Posted on October 03 2017
After going on dates with people you’ve met at bars, through mutual friends, or even in local coffee houses; it doesn’t take long before pure exhaustion, failed dates, and maybe even a little curiosity leads you to an online dating website or app. The formula for finding a potential match virtually seems straightforward enough. Plug in all the things you want out of an ideal mate and a 3d printer prints out the perfect person to spend eternity with!
Okay, maybe not. However, there have been many successful marriages, matches, and lifelong partners found through a variety of websites and apps that offer their expertise to find someone for you. I wanted to delve into each of these avenues of online dating to see which ones are the best depending on exactly what type of relationship you are looking for.
Let’s first discuss the options that require a credit card for access. The following services vary in their pricing, but many of them offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t find anyone to your liking within your subscription time. Most of these websites and apps have comprehensive tests and personality quizzes used to determine possible romantic partners. Their focus is long term relationships.
One of the most well-known dating sites and now app, Match uses keywords in user’s profiles to find common interests. Because it is a paid subscription, the thought is only people that are serious about finding a partner are on this site which is a major pro. The only real con? Matching people based on interests can sometimes negate the old adage, “opposites attract.” You can browse other profiles or message anyone on this site whether they are a match for you or not.
As much as I am annoyed with the awkward acting skills in their commercials, founder of eHarmony founder and clinical psychologist Neil Clark Warren perfected an old school and effective way to suggest potential lovers. The personality test: there is no way to search the site for certain individuals or look at other profiles except those that the extensive test pair you with. This type of guided communication keeps from wasting your time with profiles that are incompatible with you.
Although Chemistry also uses an in-depth personality test to give you suggested partners, the founder’s anthropological background seeps into their method of matches. After you fill out the test you are given a personality type of Director, Negotiator, Builder, or Explorer and paired with those that have the same type as you. They are dedicated to helping users find meaningful and long lasting relationships. Their service is the most expensive, but they do have free communication weekends and you can see your matches without subscribing.
With the introduction of the smartphone comes the next wave of online matchmaking, dating apps. Many of these apps are free to download and connect through other social media sites like Facebook. The convenience of dating apps makes them more accessible throughout your day and cost you nothing to find mates.
The birth of “swipe left” or “swipe right”, Tinder’s fame makes it a social network to find a lot of people. Using its discovery option you can easily find other singles near you and you can tailor your preferences to filter out people that don’t meet your desired qualities. Once you are in the app Tinder shows you a picture and short bio of others and you swipe right to like them and left to say no thanks.
If you and the other person both swipe right, you are connected and can send them a message. It is nice that no one can bother or spam you unless you have flagged them as someone you’d like to get to know. Critics of this app often say that it breeds materialistic matchmaking where others judge each other on pictures. While this may be true, judging someone by their looks is nothing new. Especially when deciding who you want to be with.
From the same executives that brought us Tinder, Bumble is an online dating app meant for women who want to make be in control. They follow the same swipe left or swipe right rule, but ladies are the only ones that can initiate conversation and have to do so within 24 hours of the match. One of the biggest concerns for women seeking men on dating apps has to weed through the excessive amount of creeps and catfishes. This app works to eliminate that.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Using Facebook to match you with a friend of a friend, coffee meets bagel is said to create an effortless dating experience. It also claims to be a bit of a safer option than meeting total strangers, because at least you know someone that knows them. Guys on the app are the first to reach out and then the ladies make the final choice to connect or not. Kind of like real life, no?
Plenty of Fish
I couldn’t finish my free site roundup without mentioning plenty of fish, one of the first free online dating websites. You can search users through a variety of different ways from education to ethnicity. There are also features like a compatibility “chemistry test”, a Tinder-like meet me section, and ultra-match that gives you a full list of probable interests with POF you can also freely message anyone at any time and skim other people’s profiles.
What do all of these websites and apps have in common? Each and every one of them claims to have successful marriages begin by clicking through their platform. They all have also had miserable failures and blind date stories you laugh about over wine with your friends. No matter which option you decide to try there will be ups, downs, and struggles to connect. Knowing that it might not work out before you start is the most important. However, letting go of myths that online dating is only for hook-ups and short lived relationships is the first step to meeting someone you can have a truly meaningful relationship with.