Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Happy Monday! Apologies for the delay but I couldn’t get this post to format correctly last night!
Speaking of apologies, I hope no one is too mad at me for neglecting our podcast for the past couple weeks. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I actually started a new job about 6 weeks ago and there has been a lot of adjusting to the new cadence. I promise that I have a plan in place to bring the podcast back in the first week of August! We’ve got some fun topics to get into and I am really excited to get it back up and running.
While we wait, as promised, I wanted to dive into the world of online dating for my single wifeys & gents who aren’t interested in hookups and actually want a shot at meeting someone special.
While I have no problem with online dating, I do have to caution that it can be really tough to find someone serious in ANY online community, even the ones designed for serious connections. Snakes & fakes exist everywhere, my friends! Always remember that strangers are strangers until they are not. 😉
As with all things, there are some spaces that are a little better than others. Here is my list of the top online dating sites/apps singles should try if they are looking for love. Unlike last week, I do have some personal experience in this area, so I’ll try to offer as much insight as I can.
Before anyone comes after me, I realize that I also mentioned this app as #1 for singles looking to casually hook up. While my thoughts on this haven’t changed, I know for a fact that people can have amazing, meaningful connections with people they’ve met on Tinder. For my readers who are determined and willing to wade through a lot of #TinderNightmares (if you have Instagram, look up this account and give yourself an idea of what you’re in for), there is a LARGE supply of people to get to know. Many of my single friends have gone on some fun dates with people they’ve met on Tinder and believe it or not, I actually have heard of two instances where a Tinder match lead to marriage and children! While I maintain that there are way better options for people seeking serious connections, Tinder isn’t all bad.
(It isn’t very good, but it isn’t all bad either) & Since it’s a free app, I don’t see the harm in making a profile just to diversify your options.
Hinge is very similar to Tinder except that is marketed as the “dating app for people who hate dating apps”. You won’t be surprised to find that things here are pretty straight forward; sign up, make a profile, add some pictures, get matched. However, I think this is a slight step up from Tinder in that (1) it TRIES to steer users away from being exclusively “hook up” focused and (2) Hinge does not give you and endless supply of matches. Instead, Hinge tries to match you based on friends and connections through social media (ie: Facebook). If no one is friends with your friends or if you find that you’ve sifted through all those potentials, Hinge will then offer different types of connections — this can include people who share Facebook friends with you or have engaged with your social network in any small way. The aim is to link users with people they, presumably, are already associated with. While this is all well and good, there are still some limitations. For one, how many young people are super active on Facebook anymore? Does Hinge also include Instagram connections (Instagram is owned by Facebook so it would make sense)? Moreover, how many of us are Facebook friends with people we don’t even really know or like that much? I appreciate the effort here and I do believe it’s a step up from the offerings in the Tinderverse, but know that your options will be limited when using this app. However, some users might find it comforting to know they’re being matched with “friends” or “friends of friends”, cutting down on all feeling like you’re meeting up with complete strangers.
I have personal experience with this app/website and while I can say that the selection pool was diverse and interesting, nothing really great came of it for me. While this service leaves much to be desired, it is one of the few platforms that allows easy communication with anyone you choose to connect with, regardless of matching. Still, don’t get too excited as many users, myself included, complain that the matching system isn’t very thorough. OK-Cupid is unique in that it allows users to take personality assessments created by other users in order to find similarities. However, since these tests aren’t regulated, users are cautioned to avoid tests that are creepy, politically motivated, or overtly sexual in nature as the responses are accessible by anyone who chooses to read them. Use your best judgement and discretion as this app does NOT do a very good job of filtering out scammers and con-artists. What’s comforting is that many of OK-Cupid’s members have been using the website for a long time. While they can’t promise that every user is good or good for you, it is possible to find great connections. I went on a few dates with a guy I met on OK-Cupid when I first moved to the Bay Area. I enjoyed fun conversations with men and women I met when I was bored and had no friends. Would I pay for it? Nope! But I don’t see the harm in giving it a try.
