IS THE WEB THE PERFECT PLACE TO FIND YOUR PRINCE CHARMING?
Let me introduce myself. I am a 32-year-old Italian single woman living in London, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and interesting cities. Perhaps too interesting, seeing that most of its citizens are always so busy they do not have enough time for interpersonal relationships lasting longer than an episode of the Simpsons. Luckily online dating has arrived to help us Londoners, a population made up of workaholics, fitnessholics or just alcoholics, but in the end simple human beings – looking for someone.
It is undeniable that online dating is becoming the unofficial pastime for most of us singles (and not just singles) in search of love, sex, casual affairs, friendship and even more (such as the guy who uses his online profile to promote his band or his painting – true story!). Digital Love 2.0 is no longer a tool for losers, the ugly or the clumsy. Now flirting on the web is so common that it makes people who are not registered to any dating sites
seem abnormal. If even my mother says “We use the Internet for everything, why not for meeting new people?” I do not see why we should desist. Here are some of the most popular online sites (which I have tried, obviously for journalistic research).
“We use the Internet for everything, why not for meeting new people?” I do not see why we should desist. Here are some of the most popular online sites (which I have tried, obviously for journalistic research).
– The app Tinder has completely revived the online dating scene. Thanks to Tinder online dating is now universally accepted. Its strengths? It’s free, it links to your Facebook page and there’s no tedious profile to fill in or questions to answer. Tinder is immediate: you open the application, which situates you in a place and it starts showing you the people around you one by one. You swipe right to ‘like’ them. If not, go left to pass. If they have also liked you – bingo. It’s a match and you can start messaging. Negatives? Tinder is highly addictive, one face leads
to another, one match leads to another match and at the end you keep browsing profiles like you would with an Ikea catalogue. Guys you meet in Tinder? The guy with the tiger, the guy with the Golden Bridge in the background and the guy who only chooses to show his abs and biceps, but no face. In addition, Tinder has its fads.
Guardian Soulmates – Run by the Guardian newspaper, the typical user is the urban intellectual type, well travelled and with fine food tastes. Honestly, I have met some very interesting people here, with whom there was maybe no spark, but they were pleasant enough. It is not free and this means that there is less fooling around and people are really interested in meeting other people. However, I still have my doubts about paying to meet people. A guy told me he was meeting an average number of people every week in order to ensure his investment was not lost. Financially savvy, this guy, but perhaps lacking a bit of romance? Has dating got to be as stressful as a job?
Plenty of Fish, aka POF
– The dating jungle. I lasted a few days in Plenty of Fish. If you are a young woman your life is over. Available in all English-speaking countries for free. In POF anyone can write to anyone they fancy, hence you start receiving messages from everyone, such as the foot fetishist asking you for a picture (of your feet, of course) or the hare krishna looking for new recruits or someone else with less religious intent. Being a free site and one of the most popular, it is full of fakes and scammers. Also, really, its design, being so awful does not encourage people to behave.
OK Cupid – One of the first and largest dating sites in the world. OK Cupid matches people by quizzing them and asking multiple-choice questions. You can decide to answer or not when building your profile. According to your answers you have a compatibility percentage with every member. It is up to you to put your faith in the percentage result, ignoring one guy instead of another. Personally, I did not give too much importance to the percentage, even less after reading an article written by one of the founders, Christian Rudder, who said that their percentage method was just an experiment and that there was the possibility that these algorithms were not trustworthy at all. Thanks!
In addition to the mainstream sites and apps, there are some specialised sites to help you find someone with the same sexual preferences, religion or body types. Do you feel smart and good-looking? Your online dating site then is Beautiful People, which seems to deny the popular assumption that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Free Fat Dating is for BBW (big beautiful women) and BHM (big handsome men), but you are also welcome if you are just an admirer of the plus sizes. Bondage Buddies is for bondage lovers. Are you looking for someone to share your religious belief? Muslim and Single, Christian Love or Jdate (for Jewish) are waiting for you. If you have no God, there is also Atheist Lover. The list is endless.