Where Do People Meet Their Significant Others?

I’m currently reading comedian Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance” – a book about how modern relationships form and grow with all the new online dating technology at our disposal. It’s pretty fascinating to see how things have changed.

One of my favorite sections of the book so far explores how people meet their husbands/wives. According to the research cited in the book –

In 1940, the two biggest ways heterosexual Americans met their spouses/significant others was through family (24%) and friends (21%).

Now however, things have changed because we’ve got the internet. Between 2005 and 2012, one third of couples who got married met online. Wowza.

The most interesting surprise for me was that in 1995, the portion of people who met through friends – 40% –  fell drastically in 2010 to 28%.

Personally, I’d much prefer to meet someone through friends than online. And I don’t think I’m alone in that feeling. So why is there this big drop? We all still go out with our friends, right? We’re all looking to set our friends up, right?

Maybe it’s that we’re so absorbed in our phones when we go out that we’re not paying much attention to the people at the bar, or at the music or sporting event we’re at. Our little online bubbles provide us with much needed stimulation, but they’re taking away the opportunity to really engage with ‘friends of friends.’ What a shame.

Maybe we’ve become too cynical – and we think we have a better chance online than meeting a new friend at a bar. Or maybe our friends just assume we have our little online dating bubble and they don’t want to interfere.

Whatever the case may be, I say meeting through friends of friends can be one of the best ways to meet a future partner. So if you’re hosting a night out, why not play matchmaker and send some good karma out into the world?

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Online Dating In Your Thirties

Online dating in your thirties is awesome. It’s also terrifying. I know some people who hate online dating and others who swear by it. I’ve gone to weddings of friends who met their significant others online, and have also listened to multiple friends tell me that they’d never go on an online date again.

If you’re single in your thirties and have never given it a go, I urge you to try. Obviously, stay safe and meet in public places and all that good stuff- but otherwise, be open to new experiences. If you want to be single for awhile, that’s awesome and perfectly okay, but if you’re trying to meet someone and don’t want to do online dating because it seems scary or ‘not genuine,’ I think you’re potentially missing out. I know that some of you may swear that you only want to meet your special someone IRL (In Real Life), but I feel like online dating only increases the number of people you end up meeting, and helps you connect with people who you might have had a hard time finding otherwise.

You’re busy and have a lot of things going on in your life and career- it’s hard to meet people, especially in big cities where everyone’s busy and rushing around. You probably don’t want to limit yourself to guys/ladies you meet at bars, or solely date your coworkers. Sure I know a few couples who’ve met in one of those ways, but I believe that dating is actually kind of a numbers game, and online dating exponentially increases the number of people you can meet. And meeting new people can be fun in its own right– even if you don’t find your soulmate right away.

So without further ado, here are some free online dating sites and apps to try:

OkCupidokcupid.com

OkCupid is probably one of the most tried and true free dating apps out there. It’s been around for a long time- it launched in 2004- so it has a lot of users, which is good. It’s both a website and an app, so this is a good one if you don’t want to be online dating on your smartphone only. OkCupid is one of the most writing intensive of the online dating sites- it requires you to fill out a bunch of question and answer statements (what they call ‘essays’, but they’re not essays). It’s a great app for sheer breadth of people you can meet, and, if you’re a stickler for grammar, it really showcases whether someone is a good writer or not.

Tinder gotinder.com

Tinder is a swiping app only, and is not a website. You swipe people either left or right depending if you like them or not- so Tinder is the opposite of OkCupid, in that it’s not writing based- solely looks based. Tinder is known more as a hookup site, but isn’t limited to that…so it can be a bit on the hazy side in terms of what people want from being on the app. The swipes on this app are unlimited, so it’s known to become an addictive habit. Most people who hate online dating are Tinder users, so I don’t recommend it for beginners to the online dating world. I’m also not a big fan of Tinder anyway, because of their semi-icky nature and ageist policies.

