Why Daters Should Care About AI

You Can Date Better
11 min readJun 7, 2023

Online dating platforms are transforming right before our eyes — or rather, our AI avatar’s eyes. Here’s how we cope with the uncertainty of reality when trying to find our life partners.

Photo by Nik on Unsplash

This article was written entirely by me, sitting on the couch with the sliding door open for a fresh breeze, getting interrupted by cats and bathroom breaks and hunger pains. AI certainly helped with research, but did not produce these thoughts. I’m thankful for the Google search articles and grammar checks. I hope you enjoy it.

What’s Happening?

Dating friends, the last couple months have propelled the online landscape into a new universe. We need to hang on tight and stay focused. Sh*t’s getting literally unreal.

AI technologies, including advanced chat bots like ChatGPT and realistic impersonating, are changing the way people meet online in a major way. As it stands, not all of it is looking like it would benefit our quest for authentic love. Here are a few examples:

Basically — we’re getting major help with tailoring our appearance online, coming up with effective communication, filtering matches, outsourcing introductions, and using substitutions for real, emotional needs.

The Good and The Bad

I’m not all doom and gloom about AI. I use it every day to find perfectly pertinent information, and depend on it to drive anywhere. It has enormous potential in many ways, and I’m excited to see how it could help save and prolong people’s lives in medicine and beyond. The applications are endless and very accessible. Which is part of the issue.

These technologies are spreading everywhere, and quickly. Every market will be affected. I think (and I hope I’m wrong) that very soon, every online interaction and video will be questioned for its authenticity. Was that a real person, or an AI generated…thing?

My hesitance as a dating coach and consultant is: What does this mean for building loving relationships where we meet online and need to transition to real life? Dating is a space where we rely on getting to know the flawed and truthful version of someone in order to build a solid partnership, and then get through all the milestones and hardships that a human life endures… in the real world.

Adding to this, we’re starting to discover the very real bias that these large language models have, because of what and how they’re sourcing information. Throwing more inherent bias in the dating app world sounds like a way to magnify existing problems to me.

For struggling daters, I believe deep in my bones that the process of dating is actually very important for the outcome. The self-love, confidence and social skills we learn are invaluable. Many people only understand their core values through the experience of dating different kinds of people and understanding why and how they operate in a certain way with them. We can read and listen to experts all we want, but actually doing it and having guidance through the process is a totally different thing.

I’ve seen the benefits of ChatGPT help folks craft a message or start a blog. I’ve seen it help answer complicated questions and save hours of time on presentations. That’s awesome. What I like about some of this tech though, rests behind a razor thin line between getting a little help to get started, and getting sucked into a world of inauthentic, recycled crap.

Consent and Security

Probably my biggest gripe right now about AI tech in dating is consent. I really don’t like the idea that people can secretly fake their face and bodies on video, or covertly outsource chit chat they’re not aware of. This severely impacts the beginning stages of building rapport and emotional connection. It doesn’t matter so much in the customer service realm, but we’re talking about life partners here.

AI-created versions of people are bound to be misused, and in the dating space, that means it might be someone who’s not real at all, not single or actually looking for a partner, or not themselves. Even the chatting technologies and video filters could be used as a very persuasive means to get someone hooked on something other than planning a first in-person date.

We already know the apps have created a breeding ground for misuse in this area, giving scammers and influencers a massive pool of vulnerable people who fall for fake seduction and wind up in a money-driven or influencer-driven scheme that only benefits the other person.

Daters are so sick of people abusing these spaces for purposes other than dating. Using flirtation, doting, or the allure of physical and sexual attraction for anything other than the context of wanting real partnership is a world of trouble, and the apps should all be thinking five steps ahead at this point.

Personally, I think we should all know if we’re talking to someone’s AI avatar, talking to an AI video, or someone is using ChatGPT when it comes to things around real love. Maybe it’s more like a pipe dream wish at this point.

I’ve heard people give the argument that ChatGPT is like a friend giving you advice on what to say. I disagree. A good friend has your best interest in mind and hopefully that means they actually want you — the authentic version of you — to get to the date.

AI doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t understand the consequence of you using its language answers. Sure, you can choose from a few different, fun options and decide which is closest to what you would say. I get that. But at some point, you’re getting closer to dating plagiarism than anything else.

With consent though, I’m almost cool with this technology helping us, and giving a personalized leg up to the algorithms and AI already trying to filter and match us. In the Metaverse, and with apps that have users create AI avatars, there is mutual consent in terms of knowing others are not “real”, but they’re dealing with a totally different set of problems there, trying to curb abusive behaviors since folks can essentially hide behind their virtual selves. At the moment, we have no laws in place for protections here yet. Whoa.

Another drawback — we will often fall prey to our own patterns and biases, so having an AI avatar that has “gotten to know us” might just reinforce those instead of challenge us to get out of the box and challenge misconceptions or restrictive habits. Something to think about.

I may regret this very soon, but at the moment, I recommend daters use natural photos and videos, say outright that they don’t use ChatGPT for texting, or say that they do and it could be something that connects them to other people on the same wavelength. Right now, it’s a big, fun experiment and maybe tech enthusiasts would be able to find some romance through common ground . Either way, it shows the dating community how much you care about honesty and authenticity.

And if you’re using AI to get some help and don’t feel comfortable admitting it — why?

Authenticity

What happens when we get used to others perceiving the fake versions of us and we’re rewarded for that? We lose confidence in our value as a person and develop a terrible case of low self-esteem.

