Our Man of the Month this month isn’t a household name – yet – but with his charm and humor we think he soon will be. Meet Colby Brin, the original “kid” in the site “DateMySingleKid.com.” As another company’s favorite slogan goes, he’s not just DMSK’s director, he’s also a client.
Colby, please tell our readers a little bit about who you are, and what you do.
I’m 31, a born-and-raised New Yorker, currently living in Brooklyn. After majoring in English in college in Michigan, I returned to New York about a decade ago, to work successively in finance, non-profit, freelance journalism, and now directing the website ‘Date My Single Kid,” while concurrently earning a Masters Degree in sports media. I’m single, into books, film and sports, excited about working on DMSK since it turns something my mom’s been doing for years into a viable business, helping other moms and “kids” in the same process.
You are the director and co-founder of DateMySingleKid.com, which is a sort of spin-off of your mother’s site, FabOverFifty.com, what led to your involvement with the site?
I was originally the “inspiration” for DMSK [DateMySingleKid], as my mom has tried to set me up for years – a habit that she soon learned other Fab Over Fifty women share, which led her to creating the site, for all of them.
Since my relationship with my mom has, in this way, given me a lot of experience/expertise on the topic, it was only natural that I’d contribute in some way to the development of the site. At first this was just relaying my insights/thoughts on the site when I had a moment or when Geri asked me. But when I found myself in between semesters and jobs, and a director was needed to lead the site, I eagerly accepted the offer! I believe in it very strongly.
” I’ve always wanted to make a living with writing – be it freelance articles, as I’ve done in the past, or, fiction – and one of the benefits of a writing ambition is that you can do other things at the same time.”
Had you already been working in digital media before this site took off, or was this a new thing for you? Is there another career path you had in mind?
I had not been working in digital media, no. I’ve always wanted to make a living with writing – be it freelance articles, as I’ve done in the past, or, fiction – and one of the benefits of a writing ambition is that you can do other things at the same time. I don’t have to stop writing on the side to work at DMSK – a role I really enjoy in its own right.
No matter what career I chose, it was always going to be centered around people. At first I thought it would be writing about people; now it’s about helping people find relationships. People, life and relationships are the central commodity in both areas; that’s why this is perfect for me.
Online matchmaking sites are fairly common. What makes DateMySingleKid distinct from the Match.com business archetype? Do you think your site’s approach is better? Why?
On Match.com, you have people representing themselves. At first glance, this sounds very honest, but I’m reminded of a line Chris Rock says about dating, “when you’re dating, you’re not meeting a person, you’re meeting their representative.” On sites like Match, I think there’s a danger of people depicting themselves as they think they want to be seen, as opposed to how they actually are. Similarly, they look for people they think they want, as opposed to whom they might need.
” We’re the only site where your mom is your representative. Who better than mom when it comes to these matters? Not that mom is the best necessarily – but she’s at least tied!”
DMSK is able to cut through some of this. Since your mom is representing you/depicting you, looking for you, it’s a different slant. We think that in many cases, your mom knows better than you what you need, who you should be looking for, what is most attractive about you. We’re the only site where your mom is your representative. Who better than mom when it comes to these matters? Not that mom is the best necessarily – but she’s at least tied!
Let’s face it, there’s an element of humor in the whole concept of DateMySingleKid. Does this bother you, or have you embraced it?
It’s definitely funny, and I’ve definitely embraced it.
I’m a Jewish guy from New York; obviously, to a certain extent, we’re all mama’s boys. The way I look at it, my mom adding her own search for me, to my personal search, only increases my odds of finding that special someone. It can’t hurt, it can only help. And it’s therefore something to embrace.
And I embrace the comedy as well; in my family, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re in a bad position.
You’re also a client of the site. Is that ever awkward, or do you just treat it as a research opportunity? Do you have any good stories you can share?
I think it’s a little difficult, because the woman might think a date is just a research opportunity. There has also been some media about the site, of which I was a focus. Recently I went out with a girl who later tweeted that I had just been in it for the publicity. This wasn’t true – I just didn’t feel a match – but I couldn’t begrudge her for saying that, as a result of some of the attention the site has gotten.
Ultimately, I don’t think this will stand in my way of finding that special, long-term someone, however. I think a woman who would be right for me would have the same sense of humor about all this that I have. Besides, all’s fair in love and war – I’ve always been a big subscriber to that belief.
As a result of your work with DateMySingleKid, you’ve become a relationship expert, of sorts. What are some of the common questions people ask?
Needless to say, I have a lot of mothers asking me how they can convince their own children to be amenable to being set up by them. It’s also pretty obvious I’m Jewish – so I get a lot of questions about the wisdom/perils of interfaith romance (I will date all religions). Also, since our site effectively puts people on somewhat blind first dates, I get a lot of inquiries about what makes a good first date, how to act on one, stuff like that. Really, it all runs the gamut. But those are the top lines of questioning.
What one piece of advice do you think is most important for moms who are trying to help their single kids find love? Conversely, what should these (adult) kids know before they try to form a connection?
I think the moms should look at it as if they’re close friends of their kids, as opposed to moms.
What I mean is, they shouldn’t feel all this pressure leading to thoughts like ‘My kid is single, he or she would be happier with someone, I MUST find that someone!’
” It’s more like ‘I’m in Bloomingdale’s, if I see a sweater my kid would like, I’ll get it.’ DMSK is like Bloomingdale’s. Spend some time there. Don’t spend all day.”
It should be more like, ‘It would be nice to find someone for my kid. If I come across a potential match, I’ll try to follow up with that person. I’ll try to make an introduction. I won’t force anything.’
Moms should look at themselves as adjunct agents, helping their kid find a match when the opportunity strikes. Let me put it this way – it’s not like, ‘my kid needs a sweater, let me shop all day for one.’ It’s more like ‘I’m in Bloomingdale’s, if I see a sweater my kid would like, I’ll get it.’ DMSK is like Bloomingdale’s. Spend some time there. Don’t spend all day.
Work is never anyone’s whole life; when you’re not doing things for DateMySingleKid, what do you do?
My close friends are my life. When I’m not talking or dining with them, I’m writing fiction based on them. I love reading and watching movies in general. Also, I’m a sports fanatic; Yankees most of all.
But as far as day to day….walking around NYC, making it to an occasional art show/NYC event, hanging with friends….running or some other sport, finding time to write. Typical NYC fare. I hang out with my pet cat. I email a lot.
This site has made you a kind of public figure. How has that affected your life? How do you balance being in the public eye with maintaining some privacy?
I think the rumors of my public notoriety have been slightly exaggerated. It’s been a fun running joke with my friends, but it hasn’t interfered with my privacy in any real way. To the chagrin of my friends, I have yet to be recognized on the street.
What are your goals for the future of the site? How about for yourself?
My goal for the site is for it to keep growing, until it becomes a standard in the industry as a niche dating site, to be mentioned in the same breath as the other, let’s call them blue chip, dating sites. For people to think of DMSK when they’re done or mostly done with the general, broader-based sites like Match, eHarmony, etc. To try our somewhat more specialized site, to see the potential advantage of our niche.
As for me, I’d like to be a wealthy novelist within ten years. Or punting for the NY Jets.
You can learn more about Colby, or just learn how to find a date for YOUR single kid, at DateMySingleKid.com
Melissa A. Bartell likes strong coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate. She earns her living writing web-copy for an Internet marketing firm and dabbles in fiction on the side. She lives near Dallas, TX with her husband, three dogs, and more computers than anyone really needs. She is the Managing Editor here at All Things Girl. Find out more about her on our About Page, check out her blog at MissMeliss.com, or follow her on Twitter: @Melysse