Dating apps and websites are like boxes of chocolates: you never know quite what you’re going to get, but the aim of each is the same: to make you happy — while also making money for the site/app developer.
Success is difficult to measure, though, because people will leave an app or site when (a) they’ve found that special someone with whom to enjoy long walks on the beach at sunset; or (b) they haven’t, and give up on whichever service hasn’t worked for them to try another, perhaps, or join a monastery.
I agonise over my profile picture and consider taking a selfie before deciding it’ll look too staged.
Scrolling through others’ biographies, I’m struck by the level of detail many go into.
Some specify what they want friends for – coastal walks, or visiting museums. I keep mine fairly short, mentioning a few interests – yoga, eating out, running – and explaining my reasons for signing up.
Profile done, there’s nothing for it but to start contacting potential friends.
I reply, gushing about how much I love the States, but then hear nothing back. Still, I persevere for a few days and by midweek, I have plans to meet three women. It feels, somehow, as though there’s more at stake than there would be with a romantic date.
There are apps for gays, straights, Jews, Christians, Muslims and seniors. Some are “freemium,” meaning the basics are free, but users are charged for certain features.
Some use your taste in music to hook you up with people, while others are simply about gettin’ down and, well, laid. Pilotimad, Derek and Big Z are all Ottawa-area members of SAM, a locally created singles app that in the five years since it started has attracted close to five million lonely — or randy — hearts worldwide.
And there are more dating apps out there than you could shake a long-stemmed rose or bedazzled riding crop at: Tinder, Hinge, Ok Cupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Plenty of Fish, Match, Grindr, Tastebuds, Down (formerly Bang With Friends), Pure, Flurv, Glober Dating, Crush Match, Smingle, Dating and Friends, Up2Dater, Ashley Madison, e Harmony, Pinch, AYI (Are You Interested?
), Skout, Zoosk, Mate1, BN Dating (Be Naughty), Whos Here, Moco, Speed Date, Jazzed, Christian Mingle, JDate, Mamba, Clossy, Muslim Faces, Senior Match, Inchallah, Casual Club, Badoo, Date Hookup, Miu Meet, Wild Buddies, Meet Me, i Date, SCRUFF, Tagged, The Game, Dating DNA and Singles Around Me (SAM), to name about a half dozen more than I can count on my and my imaginary girlfriend’s fingers and toes.