Dot Com Dating: Offers a Fresh Platform for Those Looking to Connect

By REBECCA GEHMAN is a relatively new dating site that helps college students make cyber connections. (Courtesy of

Ever wonder what the dating pool is like uptown at Columbia, downtown at New York University (NYU), or (God forbid) over the Cross Bronx Expressway at Fordham Rose Hill? When it comes to cross-campus, how do you make the connection? Founders of (DMS), Balazs Alexa and Jean Meyer posed a similar question—and solved it.

As classmates at Columbia MBA, they overheard a female student from the Columbia nursing school gripe that her school was nearly 90 percent girls. Alexa and Meyer had similarly complained about the MBA program being pretty much 80 percent guys and they wondered: why can’t the nursing students seem to get in touch with the business students? The two decided to create a site that brought people together, people who may be on the same campus but just didn’t end up meeting because of forces of nature (schools, departments, what have you).

Former freelancer for Time Out New York’s sex and dating column, Melanie W., NYU ’11, majored in “The Power of Sexuality from Motown to Millennium” at the Gallatin School, and currently does Public Relations for Since I am also a single straight girl in New York City, we weren’t short of topics to kvetch about. I sat her down to set the record straight: is a part of fate, fad, or the future?


Q: is for marriage-seekers, OkCupid is for hookups, who is DMS for?

A: DMS is for students- students are busy: people who prioritize school, but still believe meeting people is important.

Q: I’ve seen “serial” online daters flock to sites like OkCupid.” My two friends were asked on a date by the same girl (on OKCupid) within a month, neither realize it until later. Are there “serial” online daters on DMS?

A: Most of our members have never used another dating site before DMS, so that means they aren’t necessarily “online daters.” We are a reversed social network: on another platform, like Facebook, you’re looking at people you already know and then connecting online. With DMS you meet online and then connect offline. Many of our users land a date in thirty minutes or less. We don’t consider ourselves an “online dating site.”

Q: So DMS holds the potential to circumvent factors of fate?

A: By being able to filter people, it increases the success rate of a match. By the time you meet offline, there’s already commonality. The point of is to get you offline.

Q: What attributes of DMS make it not an online dating site?

A: Safety is our priority. is the safest online platform worldwide.

Q: What evidence gives you confidence to say so?

A:Our privacy features are unsurpassed—users will always remain anonymous and non-searchable on Google.

Q: People can Google search you if you use other sites like OKCupid?!

A: Yes!

Q: I need to delete my account, ASAP. I tried it for “research.”

A: We’re exclusive to college and university students. That means one e-mail equals one real person, you need a “.edu” account to sign up. Our safety is so top of the line that it even blocks our own employees. When you sign up you get a welcome message from co-founder Jean. My one friend got the message and then tried to click on Jean’s profile but was blocked from seeing it! Jean is twenty-nine and she had already set in her preferences not to show her men over twenty-five!

Q: The filters are the best part! I set mine to show Columbia and Harvard, but blocked Fordham (naturally). The site is like a meat market heaven!

A: Users have complete control over who they view and who views them. You can block out something specific like a certain department or something general like men over thirty-five.

Q: On the subject of my “research” with OKCupid, have you ever “researched” with DMS? What were your personal findings?

A: My first date on DMS didn’t work out in the romantic sense but he did help me strategize how to get a job with DMS. My friend was taking a class at NYU Stern and needed help for an exam. She found a Stern guy on the site who took the exact same class and helped her study. She swung an A. DMS isn’t just for relationships.

Q: Since DMS “isn’t just for relationships” do you believe it may remove some of the taboo that surrounds online dating rituals?

A:I think DMS is removing the stigma 100 percent. There is a taboo about online dating – it’s dirty and creepy. There’s the embarrassment factor: psychologically, people don’t feel safe, they feel like everyone is looking at them. DMS is completely safe, there’s no embarrassment factor. Plus people are finding dates, so there’s a sense of instant gratification.

Q: On the note of instant gratification, studies have shown that a popular college ritual is to consume fermented drinks at social gatherings and continue a special ritual called a “One Night Stand.” It seems to be a key process in the college rite…doesn’t DMS kind of defeat the whole point of being in college?

A: I disagree—the point of college is not to meet people drunk. Though people do, it’s only because we’re all searching for connection. There’s many approaches to getting that. DMS is a safe and easy one. You go to college to thrive academically; will take care of the social part.

Q: How did you find out about anyway?

A: My mother sent me the New York Times article (“Serendipity Is No Algorithm on College Dating Site”) and said, “Melanie, go meet a straight guy and get a job.”