Are Dating Apps Ruining Marriage or Are They Saving It?

Experts say apps like Tinder and Hinge make it easier than ever to meet your match—but it’s also easier than ever to cheat. What’s a married couple to do?

A few weeks ago, Vanity Fair‘s article on “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse” came out and almost shut the Internet down with gems like, “It’s like ordering Seamless. But you’re ordering a person.” Married people were feeling all smug and relieved until they got to the part about how many people on Tinder are not actually single: GlobalWebIndex found that a full 30 percent of Tinder users are married, 12 percent are in a relationship, and the majority of those dishonest users are men. Tinder disputes the statistics, telling they did their own study and found that just 1.7 percent of users were married. However, they wouldn’t detail how they conducted the survey, and GlobalWebIndex stands behind its research, saying their firm talked to 47,622 Internet users around the world.

Even if Tinder’s numbers are correct, we’re still talking about tens of thousands of potential cheaters out there. (And that’s not counting the millions of users who had their information leaked recently.) Yes, people have been cheating since the dawn of time, but some experts think dating apps are changing the landscape more quickly and in a much more troubling way than any pre-Internet tryst ever could. “Exploring online is a known gateway to experimentation,” says Dr. Pepper Schwartz, love and relationship expert for AARP and Life Reimagined. “It’s like going down the street looking in windows. Once you look, you might buy.”

That seemed to be the goal of a guy named Ray*. Nicole*, 29, says she tried Tinder since everyone was talking about it, and came across Ray, who seemed cool and well-educated. They matched, got to chatting, and eventually exchanged phone numbers. At first, he kept asking her to come over to his house during the day, telling her he rents out his house, but all his tenants were away on vacation. She (smartly) said she’d rather meet in public, but the two hadn’t yet met in person. Then, one morning, she woke up to this text message:

“I was thoroughly offended and disgusted,” Nicole says. Since she didn’t get the text message until a few hours later, she figured it was too late to call Ray’s wife and tell her he was trying to cheat. But now, she says she’s learned a lot from the experience. “I assume that everyone on Tinder is single,” she says. “Now I actually have to ask people on dating sites whether they’re married or attached!”

Digging Into the Past to Discover Best Tips for Mating Development

The rise of dating apps coupled with the rise of more liberated sexual norms has created numerous opportunities for one of the world’s most beloved past times: casual sex.

However, the new “hookup culture” has its fair share of haters who ask the question, can casual sex or friends-with-benefits lead to serious relationships? It’s no secret that strangers love inserting their opinions into others personal lives — especially when sex is involved. People are judgmental of those who include casual sex in their bedroom habits, labeling them as commitment-phobes and sluts, or shaming their assumed reluctance to be in a “real,” “grown-up” relationship. But casual sex is a common, normal activity. And in an interview with the Washington Post, Helen Fisher, famed biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Adviser at Match, says that casual sexual relations serve an important purpose, can have wonderful outcomes (when safe and consensual), and can often develop into serious partnerships.

Every year, Match conducts a survey on unwed Americans to gather data on sex and dating habits. This year’s survey produced some results that should be very interesting for the casual sex haters out there. The Washington Post reports:

…A quarter of singles have converted a one-night stand into a long-term relationship.The Match study also found that, while online daters have sex more frequently than offline daters, they’re not more promiscuous. Both groups, on average, had the same number of sexual partners. When compared with offline daters, online daters were twice as likely to ‘imagine a committed future with someone while on a first date’ and 58 percent more likely to want to marry.

Additionally, the annual survey from 2012 found that 44 percent of those surveyed had been in a FWB relationship that evolved into a long-term relationship. In the interview, Fisher attributed these facts to her theory of “slow love,” meaning “singles are looking to make a connection quickly and commit more slowly.” Engaging in sex casually and quickly does not mean that you are closed off to love, Fisher argued, but that you are trying to learn as much about a potential life partner as soon as possible.

She continued, “Early sex means: ‘I’m interested in you. I want to know who you are. I don’t want to spend my life trying to figure out who you are’… “I think people are so scared of divorce that they are putting off marriage until they know everything about this person,” and learning “everything” means learning about compatibility in physical intimacy.

Fisher has similarly written about casual sex and long-term relationships in her book Anatomy of Love. The text referenced a study from 2008 in which 51 percent of 500 surveyed undergrads engaged in casual hookups with the specific goal of finding a serious partner. (As an aside, the data found no difference in response from any gender, men or women.) Friends with benefits and casual sex relationships, writes Fisher, allow you “to learn a great deal about a potential mate before making a formal commitment, marrying and divorcing.” A person’s behavior and attitude during sexual activity, she elaborated, helps you learn a lot about another person – like their health, patience, and willingness to listen to your needs. All of which help you to learn enough about someone to want to enter into a long-term relationship with them.

I talked to 22 people whose casual sex relationships have turned into serious, committed, long-term partnerships (and even marriages).

1. Gina, 26

My partner and I met in LA, flirted for a week, and then had a one-night stand. We figured it was going to be just sex. Shortly after, he had to fly back to Australia, where he’s from, and we ended up staying in touch. A month later, I sold all my belongings in Boston and flew over to Australia to be with him. It’s been 2 years since we’ve been a couple.

