5 Ways To Avoid Freaking Out When Your Date Wants To Be Your Facebook Friend

You’ve met someone you really like – congrats! You’ve been on a few dates (or maybe you’ve just connected online), and you’re enjoying sharing insight into your job, interests, and family with them on your own terms – until their inevitable Facebook request appears. All of a sudden you’re a little concerned that declaring to this person that you “don’t really party often anymore”, might conflict with the 150 posted photos of your friend’s Bachelorette party last weekend, and a silent panic ensues. 

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Conduct a photo audit: Because the first thing this person is going to do is click through every single one of your Profile Pictures, start with those. Ensure that any photos featuring your exes, beer bong, or blurry nights from the early 2000’s that happened to be immortalized on film and seemed hilarious at the time have been removed. And because I know that no email strikes fear into someone’s heart quite like “your friend has tagged you in 25 photos on Facebook” (which raises its own set of questions), you may need to embark on an un-tagging spree.
  2. Pick your Privacy Settings: Your date has probably already perused your Public Profile by now, but it doesn’t hurt to tighten up your Privacy Settings anyway. Lock everything down and make sure all of your content is only visible to friends. Aside from being completely necessary to portray a professional image for job prospects, it might even heighten the intrigue when it comes to your future love life. You don’t need this person’s friend’s friend’s friends seeing anything you’re not ready to share yet.
  3. Take care of TMI: A few years ago you may have gone through a bad break-up and posted an extra emotional status, or maybe you used to swear a lot more, or maybe you did something silly like publish your personal contact information. 600+ people, or however many Facebook friends you have certainly do not need access to this. Scan through your old activity and delete any posts you aren’t proud of, and reel in any of your shared phone numbers and outwardly visible home/work addresses.
  4.  Give your Timeline some TLC: By this point you might be feeling a little bit down on yourself, so why not flip the script by highlighting Facebook activity you are proud of! Scroll through your Timeline and use the Highlight button, by hovering over a story or photo and clicking on the star. Consider photos from that volunteer trip you took abroad, work related milestones, and interesting places you checked-in at like concerts or festivals. This will be the content that stands out during a preliminary Facebook creeping session.
  5. Calm Down: The most important way to avoid freaking out when someone you’re interested in adds you on Facebook is to remember why they friend requested you in the first place – they already like you! Your Facebook profile doesn’t need to feature only perfectly manicured photos and profound statuses around the clock. You’re a real person, and your online identity should merely be a fun extension of your real-life self, so when you’re ready, click ACCEPT. Pretty soon you will be looking at photos of your date… passed out at his 2003 frat party with pen all over his face, and you will probably like him just the same.

 

5 tips to help turn your summer fling into the real thing

Feeling the heat this summer with a summer fling? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind if you want to extend the sizzle past that final August barbecue.

1.       Don’t set an expiration date

If you’re truly enjoying each other’s company, don’t feel pressured to put the brakes on after the sun sets on Labor Day. The relationship will progress naturally into fall, so go with the flow and start setting your sights on all of the fun that comes along with fall! Loads of fun Halloween costume ideas are right around the corner!

 2.       Make your dates count

 Swap heading to the movies for a day at the art gallery, where you will have much more inspiration for stimulating conversation.  Instead of meeting up for drinks in the evening, switch it up and meet up in the day to try volunteering together, hiking, or heading to the aquarium – it makes for much more memorable experiences than sipping back cocktails. If you really want to get your blood pumping, suggest an adrenaline fuelled activity like bungee jumping or sky-diving – which are sure to leave a lasting impression!

 3.       Communicate

Although you may have looked upon your summer love as short-lived in the beginning, your feelings have become more serious towards your summer fling – so be sure to speak up! Chances are, you’re not alone in hoping things progress, so don’t be afraid to be honest and open.  Ask questions about their family, their career, and their dreams to let them know you are interested in getting to know this person on a deeper level. If you want to know where they see the relationship going, it’s up to you to open up first!

 4.      Stay Balanced

Summer flings can be all-consuming, but you don’t want to smother each other and remain holed-up from the outside world.  Be sure not to lose sight of activities and hobbies that were important to your single self by letting your social life to take a back seat. By introducing your special someone to your friends and family, or simply mixing social circles, you will subtly let them know that they’re being factored into your future.

