MySingleFriend approaches matchmaking from an entirely new angle. In real life, you often meet dates through friends of friends, where people have already been ‘verified’ or ‘approved’ by someone in your social network. However, meeting 'the right' person this way can be challenging, as there are only so many people one gets exposed to through work, yoga, sports, parties, etc. Sarah Beeny, the founder of MySingleFriend (who btw also loved playing matchmaker among her friends) wanted to make this process of meeting people that had already been ‘verified’ or ‘approved’, easier and more efficient.
That saw the birth of MySingleFriend in 2004 - a dating website and app where you are recommended and endorsed by one of your friends. On one hand, this service enables you to meet someone that should be verified or recommended by one of their friends (which in theory at least, should weed out 'bad' people), and on the other hand, it makes it easier for you to enter the dating world if you want a friend to help and guide you.
All the people on MySingleFriend are endorsed and recommended by one of their friends, and in order to set up an account, you will need to have a friend that participates in your dating process (although technically you could do all this yourself using two different email accounts).
Your friend can be with you throughout the process, or he or she can help you with the account creation only. However, your friend doesn't do all the work of filling out the profile – you still do most of it.
There are two ways of signing up, either one of your friends can take the initiative to create an account, start filling out the information and then invite you to complete it - or you can start the process yourself and then invite your friend to add his or her contribution.
If you set up the profile yourself, you go through the usual steps of choosing what gender, age range and locations you are interested in, and setting the basics such as your own age, location, etc. You then select (from a menu) your height, drinking and smoking habits, religion, ethnicity, employment, body type, children situation, education and profession. You then have 2,000 characters at your disposal to write a description of yourself. Lastly, you upload photos and submit your friends name and email to invite him or her to endorse you.
If your friend accepts, he or she will first answer 5 quick questions from a menu (e.g. whether you prefer Guns N’ Roses to Nirvana), and then add his or her description or thoughts about you (max 2,000 characters). You can then add your own response to this description (also max 2,000 characters).
If your friend starts the process, he or she will answer the same 5 quick questions and then add the description or thoughts about you (still 2,000 characters). You are then asked to add your own details to this description (still 2,000 characters) and fill out the profile with your personal information (similar to above). In either scenario, you will have to approve (or decline, or change) the information your friend has submitted – nothing will be published without your permission.
All in all, this process should take about an hour (or more) of effective time, as the written parts of the profile (the verification and recommendation by your friend) are key to a successful profile.
The way you find dates on MySingleFriend is through its search feature. This search function allows you to filter candidates based on age, location, when the user was last logged in (last day, week, month, 2 months or 3 months), and by any of the criteria the users submitted when creating the profile (height, drinking and smoking habits, religion, ethnicity, etc.).
You can either do this searching yourself, or your friend (or friends if you have more than one friend linked to your profile) can do the matchmaking for you (or you can in fact all search). If your friend(s) find a suitable candidate, they can save the candidate in ‘Recommendations’ for you to approve or decline.
Btw, the search feature also has an option to exclude candidates that you have already liked, candidates that have already liked you, or profiles you have already bookmarked, so that you dont have to view people again that you have already considered. Each user can save their latest search filters, so that this will be the default filter for the next search.
When you open someone's profile, you get to see their pictures, their self-description, what their friend said about them, and the response to this. You also get to see all the information that was added when the account was created (height, drinking and smoking habits, religion, ethnicity, etc.) and when the person was last online. You can also add your personal notes to any given profile.
If you see someone you like, for instance someone who is 34 years old, has no kids, loves the same books as you do and who is wholeheartedly recommended by someone you believe in, you can either send him or her a message or add him or her to your Likes (essentially adding to your favourites). When you add someone to your Likes, the person will get notified.
In a tab called ‘Who Likes Who’, you can see the people that viewed you, liked you, the persons you viewed, liked, mutual likes and the profiles you have bookmarked (a potential date will not know if you bookmarked him or her).
The home page of the desktop / laptop version shows you pretty much everything the website has to offer in one go - a quick-search bar, ads for membership or the app or similar, profiles that match your criteria, information about your profile and who you have interacted with. What you see when you first open the app is a profile of a candidate that matches your criteria.
MySingleFriend allows you to create a network of friends, where for instance you can have more than one friend helping you with recommending potential dates, and vice versa.
MySingleFriend has a blog that provides dating tips and advice, shows featured profiles, displays success stories of people that met on the site, and also promotes discounts and special offers.
In addition, MySingleFriend arranges singles events (often these are at a cocktail bar or similar) where you can meet other singles and their friends.
MySingleFriend stands out from most other dating services in that it involves one or more of your friends in the dating process.
In day-to-day life, many people like to meet potential dates though work, yoga, gym classes, at parties, group lunches and dinners, or that are otherwise friends of their friends. For many, it provides addition comfort to have the potential date ‘verified’ or ‘approved’ by someone in the immediate social network. MySingleFriend tries to take this concept to cyberspace, as it requires that you are recommended or endorsed by one (or more) of your friends, in order to create a profile.
It is probably fair to say that most people that use MySingleFriend are looking for a long-term relationship. Most people that go to the lengths of involving their friends in the matchmaking process, would probably not do this simply for casual dating.
There are people on MySingleFriend who have had bad experiences in the past (with what was then an ‘unverified’ partner who ended up betraying them), and are now more cautious and want someone who can be verified via a friend, ideally a friend they can trust. Therefore, it is likely that some people on MySingleFriend are of the ‘shyer’ kind; the kind of person that needs or wants help in the dating process. Or put differently, you may very well find a date on MySingleFriend that is likely to be cautious, less risky, and perhaps also leaning towards being more introverted (as some users like to have their friends find them candidates).
