Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Shared Connection

When I first met my wife, we had an immediate connection because we both loved sports. She was the only girl in our building that played pick-up basketball, and I was always at the court looking for a game. She ended up transferring schools, and six years later we reconnected. Our love of athletics was still present, but what ultimately brought us together was our love for service. We had a shared desire to join the Peace Corps, which we did a year and a half after reuniting. We are not special though, the majority of single people are looking for someone like them. If you like sports, you'll want to date an athlete. If you love to play an instrument, you’re going to be attracted to musicians. If you love to go to church, you’re going to look for someone who shares your faith.

Our shared love for giant beers!
In fact, research shows that 60% of active online daters are looking for someone who shares their interests or hobbies. We started iHeartVolunteers because our love for service brought us together, and we want others to experience the same thing. Plus, our site offers more than finding a shared love for volunteerism. We offer another level to the online dating experience by screening our members volunteer service!

We care about our members and we want to present them with the best possible partner, so we screen. But that’s not the only reason, online dating has some negative aspects we’d like to prevent from occurring. It’s not uncommon for online daters to report being harassed or being made to feel uncomfortable by other members. Fifty-four percent of online daters complain that people seriously misrepresent themselves online, e.g. Christians not being very Christian or lumberjacks not loving lumber.

Screening can seriously help eliminate misrepresentation and harassment. Anyone can claim to be spiritual or religious, but a verified church volunteer is definitely committed to their faith. Being verified adds a level of accountability, it's less likely for a member to get their volunteer service verified and then engage in harassing behavior towards other members. (Side Note: We can't always verify volunteerism when we can't the user's account reads "Unverified". Check out our FAQ verification section for more info.) For those that do harass or bully, "Verified" or not, we gladly remove them from our site.

It's obvious, a website full of volunteers focused on creating a positive online dating environment is super awesome, and that's one of our priorities. Good people meeting good people, that's what it's all about.

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