2. Kelly, 22

Our relationship began strictly as friends with benefits. I had recently gotten out of a long relationship and wasn’t interested in pursuing something serious. After about a month of frequent hookups though, I felt myself falling for her. A week into these more serious feelings I came clean, and shortly after we began dating officially. We’ve been together over two years.

Women Approach Men That Are This Many Points More Attractive

OkCupid, a popular online dating site, said women who take the initiative to reach out to men are rewarded with higher response rates and more desirable men.


So, how’s your week going? Have any fun plans for the weekend?

You seem pretty cool. You free now?

You wanna read an article about women and online dating apps?

If you’ve never used the apps or websites like OkCupid, Tinder and Bumble, the opening lines above might sound horrible. If you have used the apps, and you are a woman, those lines most likely sound horribly familiar.

The boring conversations — if you can call them that — tend to be started by men, owing to centuries of Western courtship convention that have remained mostly consistent in the digital age. But in data published Monday, OkCupid, a popular online dating site, said women who take the initiative to reach out to men are rewarded with higher response rates and more desirable men.

“There are women on the site that are reaching out, and they’re getting all of the benefits,” said Jimena Almendares, the chief product officer at OkCupid.

The company studied a random sample of 70,000 users who had logged in at least three times within the same month. It found that women who sent the first message were 2.5 times more likely to receive a response than men who did the same. And the men the women contacted were more “attractive,” as determined by how other users rate the men’s profiles for both looks and content.

OkCupid, which said it has 1.5 men for every woman on the site, said both men and women are aspirational in whom they approach — men send messages to women 17 percentage points more “attractive” than themselves, while women send messages to men 10 percentage points higher. So a woman who simply sifts through her inbox is most likely fielding entreaties from men less attractive than she is, while she’s most likely to get a response if she contacts a more attractive man.

About 12 percent of first messages men send turn into a date, while 30 percent of women’s first messages end up in a date, the site said. And yet, men send 3.5 times as many first messages on OkCupid as women do.

“Women have very much been trained to sit back and let men come to them,” said Whitney Wolfe, the founder of Bumble, a separate dating app.

Bumble requires women to flip the presumption that men are the dating aggressors. After a man and a woman indicate mutual interest in each other’s profiles, they’re both notified that there has been a match — but only women can send the first message. That makes women more confident and empowered, while the men are more flattered and relaxed, Ms. Wolfe said.

“It makes for a healthier and more enjoyable all-around experience,” she said. “It puts the women in the driver’s seat, and typically women aren’t in the driver’s seat.”

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Two Years Later My Tinder Date Finally Paid Off!

“I’m in finance.”

Oh, great, that’s a decent response to the ever common, “so, what do you do for work?” dating question. I was especially relieved at this response considering the fact that on my Tinder profile I specified, “no comics.” I had just broken up with a comic, the third of which I had dated, and I was, as they say, “over it.”

There’s a certain unmatched immaturity and weird competitiveness that comes from these special little beings, particularly when they’re paired up with a female comic such as myself. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all comics are assholes. But a great many of them are, and when they’re not, they’re often quite immature, or very sexist, or extremely egotistical, or unbearably cynical and insensitive, or terrible with their finances and in incredible amounts of debt, or just overall difficult to have any real conversations or sweet moments with. But again, they’re not all like that. Just the ones I’ve dated. And met. And heard about.

But it wasn’t just comics I was trying to avoid. I wanted someone far away from the entertainment industry as a whole, which can often be a challenge when dating in a place like Los Angeles, but here we were. Finance. Lucky me!

We were both really excited to meet, but I was working a day job in addition to an internship at a comedy theater in exchange for free classes. My schedule was slightly hectic and he and I lived a “far” distance from each other. (I was in the valley and he was in Hollywood, which in any other part of the country would be close, but in LA we might as well have been in different states) These circumstances meant that it would take awhile for us to set something up.

As time went by, he was seemingly more frustrated with the wait. His impatience was becoming quite clear, but he was cute and I was still serial dating at the time. We had sexted a couple of times and he seemed like he might be fun in that area of life. My policy at that point was to say yes to a date with anyone and everyone because at the very least I’d have a great story. So when someone got an attitude with me, I didn’t really care. I wasn’t looking for “Mr. or Ms. Right” at the time. I was looking for someone to have wild sex with, or at the very least give me something entertainingly bad to talk about later.

Eventually after a bit of whining and attitude, he told me he might be able to meet me during his lunch hour on a Monday. He worked from home but could pull himself away at around 1 if that was okay with me. Best part about it up until this point was the meeting place he chose: Target. There’s a Target in Hollywood with outdoor seating, in a sort of strip mall-type atmosphere. So that’s where we met. Not for lunch, just to meet. It was clear by this point that he wasn’t even intrigued enough to pay for a meal, or even go halfsies. Despite my policy of saying yes to everyone, I hadn’t had a super douchey date yet. Up until this point, that is.