The design of the desktop / laptop version is ok, but it has a lot of items displayed at the same time and can appear a bit untidy at first. There are a lot of things happening on the page (some functions are displayed more than once) that competes for the users’ attention, hence you may need a little extra time to understand it. This becomes less of an issue after you have become used to the site. The design is however good in that everything is displayed with large icons and large text, and hence easy to see.
The overall design of the desktop / laptop version is also quite modest, and does not have much ‘sex-appeal’. This may however be intended as the service is tailored towards serious matchmaking. It also feels like the design is a bit outdated, as if it hasn’t caught up with the very latest trends in web-design.
A nice feature of the website however, is that it displays all history in terms of which profiles you have viewed, who has viewed your profile, who you have 'Liked', etc. It is also easy to navigate around the website as the menu is always displayed on top of the site.
The app, which was launched in December 2014, is a step up design-wise from the website. In fact, it doesn't look much like the website at all, as it has different colour schemes and graphics. That said, the design of the app is sleek and modern. The home screen of the app is a profile of a candidate that matches your criteria. This works well and gets you engaged immediately.
The functionality is also very good and it’s easy to use and navigate. All the key functions from the website are on the app, and in addition, the app has a veto function that you (at the moment) won't find on the website. This veto option allows your friend to veto against (or say no to) profiles you are interested in.
You don't get too much with the free version. You can create a profile, check out the site, see how it works and get a feel for how many members there are in your area. So if your goal is to take the site for a test-drive and educate yourself, this may be time well spent. But you will not be able to send messages, or otherwise communicate with other people. In other words, you will not be able to meet anyone or set up any dates with the free version. To communicate with other users and set up dates, you will need to become a paying member.
MySingleFriend gives you 4 different options for length and cost of membership. In addition to the standard 1, 3 and 6 month memberships, it also has an unusual 7 day membership. From time to time, MySingleFriend offers discounts on memberships. To see the current special offers, please go here.
You make the payments for the membership plans upfront. There are no payment plans, so you will need to make it in one full payment. You can cancel the subscription anytime, and MySingleFriend may – as one of the few dating services – give you a refund for any un-used periods.
However, this only applies if you cancel your subscription within 14 days of joining (and you subscribed via the website or app – not via iTunes for instance). If you have not used the service, you will be refunded fully. If you used the service and signed up to a subscription of one month or more, you are entitled to a refund for the days you didn't use the service calculated at a daily rate of £1.43.
|COST MONTH /
|1 Week||£5.00 / £21.67|
|1 Month||£28.00 / £28.00|
|3 Months||£18.33 / £55.00|
|6 Months||£13.17 / £79.00|
Unless you cancel your membership before it ends, it will be automatically renewed and you will be re-billed for a new subscription on the same terms as the old one.
To cancel your MySingleFriend membership, you need to go to My Profile & Settings (or Settings on the app). From there, select Payments and Subscriptions (or My subscription on the app) and then Cancel Subscription.
You can also send MySingleFriend an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for cancellation.
If your subscription was purchased through a third party account, such as iTunes or Amazon, the subscription must be cancelled through the third party provider.
Mysinglefriend is available in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland.
When you join Mysinglefriend, you can set your sexual orientation as straight, guy or bisexual. You therefore have the option to seek same-sex relationships on this site. However, Mysinglefriend caters by and large to straight singles. There are no features or events or similar that are tailored to same-sex daters, and as such it is not a particularly good place to find same-sex partners.
MySingleFriend was launched in London by Sarah Beeny in 2004 with eight users. The first 100 users were very difficult to recruit, but after this, the site grew rapidly.
Initially, you could only link up with one of your friends, but in 2010, you were allowed to connect with two or more friends.
After being available in the UK only, MySingleFriend launched its services in Ireland in 2011. In 2013, the site claimed to have grown to more than 200,000 users.
Singles' events were launched in 2013. The events welcome both the single persons and their friends.
Launched the iOS MySingleFriend app in 2014.
In 2015, MySingleFriend launched a campaign to entice divorcees and people getting over a break-up with a long-term partner back into the dating game, by encouraging them to brush up on their dating skills.
In 2015, Transport for London (TfL) partnered with MySingleFriend for a free Valentine's matchmaking event that included speed-dating on the Emirates Air Line cable cars.
In a TV ad campaign in 2015 and 2016, MySingleFriend took a swipe at Tinder for its 'superficial' way of matching people.
Before a profile goes live on MySingleFriend, a member of staff will review and approve or decline the profile. If a profile contains inappropriate content or appears to be set up for ulterior motives, it will be denied.
As a user, you have the opportunity to block a profile from your searches and also to disallow that person from contacting you again. You also have the option to report anything inappropriate to staff.
Given the way MySingleFriend is set up (which requires two persons (or at least two emails) for a profile to go live), there are less fake profiles compared to what you may find on many other online dating sites.
A drawback is that anyone can message you, meaning you cannot exclude people above or below certain ages, or people far away, from contacting you.
All users are displayed with the first name instead of usernames. Also in order for your profile to be complete and visible, you need to add a picture.
If you wait some time (normally a week or so) to sign up after you have received the invite from your friend (or vice versa), you will sometimes get an offer with a 20% discount to incentivise you to sign up.
MySingleFriend claims that it is the cause behind (on average) two marriages every week.