The world of online dating is vast and consuming, and it has a lot of rules. According to one friend, “People list Woody Allen movies on their profile when they want to seem interesting and artsy. So don’t put Woody Allen.”
“But Annie Hall really is one of my favorites,” I argued.
“It doesn’t matter. Pick a Bill Murray movie instead.”
Then there are rules about how many messages to send, how to set up a date, and whether to talk to a potential match on the phone before meeting in person. Several of my friends suggested taking it offline within a few weeks, otherwise you run the risk of building an entire relationship of witty messages and chats that doesn’t translate in real life. Some friends say they always talk to a match on the phone before going on a date (“to make sure there’s chemistry”), and others say they never talk on the phone (“what would we even say?”).
In any case, navigating the online dating waters can get tricky — and probably to the point that it interferes with actually meeting someone. As a way to circumvent some of these complicated set-ups and lengthy courtships, several location-based online dating apps have been developed for top rated tablets and smartphones. In general, the purpose of these apps is to simplify the initial connection process and allow for faster meet-ups.
Singles Around Me is a new online dating app with GPS that can be used to locate singles from 100 yards to 100 miles. Users can view other profiles from their phone or top rated tablet, and send “winks” and messages to people that strike their fancy. So, for example, if you’re leaving work and want to find someone in your area to meet for a drink, you could enter search criteria and find someone right nearby to ask out. There is also a Destination Search function, which allows you to seek out singles in a specific location, like a bar, club, or another city, before you leave home or go on a trip.
Other online dating sites have developed similar mobile apps. HowAboutWe.com is a website that takes an “activity-based approach to online dating.” Users propose a date on an open forum (i.e. “How about we go bowling and sing karaoke?”) and then interested singles who think the date sounds fun can make plans to go out. The mobile app for iPhone is location-based, allowing people to find dates that are in the vicinity. It also highlights good nearby date spots.
The popular dating site OkCupid also has an app for iPhone and Android phones. Users send out “broadcasts,” similar to a post on HowAboutWe, in which they can suggest venues and ideas for a date. OkCupid will also send notifications if a particularly good match is nearby. Kind of like a good friend nudging you to get the number from that cute guy in the coffee shop.
What are your experiences with location-based dating apps? Do you have any tips? Share the love.