I couldn’t really figure it out. He would sip on his green can of Monster energy drink while telling me things like, “you’d probably be a pretty good cam girl. You could make like…15 bucks an hour I bet.” He talked about his ex girlfriend a little more than most would consider to be polite on a first date. We also talked about my comedy a little bit. I told him I just received an email about the Last Comic Standing audition at the Hollywood Improv. I showed him the email because I was excited, and he said, “Oh, so, it’s probably like an open mic or something.” I explained that, no, this was an invite-only type of situation, to which he replied, “But probably a lot of people get invited, like thousands I’m sure, right? ‘Cause they have to have bad people to film at those things.”

I didn’t get it. Why was this guy being such a jerk, and why was he acting like every comic I’d ever dated? Was I wrong in thinking that the competitive asshole element would be removed if I dated someone outside of my chosen career path? Why was this guy starting to turn into the green monster that he drank before very my eyes?

I left the “date” feeling strange and almost defeated. What was it all for? I wasn’t even left with a good story. It was just…icky. I put it out of my brain for the most part but every now and then I would think about how odd it all was. About four months ago I deleted our message thread, which I had forgotten even existed, during a phone cleanse.

A few weeks ago I asked a neighbor if she had any good dog watchers/walkers that she could recommend. I was preparing for a trip and wanted to get a good person at a decent price so I was asking around. She texted me the contact numbers of three people and said they were all great. I went to contact the third one and realized…he was already in my phone! IT WAS HIM!!! The asshole “finance” guy was a dog walker?! No WAY!? I texted my neighbor to tell her and here’s how the conversation went:

Me: One of your dog walkers is a guy I went on a TERRIBLE tinder date with! I went to message him and he was already in my phone! Eep!

Neighbor: Wait whaaaaaaat!!! (Dog Walker’s Name)??? Lololol

Me: It’s funny too cause I saw him walking (Dog’s Name) once and was like, that looks like that (Dog Walker) guy, nah, no way, he said he was like a big shot finance guy. Can’t be (Dog Walker).

Neighbor: What?? Rly??? He is like an unemployed comedian.

Boom. And there you have it. The explanation. And a justification. It suddenly all made sense! The way he always came back with a snarky remark when I texted, “Tonight won’t work, I have a show.” The way he acted when I told him about my audition, and the way he acted in general. Everything finally added up! He was just another in a long line of asshole comics.

So the date wasn’t completely pointless. I guess I did get a pretty decent story out of it after all.

Declutter Your Love Life for Spring

Your bedroom may be free of clutter, but what about your heart?

Spring Cleaning isn’t just for belongings; it’s for improving the quality of your life. This is the perfect time of year to discard what no longer serves us – and yes, this includes relationships. We all have our own unique energy drains, emotional rough spots and cluttered habits that could use a little ‘clean-up’ from time to time. If you’re hoarding a mess (even too much of a good thing), it’s time to make room for what you really want.

Spring Cleaning your love life works in three steps: (1) Defining the things that drain your energy. (2) Recognizing why they don’t serve you. (3) Taking out the trash.

Here are six areas to consider:

1. Your Time:

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives,” according to Annie Dillard. What are you doing that just isn’t working? Are you too busy for love?

If you don’t make time to build new relationships now, you’ll never have time to maintain them in the future. So how many unnecessary dating apps are you using? Do you spend hours each day on social media, instead of making quality time with your partner or date(s)? Does your work, hobby or social routine make it hard to commit to relationships? If time is money, budgeting is important. Cancel ‘investments’ that don’t bring results.

2. Your Self:

Low self-esteem, lack of a personal care routine, and poor mental/physical health are all serious buzz-kills in the love and sex department. If you feel insecure or unhealthy, here’s your chance to commit to solutions. Define and delete the beliefs that drag you down.

Everyone is a work in progress; if you can’t accept that about yourself, you’ll most likely struggle to accept it in your partner. So if you want to find love in relationships, the first step is to cultivate that in yourself. Examine your self-worth and care routines, and note how that translates to your interactions with others. Outer results reflect inner decisions. The way we see ourselves is often how we treat our partners.

3. Your Baggage:

Have you noticed negative patterns in your relationships? Does pain from your past make it harder to trust? Fear is love’s greatest obstacle; so in terms of baggage, handle with care.

The first “thing” that pops into your head can often improve with practice: journaling, talking it out, reading self-help books and/or spiritual work. But when it comes to deeper wounds, a therapist, spiritual leader or mentor can and should be asked for help. Taking honest inventory of our own baggage is a crucial part of de-cluttering our love lives.

Millennials: What Do ‘Grown-Up Relationships’ Look Like?

Have you seen these headlines?

‘Millennial Commitment-Phobia Threatens the Future of Love.’

‘Are Dating Apps the End of Romance?’ 

‘Love is Dead, and Millennials Killed It.’

Thanks for the laughs, Google. I wholeheartedly disagree.

While everyone is different, I believe that most Millennials do believe in love and commitment in some form or another. The fact that we’re free to feel otherwise and/or change our minds can actually strengthen our ultimate resolve to have these needs met. Millennials want joy and fulfillment in our relationships, in whatever way we feel is best for us.

