A Comparison of the Best Online Dating Sites & Apps


The Downfall of Digital Dating & How to Overcome It


As technology evolves, so does the dating game. The good news is the modern gal isn’t without plenty of available bachelors right at her fingertips, literally. With one single tap of her phone, she has access to hundreds and hundreds of single men. The bad news, however, is that men and women judge books by their cover more than ever. Dating apps have become the libraries of single men and women who you can rent to take out, and the smartphone is the library card.

The Downfall of Digital Dating & How to Overcome It

Tinder: The New Rule to the Online Dating Game

In the past, websites like Match.com, eHarmony and OKCupid were the top resources for online dating. Then, Tinder came along and transformed digital dating with its quick and simple swipe interface. Forget filling out pages of a relationship questionnaire or reading profiles to find a potential match. With Tinder, it comes down to a glance at a single picture to determine a person’s worthiness of romantic pursuit (or one-night hook-up).

The dating mobile app is predicted to have nearly 50 million active users with 12 million matches. The app processes more than a billion swipes per day, and users spend about 90 minutes a day on the app, which surpasses the average time spent on Facebook. Not only is the swipe-style dating app popular and growing, but it’s addictive.

The Downfall of Digital Dating & How to Overcome It

An Unkind & Unrealistic Dating Landscape

Tinder presents a treacherous dating territory. You grow accustomed to easy access to hundreds of singletons, and there’s always potential for the next one to be more appealing and more attractive. Even while on a date, the high of a match can be more exciting to pursue than a true connection with real potential in person.

For example, a man in hot pursuit of “the next best thing” can mindlessly and unapologetically dispose of the person he’s currently dating or even just talking to. Known as “ghosting,” a disinterested man (or woman) drops communication and disappears without a trace, let alone an explanation. The options are endless, and everyone is merely just a profile, not a person.

Before you judge a man guilty of ghosting, think about how the phone screen also protects you. The dating world can be harsh, especially with the advent of dating through a mobile app that determines your eligibility based on the two L’s — looks and location. It’s no wonder you feel pressure to curate the perfect profile picture that makes you seem flawless. Competition in the dating game is fierce. To compete, you need a killer selfie, laid-back sense of humor, interest in fitness and football, perfectly timed wit and “cool girl” attitude.

The Downfall of Digital Dating & How to Overcome It

Stay Positive, He’s Out There

If you’re exasperated and exhausted with the modern dating culture, don’t lose hope. According to research by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people. However, 88 percent of people (including myself) met their partner without the help of a digital platform. In other words, you should mix and match it up. Ask your friends to set you up. Keep looking for the one, both online and offline, with these dating tips:

  • Snap a selfie: Women who post selfies receive 4 percent more messages, claims a Zoosk study. Embrace your iPhone as a first-impression tool and capture spontaneous moments while out and about. You don’t have to pose in front of the mirror with pouty lips to attract a man, either. Live your life and snap a selfie during your happiest and most authentic moments.
  • Make new friends: A hot and heated hookup is romantic, but sometimes the most successful relationships grow from a trusting friendship. Expand your social circle over a shared interest, such as joining a running or hiking club. Meetup offers a wide range of groups for people to meet others without the pressure of romance and impressing one another. Create friendships and a date may just become an unexpected outcome.
  • Be present and open: Invest in online and offline dating by being present and giving everyone a fair chance. Focus on the person you’re interested in and ditch your own superficial cues. Also, be aware of when you may need to take a break from the dating app. If your head is constantly down with your face to the screen, you may be missing out on opportunities for real-life interactions that could lead to love.

But most of all: Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever settle! I was so close to resigning myself to either being single forever, or moving to a smaller city in hopes of finding more genuine guys there. Luckily, I have always been of the mindset that it’s better to be single than with someone who’s wrong for me, because I’d just broken up with a guy when a friend set me up on a blind date. I was so apathetic about dating at that point that I blew him off a couple of times before finally meeting him. Our first date was three hours long and we were engaged in just about a month. After years of bad first dates and two-faced men, I really didn’t see that coming!


Want more? Check out an educated comparison of the top dating sitesone woman’s Internet dating experience, and a fun and adventurous guide to speed dating. You can also learn why you can’t find love in NYC, or how to hook (& keep) a real man.

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. Merry Robinson

    This is interesting! I have never been a big fan of online dating sites. Thanks for giving us nice information.

  2. Jenny Garett

    When you’re into digital dating, you’ll feel pressured to decide immediately whether you like them or not. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. That is life, you have to work for something. I won’t say I’ll never try using it again, but for now I’d rather just get out of the house and do the things I love, like exercising. Hopefully I’ll meet someone interesting that way.

  3. Cornelia Green

    People often forget that they are interacting with an actual human being, and treat the experience like it’s a shopping trip.

  4. Kimberly Vigil

    I’ve been in the online dating for quite a long time and I know a lot of people that have had got lucky with online dating. I met my fiance in an online dating site. I’m so happy that everything turned out really well for me. I think online dating has both ups and downs. It depends on how you handle every situation.

  5. Rosemary Robles

    You’ve discussed this pros and cons of digital dating in pretty good manner.

