Finding Love Online: The Dish on Popular Dating Apps
Much has changed in the dating world since many of us were teenagers or in our twenties. Not just who pays for dinner or who asks whom out, but how we meet. The Internet revolutionized dating when online dating sites opened up a brand new world of fellow singletons.
Social media has also upped the ante with Apps that make dating-on-the-go a snap. Here, three single women of a certain age give us the dish on their favourite dating apps – Bumble, Tinder and Match.
BUMBLE: VANESSA, 58
How does it work? Bumble is a location based app you sign up for via Facebook so on your profile photos appear along with your first name and university. This is a females-first app meaning women make the first move. As pictures of matches in your area appear (where you actually are, not where you live), you swipe left to move on or right to express interest. If the match has expressed an interest in you – BOOM, as a woman, you have 24 hours to connect with the guy or the relationship expires. Once you send a note, the match has 24 hours to get back to you or again, the relationship expires.
How is it distinguished from Tinder? Women must make the first move and I’ve heard that, and sort of sense, that participants are older and not just interested in a hook up.
Pros: First tier, which is all I use, is FREE, easy to join and no one expects a lengthy profile as they do on sites such as Match.com Also, if you like hooking up when you’re traveling, because it is location-based, it will find matches within the city you are visiting.
Cons: You get what you pay for so not surprisingly FREE apps can be littered with folks not that committed to finding a relationship. No filters mean you really have to sort through the junk males though unlike on sites where you can filter via job, income, body shape, etc. And, because it is location-based, as mentioned above, it will find matches who are visiting the city in which you live. Me, when I see location Pearson Airport, I swipe left … although, for some, that might be ideal.
How Many Dates: I like to go on one date per week. As I say in my profile, “I prefer going for a drink versus a coffee. Call me crazy but I feel sexier perched on a barstool than on a plastic chair at Tim Hortons.”
When Did You Meet Someone Special: I haven’t met anyone “special” but I’ve met quite a few guys with whom I’m happy to date a few times. I’ve had some fun nights out; which lifts my spirits and makes me feel I dunno, sexy in the city.
Best Piece of Advice: Get him to come to you so you’re meeting somewhere close to home. I almost always meet a first date at a nearby restaurant where they know me, and the staff make sure he knows they know me by being friendly or using my first name. Not only is this safer, but frankly, the less work you put into the date, the less upsetting it is if it doesn’t work out. I don’t mean you shouldn’t dress nicely and give it your all, but until guys wear heels and spaghetti straps, I’m not trekking across town via transit to meet some dude I don’t know.
TINDER: ISABEL, 55
How Does It Work: Tinder is a location-based social search mobile app that allows users to like or dislike other users, and allows users to chat if both parties swiped to the right. I treated Tinder like a virtual cocktail party. I took a social butterfly attitude; dropping in when I felt like it would be a healthy, fun thing to rustle myself up some male company.
Pros: It’s a great social resource. And opens you up to people you would never have met otherwise.
Cons: Without friends in common you need to summon a lot of instinct, sometimes, to gauge someone’s level of sincerity. It can also be disheartening – but also consoling – to know there is always someone else out there to mingle with should things not pan out. Most men don’t seem to feel themselves spoiled for choice, mind you. The ones you’d want to be with know how to recognize chemistry that’s special. Most men I met with are on Tinder in order to get off it.
How Many Dates: I could have gone on two or three dates a week. Generally my schedule and psyche allowed for one per week.
When Did You Meet Someone Special: On date number 50 – yes, you read that correctly. 5-0. And so far, so good.
Best Piece of Advice: Treat Tinder like you would a spree at a casino. How much time and energy are you willing to gamble without considering it a loss? And there’s no need to check in obsessively. Slap up a profile, keep however much of an eye on it you want to – once a day, week, month. There’s always someone at the cocktail party to flirt with when your mood is right.
MATCH: GEORGINA, 61
How does it work: Match will give you a number of questions to answer, ie, about your particulars, what type of relationship you are wanting, ie, friendship or long term, your interests, hobbies, political ideas etc. Next step is to write a profile, telling a bit about yourself, describing what you are looking for as the ideal partner, your wants and desires. Match will also suggest that you post recent photos of yourself. On a daily bases, Match will email you a list of potential matches. If interested in any of these matches, you are then able to communicate through there email.
Pros: I think because Match.com isn’t free, there’s a higher bar for entry. In other words the people who use Match are literally more invested in meeting someone special, not just looking for a fling or a hook up. You can also filter according to income, smoking and non-smoking, age and a host of other criteria so that you’re only seeing the people you want to see and are most suitable to your desires.
Cons: I don’t know. I have only tried Match.
How Many Dates: One to two dates per week, which was about 6-7 dates per month.
When Did You Meet Someone Special: I was off and on for two years. And after one of my brief sabbaticals I met someone very special within six weeks – it’s now been almost a year and we’re very happy.
Best Piece of Advice: Have fun with it, and don’t get DISCOURAGED. If you don’t meet someone straight away then take a breather and go off for a while. In a few months there will be a new crop of singles to meet!