By Nisean Lorde
Flow just logged on. She’s fearless, a good cook, and isn’t afraid to hit on guys at clubs. Oh, and she can flex her chest muscles, too.
Flow is one of more than 1,000 young Toronto residents strutting their stuff online at Ryerson student Nader Mir’s free dating website, www.meetmeinto.com.
“I created the site because I thought the whole dating scenario needed something better. It’s something cheaper and less time consuming, especially in university when you don’t have time,” says Mir, whose online name is Persian Gigolo.
“You can find someone [at a bar] that’s not presenting their true selves at the beginning. It’s just flirting; those [relationships] don’t usually last,” says the second-year computer science student. “But this way, through the site, you see profiles and get to know each other. You find people with similar interests.”
Mir started his online dating site as a hobby four months ago, but it’s grown quickly into a business. Now, the site has over 1,400 active members.
“We get about 10 new members a day, sometimes more,” says Mir, who adds that most of the members are university students from Ryerson and the University of Toronto.
While the site is free, Mir brings in revenue by charging admission for parties that he puts on for members of the site. He is currently just breaking even, but hopes to make a profit in the near future.
“Other [dating] sites are more worldwide, not local. This is more of a Greater Toronto Area site, so you actually get to meet others,” he says.
There is also a forum where members can read and post messages for others. “If something is bothering you, you can go to the forum and have about 50 friends there to help you,” says Kalvin Mizzi, member of the site. “I think the whole site is a great way for young people to meet others. I myself have had a couple of girlfriends over this site.”
As for students afraid of online harassment, Mir says it’s everywhere, not only on the Internet. If people have problems on the site, they contact him, and he takes care of the problem in a calm matter.
Along with Meet Me in Toronto, Mir says he’ll start expanding his business prospects. He has created another site, www.torontospeed.com, where car lovers can exchange car information, profiles and photos.
A dater’s Corner section will soon be added to the dating site, where members can spill their experiences.
“Dating can be compared to the first time you learn how to ride a bike,” says Mir, summing up his dating philosophy. “You have to put fear aside, become brave and don’t give up. And remember, when you go against the current, it’s more adventurous.”