This year, for me, is the year of LOVE. So it’s time to get serious about online dating and being “available” in general. If you or someone you know is in the same positiong as myself, here are some tips for navigating the online dating scene.
Online dating is similar to shopping; I am looking for the perfect item that could brighten our day or possibly change our life. Depending on what your goals are there is a site for you. My goal here is to break down the old, the new, the free and the not-so free options.
These sites have been around since online dating began. I’m sure we’ve all been on them to check out what is out there. And some window shop even if they are in a relationships.
Match.com – Match is your pretty basic site that charges $100+ for a six month membership. This site stands out from the rest because of their Stir events. They host events for you to meet singles. Pro: It’s a paid site which usually means people are more serious, their six month guarantee, and Stir events. Cons: Stir events are hard to find in smaller areas.
Plenty of Fish (or POF for those well versed in the online dating world) – This site is free, your profile is not as lengthy as Match and did I mention it’s free!? Pros: It’s free! Cons: I have found the users to be less than ideal because it is free but I guess there’s someone for everyone!
eHarmony - I’ve always felt this was a site for those looking for a serious relationship because you cannot browse for free, the questionnaire is very lengthy and the process is done in steps. Pros: Site for the very serious, no browsers and hopefully no fakers. Cons: More expensive than Match at $180 for six months.
These new sites offer a quicker process than the older sites in that the profiles are short for our shortened attention span.
Zoosk - This site is free to browse but the inventory is lacking. I couldn’t find anyone in my area. Pros: It’s free. Cons: Inventory is low and only way to message people is to pay.
Tinder - If you haven’t heard of Tinder then you probably don’t have Facebook. This app syncs with your Facebook profile and will match you with people who have similar interests based on your Facebook “likes” and/or mutual friends. The profile is limited and you choose what pics you want to show. Set up your radius and the matches are sent to you to easily swipe “nope” or “liked”. If you both “liked” each other then you can chat within the app. Pros: Free, easily grabs photos from Facebook and the private chat without sharing your cell #. Cons: Known to be a hook up site.
Coffee Meets Bagel - Another app that syncs up with your Facebook has a limited profile and pics you control. The site will send you a match everyday at noon and you have 24 hours to “like” or not. They also offer a secure way to chat via SMS. Pros: Free and syncs to Facebook. Cons: Only one match per day?
I have tried all of these and met someone from most of them. There are many many more that I haven’t mentioned like JDate or Christian Mingle that are more specific to your needs. The good thing is that all of these sites now have an app so you can search for your mate or one night stand on the train, in the office or on a rainy Sunday morning in your bed.
Check out this cool infographic below about online dating provided by this blog: http://blogs.longwood.edu/majs3/2012/11/14/dating-and-social-media-is-it-real/