Best Dating Sites

My Experience with Tinder (Hint: It Works!)

By Elizabeth Rowe

Tinder’s been getting a pretty bad rap lately. Considering I have been dating a guy I met on Tinder for almost six months now, I feel the app’s shady reputation is unjustified. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the best dating site on your smartphone, let alone the internet. Here’s why:

Tinder mimics reality
Every day as you walk down the street, you quietly assess each passing person as a potential date/mate. Yes, it’s shallow, but it’s also a subconscious process that you may not be aware of until you are faced with a dating app that mimics this aspect of human behaviour.

Based on your geographical location and according to your personal settings for age and gender, Tinder allows you to view the profiles of men/women also in your area. One after the other in a never-ending cycle, you can swipe left to discard someone’s profile, or your swipe right to ‘heart’ it. If that person also ‘hearts’ you, a chat window becomes available. In no other way can you contact or be contacted by other Tinder users.

Tinder is constantly branded as superficial and seedy, but you know what? That is exactly how people operate in reality! You unwittingly play Tinder in your mind on a daily basis with prospective partners.

Tinder is multi-purpose
As Tinder users can affirm, there is nothing more addictive than this dating app. Regardless of whether you signed up to find a relationship or a one night stand, Tinder becomes so game-like that the pure entertainment value is a more powerful word-of-mouth drawcard than evidence of its effectiveness.

‘Tindering’ has also become a social activity. You go to a bar in a new area of town with some friends, sit down with a drink, pull out your phones, and check out the local Tinder talent.

Plus, hilarity always ensues when you come across the Tinder profile of somebody you know or work with—or even worse, a sibling.

Tinder works!
Yes, there are creeps on Tinder who are very blunt about their brief sexual intentions, but as a girl who went out on a myriad of Tinder dates, I can guarantee that I was never frightened, bored or ‘catfished’. The vast majority of Tinder users are there for the same reason that you are.

Above all, Tinder can truly make effective matches. It’s misguided to believe that instant physical attraction is not an important part of a blossoming romance, but Tinder also allows you to pick and choose your partners based on mutual interests (as provided by your Facebook likes).  Indeed, the reason I ‘hearted’ my current partner on Tinder was not simply because I thought he was a hunk, but because we shared the same taste in bands, in film and TV, and held the same interests in other areas of popular culture and contemporary life.

Strange situations often make for the best relationship stories, so do not be deterred by Tinder’s sometimes lewd (and largely undeserved) reputation. The app worked wonders for this particular user!

Are you a Tinder user? What has your experience been like?

3 of the Best Dating Sites (That Don’t Suck)

Thinking of dipping your toe into the online dating pool? It can be scary and intimidating, but luckily these days more and more couples are meeting online. In fact, more than 10% of people meet their partner through online dating!

But where do you start? After riffling through your Facebook albums looking for the perfect profile pic, and creating a profile that’s just the right side of honest, witty and funny, you need to know which dating sites to use. Believe us, we’ve been there, and just like real-life dating, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are three of Australia’s best dating sites that you should try – hey, you never know!

OkCupid is one of Australia’s biggest dating sites, and there are plenty of hotties on this one. We compared a stack of dating sites and found OkCupid has an impressive amount of good-looking guys. You can search by age and location, with lovely big profile pics so you don’t have to guestimate what your date will look like. It’s also one of the best dating sites for gay and bisexual singles.

Plenty of Fish is one of the most popular free dating sites in the world with over 40 million worldwide users, with a huge number of Aussie users.  Because of sheer amount of numbers that this site gets, it makes for plenty of opportunities to find people that you might be compatible with. The site might be no-frills but it makes browsing super quick and easy. Start by filling out their POF Relationship Chemistry Predictor test to be matched up with other singles with similar personality traits.

Match.com is huge both here in Australia and the world, and claims that more online relationships start from their site than any other. In fact, it’s hard to find someone that hasn’t used it – hey, even Martha Stewart used Match.com! What’s great is that you can browse by more than just age and location, but also ethnicity and faith, so if those features are important to you, this is a great place to start.

What are the best dating sites you’ve used? Share them in the comments!

