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Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.

  • A study by Dating News reveals more than half of daters use networking platforms like LinkedIn for romance.
  • In 2020, LinkedIn addressed harassment issues by cracking down on unsolicited romantic advances.
  • Cher Jones, who met her fiancée on LinkedIn, says “LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to meet ‘the one’ organically,” but does not see it as a dating site.

Cher Jones posted a photo with her fiancée last month on LinkedIn with the caption, “LinkedIn is not a dating app. BUT … That doesn’t mean you can’t meet the one on LinkedIn.”

While Ms. Jones was not using the site with the intent to date, many others are.

A new dating study from Dating News shows that more than half of daters across all genders are turning to networking platforms for romance, and report using sites like LinkedIn to find dates.

In August of 2023, one woman even went viral on TikTok for explaining why LinkedIn was better than other dating apps, and how people could use the platform to find a match.

However, there has also been past controversy around the topic over the past few years. People, especially women, have been harassed and received inappropriate private messages on the site.

This was so prevalent that in 2020, LinkedIn announced it was cracking down on unsolicited romantic advances and other forms of harassment.

Ms. Jones describes her experience of having people “slide into her DMs (direct messages)” or message her directly on the site as “icky and gross.”

But, “LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to meet ‘the one’ organically,” she says.

A new kind of LinkedIn connection

Ms. Jones and her now-fiancée, Steve Worthy, had met on the platform in 2018 when a new feature had been rolling out called LinkedIn Live, allowing Ms. Jones to live broadcast to other users.

“As one of those early beta users, a lot of people were very interested and fascinated by this ability to go live and do a show,” says Ms. Jones, a Toronto-based personal branding expert.

Mr. Worthy, who lives in Atlanta and runs a business that helps retail leaders advance their careers, watched her streams and began asking her questions about social media and personal branding. Over the years, they kept a professional relationship, asking each other questions or sharing advice.

Mr. Worthy was also interested in creating content, and by 2021 he began broadcasting more of his own livestreams, eventually asking Ms. Jones to join him in hosting one.

When the stream ended, Ms. Jones received a message from her aunt who was watching, gushing about the chemistry she saw between the two.

“I didn’t even notice, but she noticed,” says Ms. Jones. “If you watch the episode, you’ll see it. There’s this incredible back and forth.”

Over the following months, they began connecting on other social media sites, eventually talking on the phone for hours a day.

The two met in person for the first time in March of 2022, and Mr. Worthy proposed to Ms. Jones on Dec. 26, 2023, in front of her family.

More than a networking site

Ms. Jones says she does not see LinkedIn as a dating site, but she does see how people are forming deeper connections over time.

“As LinkedIn evolved to be more than a job-hunting platform, that’s where you could see the depth of the people that were on it through their content or their videos, and how they reply to other posts,” she says.

Ms. Jones says she has not only made business connections on LinkedIn, but real friends who she now connects with outside of work-related events or topics.

For those still thinking about asking someone you don’t know for a date in the DMs, Ms. Jones says, “It’s kind of like going into a hip-hop party in a tuxedo. It’s just weird.”

She advises to “let it happen organically.”

What I’m reading around the web

  • What happens during a reference check? This article from Harvard Business Review shares the 20 most-common things that come up, based on data from 12,800 references.
  • A new global survey from Deloitte’s AI Institute shows top executives are “far from ready” to deal with the implications of generative AI.
  • If you’ve been prioritizing fitness in the new year, the amount of information out there can be overwhelming. You’ll want to read this list of fitness myths.

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