Maybe that’s the key difference that’s scaring everyone. We don’t choose partners based on “whatever society says is best,” or even “what our parents think we should do.” We love in whatever way we feel is best for us.

The ways in which today’s singles ‘hunt and gather’ in relationships looks drastically different than previous generations, but that’s not necessarily new. Our parents’ love lives were different from their parents, just as their parents’ were different from their grandparents. As technology and culture jump forward, so do the ways in which we live our lives. Call it evolution, development, advancement, whatever – change can be uncomfortable for some, but it’s important.

In the 60s, ‘free love’ was said to be the end of relationships. Was it?

When women began prioritizing their education and careers, they were said to be ‘destroying traditional family values.’ Did they?

When divorce was legalized, it was an outrage. “Commitment is dead!” they said.

Fast forward to 2017: same kids, new toys. Millennials are not the first generation to shake things up, and it’s okay. Commitment phobia, ‘ghosting’ and one-night stands are not new concepts. We just have flashy new apps, websites and catchphrases for them now.

Instead of going out for milk and never coming home (as great-grandpa did back in the day), we can just press ‘block,’ ‘delete’ and then go on with our lives. It’s cheaper and safer than the old-fashioned alternatives, especially if marriage hasn’t entered the picture. Millennials aren’t forced to enter legal contracts before they’re ready (risking long-term unhappiness, family dysfunction, infidelity and more). We are free to pick and choose the kinds of relationships we actually want.

So why isn’t everyone celebrating?

As great as evolution is, these advances do make things a little more complicated.

In Scientific American, Helen Fisher (a relationship expert at Rutgers University and chief scientific advisor at has said that she does not subscribe to the idea of a ‘relationship apocalypse.’ Instead, she describes modern dating trends as “slow love,” meaning that Millennials are taking more time to experiment and find out what they don’t want before they settle down with what they do want. 

Thanks to dating apps, we have infinitely more choices when it comes to selecting a partner. This makes love more complicated than it was for our grandparents, dating only within their own towns and cities.

If I’m offered three types of breakfast cereal to choose from, it might take five minutes to pick. But what about three hundred choices? I might be in the breakfast aisle forever.

I’m not fickle or indecisive for using multiple dating apps. Like any sensible human, I want to consider all the options before making a decision. It isn’t impulsiveness or fear that leads Millennials to jump around; it’s actually a sense of responsibility.

The behaviors we engage in are not new; our openness about them is. LGBTQ+ Americans have always been around, whether we were socially accepted or not. The gender spectrum hasn’t changed, our language for it has. Single parenthood, premarital sex, polyamory, fetishes, and infidelity are not new ideas. Neither is blaming ‘those damn kids’ for things that make us uncomfortable.

Being open about our needs has a number of positive benefits: safer sex, improved psychological health, better relationships, increased acceptance of ourselves and others, and fewer wasted years trying to hide and fit into lives that aren’t genuine. With that said…I get it. Dating is fine and dandy, but what about commitment?

In a generation that notoriously struggles to ‘adult,’ what do Grown-Up Relationships look like?

I remember sitting in the schoolyard at five years old, trying to picture myself at twenty. I imagined I’d be married, have a house, two kids and a dog. Now that twenty has come and gone, I can’t help but giggle at this outlandish fantasy. The vast majority of today’s twenty year-olds can’t afford their own rent, let alone support a family.

To understand why we most likely aren’t married (yet or ever), let’s consider some of the factors surrounding our life decisions. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are more educated but significantly less affluent than previous generations. Adults in their 20s and early 30s are more likely to still live with their parents; this comes not out of desire or laziness, but of need. Most of us can’t afford to throw a wedding in our twenties, let alone buy a house and start a family. While the bar for success has risen with our education, the odds for a stable career are lower than ever. Is it any wonder then, that most of us won’t marry young?

If by ‘grown up’ you mean financially stable, most of us aren’t there yet. But if maturity is a measure of emotional independence, personal commitment to improvement and working hard to attain stability – then yes, we’re all adults, here.

Millennial relationships are Grown-Up Relationships. And modern grown-ups don’t need to get married. We need love and support – and that doesn’t necessarily mean following blueprints set by our parents. Most of my Millennials friends don’t consider marriage a bad thing, but they also aren’t ready (or willing) any time soon.

I married my partner, but I am definitely not a “grown-up” with a house and two kids the way my five-year-old self had anticipated. Our world is not that of our grandparents, so today’s typical marriage looks a little different. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to make the same choices as me, or vice versa. My grown-up relationship is not your grown-up relationship, just as my  day-job is not your day-job. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let outdated standards determine your modern needs.

Perhaps instead of worrying that our love lives aren’t ‘mature’ by ancient standards, we can look at the big picture and accept that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be for this time in history. If you’re one of 1.8 billion Millennials navigating love in an unprecedented world, I applaud you. You’re not alone, you’re not the first, and you’re certainly not the last.

Welcome to Millennial Love. What does it mean to you?

10 Reasons Why Dating Is So Complicated Now

When we were younger, romantic relationships seemed so much simpler. If we liked someone, we told them — and if they felt the same, we got together. These days, things are endlessly more complicated and frustrating, and dating as a millennial is seriously f*cked up.

