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HerWay: A Dating Site Where Women Take the Lead

15 September 2010 9 Comments by Jeffrey Kishner

There’s a new online dating site called HerWay, and the premise is unique: only women do the pursuing. Men can create profiles but they cannot search, so a female user’s privacy is protected until she reaches out to initiate contact.

HerWay believes that when a woman makes the first move, a face-to-face connection is more likely, as women know what they want in a man. Also, she feels more empowered because she is not being bombarded with emails and feeling obligated to respond to men to tell them why she’s not interested.

From the perspective of evolutionary biology, this approach to online dating does make sense – to an extent. After all, it is the female who must be selective, because she is the one who must bear and raise offspring, so she is looking for a mate with the best possible genes. Yet instead of appraising the men who approach her, on HerWay she looks for those traits that she finds most attractive.

It’s not all that different than looking for a sperm donor: Ivy League education, over six feet tall, earns six figures. But unlike at a clinic, she has to take the risk that the guy doesn’t reciprocate the attraction.

I would think that all the usual issues about appearing appealing on an online dating site will still apply for the woman (having the right photo, etc.) but she’s just saving herself a lot of time and headache by having to weed through hundreds of messages and winks.

This site has the potential to bring up some interesting questions when the gender roles are reversed:

  • How does a woman go about expressing her interest?
  • How does a man let a woman know that he’s not all that interested?
  • Given the self-selection process, is this site going to attract assertive women and passive/receptive men?

Comment below: What do you think of this approach to online dating?


  • Ross Felix said:

    Anything that empowers online daters is great. Unfortunately, I think the concept is fairly limiting. I think this will be great for type A women who want to meet non-type A men.

    Personally, I think the issue is to reduce the “spam” that women receive on dating sites (i.e. a 27 year old woman who is looking for men aged 26-35 but ends up getting half her mail from men over 45). To me, this seems more like a throwing the baby out with the bath water approach.

    I’m all for women taking a more aggressive approach (i.e. contacting men instead of waiting for the men to contact them), it is 2010 — and there should be equality. But that said, I don’t know if men will enjoy being on a site where they can’t search. People have made negative comments about eHarmony and Chemistry where users have to wait until they receive their daily/weekly matches.

    I wish them nothing but the best of luck though. It’s definitely a cool idea.

  • Jeffrey Kishner (author) said:

    Yes, it could be ideal for a man who is not comfortable being assertive but who looks good on paper (er, profile).

  • Jenny said:

    @Ross Felix –

    The misconception is that HerWay would attract, as you put it, “non-type A males,” when in fact the site is filled with men who are confident enough in their assets that they don’t feel the need to chase women around. Furthermore, our research shows that no matter what the site, when a woman makes the first move an offline connection is 5x more likely.

    Therefore, letting a woman decide, with the added anonymity (no stalkers, exes, or co-workers), makes sense because she’s the one who ultimately decides who she meets offline. All she’s doing is showing initial interest — not eliminating the chase at all — and from there the courtship can take its natural course.

    Oh, and by the way — over 50% of the members on HerWay are men! ;)

  • Ross Felix said:


    I’m sure that you know your business far better than I do. I do agree completely that women should feel more comfortable on a dating site than they currently do.

    Long story short, I believe that everyone should have a better experience, not just one gender. One middle ground might have been allowing women to make their profiles searchable, or hidden (meaning they’d have to make the first move). Either way, I applaud you and your efforts to improve the marketplace, it could use the upgrades.

    I will also say that the idea of giving men metrics is brilliant in some regards, if they’re taken properly. Some might use it as an opportunity to improve, others might just give up.

    I think we may have to agree to disagree in terms of how we intend to improve the industry, but I will say kudos for taking such a stand. It’s truly an innovative concept in an industry that’s been “business as usual” for way too long.

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    Herway a dating site where women take the lead.. Outstanding :)

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