3 of the Best Dating Sites

Yesterday was the busiest day of the year for online dating, so we’ve reviewed three of Australia’s best dating sites – RSVP, eHarmony and Plenty of Fish – so you can start the new year with a new love!

Australia’s most popular dating website is RSVP, a dating website that offers a free personality survey and a number of different mobile dating options. Using RSVP is

To create a profile on RSVP, upload a few recent photos, complete your profile information, describe your interests, and what you want out of an ideal partner. After your profile is completed, use RSVP’s customised search function to find other Australian singles that have the specific personality traits, interests, and let’s face it, physical attributes, you desire in a better half.

Where RSVP sets itself apart from other Australian dating websites is that the it uses algorithms to comb through their database, helping match your profile to other singles with similar interests and values. Which means less browsing and more time flirting and chatting with potential partners.

When you find a sexy single that piques your interest, break the ice by sending them a “kiss.” A kiss is a free, preset message that helps you establish a connection.

The next step is to buy “stamps” so you can begin a conversation and chat with your potential match for 30 days. RSVP’s Priority Services cost $14.90 a month, which gets you to the top of the search results, or $29.90 for their Private Service, which allows you to enjoy more privacy, upload more photos, and send Stamps that don’t expire.

eHarmony: 29 Dimensions of Compatibility
Like RSVP, eHarmony gives you access to a large network of Aussie singles. It’s one of the biggest dating networks in the world, thanks in part to its patented 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.

eHarmony’s 29 Dimensions of Compatibility is a computer algorithm that is modeled around the relationship traits frequently found in successful relationships. When you create a profile on eHarmony, the service will match you with another single that has compatible values and interests.

There a number of different chemistry-building communication methods available for aspiring lovebirds. There’s the “Makes or Breaks” feature, and a “Digging Deeper” questionnaire, that allows you to ask to quiz a match about certain personality traits (a.k.a deal breakers). And if you don’t want to give out your contact details, you can chat via their mail service, which is great for security.

eHarmony offers subscription services starting at $59.95 for a one-month subscription, to $239.40 for a year-long subscription.

Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish is one of Australia’s most popular dating sites, because it’s always been free so has attracted hundreds of thousands of Aussies. But don’t let that scare you – more singles increases the chance that you’ll find love. There is an upgrade feature but you’re better off saving your cash as it doesn’t really give you any benefits.

Start by taking Plenty of Fish’s “Chemistry Test,” which asks you a number of questions about your interests, romantic history, and romantic desires. It’s a good way to reflect about what you’re looking for in a partner. They also have a popular feature called “Your Relationship Needs,” a test and tutorial that will help you identify past relationship problems, as well as help you find the perfect match now.

What are your favourite dating sites? Share them in the comments!

Tinder, Fancied + Grouper: 3 Best Mobile Phone Dating Apps

Meeting your match in real life or online is so 2012. If you’re not addicted to Tinder, Fancied or soon-to-launch in Australia, Grouper, chances are you’re not Gen X & Y, single or looking to become so. Hailed as the ‘straight’ Grindr – are Tinder, Fancied and Grouper all about one night stands or long-term love?

Dating through apps is just the thing for those with short attention spans, very short attention spans.

If hanging out with friends in bars or at parties or combing through online profiles is just all too tedious for you – a tap or a swipe of your phone could be just the thing between you and meeting your one, true love. Or, at least, your one ‘you-look-pretty-alright-for-tonight’ hook-up scenario.


What’s it all about? Tinder links to your Facebook page and notifies you, via profile shots, based on your Facebook mutual friends and interests, who is single and looking for love nearby. You like what you see? Swipe right to the green heart to register your interest. Not floating your boat? Swipe left to the red cross to say ‘not in this lifetime.’ If you both give each other a ‘green heart’ light, a conversation via the app can begin.

Tinder is the fastest growing dating app. The company is reluctant to release figures but since Tinder launched in September last year, Forbes says users have rated each other’s profiles 3.5 billion times and have been matched up 35 million times.

According to Tinder’s Australian brand manager, Joshua Metz, the app is downloaded more than 1000 times a day in Australia alone.

