It seems like every day there's a new form of online dating. No matter what type of relationship you're looking for — from the "forever" kind to the "friends with benefits" kind — there's an app for that! I've been hearing my girlfriends discuss their wins and losses with a variety of online-dating phone apps, and now I want to hear from you. So this Singles Week, I'm breaking down the newest means of tech-based courtship; weigh in on whether you've had good or back luck with them.
Even when we have the best of intentions when setting up friends, it's not always a home run. One of my friends passed along this text message convo that occurred after she tried to play matchmaker with another girlfriend of ours and a random guy on the dating app Tinder. Sadly, she quickly realized that the guy is a little slow on the uptake. Either that or he doesn't know the difference between compliment and complaint.
Smartphones are a ubiquitous accessory, even for those who don't consider themselves "techies," but have Americans adopted them so fiercely that they'd choose the app-filled minicomputers over sex for a week? A recent survey by Sachs Media Group showed that a majority of female respondents ages 18-34 would be more willing to go without sex than a smartphone.
Men of the same age group, however, would not only give up their iPhone- or Android-powered life for seven days, but also alcohol and caffeine, before going without sex. From driving directions to staying in touch to even making cat photo collages, there's a lot we rely on our phones to do for us, but we're wondering what other gadget geeks think.
In a world of endless social media and endless ways to access information about someone online, is full digital transparency now required in a relationship? In a recent survey by Match.com of 5,000 US singles and 1,000 married people, 50 percent of 20-something singles said they would share passwords with a partner. More interesting yet is that 56 percent of married people would not reveal a password to a spouse.
The number of singles willing to share what is arguably someone's most important piece of digital information drops significantly across age groups, with 41 percent of people in their 30s and 37 percent of those in their 40s confirming password sharing. Not that you'll put that password to constant use (we hope!) snooping on your sweetie's every email, "like," and comment online, but in cases of emergency, having someone else who can access vital information does come in handy.
Of course, there's the line of thinking that swapping passwords is a slippery slope to digital mistrust and jealousy. What's your take: Is learning someone's social-media or email password a 21st-century right of passage in a relationship? Or does it encroach on a partner's right to privacy?
Breakups are never easy, but when you're then forced to tiptoe around postrelationship social media etiquette, things can go from complicated to downright unhealthy. Once you've made the (right) decision to unfriend the ex, easy online stalking via mutual friends or open profile pages only keeps wounds open longer and, according to one study from Brunel University in the UK, makes — big surprise — moving on to a new relationship so much harder.
The study explains that watching an ex partner move on to what can look like greener pastures through social media lenses adds to levels of heartache related to the breakup, continues longing for the person, and even sabotages your personal postrelationship growth. At a time when you should be rediscovering yourself with new interests and life lessons, clicking through pictures of the ex's weekend getaway makes it feel like you're on the losing side.
As great as it would be to remain friends with a former flame, if it doesn't work out in the real world, it's unlikely the online version will fare any better. How do you handle a breakup in the online world?
Single and wishing you could meet someone through friends — rather than, say, at a late-night pizza place? Enter TheDatable, a service that helps you create a network of eligible singles through Facebook. The basic premise of the this online dating option is that since you're meeting through shared connections, you're more likely to have things in common with each match. Even better? There's a much lower chance of fake or embellished profiles, because you can turn to mutual friends as a reference.After creating a profile through Facebook, you can adjust the privacy settings to limit its visibility. And don't worry — none of your dating activity will be shared on Facebook. Then, once you've signed up, you can browse through your friends list to tag eligible friends, and those friends will be invited to share their eligible friends. From there, it's just one big snowball effect.
To put things in perspective, if you tag 50 datable people and they each tag 50 too, then you'd have access to 2,500 eligible singles within two degrees of separation. Plus, you can tap your taken friends as a resource too; if you tag them as Wings, then they'll be able to tag their single friends and introduce them to one another (and you).
What do you think? Would you be interested in using TheDatable service?
Here's a question every geeky gal wants answered: "Where can I meet a single geek?" For all the single ladies out there, here are 10 possible places to uncover scores of single geeks.
- Neighborhood coffee shops — Bring a book or your laptop and hang out at an independent coffee shop several times a week. You're more likely to see regulars (aka good-looking geeks) at local joints than you would at a chain. For an easy opener, ask if you can share the table, then spark up a conversation.
- Night classes — Whether it's a dance lesson, coding class, or novel-writing seminar, classes are a great place to meet a future brainy mate. Pounce on the opportunity to partner up with the cute geek in the room, whether it's to complete a project, study, or edit each other's work.
See the rest of the list when you read more.
If the promise of more sex more often doesn't get you into online games, maybe this will: gaming could be a great way to meet guys. According to a new study by Online University, the odds of you scoring a date with someone who is committed and honest are higher if you're playing World of Warcraft than if you're trolling through hundreds of "matches" on dating sites. The study shows that online gamers spend more time on gaming sites than online daters spend on sites like Match.com and eHarmony (which means you have better odds of meeting more people more often), and WoW players are more likely to share personal information and feelings about themselves with fellow gamers than their "real-life" friends.
The cold, hard fact is there are 12 million people playing World of Warcraft online vs. dating sites, which boast just one million members. That translates to about three percent of the United States population playing online games. A bigger sea means more fish to catch with your button-mashing prowess. Game on!
- If you have unconfirmed plans, emails, and texts pertaining to your plans are allowed. Once you figure out what you're doing, it's time to shut it down. Or at least slow it down.
- If you don't have plans, a hello email is OK, but no more than four or five exchanges in any given "conversation," otherwise it's too much time and focus wasted.
To hear a few more rules to work with, just read more
Yesterday, we found out that Twitter users are "sexiest", but is that going to help you land a date? Probably not. Ladies, if you're looking for a place to network socially, try Google+. A new report shows that 42 percent of Google+ users are single, and a whopping 67 percent of them are male. Those are pretty good odds, especially for those living in NYC — almost four percent of Google+ users reside there.
While Google+ isn't exactly a dating site, it is a great tool to spark conversations with people that share similar interests. I'm curious — have you ever used a social networking site (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or otherwise) to find a date? Were you successful?