Topics:Long-distance relationship Online dating mistakes Online dating profile Online dating algorithms online dating reviews online dating success Online Dating Benefits
Online Dating Sites
November 10th, 2022
Online Dating Sites
October 7th, 2022
Each new season brings an opportunity for change and growth. The transition from winter to spring reminds us that there is light at the end of a bleak season. With summer just around the corner, you may be interested in making new friends or finding a significant other who can share in the summer memories. Online dating is an effective way to build new relationships and find others with similar interests. By reading online dating success stories, you can find renewed hope and motivation to start online dating again — or for the first time. Each circumstance and relationship is different. Some people find a partner quickly and others must try numerous online dating sites before finding the perfect match. Even during the pandemic, online dating offers hope for meeting singles in your area. In a recent online dating success example, Tracie Hitz said it best, “Try online dating no matter your age and believe you can get married during COVID. Love is not canceled.” We’ve compiled a list of 14 inspiring online dating success stories to help singles around the world recognize the good that comes to those who wait and put forth the effort. Check out these stories from top online dating sites: OkCupid Tinder Bumble Match.com Plenty of Fish 1. The Effortless Path to Love Lilah’s first encounter with Cody’s OkCupid profile left her hopeful. Although it may have seemed like a small detail, Lilah appreciated the time and effort Cody put into answering the profile prompts. She could quickly tell that their values and goals aligned. Cody initiated the connection in June of 2016 and the two began a conversation that would continue for years to come. After two months of online messaging, Cody and Lilah met at a restaurant halfway between the two cities for their first date. The two chattered late into the evening and realized quickly that they had started down the effortless path to love. “We eventually moved in together after a few years of driving back and forth to see each other and began going on many hiking trips together. He proposed at Rocky Mountain National Park in front of both our families, and we were married eight months later. We are so happy and can’t imagine how life would have been at this point without each other, and even though it took a few bad dates to find each other, we are so thankful for our online dating experience.” 2. Taking a Chance on Love Michael met his wife while living in the San Francisco Bay Area through the online dating app, OkCupid. He was instantly captivated by her short profile description that said: In the last 3 years, I have become a mother, medical student, and a widow. Tired of non-commital dating, Michael decided that he would reach out to this girl. The thought entered his mind that “she's either amazing or crazy,” and he was ready to find out. “I knew she was different. I had enough experience to kind of hold back my hopes, but I think a small part of me really hoped we'd have a relationship. My (now) wife admitted to me on our second date that she was thinking of texting me that she was wondering if we'd get married. I thought that was so incredibly vulnerable to admit. Then I sheepishly told her I was thinking the same thing.” Michael has been with his wife for six years now, and they have two beautiful children. They still experience the ups and downs of a relationship, but they are grateful for the opportunity to choose their love every day. 3. A Texas Hold'em in Action John moved to Texas for an economic opportunity. Little did he know that the economy wouldn’t be the only factor holding him captive in Texas. John tells of his first encounter with Caitlyn on OkCupid. “Obviously I found her very attractive, but I wasn’t just looking for someone pretty. I was 26 years old and wanted to get married and have kids. Okcupid’s optional questions give you a pretty good read of someone’s beliefs and what they were looking for. Our answers matched up really well, so I knew that talking to her would be pretty easy. Neither of us were looking for a hookup or to hang out and we were pretty clear about it in our profiles.” After one month of their first meeting, John knew they would eventually build a life together. “In a few months, we will have been married for four years. We have a 15-month-old daughter who is incredible. We most likely never would have met each other had it not been for online dating.” 4. A Pandemic Tinder Match Snezhina had almost given up hope in the online dating world. However, when she came across Alexander’s profile on Tinder, she thought to herself, “If there is someone I am willing to give a last shot at, it would be this guy.” Snezhina’s last-ditch efforts to match with Alexander was a pivotal moment in her love life. Everything happened so suddenly. “Alexander charmed me out of nowhere. We flirted online back and forth for a while and finally decided to go to the recently opened museum of illusions. He seemed very shy, but I didn’t mind that, since as an extreme extrovert I enjoy when the spotlight is on me. The date went okay, we met three or four more times and decided to make it official. We have been together for six months now. What is surprising is that even though there is nowhere to go and nothing to do because of the pandemic, we still have the best time together, cooking, reading, and giving each other facials. Recently we picked up playing Pokemon Go together, which has been plenty of fun, as we engage in an activity together, as well as take very long daily walks, a major stress-reliever in the current worldwide situation.” When all hope seemed lost, Snezhina’s ideal match came along. Even after many attempts to find the perfect match, you must hold onto the hope that the right person will eventually make it into your life. 5. On the Road Again (Fueled by Love) Tracie could have been considered an online dating pro. She had tried numerous apps including Match.com and eHarmony. But as her 40th birthday rolled around, she decided she wanted to be all-in on finding love — even if that meant trying out Tinder. She promised herself one full year of active searching. Just days before her 41st birthday she went on a date with Greg — the man who would become her husband. “If I hadn't set that goal and deadline, I probably would've skipped the date because I was tired from the weekend. I picked an arcade bar to meet just in case he was boring, but as soon as I saw him, I knew that there was something special about him. We had the most amazing date and even shut down the bar on a Tuesday night. The next day, I texted my best friend and told her that I thought I found my person. She said, "when's the wedding?" She told that story as my maid of honor in September.” In September 2020, the couple organized a “Wedding on Wheels” to create a memorable celebration despite COVID setbacks. They split the wedding between two cities in Indy and Nashville. This would be the first of many adventures Tracie and Greg would take to fuel and celebrate their love. 6. A "Cheesy" Love Story The Tinder swipe life proved effective for Carrie and Kurt. Carrie recalls receiving a simple “Hi there :-)” message from Kurt after matching. Carrie didn’t respond right away but after one more introduction message of “Good Morning,” from Kurt, the two began an engaging and natural conversation. The rest was history. “We talked like we’d been friends for years. Things moved quickly, it only took one day before he gave me his number! We started texting. About a week later we met in person, and we've been together ever since! In February of 2015, he quit his job to be closer to me and we moved in together. On December 6, 2015, he proposed! We ended up eloping, then bought our first home. We started our own business (a food truck - Pretty Great Cheesecake) two years ago.” The couple had their first child on June 3, 2020. Carrie and Kurt are forever grateful to have found their perfect match with the help of Tinder. 7. A Global Love Story Toby didn’t have much substance to his profile, but a handsome profile picture seemed to be enough to capture Alyssa’s attention. Thanks to a friendly competition, Toby focused on matching with as many girls as possible within a 24-hour period. Luckily, one of those girls happened to be Alyssa. Alyssa unfolds the beginning moments of their love story. “When I saw that we matched on Bumble, I instantly messaged him. We started talking every day for nearly two months. At the time, I was a waitress in Knoxville, Tennessee and he was working at a summer camp nearby. We FaceTimed, texted, and called each other daily until one day we decided to meet in person. August 4th, 2018 I drove to North Carolina to pick up this total stranger and go on a two-week vacation with him. After two weeks together, Toby had to return to England. We were unsure if this would continue to work but we visited each other several times over the next two years as we communicated long distance. February 2020, Toby proposed to me and exactly two years and one day from the day we met in person, we got married. On August the 5th, 2020, we said our I dos.” As two strangers separated by land and sea, Toby and Alyssa finally found each other despite outside circumstances. The sacrifice of time and distance brought its reward as Alyssa and Toby met the person they “would be with forever.” 8. Late to the Date, On Time to Forever As a seasoned online dating user, Bobbie was used to awkward first encounters. When she reached out to Peyton on Bumble, she was ready for another typical online dating experience: meet, have a few drinks, and part ways. Bobbie was intrigued by Peyton’s dapper photo and hard-to-get attitude. Bobbie was the first to reach out and it took a few conversations for Peyton to finally commit to meeting up in person. “When we met he was going through law school at the University of Oklahoma, so he had to meet me after he left his internship. I was selling real estate and had an appointment run late, not knowing he had arrived early to our first date at a local restaurant. When I finally made it, I found him at the bar making fast friends with the bartender and ordering a Game of Thrones-style drink. I could tell he had had a few drinks while he had been waiting and that he was annoyed I arrived late Neither of us thought the date was going anywhere (we spoke about it later) until we started discussing movies and John Carpenter’s The Thing. From there the conversation flew. We hung out the rest of the night and started seeing each other frequently following that.” Bobbie and Peyton continued to build a strong friendship and relationship. After six months of dating, they decided to move in together. They weathered the pandemic together with daily laughs and regular movie marathons. 9. Hitting a HomeRun Ashton and Matt met on Bumble in October 2017. Their love story started with a message from Ashton asking Matt if he had any big plans for the weekend. Turns out his biggest plan that weekend would be meeting the love of his life. The couple wasted no time getting to know each other. Ashton describes her experience meeting Matt for the first time. “We met for dinner at a cute patio restaurant in the Heights, in Houston, Texas. When I arrived, he gave me a big bear hug and I was instantly attracted to him. The conversation was incredibly easy and hours later, a free beer or two from our waitress (felt like she was encouraging us to stay longer), and we closed the place down. Matt wasted no time in planning our second and third dates. Again, so refreshing to find someone that wasn't afraid to show his interest in me but also took it slow enough to make me comfortable. He let me know he liked me by his effort and actions, and that was huge! He took me to a World Series game which was a bucket list item for me. I couldn't believe he wanted to use that ticket on me, but I am so glad he did!” In February 2020, Matt proposed to Ashton and the couple is happily engaged and anxiously awaiting a final wedding date amid COVID complications. Ashton concludes by saying, “I will forever be grateful to Bumble for the connection and for empowering me as a woman to take control of my dating life. Now I get to spend my years traveling the world with my best friend, loving on our mini-farm of animals (3 dogs, 11 chickens, 2 horses) and always having someone to help me pick what show to binge-watch next." 10. Spilling the Tea at Starbucks Meru met Brian through Match.com. She had just signed up for a three-month package but ended up only needing the premium account for two days. She may have paid for extra months, but it was all worth it if it meant meeting Brian. Meru reached out to Brian first in hopes of making a connection. “We agreed to meet for coffee at Starbucks because I needed a quick exit if he happened to be creepy. We ended up talking till the store had to close and we basically nicely got kicked out. He always loved hearing my stories. But in all honesty, I either tell good stories or he likes my sexy accent. I am originally from Kazakhstan. He said I am his first cheap date because green tea costs less than dinner. This February will be five years since we met. Year four was a hard time in our relationship as we continued to grow but we made it. Now we continue to grow and flourish. Online dating is not really too much fun but love stories come out of it. Thankfully, I found him two days after signing up that particular time.” 11. A 95% Match Turns Out to Be True Love Kari had a long history of dating frontmen and guitar players in bar bands. As of 2010, she had yet to find the musician that matched her rhythm. Kari has always considered herself a creative in music and the arts. She sought a partner equally passionate about his own creative pursuits. As she scrolled match.com, Kari stubbled upon Chris’ profile featuring a picture of himself conducting a large orchestral ensemble. She was intrigued. Nervous to come off as too forward, Kari sent a “wink” to Chris in the fall of 2010. Chris responded back and the two began conversing. After a few weeks, they decided to go on an official first date to a local diner. Kari recounts the story. “We had so much in common, and the conversation was really interesting and really just flowed! We actually ended up closing the diner, and when the staff finally kicked us out, we moved to another local restaurant that was still open. What I didn’t tell him at the time was that the restaurant we went to was actually owned by my family, so I spent the entire rest of the evening pretending that I didn’t know anyone. We talked until the restaurant closed too, and then for another two hours in the parking lot, only calling it a night because it was after three in the morning and we both had work the next day.” Chris proposed to Kari a year after their first date. Kari and Chris have been together for ten years now, married for seven, and have three wonderful children. In this case, the match.com algorithm turned out to be correct — Kari and Chris were a perfect match. 12. A Lifetime of Co-Creation Separated by thousands of miles, Jennifer and Derek’s love story began on match.com. “As a vocalist, my dating profile name was ChickSinger and his was Mannishboy, named after a love for Blues music and playing guitar. We immediately connected over the music but found we had much in common. On January 1, 2006, Derek took a one-way flight to Nashville, and we drove a U-haul truck across the country together and moved me to the SF Bay Area. Fifteen years later we are happily married with two amazing kids.” Not only did Jennifer meet her future husband, but she also met her future business partner, band member, and best friend. A passion for music and expression would drive their lives to come together in the most beautiful harmony, all because of one simple dating app. Jennifer remarked, “So we literally 'make beautiful music together' (and great coffee) every day. We’ve loved weaving a life of family, love, and creativity and have Match.com to thank.” The couple now lives in Napa, California, and runs a rock 'n’ roll coffee business together. If you are in the area, check out their coffee shop, Ohm Coffee Roaster. 13. A Classic Match In 2003, Sue matched with the man who she would love for decades to follow. Sue was immediately drawn to Paul’s profile despite his lack of profile photos. She could tell he was thoughtful and genuine in his responses. After reading his profile on match.com, she instantly knew that they would bond over their aversion to tattoos and body piercings. “He also lived not too far away which was a bonus too. After a couple of weeks of emailing we found out that we loved the same musician. He was astounded that a woman would like that person, and we both had a penchant for the same Beaujolais Cru wine Fleury and we arranged a phone call. That call lasted over two hours, there was never a moment of awkward silence, conversation flowed with ease. We probably could have gone on for longer, but we both had children who needed attention. So we arranged a date the next weekend at a pub halfway between our locations, enjoyed a meal together and got on really well. I definitely was attracted to him and assuming he did too as we had a kiss as we went back to our respective cars and arranged to see each other the next evening.” Sue and Paul have been together for 18 years and married for nearly 15. This classic match found early success when online dating sites were growing in popularity. Their story is proof of the long-lasting blessings of finding a compatible match. 14. From a Small Cafe to a Wonderful Life Together As a single mother of two children, Cecile wondered how she would ever get back into the dating scene. Balancing her own social life with her family time required deliberate planning. Resolved to find a new life partner, Cecile joined Plenty of Fish. Cecile met Frank a few weeks after joining and spent late nights messaging after the kids had gone to bed. Their love connection grew quickly. They planned to meet at a local coffee. On the way to the first date, Cecile was involved in a car accident. Thankfully, Cecile walked away unharmed but the same couldn’t be said for her car. Her dad came to the rescue by driving her to meet Frank. Cecile retells her first date with Frank. “We hit it off right away. I consider myself incredibly lucky as I know not all meetings off an online dating site end up as being the love of your life. This coming Monday will mark our seven years together and almost three years married. We were both from the same city in Canada. We have lived in a blended family of six since 2015. I had two sons from my previous marriage and Frank had two sons also.” Get Started with the Best Online Dating App Feeling inspired? Ready to start a quest for your own happy ending? BestCompany.com has over 1,000 customer reviews for more than 100 online dating apps. With so many options, you can select the best online dating site for your demographics, dating goals, budget, and time constraints. Best Online Dating Companies Learn more about online dating sites by looking at top-rated companies and their offerings. Take the Next Step to Love
Online dating seems to be a polarizing experience for users — especially for those on Tinder. Some people have an extremely positive experience and find their soulmate, and other individuals feel like they’ve signed up for a scam. How can two users have such a different experience on the same platform? The answer lies in the unique themes found throughout the user reviews. We’ve analyzed Tinder’s customer reviews to learn more about the user experience and how Tinder competes against the hundreds of online dating options. Using our Best Company reviews, we’ve found four major themes in the Tinder user experience that explain the reason for the split. We’ve also outlined ways to create a better connection between reality and expectation when using Tinder. Tightening the gap between these two will help users have a more fulfilling experience on the app. Our review findings Types of users on the app Purpose of the app Ease of use App safety Type of users on the app As online dating has become more popular, users have also become more diverse. The culture of each dating site continues to change as more users join the platform. Users on a dating app may be part of a specific niche or live in a general area. Picking the right dating app will help you find the best pool of potential partners. For example, Christian Connection hosts users with a similar Christian background. You probably wouldn’t join Christian Connection if you didn’t care about religious values in your relationship. Generic online dating apps serve as a general platform for finding a variety of personality types and dating goals. Bumble and Tinder are popular generic dating sites that connect individuals from different industries, beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. Some users find potential partners or friends and others do not. Based on our reviews, matches and user interactions have a strong impact on your overall perception of the Tinder app. These findings contrast the diverse experience of each user. The Tinder experience seems to be heavily reliant on personal interaction within the app. Because Tinder shows individuals based on location, people’s experiences will be dependent on their surrounding user base. Your profile also influences who you match with and how often you match with others. Here are two reviews focused on the type of Tinder users: Customer Review: Mykahla “I did not like tinder. The boys on this site were super creepy. I would not recommend!” Customer Review: Alyssa “Tinder is super fun! There are always super cool people on the app and the app always provides the distance from others, which is super helpful when setting updates! Perfect for singles!” From five stars to one star, we went from super cool to creepy. We found that location and personal interactions play a big role in determining a user's overall experience. Purpose of the app Following its creation, Tinder was viewed as the dating app for "hookups" and casual sex. As the app has grown in popularity, the user base has diversified to include individuals with a wide range of intentions. The app includes users looking for new friendships, casual hookups, and long-term relationships. However, the app's swipe process of judging individuals based on a Tinder profile photo and bio creates a shallow environment for connections. Tinder's main function has made it difficult for the online dating site to completely step away from the "hookup" stereotype. Users who rated Tinder with one to three stars were most likely to focus on the app's hookup culture. Users who gave the app four to five stars also mentioned that the app provides a platform for hookups, but these reviewers had different perspectives on this purpose. Whether users had a good or bad experience on the app, reviewers were just as likely to mention hookups on Tinder. The major difference is whether the user was expecting the hookup app culture. In the one-star review below, this individual was disappointed to find that other users were searching for casual dating opportunities. Customer Review: Remington “This app is an absolute joke. Too many people don't take this seriously they don't try to match they just try to hook up. I'm honestly disappointed just a waste of my time." Looking at a four-star review, we can see that some people saw the hookup app culture as a positive. Customer Review: Sarah “Whether your looking for a relationship or a quick hookup Tinder has it both. I found my boyfriend on here after weeding out some individuals out. All the men I met on here were very respectful and was straight to the point on what they wanted.” Both reviews had similar observations, but different attitudes towards the hookup culture. Individuals with a 4-star or 5-star review appreciated that the app caters to a wide variety of users. With correct expectations and goals, individuals with a positive experience were able to take control of their profile and find other users with similar intentions. Ease of use Dating apps are meant to take the pain and work out of dating. Tinder has reduced the dating process to four easy steps: swipe, match, chat, and date. With tinder, you get to bypass all the awkward scenarios of asking for someone’s number or trying to find them in-person to ask them on a date. A portion of our reviewers agree that Tinder provides an easy-to-use platform with a straightforward swiping method. People who gave the app a higher rating were more likely to focus on its user-friendly features. Individuals who mentioned “ease of use” had at least a three-star rating. Customer Review: Stephanie the app is. It’s very user friendly. I didn’t have a lot of success on the app, I think I was just looking for different things than the majority of the people on the app, but it was a very easy app to use.” Customer Review: Luis “Tinder is the best dating service out. It is such an easy app to use. User friendly and truly tries to help you find love.” Ease of use is a big factor for individuals looking for a simple dating method. Apps with user-friendly interfaces will attract users who want to date but don’t have time to figure out complicated app features. Luckily, Tinder has made it easy for users to sign up and find potential matches in the area. You will have a hard time finding another dating app as simple as Tinder. App safety Online dating puts individuals in a vulnerable situation. Upon joining an online dating site, you are often asked to share personal information in hopes of finding a potential match. Unfortunately, the internet is full of scammers that seek to take advantage of uneducated members. Tinder’s safety was discussed in both positive and negative reviews. Some of the positive reviews noted that Tinder is a great platform for finding safe individuals. Negative reviews were more likely to discuss the fake profiles and lack of safety measures. Individuals were much more likely to bring up safety concerns in a negative review. Positive reviews either did not mention feeling unsafe or highlighted feeling safe throughout the whole dating process. Here is a positive and negative review mentioning safety: Customer Review: Ellie “I met my husband on here!! Tinder has options for everyone and what they are looking for! It’s super helpful in finding what you’d like and making you feel safe throughout the whole process. I highly recommend for anyone looking for anything.” Customer Review: Jason “I don't like Tinder that much for online dating because I can sometimes feel unsafe and uncomfortable.” Once again, this difference may be attributed to location and personal experience. You can avoid unsafe situations by following online safety guidelines. Whatever dating app you choose, be selective in the users you decide to contact and meet up with in-person. Overview Tinder is a popular dating app with over 7.5 million users in the United States. Tinder receives an overall rating of 8.6 by bestcompany.com and ranks number one in our online dating category. Our rating system is based on a user’s review index score and market index score. Metrics that affect the overall rating include average star rating, number of reviews, recurring fees, one-time fees, subscription length, brand search volume, and time in business. Methodology In our data analysis, we took a random sample of 85 Tinder reviews out of a total of 200+ reviews. Reviews were randomly sampled based on their star rating. Seventeen reviews were randomly selected from each star rating category. About 52 percent of reviews were from Utah, 10 percent from Florida, 5 percent from Texas, and 0 to 4 percent from other states. Our advice Have reasonable expectations before joining The truth is some people find a match and some people don’t. There is no success rate or statistic that will apply to your unique situation. Join Tinder with an open mind, but don’t go into it with high expectations. You might be sorely disappointed if you put a timetable on finding a match. Jennifer Hickson, a writer at choosingtherapy.com, offers advice on how to build a healthy approach to Tinder. She says, “I think one of the biggest ways people misuse Tinder is by giving unrealistic deadlines and having unrealistic expectations (i.e. If I'm not engaged in three months, I'm deleting my profile). Again, patience is the key and in everyday life, most people wouldn't rush love, so virtually it shouldn't be any different. Be honest and upfront about what you bring to the table as well as your expectations. There's no 100 percent guarantee that anyone will find love on Tinder, but what you can do is guarantee yourself that you'll be open to it, give it your all, and have fun in the process!" People who are looking for a match, as well as friends, have found Tinder to be a useful tool in connecting with other individuals. Set low expectations from the beginning. You will have a more positive experience once you realize that Tinder might not be the end-all solution to your dating journey. It’s simply a tool that can increase your chances of running into a potential partner. Set boundaries In general, spending too much time on social media or our smartphones can negatively affect our mental health. Online dating coach from ProfileHelper.com, Eric Resnick, suggests setting a time limit for Tinder swiping. He says “One of the best things you can do is to set a timer. Tinder is designed to keep you engaged and pull you into a time suck of swiping. If you are actively messaging with people that is one thing, but if you are just swiping, stop after 5–10 minutes. After that, you are just pushing yourself toward burnout.” Wasting time is a concern for many online daters. About 12 percent of our 1–3 star Tinder reviews point out that Tinder is an addictive app designed to pull users in. We crave the dopamine response when the screen flashes “It’s a match.” But tinder swiping can quickly consume our thoughts and free time if we let it. Setting personal boundaries and goals can help you avoid the “Tinder Trap.” Be upfront with your intentions Unlike other dating apps, Tinder does not give you a meter to gauge your readiness for a relationship. This means extra work for you. In messaging other users, be upfront with your intentions. Find ways to be direct but also welcoming about your intentions. You can also mention in your Tinder bio what type of relationships you are open to. This will help set correct expectations for those swiping through. Whether you are looking for a hookup, a friend, or a long-term relationship, you can find other users with the same intentions. People with highly negative experiences usually encounter people with the opposite intention. Repeated encounters with individuals who just want to hook up when you are looking for a long-term relationship can be frustrating. If you find yourself attracting the wrong people, take another look at your profile. Does your Tinder bio and profile photo correctly portray your personality? If not, try optimizing your profile. Keep in mind that location impacts the number and quality of your match results. Don't be afraid to take a break from Tinder and come back after more users have joined in your area. Optimize your profile Because there is no Tinder algorithm, you will be the architect of your own matchmaking system. If you aren’t getting enough of the right matches, consider updating your Tinder profile. Studies show that certain photos and bios get more matches than others. For example, get rid of photos with obvious filters. The first photo should be a clear photo of you alone. Big group photos deter other users because it takes too much effort to find which one you are. Include humor, your height, social media accounts, and hobbies in your Tinder bio. Be honest and open, but also quick and to the point. You want to leave a potential match wanting more and asking questions. This will give you more to talk about as you start messaging other users on the app. You may even try having a friend write your online dating profile. Getting an outside perspective can help you recognize areas of improvement. We all have a personal bias that can be hard to cut through without outside opinions. Be open to including different pictures or changing your bio. Is Tinder worth it? The question is whether or not you should download the Tinder app or look for love elsewhere. Since Tinder offers a free basic membership, you can try the app without payment. The free account allows for unlimited swiping and messaging. Start a conversation with any of your matches. Give yourself some time to get comfortable with the platform and accumulate matches. Then you can decide for yourself if Tinder is worth it. The good news is you might have more control over your user experience than you initially thought. Online dating sites are meant to improve your dating options, not create frustration. Downloading Tinder with reasonable expectations and setting clear personal boundaries will help improve your Tinder experience. Online Dating Learn more about online dating apps by looking at the top-rated companies and their offerings. Learn More
When couples are asked how they met and the answer is online dating, why is there often a sheepish reply and a wordy justification to help ease the listeners' suspicions? Despite this negative perception, online dating's popularity soars. For millions of users, online dating truly makes many aspects of traditional dating simpler, more accessible, less intimidating, and more fun. After a bit of research to help identify what major obstacles traditional daters face that perhaps online daters face less of, we found overwhelming themes regarding issues of time, awkwardness, and distance. Maybe you’ve found yourself confronting one or all (yikes!) of these issues when attempting to initially meet someone face to face. If so, let go of the negative perceptions that you’ve associated with online dating for a few moments and be open minded to the fact that online dating could resolve the following obstacles that hurt your dating game. Time Claiming to be “too busy” is one of the oldest excuses to avoid going out on unwanted dates, but what about those who genuinely are too busy? Due to school, career, and other demands of life, a lack of time and energy is a modern epidemic that is hurting the dating game for many — maybe you’ve experienced this yourself? Recent studies show that more people on average are spending increased time in the office, leaving less time for much needed vacations and social interaction outside the office. Online dating can help solve the time epidemic hitting the dating world. Through the internet, time spent on the initial seeking out, getting to know each other, and developments towards the first date can all be sped up and streamlined. For example, let’s compare a traditional dating scenario to that of online dating with the help of a fictitious woman named Lauren. First, in the traditional scenario, Lauren is eager to meet someone new and decides to attend a friend's party after work. She spends several hours at the party and ultimately meets a guy and is bold enough to ask for his phone number. Lauren puts into play the classic three-day rule, waiting three days before reaching out to the guy from the party. Lauren finally contacts him, they text, flirt a little, and ultimately set up a date for the following weekend. In this traditional approach, Lauren spent several hours at a party, three days of waiting around, and maybe a few more hours of casual texting before she got asked out and agreed to a first date. Let's compare this scenario to a possible online dating approach. Let's say Lauren decides to try online dating due to her hectic schedule. She opens her dating profile, finds several matches, and eagerly starts digging to find the right ones that spark her interest. Within a few hours, she’s chatted enough with the men online to narrow down who she would like to meet in person. She boldly asks out one of the men, agrees to a time and place for their date, then pulls up her covers with a good book in hand ready to wind down for the evening, successfully setting up a first date all before it is time for bed. So what do we learn from Lauren? The time spent between the first encounter and the first date could take several days with the traditional face to face approach, or the whole process could be streamlined to a matter of hours if you opt to go online. Busy, single professionals now have a break through in their dating game, and Lauren can stay dedicated to her career as well as have her dating life back. Awkwardness Trying to woo a random stranger at a party, the grocery store, or a bar relying on nothing but charm and personality is enough to make anyone feel timid and anxious. Typically, before you even work up the courage to go talk to someone, you've already convinced yourself that the situation is too awkward and vulnerable to even consider approaching that cute stranger. Cue feelings of shyness and stress. Online dating can remove many of the awkward barriers that potentially stand in the way between you and your future relationship. First, the pressure behind the initial ice breaker practically vanishes. Approaching someone behind the screen can help to take the edge off of dating because of the limited range of social cues that accompany online dating communication. There is a certain remoteness in communicating online that puts just enough distance between you and the other person to make you feel more comfortable in being open, honest, and maybe even a tad bolder. Due to this more relaxed and casual online environment, awkward feelings typically associated with breaking the ice can now be replaced with enough digital confidence to chat up that cute stranger. Second, can we admit that almost everyone has felt embarrassed by something they said or did when first meeting someone? If you think that you’re clumsier with your words in person due to the nerves of approaching someone, then the mediation of online communication is a huge bonus. It is easier to feel more comfortable when you’ve gotten to know someone already, so you might as well get to know each other online where the chances of an embarrassing slip up are lessened by the censorship of the “send” button. Distance This issue can arise whether you live in a small or big town. In a small town, you may have grown up with all the eligible bachelors in your town for years and are less than impressed by the prospects. Driving miles to neighboring cities, where your social and familial connections are most likely limited, is likely to be a roadblock that keeps you right where you don't want to be: single, in a town with a limited dating pool. On the other end, dating in a big town has its proximity challenges as well. Being a small fish in a big pond doesn’t make it necessarily easier to find someone; it just means that you now have to weed through more people to find the right connection. You may be ready to expand your social circles, but the thought of wandering across the other side of town in search of a love connection seems nearly impossible without some sort of existing social ties or icebreaker to make the jump. Online dating breaks down the distance barriers of traditional dating, small and big towns alike. Most online dating services have a feature that allows you to search for people by distance, zip codes, states, countries, or really any sort of geo filter that you can think of. Online dating helps you to establish your very own Goldilock's zone of dating — not too big, not too small. First, geo filters will help you expand and detract your dating pool to meet your specific needs. Next, dating services will help your dating pool even more by honing in on compatible people through special matching features unique to each platform. At last, a way to personalize a dating pool so that it is just right for you. The bottom line Online dating definitely has its benefits. If you find yourself stuck in a dating rut, then perhaps these are the answers that you’ve been searching for. Don’t know which dating service is right for you? Compare the top-rated dating platforms right here.
Guest Post by Mallory Love, Destin Pfaff, and Rachel Federoff Long distance is tough. Whether you are a country away, a state away, a town away — or even just twenty minutes away in a city like Los Angeles (twenty minutes that are actually ninety minutes thanks to traffic) — it takes a lot of effort, patience, honesty and desire to keep a long-distance relationship alive. “Think of it as a work trip.” “I will see you soon, I promise.”“Home is where the heart is, so you are where my heart is. Over there, that is just where my stuff is.” “It is not a goodbye; it is a see-you-later.” People may make comments like these to soften the blow of saying goodbye, but they can still be painful to hear and generally don’t make it any easier. Simply put, missing someone you love stinks, especially when it comes to a long-distance relationship. So, how do you make feeling a million miles away from your partner a little less miserable? Well, even though starting a relationship with someone who lives more than two hours away from you isn’t recommended, sometimes love just happens. Here are a few tips to keep your love alive while far apart and how to keep your sanity intact at the same time: Setup your next date Always have a set date, tickets purchased, and your calendar blocked for your next rendezvous before you have to leave each other. Planning in advance makes the sting of being apart a bit easier to take since you know exactly when you are going to be together next. If you’re running out of date ideas, take a look at the article 3 Simple Concepts That Will Improve Your Dating Life for a list of creative and unique date ideas. Spend a little down time together Save your favorite shows and movies to watch together. With streaming platforms like Kast, you can experience the exact moments while watching, talking, and laughing together about it in real-time. Though streaming a movie while miles apart is not as good as cuddling with your significant other on the couch, it helps create a moment of connection for you both. Plan an adventure Plan vacations with each other to create moments to look forward to in your relationship. Do not limit your only time together to your homes and city. Add excitement into your reunions. Make sure to plan fun trips, meet in exotic locations, try new restaurants, and put effort into finding exciting adventures that you can experience together. Maintain a connection FaceTime is one of the best tools to use to connect with your long-distance partner. We know this may seem like a no brainer, but maintaining daily or weekly video calls is a relationship saver when you cannot be physically present with your partner. You can schedule regular video dates with one another that neither you nor your significant other can break or reschedule. During these video dates, you can act as if you’re in the same room, even though you’re actually far apart. There are tablet monitors that let you have extended video conversations with one another and can also be left on in a room so that you both feel you are in the same space together. You can even take it one step further with Virtual Reality headsets that let you virtually be in the same room together while miles apart. Have an end goal Finally, in a long-distance relationship, it is essential to have an end goal in sight for you and your partner to eventually live in the same area in the future. This is key. Whether the plan is to live in the same city four weeks from now or four years from now, have a concrete date set and create an active plan to get you there. If a date is not set, there is room for “possibly, maybe, and hopefully” when thinking about the future and your lives together, which allows for much higher odds of the relationship dying as time goes on. Internationally renowned matchmaking, dating and relationship experts Destin Pfaff and Rachel Federoff are best known and loved for their work on BRAVO’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. The couple founded the original Love and Matchmaking™ — a full-service, modern, high-end matchmaking and love coaching agency.
A good first date may lead to a second date, third date, and potentially a long-lasting relationship. A bad first date will end up being told at Christmas work parties, family events, and your quirky traits will be the fuel for countless jokes. A successful date doesn't always mean you’ll click right away and spend the rest of your life together. Sometimes it just means both parties involved simply had a positive and pleasant experience.While you can’t — and shouldn’t try to — force chemistry, there are a few things you can do to make your dates more successful. Even if at the end of the date you aren’t magically in love, your date will appreciate the time you spent planning out a thoughtful and considerate date. Try to remember these three concepts when planning a first date: Location is key Activities should be low-pressure but engaging Focus on the journey of the conversation, not the destination Location is key The location sets the tone for the entire date. First dates are more likely to be successful with a neutral location, whereas later dates can be chosen based on specific activities that you and your date will enjoy. First dates should be focused on getting to know your date and figuring out if there is a connection. Picking somewhere neutral is a great way to remove the pressure of dressing fancy or purchasing an expensive meal. The ideal location should allow face-to-face conversation, ample background noise, and be memorable. Consider taking your date to one of the following locations: Novelty coffee shop: Preferably chose a coffee shop that you haven’t been to before or a novelty shop. This will allow both people to step out of their comfort zone and create a conversation topic. Concert in the park: Sit far enough away that you and your date will be able to chat, but not so far you can’t hear the music. This will provide plenty of background noise to neutralize awkward silences. Mom and pop diner: Much like the coffee shop, a mom and pop diner allows both people to sit across from each other and talk. These unique shops have more character and history behind the business than big chain restaurants, which can be another conversation starter. Museum: A museum is full of potential conversation topics. While discussing art and theories can be interesting to some, however, that isn’t everyone's cup of tea. Ask your date what kind of museum they would be interested in visiting. There are plenty of planetariums, natural history, or sports museums to choose from. Avoid the following locations: Movie theaters: Movies are a relatively easy and straightforward date idea. However, they don't allow for much conversation, and they can come across as a lazy and last minute date idea. Save this idea for when you know your date a little better. Friend’s house: Although this might seem like a relaxed environment, inviting someone you just met to a friend’s house for an activity or just a hang out can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Most of the time you’ll end up telling stories that happened between you and your friends, making your date feel like the odd man out. Activities should be low-pressure but engaging Planning a first, second or third date can be tricky. The activity should be engaging, allow a discussion, but still be considerate of your date. So don’t plan a six-hour long date when you know your date has to work early in the morning. Also, consider how long the activity will take. It is recommended that the first few dates should be around an hour. That way, if it’s not going well you didn’t spend too much of your time on something that was never going to be. However, if the date is going well, you can add on dessert or a short activity to make it last a little longer. Here are a few easygoing date ideas: Cooking class: A cooking class is a simple enough activity that you can still talk while working but not have to worry about staring at each other when an awkward silence comes along. Plus you can discuss the experience over your freshly cooked meal. Glass blowing: Most people appreciate art, but very few have actually had the chance to make it themselves. Glassblowing is a unique date idea that allows both parties to express their artistic side. Maybe your date will create a simple vase for flowers, or create an avant-garde candy dish. At the end of the date, you’ll have a new topic of discussion and a new piece of art to display in your home. Pottery class: You don’t have to be Grayson Perry to try out a pottery class. Like glass blowing, pottery is something most people haven’t tried. However, unlike glass blowing, pottery can get messy, so make sure your date isn’t wearing a favorite $200 pair of jeans. Paint and sip: Enjoy your night out with a glass or two of wine and a creative outlet. For most people, first dates cause stress and anxiety. Fortunately, both painting and wine are a great way to reduce stress. Show off your artistic, sensitive side or laugh as your date tries to guess what your painting is supposed to be. Sample foods at a food festival: Try going to an annual food festival. You might find out that both you and your date hate cooked broccoli but love fried onions. It will also give you an insight into how adventurous your date is. Visit the beach: Whether you walk along the pier, dip your toes in, or jump in, if you live near a beach use it to your advantage. Take a wine tasting tour: Some wine shops and bars offer wine tasting events. This is a calm environment where it’s easy to keep a conversation going. Even if the date is a bust, you got to spend the evening tasting delicious wine. Visit a farmers market: There should be plenty of conversation starters at the farmers market. Plus, you can get a little shopping in while you’re there. Avoid these ideas for the first few dates: Ice skating/rollerblading: Until you know whether your date is comfortable or not gliding around in a freezing cold arena or happy to skate around a sweltering indoor rink, maybe skip this idea. Most of the time, it ends up with one person scooching along the sidelines while the other is spends time doing laps, alone. Trampoline park: This was a great first date idea when you were in high school. As you get older, the idea of jumping and bouncing for hours at a time seems less appealing. Check out a neighborhood you’ve never been to: This idea sounds exciting and has potential to be interesting. However, if you end up getting lost and not being able to find where you parked the car, your date might not appreciate spending the night wandering around. Focus on the journey of the conversation, not the destination A common problem for many daters is creating a natural conversation. More often than not we are so focused on finding out whether or not this person is the one that we forget that they’re just another human being. We treat first dates as marriage interviews. We often feel the need to evaluate, judge, and conclude whether this person is right for us all within the first few minutes of the date. If they don’t fit the bill, then we eliminate them from the line-up. The point of the first few dates is to talk to the person and get to know them. Maybe they don’t watch all the same shows as you do and they don’t love running half marathons, but you both enjoy going out to dinner or the weekend. Even if the date is less-than-ideal or there is just no chemistry at all, you are under no obligation to agree to another date. Politely decline and if they get upset, know you dodged a bullet. If keeping a conversation is something you struggle with, try asking questions that need explanation or context. It’s a great way to get your date talking and you can get some ideas for the next conversation topic. If the conversation has died down, keep some of these suggestions in your repertoire: What are some hobbies you have? Are you an indoor or outdoor person? What do you like to do? What was the last movie you saw in theaters? Did you like it? What books are you reading? Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world? Why? Where have you traveled? Are you more of an early bird or night owl? What show could you re-watch over and over? What kind of music are you into? Where would you like to live? What is your favorite city? What chores do you like doing? Which are the worst? What’s something you’re interested in that you’d like to know more about? Are you a team player or do you prefer to work alone? What were you like in high school? What does your ideal morning look like? What’s something that’s expensive but totally worth it? How/when did you meet your best friend? What do you like to do in the summer? Besides home and work, where do you spend most of your time? Avoid questions that can be responded with a yes or no answer, come across as shallow, or put your date in an uncomfortable situation. Some topics that will come up naturally over time, but some will have to wait until the other person is comfortable enough to bring them up. Whatever the case, steer clear of these types of questions: Why are you still single? How many people have you dated/been with? What happened with your ex? How much (money) do you make? How much did you pay for your car/house? What (race) are you? What would you wear if we went to the beach/club/etc.? What insecurities do you have? Are you going on dates with anybody else? Do you see us together in the future? How soon do you want to get married? It seems that just about everyone agrees: dating — especially nowadays — is hard. The plethora of dating apps has given men and women so many choices that it’s easy to become addicted to finding greener pastures. He’s too short.Swipe.She’s not skinny enough.Swipe.There’s nothing inherently wrong with dating apps or sites. As a matter of fact, they’ve been helping people all over the world find love. The issue is how much effort we’re putting into our dates. We’ve become accustomed to a minimal effort style, and it’s not doing us any favors. A good date doesn’t need to have two “perfect” people who are meant to be. You can still have a good time with engaging activities and a pleasant conversation. Even if you’re not a perfect match, taking the time to plan a composed and considerable evening will leave a good impression on your date.The truth is, no one is perfect. And it takes time, patience, and work to make a relationship last. It’s time that we go back to attempting to make a good first impression. It’s time we show each other respect. It’s time to stop treating first dates like a job interview. It’s time that we go back to giving people a chance before determining that there is something better just a swipe away.
Guest Post by Scott Lindsay Finding love is not easy in today's fast-paced world. Many people turn to online dating to make meeting someone special more convenient. Your profile is your first impression, so you have to make it excellent. Unfortunately, these common dating profile mistakes could stand between you and your soulmate. 1. Your photos are edited As you go about your dating journey, you will inevitably meet people in person. When you see each other, you want to look like your photos. Otherwise, your date will think you are pulling a bait and switch.Ditch the filters and the cute animations that people often add to their photos. SnapChat dog ears and snout are not something that serious daters will find attractive. Keep it real and authentic. Take clear photos that are only of you. 2. You list personal information Online dating is about mystery and anonymity. When you give up your full name, address, and phone number on your dating profile, you are inviting those who have nefarious intent. Giving potential mates your general location, such as your city and state is fine if you want to meet locals, but all other identifying information should be kept under wraps.The last thing you want is to come home to an empty home because someone got your information from a dating site and decided to add “burglar” to their resume. Keep it simple to stay safe. 3. You include information about your past relationships Your past should stay in the past. Online dating is all about meeting new people and getting a fresh start with your love life. If you dwell on your exes, potential mates are going to see this as a major red flag.Put yourself in the shoes of those viewing your profile. Would you want to sit there and listen to a rant about how someone's ex destroyed their soul or keyed their car when the whole point of online dating is getting to know someone new? 4. You talk negatively about online dating Online dating is no longer taboo, so do not act like it is. You are on a dating website, so you clearly want to date people. Acting superior to others who are on the website looking for love is a quick way to scare away potential mates.You also do not want to get into faux humility territory when writing your profile. Do not tell people you are bad at writing dating profiles. No one feels confident in their profile, so do not act like you are unique. 5. You include your nicknames Everyone has a nickname that their friends use with them. However, the people on the dating website are not your friends, so they usually find nicknames creepy. This is especially true if there are sexual undertones associated with your nickname.Use your real first name. Keep it simple. If you end up meeting someone great, you can both create nicknames for each other in the future if this is your thing. 6. You talk about money Financial stability is fantastic. However, this is something that you need to achieve on your own. If you discuss the financial status you prefer your mates to have, you will instantly turn off most people.If you happen to be stable with your finances, you should also avoid mentioning this. Refrain from talking about your expensive car or extravagant vacations. This information will attract people who are looking for a checkbook and not a mate. 7. You whine a lot Life is not always great. In fact, it can be downright cruel sometimes. However, no one wants to go on a date with someone who uses their dating profile as a personal diary or therapist.Save the negative for your friends who know you. Keep your dating profile positive and honest. This will attract people who want to get to know you and actually spend some time with you. 8. You skip sections on your profile Filling out your dating profile can be a time-consuming process. However, the sections should make it easier to match people who could have some chemistry. When you skip sections, you are narrowing your pool of potential mates.Skipping sections could also result in your matches being incompatible. This will quickly lead to frustration and a series of terrible first dates. 9. You use politically incorrect jokes This should go without saying, but you would be amazed at how many people think offensive jokes are endearing. Issues like race, gender, and religion are major factors when it comes to a person's identity and building a relationship.You do not want to turn off dozens of potential mates with a one-liner that has derogatory connotations for an entire group of people. Cruelty is never cool. 10. You immediately talk about your dream wedding Marriage is usually the ultimate goal when it comes to dating, but you do not want to put the cart before the horse. If your sole focus is walking down the aisle, you will scare away plenty of viable mates who prefer to move a bit slower when they meet someone new. The bottom line Take this information and use it to analyze your online dating profile. Make sure that you are not making any of the mistakes discussed here. If you are, do some editing to help making meeting the love of your life easier.After a divorce at age 48, Scott Lindsay learned how to navigate the world of online dating and eventually met his soulmate! He now runs OurDatingJourney.com, a website dedicated to helping others find true love by using online dating.
Some know you better than you know yourself, don't they? That's what they say. So why not allow a close friend, or someone with online dating know-how, to help you with your dating profile? The idea is gaining traction in the modern dating landscape because it makes sense. Check out this Buzzfeed video, featuring pairs of best friends. One person in each pair has volunteered to help the other improve his/her dating profile. The helpers often don't even have online dating experience, yet it only takes a little while before the singles realize the advantages they're seizing. They start from the beginning, choosing a user name. At that point, it's obvious that doing this with a friend is much more fun than doing it by yourself. They're coming up with funny, unique names and laughing the whole time. (According to the internet, being in a positive state of mind when you write your profile is helpful.) When it's time to snap a profile picture, a rather enthusiastic buddy adds two upward-pointing thumbs to the frame. Hey, why not? It's different, right? You gotta stand out. I could outline at least a dozen obvious perks observed in the video, but I recommend watching it yourself. Just have fun with it and reap the advantages. That's how I interpret the Buzzfeed video. Even if the results aren't great, you will have spent time with a good friend! If that doesn't work out for you, there are a couple of alternatives that may. For example, mysinglefriend.com is gaining thousands of users every month. It works like most dating sites, but it requires a wingman or wingwoman who will co-manage your profile and correspondence. He or she creates and edits your profile, contacts potential matches, and even invites others to the site so they can review your info. This option is particularly advantageous if you know a great matchmaker who is familiar with social media or online dating. Not ready for a co-manager yet, but still want help? There is yet another option. You may choose to employ the services of an expert. There is loads of data dating sites use to provide insight on how to optimize our profiles, and there are professionals who have made a career out of knowing all of the findings. Everything from your interests to the lighting in your photo affects how we form an impression of your identity. Match.com offers their own consulting service, called ProfilePro, but there are many businesses and individuals out there who would like to help you with whatever dating site you use. Just do some research to make sure the one you pick is legit. There are tons of good reasons one would choose to get help with an online dating profile. In a time when nearly half of the United States thinks online dating is a good way to find someone, you'll find plenty of support but also a great deal of competition. Don't let your uniqueness be hidden away. Get help! If you haven't signed up for a dating site, or you want to try a new one, have a look at our reviews.
Match.com has been in the dating game for over 25 years and as expected, the online dating industry has had some major changes along the way. While most people used to have a negative, skeptical view of online dating, most people today it now as a practical way to meet potential partners. One indication of the industry's growth is the sheer number of dating sites out there. Match, which is owned by IAC, is the sister company to many dating sites, including OKCupid and Tinder. Even though we've come a long way in the online dating world, Match CEO Sam Yagan says we are still "decades away" from actually predicting the chemistry between two people. Yagan believes that the more people you have to choose from, the more likely you are to find the most compatible person for you, but there's a catch: you have to be using the right algorithm. If you're just sorting through a 100,000 or a million people, you're never going to find someone. However, Match.com helps to weed out potential partners based on three main factors taken from the initial personality test. Those factors are Personality Lifestyle Personal preferences At the very least you're going to eliminate a lot of people that show very little promise for compatibility. Yagan, a Harvard math major, is always trying to keep on top of dating trends to perfect Match's algorithm. To do this, there are three things he looks at: What the customer is doing What the competitor is doing Where the technology industry is going There are constant changes and tweaks being made in order to ensure that users on Match.com are getting the most out of their experience. Whether or not you subscribe to the notion that love can be found with an algorithm, you can't deny the popularity of online dating and the ease of its connectivity.
So what's up with this Tinder thing? No digital dating service is as hot as Tinder right now. You've probably seen friends swiping away at a mobile dating app called Tinder. And all that swiping has added up to phenomenal growth over the last couple of years for the app. According to some estimates, 50 million tablet or smartphone owners now use the app to swipe through local dating prospects and hopefully match up with some of them. On a daily basis, this culminates in an average of 1.5 billion swipes and 21 million matches. In fact, just this last January saw Tinder surpass 1 billion total matches. So, needless to say, Tinder is very popular right now-so popular you might feel the need to give it a spin. But before you hit that 'download' button, you need to ask that critical question: is Tinder the right online dating tool for you? Before you install Tinder on your phone, here are 10 critical facts to help you figure out if it's the best digital dating tool for your needs. 1. Tinder is available only through mobile app. Let's start at the very beginning: unlike many of the other online dating services we've reviewed on our site, Tinder is not a website. Instead, it is found strictly via mobile app to be used on most smartphones and tablets. As we'll discuss below, the way the app functions relies very much on the touchscreen features on mobile devices. You just couldn't do Tinder on a laptop or desktop. If you're not a savvy user of mobile devices, this fact alone might give you pause when considering Tinder as your digital dating tool. If you and your smartphone or tablet can't be separated, read on. 2. Tinder keeps it simple. If you've ever tried to create a profile with many of the top online dating sites like Match or eHarmony, you know that it can be a pretty lengthy process involving uploading photos and filling out drawn-out questionnaires. This is partially due to the type of audience these sites are trying to serve, people who are looking to be matched on a deep level with people they could potentially spend the rest of their lives with. But what if you're just looking for someone to meet up with for some casual romance? Tinder is specifically built to get you looking at and matching up with people quick. Users are asked to provide one photo and a 500-character blurb about themselves. That's it. Then, based on their mobile device's GPS, Tinder sends them a photo and a quick description of someone in their area. If they like what they see, they swipe to the right. If they want to pass, they swipe to the left. If they swipe right, and that person does the same thing with their image, they are officially matched by Tinder and can start exchanging texts with one another. What does this mean for you? It means that if you aren't looking for some deep, potentially lifelong connection but are more interested in just meeting up with new people casually, Tinder could be right up your alley. If you're fed up with casual relationships and want something more substantial, you might want to swipe left on Tinder and try one of the established online dating sites out there. 3. Tinder can be really superficial and focused only on casual hookups. This point can't be overstated. Yes, all dating sites seem to be fighting a constant battle between trying to supply their members with as many options as possible while keeping out the creeps and perverts, but Tinder wears its shallowness on its sleeve. Originally touted as casual sex app, Tinder has progressed a little more toward promoting healthy relationships, but it's still pretty open about how superficial its whole approach is. Sally Newall, writer at Marie Claire, comments: "This dating service is extremely superficial up front. Members rate other dater purely on their photos and a short one liner. There's not much depth in actually getting to know the daters until both members have matched. This may leave out potential matches that could work out long term. Generally the personality is overlooked because this app focuses on an all or nothing approach to rating pictures... It is still very casual sex-focussed. Many men are only on Tinder for a quick hook-up, so if it's a serious relationship you're after this app might not be for you." This superficiality can be rough on daters who are honestly looking for real, long-term relationships, says Huffington Post dating expert David Wygant: "This app is far from making love connections. It's all about look connections! Unless you have a very thick skin, you should stay well away from places like Tinder. They'll destroy what little confidence you have. Imagine sending out 100 hearts and not one-person contacts you back. How are you going to feel about yourself?" 4. Tinder offers free and premium subscriptions. Like so many digital dating services, Tinder offers what we call a "freemium" model: consumers can download the app and get access to a certain range of features for free, but if they want to use the app's full range of features they need to pay. This means if you want to try out Tinder without risking any greenbacks, you can. Just know that you won't be using the full app and it will be designed to nudge you toward their premium package (a.k.a. Tinder Plus). A recent update to Tinder, however, made Tinder Plus more pricey than most of their users were willing to pay. But more about that later... 5. Tinder does feature auto renewal. Like its online dating counterparts, once Tinder users sign up for Tinder Plus, their subscription is renewed and their account is charged automatically every month. This can cause some confusion and frustration with Tinder users, but it is written in their terms and conditions and on their iTunes pages for all users to see: "Your account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current 1 month period. Auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user's iTunes Account Settings after purchase. No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during the active subscription period." So if you do get Tinder Plus, you can deactivate the auto-renewal feature, but you must do it before the end of your current subscription comes up. Our advice: if you're not sure you want to continue with the service, don't wait until the last minute to deactivate this feature. 6. The refund process for Tinder is less than clear. When you subscribe to an online dating service and you want a refund, you can go straight to the site to get that refund (depending on which site it is, you might get that refund and you might not). But when you use Tinder, because you purchase the app through an app store like iTunes, Google Play, or another app store, refunds have to be obtained through your app store. Unfortunately, we're unable to tell how well these app stores respond to refund requests, since Tinder is not listed with the Better Business Bureau. This doesn't necessarily mean their customer service in regards to refund requests is bad or good. There is simply nothing to point one way or the other-which could be a good thing. No news is good news, as they say. 7. Tinder lets you block people you've been matched with and report members. Too many dating sites let undesirables hang around your profile, stalking you virtually while giving you very little power to stop them. But Tinder, in the spirit of keeping things simple, first only gives people who you've been matched with access to you. Then they give you the ability to unmatch that person, removing them from your Matches, removing you from their Matches, and disabling their ability to message you. Important note: once you unmatch someone, you can't undo it. That person is permanently banished from your Tinder life. So unmatch with caution. Also, if you come across any member that you feel is violating Tinder's rules, you can report them to Tinder, whether they are one of your matches or not. Whether or not these measures actually work to keep Tinder daters' experiences safe is a big question mark. Again, there aren't a lot of complaints out there to draw from. Overall, most reviews we read from publications were generally positive about safety and the ability to control who can see you and who can't on Tinder. 8. Tinder is overrun with men. It's raining men. At least it is on Tinder. Attracted by the simple, straightforward, and visual approach of Tinder, men have flocked to the app, if only for the ability to gawk at local women without being reproached. Unfortunately, this has created a very competitive field for males. Of his Tinder experience, David Wygant laments: "I saw women very close to my age and they still didn't respond. They were probably swamped by every man within a five-mile radius of them. The odds are stacked so far against guys on sites like this. If you've ever tried online dating as a man you'll know what I mean. It can be torturous." 9. Tinder's recent update ticked off a lot of members. If there is one major misstep Tinder has made, it is their most recent update. This update placed daily limits on how many likes free users could use per day. If these users wanted to be able to go back to having unlimited likes (like they did pre-update), they would have to pony up $9.99 per month for the privilege. The algorithm used to serve dating options to users was also tweaked. Tinder apparently thought their users were ready for this big of a change and predicted that they would see an astronomical uptick to $150 million in annual sales by 2016. They probably didn't anticipate the firestorm that ensued. Angry app users bumrushed iTunes to voice their disapproval, leaving thousands of one-star rating and scathing reviews in just a couple weeks after the update. Ultimately, this tsunami of user discontent dealt a serious blow to their standing on iTunes and fundamentally changed the overwhelmingly positive relationship users have had with Tinder forever. What does this mean for you? It means you will still be able to try it out for free, but your daily likes will be much more limited than what users had in the past. It also means that some of the praise you'd heard about the app over a month ago might not be so true today. 10. Tinder can turn your dating life into a game (and that's bad). Users have reported that just using Tinder is fun, even addictive, even if you don't find that special someone. Some people flip through Tinder just to ridicule the photos that come across their screens. However, longtime users also report that Tinder's superficial approach to picking potential mates has tainted the way they view dating, relationships, and people in general. Dayna Evans at Gawker reported her Tinder fatigue in these words: "Not until I used the app for a year did I begin to process the effects Tinder was having on my ability to find men attractive or desirable. Tinder is fun and lighthearted until it no longer is... I'd swiped right on everyone I liked already and was left with the Sisyphean task of swiping left until eternity... Tinder had bludgeoned my brain, stripping all the fun out of seeking chemical attraction in real life and in real places." Should You Swipe Right or Swipe Left? So is Tinder a keeper for you, intrepid online dater? There seems to be no doubt that Tinder provides an engaging, fun platform for meeting potential mates. But maybe all that fun also pushes out the more serious, yet important, business of forming long-lasting relationships. Bottom line: if you're looking for casual hookups and are willing to pay $10 a month for it, Tinder is perfect. If you want a more mature, level-headed approach to relationships, you might be better served on Match or eHarmony. Have you had a bad experience on a dating site or app? Maybe you met the love of your life? Make your voice heard and leave your review today!
Free dating sites like OKCupid can seem like a no-lose proposition. After all, what do you have to lose in trying out a free dating site? This is exactly what the folks at OKCupid are banking on. Since its founding in 2003, the dating site has grown to a relatively small but enthusiastic 1.8 million members--a small fraction of the memberships on sites like eHarmony or Match.com and a tiny drop in the bucket compared to PlentyOfFish, which boasts upward of 80 million members. Regardless of the number of members, the real question is whether or not signing up for OKCupid is a smart decision for you as a consumer...and price is not the only factor. When it comes to online dating, you need to be ready to contend with not only scammers and sleazy people, but also shady companies. To help you make an informed decision, here are ten things you absolutely need to know about dating site OKCupid before you sign up. 1. OKCupid is the most affordable of the top online dating sites. All of the top online dating services offer free subscriptions, sometimes for a limited time and sometimes forever but with limited access. OKCupid is no different. In fact, their free subscription is one of the best among the top dating sites. For free, you can search and view complete profiles and communicate with other members, which is hard to find among free online dating subscriptions.If you're looking to get more attention on OKCupid, however, paid subscriptions are available. For anywhere from $4.96 to $9.95 per month, you can significantly increase the quality of your OKCupid experience, as the PCMag editors explain in their review of the site: "Members who sign up for the... A-List premium service enjoy an ad-free experience, photo albums, read receipts for sent messages, additional filtering options (for example, you can only choose to see four- or five-star-rated people in your results), the ability to see who's rated you highly, higher placements within search results, and more." 2. OKCupid lets you pay to supercharge your profile temporarily. One unique feature about OKCupid is that any member, paying or not, can pay to get more eyeballs on their profile temporarily. PCMag explains: "OkCupid lets users boost their profiles' visibility by shelling out some extra coin. Boosts are available in single boost ($2), five boost ($1.90), and ten boost ($1.70) packages. In fact, OkCupid claims that you'll see a whole day's worth of activity within a few minutes. A boost puts you ahead of the non-boosting pack in results for a total of 15 minutes." This is something that most of the top online dating service provide but not usually to free members. But does it really work in terms of getting you more attention? After trying the feature, one editor at PCMag admits: "Out of the 2,601 times I was placed in front of someone, five people actually clicked through to my profile. I'm not sure if that's great for two bucks, or horrible for thousands of impressions." 3. OKCupid's matching system is hit or miss. A significant number of complaints found on review sites like bestcompany.com or Consumer Affairs make it clear that, for these members at least, the matches are less than magical. Said Melissa, one former OKCupid member, on her bestcompany.com review: "I tried several dating sites while I was single for about two years, and I thought there was definitely room for improvement on OKCupid. Even though I filled out my profile thoroughly and created detailed settings, the site seemed to match me with a lot of people who didn't share similar interests or values." Based on her experience, Melissa ended up giving OKCupid a lackluster 5.0 out of 10 rating. PCMag's editors seemed to back up Melissa's review in their assessment of the site's matching feature: "There's little difference when comparing users who were a 65 percent match and those who were an 85 percent match. Additionally, 90 percent matches were few and far between." 4. Many OKCupid members have used the site for years. Despite whatever shortcomings OKCupid might have, it's worth noting that large numbers of customers, even some of the unhappy ones, have used their services for years. Many have found dates. This should indicate that plenty of members are able to find a meaningful experience there. Of course, for a good deal of customers, things do go wrong, and when they do... 5. OKCupid's customer service leaves much to be desired. If you check out OKCupid's page on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website (which is always a good idea when checking out any company's credibility), you'll find that OKCupid has been slapped with a big, nasty 'F'. The reason why? Out of 96 complaints filed by members against them, OKCupid completely ignored the BBB's request to resolve the complaints 57 times. Only 14 complaints have ever been resolved. This should be a huge red flag to you, dear consumer, that OKCupid's customer service is not their strong suit. Their customer service is so poor that many of their members' complaints and reviews describe it as "nonexistent." One OKCupid member, Kyler from London, Ontario, writes on Consumer Affairs: "Emails have been sent to them weekly, there is no reply. I basically got told over the phone that they don't even check them. They told me over the phone, in a very singsong voice, that OKC has no phone support of any kind, and so I asked if there was any way to reach them, I was told no." In other words, if you choose to sign up with OKCupid and something goes wrong, don't expect any help from their customer service team. 6. OKCupid members report that their profiles are suddenly deleted. The vast majority of OKCupid reviews and complaints tell of members-some new and some long-time members, some free and some paying-trying to log into their profiles, only to receive what seems like a typical "our-site-is-currently-down" message, as described in this complaint: "When I attempt to log in to my account, I get a message stating that 'we are having technical difficulties, please try back later,' which from what I understand from reading complaint forums regarding their site, is their way of saying 'your account has been deleted.'" No matter how many times the member comes back, their profile is just gone for good. Then, when they try to contact their "nonexistent" customer service, frustration ensues. The same customer says: "Attempts to reach them via their customer contact form have all gone unanswered, like always." Out of the dozens of reviews and complaints I read, I would estimate 80 percent of them mirrored this same scenario, but none of them hinted as to why. Many former members speculate that this is all part of a plot by InterActiveCorp, which owns both OKCupid and Match.com, to drive more members to Match, which costs much more. Nothing has been proven, of course. 7. OKCupid's auto-renewal feature ticks members off. Every dating site has this problem. When members get a paid subscription with OKCupid, they are also, in the fine print, signing up to have their subscription automatically renewed at the end of the subscription period and have money taken out of their bank account or credit card. For example, if you signed up for a three-month subscription with OKCupid, at the end of that three months you would see a charge on your bank account for another three-month subscription. Because this is in the fine print, many members overlook it and are shocked when the second withdrawal happens. The best way to avoid this is to first read the fine print before you sign up. Once you click 'submit' or 'sign me up', you are contractually obligated to abide by their terms and conditions, whether you read them or not. Second, keep an eye on your renewal dates. Create a reminder on your smartphone. Finally, when you see the date coming up and you don't want to renew, go into your settings and cancel your A-List plan. If you wait until the last minute, you could find that OKCupid's system takes too long to process your request and your subscription is renewed against your wishes. 8. OKCupid's tests might make you think twice before answering. OKCupid staff and members have created hundreds of tests. This means there are plenty to choose from and it gives members more creative things to do on the site. Unfortunately, this also means that some tests created by members go way over the awkward line, deep into creepy territory. And there's more at stake here than tests that make you feel like you need to disinfect yourself afterwards. Online dating expert Julia Spira cautions OKCupid members about tests that are too political or sexual in nature because your responses are accessible to anyone on the Internet: "You need to think every time you push the send button... only pick the questions you would tell your mother [the answer to]." If you have a test answer that you want someone to see, but not the whole world, you have the option to answer it privately. Even then, err on the side of caution. 9. OKCupid doesn't do a great job of keeping scammers out. According to member complaints, OKCupid suffers from a large number of scammers, the kind who pretend to be eligible but in-need bachelors or bachelorettes in order to get members to send them money or personal information. This is the dark side of the site's free features; anyone can get into the site and gain access to thousands of people without paying a dime. Former member Diedre of Los Angeles complains on Consumer Affairs: "OkCupid has scammers and very few legit people. After going to the FBI dating scam site and learning about what these Nigerian or Russian scammers do and say, I recognized about 95% of the men contacting me were frauds. I even checked out a site where they posted scammers' fake photos and many of the men from OkCupid were there. OkCupid doesn't even get rid of these guys from the site!" In other words, if you're going to venture into OKCupid, make sure you brush up on the tell-tale signs of online dating scammers and how to protect yourself from them. 10. OKCupid members report that the quality of members has gone downhill. Unfortunately, scammers aren't the only people you'll want to avoid on OKCupid. Maria of Oakland, California, a former OKCupid member, puts it succinctly: "The free aspect of the site actually works against it." It's also worth noting here that OKCupid has very few features by way of keeping out unsavory people. When anyone can use the site without thinking about the investment they're putting into it, and the sites provides no filter, the quality is naturally going to be lower than what you might find on a site like eHarmony or Match.com. Maria goes on to list the types of people she encountered on the site: "People who will never read a single word of your profile but will message you anyway regardless of the fact that your profile makes it very clear they are not what you are seeking. Profiles with no photos and/or information. Repulsive scumbags with no realistic sense of what losers they are... Fragile narcissists who will take time out of their useless lives to write you and inform you of their opinions about what they do not like about your profile... Married men cheating on their partners. After a while it just felt like digging through a very large pile of manure trying to find a pony." In their defense, OKCupid does provide features to "hide" other members that you don't want to associate with. Their help page reads: "If you keep seeing a profile you don't want to see anymore, you can hide it. That member will no longer appear in your sidebar matches, Welcome matches, Match Search results, your Visitors list, or anywhere else on the site. Hiding profiles works both ways, meaning that hiding a user will also hide your profile from them." It's unclear if the members who complained tried this trick or not. It's also unclear if this feature actually works as described by OKCupid. Should You Settle for 'OK'? For many online daters, "free" goes a long way. They will put up with bad customer service and very negative experiences when they don't have to pay a subscription fee. That seems to be the case with OKCupid. The question you, online dater, must answer is if you are one of those people. If you are looking for a safer, more positive experience, and a site that will actually respond to your customer service issues, and you don't mind paying upwards of $20 per month, you can probably do better with Match, eHarmony, or Zoosk. Have you had a bad experience with an online dating service? Maybe you found the love of your life? Make your voice heard and leave your review today on bestcompany.com's online dating page!