1. We ghost as a way to end things.

If we’re no longer interested in someone, we don’t need to tell them — we simply stop responding. If someone did this to us in real life, it would be completely psychotic, but because it’s over text or an instant message, we’ve somehow resigned ourselves to thinking it’s OK. Newsflash: it’s totally not. Even in the golden ages, the “Dear John” letter was left on the table in the foyer, but now, we’re lucky if you even get a typed string of characters saying “I’m sorry, it’s not working.”

2. We’re hyper-focused on sex.

Sex is scarily available — we can have it simply with the swipe of a finger. There’s zero effort made into getting to know someone for who they truly are unless we’re willing to undress and show the most sacred parts of ourselves first. And most of the time, sex doesn’t lead to a relationship — it leads to heartache, confusion and another one-night stand with the next person.

3. We’re in a competition of who can care the least.

Showing actual emotions is heavily frowned upon. If we show our cards and act like we’re interested, it leaves the person we’re affectionate about turned off and running in the opposite direction instead of being flattered that we actually give a sh*t about them. There’s little gratitude for honest and happy emotions.

4. We’re too strategic about our responses.

Responding right away comes across as desperate and too available. It’s amazing how millennials view the luxury of having instant access to communication as something we need to treat as if we’re still using carrier pigeons. Instant messaging is just that — it’s f*cking instant — but we still withhold our response times to try and show just how busy, important, and unattached we are. What backward and bullsh*t logic.

5. We expect a perfection that doesn’t exist.

Social media and thousands of dating profiles shoved in our faces lead us to believe we’re entitled a fairy tale life that doesn’t truly exist. We write people off for a minor detail and quickly look for the next best thing that we’ll somehow also find flaws in. Nothing is ever good enough for millennials. We fail to realize that relationships are a balanced bond and that with the amazing things come imperfections as well.

6. We’re overloaded with options.

We don’t believe we need to settle on anything because there’s always someone better looking with a better family life, better hobbies or someone with a better bank account. We move from person to person and even if we land on someone that makes us feel great and we could totally devote ourselves to in a relationship, we’re never quite willing to give up the search. The never-ending journey becomes more exhilarating than the actual prize itself.

7. We’ve become content with being alone.

While we’ve been navigating the journey to find love, we’ve consequently committed our lives to ourselves and made them into something that’s happy and rewarding without someone to love, which means it’s that much harder to invite a relationship into our lives. We’re fine on our own, so we won’t leave our comfort zones for anyone. Sometimes we even find minor and trivial reasons not to because we’re secretly happy with things just the way they are.

8. We’re always stuck in a grey area.

Almost relationships and no strings attached sex are the millennial versions of commitment. We’re left constantly wondering where relationships are headed, if anywhere, and plague ourselves with wondering if we’re wasting our time. No one is clear about their intentions, some lie about their intentions entirely just to have their ego’s stroked for a while, and basically no one has any clue what the f*ck is going on.

9. We don’t feel accountable for the pain we inflict on to others.

When we’ve hurt someone’s feelings, we don’t feel even the slightest bit inclined to apologize or to make good on our wrongs. It’s not our problem — it’s theirs. A person’s emotions, even if caused by something we did or said, is up to them to resolve. We feel entitled to walk around acting like complete d*cks with the expectation that the way it’s received is a reflection of the person we dump our sh*t on and nothing to do with the fact that we were the cruel ones.

10. We’re all jaded as f*ck.

Trust is severely lacking in our dating culture. We’re in the thick of a hookup culture that values sex more than love, temporary fulfillment instead of life-long commitment and lazy ass communication that often gets lost in translation. We’re all so confused by our own pasts, and with heaps of more sh*t constantly being added to the pile, we’re all becoming more and more jaded than ever before. We don’t even trust that love exists anymore because all we’re constantly met with disappointment. Dating as a millennial is like being in an apocalypse of love — and it’s pretty f*cked up.

Curated by Peggy
Original Article

How The World’s Oldest Indian Dating Site Helped Them Find Love

When one couple found each other on, they had everything working against them. Yet, they still found love.

“I wrote a very lengthy letter to her and tried to woo her with my words,” Darshan told Online Personals Watch editor Mark Brooks. Brooks has compiled a documentary on Indian dating. “Because that’s all you got apart from your profile picture.”

When he and his wife Pooja met she was searching for someone after a divorce. He had never been married. Darshan explained that there was a dramatic difference between those seeking a hookup and those seeking marriage.

“You know, there are a lot of freeloaders on the net, I realized,” she told Brooks. “The people who don’t pay for the websites, they are the ones who are actually there to fool around. So, I feel that, you know, don’t go for the free profiles because when someone’s paying it really makes a difference.”

While both of them set up their own accounts and were interacting with each other, some searching for the perfect mate end up with their parents creating their dating profiles. In the first installment of this series, we heard from one woman who opened her email only to discover an email conversation between her father and the father of a young man. Darshan and Pooja, however, went a different route.

The world’s oldest dating service helped them find love.

