Dating is a minefield, one wrong step and boom you’ve found Mr Crazy, Mr Weirdo, or Mr Eww. There are so many not-so-perfect men out there. In all honesty who is actually looking for Mr Perfect anymore? I know I’ve given up on the idea. I can’t even imagine finding my other half, I doubt he exists. Right now I think I’d rather find Mr Normal. Hello, Mr Normal are you out there? Hmmm, something tells me I’ve got a long search ahead. So where do we begin?
I work with my dad and it’s just the two of here so I won’t be meet any one at work, and even if I worked elsewhere, the thought of an office romance just freaks me out. There are too many pitfalls with that.
Gone are the days of recommendations and blind dates that your friends and family set up. Saying that, I did go on one blind date recently and in truth I thought he was very into himself. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I don’t really care about your occupation, and your father’s occupation, and your sister’s and so on. I get it, you are all doctors, radiologists, etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, they are amazing jobs, but I’m not here to hear about your intelligent family, I’m here to get to know you. Safe to say, we didn’t meet again.
Online dating is a thing, it’s the thing.
Apps and websites litter the world of dating and there are so many to choose from. Some sites are better than others and some are just no go zones. You can filter your search by almost any criteria depending on the site you use. Some sites are for quick flings and some sites seem like they are for guys who are just looking for visas. So let’s break down the sites and apps that I’ve tried and tested.
This is the place you go to for a bit of fun… or at least that’s my impression of it. I have heard of some couples who have met and married from that app, but in all honesty I don’t know how they did it. Tinder does not give me the commit kind of vibes. It’s a very fickle way to search for someone. You’re met with hundreds or if not thousands of faces and you literally swipe left or right depending on if they’re hot or not. If you both like each other then you can start messaging one another. It’s pretty simple, but as far as I’m concerned it’s not an app to get to know someone.
This is mainly an asian dating site. You can filter by location, religion, age, salary and whole lot more. I’ll be honest, I hate this site. Ok, I do like one thing about it. You find out a lot of ‘basic’ information about someone, as profiles are generally well filled out. I’m not talking about the bio (the little summary where you write about yourself,) it’s all the stuff I mentioned before; place of birth, education, dietary choices… The list goes on.
The problem is that there is nothing beyond that on the site. There is no way to gage a person’s personality, or discover their hobbies or anything. Anyone can message you – which sucks. You can filter your own searches, but you can’t stop people searching for you even if they don’t meet your criteria. That’s not normally a problem on any other site. The issue here for me is men from India, who send you messages and requests. They ignore that your profile says UK only. I wish I could say that you can just ignore them. That would be easy enough if you didn’t get a hundred of these requests each month. You physically have to click through to a person’s profile to check where they from before you reject them. It’s a time consuming effort to filter through the requests. By the time you’ve done that, you’ve no energy left to search for anyone else.
Trust me when I say this, Shaadi.com is more of a headache, a semi-useful site, but a headache.
I actually really like this site. Well the website version, but not the app. OK Cupid, is great because it takes personality and values into account. Each user can answer a whole load of questions on a variety of issues, and then when you search through people, you’re given a percentage on how much you match with that person based on the way you both answered the questions. I’ve spoken to a few guys on the app and in all honesty, the higher the match percentage, the better the match. (That’s a ridiculous sentence, but what I mean is that it’s pretty accurate.) If you use the website version you can also see how much you are enemies, so how much you conflict on your answers. I think that’s a great feature. This is why I love OK Cupid so much. It reminds you that people are more than good photos, which is important if you’re looking for anything beyond a fling.
The app is a slightly different story. It’s more like Tinder. There’s the swipe function and that gives you a brief summary of the person and your match percentage, but the key function is flicking through people by their picture.
I think I’d have flicked right past some of my best matches if I’d used the app rather than the website. So the website version wins for me.
This is another app, one which is new to me. It’s generally full of asian guys (some of which are very good looking.) Again this app is very much focused on photos and not much else. It works exactly like tinder, except you can link your instagram feed on here and assign some personality labels to yourself. The labels are very limited, so I think it defeats the whole point. For example you can select whether you like Bhangra music, but if you don’t you then there isn’t an option to say what you do like. It’s a bit weird.
There is one unique feature though, if you both match each other, a guy can’t message you first unless they pay to be a VIP. However a girl can message a guy for free. According to the app, ‘this is to discourage the hookup culture and encourage chivalry.’ That’s a pretty cool feature. My only complaint is that I did not realise this until I matched someone recently and this comment came up. It annoyed me because I had 20ish guys sat there in my matches section, and I’d thought why aren’t any of them messaging me. It’s been ages since I matched with most of them, that it now seems a bit silly to drop them a line after so long.
So there we have it. These are four main sites I’ve tried. There are a few others I tried and tested but I think these are the biggest sites to use.
If you want my advice, take your time to think about what you’re really looking for and be honest with yourself and your matches. If you are looking for fun just say it and if you want more then say that too. There’s a great feature on OK Cupid which literally lets you state the kind of thing you’re looking for. It makes it easier to pass or match with people, as there is an extra level of transparency. I think that’s the most important part of dating. Just be honest and be yourself.