Online dating graphic

Online dating in 2021

By Amanda Owusu

Posted on February 22, 2021
online dating graphic

Online dating is very popular in Canada, and many people use it to connect with other people in their area. Dating apps like Match.com have over 21-million users all over the world. With technology making online dating easier, this could be the right option for you. It’s also worth noting that online dating is very popular right now because many people are not able to go outside and meet others because of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This article will help you understand what exactly online dating is and how to get started. This article will also introduce you to different apps and websites you can use to begin your online dating journey.

What is online dating?

Online dating is a modern way to meet people who are interested in forming connections and relationships. These sites allow you to create a profile with pictures and a short paragraph about yourself that can be seen by others. You can also view other people’s profiles and sort through profiles by selecting different categories. Eventually you can connect with compatible daters who you may be interested in and have conversations with them.

What apps and websites are there?

There are many apps and websites that you can use. Here is a list of some of the most common dating websites and apps in Canada.

Match

Match is a dating website and app that has been around for over 20 years. Most of their services are free, but you can get a membership to access all their features, such as receiving notifications when someone reads your messages and having your profile highlighted on the site. The memberships start at $17.99 per month. You can create a profile with up to 26 pictures and fill out additional profile sections, like your exercise habits and religion. Match then takes this information and connects you with other singles, who are looking for features you have or features you’re looking for. Unlike other apps, you don’t have to match with a person before messaging them. Match has over 21.5-million users with a majority between the ages of 25–34.

OKCupid

OKCupid is an online dating website that uses a compatibility rate to help you find people you may be interested in. On this site, you set up a profile with an introduction and pictures and then answer questions. These questions create a compatibility rate that you will see on other people’s profiles and will help you decide who to match with. A study done by SurveyMonkey Intelligence, a company that researches mobile apps insights, said in 2016 that most of the users were between the age of 30 and 44.

Tinder

Tinder is an online dating app that allows users to swipe to like or dislike another user. You can upload up to six pictures and write a short paragraph about yourself. If two users swipe ‘like’ on each other, they are matched with each other and are able to exchange messages. Tinder tends to be popular with 18–24 year-old age groups. A third of their users are between these ages.

Plenty Of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a popular online dating website and app that is well-known in Canada. With over 4 million active users a day from across the world, the potential to meet your match is great. It’s said that most users on Plenty Of Fish are between the ages of 30 and 40. You’ll first need to set up a profile where you can upload up to eight photos. You can also take a personality questionnaire to help match you with compatible singles. Plenty of Fish is known for making it easier for people to send messages to other people, unlike other apps that limit your communication. Plenty of Fish is free, but allows you to upgrade for $19.99 monthly. The upgrade offers access to special features such as seeing everyone you matched with at one time, having your messages moved to the top of a person’s inbox, and changing your location.

eHarmony

eHarmony is an online dating website and app that helps connect singles looking for a long-term relationship. Similar to other websites, you first create a profile introducing yourself and upload up to 12 pictures. You then complete a questionnaire that connects you with compatible matches in the area you selected. eHarmony is free, but you can pay for a special membership, where you can access special features, such as viewing all of the photos of people who matched with you at once and unlimited contact with your matches. Memberships start at $19.99 per month for a whole year or $59.99 for just a single month. This dating platform is known for connecting people who are looking for long-term relationships. eHarmony also has a dedicated section for seniors to help them meet other singles.

Bumble

Bumble is a great app and website that gives you the option to look for and connect with potential dating partners, friends, and like-minded professionals. Bumble allows you to upload six pictures and create a brief dating profile. You can type a few sentences about yourself or answer question prompts to display on your profile. The design of the app is similar to that of Tinder, as you can also swipe left or right through profiles and are then matched with people. Once you match with someone, you have 24 hours to talk with them; otherwise, the match disappears. Bumble has many great free features. They offer video chat, conversation starters, and review of dating profiles you might have swiped past by accident. Bumble allows you to upgrade to a membership starting at $24.99 every month for a year or $39.99 a single month. With this membership, you gain access to free profile boosts that show your profile to more people, the option to look for matches in different areas, and the opportunity to extend your matches past the expiry date. Bumble is a great dating app for all ages and is most commonly used by 18–29 year-olds.

Advantages and disadvantages of online dating sites:

Advantages:

  • Digital Age: No better time than now

    New technology can make online dating easier for you now than ever before. There are now many apps you can choose from, which can help you find one that suits you best. There are also many unique features, such as compatibility tests that can help you find the right person easier.

  • Convenience

    Because online dating takes places from the comfort of your home, it’s easy and convenient. You no longer need to go out to meet singles or attend social gatherings where you may feel uncomfortable. You can now connect with eligible daters from the safety of your home.

  • laptop and accessories on a desk

  • Connect to more people

    Instead of being limited to the people you cross paths with, you now have the opportunity to connect with daters that you would never meet otherwise. Dating websites and apps allow you to connect with people from all over the world.

  • Some sites allow people to verify their identities

    Another advantage of using online dating websites is that some, like Tinder and eHarmony, allow you to verify your identity by showing your identification or connecting your account to another social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram. This helps you know that the person you are speaking with is real and who they say they are. Not all websites and apps have this feature so be mindful of this when making your choice.

