But in the last few years a lot has changing in the online dating world. There's been a huge rise in apps and websites all designed to help people meet online. Now, no matter what your age or lifestyle, one of the best ways to start dating is simply to create a profile. It's a major theme in my latest novel Not That Easy where the young heroine, Ellie Kolstakis, tries out a number of dating apps and sites to get some decent men in her life — and in her bed.
In the book they discuss the pros and cons of the different options facing them. This is relevant to so many single people today. Even if you used to successfully online date, but have found yourself single again, it can be difficult to know exactly what sites you need to be surfing. Before you join, the app has to approve you as a member a slightly daunting process or you have to be invited.
If you want to unlock certain features you either have to pay or invite other to join. A friend who uses it tells me: At first people were drawn to the app for its simplicity - users can swipe left to decline and right to approve a date. If two users swipe the same way? They're matched and can chat to one other. Free DoingSomething For people who hate the forced feel of a first online date, DoingSomething might be the answer.
It works in a similar way to Tinder, the only difference is that Bumble only allows women to start a conversation with their matches and they have just 24 hours to do so before the connection disappears. Men cannot make the first approach. OKCupid This is one of the biggest dating sites out there, and a lot of people I know have had relationship success here.
However, they do have a live help service at their homepage to talk you through joining. Uses compatibility testing to match you with someone who shares the same worldview as you. The lengthy survey you must complete before you sign up. It is s of questions long and asks many probing questions about religion and moral views. The price and process mean only the dedicated remain — but equally, can lead to people dropping out mid-process.
Free to join and to have limited contact with members. You can connect with Facebook so getting started is much quicker than with other sites. A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions the most obvious — height, kids, whether you drink or smoke , a description and a photo — then you are in. You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member.
Members can search by interest, location or age. To use the site fully — sending unlimited messages to other members — payment is required. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy. However, perhaps controversially, arguably this is more of a pro than a con — as the saying goes, opposites attract! But too many filters and rigid check-boxes can have you dismiss huge numbers of people at once — something that apps like Bumble, Happn and Tinder tried to do away with though that brings its own set of issues.
One 5ft 10in friend reports she saw only potential men to browse when she logged in to Match. When she reduced her height to 5ft 9in, that rocketed to almost 2, A full 1, men would have unknowingly discounted this amazing person because of 2. It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.
Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating or married to single parents they met in real life. With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now. But the moment they spoke in real life, they were hooked. The moral of this story is: Be open minded, people!
Plenty of Fish Pros: Quick to join, lots of interactions, constant flow of fresh members. Which sounds like a hella challenge… Cons: So large it can be time-consuming to keep on top of communications and filter through the members, though Match.