 5.       Share your passions

To explore your compatibility and help bring you closer, share something you are passionate about and suggest trying it together! If you love to cook or bake, try attending a class together at your local culinary school. If you love playing in your beach volleyball league, invite your sweetie out to a game and to socialize afterwards! You’ll shine while you’re in your element, and automatically be the best version of yourself – a win/win!

Hands on Deck: A chat with POF’s HR Manager

Singles associate  POF.com with pursuing love, making new connections, and starting relationships, but what they may not know about is the great deal of heart behind the scenes of the world’s largest online dating site. Our 77 person team is a tight-knit group of friends and coworkers who treat each other like family, often opting to spend precious downtime together as a testament to the relationships we’ve created with one another.

 So what’s it really like to work for one of Canada’s hottest start-ups at the top of its game in a notoriously fickle, fast-paced industry? Most importantly, what does it take to become part of a culture of Friday morning waffle breakfasts,and luxury holiday ski trips? From POF’s sprawling downtown offices with a waterfront view to rival some of Vancouver’s best, here are some answers straight from the source:

“We are looking for a certain type of employee,” says Carolina Ellis, POF’s HR Manager. “We like to bring strong team players on board – creative thinkers, people who can keep up and bring something unique to the table, because everybody matters with such a lean team. We won’t hire someone if we feel it’s not a cultural fit with the rest of POF, as we are highly collaborative and seek to empower our team members with a deep sense of belonging.”

POF is constantly on the lookout for new talent in the world of coding and software engineering, often hiring from local schools, and introducing highly coveted internship positions in which students can  jump into working on new products and releases almost immediately. “A major reason many coders flock here is due to our access and availability to cutting edge technology, because developers are our bread and butter, we invest heavily in our infrastructure. Not only do our software engineers get a great deal of freedom, but they receive feedback on their work almost immediately,” adds Carolina. “Many tech companies have a great deal of red tape surrounding products and ideas, and seeing your work come to fruition can hardly be expected. Here at POF, developers can work on a project or mobile platform and know within five minutes if consumers like it, providing the perfect environment to produce your best work – seen by millions of people each day.”

“POF places great value on bringing the sharpest and most capable individuals on board ,” said Ellis. “We have so many stories of employees who started in one area of the company, and quickly and grew into more advanced roles. Our Creative Director started as a customer service rep, and one of our Product Managers also started in customer service and now operates in a key role within our company. Unlike Google, you aren’t employee number 25,000; you are employee 27 or 56, and on top of that we probably know your favorite food and musical preference. We are lean and creative and we don’t hire just anyone for the sake of hiring.”

Instead of punching out at 5 pm to go our separate ways, we make half marathon running teams, impromptu brainstorming sessions, and Harlem Shake videos.

In business and life, you learn that you must first experience it if you want to build it. And it’s no different with the culture at POF. We want to build meaningful relationships, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we strive to make each POF employee a brand ambassador as we quickly become one of Canada’s hottest tech commodities – and undoubtedly have the most fun in the process.

If you’d like to learn more about the positions we are hiring for right now, please feel free to visit our Careers Page

Valentine’s Day: The PlentyOfFish WAY

This week was a whirlwind triple threat for PlentyOfFish.  Valentine’s Day, one of the biggest and most celebrated days in the online dating industry was upon us, which also happened to coincide with the PlentyOfFish anniversary exploding onto the scene 10 years ago. Most poignantly though, this week we announced the winners of PlentyOfFish’s $100,000 Wedding Contest: Andrea Ellis and Dave Mazur.

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The Edmonton couple connected on PlentyOfFish in June 2011, and after some marathon phone conversations and getting to know each other, decided it was time to meet. 9 months later, they were engaged.  Its millions of love stories like Andrea and David’s that help put what we do here at PlentyOfFish in perspective.  They’re not a set of numbers or statistics; they’re a tangible reminder of the humanity that is at the core of this industry.

As the entire office exploded with a surprise “CONGRATULATIONS!” for the unsuspecting couple, the emotion of the moment was written across the faces of everyone in the room.  This contest was meant to remind our users that love is out there, to take chances, and to be hopeful – but in the end it was our users that ended up reminding us of a thing or two as well.

Cheers to Andrea and David, and to PlentyOfFish continually finding new ways to help bring people together, and  pursue and celebrate love!

TO FIND YOUR OWN SPECIAL SOMEONE, VISIT PLENTYOFFISH.COM

PlentyOfFish’s $100,000 WEDDING CONTEST

Everybody can appreciate an epic love story. So today, we’re thrilled to announce The PlentyOfFish $100,000 Wedding Contest!

