So you find yourself single and ready to mingle, but you’ve got kids hanging off your ankles, and the last time you tried to hit up a hottie in the club it was 1995 and you were wearing Skechers chunky sandals, a choker necklace, and CK One unisex cologne. What’s a horny mom to do? Lucky for you, app developers have come up with a plethora of apps that will give you dozens, if not hundreds, of men in pictures wearing sunglasses in their car or holding a fish and/or deer head. All you have to do is swipe left for “no” or swipe right for “yes”; but really, who would say no to any of these fine options? If you find yourself nervous or overwhelmed, do not fear! Your girl is here to hold your hand, as together we meander through whatever is left after all the good ones got married. Here is my rundown of the most popular dating apps and my tips for using them.
I met my current boyfriend of a year on Hinge, so there used to be at least one decent man on there. Hinge is unique in that members have prompts to answer, which gives you at least one good talking point when messaging. It also suggests friends of friends, which is helpful in that you can check with said mutual friend to make sure whomever you match with does not have bodies in the basement. On the negative side, I personally did not find it as user-friendly as other dating apps. It is less of a pure hook-up website than Tinder, but not as engaging and easy to use as Bumble. Hinge is a good runner-up dating app.
Do you enjoy being immediately asked about your sexual history by a stranger? Would you like to scroll through profiles of men who are almost certainly married? Does getting a message from a weirdo asking for a picture of your foot turn you on? If so, Tinder is for you. I know there are people out there who have met their significant others on Tinder, but I personally have only ever met creeps and liars. The one positive is that Tinder is very user-friendly (swipe left or right). Proceed with caution, or download as a way to entertain your married friends at a girls’ night.
Bumble is a woman-centric dating app, in that the woman has to make the first move by messaging the guy. He then has 24 hours to reply before the match is gone. I personally found the caliber of men to be less creepy on Bumble than on Tinder, and in general I enjoyed using the app more than any of the others. It looks cleaner and is easy to use, and it is the app I had the most success on prior to my current relationship. The only thing I did not like was the pressure to reply within 24 hours or lose the match, because as a busy mom, I rarely had time for that.
I like the fact that Facebook Dating connects you to friends of friends first and tells you who your mutual friend is. This gives both partners the opportunity to vet their potential suitors first. I’m not sure if the app is just too new (and it’s possible that it’s grown in the year since I’ve tried it), but there were not many men on it, and I had very few mutual friends. I only had one date with a guy I met on Facebook Dating in the several months that I used it, but I do have a much younger co-worker who really likes it, so I may just be out of the age range of most users.
Match.com is the OG of dating websites, and its newer, sleeker app, Match, is user-friendly. I liked that the profiles were creative and longer than many other apps and allowed for more pictures. I like the fact that Match is not free, therefore attracting users who are more serious about meeting someone. However, there are some features that are free, and if you pay, you can’t tell who has the free version (and therefore cannot reply to your message) and who doesn’t. I think the free apps are actually better than Match. I was on the site for six months and never really made any strong connections.
Top Internet Dating Tips
Now that you’ve held your nose and picked an app, here are my best tips for success.
- Don’t expect to meet Prince Charming on every date. Lower your expectations and keep it fun. Just expect to have a night where you get to wear something other than yoga pants and see the outside world for a bit.
- Tell a friend where you are and send a picture of your date. The world is scarier than it was in 1995, and you can never be too careful.
- Don’t drink too much on the first date. Keep your guard up and your wits about you. That may not be the sexiest advice you’ll get, but stay in control and remember that the person you are alone with is essentially still a stranger.
- Don’t invest too much in messaging. Messaging/texting tends to create an emotional intimacy that doesn’t always translate to real life. If a guy didn’t make plans to meet me in real life within a few days of messaging, I moved on. I’m too old for a pen pal.
- Be upfront about the fact that you have kids. I personally went back and forth about putting my kids’ pictures on my profile, but I always wrote somewhere that I have children. Some people aren’t into kids, and that’s fine, but let’s not waste both of our time in that case.
In all seriousness, I think the dating apps are a great way for busy moms to meet partners! If nothing else, you will have great stories to tell your kids when they’re older. I have so many stories, I could write about ten more posts. It’s a great time to start swiping! Have fun!