Many users of personals sites believe the same in the United States. Sites like, eHarmony, JDate and even fetish sites like FetLife all allow paid accounts that unlock a higher level of commitment to the dating adventure. While it isn’t necessarily always the case, those who are paying for matchmaking services or an online dating profile are usually seen as being more serious about finding a long term match. is an online wedding service founded by Anupam Mittal in the late 1990s. While the majority of its market is India, it operates globally to serve anyone willing to join. With over 35 million users, the site only allows you to message people with their premium service. As  Pooja explained, the ones that are there to fool around aren’t paying to contact you.

Get rid of the wish list you have in your mind.

“Scrap off your wish list,” Pooja said about finding the right person. According to her, Darshan was different. First, the two were “poles apart,” which made her think they were already sunk. Already, because she is divorced, it limits her options, she explained.

Then, he sent the long and passionate email that made her think again.

She had a list of “criteria of what [a] husband should be,” she said. “Just destroy it, throw it. It doesn’t work.”

Sometimes having a list of things you want means you end up limiting your options. It might be one of the main reasons that a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>the online dating world has flipped India’s caste system. For thousands of years, those in each caste only married within that caste. Today, a new generation of Indian youth are searching for another world. For Pooja and Darshan, that meant being willing to try anything to find a partner.

>Whether it’s a caste system, a demand your lover be a certain height or weight or even seeking out a nice doctor, consider looking outside your criteria. Pooja and Darshan knew that the right match can come from anywhere. Darshan wanted Pooja to take his interest seriously and give him consideration despite the differences. Anything is possible in love!

Read more from this series with Part 1: In India Your Parents Run Your Dating Profiles to Find You Dates and Part 2: Could New Dating Trends In India Help Turn Its Caste System Into A Thing Of The Past?.

9 Ways To Meet People Besides Scrolling Through Dating Apps

Don’t let your phone do all the work.

Your fingers are sore from the constant swiping, your mind tired from constantly thinking of witty quips for your next dating profile. I hear you. I’ve been there — in fact, I’m there now.

The good news is that you can always take a hiatus. The better news is that you can still meet new people, sans screen.

Here are some ideas for how to meet people in real life.


The benefits of volunteering are limitless. I got my current full-time job through being a committed volunteer. I’ve made lots of friends volunteering. The same extends to finding a date.

While you shouldn’t volunteer just to meet a date (because gross), volunteering is a major way to expand your network. Lots of volunteer programs have mixers of volunteer appreciation nights – try going to one and seeing who catches your fancy after a few drinks.

Go to meetups

I’ve used for poetry workshop groups and for practicing French conversations. It’s an excellent way to meet folks you’ve never met before.

Creating a profile is pretty straightforward, it’s mainly a matter of choosing what your interests are. This way, you’ll definitely meet folks you share a common line with. If nothing else,you’ll make new friends – especially if you go consistently

Partake in an artistic community

Are you a painter, writer, dancer, or musician? Or do you appreciate those art forms? When I say get involved in your town/city’s art scene, I don’t just mean going to the big museums; I mean going to open mics, local shows, small gallery openings, and community theater performances. I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many awesome creatives by simply going up to the performers later and telling them how great they were.

Most local art is reasonably priced, and because it’s so small, when you see the lead of Antigone the musical that wowed you, you can tell them in person (and slip your number if you’re feeling flirty).

Take classes

Learning is the thing I miss most about school. Luckily, there are plenty of adult learning opportunities.

Want to brush up on your college pottery? Or learn to make pots like Sam in “Ghost?” Look into a local class and meet other folks who want to expand their minds, too. You’ll always have a discussion topic – class!

Accept your friends’ party invites

Easier said than done. I am the #1 champion of calling it a night early because it’s 10:00pm on a Friday and sometimes, bed is just a nice place to be. But I’ve also forced myself to go out and ended the night with two new numbers in my phone. Go to your friends’ birthday parties, or random club meetings and expand your network. Most job opportunities (and romantic opportunities) tend to come from folks like acquaintances, or people who aren’t part of your immediate friend circle.

Eat out/go to bars alone

I know, I know – wild. More people do this than you would think. Try picking a bar that’s on the quieter side and sit at the bar, so you can at least chat up the bartender. I’ve done this before and had plenty of friendly, non-creepy conversation. Plus sitting alone makes you look confident, and confidence is way sexier than bona fide good looks. If you’re still nervous about it you can bring a good book as backup.

Join a book club

join a book club

You’ve been telling yourself you want to read more for years. Just join a book club already! You can find one through a friend, or through websites like meetup. Nothing’s hotter than someone with a working brain. Ask your book club crush about their thoughts on Zadie Smith and go from there. This is much better than eyeing the book titles of strangers on the train and mentally appreciating their choices in literature – which I do a lot.

Don’t work from home all the time

While working from home can be a blessing, it’s not so great on the social side of things. You’re missing out on all the office gossip and potential for flings (which, on second thought, might be a for the best after all). Get out of your PJs and hit up your local cafe. Once you become a regular, you notice the other regulars too, including the handsome barista at the bar.

