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The Quintessential Guide to Dating for Twenty Somethings in 2015

“This is the year,” you’ve told yourself. No more waiting around for that perfect girl or guy to materialize out of thin air. No more one night hook ups that begin by chugging straight from the Johnny Walker Black Label bottle and finish with you waking up on your couch with sriracha stains on your mouth and a half eaten quesarito in your lap (because you didn’t actually bring anyone home).

This is the year that you’re going to take some initiative in your life and do something for yourself for once in your life. Grandma can take her meddling questions about when you’re going to get married and squeeze out a few grand-babies and TAKE A HIKE. Well… actually that’s kind of mean, but seriously grandma can’t you see I’m in the midst of my glory years as a millennial?? We don’t live our lives in black and white anymore; this is the age of valencia and lo-fi and … X Pro II!

 

manwomansquirtguns

So that still leaves you at your central predicament: how am I going to find a mate? Someone you can share that bottle of Johnny Walker Black with. Someone you can rest your head against while watching True Detective (Season 2). Someone who will appreciate your flimsy, flaccid dad bod.*

Well, there’s good news: the times have-a-changed, my friend. As the Dalai Lama recently said, “There’s an app for that.”

But seriously, there is. In 2015, meeting people and sifting through the potential dating scene has never been easier. It just requires a little time and a willingness to take some risks.

Here at PRSUIT, we’ve done a rundown of the dating scene in 2015. We’ve analyzed the best dating apps that exist right now, asked our friends for inside stories and general dating advice, and compiled the knowledge you need to avoid being forever alone.

*Note: PRSUIT does not endorse the dad bod movement.

Dating With Apps: What’s Out There and What You Need To Know

Though apps are certainly not the only way to connect with people, they are pretty darn convenient and on the rise. It’s ridiculously easy to sign up and start matching with people. Here’s our 60 second rundown of the different dating apps:

tinderlogo

 

How it Works

-Connects through Facebook

-Shows you potential matches in your geographic vicinity

-Only shows you users with whom you share mutual Facebook friends, -App limits you to deciding on 8 matches per day

Pros

-Quick

-Free

-Easy to Use

-Minimal Profile Requirements

-Large User Base

Cons

-Fake Profiles

-Large User Base (yes this is both a pro and a con)

-Emphasis on casual sex/hookups

– Lack of actual communication

Advice

Never say never. Tinder can be exactly what you want it to be. If you are proactive and make an effort to have meaningful conversation with your matches, it can be a great launching point for an in person relationship.

If you are a mega creep and use lines like “I wish all the chairs in the world were gone… so you’d have to sit on my face.” Well, then, you reap what you sow my friend.

 

 

 

hingelogo

How it Works

-Connects through Facebook

-Shows you potential matches in your geographic vicinity

-Only shows you users with whom you share mutual Facebook friends

-App limits you to deciding on 8 matches per day

Pros

-Quick

-Free

-Easy to Use

-Emphasis on dating rather than hookups

-More relevant candidate pool

-Less creepers

-User base growing rapidly

Cons

Lengthier profile requirements

-Only available in 34 U.S. Cities and 2 foreign ones (London, Toronto)

Advice

Hinge eliminates a lot of the creep factor that makes Tinder so unattractive. If you’re single and looking to date, but fall a little on the risk averse/ conservative side, give this app a go!

 

 

coffeemeetsbagellogo

How it Works

-Connects through Facebook

-At noon every day, shows you 1 potential match in your geographic vicinity

-You have 24 hours to “LIKE” or “PASS”

-Matches you based on detailed user information (age, race, location, religion, education, etc.)

Pros

Free

-Emphasis on dating rather than hookups

-Extremely relevant candidate pool

-Little to no creeping

-Medium sized user base

Cons

-Lengthier profile requirements

-Only one potential match per day

Advice

Coffee Meets Bagel is primarily focused on matching with dating in mind/ weeding out the creepers. This app eliminates a lot of the risk that Tinder presents and can be a great alternative. Our advice: if you are looking to swing statistics your way, use Coffee Meets Bagel in conjunction with another app (say Hinge). Two hands of Blackjack give you a better chance than one.

 

bumblelogo

How it Works

-Connects Through Facebook

-Nearly identical to Tinder with one major difference: only women can initiate the conversations (must be within 24 hours)

-Requires slightly more information than Tinder (i.e. current job, current company,etc.)

Pros

-Quick

-Free

-Pretty much eliminates male creep factor

Cons

-Renders men helpless

-User base is not that large yet

Advice

If you’re a woman, give this app a go. Reverses the online male-dominate dating trend and allows you to avoid witty openers from men like “Let’s do butt stuff.”

