Online dating used to have quite a stigma attached to it. Now, it seems everyone’s on dating apps and thousands of singles are, quite literally, in the palm of your hand. Enjoy connecting from the comfort of your own sofa, where no one will know if you’re wearing your onesie! With a wave of new apps, it’s difficult to know where to start (cue: Bondara). In Your Guide to Dating Apps, we take you through the dos and don’ts, as well as some of our favourite sites.
Make Your Profile Your Priority
They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but this isn’t true when it comes to dating apps. In fact, appearance is the foundation of online dating, so it’s crucial you’re looking your best!
Most dating apps restrict who you can talk to by only those you have matched with. To ‘match’ with someone, you need to have both shown an interest in each other. While this stops unwanted messages, it makes your profile all the more important! In the brutal world of dating apps, no matches means no connections.
Quite a few sites allow only a short introduction, restricting you to a certain number of characters. Even if they don’t, try to write succinctly; people will be put off by a chunk of text. A few lines is enough to give a teaser about who you are. Keep it light and add some humour – now’s not the time to have a moan!
Be vain. Make your profile photo all about you so it’s clear who you are. If you have the option to add more photos, include ones with your friends to show you in a social setting. Choose photos that show off your personality (the good parts – not you throwing up after one too many!). However tempting it may be, keep it recent and don’t dig one out from a decade ago.
Our Favourite Dating Apps for Long-Term Relationships
Ask anyone about online dating and they’ll know, or at least have heard of, match.com. Discover singles based upon their age, proximity to you and personality traits.
By becoming a member of match.com, you’ll gain access to events set up by the popular dating site. These allow you to meet and interact with potential matches in person, giving you a break from your screen!
Con: As one of the more expensive sites, you can expect to pay up to £29.99 per month for membership. However, if you commit to a six month subscription, this can reduce to £9.99 per month.
Here’s an impressive statistic for you – on average, 236 people get married every day after meeting on eHarmony (so it must be doing something right!).
Upon signing up, you complete an extensive questionnaire. This is to gauge your personality in-depth and to increase your chances of a compatible match. When you find someone you’re interested in, you start a four-step stage of ‘guided communication’. This ensures that you only connect with those you’re truly compatible with. If patience isn’t your virtue, you can skip this process and go straight to eHarmony Mail. However, your match needs to accept your request first.
Con: When we say it’s an extensive questionnaire, we mean it!
Our Favourite Dating Apps for Keeping It Casual
A viral sensation that has stuck around! The rules are simple: swipe left to say no and right to say yes. If you both swipe right, it’s a match! From here, you’re connected and can start messaging one another.
To use Tinder, you need to know the local lingo. If you really like the look of someone, you can ‘Super-Like’ them. However, you’re limited to one ‘super-like’ per day, so use it wisely! A ‘Boost’ will make you one of the top profiles that appear in your area for 30 minutes.
If you’re a keen ‘Tinder-er’, you may be interested in subscribing to Tinder Plus. For a premium, you’ll get extra Super-Likes and Boosts as well as access to other perks.
Con: You need to have a Facebook account to set up a profile and many use the app for some flirty fun. There are people looking for a relationship – but you’re going to have to worm them out!
The world’s largest, gay, social network app – Grindr is exclusively for men, looking for men.
Although it has a reputation for being for hook-ups, this is largely down to how the app prioritises proximity above anything else. If you’re after a relationship, it may be tricky – but not impossible!
The best way to figure out who’s after what is by asking your match lots of questions. Not only will this help you get to know the person, but they’ll get bored quickly if they’re simply after a fling.
Con: As you’re fairly restricted to browsing and chatting, it lacks the depth that other dating apps offer.
Different to your standard dating app, Tastebuds is made for those who love music. You connect with others by sharing your favourite songs and bands. On the bright side, if you don’t find romance, you’ve got someone new to go see concerts with!
Con: As it’s less popular than other dating apps, there’s a far smaller dating pool.
After You’ve Matched…
Now you’ve matched with someone (yay!), you shouldn’t worry if they’re still talking to other people. Likewise, nor should you feel bad about keeping your options open. A couple of dates isn’t enough of a reason to say goodbye to the thousands of potential matches still out there.
Saying that, you do need to have the ‘DTR’ (define the relationship) conversation once you’ve been dating each other for a little while. It’s at this point you should expect each other to shut down your dating profiles and enter an exclusive relationship.
If you’d like more information on modern dating, you’re in luck! Our blog, How to Date in the Modern World, tells you everything you need to know. Happy matching!