm handshake” introductions have meaning and purpose and more often than not lead to a successful connection that is beneficial to both parties.  Whether it is to a potential hiring manager, handyman, or new friend; introductions prefaced by one mutually known party that vouches for all involved sets the table for a quality connection.  These connections work best because they are pre-vetted.  This is also much of the thought process behind ratings and reviews of sellers on ebay, to reviews of carpenters on homeadvisor or Angie’s list.  So we believed that it would also stand to reason that it would work for social networking and people meeting people they “should” know or at the very least be compatible with.

Real quick backtrack to social networking sites.  In our opinion the “people you may know” functionality should be considered a cold lead.  Meaning, you most likely do not have any context of a potential friend request other than that they may know someone in your social circle.  This path to connectivity requires a serious and often lengthy commitment to getting to know someone who is a complete stranger turned potential digital acquaintance. These newfound acquaintances usually lay buried in a list with thousands of others never truly discovering their full potential.  We highly doubt anyone is doing this work.

Applying the “warm handshake” to an industry plagued with problems

This is really the genesis for our conceptual idea that spawned our app hey there…  We obsessed over the difference between online & offline behaviors when making connections.  We dissected warm versus cold introductions in all facets of online and offline relationship building.  We interviewed people on social networks.  We interviewed people on other relationship building services.  And we ultimately came to the conclusion that the best way to curate and explore new connections was with a more intimate system of discovery than existed already.  And that new system of discovery was most immediately needed in the online dating realm.  Perhaps nowhere is the need for friend insights more relevant than with dating.  Especially inside modern applications that all use stagnated notations of common friendships/acquaintances to try and crack this nut.  Where in online dating are our friends?  Over our shoulders.  Shoulder surfing our single friends while they’re on Tinder, Match, Eharmony, POF, or the like is something we saw time and time again in our research.  Why hadn’t anyone made the connection that friends like to help friends find matches?  Why are all online daters in a solitary, lonely experience on these apps?  Going it completely alone in a sea of strangers that may or may not be on the site for the same reasons as you.  Why had no one noticed that online daters are constantly taking screenshots of these apps and sending them to their friends for their advice on what to do?  Were we alone in observing this behavior?

Over the course of 2+ years, we built the hey there… system of direct friend insights to provide context, practical information, and where possible the potential for a warm handshake and applied it firstly to online dating.    To better understand how this all works let’s take take a deeper dive.


The wildly popular swipe app Tinder was one of the first sites to capitalize on using commonalities of interest and FB friendships when attempting to make new romantic connections.  The theory is that if you have friends and interests in common then you stand a better chance of hitting it off.  Sounds reasonable at first glance but what if the “common friends” are more common acquaintances?  We all know that people on social networks actually “collect” friends now.  So is there really any strength in this “common friends” approach?  Do these commonalities have any real meaning?  Does this help you to make a better and more informed decision as to if that person is a potential match?

We argue that in these instances all context is rendered useless and you are pretty much flying blind still.  Furthermore, even if we do know the people notated as common friends do we really gain any extra insight into this candidate just because they’re connected on a social network?  We argue no unless we reach out to those specific common friends to find out more details.  Only at this point would we truly stand to gain any relevant information that can affect our decision making process.  And we haven’t heard of anyone actually taking that extra step, so where’s the value?

Now what about the people on online dating who we do not share common friends with.  This is perhaps one of the most interesting dilemmas to explore.  Quick recap: we have candidates with common friends and/or interests, and now candidates with no commonalities.  Are these candidates less of a potential match?  In these instances should our friends be removed from the equation?  Do friend and family perspectives no longer matter?  Does the expansion of our social circle cease to matter?  We argue that this is where friend context is most critical and needs to be applied!  Friends can help by providing insights and perspective after careful review of the person you both don’t know.  Your friends and family know YOU. They’ve watched you go through heart break, and know what ticks you off to no end.  They know you’re quirks, and what you can’t deal with maybe even better than you do. If friends & family (our direct social circle influencers) know us best then it stands to reason that they can make certain inferences based on minimal information of a candidate when compared to what they intimately know about us.   For decades family and friends have been the most successful matchmakers in history.  More marriages and friendships have been made as a result of being personally matched by someone known and trusted within an existing social circle than any other method.  There are countries and religions that still rely on the knowledge of family to make appropriate marriage pairings.  You may think that strange, but there was certainly plenty of reasons for that to be the case in these cultures.  Techies have been trying to crack the matching nut using robotic algorithms for years but to date there is no technology that can compete with a pre-vetted friend made match.


This is where our app hey there… comes in.  We built it around the intrinsic human truth that our friends and family can provide very valuable insights into who we SHOULD know and meet.  Our application is built to emulate the way real life successful matches are made.  Traditional Social Networking and Online Dating sites are based on quantity and the concept of throwing enough spaghetti against the wall until something sticks.  Hey there… is built on quality within the quantity.   We want people to experience technology that hits on the most intrinsic essence of human nature which feels the most natural.  We look at our app as the new gateway to meeting people with an old fashioned twist.  Consider hey there… app the “warm handshake” in networking as applied to online dating.  The only application that wants to make real quality connections that are based on the input, insights, and perspectives from those closest to us.  

We’re not just a dating app

We have gone all in with our bet that people are still better matchmakers than algorithms and are enjoying watching the positive results come in.  We are not just a dating app – we are truly a social circle expansion app.  We believe that friends know us best, and if given the chance (and digital means) will help us reach our end goal of finding love.  With hey there… common friends is not just a footnote on a profile; they are active members helping their best of friends meet new people.  Sharing, advising, and with you every step of the journey.  Single people that join our app to find love, can also invite their best friends into the app to help them achieve that goal.  Not to mention the fun of having your friends in the app with you making you matches, writing you endorsements, helping you with your profile, and more.  Come see why our our wingman/friend role is poised to be a monumental shift in brokering new romantic and platonic relationships while bridging gaps in social circles.  


We are available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.  For more details visit our site

Hey There… on Itunes (Apple)

HeyThere… on Google Play (Android)