Online Dating Advice: 5 Tips On How To Find Your Perfect Match
Dating apps and websites are definitely the modern way to find your perfect match. Maybe you want to try them out yourself but do not know much about how to get started. That’s the reason why we asked our writer James to share his tips and views on online dating and how you can make sure that you won’t feel lost in the ever growing swamp of dating apps and websites!
So, how's the online dating going? Its a tough world out there. To put it bluntly, I can't tell you how to be a better dater. But I can certainly point you in the right direction, so here are a few tips:
1. If you don't have at least one tattoo, don't waste your time messaging someone who does. Tattooed people only hang out with their own kind.
2. The term 'less is more' definitely applies to online dating. Don't write a huge essay about yourself and expect people to read it. Two small paragraphs should be more than enough.
3. If you're serious about having a relationship, avoid people who make no effort at all on their profile. If all they have in their description is "ask me", it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise how one sided a relationship with them must be.
4. Don't despair if you don't get many responses in your first two weeks of signing up. It takes time to fine tune your profile to something you're happy with. If you're not happy with it, it will certainly show. Be patient.
Now I've got that out of the way, here we go.
Many dating websites claim to be 'free' -and many are- but only a handful are really worth a mention. Plenty of Fish springs to mind as perhaps the best free dating website you can find. It has an extremely large user base; if you don't find at least one person on here to talk to, you're doing something wrong (don't forget what I said about tattoos). It's completely free unless you want to be first in the queue on the 'meet me' feature or you wish to know when someone has opened your message (creepy). But none of these paid features will benefit you in any meaningful way, so it's best to avoid them.
If you're looking for like-minded people Plenty of Fish will attempt to match you with users who share similar interests, but it quite often turns up with random and rather irrelevant results (it might match you with someone who lives 100 miles away, can't drive, and hates everything you love). Manually searching for people is certainly the way to go; the search feature is very detailed and easy to use, and comes with specific search parameters, so you can easily find your 'perfect' match (on paper at least).
As far as other free websites go, OK Cupid is right up there next to Plenty of Fish. It's completely free unless you'd like extra features for the sake of extra features. In terms of helping you find everlasting love OK Cupid is rather different to Plenty of Fish. It uses its own match feature, which seems rather more refined than its counterpart. It finds you matches based on how you answer certain questions, and what you write about yourself. The more information you share, the more matches you get.
OK Cupid lacks a detailed search feature - although you can search by username so you're more or less restricted to contacting the matches it finds for you. Having said that, you will find yourself with a lot of matches if you put enough effort into your profile, so this isn't necessarily a huge drawback.
Unfortunately there are many websites out there that you need to avoid. To put it short, any dating website that is 'free' to sign up for, but requires you to pay in order to contact other users, is not worth your time. E Harmony, Match.com and Uniform Dating are all such websites. Frankly the price you need to pay simply to talk to other people is not worth it. Let's be honest: you're going to have to spend money on your first date, be it a meal or a theme park ticket, so paying in order to speak to your potential date in the first place is absurd.
Save yourself some money and look the other way.
Alternatively there are many apps out there that trump dating websites in some ways. Depending on your sexual orientation, you might want to try Tinder (heterosexual), Grindrr (male homosexual) or Findhrr (female homosexual). It is worth pointing out that, although Tinder can cater for homosexuals, it's all too easy for people to lie about their gender and 'troll' you, so you're best off sticking to Grindrr or Findhrr.
The biggest advantage these apps have over their website competitors is that it is much easier to get yourself started. All you need to do is install the app on your phone, sign in, and you're done (well, not quite. I would recommend you add a few photos and a paragraph about yourself, but that's a given). There are no questionnaires standing in your way to finding true love.
Oh, did I say true love?
Whilst I don't doubt the primary function of these apps is to find people to date, they're quite often used for more casual purposes. Relationships can certainly be developed with your love interests, but it's extremely likely that you're going to come across people who just want a quickie (or, if you're lucky, a bit of repeat business). If you're interested in using one of these apps, just be aware of their casual nature. The apparently 'shallow' way of sifting through people on these apps is indicative of this; physical attraction is most certainly the most important element to finding someone.
So if you're serious about a relationship, the more detailed websites are the way to go. If you're more into casual dating and sex, try the apps instead. There's something out there for everyone.