I’m going to be completely candid in this article and I want to start by saying that I have not had the best of luck with dating. So after a recent breakup, I decided to try out online dating.
The only problem is that in this day and age not only are there an endless amount of apps and websites to use, but there’s also many things to be aware of when using them.
First, I want to talk about your profile. It’s THE most important part of online dating (obviously), and it’s one of few factors you can control.
It’s important to have different types of photos on your profile. Not only does it show and help confirm to people that you are who you say you are, but it’s also helpful for people to see the different sides of you.
Another important thing is to have only one or two group photos. I say one or two because if all of them are group photos it’s hard for someone looking at your profile to tell which one you are.
Bios are also extremely important. Having just one sentence that doesn’t really tell someone anything about you isn’t helpful because people who are on the apps to find a real connection, aren’t going to make decisions based solely off of looks.
They’re going to look for someone who possibly shares the same interests as them. Or even someone they just think is interesting. All of that is what draws someone to want to swipe right.
As far as apps go, everyone knows about the most used one,Tinder. However, Tinder has become the app of hookups. Many people on Tinder aren’t looking for anything serious or real and instead just want a fling.
But don’t worry. If that isn’t what you’re looking for, there are other apps that do focus more on relationships and helping form real connections.
I personally like Bumble. As an app that was created by women for women, as you are looking through profiles and swiping right on the ones that catch your interest the most, the only way for conversations to start, are if the women initiate them.
This feature is super important to me purely because it takes some of the fear that I and many other women have when online dating, away and guarantees that the conversations being had are purely because you wanted to have the conversation.
You don’t have to worry about fighting off lots of different unsolicited messages.
Bumble is also one of my favorites because I have seen the success it’s had in others’ lives firsthand. Both of my brothers found the loves of their lives through bumble. And if the app can work for them it can work for anyone.
But Bumble isn’t super popular with a lot of people, especially people between the ages of 18-22. And in a smaller area it’s even less popular and so the options seem to be very limited.
It isn’t the only app however that is good for finding a connection.
Hinge is also a good choice. While anyone can reach out to anyone on this app, it’s still different from traditional dating apps where you either swipe left or right on a person.
On Hinge you are able to like a specific part of a person’s profile and have the option to send a comment along with it. If the person decides they like your profile and are interested in talking with you they will confirm the match and then you can start talking to them.
If you aren’t interested in a person you hit the “x” button at the bottom of the screen.
Hinge also provides you with many different prompts to answer to help people get an idea of who they are as a person. Along with that, they also have a question where you can put down what specific type of relationship it is you are looking for.
I have found that there are more people who use Hinge than Bumble, especially around college campuses. Not saying that there aren’t still good options on Bumble, but you might find more on Hinge.
When matching with a person and talking to them, if you and the person decide to meet in person, it’s super important that the meeting is in a public place with others around and that people close to both parties are aware of where they are.
Safety is the most important thing in all of this so you have to do what you can to ensure your safety.
Thankfully these apps and many others work to provide ways to maintain that safety and are extremely helpful if you need to block and/or report someone because of their behavior. Overall I hope this article helps even if it’s just a little bit for those who might be struggling in this new environment and are unsure about online dating or where to even start.
Kassidy is a freshman at Parkland as part of the Pathways program. She’s an English major with plans to transfer to the U of I as a Creative Writing Major. Kassidy is a fan of books, tv shows, movies and anything with pop culture. At the Prospectus she enjoys writing about events and things going on in Champaign County. After college she plans to be an author and have her first book published by age 22.