Go to the dog park

Few things are as joyous as playing with a pup in the park, while low-key scoping for potential dates. A guy with a dog obviously has a soul, so the dog park works pretty well as a vetting location!

See if you can borrow a friend’s dog for a tousle in the park. If they have a busy schedule, I doubt they’d resent their dog getting more outdoor time.

You can totally meet people without relying on a screen. It’s as simple as getting the hell out of your house. Easier said than done. But once you get going, watch your phone fill up with contacts.

If you’d like to read more like this, check out: “Behind the Swipe” with LOVE TV — The Story of 10 Tinder Dates in One Month, 7 Love Lessons I Learned from the Amazon Show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and Is Your Dating Out Of This World? Here’s How to Find What Planet You Are

The 4 Essential Photos You NEED on your Dating Apps

The Fab Four Of Online Dating Pics: Know Them. Love Them. Use Them.

In all my years of dating and coaching, I’ve developed many rules that have helped clients (and myself) sail the tumultuous waters of the online dating world. There’s one rule, however, that I believe so wholeheartedly and never deviate from (and has always found the highest success when in use). The rule? That you only need FOUR photos on any online dating platform or app. Just four. No More, no less. This holy quad showcases exactly who you are and shows the most important facets of you. Like many parts of dating, too much or too little can often hurt your case. But four pics? Four pics are just enough! So what are they? I lovingly call them: the Showstopper, The Wedding Party, The Politician and Dr. Interesting.

The Showstopper

Smiling gorgeous Asian girl

This is the photo of you looking amazing, closely cropped (but not too close- mid-section to face preferred, nobody needs to see any pores) to showcase that beautiful mug of yours. This photo should be CURRENT, have you looking like yourself, in good lighting and if not smiling, at least seeming playful, mysterious or sexy. And if we’re being honest (as I hope we are!) this photo really does do most of the heavy lifting, and should be the photo of you that people see first. This can definitely be a selfie so you have control…but try to make it a subtle selfie. Nothing filtered, softened, duckface-y, blurry, or obviously taken from your friend’s futon. Actors, beware: while you’re made up and looking good in a headshot, NONE OF YOUR DATING APP PHOTOS SHOULD BE HEADSHOTS. Mmmkay? Thanks byeeee.

The Wedding Party

Stylish bridesmaids having fun

Another incredible asset that not many people use is the wedding photo! In these photos, you’re often looking great, all dressed up, having fun and being your badass self. And the best part? They are usually taken by someone who knows what they’re doing (aka a professional photographer!). That means that the angles are good, the lighting is on point and the photographer is super aware of what the subject is doing/how they’re looking. Often, this is the photo I say to use to showcase your body (a body shot- crucial!) but it isn’t necessary. Just don’t use a wedding photo that remotely suggest that YOU are getting married…as one might guess, that will backfire. Don’t have a wedding photo? A picture at a party with friends works, too!

The Politician

Stylish bridesmaids having fun

This is the photo that says, “hey, I have pals and people like me! See?” It can and often is your “body shot” to show people what your whole bod looks like. The Politician is the photo with a couple close pals, having brunch, hanging with your niece, etc.” Men generally have these photos but fall into a common mistake- having ALL politicians, Politician photo as Showstopper or having The Politician photo with too many people in it. While we want to know you’re social and fun, we also don’t want to have to pick you out of a lineup of 30. Keep it to 15 people or less, please; preferably just a few people who are the same attractiveness level, so as not to take attention away from you. Animal photos will also work for the Politician slot (an animal-friendly person is in my mind, just as good as a people-friendly one).

Dr. Interesting

blonde lady climbing on the rock

So you’ve got a great close up, a fun flattering wedding photo and a photo with pals. Now, you need that niche photo: that photo showcasing something you love to do, a place you love to be, preferably performing an activity that is distinctly you! For example, if you like rock climbing, it could be you at a climbing gym or on a summit (also a very flattering body shot). Or, if you love to cook, how about a picture of you doing your thing in the kitchen, smiling ear-to-ear? Ideally, it’ll be easy to get these photos because you’ll actually be doing these things on the reg. Just don’t mislead with your Dr. Interesting: don’t put a hiking pic in if you hate to hike (and no matter how good your hair looks). As a note: Dr. Interesting can often be combined with others or be a form of the other photos. For example: if you are a nurse and you have a photo of yourself and two nurse friends, it does double duty!

Now get to snapping- and dating, people!

Places Where Men Will Hit On You On The Internet

Venmo Me Dat Azz:

Or, Places Where Men Will Hit On You On The Internet

If necessity is the mother of invention, men are the inventors of using non-dating sites to meet women.  It’s been happening since the first terminal user logged into a message board to ask A/S/L (age/sex/location, young people).

Here’s some stories about creative ways men are connecting today!

You can get hit on from social platforms because strange men think the tiny photo of you is cute, or, let’s face it, they just get it in their head that you’re a woman at all.  These picks are slightly off the beaten path, and a reminder to men everywhere- the world is your Tinder, just just gotta learn how to swipe!


Every couple of days, a dude will direct message me and say “Hi” or “Hello.”  Has this ever led to sex, in the history of the world? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but if it was Chris Evans writing, I might change my tune.

