Love is in the air! And if it’s not, it can be with the quick swipe of a finger on your handheld device. With so many dating apps on offer these days, finding ‘Mr or Mrs Right’, or even just ‘Mr or Mrs Right Now’ has never been so easy.
But it’s also never been so confusing. Options are great when it comes to dating (not so great when it comes to long-term relationships!) but when it comes to dating apps, so many options can prove overwhelming. How do you know which is the right dating app for you?
Finding your perfect dating app can take almost as much work as finding your perfect someone.
That’s why, as someone who’s written two books on my personal search for love, I’ve created a quick summary of some of the better apps on the market today so you can find your ideal match sooner rather than later.
But before we get to that, it’s essential to get clear on what it is you’re looking for. After all, different dating apps specialise in meeting different needs. Are you looking for the love of your life or just the love of your next Saturday night? Or perhaps you want to test the dating waters? Either way, chances are, there’s a dating app that’s perfect for you.
Tinder has a reputation for being a bit of a player. It’s the kind of dating app that you wouldn’t necessarily take home to show your parents. That’s because it’s an app that is great for helping you find a good time, but not necessarily for a long time. Having said that, I know several people who were after something casual only to swipe right and end up married with kids and living the happily ever after – at least for a few years! So, finding true love on Tinder is possible but the main point to keep in mind is that it is known as a ‘hook up’ site.
If you’re not sure about Tinder, then Bumble might be a better option. It’s quickly growing in popularity, especially among single women. For a start, it was founded by a woman called Whitney Wolfe Herd, who came from Tinder and wanted to create an app that was more suited to women’s dating needs. It still has the same swiping functions of Tinder but it’s up to the woman to make the first move, thereby putting the power in the woman’s hands. And if that move isn’t made within the first 24 hours, then the match disappears forever. Keep in mind if you haven’t made the first move by then you probably didn’t want to anyway. The app deletes the match along with any further ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ you may have been doing, leaving you to get on with the business of finding what you do want.
Happn works on the premise of taking ‘a moment in time’ that people so often equate with love, giving them the chance to make that moment last a little longer. Or a lot longer, again depending on what you’re looking for. No longer do you have to walk past a café wondering whether the love of your life is sitting inside. Happn instantly connects you with people who have shared the same vicinity as you. When you pass each other, you appear on the profile of the other and if you ‘like’ each other, then you can start communicating. While I don’t have much experience on Happn, my take is that it’s for a younger crowd, although again I’ve heard of people finding love on Happn in their late thirties and early forties. It goes to show, love doesn’t discriminate, even on dating apps.
One of the original dating sites, this is the kind of app you could confidently introduce to your nearest and dearest. eHarmony has built a reputation for being serious about finding love and the extensive questionnaire, along with the monthly membership fee, ensures it only attracts people who are genuine about finding their perfect match.
RSVP was the go-to dating site back when online dating was considered so embarrassing no one dared to admit they were doing it. This site has withstood the test of time and increased in competition to offer a service that has seen thousands of people find their perfect someone. Chances are you know someone who met the love of their life on RSVP and are currently living their happily ever after. And even if they’ve divorced their ‘happily ever after’, you can’t argue with RSVP’s solid match history.
Some other notable mentions are Plenty of Fish (POF), which is a low-cost alternative to some of the other paid apps like Zoosk, which is aimed at a more mature market and those looking for something more serious.
The main thing to remember is that dating apps exist to facilitate a face-to-face meeting with somebody. It’s not a match until it’s a match in person! Therefore, you don’t have to rely on just a dating app. We are surrounded by people all day, every day. You could even say we’re facing an overpopulation problem. In which case, the love of your life could be sitting next to you right now.
As convenient as dating apps can be, they will never replace the human element of the dating experience. So, stop reading this article, put your phone away and take a chance. Smile and say hi to someone. It is, after all, the natural equivalent of swiping right.
Hedley Derenzie is the author of Finding Paris and Meet Me in Milan, about her own quest to find her perfect match.
Meet Me In Milan is a light-hearted, funny, inspiring and honest memoir about a single woman in her thirties with the audacity to still believe in love and who is willing to step out of her comfort zone and head to the other side the world in search of it. Part travel memoir, part romantic quest, it will appeal to readers of Sarah Turnbull, Elizabeth Gilbert, Frances Mayes and Mary Moody.
Meet Me in Milan is available at Booktopia and wherever good books are sold for $24.99 (paperback).
Women Love Tech would like to thank Hedley Derenzie for her article.