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Number of Americans dating online is growing

Posted at 8:10 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 07:50:56-05

Dating isn't what it used to be. New numbers released this week show more and more people are turning to the internet to find that someone special.

One Boca Raton-based company wants to help you navigate the online dating world.

First, meet Trevor. He's a 22-year-old from West Boca Raton. He met his girlfriend at school. He says before they dated he tried an online site, but never met anyone from it.

"I'd prefer to meet someone in real life because I need to establish that connection myself," he says.

He's becoming the odd man out, according to a new study by Pew Research. The study conducted in June and July of 2015 shows 15 percent of Americans have used an online dating program; up from 11 percent in 2013.

The number of people Trevor's age, between 18 and 24, using online dating sites tripled in the same time period.

And people ages 55 to 64 are also using dating sites and apps more often, according to Pew.

Marykate Mulhern is one of the success stories. She says she met her boyfriend using an app.

She had recently moved to Florida and says the app made it easy to meet new people.

"His profile stood out from a lot of the other guys," she admits

Jaret Epstein says if you want to win the dating game, your profile needs to stand out.

He started MyProfileGuru.com in Boca Raton. His team charges anywhere between $40 and $250 to help you build the best profile for any dating website or app.

"Everybody wants to have someone with Valentine's around the corner," he points out.

His advice is keep your profile short, show some personality, but make it genuine.

"If you show who you are online, people attracted to that person will meet up with you, and when you meet the right person, it just fits," he says.

There is no one size fits all approach. Epstein says he learned that through his own failings online dating. With the help of a friend, he revamped his own profile and started seeing success right away. So he turned it into a company.

Estimates say more than 40 million Americans have tried online dating. Epstein says he sees about a 50/50 split in the number of men and women asking for advice. He says the age of his clients runs the gamut.

Mulhern, who found her befriend online, is skeptical of a service like MyProfileGuru. She says being you should be good enough.

"I think that being the most genuine, putting the real self out there is most important. And no one knows how to put the real me out there better than I do," she points out.

Epstein counters that everyone runs into challenges dating online. His company can offer customized help for how interact online and which pictures to use, what strengths to highlight.