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According to the Pew Research Center, public perception of online dating has become more and more positive. As more people use these services, more research becomes available showing us exactly how and when people use them. In 2016, Business Insider reported dating apps saw a big spike in usage on the first Sunday of every year. Presumably that's when people are done celebrating New Year's Eve and are trying to make good on resolutions. The spike in usage continues through Valentine's Day, with another even higher spike right after. These are good times to use dating apps because of the spikes in traffic. The odds of getting a match increase.
How does it work? This online dating site does exactly what it says on the tin and only people deemed beautiful enough will be allowed to join. To become a member, applicants are required to be voted in by existing members of the opposite sex. Members rate new applicants over a 48-hour period based on whether or not they find the applicant ‘beautiful’. It sounds harsh, but the site claims that by admitting people based on their looks they’re removing the first hurdle of dating, saying that because everyone on the site is a fitty, members can concentrate on getting to know people’s character and personalities. Beautiful People also promises access to exclusive parties and top guest lists around the globe. Now for that brutal 48-hour wait…
A majority of us probably have a Facebook, Google+, or Instagram account (or a combo of the three), so instead of having to repeat yourself on a dating app, check to see if you can sync up one of your existing profiles. Your information and photos can be pulled in a matter of seconds, and you can get to browsing that much sooner. More than likely, the app will also use your social profile to find matches for you based on friends of friends and will have a policy about never posting on your behalf.
Why? I am 39 and I know how hard it is to meet people. The reason I prefer Tinder is mainly due to volume. You will find more people on there than any other app or site, at least in my city. Tinder is also great when traveling. I’ve made some romantic connections as well as friends that I still communicate with. I have used Bumble, OKCupid, and Hinge and I found myself deleting these apps after a month.
That might be one reason why Bumble has its devotees, too. “I downloaded Tinder and Bumble when I got out of a pretty catastrophic relationship because I was certain I had extinguished all game and would never meet someone organically,” says Cristina, 26, a graphic designer from Boston. “At first Tinder was the more addictive option because of the number of candidates, but I eventually shifted to Bumble because the conversations were better, and the numbers way more manageable.”
She’s not without her complaints about the dating app format in general, though. “On principle, I don’t really like that I’m being reduced to a Pokémon card with a few photos and stats and swiping based on that,” she says. “But I got extraordinarily lucky and met my now-boyfriend, who downloaded Bumble for nearly the same reason I did! We agree that it we both felt icky making snap judgments based on dumb things while first using the app, but I guess there was enough thoughtful info that was in each of our profiles that led us to swipe and meet.”
OkCupid is willing to work to find you a mate. Throughout the signup process, it gathers enough information on you to make informed decisions before recommending potential dates. It's a good happy medium between eharmony, which makes you answer a litany of questions before signing up, and Zoosk, where you can browse after entering the most barebones of data. Better yet, OkCupid lets you do a lot for free, including messaging other members.
Wolfe's mission was to create an app grounded in positivity and encouragement, where aggression and bullying have no place, and actions are guided by kindness. Her first move was to shake up traditional dating norms by requiring female Bumble users to make the first move. As a result, Bumble has unusually low reports of harassment and abuse, as well as the highest post-match chat rate in the industry.
Usually, my main problem with dating sites is their layout and aesthetic — whether it's terrible fonts, virus-ridden ads, or an overwhelming amount of notifications and faces scrambled everywhere, I always have something to complain about. With Match, I didn't. It's modern, clean, and completely erases the stigma that dating sites are for old people.
The Nuts and Bolts: It’s easy to use, bright, colorful, and doesn’t feel as “shameful” as Tinder. I love that the only one who can start conversations is the girl. It makes it easier to avoid the weirdos, and it makes me step up my game. Also, you can swipe back free of charge, and there’s even a feature in the app that allows you to match with friends. But it only gives you 24 hours to reach out to the guy and for him to reply, so it’s almost too much pressure. It can be annoying since I don’t want to check my phone every two hours to see if I messaged or matched with a guy.
That having been said, using an app to get lucky also has its downsides. Putting out feelers for a casual hookup to strangers you haven't met yet can get dicey fairly quickly. Figuring out the right approach can take some time, too. You want to make your intentions known, but you need to do so in a way that doesn't come off too strong or make her feel uncomfortable. You'll need to exchange a few messages to see if you two are feeling each other, but you don't want to become pen pals with someone you're just trying to get it on with, either.