Facebook Business Page:

I made a promotional page for myself (check it out, readers!) and got a creepy message asking that I tell the stranger on the other end “all about myself,” which was funny because that is literally what the page is.  I ignored it for a few days, and then Facebook started nudging me to “keep my response rate up” by answering all queries to the page within two days. Finally, I wrote, “Hi! I’m Jack, Virginia’s manager. Thank you for your interest in her career!  This page posts shows, podcasts, and other promotional info!” No response.


As creepy Facebook friends abate, Insta creeps abound!  It took me a long time to find the little paper airplane that was my message inbox, but when I did I was rewarded with compliments from many randos, followed by some furious insults when I didn’t respond to those same randos.

Social Network Of African American woman


A foreign friend was looking for cheap places to stay in the states, and strangers on Couchsurfing kept offering her “fun weekends”.  I explained to her that these men thought she was maybe going to exchange sex for a place to sleep. She said, “But no women have offered me a space.”  She finally messaged back and forth with a man who didn’t overtly proposition her, but the day before her trip he said that he gave great massages, and ultimately she had to book an airbnb.

Words with Friends:

I was playing with a stranger, and he wrote that my profile pic was beautiful and asked where did I live.  I told him it doesn’t matter where I live, I’m not looking to meet people on Words with Friends. I’m here to play some Scrabble.   He ended the game, and I changed my profile picture to a friendly-looking dog. I still love Scrabble.


My sister was job hunting, and a man in her field sent her a message saying that they should meet for coffee and discuss her goals.  She thought this sounded great and they made a plan. The day before their appointment, he offered to take her to dinner instead, and named an expensive restaurant in New York.  She said she’d rather have coffee, to which he offered an introduction to an executive in her field. She looked up his Facebook profile and responded that perhaps he’d like to bring his wife to the dinner, and used her name.  See? Facebook is still good for something.


My friend Lizzie told me, “On my way to work every day, I passed a massage parlor that seemed to be open all hours and looked suspect.  I was very naive, and thought I would post a question about the business on Yelp. Did men really get full service at these places? Men told me.  Boy oh boy did they want to tell me all about it. They wanted to know if I’d like to meet and discuss it. That was ten years ago. I still sometimes get messages about it.”

Smartphone app woman texting


I was selling some used Adidas Gazelles on Ebay, they were worn but in good shape.   I got some messages, as ever, about shipping and auction dates, and then I got one about the wear of the shoes and what I had used them for.  I was happy to reply. The writer asked if I was a cheerleader, and if I ever wore the shoes without socks, if I had ever gotten the liners sweaty, if I could send them pictures of me in the shoes.  I wrote back and said sorry, I’m just a regular lady and didn’t need to talk to foot fetishists too much, buy the shoes or don’t. That person never bid on them, and they sold to a kid in Kansas.


If you’re interested in dating your rideshare driver, the best thing to do is to go home and write it in a notebook and bury that notebook in the woods.  Don’t turn in a fake lost item report and ask them out. That’s creepy and it’s a disturbingly popular go-to. Just go out and meet people!


My friend Amy told me she liked stalking friend’s burgeoning relationships on Venmo.  If people are constantly paying each other for beers and pizza, she knew that they were probably dating.  Sure, you CAN change the settings to private, but few people bother. However, she didn’t reckon that some people would follow it so closely that they would notice when her recent ex was buying a new girl pizza, and that she started getting dm’s from men she knew slightly asking if she was ok, and if she’d like to meet and talk- over pizza.

Do all men do this?  Of course not. But in an app-driven world, some people are ALWAYS looking for a special connection along with their food delivery, movie ticket purchase or money exchange!

meet women

Relationship A.I. Helps Singles Track Activity Across Multiple Apps!

As online dating becomes more and more popular it is beginning to have a detrimental impact on millennial singles.

The average dater has upwards of three apps on their phone at any point, and with hundreds of matches on each platform, it is harder than ever for them to keep on top of their love lives.

That’s where Relationship AI comes in. The independent platform is designed to take the stress out of modern dating and makes it considerably less time consuming.

It stores users’ online dating activity in one place and helps them make smarter decisions by tracking all of their interactions, rating their matches and letting them ask friends for advice.

Founder Karinna Karsten created the product after she saw no such tool on the market and wanted to make sure singles have the best possible experience when looking for a romantic partner.

She joined Dom Whitlock on The GDI Podcast to discuss how Relationship AI was created, the specific ways it can help people at any stage of a relationship, and what the online dating industry will look like in the future.

Listen now on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Soundcloud.

21 Day Challenge to Improve Your Love Life

It’s Spring! Relationship A.I. is launching a 21 Day Challenge to Improve Your Love Life 1 interaction at a time.

Every Day of the 21 Days we will send you 1 step to take to Improve either Your Dating Life or Existing Relationship, for Free.

Before We Begin:

Answer this Question Are You Single or In a Relationship?


This will allow us to provide the right tips for you during the 21 Day Challenge.

Download Relationship A.I. tracker store download


To a Vibrant and Empowering Love Life in 2020!

Karinna Karsten