Online dating can be vexing – for those of us new to the dating game, yes, but even for those who have been matching and cupiding and eharmonizing for quite some time now. A lucky few know how to craft that perfect profile, with all the right pics and just the right words, but many of us are somehow managing to catch the wrong fish out of the sea. So what’s a girl to do?
Clinton Kelly and Devyn Simone to the rescue! Their new makeover show, Love at First Swipe, premieres this Friday, Oct. 2 at 9pm ET/PT (8pm CT) on TLC. After seeing a clip of the premiere, I had the opportunity to talk to them, and I can confidently say that I’m prepared to swipe right on this show! 😉 ❤️
You probably know Clinton best from TLC’s What Not to Wear. He’s back on the network in this new series he created with Devyn Simone (from MTV’s The Real World), where they help women – though they tell me they prefer to call them “heroes” – with their personal styles and their online dating profiles.
The idea for the series stemmed from Clinton’s desire to get back into the makeover game, as well as from Devyn’s experiences with dating. Yes, even beautiful TV personalities do online dating! “Almost every app, every website, you name it … That’s actually how Clinton and I came up with this idea,” Devyn tells me. “I was telling him about a date I had just gone on from a dating app and we decided we could help other women.”
In each episode of Love at First Swipe, fashion and lifestyle expert Clinton takes a woman (ahem, hero) for a style makeover – something that will better represent her whole personality. Then, Devyn gives that hero an online dating tutorial, complete with new photos and an updated profile. What kinds of heroes are featured on the show? “I think we’re just looking for women who are lost in two aspects,” Devyn tells me. “Like, their styles … kind of like I either don’t have a style or maybe their style is extreme and they don’t realize how much it’s affecting other aspects of their lives. They’re also in a place where they haven’t found themselves in the relationship they want.” Clinton chimes in, “The kind of woman who is attracting a man who is very different from the man she wants to be attracting.” After the makeovers, Clinton and Devyn share the new dating profile with 100 potential mates, and the hero chooses a date from one of the men who likes her profile.
In the premiere episode, recently-widowed Paige is looking for a second chance at love, but she hasn’t dated since the ’90s. She’s fun, funky, quirky – but is she putting that out there the right way? Clinton and Devyn come to her help to help Paige with a physical makeover, a crash course in dating, and send her out on a date in hopes that her confidence will shine through not only online, but in person.
As someone who can identify with Paige’s situation, I had a lot of questions for Clinton and Devyn. I’ve wondered all along, is there a huge difference between people who’ve been doing this online dating thing for a while, versus those of us just getting back out there after 15-20 years? (Are the newbies just too starry-eyed and idealistic, or just simply too unsure of what we’re doing? I’ve always assumed we need more help than our longtime-dating friends, who tell us, “toughen up, buttercup.”) Devyn explains that both need help, not one more than the other. “I think it’s just different help,” she says. “the people who have been online dating or sort of been around it a little, or are more used to it, they still get so stuck in their bad habits … (those who) have been in a situation where (they) haven’t dated in a long time, they just don’t know where to begin. They don’t know the basics. It’s actually really easy to teach the basics.”
And we all need to learn the basics — not just those of us tindering it up. After all, most of us are putting ourselves out there on social media, somehow. Some of the advice that the team gives for dating profiles can be applied on a wider scale, to encompass your whole online presence. Plus, who doesn’t need some style advice from Clinton Kelly? (Can you tell I’m thrilled to have him back in the makeover business?)
If you are dating, watching other women’s profile makeovers can definitely help you with your own. And the team does go beyond the makeover, into dating and relationship territory. Says Devyn, “We want to know why you’ve been putting that out there. What happened to you in your past. Then how can we correct that in the future, for your first date, for your last date, for your relationship and happily ever after. There’s definitely dating advice packed in there throughout the show as well.”
More to come: I got some sage advice from the two on the do’s and don’ts of online dating that I’ll post soon. In the meantime, make a note to watch watch the premiere of Love at First Swipe this Friday at 9pm ET/PT (8pm CT). And if you’re going to be on a hot date that night, make sure you set your DVR for a full hour, since the first half-hour episode is followed immediately by a new episode.
Photo and clip courtesy of TLC and © 2015 Discovery Communications, Inc.