  6. Betty O'Leary

    You never know where you find true love. If you find it through an app, then so be it! Who cares, as long as you’re happy.

  7. Celine Carter

    There is nothing wrong with internet dating as long as you set out exactly what you are after. 🙂

  8. Lana Urie

    Why is everybody freaking out about online dating or date apps? It doesn’t create or change anything, it merely enables a desire that already exists. People still fall in love, get married, do normal things. Apparently we are less promiscuous than half a generation ago. The World has not ended.

  9. Marina Henderson

    With internet dating, people are always looking for the bigger, better deal, everyone messes everyone else about and success rates for online dating are quite low as a result.

  10. Some comments made me cringe. If that’s what people want to do let them. If you’re not up for it, don’t do it. As for all this ‘people don’t socialise anymore’, what? Try going to a cocktail bar on a Friday night, you’ll actually find rather a lot of people there!

  11. Lucretia Asher

    i may have bucked the trend but i met my boyfriend on tinder and we are now in a loving, exclusive relationship and are very happy together. I’m sure we’re not the only ones?

  12. Samatha Anthony

    I met my wonderful other half on a dating site and we have been together almost 2 years now. We moved in to a wonderful house and now have a cat! He is still as romantic now as the day we met and I couldn’t be more in love if I tried. Online dating helped me meet my soul mate – I have. I nothing but thanks for it 🙂

  13. Debbie Jones

    ‘ve just bought a house with my tinder match, so it can happen! We were not the type for one night stands, it was more curiosity from both sides. But it worked and I feel like it is what you make it. There are genuine people out there. 🙂

  14. Elin Hanks

    Why would anyone bother with all the dating trauma these days if an effective app can do the job. I see no harm in this. 😉

  15. Whatever happened to meeting someone and getting to know each other face to face? Are people really that busy or just too lazy to put in the effort?

  16. Christina Norelli

    Apps have their place, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for a real date, in my opinion.

  17. Dating apps is great and gives you the chance to speak to someone you find attractive which is exactly what you would do if you met someone on a night out.I know many people that have met their partners on the internet and are extremely happy. It gives single people a sense of empowerment as you get to see there is plenty of fish in the sea so you are less likely to get hung up on one person if they treat you badly as you can just move onto the next one. 🙂

  18. Dana Rosatti

    I think it’s getting more & more common. People are looking for one night stands but if you’re not; you just ignore that type of message. If somebody isn’t prepared to go on dates then it’s also clear what they want. Simple as it is.

  19. Apps like Tinder don’t create anything that wasn’t there before (men looking for easy hookups), it just facilitates it a bit. But it isn’t necessarily all bad. It’s become extremely difficult to meet people outside of work these days, and apps or dating sites allow you to do so. I met my partner who I’ve been with for over two years now on Plenty of Fish (not Tinder but similar). We got together quite casual and now we are in love. Tinder doesn’t replace love, it just allows people who aren’t looking for a serious relationship to meet up for whatever they feel like.

  20. Lena Dzeko

    Ah internet dating. The place where men are men and most of the women are men too… 😉

  21. Felicia Stewart

    Most guys I know who use it (I know a lot of them!) don’t even look at the pictures, they just “swipe right”. I have seen one guy sat there reading a magazine while he was doing it.

  22. Kimberley Foulkes

    I’m 25 and married, a single 28 yr old colleague asked me did I not feel like I was missing out on life? Why, so I can sit on my phone browsing men online? My husband is a complete gentleman, we go on interesting holidays to Romantic cities, weekends away, even just dinner and trips to the cinema. I lead a far more interesting life than my single colleague who sits on tinder

  23. Melissa Princeton

    Love & sex can be found anywhere. Dating apps is just another way!

  24. Molly Twain

    Well, I haven’t tried it so I won’t knock it till I try it.

  25. Evelyn Sandler

    If i was single i might possibly think of using the apps, but considering all the deceptive pictures on Facebook of people I know well, I would be very wary. Sometimes they post a picture and it takes a minute to recognise them as they have managed a great picture, but without being cruel, lets say they are not so cute in the flesh. Then there are the ones who i know through their dating history are fun with friends, nice looking, but a total nightmare to date. Many times you listen to their story thinking that’s your fault not the person you’re talking about, but I am too polite to upset them by telling them so. It would not be my number one way of meeting anyone. In fact, I think i might just not bother and just get on with it.

  26. Kim Hartford

    From my own experience of Internet dating (something I avoided for a long time but fate seemed to be off duty), I think it’s wrong to label ALL men as being players and looking for quantity and one night sights. Yes, there are men like this (and women!) but there are also a lot of men who find themselves on their own in the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s and want to find a companion (and maybe a cook and cleaner!!) It’s just a case of sorting the wheat from the chaff, just as you’d do if you met someone the conventional way.

  27. Jennifer McSween

    Online dating makes sense but many young guys and girls are developing severe complexes about relationships. that’s where the problem is.

  28. Roberta Bennett

    I did my first ever Tinder date recently. It was a nice evening, we got on, he suggested meeting again.

