One of the most interesting ways to spark a conversation with a couple is to ask how they met. Maybe they were introduced at work, or perhaps they were set up by friends. Some could be high school sweethearts, and others could’ve said hello at a bar. But more and more often, the answer is a one-word meet-cute: Online.
Case in point: According to a 2017 study by The Knot, 17 percent of brides met their future spouses through dating apps. In fact, it’s the same percentage of the number of people who said they met through offline methods, like being introduced by friends. So, if you’re looking for long-term love and you’ve exhausted all of your social circles, then maybe it’s time to consider online dating as a place to meet and find that special someone. To navigate new (digital) territory, we consulted a dating pro.
“So many singles have a fast-food mentality when it comes to finding a partner online,” says Carmelia Ray, an online dating coach and celebrity matchmaker. “People should have realistic expectations and a realistic timeline to find their future partner. Unfortunately, apps like Tinder created the swiping phenomenon and the false hope you can meet a great match instantly through the so-called hook-up culture.”
In order to use online dating as a way to find a long-term love, Ray says it’s important for your profile to reflect that. Your photos should be recent (within the last six months) and of you only—no group shots. When writing about yourself, be positive, welcoming, and creative. “Your profile bio should read like the start of an interesting novel you can’t put down,” Ray continues. “Be willing to share your life and personality traits in a story form.”
And as for things you shouldn’t do, Ray has some insights as well. Don’t complain about online dating or be at all negative in your profile. You should also shy away from listing the types of people or activities you’re not interested in, instead sharing what you’re looking for to build a bond. Lastly, Ray emphasizes that “shirtless selfies are a no-no.”
Once your dating profile is in top shape, it’s time to put yourself out there. We asked Ray to share the eight best dating apps for relationships she’d recommend to singles who are ready for commitment. Read on to get her advice, and soon you may be sharing how you and your partner found each other.
The App: The League
“This app is best for professional, educated singles between 25 and 40 who want to date someone in their professional and educational league,” says Ray. “You can also check out League groups to meet singles in real life.”
The App: Happn
“This app is great for connecting with singles with who you frequently cross paths in your life,” Ray continues. “You can view profiles of singles who travel where you go and also view mutual interests. Never walk by your perfect partner again!”
The App: Coffee Meets Bagel
“This dating app focuses on quality over quantity, serving you a limited number of profiles based on common interests so you never feel overwhelmed with swiping,” Ray notes.
The App: Luxy
“Luxy is for elite singles and verified millionaires looking for love,” she adds. “The Luxy dating experience is highly personalized since it’s made up of selective singles who enjoy similar lifestyles.”
The App: Zoosk
“Zoosk uses ‘behavioral matchmaking’ technology to recommend the best matches for long-term relationships,” she says. “Plus, Zoosk uses unique photo verification to ensure there are zero surprises when you meet in real life. With over three million messages sent daily and 40 million members, you’re bound to meet someone in no time.”
The App: WooYou
“This app [is] based in Toronto [and] works to make a quality match,” Ray explains. “Instead of swiping through profiles, you can match based on common interests and activities to ‘woo’ your perfect partner.”
The App: Match
“Match is one of the most widely recognized and trusted dating app for singles,” she continues. “It has been responsible for thousands of marriages over the last two decades. You can now share video stories to let someone know you are the real deal. Match also offers live events to meet other singles in real life who share common interests.”
The App: OurTime
“OurTime is the number one dating app helping singles over 50 find love,” she says. “Discover others who believe that swiping is not the answer to making a love connection.”