OPW INTERVIEW -- Oct 27, 2007 -- Myles Reed wrote Fishing For Love on the Net. Here's my interview with him about why he wrote the book and what he thinks of internet dating. - Mark Brooks
What’s your background?
I’m a seasoned business executive who has worked for Fortune 500 companies for the past 15 years. I’m trained in observing and analyzing and synthesizing information with an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Michigan.
I’ve worked in 4 functional areas, which are accounting, finance, strategy and, of course, the 4th area being marketing. From those experiences, I’ve really developed a skill in understanding consumers and how people behave. That is part of my skill set and what makes me tick. That became the perspective I’ve applied to my time in dating online. I spent over 6 years living and breathing what it takes to find love online.
Tell me more, how did you meet your other half
What’s interesting is that the environment for online dating presents a phenomenal number of opportunities that really haven’t existed for thousands of years. What sparked my interest in my soon to be future wife was that she was the first person who had the exact same birthday as I had. It was the spark that led to love. More interestingly, she happened to live in a foreign country. If it weren’t for Internet dating, I would never have met this person. Traditional dating is typically confined to the physical sphere of influence of the people who are looking for love. Internet dating breaks down traditional barriers. It really opens up a new world of possibilities and potential mates to consider, which is why I’m very bullish and very excited about the opportunities for growth in this particular area.
What internet dating site did you use?
I have, over the 6 years, tried a wide variety of sites that turned out to be very effective. Of course, I used some of the big sites, which were E-Harmony, Match.com and Meetic.com, which is a very big Internet dating site in Europe, but I ultimately settled in on what I call a Specialty site, which was ChristianCafe.com. I talk about in my book Fishing for Love on the Net that there are 3 categories of websites. There are Mainline sites that offer primarily online dating services and those would be sites like PerfectMatch.com and Meetic.com. Then there are also Multi-purpose sites like Yahoo Personals that offers other information like the news, but then there are also Specialty sites that appeal to people who have a particular interests that are really meaningful for them. This could be a religious or ethnic site or any criteria where you have common interests. She is actually from Norway. That’s the wonderful thing about online dating. You can plug into populations across the world.
So tell us about your book on internet dating?
My book, Fishing for Love on the Net, talks about love and how people can find it. That’s the only reason why people sign up for online dating sites, they are thirsty and they are lonely for love. Online dating sites provide an opportunity to satisfy that longing. My book talks about the fact that online dating does work. However, many people are still unsure. The commercials do a great job of enticing people but many people toil for many years trying to find out if it can work for them. I demonstrate that yes it does work.
Secondly, my book highlights the misconceptions about online dating. I demystify them and I address them head on. There are tons of people who are lonely wanting to find love but they’re hesitant to try online dating because of the water cooler discussions about the misconceptions and fears around online dating. I address these points of discussion to reassure people that there’s nothing really to fear.
And the last set of things Fishing For Love on the Net talks about are the really effective techniques for people to master their online dating experience to make the best use of their time.
What prompted you to write the book?
After spending more then 4 years online, I noticed there was a uniqueness to this experience that was not like my offline experience. There were some repeating patterns of behavior that no one had to instruct the people to display. The herd of the people involved created their own culture. I recognized that many people, though caught up in the culture, did not quite understand how to make this new world work. So I felt that because I’m good at understanding value and synthesizing where the opportunities are I needed to capture that learning and distill it down to some really effective principles that would help people find love online. That’s what Fishing For Love on the Net is really all about, helping people find love.
Do you think internet dating really works?
Absolutely. In this particular day and age in which we live, people are very consumed with their careers. They put off the decision of trying to establish relationships and now they are at certain points in their lives where they really do want to find love but they don’t have the time to do it. Online dating expands their world of opportunities. They are able to find the love in a very easy and systematic way that can get them the love they desire. So absolutely, I’m a big proponent of online dating.
Do you advise your readers to use social networking sites for dating as well?
Social networking sites can be an opportunity for people. The problem is that many people who participate on social networking sites are not interested in romantic relationships. They want to connect with their friends. I would advocate that if you were interested in finding love online that you stick with sites whose sole purpose is to create a community of people who have decided they want to find someone with whom to establish a meaningful relationship. Mainline sites are the way to go.
What are your top 3 tips for internet daters?
There are 3 things that I recommend. The first thing is for people to know exactly what they’re looking for in a mate. I really can’t overemphasize the importance here. People have to know what are the non-negotiable things. They have to stick to them. They also have to know the other things that are important but be willing to compromise a bit on them. Both of these categories become the filter that is used to evaluate the people they come into contact with.
The second thing that I recommend for people is to have a method for contact management. The online dating world is very different. You are going to meet many more people online than you would ever meet in the offline world. So you have to have a way to sift through the numerous profiles.
And the last thing I would recommend is that people court their prospective mates as opposed to engage in traditional dating. Because you will meet so many people, many of them will not be the right person, so you have to find a way to more efficiently determine if this contact is the right person for you. Courting, as I lay out in Fishing for Love on the Net, requires two things that are different than traditional dating, a mindset change and a behavior change. If courting is deployed consistently, people will really improve their chances to find love online.
Are you looking to partner with any internet dating sites in any way?
I really would like to find ways to partner with the industry. I’m very passionate about the space of online dating and helping people find love. I’m heartbroken often times when I hear of many of my friends and people that I meet for the first time who are lonely and are desperately wanting to have a meaningful and loving relationship. With a few clicks, online dating can change peoples’ lives. They just need to know how to go about it. People would not dare try to assemble IKEA furniture without following the instructions. Online dating is a whole new world where people can benefit from some direction. Fishing for Love on the Net provides that guidance for them so that they make the most of their time and equip them to reach their point of success, true love. This is my mission.