We’re inviting all engaged couples who met on PlentyOfFish to submit their love stories for a chance to win a grand prize of $100,000 to put towards a wedding, honeymoon, or starting a life together! Countless success stories already line the walls of our offices, but we decided it was time to celebrate all of the couples who decided to give love a chance and join PlentyOfFish!

All couples will be asked to submit 4 photos, the story of how they met and fell in love, and an explanation of why they deserve to win the grand prize. Submissions will be accepted between December 27, 2012 and January 14, 2013.The most unique, creative and original submissions will be entered into the first round of the contest where PlentyOfFish users will be asked to vote for their favorite couples. The couples who receive the most votes during Round 1 will advance to Round 2 of voting. The grand prize winner of the $100,000 cash prize will be rewarded to the couple who collects the most votes in Round 2.

This is a life-changing opportunity for some very special couples, and just so happens to be the biggest giveaway we’ve ever done…seems Christmas came a little late this year! We’re looking forward to reading some pretty amazing stories, so we have a tissue box on hand.

To start the submission process, please follow this link – http://www.pof.com/contest_about.aspx

Cheers, we’re rooting for you!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US (excl. NY and FL)/Canada (excl. Quebec) residents only. Void where prohibited; rules and restrictions apply, click here: www.pof.com/contest_rules.aspx.

Giving Thanks & Breaking the Bank

We were feeling particularly nosy recently, so we asked our POF users what their plans were for the upcoming holiday weekend. Black Friday, the notoriously chaotic shopping day filled with flash sales and mob like crowds, falls on November 23rd this year – and only 44% of POF users are planning on shopping at all. Opting to save money for POF dates instead, we’re sure.

Out of those who do plan on doing some shopping, Wal-Mart and Best Buy come in as the most popular retail destinations, with a whopping 47% of the ladies planning on heading to Wal-Mart. And although 25% of total respondents are planning on perusing Best Buy for deals, its women who are more likely to shop for electronics over men this year. So what else are we buying? The majority of shoppers are on the hunt for clothes, but naturally 26% of women are still undecided as to what it is they are even looking for.

Despite current economic uncertainty, 30% of respondents are planning to spend $100-$500, with women opting to spend only slightly more freely than their male counterparts. Damage to the wallet is one thing, but how much is our time worth when it comes to getting what we’re looking for? Demonstrating admirable dedication, 23% of men surveyed are willing to wait for as long as it takes to purchase something they want – even overnight! Comparatively, only 19% of women were willing to do the same.

Could these male line dwellers be waiting it out through their Thanksgiving dinners? 16% of men are not even celebrating Thanksgiving this year – a percentage over 50% higher than women who are opting out. Of the POF users who are planning to indulge in some well-deserved turkey, 43% of women would wait over 6 months before bringing a date to Thanksgiving, compared to the 33% of men who would wait that long to bring someone home to mom and dad.  Interestingly enough, almost 20% of respondents would never bring a date to Thanksgiving – saving face in the midst of rampant overeating? No judgement.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PlentyOfFish makes you more than just a profile – 20,000 singles events prove it

I receive daily automated email alerts about online dating, and find myself bombarded with articles like: “7 tips you’ll need to improve your online dating profile”, “6 biggest online dating mistakes women make”, and “5 biggest lies men tell in their dating profiles”. These articles can be endlessly educational, and as a company we place great importance on providing our users with the best tips, advice, and support for finding happiness on POF. An online dating profile should be an accurate, well-crafted representation of our real-life selves…but sometimes these articles can make us feel like we’re just not cutting it. It can all appear to be a very impersonal and disconnected process if we let it.

Instead of painstakingly perfecting our online identities, wouldn’t it also make sense to go out and meet people who are on the site, looking for the same things we are?  While deciding between describing yourself as “empathetic “or “compassionate” on your POF profile, is it not equally important to show someone what your strengths are in person?

In 2003 we caught on to this notion, and allowed POF users to start hosting their own events. Many of these members are still around today – and continue to host religiously, even after finding long-term love themselves. Our events span the globe, and range from dog walks to concert series. One of our events famously had over 4000 people in attendance. Its small (or not-so-small) things like this that have established POF’s unique sense of community, adding up to over 20,000 events over the years. Yes, 20,000 events.

As POF’s mobile growth continues to explode, users can expect to get access to events on their iPhone and Android phones in the coming months.

