The Dating App For The “It” Crowd In NY?
The Dating Lounge
By: Susan Max
Originally published in Social Life Magazine, September issue 2015
These days if you are single, you best be using a dating app. I caught up with famed Professional Matchmaker, Samantha Daniels at her Wainscott home to get more particulars on her newest venture in the dating world, her trendy and exclusive dating app, The Dating Lounge (www.thedatinglounge.net) and to get her take on the app world at large.
Samantha is quite an authority on dating, she has owned Samantha’s Table Matchmaking (www.samanthastable.com) for 16 years, she’s a regular TV expert on dating, she has a book out, Matchbook, and she had an NBC TV show, Miss Match based on her life story; Alicia Silverstone played her character. And now, The Dating Lounge, still in Beta, is her next big thing.
The Dating Lounge seems to be “the” dating app for upscale successful people who want to find a real relationship and also like the idea of having an expert like Samantha behind it. The app has tons of unique features that no other app has like being able to “Play Matchmaker” for your friends and being able to ask friends for a “Stamp of Approval” on a match and special match settings to zero-in on your ideal match. And, the kicker is that it’s invitation-only, so you need a member friend to approve you or you need to be someone who can make it passed that proverbial red velvet rope with no problem. The tagline of this app is “Do you belong?” so I have asked Samantha questions to figure out if I, personally belong in this swanky community. Do you?
So you’ve been in the dating biz for 16 years. I am guessing you’ve heard a lot. What’s the biggest complaint about online dating and dating apps?
The biggest complaint was always about how “random” the matches were. People hated that they couldn’t tell how they were connected to a match, who the person really was or what they had in common. I dealt with this complaint by creating features that allow members to see other members “real names”, to see “their friends in common” and to see “mutual interests.” I also created a “verification” process where a member can ask a mutual friend for a “referral” on a match and get their stamp of approval.
What are your members like?
The members are all well-educated, successful, well-travelled, social and philanthropic people. They work hard and play hard. And, they are interested in finding a real relationship.
How do people get in if it’s invitation-only?
To join, you need to be invited or approved by an existing member. We have a waitlist of over 10,000 people presently. BUT, if you “should belong,” and have similar interests and lifestyle to other members, you can request to join and you will get in, eventually.
What do you think the importance of having someone like You behind the app really is?
I have been able to incorporate my “secret sauce” for finding thousands of people love into the app which allows the members to match themselves using my expertise. And all the features of the app are very in-tune with the desires of the members since I have an intimate understanding of what high-end single truly want in an app. Plus, I have created features like “Ask the Matchmaker” which gives the app a more personal feel.
There are a lot of dating apps on the market these days. What is the one thing that really set The Dating Lounge apart (besides you being behind it of course)?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but I would say it that we have the most sophisticated match settings on the market. Most apps only allow you to searchcurrent city and age, whereas The Dating Lounge has over 15 different search criteria including occupation, schooling, religion, salary, body type, kids, etc. This is key to our high-end members who want to be strategic and to use their time efficiently.
A lot of people complain that they wind up meeting people who are not available or married in dating apps. Does that happen a lot in The Dating Lounge? I had heard this a lot before I built the app, so I created an algorithm that excludes anyone who is married or in a relationship. As soon as we detect this from their social media profile, they get blocked.
What’s next for The Dating Lounge? Are you looking for investors?
Eventually, The Dating Lounge will be subscription-based and I have no doubt that people will pay to use it as I intend to make it the only app a high-end person needs. As for investors, I have been getting a lot of inquiries. For me, strategic money is most important, so I am slowly talking to people, trying to find “the right match.”