If you're single, you may not have much use for mobile applications that will let you plan the perfect dinner and make reservations and send flowers for Valentine's Day.
Leave those apps for the world of couples already living their happily ever after.
Today's column is about the dating apps that can help singles find a way into the couples category in time for the next romantic holiday, if they're up for the challenge.
After experimenting with some of these apps superficially on my iPad and/or Android phone, I learned that dating via app takes time: Questions required for personality matching are extensive and personal, and individual profiles are better if they're witty and well-written. After that, it's difficult to sort through men with profile names like “Snake,” “Curiosito” or “Allen” to find ones whose interests and ages might match yours.
But if you're serious about dating, here are a few avenues for finding someone using a smartphone. Pick just a couple of services, or else you will get overwhelmed.
Match.com and eHarmony.com are among the most well-known dating websites, and their apps for all types of devices fall in line with both subscription-based services. Match.com offers a lot of potential dates locally, although clicking through matches feels like an online shopping experience: Add to your cart and check out. EHarmony requires users to fill out a long personality quiz and then screens matches before you ever see any. I have known several couples who have met this way. Others to try include the free OKCupid, Plenty of Fish and Dating DNA, Badoo apps, which all require answering some questions up front to check for compatibility.
A new free app for iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys, called SinglesAroundMe, is supposed to find singles within 100 feet to100 miles of you. A few minutes after signing on, I received a flirtatious “wink” from someone in Egypt who speaks Arabic — obviously not close. However, it appears there are several singles who DO live within a certain distance from my home. Their profiles show up as pins on a map that I can click. This app might be fun during an evening out.
Happy Valentine's Day, singles! Let me know if you find your heart's desire using these apps.