Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and while all those happily in relationships are eagerly awaiting their favourite Hallmark holiday, the single members of the population are bracing themselves for the host of sickening #luvubae Instagram posts about to clog up their feeds.
If you’re anything like me, celebrating Valentine’s Day with a mixture of irony and antipathy has become a highly enjoyable pastime. But understandably many of you are perhaps a little bored with the whole anti-Valentine’s Day attitude. Maybe you'd like a crack at celebrating the day with a prospective partner, rather than with your bestie and a jar of Nutella.
So, internet to the rescue! We’ve put together a list of a few ways that you should be able to score a date in time for the big day.
Happn is the new dating app on the block. Similar to Tinder, it presents matches based on location but in a slightly different way. Using your phone's GPS, the app will present you with matches if you’ve been in the same place at the same time. It will also tell you how many times you’ve crossed paths.
While this is a little bit creepy (and quite frankly is a stalker’s wet dream), it’s actually kind of clever. If you repeatedly cross paths with someone at Boost Juice it’s quite likely that you both enjoy delicious juice and will get on much better than if one of you didn’t like delicious juice. If you got to the same places, it means you probably have quite bit in common.
All your matches appear on the home page, you can tap on them to browse through their profile and if you like what you see, then you can tap the heart. If you’ve "hearted" someone and they heart you back then you have a "crush" and you can start chatting to them in a Tinder-esque fashion, hopefully with less pictures of genitalia.
RSVP is the classic online dating site. It's the most popular dating site in Australia — meaning it has the most potential for finding a date!
It’s free to sign up and create your profile. RSVP profiles are quite in-depth and require you to include a lot important information like gender and smoking status. The site also asks for lots of secondary information like star sign and political persuasion. Once you’re profile is done you can search the site for matches and can actually filter by any one of the information fields you’ve filled out. That’s right, if you only want to date swing voters over 5'10, then you can search for swing voters over 5'10. Genius.
Once you’ve found one or twenty profiles that have caught your eye, you can send "kisses" for free too. These are short, pre-scripted message options. “You’re just my type! Want to chat?”, “Yes please! Send me a message!” or my personal favourite, “Thanks, but I don’t think I’m the right one for you.” You’ll use these to work out if you’re both keen on further correspondence and if you are, one of you will have to pay for a "stamp" in order to actually chat. Stamps can be bought in bulk at a discounted price but by themselves they’re a little pricey.
Disclosure: RSVP is owned by Fairfax Media which also owns Allure Media, Gizmodo Australia's parent company.
Most of you will know what Tinder is, but for those of you who have been living under a rock on the moon with very loud headphones in, Tinder is part of the new-generation of dating apps that shows you matches based on your location. It’s not exactly ideal to start chatting with someone, develop a connection and then discover they live in Siberia, so the Tinder location matching is actually one of the best things to ever happen to online dating.
Unlike other online dating sites and apps, Tinder doesn’t allow much in the way of creating an extensive profile. All you can include is a few photos, height, age and just a couple of sentences about yourself. But it does allow you to chat extensively with anyone you match with for free. Rather than the RSVP strategy of selectively finding matches you’ll want to chat with, the idea here is to get as many matches as possible and then chat with them to work out whether or not you’re suited.
Matches that fall within your designated location parameters (which you can set to between 1–160 km) will appear on the home screen of the app, you can then swipe left if you’re not interested or right if you are. If you’ve swiped right on their profile and they swipe right on yours, then you’ll be notified of a new match. All your matches will appear in the chat screen and you can then talk to or block or ignore them — whatever takes your fancy!
There’s also a feature where you can send all of your matches pictures. Do not browse through these unless you feel like looking at someone else’s chest or the aforementioned genitalia.
Plenty of Fish is a kind of hybrid dating app: it combines a classic dating site with an app-based dating platform. Perfect for someone wanting the classic online dating experience but also the convenience of using your phone. It is also an all-in-one platform that combines many of the features of existing apps and sites.
Upon signing up you need to fill out a brief lifestyle questionnaire: Do you have kids? Do you drink? What's your ethnicity? You get access to a dedicated search function, and you can also access "matches" and "ultra matches", based on how well your lifestyle questionnaire lines up with other users. There is also a location-based feature called "Meet Me" that presents you with singles in your general vicinity. My favourite bit is the sneaky feature that allows you to see all the silent lurkers who’ve viewed your profile. Just say hi, weirdo.
While all these features make the app sound complicated and confusing, they can all be easily accessed from the dashboard/home screen of the app. Plenty of Fish is free and best of all it is the most popular dating app right now, meaning there are genuinely plenty of fish on this platform.
OKCupid is one of the fastest growing dating sites in the world. It differs from site like RSVP in that rather than allowing you to search and filter for profiles, it instead uses a very sophisticated matching algorithm to present you with matches. By design you will only be presented with singles that you are compatible with, which is pretty handy if you, like me, detest awkward getting-to-know-you small talk. You only need to answer a few simple questions, like age and location, to sign-up but obviously, the more questions you answer the more targeted your matches will be. Try and answer them all with relatively minimal lying.
The dashboard is simple and easy to use and has a handy little news feed feature that allows you to see who is regularly interacting on the site and how. You can also browse and filter search through your matches, see who’s been looking at your profile and send messages — all for free.
This site is generally regarded as one used by those looking for something a little more serious. So probably not the best option for someone looking for a casual Valentine’s Day "hang". Lots of stage-five clingers about.
Good luck! And may your Valentine’s Day disgust all your single friends.
What's your best advice for scoring an online date? Tell us in the comments!
Pretty young woman image via Shutterstock