Online Dating Tries a New Approach, Relies on Friends

When it comes to dating, do you trust your friends more than you trust yourself? Then, just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new online matchmaking service just for you. It's called "Heartbroker," and it's looking to put the "social" back in online dating.

When it comes to dating, do you trust your friends more than you trust yourself? Then, just in time for Valentine’s Day, there’s a new online matchmaking service just for you. It’s called “Heartbroker,” and it’s looking to put the “social” back in online dating.

The service leverages Facebook to include friends in the online dating process, allowing friends to share information about their loveless buddies to better determine compatibility for and improve the quality of potential love matches.

If you hadn’t guessed already, a “Heartbroker” is the friend you pick to profile you to help you find a match.

Basically, the theory goes, your friends won’t lie. And, therefore, you won’t have to suffer the indignity of finding out the guy with the 20-year old bodybuilding pic is really a 60-year old who has never seen the inside of a gym.

Here’s how the company describes the process:

“Heartbroker works by having singles ask their trusted friends to write a testimonial and rate them on five simple attributes. The testimonials are listed on singles’ profiles so that their matches can evaluate them. The attribute ratings, on the other hand, remain confidential to encourage honest feedback, and are used to determine compatibility with others. Friends can also try their hand at playing Cupid with Heartbroker by suggesting matches to their single friends.”

Importantly for the matchee, you must first approve a Heartbroker for the feedback to count, so no need to worry about a crazy ex or long-lost “friend” crashing your dating mojo.

Once you approve the testimonial from you Heartbroker, it is displayed on your public profile, which can then be viewed by other Heartbroker users.

The five attributes, for the record, are attractiveness, intellect, humor, kindness and “outgoingness.” As noted by the company, the attribute ratings are used only in the company’s matching algorithm and not shown to anyone. That data will always remain hidden, but your friend will see the testimonial you wrote about them, as long as you approve.

For now, the site is exclusive to Facebook. To participate, you must have a Facebook account and cannot profile a friend who is not on Facebook.

The idea behind the site is to make the online dating process more social, moving it away from the “solitary self-promotion” ofthe current online dating market.

“You learn a lot about a person by meeting their friends and family,” said Sean Silas, COO & Co-founder. “The first generation of online dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony are missing this aspect, along with the added perspective and security that comes with it.”

COO Sean Silas and CEO Craig Robinson, a veteran of RealNetworks, founded the Seattle-based company behind the site, Heartbrokerâ„¢, Inc., in 2010.