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How to Choose (and Use) the Right Dating Apps for You

There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Here’s how to use dating apps to reel in your perfect match.

Whether you’re looking for long-term love or just someone to have fun with, the modern world of dating apps has a lot to offer. But with so many options, how do you choose the ones that are right for you? Joanna Coles, author of Love Rules, shares her secrets for success in finding a real relationship in a digital world.

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Picking the Right Dating App(s) for You

With so many options, figuring out where to begin can be intimidating. Coles suggests you start by determining which of these four dating styles sounds most like yours:

1.  If you have a carefree attitude about sex, love, and dating. . .

Try Tinder, Happn, and Plenty of Fish. These fee-free apps will offer you the most variety and opportunities for casual fun.

2. If you’re a romantic at heart but open to a little casual fun along the way. . .

Try Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge. These apps put you in the driver’s seat and allow you to tap into your social network to find the perfect mate.

3. If you know what you want and refuse to settle for less. . .

Try eHarmony, The League, and Twindog (perfect for pooch enthusiasts). These fee-based apps/sites attract serious suitors and match you to someone who shares your interests.

4. If you want fast results backed by proven algorithms. . .

Try OkCupid A-list,, and EliteSingles. For a fee, let the professionals weed out the riffraff and quickly point you in the direction of worthwhile, like-minded matches.


Preventing Roadblocks on Your Dating Journey

While there’s plenty you can’t control, there are a few things you can do to get the most of your online dating efforts:

1.  Be honest about what you’re looking for. Want marriage and kids NOW? Skip the casual apps.

2. Prevent “Online Dating Fatigue” by only using two to three apps at a time.

3. Wait at least three weeks before upgrading to premium payment options. New profiles naturally get a boost so after your newbie glow wears off, premium boosts can really pay off.


Creating a Killer Dating Profile

Think of it this way: your profile is to dating as your resume is to your job search (but probably a lot more fun to write). Coles suggests the following tips to help you polish and perfect your online profile.

1. Do your research

Look at how other women portray themselves on your chosen sites and apps. What catches your eye? How detailed are the bios? What’s the mix of photos like? What totally turns you off? Screenshot the best and the worst profiles and use them as your guide.

2. Appeal to your “Board of Directors”

That is, the people who know you best and have your best interests at heart. Ask them for one line that they’d use to describe what they love about you to someone else and use this feedback to describe yourself.

3. Remember your audience

If you’re on a more casual app, make your profile fun. If you’re looking for something serious, be more sincere and direct.

4. Put your best photos forward

Choose a mix, being sure to include at least one to two full-body shots and clear face photos; images that capture your unique qualities and interests; and avoid “false advertising” shots (i.e., photos older than five years or at a drastically different weight). And leave out your hot friends — it’s okay to make this about you!

5. Don’t labor over it

While you want your profile to be good, you don’t need to stress about perfection. In this case, done is better than perfect, so get something out there and see how the app works for you.

After you’ve launched your profile(s), get going! Lean in and start conversations. Spin up a clever, customizable opening line. Set a goal of how many dates you want to go on per week or per month. Think of dating as a muscle to be worked — the more time you spend exercising, the stronger you get.

While it can feel intimidating to turn an online chat into a real-life date, remember that you should always be yourself. Choose an outfit that feels both comfortable and confident. Let a friend know where and with whom you’ll be. And above all else, be sure to check in with yourself throughout the date. You’re there to see if you like someone, not to win over a new conquest. Don’t force what you don’t feel. After all, dating apps put a world of potential matches at our fingertips. All we have to do is put our most authentic selves out there.




Photo Credit: iStock


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