Use These Dating Apps if You Want to Find Something Long-Term
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Dating apps were created to make finding your next relationship easier. With so many different platforms to choose from (and plenty of members signed on for a good time, not a long time), trying to find a match who’s here for the right reasons can feel kind of impossible. If you’re starting to get burned out from your online search for “the one,” it might be time to reevaluate your strategy — and the apps that you’re using — in order to find her. If this sounds a lot like your current online dating life, it’s time to rethink the process and platforms you’ve become accustomed to, and try using something new.
We asked a few dating experts for their best tips and advice on which dating apps will help you find a match who’s also looking for commitment. Here are some recommendations for the best apps to use if you’re ready to settle down, along with a few smart strategies that will help you find her in no time.
How to Use Dating Apps to Find Your Next Relationship
If you’re struggling to find what you want on a dating app (read: someone who’s interested in finding a serious relationship), one challenge you may be up against is that you’re not sure what your matches are looking for. Elena Murzello, author of “The Love List: A Guide to Getting What You Want,” says to take a cue from this, and make your own intentions clear on your profile. “Saying, ‘I’m interested in marriage and settling down immediately’ comes across too strong,” she says, “but something like, ‘I’m looking for a committed relationship’ opens up the conversation.” When writing your bio, Murzello says to keep it short and sweet, and include what a potential long term partner would want to know about you. “Complete a solid profile. Having photos that showcase your personality is key: Do they invite others to want to get to know the real you? Keep in mind that no one has time to read a novel, so write succinctly and include your interests!”
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As far as determining whether or not your matches are here for the real thing, Murzello says a picture’s worth a thousand words. “Look at the photos carefully,” she suggests. “Are these all half-naked photos? Maybe the person is looking for a hot hookup. Are they half drunken photos? She’s probably partying and not looking for something serious.” Low-quality photos or profiles without a bio are also signs that this person isn’t putting much effort in, and isn’t looking for something serious.
The time of day or night that you’re typically chatting with a match can also be a telltale sign of what she’s looking for. “Pay attention to when they’re making conversation with you,” says Lauren Levine, dating expert and co-host of The Margarita Confessionals. “Is it during the workday when they’re bored and trying to pass the time? Is it really late at night? This is probably someone who’s not looking for a relationship. Also, the conversation should have substance to it. If it’s just, ‘How was your weekend?’ or ‘What are you doing today?’ for days on end, they’re probably not looking to get to know you on a deeper level.”
Levine says to also keep this rule of thumb in mind when you’re messaging matches. “If they have a real conversation and want to get to know you as well, they’re probably interested in something more,” she says. “If you’re getting one-line responses, they’re probably not trying to invest in someone. Also, meet up as soon as you feel comfortable. It’s so much easier to understand what someone is like and what they’re looking for when you’re with them face to face.”
The Best Dating Apps for Relationships
You’ve seen the commercials, you’ve heard the success stories, and while you’ve probably toyed with the idea of putting money behind your search for a relationship – but you still haven’t pulled the trigger. If you haven’t recognised the theme here, let us be straightforward with you: The more involved a dating app is, the less likely users will use it for low-commitment casual encounters. There are plenty of functionalities you get with Match that make the process more straightforward, from algorithms that point out similarities when viewing profiles to the ability to upload more than a handful of photos, so that members can get a fuller picture of the person they’re chatting with. While you’re able to use some features for free, a month’s membership will set you back £29.99 (although it gets cheaper the more months you sign up for).
Check out Match.com
eHarmony has always sold itself on the effectiveness of its algorithm, called the Compatibility Matching System. In order for it to work, you’re going to have to put in the effort too – sign up includes a lengthy questionnaire (but really, if you want to find the one, spending 45 minutes on a personality test ranks pretty low on the effort scale). The site crunches all this information to present you with matches who’ll have more than just their last holiday in common with you, and sends you an average of 10 matches each day. There are no search options on eHarmony and it’s not cheap compared to other dating sites – but rest assured that after 35 years of success, the emphasis here is on quality rather than quantity.
Check out eHarmony
OG dating site OkCupid has had a rebrand and is now positioning itself as a relationship-focused app. Adverts aside, there are features on OkCupid that lend themselves well to finding a match that’s looking for the same level of commitment you are. For starters, the platform allows you to create a more comprehensive profile, which means members fill out their interests, what their typical Friday night looks like and what they’re doing with their lives, giving everyone a more well-rounded idea of who they’re chatting with. You can also search using keywords (think “commitment” or “looking for something serious”). Depending on how many questions your match has answered on issues that are typically off the table for first date talk, like politics and religion, you’re also given a compatibility percentage to see what your odds are.
Check out OkCupid
Online dating burnout can happen to anyone – but for relationship-focused women who are getting grimy messages sent to their dating app inboxes on the regular, this make them throw in the towel. Bumble combats this by making the app’s messaging features put ladies first. “One of the biggest turn offs from online dating is that women are absolutely bombarded with messages from guys,” Anderson explains. “This can turn a lot of eligible women off and lead to some uneven power dynamics with many online sites. With Bumble, once you match with a potential partner the woman must make the first move. This allows for a better experience for women, a high quality of users, and overall a better experience for everyone.”
Check out Bumble
Coffee Meets Bagel
The more potential matches you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to find the right woman, yes? According to James Anderson, dating expert at Beyond Ages, this way of thinking can actually end up backfiring when you’re in the market for something more serious. “Many dating apps and dating sites are essentially a numbers game,” he says. “You look through hundreds of profiles, message dozens of people, and maybe get a few dates. With Coffee Meets Bagel things are very different. You receive a daily match that is properly filtered to be in line with what you are looking for. Since you only get one match a day, each person actually takes the time to review the match instead of making a decision in two seconds based on the photo.”
Check out Coffee Meets Bagel
The League operates under a similar limited match system as Coffee Meets Bagel. In fact, there’s even a wait list to sign up, which can range from a few days to months depending on the user base available where you live. After you jump through these hoops, you’re given three matches per day based on the preferences you outline, which include proximity and age. While getting started on The League can take a while, the app’s acceptance process does ensure that members are taking it seriously. The League will actually kick inactive users off after two weeks, which ensures the people you’re matching with are actually using it.
Check out The League
Similar to Coffee Meets Bagel (and true to its name), Once gives you one match per day based on your preferences. You also won’t come across any blurry, low quality photos on the app, since there’s a team that verifies each profile photo uploaded to ensure it’s of good quality (which can take up to 24 hours). While not as extensive as some of the other apps on this list, there are a list of questions you’ll have to answer in order for the app to start curating potential matches. Your daily match expires within 24 hours, which means users stay engaged in order to make sure they don’t miss out.
Check out Once
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