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Posted July 14, 2013 by Tom Litchfield in Tips
 
 

Your perfect match in relationship apps

How About We app screenshot
How About We app screenshot

I like to think technology can help just about any area of life, even when it comes to finding that special someone to spend the rest of your life with.

High-tech dating is nothing new, since the dawn of the Internet countless singles have met their partners and spouses for the first time online. What’s new these days is the variety of options and specialized online services available that can help in every stage of dating, from screening potential matches, to organizing date night, to sending gifts.

Dating Apps

There’s a range of apps for matchmaking and meetups. Beyond basic flirting apps like Blendr (iOS, Android), Zoosk, the “romantic social network” (iOS, Android) and the popular Are you interested? (iOS, Android) . There are apps that take it slow, such as Likemind (iOS only at this time), which helps you find people with common interests, or the superfast MeetMoi (Android, iOS) which puts a time limit on activities before meeting in person.

But let’s cut to the chase. When it comes to successful long-term relationships, I’ve personally known more people that have met their future spouses through two services, one of which is not a dating site at all.

The first is Plenty of Fish, which is for matchmaking and dating, and the second, surprisingly, is Craigslist.

Plenty of Fish, or POF, is popular dating site has been around for a while. The app connects you to its database of millions of singles. It has all the standard features you expect from a dating app, but it’s the number of singles using POF that has made it successful over the years. The app is free on Google Play and Apple App Store:

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POF DatingPlentyoffish Media Inc.Social NetworkingFreeDownload

I have a theory of why so many people meet on Craigslist. Since it’s not a dating site, people who use it don’t feel like they’ve sunken to level of desperation in their love life that requires help from a dating service. It’s without all the bells and whistles that come with dating apps, so Craigslist is a little old school, like striking up a conversation with someone in a bar. Whatever the reasons, the old classifieds site is a great place to meet local singles who scoff at dating services and social media and may be a little more down to earth.

Craigslist Mobile provides access and interaction to online listings and messaging, free on Apple App Store and Google Play:

Screening

Most of the bigger dating services have screening in place to prevent you from hooking up with anyone with a shady past. However, you may want to do your own research just to be on the safe side. Here are a few services that can help with screening and protecting yourself.

Romance Scams is not an app (at least not right now), but has a searchable database that focuses mainly on money scammers who target dating sites. Take each report with a grain of salt as some may not be fair to the other party. But if you see multiple reports on the same person, fair or not, that’s certainly a red flag. This is a good site to check when you meet someone that’s too good to be true.

LuLu is the newest app that ladies can use for screening. The app is intended for women to share their intimate knowledge of men they’ve dated. Meant for just for fun, the app could provide insight into a potential partner’s real personality. Free on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

After you’ve done your due diligence if you’re still hesitant to hand out your number, use Burner. With Burner you can create a temporary phone number to use for texting and talking without handing over your real number until you’re ready. Then when you’re done with your temporary number (or you don’t want to be contacted by a certain someone anymore) you delete, or burn it forever. The app is free on Google Play, and Apple App Store (additional cost for each number):

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Burner – 2nd Phone NumberAd Hoc Labs, INCUtilitiesFreeDownload

Going Out

Once you’ve met someone online and reached the stage where you’re actually going out on a first date, you can rely on some apps to help you plan and execute the perfect outing.

Impress your date with your knowledge of all the local hot spots for food and fun using Foursquare. There are plenty of other apps that can help find restaurants based on reviews, but Foursquare check-ins don’t lie. You can browse user uploaded pictures to get a sense of different venues and get real-time information on which places might be crowded. Don’t forget Foursquare also has the deets on local clubs, parks, museums and sights.

Once you find a restaurant you like, use OpenTable (iOS, Android) for booking to secure the reservation for date night.

Wow your date with an on-demand personal limousine to transport you while dining out using Uber. Use the app to summon a private driver in a matter of minutes. No fumbling with cash or credit cards, your ride is billed automatically and no tip necessary. Free (the app that is -not the limo!) on Apple App Store and Google Play:

Maps & Navigation 0Download

And if you just want to go out and have a good time without going through the hassles of online dating there’s How About We. While a lot of dating sites and apps revolve around being online, the How About We app encourages users to get offline and go on actual dates. The concept is simple: Either post a date you’d like to go on, like “wine tasting in Napa” and see who might be interested in making that happen, or browse date ideas in your area and see if you find anything interesting. Free for Apple iOS  and Android devices.

Gifts

In the beginning stages of a relationship, sending a gift can be an unexpected, romantic surprise or a nice ‘thank you’ after that perfect evening together arranged by your partner. As your relationship progresses you may need one of these apps to make up for a misunderstanding.

Wrapp lets you send gift cards to anyone, anytime. Select a friend, choose a gift card and send. Done. Google PlayApple App Store

Jifiti is a very cool gifting app. It allows you to walk into a store, purchase a gift, and “send” it, directly to someone’s phone, while you’re still in the store. Want to know how it works? Here are our reviews and download links: Jifiti for iOS, Jifiti for Android.

And of course, you can quickly and easily send gifts using the Amazon Mobile app.

Marriage

If relationship apps have gotten you this far, then there’s no surprise there are plenty of wedding planning apps. Here are a few:

  • There’s Wedding Budget (iOS only) that does what the name implies, helping to manage wedding costs.
  • The Knot (for iOS) can keep track of just about every to-do item for the big day, from guest list RSVP’s to dress suggestions, this wedding app does it all.
  • Wedding Scan (iOS) allows you to register items from any store by scanning the barcode with your phone.

And beyond marriage there’s …


Tom Litchfield

 
is generally fascinated with mobile and internet technologies, and how they can help people and organizations. He’s always on the lookout for new technology that solves real problems.