I hear so many mixed reviews about Bumble but since one of my very good friends recently landed a man from this app, I am putting it in my top three. What I like about Bumble is the fact that they tried to shake things up by giving women the power to control the conversation. In doing so, they hoped to inspire women to make the first move, give them a sense of ownership in their sexual/relationship pursuits, and reduce the instances of unwanted sexual harassment that tends to happen in other communities. While the design of the app was made with heterosexual couples in mind, anyone is welcome to use the app to find connections; simply select the types of people you’re looking for and let Bumble do the rest. In addition to these free features, Bumble does allow its users to pay for premium features like “Bumble Boost” which allows users to swipe through profiles that have already liked them. Users are also given an extra verification option wherein Bumble adds a check mark to your profile to prove you’re not a ‘bot’ and are who you say you are online. While you can’t ever fully escape the pitfalls that surround online dating, Bumble gets the top spot among the free apps because, comparatively speaking, it’s chill. It’s popular enough to provide good matches for people who want them, varied enough to give options for networking/business and friendships, and has been proven to work for those who are willing to give it an honest, earnest try.
My top two apps/websites are for those of you that have finally reached a point in your search where you’re willing to pay for matches. Originally, I had E-Harmony in the number one spot, but because of it’s lack of willingness to accommodate LGBTQ members, I just couldn’t do it. I admit, I used this website in my early twenties; I was in my final years of college and was sick of the dating scene for people my age. I quickly realized that the website wasn’t the place for me at that point in my life, but there are some elements that I really liked: (1) if you’re in your mid-twenties and up and are looking for something serious, this is a good way to weed out the F*ck boys and girls who are only looking to hook up. Of course, nothing is foolproof, but most people aren’t willing to pay a monthly fee for sex when they could swipe right on Tinder or go to a club and get it for free. (2) E-Harmony works on a specific algorithm that is designed to match users with people who are truly compatible with them. As long as everyone is being honest on their profile, you can be very specific about the kind of person you’re looking for without having to weed through people you know you wouldn’t be interested in. When I was an active user, I liked the “quality” of man I was dealing with. Many of them were working professionals with designs on getting married and starting families. 90% of the men I spoke to were respectful and decent. I just didn’t like how stilted and serious it was. Keep in mind, I was around 20-21 years old at the time and I while I wanted a boyfriend, I wasn’t looking for marriage and kids. I’m sure a lot has changed in 10+ years, and while I’d hoped that they would come around on the matter of LGBTQ folks being accepted and matched, it is a good place to start if you’re really serious about trying to find heterosexual love online.
But seriously, E-Harmony, it’s 2019, please do better!
I hate to admit it, but the toxic ex-boyfriend I had for nearly 6.5 years was a relationship sponsored by Match.com (haha). I’ll have some additional posts/content about that guys in future posts, but in the interest of NOT blaming the website for his deeply troubling and borderline abusive behavior, I’m still going to go hard for this website as the BEST option out there for singles who are looking for serious relationships. Similar to E-Harmony, Match.com is a paid website that uses algorithms to find matches for its users. It is LGBTQ friendly and a really solid option when we consider the features, upgrades, and accessibility provided to its customers. Again, I have to caution that nothing is foolproof and completely safe. Where Match.com needs to step up and do better is in their verification and security department; it is relatively easy for users to misrepresent themselves and their intentions. The price tag isn’t quite steep enough to discourage scumbags and slime-balls from enrolling and making people’s lives temporarily hellacious (shout out to my Ex). Still, if you’ve exhausted the free options, are sick of going to parties, clubs, and bars, or want to try something you’ve never done before, I highly recommend using this website and seeing what is out there. Be safe and use caution when meeting matches in person, but keep an open mind!
While I do not have any strong feelings about other websites one way or another, I do want to remind you that there are LOTS of dating websites out there; not all of them are good. In fact, I’d go ahead and say that most of them are inherently flawed in a variety of different ways, even the ones I’ve mentioned here.
Please be safe when choosing to date online. Please treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Please don’t put yourself in a situation to get hurt or to hurt others.
In closing, while I do think that online dating is one of the easiest and most convenient options for single, working professionals, I understand that there is still a stigma around it that makes many of us hesitant give it a try.
The thoughts and opinions of others are truly none of your business.
I just went to the wedding of two people who met while playing Halo online! Stop paying attention to stigmas/trends and put yourself out there in whatever way makes you feel comfortable.
Anyone have any stories about online dating successes or epic failures? Did I miss any websites that deserve a mention? Please let me know in the comments!
Until Next Time,
Carry on WIfeys & Gents!