Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Wow, talk about a loaded question that I frequently get from my clients as a 25+ year dating coach. To start, you have the lovely choice of over 1400 dating apps! So, if you are talented research analyst with a team behind you, you could take weeks to figure this out!
So, how to carry on and dip your toes in the 2022 pool of dating opportunities? To begin, this is the most important first move you will identify---which app? Then other factors come into play but I’ll save that for another day.
I’d like to skip right through to online dating apps/sites that you should skip---I don’t want to waste any of our valuable time.
1. Skip the free ones. No skin in the game, no date on the horizon. Plus, you’ll get frustrated and tell me online dating is horrific! (Ok, the positive news is that 1 in 3 singles met someone they like online in 2021. In 2020, 1 in 4 got married via online dating.)
2. Skip the super specialized sites. Example, there’s a dating app for meditation aficionados. I’ll be first to say I love meditation and yoga, but guess what? It’s a needle in a haystack as they virtually have such a tiny membership you’ll end up disenchanted and back to the thought “online dating doesn’t work.” Yep, correct in this realm!
3. The ones your married friends (who didn’t use online dating ever) tell you to try. Simply because they liked their TV commercials or barrage of ads online is not a good reason. Now, I’d believe my best friend Tanya---she met her husband Vin in 2007 on Match.com and had a good strategy. But just because Tanya met her husband this way, does not mean you fall into the same demographics and geographics that she was in in 2007.
Before you choose an online dating app/site, consider these question:
· How old are you?
· Where do you live: urban suburban, rural?
· What am I looking for---to date a lot after a long relationship, a best friend and an exclusive relationship or marriage?
· What’s your state of mind? Happy and positive…. or dreading the adventure of online dating?
· Are you ready to make time for this? We put much effort into our professional careers, are you ready to do the same for your personal life? Can you commit to working on your
personal life with a great attitude for at least 3 months?
If you are dreading this, even I can’t help you. My clients tell me I am fun, positive and good at what I do. (60% of my clients are dating someone seriously which makes my heart sing with joy!). If you’ve not put a previous relationship to bed, or you have a negative attitude, I can’t help you and will not take you as a client. I’m not asking for rainbows and unicorns---but as we embark on this journey together some excitement on your part is necessary and I’ll help you over hurdles. Yep, I’m your dating cheerleader.
Ohhhhkkk, let’s discuss some of the top dating sites: pros and cons. Where do I get my info? First, I have been doing this for over 25 years---I founded ItsJustLunch.com before the days of online dating---yes I am a dinosaur pre-dating even Match.com, the first big one to roll onto the singles scene. With over 5200 marriages to my credit, I know a little bit about dating. In addition, keeping up with 1400 online dating apps/sites I rely on two methods: Anecdotal (what I see happen to my clients and their experiences) and Research by third parties that analyze the heck out of online dating trends, membership numbers and success rates.
Since I don’t want you to fall asleep now, I’m not writing a 1400-page tome on each option. I’ll focus on the better-known online dating apps and the pros and cons associated with each. Here we go:
1. Match.com The grandaddy of sites. They own so many other dating apps as well (Tinder plus at least 45 others). It has a very user-friendly interface and as the second largest dating site, the odds are with you. TIP: Don’t accept the matches they offer you---you will find much better luck doing searches yourself.
2. eHarmony The opposite of Match. Therefore, I frequently have my clients use both. After a 20-minute personal quiz, it will match you with others with high compatibility scores to yours. It’s been around approximately 20 years and has high membership numbers. You can also search. Easy interface.
3. Elite Singles Very similar to eHarmony except the user interface needs updating. I rarely put clients on this site as they have issues navigating.
4. Coffee Meets Bagel Primarily used on East Coast. It gives you 3 bagels per day (matches)—if you want more, you pay. Found this is ok for general dating, but not for those looking for serious relationships.
5. The League This site has seen its day come and go. What began as a dating app for those who attended Ivy League schools, they have opened it up to any school. It’s shown a deep decline in membership numbers. You pay a fee---however, you will have little success unless you are willing to pony up $999 per week (yep $999) to become part of their elite members. I’ve found this one to be a waste of time. Plus $999?????
6. Bumble One of the more recent dating apps to join the scene, it has a great interface and for women, it puts you in the driver’s seat, choosing men. A great idea, and after they went through a large capital investment, I would have thought they’d spend more funds on marketing to increase their membership base. Low membership numbers decrease your odds. Though, large metro areas can reap results.
7. Silver Singles One of the best senior citizen apps with over 50,000 sign-ups per week. A viable choice for those in the 50–75-year-old age range. Make sure you pay---otherwise you are spinning your wheels and won’t be able to see your matches.
8. Our Time For the 50+ crowd. This is for singles looking to settle down and a desirable choice for widowed and divorced clients.
9. Raya The elite-by-invitation only dating app. They boast celebrities, athletes and an upscale New York and Los Angeles group. It skews young: 25-40 and its membership is so low I wouldn’t worry that you haven’t received your invitation. When I scour this app for my invited clients, I see more NFL players in their 20's than any other site!!!
10. OK Cupid Has a great interface and fun questions. There is a free version but as with any of the above apps, pay! Strong in New York City.
There are so many options out there today for single daters. Considering I just presented less that 1% of the apps in cyber dating space, these tend to have the most users, with a few exceptions noted above.
Happy dating in 2022 and if you’d like a pro to help you navigate online dating, choose the correct dating sites, select photos that will grab interest and help you with messaging to get to that first in real life date, call me. I make it fun and easy as a professional online dating coach and after you’ve been on 5 first dates your confidence will soar.
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