By Annette Benedetti Passing notes in high school may have helped you score your first kiss or your first true love, but the dating world has become a bit more difficult to navigate in the years since "Beverly Hills " or even "Gilmore Girls" taught us the ins and outs of l-u-v.
If you're looking to find love or companionship in , you've probably at least considered online dating. Whether you're in college, just out of a relationship or looking to find a partner to enjoy your retirement, the virtual world has a slew of dating websites and apps waiting to hook you up.
Which site is best for you and what's it like to use them? The Source Weekly put together the basics and gathered first-hand experiences that will help you decide which one or two or three to sign up for.
Tinder If you've done any research into the virtual dating world, you've heard about Tinder. It's one of the most popular free apps and uses Facebook to help you create your profile in minutes. This location-based app initially claimed to be the key to finding true love when it was launched in , but has since earned a reputation for being best for hookups because of its short profiles that rely heavily on photos.
Heard the term "swipe left" recently? That refers to Tinder's swipe-style mode of accepting or rejecting matches based mostly on appearance.
While the media enjoys grinding out article after article about how it's leading to the downfall of the dating world, the public seems to disagree as more and more people join this new approach to dating. A Tinder Experience Sarah has been on Tinder for a year and has gone on several dates. She says, "I think it's fun! I've met some real losers, like this one guy who took a call from another woman he was going out on dates with in the middle of our first date.
At the end, he asked me if I'd go out with him again. Some dates are good, some are bad and some have led to friendship. I'm not sure I'm ready to find 'the one' yet anyway. Launched in , its creators tout the website and app as pioneering the online dating industry. Match has an enormous and diverse worldwide user base and an extremely high success rate. Expect to fill out an extensive profile when you sign up, taking approximately a half hour to complete.
Match uses algorithms to help you find your true love and sends you matches on a regular basis. A Match Experience Jon met his true love on Match after a short stint of failed experiences. He says, "I had my profile up for about a year before meeting Jane. Several of my previous dates had been a bit awkward when I realized upon meeting that the images people had used for their profiles were super old. I didn't even recognize a couple of my dates. I knew I was in love when I looked across the table at dinner and caught her intensely studying the menu.
Then I noticed that the menu was upside down. I was pretty sure food wasn't what was on her mind. It has one of the most expansive gender and sexual orientation profile options for users to choose from.
In December of the site even began catering to non-monogamous arrangements and the polyamorous community by allowing couples to link their profiles and list themselves at "seeing someone," or "married," and then search for additional partners.
Users fill out an extensive profile and answer a series of questions that allow the site's algorithms to match them. She says, "We met on OkCupid and chatted for about a week before meeting for coffee. The site made finding a match in a city with a relatively small queer community much easier and the first time I saw her I was hooked!