might seem just a little daunting, but if you’re armed with the right information, at least you won’t be wondering if you chose the right platform to do it on.
By the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll know the basics of how to choose a dating platform that’s most likely to give you what you’ve been looking for. It’s not a guarantee of success, but it’s definitely a confidence booster. And who would say no to that?
Signing yourself up for online dating usually takes more than just “1-2-3-go”; you should consider what you’re there for. You might want to just dip your toes into the pool, or you might want to dive into the deep end. You could potentially find a little of everything on just about any dating site, but a lot of them offer something specific. If you can figure out what you want to focus on, and which sites will help you with that, your online dating experience will be much more fulfilling.
So what do you need to know before you commit to making an account? Here’s the down-low on dating platforms.
1. Does the online dating site give you an option to integrate your profile with one of your social media accounts?
You’ve probably seen them everywhere – those little buttons offering the option to log in with Instagram or Facebook. On dating platforms, this does a couple of different things that can make your life easier. First of all, you won’t spend as much time setting up the account – all the relevant information that you put on the social media account will be imported to the dating site. You might even have profile pictures uploaded and ready to go by the time the import is finished. You could go ahead and roll with the suggested profile that the dating site put together, or make a few updates before finalizing it.
A second benefit is that other users can see your linked social media account. Since this is a way for them to confirm your identity, it will add to your overall credibility.
2. How much messaging are you allowed to do for free?
Every dating platform is set up a little differently. Some of them offer a free account with paid premium features; some require a monthly or yearly subscription fee; others are just free, without any paid features at all.
One feature you’ll want to check up on is how they limit (or don’t limit) the messages that are sent. This is a generalization, but here’s basically what you’re dealing with: the sites that allow unlimited messaging are like cheap all-you-can-eat restaurants. You can’t be sure about the quality, but boy can you go to town. The sites that charge subscription fees are like reservation-only restaurants – whoever eats there has to be intentional about their plans, and the food will be up to a certain standard. If people are paying for a dating site, they’re likely to be more purposeful than someone who has unlimited messages at their disposal.
There are also platforms that put some common-sense limitations on messaging. Hinge and Tinder, for example, only permit messaging between people who are matched. It might sound like you’re getting less, but it’s pretty effective for avoiding a lot of the spam.
3. Does the platform give its members prompt customer service?
Customer service exists for a reason – sometimes people just need help. If you’re using a dating platform, you could end up needing a representative to talk you through something, answer a question, or fix a glitch. Before making an account, check out what the platform says about their customer service efforts. It wouldn’t hurt to see what other people say too – online reviews may be more truthful than the company’s version of themselves.
4. How does the dating site decide which matches to suggest?
This could affect your experience more than you might think. Are you more interested in finding someone in your city, or would you prefer someone who’s matched based on your personality traits? It would certainly enhance your experience if you joined a dating platform that suggested matches the way you’d pick them yourself. It’s even better if the algorithm can adjust and update its approach based on your searches, likes, and messages.
5. How many members does the dating site have?
The more active users a platform has, the better your chances are of being matched with someone you like. Hopping onto to find your next date might seem like an obvious move, but that doesn’t mean you’re being boring – it means that you have a better chance at success. People who live in cities might take this for granted, but anyone who’s outside of urban areas could find themselves striking out until they signed up with a bigger dating platform. No matter how personalized the algorithm is, using a longstanding dating platform means you can pretty much depend on finding someone to match up with, no matter where you are.
In contrast to the Match.com-type dating platforms, you have niche dating platforms. Rather than trying to compete with huge sites, they specialize in pairing people who have similar interests. Are you a Disney nerd who wants to find someone else to share your passion with? Maybe you’re a wine connoisseur who’s horrified at the $15 bottles that your dates keep picking. There are options that are niche even for niche dating sites. If you have a particular passion or hobby, try looking it up to see if there’s a dating site for it – you might be pleasantly surprised.
With this information, you can start honing your dating strategy before you’ve even signed up.
Are you looking forward to meeting your next date ? If you know what to look for in a dating platform, you won’t feel like you’re trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Relationships might be complicated, but picking the right dating site can actually be pretty simple. Just ask the right questions, and you’ll be ready to go.