4 Years!

I remember back then, everyone wanted a FIRE dating website, but also everyone was aware that nobody would actually pay for it. Thus, no one else had ventured to create one before me. I quickly learned that both of those sentiments were true. However, I also discovered that it's not all about the money. This site has positively impacted many of you - numerous couples have met here, some have even gotten married, and today I learned about a couple who is expecting a baby. Can you believe it—a FIREdating baby, and I played a part in making it happen just by writing some code? Insane! Creating this site has significantly impacted my life in countless ways. I've met so many amazing people through the site from across the globe (I'll make another post just about that) and had an endless number of joyful conversations. I've learned a lot about creating useful projects that people actually use (this is my first project on such a scale) and explored many new technologies. I've tried managing volunteers and faced burnout. I took a break and then returned. I've introduced fantastic features but also made some poor decisions at times.

None of this would have been possible without you, the incredible FIRE community! Making a dating website always comes with a chicken-and-egg problem. When there are no users on the site, it holds no value for others, so they don't join. But since no one joins, the site continues to hold no value. Some of you have asked me how I managed to overcome this problem, and honestly, I have no clue. I simply made posts on Reddit, and you came, even when the site was empty. Thank you so much for that!

Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback! I apologize for the UI and clunky design. As a backend developer, I usually work on code that's not visible to users. So, as you've noticed, UI design is a skill I'm still learning.

I'm continually working on improving the site and have many plans for the future. I think a current issue is people becoming inactive on the site. If you don't visit the site for 90 days, your profile is hidden from others. This was originally in response to complaints about "interested requests" being wasted on inactive users. However, it's clear this approach has its downside, as it offers no incentive for these users to return. My plan is to make such profiles visible in your searches (marked clearly as inactive). This way, in areas with fewer users, you might still want to send requests to these individuals, perhaps encouraging them to return.

The next big focus is helping users have more matches. Some try the site, get few matches, and then leave or become inactive. I'm planning to create a page that shows which of your preferences are limiting your search the most. This might encourage you to relax some criteria for the sake of discovering more matches.

I'm also working on reducing general friction on the site. I've added auto-sign-in from notification emails and am implementing a feature allowing you to send messages before an "interested" request is accepted. This means recipients will only see messages if they accept the request, letting you start conversations faster without waiting days for an acceptance.

Of course, this site is nothing without its users, so I’m focusing on promoting the site too. I'm grateful to all of you who mention the site in relevant conversations online. This brings in many users and generally helps spread the word. I definitely can't do it alone, so if you're in a discussion about dating & FIRE, please mention FIREdating.me and share your impressions. Thank you!

I'm even considering organizing local FireDating.me meetups. I'll start with a pilot meetup in my area. If that goes well, I'll look into organizing meetups in other areas. The goal is to help you forge even stronger and better connections by meeting in person.

Thank you all for an incredible 4 years!