  29. Amanda Roberts

    Social media has killed social skills. People don’t know how to talk to each other any more. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I get an email or text with “hey babe”, or “fancy a pint?” If that’s all the effort you’re going to put in (first impression) it gives me a pretty good idea just how lazy you’re going to be in all other aspects of a relationship.

  30. Emma Blackwood

    if everybody could put their mobile phones down and stop pretending to all their virtual mates that they have amazing life’s and great relationships – they might end up with amazing life’s and great relationships. imagine that.

  31. Nicky Bryan

    Back in the day you could approach someone on the street and talk to them and it was accepted, nowadays you’re seen as a creep or weirdo that’s why it doesn’t happen too much. that’s why online / mobile dating is the way these days.

  32. Leslie Williams

    After my divorce, I bit the bullet and tried a spot of online dating. I dated two men for a few months apiece which didn’t work out and several dates with some unpleasant characters obviously only after one thing and extremely reluctant to take no for an answer. Perhaps I ventured out too soon after my divorce and didn’t give it enough time, but after deciding that dating serial dating men isn’t for me, I’ve kicked online dating into the long grass. Now I’ve been on my own for a few years, I’ve found I actually don’t mind it at all. If I can bring some happiness to a nice bloke who can make me happy in return it’ll be a bonus but I no longer see it as the be all end all of life. If it’s meant to happen, it will.

  33. Sibel Jenkinson

    There is a lot of ways now to find love, but love is not perfect, nor is the person you meet, and if you actually end up liking each other, things just may get serious, you never know!

  34. Delilah Peyton

    No amount of technology will change what people want to do. If people want to find a casual sexual partner on Tinder or wherever, then they clearly already wanted a casual sexual partner anyway. If anything, the openness of these new dating apps might just make people a bit more honest and unwilling to settle for something that they don’t really want, which can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

  35. Camila Hilhorst

    Tinder doesn’t work for those who want to connect their brains with a future partner. I’ve heard soo many stories from friends and work colleagues, male and female, wondering why relationships don’t last made from that dating app…. why? Because it’s just utilising ONE element of what makes a LONG LASTING RELATIONSHIP. The other ingredient is found by getting to know someone properly…. Sadly people rush in, marry the pretty picture etc and then repent at leisure ! We know of one male aquintence who dated a series of women from Tinder and was engaged to each of them…. he kept breaking the engagements because he saw someone else that caught his eye… on Tinder. Just meet people in real life doing the things you love, it’s old fashioned.

  36. Olivia Peterson

    If the romance isn’t there though it won’t go further than the first date. I do think it’s a shame that good old fashioned courtship is being lost, but that’s the way things are done now. And we should adapt to it.

  37. Sydney Nowak

    My experience with online dating hasn’t been a positive one at all. I always make it clear up front that I’m interested in getting to know someone and see how things go, and people always say they’re cool with that and they’re looking for the same thing too. In reality, it’s completely the other way around. A big part of the problem is that in the old days, you had to actually go out to bars/clubs and parties, whereas now, everyone is ‘on the hunt’ around the clock on their phones/laptops, which I think creates a false sense of choice and a feeling that there’s so many people to get through in a limited time. As ever, though, quality will always trump quantity.

  38. Anna Kaplan

    i believe that oldfashioned romance is dying and has been replaced by speed dating and online dating apps. I suppose it’s the next generation’s idea of a romantic liason and there is obviously a market for it, yet there is something so cold and clinical about it. The art of face to face conversation (with two people in the same room, not skyping on their computers), is also becoming rarer these days. I also love catching up with friends and I always say that I’ll meet them for dinner, but not on facebook, as it’s a poor substitute.

  39. I love dating and I love meeting new people! I personally haven’t tried online dating but I have been out on various date(s). I’ve been hearing “Tinder.” My friends are using this app and I guess they are really having a good (and fun) time. I guess, there’s nothing wrong with online dating as long as you set limitations…

  40. For the sake of fun, excitement and experiment, I would like to try online dating! Thanks for the dating tips 😉

  41. Well, I guess I’m lucky to have a boyfriend without having to try online dating. LOL. But personally, I think online dating is being utilized by “most” cheaters. Just my opinion… I maybe wrong…

  42. Courtney Watson

    For some reasons, my speed dating experience came to mind while reading this article! Great comparative article, Urbanette! And yeah, be present and open. That’s the most important to do!

  43. Franny Pimms

    if you actually see someone you like, get connected. Simple and easy. 🙂

  44. Would you advise young (teenage) girls like me to try these?! What precautions would you give us?!

  45. Hannah Mayers

    I have been hearing about these apps but I haven’t personally tried them. Well, I guess I’m really busy and don’t have the time and energy to explore these… Or probably because I’m *still* giving myself a justification that I don’t need these apps to find *him* LOL

  46. Monica CONOVER

    Nobody uses those apps for dating purposes. The actual purpose is to find somebody to hook up with no strings attach. I gave up to be honest.

  47. Reading this article made me realize that times have really changed! I was a victim of “common friend” date (what?! I just revealed my age)… I personally think that online dating sites (and apps) are good ways of meeting new people. But I should warn users to be careful… always!

  48. I don’t believe in long distance relatipnship, let alone a digital one lol

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