Running a Mom and Pop Online Dating Site
I do get my share of emails asking me what it is like owning an online dating site. A lot of guys have this perception that I'm a owner of a harem of ladies that I'm trying to get rid of. They tell me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such beautiful ladies. I hate to shatter their dreams, but I own no one and as beautiful as these ladies are, the work put in to running an online dating site is 90% grunt work. I spend very little time looking at the ladies bios or pictures. Once I have them on the site, the next time I may look at their picture or bio is if I get a request to do so.
So why do I do it? Those times that two people do find each other makes that 90% grunt work worth it. Also, I have this sense of obligation. That is how I met Liza. To me, meeting her was a miracle and I wanted everyone to find what we found.
Money? Do not get me started but that is the last reason I run an online dating site. Many think I'm raking in thousands of dollars. Not so. I charge $ 25 for a year membership. Last year my business reported a loss and I'm sure I will do the same this year. The biggest misconception that people have is it cost nothing to run a dating site. Far from it. I will not bore you with the details, but if you are getting in this business to be rich look elsewhere. I think I may make enough to keep my printer in supply of ink (dam, why is ink so expensive?). But by far the largest investment you make is time. Some days I can spend hours just answering emails let alone the time spent maintaining a website.
So again, you ask, why do you do it? I guess now is a good time for a sample. Here is an email I received the other day.
"Dear Steve and Liza
God bless you so much. I first be on your site a year ago. Today I email you from the USA. Like you Liza, I find someone who love me very much. His name is Joseph and we call him Josh. His mom is so nice. I do not get to meet his dad he already leave us for a better place. I now be here for 2 week and we get married soon. Of course you are invited to come to the wedding. Liza I want to thank you for the help when I email you so many time before. I know at time I lose my faith but you always tell me to trust what I feel inside and stay who I am. I'm glad I have your email to keep my heart strong and my trust in love on right path. That I want to thank you so much for. Josh do not write much, but he say he join your service when he see my picture and write me right away. In time we get to know each other and find love. He be the four guy to write me, but other do not feel right. With Josh, it feels we have something in our heart the same. One time he write Steve and Steve so kind to answer his email right away. I know he too say thank you. Now our road begin in USA. I hope it OK I email you again if I have question about living in USA or about green card. We always be your friend in California. If you come here please visit us. God Bless you both.
That is why. Sorry, I did not put her real name, but those are her words. It never fails. Just when I think I had enough I'll get a letter like the one above. I also get lots of emails from the ladies pleading for me to help them find someone. I guess this is what keeps me going and the reason I run an online dating site.
Let me make one more remark about money because if I do not, I'm sure someone will challenge me on it. I know that there are web sites who do make money running a dating service. It can be big business. But there is a distinction. The bigger corporate sites that have large advertising budgets and investors, do make money. I'm not fortunate enough to have such resources at my disposal. But there are thousands of us little mom and pop sites who are just getting by. If there is a distinction, it is the fact most mom and pop sites have experienced the process of meeting someone through a dating service and getting married. Basically, my site is just that: my experience of meeting Liza on the internet, my experience of going to the Philippines to meet her, my experience of petitioning her for marriage to come to USA, our experience of adjusting to life together in the USA , and so on. As much as eHarmony advertise their personality profile, I wonder if any of them lived the life of meeting someone on the internet.
So give the mom and pop dating service a chance. You may get something more valuable then a personality profile, but someone who has experienced what you are hoping to find. Someone who knows what it takes, who has been there, who understands your concerns, and is willing to share and help you find your love beyond a picture, a few words and a personality profile. Instead, what you will get is sincerity, an expression of gratitude for the love they found, and a friendly hand on a road they once traveled. That, my friends, is not about money or a personality profile, but about how one heart found another heart on the world wide web. That is who and why I run a mom and pop online dating service.