5 Reasons Why You Should Have Probably Attended a POF Event Last Night:

1. You’d feel really popular today: POF members sign up for our parties through the site, but our stats consistently show that they bring 2 or 3 friends along with them.  This becomes a massive social web, and opens up a whole new realm of matchmaking possibilities. Meet friends of your new friends – meet your friend’s friend’s friends.  Now that’s what I call an advanced search.

2.“Flowergirl2012” is even more charming in real life: Meet your online interests sooner, and put a face to the username. Instead of connecting with someone online and letting it fizzle out, meet face-to-face and feel the chemistry unfold!

3.You don’t have to fall in love with everyone: Meet other single people in your area and expand your social circle! POF is a community of amazing women and men, and many of our users have found support and lifelong friends!

4.Your cat would have been fine alone – trust us: Get out of the house! It can feel great to grab some single friends, cut loose, and interact with new people.

5.You’d know the best new spot for ____: Scout new hot spots in your city and explore! Expand your repertoire for great spots you can return to on a POF date!

Interested in hosting or attending a POF event? Here’s how: http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts1156438.aspx

 

PlentyOfFish’ TALKING DEAD

Fall is upon us here at the POF offices, and we can certainly feel a nip in the air – but add a little Halloween talk into the equation and we’re chilled to the bone!

We all know that October provides some of the best excuses to cozy up to someone special, so why not take your date to the local pumpkin patch, spend the day shopping for Halloween costumes, or really take it to the next level and explore a haunted house together!

On a spookier note, Season 3 of AMC’s zombie hit, “Walking Dead” premiered last night. The show devoured basic-cable ratings records, drawing an audience of more than 15.2 million viewers – so we know we’re not the only ones with zombies on the brain.

Naturally, we went ahead and compiled a list of our top ten zombie-loving cities in America: and it’s probably worth noting that out of all the cities where people listed “zombies” as an interest in their POF profile, people from Seattle and Tacoma were seven times(!) more likely to do so when compared to the rest of general population. Needless to say, the west coast is packing some major zombie heat on this list.

And in the case of a zombie apocalypse, don’t say POF didn’t give you a heads up!

POF’S TOP TEN ZOMBIE LOVING CITIES IN AMERICA:

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Tacoma, Washington
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. San Francisco, California
  7. Los Angeles, California
  8. Honolulu, Hawaii
  9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

Startup MVP’s & The Grey Area

View from POF’s offices, Downtown Vancouver

Recently, I was asked whether or not I would still consider Plentyoffish a startup, or if I felt we had outgrown that classification altogether. The question threw me off for a moment – had we really gotten that big?

Over the years I’ve grown accustomed (and admittedly fond) of the two most common misconceptions surrounding POF and our business – and apparently we’re quite shrouded in mystery. The first scenario has Markus running the company out of his apartment alone, and the other paints us as a huge, faceless, big-business type operation. In reality we are neither of these extremes on the spectrum, but find ourselves in a unique position where we are growing so quickly that each day brings something new and unexpected. As Markus has said to me on more than one occasion, “In six months, everything will be totally different.” And it always is.

When I walked into our sprawling office space two and a half years ago for the first time, no more than six people sat working away at their computer stations, but I knew even then that all that space was to serve a purpose. Since that day, I have witnessed this company transform, evolve, and flourish – proving to be one of the most interesting and educational experiences of my life. As we gear up to add a third office to our headquarters it becomes very clear just how far we have come, and how fast. POF was recently named one of the world’s most valuable private tech companies, and ranked very high as one of Canada’s top 100 startups. As one of very few bootstrapped companies on both of these lists, it’s obvious that our humble roots manifest in many aspects of our business, and could very well be one of the many factors in our continued success.

So many startups are over hyped long before they have established any form of staying power, or even a quality product or service, and we forget about them almost as quickly as we become momentarily obsessed with them. The bottom line is that we have managed to stay at the forefront of a highly competitive and ever-changing industry for a reason, yet many times we opt in favour of letting our service speak for itself, sans media overkill. For example, what’s old in online dating is new again, as companies scramble to be cutting edge by hosting singles events offline. Since 2003, POF members have been planning and hosting well over 350 events each month around the world, drawing tens of thousands of attendees. This space has been steadily growing for us each month for years, but is this the next big thing in online dating? Maybe for now, but in 6 months things will be totally different.

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Inside PlentyOfFish: What’s your must-have date item?

