The decade that changed dating

The last decade has seen an upheaval to everything we previously knew about dating culture. Now, many of us rely on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and eHarmony to find love. If you’re new to dating apps, here are a few things we've learned over the years...

1. What To Look For In Dating Apps

Those who have never used online dating apps would probably assume that they’re very straightforward to use. While this should be the case, it isn’t always so. The truth is that online dating apps can be very specific, especially with awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community. With that said, here’s what you should look out for in a dating app.

  • Interests: Granted, most people would like to date people that have the same interests as them because it ensures that they’ve got something in common. There are dating sites based on sexual orientation, religion and even for cat lovers! Some like Tinder or eHarmony aren’t very specific about sexual orientation but they do have categories where you can specify what you’re looking for. In the same way, some apps are tailored towards those who are looking for hookups and those who are looking for serious long-term relationships. It’s important to know what you want before you settle on a dating app.
  • Safety: Just like in traditional dating, you have to make sure that you’re safe when you’re on a dating app. You don’t want to be the victim of catfishing or a scam. Sites that do not have enhanced safety features like profile verification might not be the best starting point for a beginner.
  • Paid and unpaid apps: Another thing that you have to watch out for is the service provided by an app. Before you sign up for a dating app, it’s a good idea to simply check its reviews, and what features you will get out of the paid and unpaid services.

2. What People Look For First In A Profile

When it comes down to it, most people on dating apps want to see if they’ve got common interests with you. Your profile picture speaks a thousand words, so make sure it stands out. You want to look approachable, but not like you’re giving too much away. A profile picture where you’re smiling will make you look friendly, also a range of pictures will help you share different sides of your personality.

3. How to Avoid Fake Dating Profiles and Scams

The truth is that you’re bound to come across fake dating profiles and scammers in your search to find love. One of the best ways to ensure that you do not all victim is to only interact with verified profiles. Once you make contact with someone, you can always do a reverse Google image search on their profile picture to make sure they are who they say they are.

Looking up their linked social media accounts can also go a long way. If you’re interacting with someone and their profile picture is an image of a celebrity or a model, you’re likely dealing with a scammer. Avoid people who send you suspicious links and those who claim to be outside the country and ask you to send them money to deal with an ‘emergency.’- Don't fall victim to a Tinder Swindler!

4. Quality Over Quantity: Swipe less, say hello

Being on a dating app can be overwhelming. There are so many people to get in touch with! Remember to prioritize your goals and say hi as soon as you think there’s a chance of a viable connection. If you don’t think someone is worth your time, there’s no need of making contact.

5. Best Opening Lines

Thinking of making contact with someone? There is no need for corny pick up lines, simply say hello and follow up with a question about their interests. For instance, if someone says they love traveling, say hi, then ask them about their last trip. This will prompt them to speak about themselves, so you will have a chance to formulate follow-up questions and get to know more about each other. Remember to bring your sense of humor to the conversation and keep it light! For more tips, read our guide for flirting over text with your potential online matches.

6. How Long To Wait Before Asking Someone Out

There’s no definite answer for how long you should know someone before you ask them out. You want to have conversations with them to find out what they’re about. You can even have a virtual date with them before you meet physically to make sure that you’ll be comfortable meeting them.

7. Making Sure To Put Safety first

Safety is important when you’re dating and should come first in all your interactions. Don’t give out your personal information like where you live, work, or other information that someone can use against you. When you meet physically, make sure it's in a public place and tell someone you know when and where you are meeting your date.

8. Where To Go For The First Real-Life Meetup

You’re ready for the first date, but where do you go? To ensure your safety, make sure the first date is in a public place like a restaurant, a bar, or a coffee spot. Don’t meet anyone at home. Try to make the first date as casual as possible so that there’s no pressure. An activity together would be a good idea since you can both take breaks from talking and simply have fun together.

9. Healthy Alternatives to Ghosting

While ghosting is a justifiable action, especially when you think you might be in danger, there’s no reason to do it to someone who expects something more to have come out of your interaction. It’s much easier to tell someone that even though you enjoyed spending time with them, you don’t see a long-term future with them.

10. Success stories: Happily ever after

When dating apps first came onto the scene they were thought of as nothing more than a gimmick. No one really believed that you could meet the love of your life on an app, and saying so was a bit of a taboo. Ten years on, these prejudices have started to be broken, as couples that met on datings apps have stood the test of time, going on to get married and have kids- just check out some of Bumble's Success Stories!

“When it comes to dating apps, people often think of it as an impersonal way to meet someone. However, rather than just meeting someone drunk in a bar, you can have more in-depth conversations with people before deciding if you want to go on a date with them. Even if it didn't always work out, I've met so many interesting people that I may never have come across in my day-to-day life.”- S. Sam

Rosa Knight