If you’re a man, hey a third hand of blackjack never hurt anyone. Plus by signing up for this app, you’re already indicating to women that you intend to try to court them respectfully. And if they message, you, then you DEFINITELY know they’re interested.

okcupidlogo

How it Works

-Web based dating site with a more traditional take on online dating

-Asks you a number of personal questions and requires a lengthier profile

-Shows you ‘high probability’ matches in your vicinity

-Also has Tinder-like “Quickmatch” feature

-Website’s functionality available in an app format

Pros

-Base dating service is free

-Large user base

-Precise matching based on user input

Cons

-No guarantee that your matches will be mutually interested

-High male to female ratio

-Free service has a message limit

-Creepers

Advice

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to fill out a profile and engage with others, OkCupid may be able to work for you. You are not limited to messaging people who have only “swiped right” for you, thus there is a larger potential dating pool.
On the flip side, from what I understand, girls are barraged with messages from guys on OkCupid, so your odds of actually getting a response aren’t the best.

 

So You Matched. Now What?

 

This is definitely the trickiest part of the online interaction.

Now that you’ve matched, how do you initiate a conversation like a normal human being? Well, there’s a lot of different approaches, but here’s some tips we received when we took a survey of our peers:

“Say something interesting that makes you stand out instead of ‘Hey.’ Be yourself and don’t think it’s weird.”

“Don’t be afraid to initiate, ask questions, and meet in person sooner rather than later.”

“Be funny, be direct, never say things like ‘I dunno, whatever you want.’ People with plans are more attractive.”

“Use an opener that shows that you paid attention to the other person’s profile and/or that you share a common interest.”

The bottom line is: don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Talk like your normal self, throw some humor in there, discuss what’s interesting to you, get their number, and get out and meet up with them in person within a reasonable amount of time.

manwomanlaughing

 

Dating Outside of the World of Screens: How To Meet Other Humans

 

I don’t know about you guys, but I spent a good portion of my early twenties frequenting the bar scene taking pages out of Barney Stinson’s playbook. Granted, this was fun, and I managed to get a fair amount of numbers, but I didn’t really make any meaningful connections.

If you’re tired of the whole bar routine, haven’t met anyone interesting through work or friends, and Tinder is throwing you three sheets to the wind, follow the process below for alternative methods of connecting with people:

 

Step 1: Identify any activities that interest you.

It can even be something that you want to learn, for example:

-Working Out

-Outdoor Activities (hiking, biking, running, etc.)

-Playing/Watching Sports

-Volunteering

-Music

-Theater

-Dancing

-Art

-Playing Games

 

Step 2: Find groups/outlets where people meet up to do those activities

Here’s some good ones:

Interest Outlets
Working Out Crossfit gyms, Yoga studios, Rock Climbing gyms, WellSquad (app for meeting workout buddies)
Outdoor Activities Find a hiking/biking/running group near you on Meetup.com
Playing Sports Join an adult rec league (softball, volleyball, and kickball are good for co-ed mingling)
Volunteering Find volunteering opportunities near you on VolunteerMatch
Theater Take an improv class at a comedy venue near you
Dancing Take dancing lessons at a studio
Art Go to a local art show
Playing Games Go to a gaming convention
Music Go to a music festival


Step 3: Make friends, meet their friends, have new experiences, meet potential dating partners.

Step 3: Make friends, meet their friends, have new experiences, meet potential dating partners.

This isn’t going to happen overnight, but if you diligently strive to make new connections, you will meet a wider array of people and are much more likely to meet someone with whom you are compatible.

Here’s some other great advice we received from our friends:

“Determine an interest or hobby you care most about. If it’s music, go to concerts by yourself and talk with people. If it’s sports, go to tailgates and try to meet new people. No matter the sex/gender of the person you meet, expanding your network within your interests is always a good thing. That guy you met at a show might have girlfriends that you could meet, and you just scored a mutual friend so you have an advantage.”

“Go and do things you enjoy and you’ll likely find someone there who enjoys similar things too. If you love volunteering, volunteer. Go to your alma mater’s local alumni events. Meet friends of friends at work.”

“One of the best ways to meet people is through mutual friends. Whoever plays matchmaker often knows what each person is looking for and how well both parties will mesh. Although work isn’t the most conventional, I think this can also be a great way to meet people because you get to know someone further as a person, their goals and aspirations and their work ethic, if that’s something that appeals to you. As long as you can keep things professional in the work place (rain or shine), I don’t see a reason why this should stop someone from taking a chance.”

manwomansitting

But wait, I’m an introvert. Help!

So you’re an introvert, eh? Well, that definitely makes this whole process much more challenging. But that doesn’t mean you will be any less successful.

To make it less overwhelming, set small, attainable goals for yourself on a weekly basis. Message one person you matched with on an app. Go to one new meetup per month. Focus on trying to hang out with smaller, intimate friend groups and meeting people through them.

In conclusion…

Meeting new people can be an uncomfortable experience. However, it’s also an experience through which we grow and learn about ourselves. Get outside of your comfort zone, engage in new experiences, and who knows– you just might find your other half.

Photo credit: 1, Unsplash, 3

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Written by Konrad Stoick

Konrad is a fitness enthusiast, occasional comedian, and perpetual people watcher. Connect with me at editor@prsuit.com.

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