Of all the breakfasts of champions, a nice chewy bagel and a cup of Joe can really hit the spot. There is just something about the combination of those two items that screams - dating website! Wait, what?
Yep. In case you haven't had your fill of all of the other dating websites, a new contender is coming to Houston, and it gets its namesake from a carb-filled breakfast on the go. Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is a dating website that has been around for just under a year and is staking some claim in Space City, a town known for neither its coffee nor its bagels.
OK, CMB, what do I do with you and why are you different from any other online dating platform. These are good questions that without much research, you would have no idea. Their website gives you little information aside that CMB requires you to log in with Facebook before you learn anything about the site and, if you are a paranoid, "I fear Facebook is taking over the world and selling my information to secret Soviet spies that are still holding out from the Cold War," than that's about as far as you can go with this dating site.
If you throw caution to the wind and give up all of your friends as quickly as Elia Kazan did before the House of UnAmerican Activities, then by all means, proceed with this dating service.
Once you have signed up for the service, which I should mention is free, you set up a profile and then you wait... Every day at noon, you will receive an email, which sounds rather Murder She Wrote-esque to me. The email will contain the profile of a "bagel," a guy or gal similar to you, looking for a good schmeer. You then have 24 hours to accept this bagel or pass and go for something less caloric like a protein bar or banana lest it explodes 'a la Mission Impossible. If you like the bagel, you are connected via a knife and one of those small containers of cream cheese that Starbucks recently started charging you for.
Then you get some digits and you go to town. I think. As I already mentioned, the CMB website lacks any real information but does have a huge image of a multiracial couple having an amazing time on a Vespa, so there's that.
As I've gathered, the major difference between this site and others of its kind is that there's no profile stalking and random messages from strangers. Where you might have met the guy of your dreams by scrolling through pages of profiles, the CMB site does the work for you and sets you up on these bagel-blind-dates, so to speak. So you'll never be privy to unexplainable messages sent to your inbox such as this one (just sent to a good friend of mine this week) Hi! My name is super easy to stalk.
I definitely want to buy you a coffee, but I need space. Plus my dad died the other day. We weren't close at all, but it's still weird thinking that I don't have a father anymore. AND my best friend at work just left for a new job. It's been a pretty fucking awful month for me lol! (She has never met this guy before, so you know)
According to CMB, the benefit to being a part of their community is that they don't share your information. Just all of your Facebook profile, that's it.
And let's talk about the Facebook angle. One of the ways CMB matches you up is through your connections. Perhaps you have a friend in common with one of your Facebook buddies, you might be paired up. Do they look at similar likes/dislikes, etc.? I hope so or else why bother stealing your Facebook information? But again, I cannot tell you the answer to that because their website is so poorly designed.
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Will you know who the person is that you have in common via Facebook? There's the rub. You can find this information out, but you have to pay for it. They call it purchasing "beans," and through these beans you can buy info on your potential date. In other words, you can still stalk other members' profiles, you just have to fork over some cash for that ability. Is it just me, or is paying to stalk someone even more creepy than doing it for free?
Unlike some other dating sites, CMB has a higher percentage of women users -- 58 percent compared to 36 percent industry average -- which could be due to its female focus and/or the kitchy bagel/coffee bean branding. But I would not tout that fact; that's just less mens for the pickin'.
It's hard, I know. Meeting someone in this day and age takes creativity and persistence. Why finding your true love is so much more difficult in the digital age than 10 or 20 years ago is beyond me. I think there are just more choices for finding love and no one wants to settle. When our parents were of dating age, they met someone at school, lost their virginities and called it a day. Now, we need to find our true soul mate, the person that loves all of our favorite movies, bands, makes us laugh and looks good in a pair of skinny jeans, and that has turned into a very lucrative business. Coffee Meets Bagel may be a slightly new spin on a tired approach, but it feels the same.
No, it feels worse because you can't tell anything about the site unless you fork over all of your private Facebook information, and that's smellier than a bagel slathered in whitefish salad. And whitefish salad is delicious.