True, kick-ass love and real partnership rely so heavily on feeling that we can be ourselves with our person, and be accepted at our best and our worst. It’s also about having emotions that are hard to navigate sometimes, and feeling vulnerable as we expose more of ourselves.

As our world gets more and more cerebrally processed from a screen, sometimes I think we forget how organically built our bodies, brains and hormone systems are — and how much we still don’t know about how they communicate through all the senses. AI is cool and helpful, but a long way from being what a human needs to thrive in love right now. For example —

1. Looks

Using AI to dramatically enhance appearance will absolutely work to get attention online. It will then destroy you, and your prospective dates, offline.

Attraction for the sake of fame and attention is very different than attraction for the sake of building a life with a partner. However, I think many daters are confused.

For a while, it was just kitty ear filters, but it’s a whole different ball game now. Along with fixing lighting, smoothing skin and adding a sparkly effect, AI is now able to realistically and undetectably reshape faces and features.

We’re not there at scale, but I’m also highly aware that my push for video dating as a means to verify someone’s presence is at risk here as well. AI tech is getting incredibly good at realistic filters that will be able to accurately fake a person’s moving face and body on a video call without the other person being aware.

Very soon, I know I will be repeating myself to clients, and they will struggle to listen. Look for profile photos that look flawed, real, natural and authentic. Avoid anything that looks overly retouched or filtered. It’s probably not real.

From what I’m seeing on the apps right now, women especially are out of control with their beauty filters and starting to look like lemmings. If you’re building a brand online, do whatever you want. If you want to find authentic love? You need to stop using filters. Avoid looking like the same, desperate hot bot.

Accepting your own physical flaws is a very necessary part of letting yourself be loved and seen by a partner. We also don’t want to create a virtual world of “perfect” and alter our expectations of the real world options available to us.

Be reasonable. For the purpose of dating, I implore you to have a mixture of gussied up, look-what-I-can-do photos (without any serious reshaping), and at least one of your natural, day-to-day self looking happy and free and confident. If you’re not sure how your photos look to others, ask a trusted friend or get a dating coach. We love to help you.

Also, both men and women are becoming very aware of overly perfect-looking photos, and as AI tech gets better, everything will be questioned until seen in-person. You don’t want to deceive, or feel you have to live up to the AI version of you, and my darlings — you’re actually not fooling anyone. Cool it on the filters.

2. Building Rapport

If you want to know if someone is clever, don’t trust online dating interactions right now. ChatGPT is very clever.

Currently, AI chat tech is being used by daters to come up with responses they can choose from, tailor to the situation, or the chat tech can fully take over and have conversations with other profiles. Some apps are even creating a full AI avatar to interact with and make recommendations.

This is an area that is fast-changing and I’m hesitant to be overly critical of those using ChatGPT for kickstarting their love lives just yet. But it’s definitely got me anxious.

The issue here is about authentic communication and our delight in seeing how a human responds to us because of their brain and life experience. This is part of building rapport and is important for building attraction, and understanding our problem-solving capabilities as a team.

It’s also good to note that having an AI tool describe any in-the-moment thoughts and feelings is incredibly deceptive and unhelpful for building true connection and trust.

My big thought is — are you entertained by and attracted to the capabilities of the language model or the person? How do you know?

Even if an AI tool is based on learning very personal habits of a user, there is a flaw with this communication in terms of building rapport. Both people have to be present and in the moment for rapport to work, not because they won’t be delighted in real time by quippy responses, but because it’s not certain if you’re both holding the same memories of that history.

Remember when you said _? I thought you told me you _? Oh, it must have been my AI. Sorry. I would totally say that, though.

Shared experiences can be crucial for building trust and there is nothing trustworthy about not knowing if your conversation was AI-driven or spawn from your date’s brain.

Along the same lines, if AI is using mostly written language models (as it is now, this could change), we are still not getting around the fact that most daters are better texters than talkers. They tailor their language and responses to be much more attractive and clever than they are in real life, as they take time to craft a great reply. This can be wildly different than their actual ability to converse in real-time.

This could be an advantage for those with language processing issues or language barriers, but for the most part, I hear this a lot from daters - the in-person experience doesn’t live up to the texter they thought they knew. Ah, bummer. AI bots are no better than disappointing people on the apps anyway. There’s a fun twist!

So, maybe (right now) AI seems like it could save some time in seeing if someone else’s profile responds or has the kind of personality you might enjoy. I call BS here too. Especially if everyone starts using it, the same problems will be true of online dating that always were the case. Now, we’re almost adding to our plate. Knowing that someone wasn’t actually present in the moment of communication could mean you’re actually starting at zero when you get to them.

The Big Take Away

Online platforms are only a means of finding other singles. Funnily enough, nothing about these AI advances changes my ultimate ask for clients. In fact, they only accelerate and accentuate my ask.

Get to the date. In-person. Spend the time. Be yourself. Use your brain. Talk about your real feelings as best you can.

Spending time in-person is the most valuable thing you can do to find a partner and build the love you want.

We think that technology will save us the labor of getting to know people and then being disappointed, when all it’s doing is saving some time swiping maybe. That’s not nothing, but it’s not the savior of dating.

To boot, this doesn’t solve the problem of making the leap to showing up in-person. People are terrible at following through and taking the brave step of meeting up.

The fix? Have an AI that sets up the first date and puts it on their calendars! Now that, I would love to see.

Change the way you date. Get a coach. Get dating.

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You Can Date Better

Writing/content curation by Carrie Prince, founder & boss lady behind YouCanDateBetter.com — coaching & consulting for the current online dating landscape.