As the world’s largest online dating site, we receive a great deal of feedback from our users about what happens when two people bring their online connections into the real world. Many of these instances now line the walls of the POF offices in the form of success stories, but that doesn’t make that first date any less nerve-wracking and filled with nervous anticipation.

When it comes down to it, dating can be challenging. Here at POF, we experience all of the same highs and lows you do when it comes to meeting new people and putting ourselves out there. So, on a sunny afternoon in July, the POF team came together to share our “must-have” date items that help us put our best foot forward.

Needless to say, the best “must-haves” for a first date come from within, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a little something extra in your corner to give you a confidence boost when you need it most.

So maybe your next first date will spark an epic love story, or perhaps a whirlwind summer romance. You may find yourself experiencing something new and exciting, or maybe you will end up with a new friend. Regardless of the end result, here’s to enjoying yourself in the process. Here’s to making your next first date, your best first date!

Ben
“My music is my date must-have because it’s an international language that we all understand. And chances are, if she likes the same stuff that I do, we’re going to get along. Music provides a great common ground for conversation and can potentially be an excellent filter for those that I don’t want to date. ‘Oh, you like Justin Bieber?…Bye!’ I think one aspect of a great date is that you teach each other something new so even if it doesn’t work out, you gain something. By having a music-based date, you can potentially expand each other’s musical horizons.” – Ben Louie, Advertising Executive
Veronica2“My perfume is my date must-have because… it’s something intangible for a man to remember me by. I don’t spend hours getting ready for a date. I’d rather seem like I just followed my normal routine and polished it off with the best finishing touch in the world, my perfume. That and I trust the expert: Coco Chanel once said that a woman who wears no perfume has no future.” – Veronica Best, Senior Product Manager
Johnathan“My date must-have: A good cause! Not only can volunteering be a fun date activity, it also feels great and helps make the world a better place!” – Johnathan Skinner, Mobile Developer
Sarah2“My date must-have is cute flat shoes! (Just in case he is on the shorter side), and they are super comfortable too, so I’m prepared for anything!” – Sarah Gooding, Product Manager
Steve“Dark chocolate is my date must-have… If the date’s going well you’ve got a nice little treat to share. If it isn’t going to work out, well then you’ve got the chocolate all to yourself. It’s win/win!” – Steve Oldridge, Research Developer
Natasha“My awesome multi-print dress is my date must-have because it’s comfortable; I can dress it up or dress it down depending on the activity for my date. It always gets plenty of compliments and it’s hard to not notice!” – Natasha Anderson, Customer Service Representative
Amar“When I’m out with my wife, I never know what’s going to happen. I try hard to take everything I need, my phone, mints, my keys, my sunglasses, clothing with lots of pockets so I can act like a giant purse when needed, but no matter what the wallet has to be there. It’s the weapon against the unpredictable, or what may happen that you didn’t plan for; the modern day equivalent of the sword and armour.” – Omar Sefian, Marketing Manager
Sasah2“My pup is my date must-have because he’s a very handsome ice breaker, and we come as a package deal!” – Sasha Snow, Customer Service Representative/ Quatchi, French Bulldog
capture-one-catalog0447“My mind is my date must-have because… well, I’ll let you use yours to figure that out.” – Nick Raniga, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
Erica“My Hawaiian Tropic “Shimmer Effect” body lotion is my date must-have because it gives my skin a beautiful glow while simultaneously making me smell like Hawaii for my date with its coconut, island-infused scent!” – Erica Gordon, Executive Assistant
Alan2“Flowers are my date must-have because they’re romantic and pure, and are likely the oldest and most natural way of expressing love to a woman! Every time I think of offering someone flowers, I visualize a scene of a young boy giving a flower to a young girl.” – Alan Chow, Accountant
Sam“Sunglasses are my date must-have because:1. Men sometimes look really attractive and hot with sunglasses. ‘With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.’-Jack Nicholson2. Generally, we don’t encourage people to wear sunglasses in their profile pictures on POF, but they really can be great for a date, and might help you to cover your nervousness by hiding your facial expressions. Better use your persuasive skills to get the meeting moved under sunlight, and say you have sensitive eyes!” – Sa Li – Research Developer
Shans3“Listerine PocketPaks are my “must-have” because date food can be treacherous – and just one of these goes a long way! Carrying around a toothbrush to combat a cup of coffee is not practical, and casually chewing bubble gum with a straight face while my date asks what I’m looking for out of a relationship just wouldn’t seem polite.” – Shannon Smith, Advertising and PR Coordinator
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