Are you devastated at the thought of spending another Valentine's Day alone? Worse, are you convinced that time has run out for your opportunity to find a date in time for the biggest lovefest of the year?
Here's some refreshing news that's decidedly high-tech: dating apps are awesome for all the lonely hearts out there on Valentine's Day. Thanks to apps and mobile dating websites like Tinder, getting a date by February 14 is easier than ever. Within 15 minutes of reading this article you could literally be on a date with someone, happily flirting away. Talk about instant gratification! Now, I'll admit: It seems dating apps have a stigma attached to them, much like online dating in general used to, but that's changing as more and more people click their way to love.
Lots of 20- and 30-somethings use them, and they are definitely catching on. Bonus? With such a variety, there's a dating app to suit your level of comfort and commitment to the process. So fire up your smartphone and forget hanging out in a bar, trying to meet someone (You don't want to be in bar or restaurant anyway, come Valentine's Day when all those madly-in-love couples are taking up precious real estate, staring romantically into each other's eyes).
An important distinction: There are dating apps for your regular online dating sites, and then there are dating apps for hooking up (which isn't really dating, is it?) There are also apps based on the type of date you would like to have, and there are apps based on location services. Some of these apps get a bad rap — and deservedly so. In general, though, most of the apps aren't really deserving of a bad reputation. As much as online dating changed the way singles meet, so shall dating apps. All you need to do is keep an open mind, and give it a try.
So don't be shy and hop to it. Dating apps just may be your best bet for finding a Valentine's Day date. I'm not talking your paid online dating site's app either. At this point, you could go to an online dating site, but the ease of dating apps limit your time investment — no more weeding through profile pics. So if you are looking for a date on the most romantic night of the year, or maybe a start to a new relationship, read on for my recommendations of the best smartphone apps for dating. And, I gotta say it: Just remember to set boundaries and use reasonable caution when meeting someone for the first time. Don't forget Exclusive Matchmaking's new service Investigate Your Date to check out your latest love interest if needed.
- OkCupid is my favorite for meeting someone — if you start now. There are a ton of quality singles using this app, and OkCupid has a great reputation. You get to browse singles, and they also have an online dating site if you decide to make more of a time investment later.
- Tinder is fun with its like it or leave it vibe, but you have to be careful because it gets a bad rap as a hookup site. That said, I have interviewed many women for my matchmaking service, Exclusive Matchmaking who talk about this site. It's a great way to meet really interesting people without going through all the online dating hassle. One woman told me about meeting a really interesting, worldly photographer for National Geographic on this site. Beats the same old faces that keep coming up on your paid-for online dating sites, right?
- How About We is one of my favorites for Valentine's Day. They match you up according to the type of date you'd like to have. It's spontaneous, exciting, and provides some sort of initial compatibility to start off a date. (This sounds like a ton of fun if you like adventure). Also, it sounds like a smart way to cast for the role of boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Are you interested is another fun dating app that matches you with a date, if you're looking for one immediately. It allows for instant messaging and, importantly, anonymity at the same time. Win-win!
Keep in mind: just like dating in the wild, online dating and dating apps don't guarantee longterm love on the first try. So if your Valentine's Day date doesn't turn into wedding bells, maybe a little date coaching from Exclusive Matchmaking is what you need. Or if you're just looking for matchmaking with a little more of a personalized service, check out Exclusive Matchmaking's new list of services here. Dating apps are fabulous, but, then, so is my favorite growing trend: Matchmaking!
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