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Beware of 'Ghosts' When Dating Online

Some find 'ghost dating' helpful; others just find it spooky.

By Kristin Wong Jul 11, 2012 3:28PM

Photo: Getty ImagesIf you're ready to dive into the wild world of online dating but you're not particularly good at writing a profile or communicating with people in cyberspace--not to worry. You can hire a ghost to do it for you.

Ghost daters essentially assume the identities of their clients and then take over their online dating profiles. The term was coined by Stacie Ikka, a professional ghost dater who charges anywhere between $1,500 to upwards of $20,000 for her services.

“‘Ghost dating’ is a term I coined after ghost writing,” Ikka tells Post City magazine. “My understanding of that is that someone else pens a book for you. So, from my perspective, I date on behalf of someone else. Basically, people are looking to outsource their online dating these days.”

Sometimes Ikka's services are as simple as fine-tuning someone's profile, which is nothing new in the world of online dating. After all, people frequently ask for friends' help with beefing up their bios. But Ikka often goes so far as to completely assume the online role of her clients, even interacting with potential matches.

“It is overwhelming for people. Dating is so hard,” she says. “There is a sense of entitlement that ‘I deserve the best guy or girl.’ And Internet dating can be a double-edged sword. There’s a lot of people out there looking, but that means there are just so many options.”

Michael Porter is one of those out there looking. He hired Ikka to take over his profile, explaining to The Star:

“I'm blunt. In person, I'm very fun and outgoing, but not online. I just don't do the electronic stuff. I don't have the patience, so I can come across as rude."

Porter put down five figures for Ikka's service, paying her to assume his identity and interact with people on the site.

"The service was entirely worth it," Porter says. “Stacie introduced me to five or six women over about six months, so I have lots of options from the time we worked together. She is like any consultant, lawyer, trainer. Full service."

But what about the people on the receiving end of the ghost dating trend? Ikka says she reveals her identity to potential matches at some crucial point during communication, and usually, it's not a problem.

"I very rarely get a negative reaction," she tells The Star. "Maybe 10 percent of people object to the process."

According to Ikka, most people have no problem being wooed by a ghost. She does, however, recall at least one story of being dumped by a woman who apparently found the service to be a deal-breaker. After Ikka revealed her identity to the match, the woman was no longer interested in meeting the potential client.


Tell us on Facebook: What do you think of ghost dating? Is it eerie or acceptable?


Photo: Getty Images

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