Plenty of people aren’t aware of the choices they have for dating sites or apps.
After all, how complicated can it be to sign up and start checking out the options? As it happens, there’s more to it than that.
See, dating platforms offer different things depending on what their target audience wants. Some of them go deep into the psychology-based questionnaires so they can recommend the most relevant matches, and others supply quantity of matches over quality. There’s something there for everyone, it’s just a matter of looking for the one that fits your criteria.
If you’re on a dating platform, chances are you’re looking for romance. But what kind of romance? Is an evening of flirtation over drinks, or a first date that could end up in a lifetime spent together? Different sites are geared towards different things. If you know what to look for, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the results you want. Now let’s get down to brass tacks: what features should you be looking at as you choose the site you’ll sign up with?
1. The way the site prioritises and monitors photos or videos
It should go without saying, but skip the few dating sites that don’t require any photo evidence that the person is who they say they are. The majority of dating platforms require at least one photo, and some of them allow videos as well. They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”; if someone has multiple photos on their profile, you’ll feel like you know more about what you’re getting into if you decide to match with them.
Checking up on a dating site’s nudity policies wouldn’t be a bad idea either. If you’re fine with it, you wouldn’t necessarily need to join a site that monitors for anything that isn’t family-friendly. If that isn’t your cup of tea, a site that has full-time monitors checking for restricted photos would be a better option. Aside from nudity, some sites also prohibit photos that share identifying information. Almost all of them prohibit posting photos of minors, violence, and illegal acts.
Zoosk will actually verify your photos if you request it, and you’ll get a “Photo Verified” badge on your profile. It proves that you’re the real thing, and you can have more confidence in anyone else who also uses this feature.
2. How many details are required to sign up
This can go way deeper than just name, birthdate, and a primary profile photo. For some platforms though, like Tinder, this is all you really need to make an account. Other platforms are able to recommend matches based on your personality and preferences; the process of signing up could take an hour or more once you’ve told the algorithm what it needs to know. Sites like eharmony are marketed towards people who want “love that lasts”, and they have the algorithms to back up the advertising.
If you aren’t quite that invested, check out dating apps instead. They tend to stick with the basics at sign-up, so you can sort through potential matches yourself instead of having an algorithm do it for you.
3. Premium features that will upgrade your dating experience
Some dating platforms offer extra features that you can pay for if you want to step things up a notch. Usually the account will be free; you can match with people, talk with them, and even search for a certain kind of profile without paying a dime. This might sound like plenty, but then some of the premium features can be pretty tempting. For instance, the free version will tell you that your profile got favorited, but the paid extra will tell you who did it. Another popular premium feature is getting notifications when your messages have been read. Information is power, right? It’s not totally necessary, but it sure is nice to know.
4. The size of the dating platform’s user base
It usually makes more sense to join one of the larger dating platforms, but niche sites can be a surprisingly good fit for some people too. Sites like eharmony, Match.com, and Tinder all have millions of registered users. Not only are there more people to choose from, but they’re more likely to actually live near you. No matter how good the site’s algorithm is, joining a smaller dating site might have you turning up empty-handed for a while. This is partly why the bigger platforms are so popular – the sheer number of active users makes the online dating experience so much easier.
Popular cam chat sites like Camgo can be a great option when wanting some face-to-face conversation from the privacy of your own home. Sites like this allow you to meet many people and have conversations to quickly find out if there is chemistry.
Niche dating websites might not come up with matches in every person’s hometown, but they usually offer something else to make up for it: a guaranteed connection with every other user. How is this possible? Well, most of these websites are made specifically for people who share a certain characteristic. There are dating sites for farmers, wine lovers, and vegetarians. If you know you already share a common interest with whoever you match with, it’s easier to establish a bond from the get-go.
5. Whether the dating platform allows you to block and report suspicious accounts
While most of the people you match with will be legitimate, you’re likely to run into a scammer or two if you use the platform long enough. Romance scams are known to cost Americans millions of dollars every year, and there’s no shortage of people willing to hop online for some easy money.
Dating sites don’t want their users to be scammed any more than the users themselves do, so many of them have a block and/or report tool. It doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem by any means, but at least it gives users the chance to help police the site they’re a part of.
The idea of dating may be intimidating, but choosing a dating platform that you’re comfortable with is a good start to getting rid of those jitters.
Now that you’re ready to get started, just think of the possibilities!