Online dating and online one-night stands have essentially become the way of today. Picture: Reuters

Online dating and online one-night stands have essentially become the way of today. Point me to a couple that say “we met at the bar”, because most are now saying  ”we met online”. 

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find love or sex partner(s) in the real world without dating apps. I’m saying the concept of online dating is no longer taboo; in fact most of us are now doing it. 

Bumble 

Rating: 4.5/5 

Firstly, Bumble is a dating app; it is an attractive option for anyone looking for love. It is a swipe-based dating app where you swipe right for people you’re interested in and swipe left for ones you aren’t. It’s pretty similar to Tinder except for one catch. 

Secondly I get it, and I like its concept because how it works is that women are the ones to initiate the first contact or nothing happens once you’ve matched. If a guy matches with a woman who doesn’t start the conversation, a guy can extend one match per day for an additional 24 hours. Make note, though, that women still have to start the conversation. 

Third and final, it’s about time that women step out of their comfort zone and try something a bit different, heck I’m so over the outdated heterosexual norms. So I went on and got mines hunty!  

DateMyAge.com 

Rating: 4/5 

DateMyAge.com is a specialized dating service for mature singles looking to meet new people from around the world (literally). 

You can register for free and browse peoples’ profiles from around the world without charge. If you’re a new user, you get 10 free chats, which you can use to connect with another person you like. However, to become a member you need to pay for membership and to purchase a credit package before enjoying unrestricted use of a full range of services.

I received a lot of lengthy love letters (emails); some obviously copy, paste and broadcast messages, while others I could tell a little more effort was put into it and was beautiful. The men on this platform were gentle and very charming, which I found appealing. 

A feature that caught me off-guard is broadcast, where a lot of women (more so than men) live stream videos, and answer any questions that interested people ask them. It was initially created for singles over 40, but you’ll find younger women on broadcast “searching” for their soul mate, I suppose. 

Happn 

Rating: 4/5 

If you believe in love at first site, this app can work in your favour, especially if you’re too shy to approach that one person you’ve been constantly bumping into at your local supermarket, music festival, restaurant or gym. Happn is a perfect dating app because it allows you to find people whom you randomly saw in the street and instantly fell in love with. 

But let’s be honest, most people use this app for a hook up. In the first week of being on happn, I learnt that I crossed paths with a lot of horny people LOL. But luckily the people I crossed paths with only appeared on my map for 7 days, alternatively I could easily decline their interest by hiding their profile so that it never appears in my timeline again without them knowing.

Another great feature is that your location will always be private, it’s never accessible, and the app only shows other “happners” where you’ve crossed paths with them.

Down 

Rating: 2/5 

Down is completely private and discreet. They'll connect you to each other once both of you express interest! Down will find both your Facebook friends and friends of friends and gives you the option of letting them know whether you want to bang or if you’re in it for something more. It’s really a true definition of DTF. 

Some people might find this a bit too much while others think it’s just perfect. It all really depends on your true intentions. 

There are two ways to “get down”, you can ask your potential partner for casual sex by swiping down or you can ask them on a date by swiping up. 

The app is free to download. I do feel that South Africans are not yet ready for this app – and I totally understand. Why download an app when you can slide into someone’s Instagram DMs. I did however meet some foreigners who as you’d suspect have a crude sense of humour. 

Badoo, Heyoo, Elite Dating and Hot or Not 

Rating: 1/5 

I honestly feel that I’m being fair by rating these apps a 1 out of 5. In my personal opinion, they are the worst online dating apps I’ve trialed to date.

They are a terrible way to find love, sex, friendship or just a decent human being. If you're looking for a relationship that won't end in heartache, ghosting, catfishing, death, or just a whole lot of psychotherapy that you probably wouldn't need otherwise, avoid them!

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