Dating as a single woman in New York City is as complicated as trying to tie the newest fashion swimsuit. There are a lot of strings attached, it has an awkward fit, and they come (pun please) in all shapes and sizes.
I first started using online dating at the time of the dinosaurs. You know, when you had to sit in front of your computer to search through the plentiful fish in the dating scene?
Online dating has since changed. With the revolution of technology, people can now connect with the hottie up the street from their favorite pizza place as they sip martinis in Soho with their bestie squad cheering them on.
But now with a myriad of dating apps from Farmers to Seeking Sugar Daddys, how does one choose? Each app has its own special flavor, just as diverse as the neighborhoods and the people in the Big Apple.
As a self proclaimed expert in the online dating scene, I have five tips on some of my experiences with the most popular dating apps. From the “date before you date” apps like Filteroff to the “swipe right”and possibly hit-it to quit-it apps like Tinder.
I invite you into my little black book of dating secrets from NYC with the following apps:
- Filteroff : “Date the person not the profile”
- Hinge : “Designed to be Deleted”
- Tinder : “Swipe Right”
- Bumble: “Make the first move”
- OKCupid: “Dating for every single person”
Filteroff: for Virtual Speed Dating
My most frequently used, and possibly the most successful experiences come from Filteroff.
To begin, the set-up process is simple and to the point. In addition, it has features unique to Filteroff. There are weekly virtual speed dating events, daily top 10 matches, and in-person events based around a shared theme like: Dog Lovers, Black Singles, and Harry Potter fans, etc.
Why this is my favorite… to start with there are multiple opportunities to meet the Zoro behind the figurative mask. You get to date before you date by registering for events. I'm not personally thrilled to travel across the city for an in-person speed dating “project” to only find the same old boring personalities that try these “types” of things. I also find it slightly uncomfortable to reject someone in person or FML to be the person rejected.
This Filteroff feature makes rejection less complicated and there's not so much effort lost. With RSVP themed events, I am able to choose gatherings that host a group of like-minded people with a common interest. If nothing sexy unfolds from these events, at least I have grabbed a few more friends (and cocktails) along the way.
Okay, and now ultimately what makes this my favorite dating app? Well, it is easily summed up in one word: CATFISH.
I think by now, if you have been fishing as long as me, you have had the dreaded fake profile. I dont know whats worse, chatting to someone for weeks only to find out they do not actually exist or all the effort that went into it.
That is what makes Filteroff totally different from the rest of the apps, with emphasis on seeing, hearing, and knowing the person before you commit to a “real” date.
Hinge: for Quality Relationships
I will start by saying all opinions are biased, mine included. When Hinge came onto the scene, I was super excited about trying it. A few girlfriends had great success. Some with long term relationships and one even that got married recently.
As a super catch myself, I am ready for a long lasting, quality relationship. And so the slogan goes…
Well, to my dismay, I will say my dating experience through this app was anything but successful. Yes, the intention is there on the behalf of Hinge. However, it is the type of person that I was connecting with that challenged my luck.
I find Hinge to be a facade with Tinder qualities looming in the background. What do I mean?
Well, I had some super amazing connections but once it came to the date, it felt like the person was only chasing one thing. And it was not wallstreet dollar bills. I found that the people on this site, more than the other apps, were merely pretending that they wanted a relationship.
In reality it felt more like the scene from Wedding Crashers, “And all the while they are just really wondering, are we gonna get hopped up enough to make some bad decisions? Perhaps play a little game called "just the tip". Just for a second, just to see how it feels.”
But, no. I was more like “ouch, ouch, you’re on my hair”. Check please!
Tinder: for Meetups and Hookups
Personally I enjoy this “dating” app. It was one of the first of its kind and it promotes the mentality of, you know what you are getting into. Just as simple as that.
I actually like Tinder because of this. Yes, of course everyone's end goal might ultimately be different. But it comes with more of a transparent nature.
Like…Hello, I am horny, you are sexy, let's make some honey.
Tinder is also in nearly 200 countries. That means, it is an app you can use internationally. What is great about that? Let's say you have a work trip to Spain, for example. Set your location to where your company will be sending you and start chatting up the locals. If you are going to get busy anyways, why not learn a new word or two.
Bumble: Women Swipe First
In theory, this app has it. Women are the ones in control. Because yes, women do run this world.
For me though, as someone who is slightly more reserved. I must admit that I like some of the “traditional” dating roles. I like the feeling of being pursued by a person. I enjoy seeing someone take the initiative and putting in the work to let me know they are interested in me.
Maybe I am a little old fashioned in this sense but it is my truth. I want a partner who takes control (in some situations). Please do not get me wrong, it is not that I mind going dutch on a date and splitting the bill. It is more like taking the first move makes me uncomfortable.
The second reason I do not prefer Bumble to the other online dating apps is because I am a busy woman. Direct as that. This dating app has a 24-hour unmatch feature. Which has made Bumble more spooky than halloween. Seriously, I have been ghosted more times than a collective of brujas in a seance.
I know Bumble has changed their unmatch feature since its conception because of the ghouly ghost epidemic. But still, there is an undue dating pressure placed upon me. I am already trying to squeeze in a manicure on my lunch break and put on mascara while taking the T to work.
Like I mentioned, I am a busy woman and I have enough deadlines already. Bumble fundamentally does not match with my lifestyle.
OKCupid: for Those Looking for Something Specific
Yes, this is the same online dating company from the early 2000s that you may already know.
However, OK Cupid was able to evolve with the rest of the world when it comes to modern dating. The most recent version of their app has the typical features of a dating app but it also has additional attributes.
To start the set-up, it has more in depth questions than most of the other dating apps. Perhaps, for a more “mature” audience, there are multiple questions about politics, education, employment and family oriented focuses.
What I really appreciate about this dating app is the landing page. As soon as you open the app, at the top of the screen there are several groups to select from. The choices to choose from range from Ok Cupid’s top picks, your best matches based on compatibility, who is currently online, and who is close to you by proximity.
I like the way OK Cupid organizes this feature because every once in a while, opposites attract. It is great to be able to connect with people based on other factors than the most basic. In addition, since we are always changing, this feature opens the fluidy to follow how the present moment feels.
More than Flavor than Just the Flavor of the Week
So, if you are like me and wandering down the rabbit hole of dating app connections.
I say, try one, and try them all - Why, not?
We are currently living in an era of options and open minded dating approaches. Instead of limiting yourself with hoping to find someone in the classifieds. Broaden your search and keep steadfast: The perfect, tasty apple will find you one day soon enough. It might even be out of your own zip code…