The Dating Game: Connecting Through Apps

Dating. Cue collective groan. 

It’s both thrilling and daunting. Exciting and terrifying. We strive to find a balance between those conflicting feelings. And with that comes finding the proper outlet to begin or re-enter the dating game.

And this past year hasn’t made dating any easier. There are even more risks and barriers to take into account when making that first faithful step back into contention.

This is why dating apps have exploded in popularity.

There are so many to choose from. So many options to consider. And depending on what’s most important to you, there’s a platform that can help you get matched and make connections.

What’s more, with quarantine and the pandemic keeping singles physically apart, a lot of services and platforms now offer video chatting options to keep people safe yet connected.

The Dating Game: Connecting Through Apps

Here is a break down of three of the more popular dating tools available to singles:

Facebook Dating

A relatively new dating tool, Facebook Dating streamlines connecting with singles near you by keeping your social media and your matchmaking within the same platform.

You’re able to manage a number of qualifiers, such as age, location, height, religion, education, and so on, as well as including a number of pictures. You also have the option to answer some fun questions, which can be used as ice breakers.

There’s even an option to anonymously send your Facebook crush a nudge to join Facebook Dating.

One of the biggest downfalls of this service, in my personal opinion, is that you lose certain amounts of anonymity. The app allows you to see if you and your potential match have Facebook friends in common. That opens up for the other person to have access to your profile and all the personal info you may have posted there.

Bumble

Hands down the best feature of Bumble is that women hold a great deal of power. Men can match with women, but they cannot contact the woman through direct message without the woman first initiating the contact. Bumble also keeps your identity more secure than Facebook Dating, only supplying first names to matches.

Like other dating apps, you get to personalize with the boiler-plate information, but any connections you make are on the clock. Women have 24hrs to initiate conversation, and once that happens, the man has another 24hrs to respond or the connection is lost.

This is an unfortunate setback that can be remedied by a membership to the app with a few different payment plans.

Hinge

This app is my personal favorite. One noticeable difference off the bat was there isn’t a way for you to create a “tell us about yourself” section like most other platforms recommended. Instead, you generate your profile through the usual qualifiers as well as a number of ice-breaker type questions that serve to tell potential suitors a little about yourself as well as spark conversations. 

Hinge also allows you to use short video clips on your profile as well as pictures.

My only qualm with Hinge is that they automatically share your last name unless you go into your account settings and change the visibility settings. I’m a picky critic, but it’s a relatively easy fix.

Other Options

A few other apps I’ve seen, but haven’t invested a fair amount of time into are match.com, OK Cupid, and The League.

I would compare match.com to Facebook Dating in terms of the set-up and accessibility. OK Cupid is a good mix between Facebook Dating and Bumble, but is a little lesser-known and used than the other options mentioned.

The League is a more prestigious type of dating app. You have to set up a paying membership right off the bat to start connecting, but with that comes a certain amount of exclusivity. You get some kind of assurance that the other singles paying into The League are serious about making a connection.

So whether you’re getting back into the dating scene for the first time in years or after just a few weeks hiatus, there seems to be a way to make connections from the comfort and safety of your home no matter your preferences.

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Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.