Disadvantages:

  • People sometimes don’t tell the truth

    eHarmony, a popular dating website, reports in their study that 53 per cent of people lie in their profiles. This is a common issue with online social networks and dating websites. Sometimes, the person you’re speaking with is not who they say they are or misrepresents themself. To avoid this, it’s important to double-check that the person you have been matched with is who they say they are and keep your eyes open for any suspicious red flags.

  • Lack of face-to-face interaction

    Because of its online nature, a lot of the physical elements of attraction are missing from this romantic experience. The lack of face-to-face interaction might also make it harder to evaluate a potential match.

  • Crowded Space

    Online dating websites have millions of users on their apps and websites every day. This may make the online digital space feel crowded and difficult to navigate, as there are so many people using the apps and websites.

How to date online:

Setting up your online dating profile is the most important part of the process. This creates people’s first impressions of you, and if done properly, it can connect you to the person you’re looking for. Your online dating profile usually consists of a brief introduction, pictures, and sometimes a personality questionnaire.
Online dating profile

When creating your profile and writing your introduction, called a “bio,” it’s best to keep it short, simple, and usually about five or six sentences. Less is more when writing your profile, since people are more likely to read the entire profile when it’s short than when it’s long. A few sentences about yourself and what you are looking for is a good start. You can also mention your hobbies. If you’re a humorous person, you can add a joke to your profile. Adding a personal touch is a good idea when writing your profile, as you don’t want to appear to be computerized and cold.

If you’re having trouble writing your online profile, you can get your trusted friends to help you. You can ask them to tell you what they like about you, and you can mention those aspects in your profile.

Choosing your pictures is also an important part of this process. You should try to include six different pictures of you on your dating profile. It’s best if these pictures are recent and show you in a way that’s similar to how you look now. You should try to smile in these pictures. It’s also good to include some full-body pictures if you feel comfortable. It is also recommended to share pictures that reveal what your hobbies are. If you love books, you can add a photo where you can be seen reading a book. If you love to travel, you can share a picture of a time you visited a foreign country. These are great ways to connect with and attract people who share similar interests.

Another tip to help you choose your profile pictures is to consider what people compliment most about you and share pictures that show off that feature. You can only upload a few pictures, so it’s important to put your best face forward!

Finally, when you’re done creating your profile, you can start looking at and matching with other people. It’s normal to send the first message or make the first move. You can do this by asking how they are doing or making a comment about something you saw on their profile.

Do’s and don’ts of online dating:

Do

  • Do say hello and start conversations

    Sending the first message is normal on online dating apps. Don’t be scared to make the first move and reach out to someone if you are interested in them.

  • Do try different apps

    There are many apps around these days, and if you’re not having luck with one, you can try another. You can even use more than one app at the same time to expand your dating pool.

  • Do change your profile if you’re not liking the results you’re getting

    If you don’t like the results or matches you’re getting, switch your profile around. You can do this by changing your introduction or pictures. To get better results, it’s important to make sure that your profile and photos are a good representation of present-day you. People don’t like when others misrepresent themselves on dating websites.

  • Do be mindful of age limits and the age of consent

    If you’re using online dating websites, it’s best for you to keep the age of the person you’re speaking with in mind. If you are an adult, you should not connect with minors on this dating app, as this can get you into serious trouble. In Canada, you are considered to be an adult at age 18. If you’re an adult, you should not converse with people younger than 19 because if you do, it can be seen as inappropriate and exploitative.

Don’t

  • Don’t share sensitive personal information or send private photos

    Don’t share your personal information, such as your address, bank account information, job, or identification, with people you have never met. You should not send private or personal photos of yourself to people you don’t know. This can put you in danger.

  • Don’t send money to people you have never met

    Don’t send money to people you have never met because this could be a scam, and you could lose your money.

  • Don’t meet up with people in unsafe situations

    Don’t meet up with people you have never met in real life in places that are isolated with few or no people around. This could put your safety at risk.

  • Don’t say offensive things or expose people’s personal information

    Don’t make rude or offensive comments when speaking to people on the websites or app or expose someone’s personal information. Personal information includes someone’s full name, address, job, and bank information. This is against the policy of many dating apps and websites, and it could get you in trouble with the police.

Online dating is a great tool you can use to connect with other people around you. With COVID-19 restrictions coming into effect all over the world, online dating provides you with a way to connect with other people without having to leave your home. Lockdown can be lonely, but you can change this by trying out some of the apps mentioned in this article. Now that you know more about online dating and how to use it, the (dating) world is your oyster!

Happy Dating!

**Note: with the COVID19 restrictions in place, many people are not able to go out and meet their online matches. As a result, a lot of people are getting creative and using video messaging platforms to go on virtual dates. COVID19 is a unique situation, so if you’re online dating during this time prepare to get creative and try something new.

Online Dating Resources:

Online Dating Safety Tips:
https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn

Online Dating Profile Tips:
https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/online-dating-advice/online-dating-profile-tips/online-dating-profile-tips-work/

Examples of Online Dating Profiles:
https://www.eharmony.co.uk/dating-advice/using-eharmony/learning-from-three-awesome-online-dating-profiles

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