By Linda Orton, Founder of SingleDot.com*
Those of us over age 50 all talk with each other about how the world has changed because of technology, the Internet, and if you are single (as I am), dating apps. The changes drive some of the most important aspects of our human interactions with our work colleagues, families, and friends and how we meet new people, whether those individuals are friends or romantic interests.
Dating and long-term compatibility are determined by a wide host of elements, but at the root is unquestionably physical attraction. That’s why apps like Tinder and JSwipe have succeeded. My dismay has come from a lack of transparency and honesty in the words that go along with the images. People write what they won’t always say.
I got the idea for SingleDot™ when attending a professional event where everyone was wearing a name badge with a dot that signified something. I thought, "Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were a way to use professional meetings as a source of potential dating matches? People could wear a badge with a dot to signify that they are single.” One concern might be to avoid mixing work with personal stuff.
I next factored in that many of us spend so much time working, and if you don’t like on-line dating, there is little time to meet potential matches In Real Life (IRL). So, I expanded on my idea. We all go about our daily lives, doing activities, passing hundreds of people, if not thousands. And frequently we are not present and paying attention. Our heads are buried in our phones, ignoring the world around us. What if singles would wear Single Dot buttons on coats, lapels, collars and backpacks?
The Single Dot button (just $9.99) would be an easy, additional way (supplemental to any dating sites or activities you might do) to inform the world that you are single and open to starting a polite conversation because you are attracted to something about another person. On a street, it may be how that person looks; at an event, it may be how they speak; at the supermarket, it might be the food in their cart. But the key differentiator from meeting online is that Single Dot exists in the moment. How nice to make a real connection when not reliant on technology, when able speak with the person at that time, or at minimum, give them a “Nice to Meet You” card (which we also sell) that has information about ourselves imprinted on it. In addition, we offer conversation coaching to help people uncertain about how to engage in, improvise or improve conversation with a stranger. The cost of the coaching is $99 for 30 minutes.
In Barry Schwartz’s 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice, https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice, his economic and psychological premise is that autonomy and freedom of choice are key to our well-being. Although modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don't seem to be benefiting. This is shown by many who perpetually date for FOMO (fear of missing out) rather than to settle down. The volume of potential mates online has made people unable to say, “Enough, this is the one.”
Moreover, we are losing the ability to have conversations with people unless they are started through a LinkedIn invite, dating app or online in myriad other ways. Single Dot is old-school and is for more than just the single crowd.
Here’s how to get started. For $125.00, Single Dot provides a subscription that includes three buttons, a bumper sticker, a laptop sticker and one 30-minute conversation coaching session that helps spark face-to-face conversations.
For more information, go to SingleDot.com and follow us on Instagram, FB. Our social media channels will help us communicate our stories of “making opportunity knock” to the world. We hope they inspire you, too.
*Linda Orton is the founder of Single Dot, the CMO at a global consulting firm and a longtime entrepreneur.