5 Dating Helpers Online
Gone are the days when people would secretly think you were pathetic and/or crazy for joining an online dating site or meeting with someone you found on the Internet. While once upon a time online dating would conjure mental images of serial killers in chatrooms posing as teenage girls, everything has changed.
Now, online dating is a massive industry. People meet with those they found through the web all the time. Whole group events are planned with people through websites like Facebook or Meetup.com. All social media has the potential for making love connections. You even have mobile apps that are centered around introducing you to that special someone.
Of all of the many tools out there, I would say these are five of the best to help navigate you through the dating world.
Tired of the whole meeting for coffee or dinner routine? You can spice things up by meeting people who are looking to do the same things you enjoy. HowAboutWe works by having you put up things you want to do, such as “How about we…go to the Keane concert this Friday night.” People can then search profiles of people in their area by what they want to do.
It is a unique approach to dating that I think a lot of sights have been missing. It lets you find someone compatible based on date activities, not semi-relevant personality quirks.
They also have a HowAboutWe Couples, which allows you and the person you are dating to find other couples in the area to hang out with.
About four years ago, a friend of mine met this guy on Myspace (back when it was still a site people used, of course). He seemed really nice, they liked the same music and activities, and they even found out they had lived in the same neighborhood at one point and never met. Usually when you hear stories like that, the couple live happily ever after, so she was understandably excited.
When they went on their first date, he wasn’t nearly as charming. In fact, he seemed a little “off”, as she called it. But she assumed it was nerves, and when they spoke online again he was just as perfect, so she tried again.
On the second date he was even weirder, and several times he mentioned how everyone had a past and no one should be judged for it. But he said this without any prompting, making her nervous. Which was why she did a simple check when she got home of local registries and found he had been in prison. A bit more searching and she found out why.
He was listed in the state’s sex offender registry for “unlawful sexual acts with a child”, along with a couple of other similar crimes. He had been charged with them just five years before, and had just gotten out of jail six months before they began speaking online.
I am not saying this is a common story, or that it will happen to you. But it might explain why I have listed a criminal record search as a dating tool.
Despite all of the cheesy eHarmony commercials you have been forced to endure over the years, OKCupid is arguably the web’s most popular dating site. Part of that is because it seems to actually be in touch with what people are looking for when it comes to features, and partly because it is free. Which means it really attracts a large number of single people, giving you a wider variety and better chances of finding someone.
If you are a little leery of online dating, this is a great place to start. People here tend to put a lot of effort into their profiles, treating it like a social network more than a place to meet potential mates. That makes it a bit more honest, more frequently updated and containing a fair bit of information.
Plus, you have some great options for a better experience. For example, you can download an app to check your OKCupid profile on the go. Or, you can find numerous plugins from around the web that are dedicated to enhancing the overall features through your browser.
Another interesting approach to meeting new and exciting people, this is a social networking app that works by finding other people in a location who are also a part of the network. You end up making connections with others who are just nearby, able to set up meetings or break the ice more quickly. Think of it as a more socially based FourSquare.
It works really well. If you go out somewhere, say to a gallery or a concert, and you want to see if anyone is nearby, you just log in through your phone. That will show you all within your general location. You can then message those people and see if they want to meet up, or just chat for awhile about what you’re seeing.
This is a similar app to Sonar, though it is so far bigger, with more people. The only problem is that it is also a little more buggy, and so you might find some server or connection problems when you use it. I would honestly say you should have both apps, and then you can check both when one isn’t working, or when you want a larger network of people to choose from.
You might also like this app more than Sonar, as it is more based around meeting people to flirt or date than the other one.
All five of these are great little tools to have at hand when you want to meet someone online, or in real life. Stop waiting, and start a more targeted approach to looking! There is no way you won’t find at least some casual dates out of this, and who knows where that will lead?