• Germany edition
 
Cyber Cyrano saves woeful web wooers
Photo: SureDate, Ingo Möbius and Andreas Laufer

Cyber Cyrano saves woeful web wooers

Published: 09 Jan 2013 07:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2013 07:31 GMT+01:00

Ingo Möbius, a dedicated singleton and avid internet-dater, started off by trying to help his brother meet a girlfriend online - and after organizing three dates in a day, realized he had a knack which he could turn into a business.

Professional windsurfer Andreas Laufer jumped on board to manage the business side of things and the pair launched SureDate last September and now offer a range of services for those who for whatever reason needed help with their online romantic lives.

Many of their clients say they are simply too busy to spend much time online trying to organize dates.

"Businessmen who work 12-hour days don't want to come home and sit in front of a computer looking for dates," said Laufer.

He also suggested that many found the basic filtering work of paging through dating sites and trying to spark up conversation with a potential partner frustrating.

The kinds of conversations held on dating sites were much more straightforward than the kind of chatting up that goes on in bars, Laufer also suggested - and that was scaring off some more sensitive men.

"You hire a cleaner to clean your house or a taxman to do your taxes and by doing so save time and effort," the site reads.

"For those who don't have a girl- or boyfriend, it can be worth spending a lot of money on finding something that could potentially be long-term," Laufer expanded.

Money doesn't seem to be a major consideration for SureDate's clients keen to save time and effort in the hunt for the love of their lives. Around 50 men have signed up in the last three months - most plumping for the ongoing "platinum package" which costs €699 a month, although there is a cheaper version for a one-off €99 fee which guarantees one date.

That deal was often "popular with people wanting to buy a present for a friend who has been single for a long time," said Laufer.

Funny or freaky?

The SureDate team meet the client to get a feel for his personality and set up a profile on the dating site of choice - FriendScout and C-Date are favourites, Laufer said. He will even organize a private photo shoot to get the client's best side for his profile picture.

The client can not only specify what kind of women he wants to meet - he can point out particular women on a site and task the SureDate team to try to get him a date with her.

Möbius then steps in as an online Cyrano de Bergerac to chat with potential dates, pretending to be the client.

But there is no chance of this turning into a Hollywood-style romantic comedy where the professional flirt falls for the woman he is trying to seduce for his client - he makes sure not to say too much.

"This prevents too many feelings arising from chatting; we wait for that during the date," Laufer explained.

Before the big day the team meet up for a talk with the client, who is offered individual training and a cheat sheet of what "he" has been discussing with the woman online.

Depending on which package he has signed up for, this can also include detailed coaching and suggestions on how to behave during the date itself.

Afterwards those with premium packages can embark on an in-depth analysis of the evening with the SureDate team, along with tips for next time.

Every customer so far has gone on dates, said Laufer, and some have even started relationships as a result. “There are some serious couples who met thanks to us,” he said.

Most of the men confess having used the services of a ghost-writer which Laufer insists only insult half of the women concerned. "Over fifty percent laugh and think it's funny," he said.

All their customers so far have been men - Laufer said he thought women got more attention on dating sites. "It's like the Stone Age out there," he said - and said the next stage in the business might be to develop a secretarial service to help women manage all their dates and online chat-partners.

Jessica Ware

jessica.ware@thelocal.com

twitter.com/jesscware

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11

UPDATE: One person has died and at least 11 others are injured after a huge explosion in western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,523
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd