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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
Become the power couple you always dreamed about by improving your physical strength together. Exercising with your partner is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Elevating your heart rate and sweating together has a number of positive benefits for you and your partner. Fostering a shared goal of healthy living can improve connection and attraction in your day-to-day life. Along with healthy eating habits, regular exercise has been shown to improve quality of life and longevity. Building these habits with a romantic partner can help support a long, happy, and healthy lifestyle. We’ve outlined five reasons below why you should start exercising with your partner today. Improve your emotional connection Build routines together Magnify attraction Expand your workout options Release tension and stress Improve your emotional connection Working out with your partner not only improves your physical health but also your emotional connection. Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights, playing tennis, etc., these activities foster opportunities for growth and connection. Working out together gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together while you improve your individual health. Research has shown that couples who workout together are more satisfied in their relationships. Dr. Carissa Coulston, relationship expert at The Eternity Rose explains, “Exercise has been proven to make us happier as individuals thanks to the endorphins it produces. When you work out with your partner, you’ll experience that happiness together. When you push and motivate each other and then experience the results, you’ll bond over your joint positivity.” The pursuit of a similar goal can help couples feel more united. As you support each other in your exercise goals, you will feel an added measure of support in other areas of your relationship. Overcoming mental blocks or physical challenges together helps establish a pattern of resilience as you encounter future hardships. Dr. Dan Sneider-Cotter, a writer for choosingtherapy.com, further explains the connection between emotional closeness and exercising together. He says, “You also get the added benefit of seeing each other working hard, sweating, breathing heavily, and working towards a shared goal. These are powerful primal signals that cue attachment, intimacy, and desire.” However gross it may seem at first, sweating together connects you emotionally to your partner. When you exercise together, you have the opportunity to bond over shared experiences and work towards a common goal. Over time, your relationship will become stronger and more resilient to outside influences. Build routines together Fitting in time to exercise can feel like an impossible task. Some couples have children they need to look after. Long hours at work or school can also interfere with your plans to exercise. However, when you make a goal to exercise with your partner, you can plan together weekly to figure out a time that works best for both of you. This may mean working out at home some nights if you still need to watch the kids, or waking up early before the workday starts. These sacrifices will become easier as you build a consistent schedule. Working out with your partner also helps you stay accountable to your fitness goals. Whether your goals include weight loss, increased physical strength, increased endurance, etc, you can encourage and motivate each other to stick to your workout routine. If you work out together in the morning, you won’t have to struggle to get out of bed before your partner. Working out can be an activity where you look forward to spending time together and improving your health. A reviewer for P90x highlighted her positive experience while working out with her husband. She found that the home workout series P90x was the perfect solution to their busy schedules. Customer Review: Alyssa “Great purchase. You see results especially if you stay committed. My husband and I love working out together doing P90x. We can fit it into our crazy schedules and we actually look forward to doing it because we know it works.” A consistent pattern of regular exercise has long-term benefits on your physical and mental health. You may experience improved sleep and increased daily energy levels. Having an accountability partner can help you follow through on your long-term fitness goals resulting in lasting health benefits. Magnify attraction Attraction is a key ingredient to a happy and healthy relationship. Couples can keep the passion alive by working on their physical and emotional attractiveness. Intense cardio and strength training exercise releases endorphins that improve your overall mood and happiness. Sharing this time with your partner helps your brain associate your significant other with positive experiences. These endorphins continue to support positive emotions even hours after your workout. Exercising with your partner will help you to be a happier and more attractive person. Joe Hargraves, co-founder of Spouzal, comments on the benefit of observing your partner in settings outside of the home: “Attraction is something that needs to be nurtured, and there are several ways to help strengthen this throughout a relationship. Both backed by research, working out together and hanging out with other couples enhances attraction. In both situations, you’re able to see your spouse outside of how you normally interact with them helping to boost attraction for you both.” The increased attraction you feel will also improve your sexual relationship. Women who feel emotionally close to their partner are more likely to initiate and participate in sexual intimacy. Men can also feel increased attraction from observing their partner work to become physically fit. Expand your workout options Recruiting a workout buddy expands your exercise options. Partner workouts are a great way to change up your exercise routine. You can increase your weight at the gym with a partner to spot you. You might even want to think of your significant other as your personal trainer. He or she holds you responsible for finishing a tough workout further motivating you to reach your goals. Take time to watch, spot, and provide feedback to one another as you improve your athletic abilities. Don't get discouraged if you are on different fitness levels. You can still workout together while accomplishing different goals. Seek to find shared hobbies that get you up and moving. You don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights to start working out together. You might try new sports like tennis, racketball, pickleball, basketball, yoga, etc. A little bit of healthy competition may be the perfect solution to get your mind off of daily stressors. Matt Kite, Director of Education and CPT at D1 Training, offers some fun partner workout suggestions to try with your significant other: Partner Ab Exercises Plank Claps — Planks are one of the best ab exercises you can do. For the starting position, get in a straight arm plank position facing your partner (who is doing the same). Make sure you’re an arms width apart and your feet are in a wide stance. Then, simply alternate hand claps with each other. Sit Up & Pass — Sit in front of one another with the front of your feet touching in sit-up position. One partner grabs a medicine ball. Both partners lower, both partners crunch up. At the top, pass the medicine ball to the other partner. Partner Leg Exercises Lunge Battles (each leg) —This can be done side to side or facing each other since all that really matters is that you have space to stationary lunge. One of you will start out with doing five lunges while the other holds the down lunge position. Once the lunger has completed five reps, they will now be the one to hold the down lunge position while the other partner does their set of five lunges. Repeat until you’ve both completed 20 lunges, then do the same thing on the other leg. Double Crab Walk — With your backs against each other, both partners lower into a wide squat position. Crab walk from one wall to the other all while keeping your back together. Partner Cardio Exercises: Guided Pace Run — A fun way to shake up your traditional run, pace runs guide you through a run with varying speeds from jogging to short sprints. The challenge will get your heart rate up and partners can help push one another to keep going. It’s always fun to end on a high note and race for the last stretch. Release tension and stress Most people deal with stress on a daily basis. Whether that stress stems from work, health, family, relationships, world events, politics, etc., prolonged physiological arousal can take a heavy toll on your mental health and relationships. Unresolved stress can lead to tension in your romantic relationships that hinders the happiness and fulfillment you feel with your partner. This year has been especially difficult for those dealing with the widespread effects of the pandemic. The increased dopamine after exercising is scientifically proven to reduce stress and lower depression. Staci Hargraves, co-founder of Spouzal, suggests that you should, “Do yourself and your partner a favor and blow off some steam in a productive way. Exercise is a great way to improve your fitness and mood while keeping the stresses of everyday life from impacting your relationship.” We are often inclined to put off exercising in fear that we don’t have enough time to accomplish our other tasks. However, we don’t have time to go without exercise. Consistent exercise positively impacts our mental and physical stamina. Practicing these self-care routines with your significant other will help you prioritize your well-being. Even if your workout can’t always be as long as you want it to be, simply taking 30 minutes a day to get your heart rate up will improve your performance in all areas of your life. Find your workout partner Are you in search of the perfect workout companion? For singles seeking a relationship, check out our list of the top online dating sites. Find the perfect online dating app based on your interests, budget, and time. Best Online Dating Sites Learn more about popular online dating sites by viewing top-rated companies and their offerings. Learn More
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 “I’ve used tinder off and on over the years. I really do like how easy and self explanatory 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.
Online Dating. Social media. Gaming apps. Email. Millions of Americans use these media platforms daily to connect with friends, pass the time, and to find love. However, plenty of users have intentions that are less than pure. Scam artists are everywhere, and they're constantly on the lookout for someone to con. We've done the research, asked the experts, and put together this guide to help you and your loved ones quickly spot a romance scam before they leave you penniless. How did it start? Not too long ago, scammers were sending out mass emails claiming that you won the lottery, your PayPal account needed updating, or that friends needed donations to help their sick child. And it worked. As time went on, however, these common scams were exposed as news stations, social media, and Dr. Phil warned online users to use caution (especially when clicking on links or responding to or sending money to people they didn't know). For the scammers, it was time to change their tactics and find new ways to con online users. Their attention turned to an upcoming media platform: online dating. Today, online dating is a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of users and the most common hunting ground for scammers — although social media comes in at a close second. Instead of sending out mass emails and hoping to trick a few unwary individuals, scammers moved to a more targeted approach: the romance scam. What is a romance scam? Romance scams don't usually start out with one person demanding money (if they did, they'd most likely be reported and booted off the site). Instead, the scammers opt to play the long game by earning their victims' trust over a period of months or even years. A romance scam on online dating may vary from context to context, but the end motive is always the same. The scam artist is always seeking money from the victim (an actual dater), and will look for different methods and means to collect checks and payments prior to even meeting in person. Scammers may create elaborate stories, come up with "emergency" situations, or ask for a victim's credit card information, cash, funding for travel expenses, or wire transfers using a variety of tactics. —Beverly Friedmann These scam artists invest their time and devote their full attention to their victims. They don't mind spending a few weeks listening to you talk about your favorite vacations or places to eat. They'll ask about your family and friends and side with you when there is drama. Eventually, you'll feel comfortable telling them the intimate details of your life. As they build trust and develop the relationship, the scammer will periodically ask for financial help. It usually starts with them asking for the occasional $20 and eventually they will work their way up to asking for thousands. Who is targeted? As more and more people look for love online, the more opportunities there are for scammers to romantically swindle someone. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently revealed that the number of romance scams reported in 2018 was more than double than those reported in 2015. While the median loss for people was around $2,600, the losses reported for those 70 and older is a heartbreaking $10,000. Unfortunately, seniors are an ideal target for scammers. Seniors likely have a retirement fund in place, received an inheritance from their parents, or have inheritances saved for their children. Essentially they are the population that is likely to be more fiscally sound at this stage of life and in addition they might not be as aware as a younger population about how easy it is to falsify information online. —Devon Jorge, Trillium Counselling Although anyone can be targeted, the FBI revealed that the most common target for scammers is women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled. Why do people fall for these scams? Using an online dating site or app often requires daters to be semi-vulnerable; after all, you are letting thousands of people view your pictures and read about your likes, dislikes, personality, wants, and deal breakers in order to decide if they're interested. The whole thing can be pretty daunting. Romance scammers prey on this vulnerability and use it to their advantage. As we stated earlier, scammers devote days and weeks building a relationship. They will constantly shower you with loving words and share personal (though likely false) stories from their own life. They'll send you gifts and talk about when you can be together. While they may seem sincere, it's all a part of their ruse to gain your trust. People on dating sites may unknowingly display that they are emotionally vulnerable or needing companionship in their profiles. When people identify that they are widowed or divorced, there is a possibility of emotional vulnerability that could be preyed on. People who are ending a relationship may struggle with their self-esteem. They are vulnerable as they may feel that they might not find love again, have anything to offer in another relationship, or that the dating pool doesn't have a lot of options later in life. —Devon Jorge, Trillium Counselling As the relationship gets more serious, the scammer will ask for intimate pictures or videos (generally these are later used against the victim) and will threaten to expose the victim if they don't comply with their demands. In this situation, many victims feel too embarrassed to tell anyone and refuse to report the scam to the authorities. In 2018, the FTC received more than 21,000 reports about romance scams. What are some common red flags? Whether you're using an online dating site or an app, you always risk running into fake profiles created by scammers. To help you avoid these profiles here are eight indicators that you're dealing with a scammer and not a potential suitor: 🚩1. Seems like a perfect match When filling out your profile, you mention you love to run, travel, and ride horses. A few days later, a message pops up from a suitor who lives in Australia, owns a ranch, and runs the occasional half-marathon. It seems like a dream come true, right? However, it could be a scammer and before you respond we suggest you take a step back and evaluate. Many online scammers create new profiles based on the information you give and pretend to be the man or woman of your dreams. They conveniently seem to like all the same things you do, share similar thoughts on religion and politics, and their future plans perfectly match the dreams you unwittingly shared in your profile. They are great at starting a conversation and are more than happy to let you do all the talking. 🚩2. Professes love at first click There's nothing worse than a distracted lover. This especially rings true to romance scammers. Once you respond to their initial message, the scammer will quickly try to establish a serious relationship. Their messages will be filled with pet names (sweetheart, love, dear, etc.) and they'll constantly shower you with compliments. This tactic is called “love bombing” and is used to manipulate people into spending more time with the scammer — and less time with others. Being praised releases dopamine which just so happens to be the same chemical that is released when we fall in love. Flattery and sweet talk are just a few of the tools scammers keep in their back pocket to keep people from realizing they're being scammed. 🚩3. Provides inconsistent information Scammers will often say things that are inconsistent with their dating profile or their social media. Perhaps on their profile, they mention they studied at a prestigious university but their messages are filled with typos and poor English. Or they say their birthday is in June but their Facebook profile says December. While these little inconsistencies might not seem like much, it is often the result of scamming multiple people and not being able to keep their stories straight. 🚩4. Wants to leave the dating/social media site ASAP After the first few messages, the scammer will want to leave the site and start emailing from a personal account. The reason? While they're talking to you, they're also messaging hundreds of other people and if enough people report them, they'll be removed from the site. Leaving the site allows them to continue building the relationship without the worry that their scam will be interrupted. It's a common tactic for a scammer to say their membership is ending and they'll lose their messaging abilities. Be wary if they want to switch to emailing or calling, especially if it's early on in the relationship. 🚩5. Has no digital footprint If somebody doesn't have a Facebook profile, it's a little sketchy. But having a profile with zero information is even sketchier. Nothing says a fake profile quite like only having one or two photos (especially if they're generic background photos) and no previous posts. Another indication that it's a scammer is seeing the same photo used over and over. Since the scammer most likely stole the picture from the internet, they won't have more than a few photos. 🚩6. Refuses to video chat Moving the relationship from messaging to a video chat is every scammer's nightmare. What's even worse than that is an impromptu video call. If the scammer doesn't look like the picture they gave you (which is most likely the case), they'll come up with a number of excuses for why they can't call. They might say that their computer was stolen and they're using a library computer or the video on their laptop is broken and they don't have the money to get it fixed. 🚩7. Complains of a life full of drama At the beginning of the relationship, scammers will typically ask for small amounts of money for seemingly simple reasons. Eventually, the stories will become more complicated and the amounts of money will go up. One woman found herself transferring well over $100,000 as the scam artist concocted a story about serving in the military, being stopped by customs officials, then arrested and needing help to pay for a lawyer. It's not impossible to run into a string of bad luck, but if you ask the right questions and look into their stories, you'll notice that they start to sound like your favorite soap opera. 🚩8. Constantly asks for money Romance scammers want one thing. Your money. They'll ask for money for a sick child or relative. They'll need money after they get unjustly arrested. They'll need money because they got mugged last week. They'll need money to visit you.Romance scammers are extremely skilled at coming up with urgent situations where the only answer is money. If you don't pay up, it's not likely the requests for money will stop. They may resort to blackmail, threaten violence, make you question your humanity, or even threaten a lawsuit. How can you outsmart a romance scammer? Before falling head-over-heels for your online match, it's wise to enter the relationship with a few precautions — as unromantic as that sounds, it's for the best. We asked online dating experts for their advice on how daters can avoid getting caught up in a romance scam. Here's what they had to say. 1. Do some research “Be your own private investigator by doing online searches to confirm your match's key information. If you're especially concerned, you can enlist the help of a background checking service. It's a way to confirm your love interest's name matches his or her photo, address, marital status, and social media profiles. It can also uncover if your date owns a gun, has financial problems, a violent criminal record or been issued quite a few speeding tickets, owes child support, has an arrest history or is married. You can also try Google's reverse image search. Take a few minutes to search the profile's pictures, and if the reverse search shows up across a number of pages, it's highly likely that the person is being deceitful and is using someone else's images as his/her own.”— Chris Vitale, Senior Manager at PeopleLooker 2. Keep them on the original site “Keep all communication on the dating site for two to three weeks to see if their behavior is consistent. Next, set up two to three video chats to ensure they seem legitimate. Then, ask for their full name and DOB to run a background check on them. Most scammers won't make it past all of these safeguards and they'll ghost you for a new victim.”— Dr. Wyatt Fisher, Founder of ChristianCrush.com 3. Follow your head “If you want to outsmart a scammer, ask all the difficult questions. If a person is up to no good, the first red flag will be that he or she does not want to provide you with information. Limited information should leave questions in your mind and should trigger the feeling of something being off. Follow your gut, get an opinion from a third unbiased party, and do your research. Should things not add up, you've got your answer. I'm afraid you will have to go with your head on this one and not your heart.” — Patricia Vercillo, Vice President of Operations at The Smith Investigation Agency and The Smith Training Centre 4. Get the opinion of a trusted friend “Ask a trusted friend or family member to take a look and this prospective love interest's profiles online. Ask them to do some research, while you the user do your own research. I often say enlist a friend or family member because they are not involved personally and won't have the love blinders on like the actual user/victim does.”— Alexis Moore, Cyberstalking Expert and Author of Surviving A CyberStalker 5. Meet in real life “Don't keep your relationship online for too long; insist on meeting in person in a public place, like a coffee shop. Check your new contacts out by looking them up on social media and search engines. If you find your new date's Facebook page has a lot of group connections, but not many friends, it may not be a real person, but a scammer. Seek to meet your new date's friends, and get together with your friends. It's much harder to maintain a phony cover around a group of people.”— Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., (aka "Dr. Romance"), Psychotherapist and Author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today 6. Ask for a spontaneous picture “One thing you may want to do is ask them to take a picture of themselves holding up a sign with their name on it. In addition, ask for a number of pictures because generally when the scammers are stealing pictures of models from websites, they do not have many photographs. Ask for the picture to be at a particular place that you designate to further test them.”— Steven Weisman, Professor at Bentley University, Author, and Blog Writer for Scamicide What should you do if you think you're being scammed? Navigating the waters of online dating is tough. It often requires finding a balance between being vulnerable but not gullible, trusting but not naive, empathetic but not improvident. It requires taking a leap of faith. Scammers take advantage of that. Whether you shared personal details about yourself, trusted them with intimate photos or videos, or sent them money to help in a difficult situation, they were just there for the money. It can be difficult to admit that the person you've been messaging for the past few months or years is actually a scammer, but it is better than being left completely penniless and heartbroken. The best thing to do? Block the scammer on your dating profile, social media, email accounts, phone number, etc. Keep copies of your messages Report the scammer to the dating site Report the matter to your local law enforcement File a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission
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.