Hingehinge.co

Most people don’t know Hinge, but it’s slowly becoming an online dating fan favorite. It works by connecting you to friends of friends on Facebook, so it’s kind of like being introduced to your friends’ friends’ friends without the trouble of an introduction.  You don’t have to do much to set it up, because, as it works through Facebook, it’s able to pull a lot of your data from your FB profile- so you don’t have to upload any new photos or write that much at all. The Hinge profile is a profile you can create in minutes. Also, although Hinge, like Tinder, is also swiping app, it limits your swipes to only a couple of people a day, so you can put down your phone, stop the madness, and have a life outside of the app. Hinge is a great app for online dating beginners since it’s easy and user-friendly, especially if you have a good amount of Facebook friends (the more FB friends you have, the more recommendation possibilities for the app).

Bumble– bumble.com

Bumble is a swiping app, like Tinder and Hinge. However, there are a few major differences. One– it isn’t known to be a hookup only app the way Tinder is. Two– It doesn’t go through Facebook. Three (and most importantly)– It only allows women to message first. That’s the Bumble catch. So if you “match” with someone (you both swipe right= “yes”to liking each other), then only the woman can say the first hello. If she doesn’t, the match disappears within 24 hours and you’ll never speak again (on the app at least). Make of Bumble what you will, but I think it’s a neat and different little marketing concept. Bumble also has unlimited swiping- a la Tinder- so it can be addicting. And Bumble was actually started by Whitney Wolfe, one of the cofounders of Tinder. And Jane actually wrote about Bumble here before.

So go enjoy! Don’t be ashamed to be single in your thirties! You may never get to have this amazing time again, and some of your married friends may even be quite a good bit jealous of you. So go date, online date, and live it up!

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What the hell, Tinder?! Blatant Ageism Towards People Over Thirty in the Online Dating Sphere

Tinder recently introduced a form of “surge pricing” for its famous dating app. They’re now charging American singles 30+ years of age twice what those under 30 will pay. The app will be $9.99 for those under 30, and $19.99 for those 30 and older.

In the UK, Tinder will charge the 28 and older single crowd more than FOUR times the cost for younger generations. Converted from pounds, this comes out to around $23 compared to around $6!

The price change comes as Tinder introduces it’s new Premium upgrade, Tinder Plus. If you use the free version of Tinder, it will still be free…for now.

Tinder can get away with charging whatever the heck it feels like because it’s owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, which controls 27 percent of of the $2.2 billion dating-services industry. Included in IAC’s portfolio are Match.com and OkCupid. Heard of them?

Although I’ve personally never used Tinder (well, I’ve swiped through on a friend’s app), this price surging strikes me as blatant ageism. It’s discrimination pure and simple! Isn’t it difficult enough to be over 30 and single? Does there really need to be a dating app pointing out that you’re too old and therefore not as valuable to the online dating scene? There’s already a shameful age bias to being single over thirty – does Tinder really need to add to it?

Although it’s TINDER afterall, and you might expect them to pull a dick move like this, it’s still making a pretty awful statement. Tinder’s singling out older daters…just because it can. Even TechCrunch wrote an article titled New Tinder Charges Whatever It Wants. They say, “older users, who theoretically have less supply and offer less demand, pay a greater amount for extra dating tools.” Tinder’s excuse is basically that it’s courting the younger crowd, who “are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.

I get the idea of this excuse (younger people are poorer), but the policy still sends a crappy message to quite a large group of “older” singles (who aren’t old at all). Plus, people in their 20’s aren’t necessarily poorer than people in their 30’s anyway. And the excuse just seems like a blatant marketing lie. Wired magazine says, in their article titled Yes, Tinder’s New Pricing is Ageist Pure And Simple, “why not just be honest: Tinder is charging us more because it thinks we are desperate. Desperate to find our last chance at love and willing to pay whatever it takes.”

I’m hoping that singles over 30 boycott the Premium Tinder until this price difference is adjusted. Possibly, we should boycott Tinder altogether for making such a biased statement. Hopefully Tinder gets the message and comes up with a middle ground price that’s equal for all ages.

Do I think this is likely? Nope. Do I think dating in your 30’s is fair? Nope. But one can dream.

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