Pros: The app saves you from potential romantic humiliation by letting you anonymously ‘like’ or ‘reject’ your nearby suiters/users. Only if they ‘like’ you too will Tinder make an introduction and you can start communicating via the app. You can’t be randomly messaged by people you don’t know or don’t want to know.

Got some down time waiting for the bus to arrive to meet up with friends? You could potentially line up a date (or several) for that night.

Cons: By trawling through your Facebook to look for folk nearby with mutual friends and interests, the chances of stumbling across your ex; your best friend’s ex or even your second cousin is more than likely.

Your picture – and their picture – is your only chance to make an impression. Dangerous territory for folk clinging desperately to a flattering snap taken 5 years ago, especially if you actually plan to meet up in real life, at some stage, there’s going to be that awkward 3 minutes of non-recognition.

What if you accidentally swipe ‘no thanks’ when you meant to ‘green heart’ someone? You’ll never get that person back on screen. Imagine, it could’ve been your one true love…

Good for: Wanting to broaden your social circle slightly in a comfortable, non threatening way.

Not so great for: Someone who desperately believes in soulmates and hopes they will magically appear in the palm of their hand via their phone. Whilst some will be more legitimately looking for love than others, the very nature of the app makes random hook-ups and bragging rights very easy. But if that’s what you’re looking for, good luck to you.


What’s it all about? Fancied is an Australian-based dating app launched 4 weeks ago and already boasts thousands of ‘fancies’ nationally. Aimed at the 18-35 demographic, the app is gaining popularity with users sharing the app with friends via Facebook.

Founder and CEO of Fancied, Christie Sharpe explains, “We are thrilled with the results and have 60% engagement on the app, this is mainly because users are getting matched by people they mutually like.

Like Tinder, Fancied links to your Facebook page and offers up profile shots, names and ages of potential matches who are nearby and looking for love. You can either play the ‘fancy’ game and search profiles nearby or check into a venue listed as a ‘hot spot’ for singles ready to meet.

Again, like Tinder, liking or not liking someone is kept anonymous until two ‘likes’ become one.

Pros: Using the geo-location ‘hot spot’ allows the user to know where all the fun-loving singles are mingling close by and can join accordingly.

Cons: Like Tinder, by trawling mutual friends on Facebook, the chance of your ex, your best friend’s ex or your cousin is again, a dating possibility.

Good for: The ‘push-to-maps’ feature is great for users geographically challenged to find their way to the right bar to meet their match.

Not so great for: Similar to Tinder, those looking to find their soulmate may be in luck but also exposed to some of society’s not so romantic idealists.


What’s it all about? Originally launched in New York as a three-on-three blind dating service, Grouper is a dating app available in 20 cities across the US that will soon launch in Australia.

You sign up for Grouper, pick a specific date and time or choose the on-demand feature, choose two wingmen/besties, pay an up front yet-to-be-determined fee per person for the date and the app automatically sets you up with three others of the opposite sex.

The fee paid pays for the first round of drinks and ensures everyone actually turns up. And then it flows (or not) from there.

Grouper Director of Operations, Kristen Badal, says “We’re launching in Australia in coming months so I encourage single Aussies to sign up at joingrouper.com to find out when and where we will be happening.”

Pros: Grouper sees itself more as an app for meeting people than a dating service. In the US, it is more popular with women and has a roughly 60/40 split between women and men members.

Expanding your social circle and going on a ‘blind date’ with two of your besties takes the intimidation and safety issues out of the blind date equation.

Cons: What’s the etiquette? Do the six of you interact as a group or do you make a beeline for your favourite and start to pair off?

What if no one wants to talk to you or you get left with the third party that wasn’t really ‘into’ the blind date in the first place?

Good for: Folk who need a concierge for their social life. Can’t think of a new bar to visit? Grouper can sort that, and the company you keep, out for you.

Not so great for: If you go on the ‘blind date’ with three friends with similar tastes in the opposite sex. Bestie biffo over a bloke at the end of the night is never a good look. It gets worse if only one of you gets an SMS asking for a second date. Oh dear.

Have you tried mobile phone dating? What are your favourite dating websites or apps?