Just in case it helps, we talked to some of our smartest and most compassionate friends who are also pretty good at dating. (Let’s make it perfectly clear that these are not The Dating Bible. It’s not like you need The Dating Bible to guide you through the fun parts of dating and the less fun parts of dating, too!) What we do know is this: Dating can be fun, but dating can also be tough, complicated, and, y’know, frustrating. Is that just the whole dating thing? I’m not sure. But at least we can help you through the awkward-ness—and maybe even get you out of a few online dating faux pas.
1. The Ultimate Dating-To-Dinner Experiment. It’s hard to compete with the world’s most famous photobooth; what can you say about your own love life to a stranger who made your day by letting you take a picture with him or her? A classic, and then some.
2. The Text That Changes Everything. You could send a stream of great texts throughout the day—as long as you keep them (OK, probably) PG-13. On the other hand, it might make you feel pretty silly when your date responds to a message from you 20 minutes later and it’s just a picture of you and your cat.
3. The Hot-Girl Friend Zone. There’s nothing worse than getting dumped by a woman. There’s another thing that’s worse: Never having had a hot girlfriend in the first place. If you want to end up with the latter, you’ve got to convince her you’re man enough to be a good love interest. So what’s the answer?
4. The One That Comes From Nowhere. We had a gal approach one of our writers at a party. She was grabbing for attention, which, in a way, was a little embarrassing to be the target of. While chatting with us, she decided to let slip an e-mail address. Hee hee.
Because there are so many more dating sites and apps than there were even 10 years ago (heck, there are now too many to list), it’s easier than ever to find someone to date. Heck, you can even find dating websites for people who want to date other cats or people with webcams. But the modern dating landscape is so broad and nebulous that it’s difficult to know which apps and sites are the best.
In other words, it’s a little tricky to find out which dating sites and apps are legit.
So, before you waste time and gas going on crazy dates, check out these 11 sites that might just help you find love:
The granddaddy of the dating site heap is OkCupid, a free site that’s a little bit like Tinder. You search for profiles, and if you both agree to be friendly, you can send each other messages for free. OkCupid also makes it easy to schedule dates at the time and place of your choosing.
Tinder is a mobile app that pairs you up with nearby potential dates.
Another highly rated online dating site, PlentyOfFish (POF) allows you to search for matches by location and read people’s profiles before you contact them. POF also has an app, but it’s not nearly as good as the website.
4) The Match
The Match is an app for those looking to meet people on the road.
If you’re looking to meet people in your neighborhood on Foursquare, then you should sign up for the app. There are a bunch of “cougar” groups and meet-ups that post events for singles in your area to join.
Cupid is yet another free dating site, but it’s best known for its exclusive feature, “More Like This,” which allows you to type in a common phrase such as “I love cats” and find a member who shares your love of animals.
This dating site caters to gay and bi men.
Not only is Grindr the most popular gay dating app, but it’s also the best app for (straight) men to connect with guys in their area who are looking to hook