How to choose the best apps, websites, and soirees for dating

Two years ago, amidst the meteoric rise of Tinder, I chronicled my life of singledom in a book called Swipe – The Game has Changed. When dating apps arrived, courtship changed forever.

The calendar certainly has changed from my book launch date, but has dating? From nice to naughty here's the what's-what  in the singles' landscape of Australian dating.

The bar pickup is dead

Woah. Wait a second – is it really? Well, it's a real Venus versus Mars scenario in Australia at the moment. On one hand, you've got women saying "Nobody approaches, and when they do they just fancy a hook up after umpteen beers."

On the other side, us lads want to share a wine, say hello, and share some friendly laughs. However, we fear quite a strong emotion – rejection.

So, what do we do? Stay put, then reach in the pocket in the midst of bars full of singles and play with our smartphones.

App dating is growing. And growing

Tinder (the original; everybody is on there), Bumble (women initiate contact), and Happn (you happen to pass by one another) lead the industry. They all have brands, but essentially you swipe left or right, then chat – it's the same kind of home just a different colour of paint. We're all accepted and rejected on these apps – the beauty is, rejection is faceless, and it stings just a bit less. And swiping from the couch Sunday to Wednesday sure saves on the bar bills.

OkCupid, Zoosk, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, and many more apps exist that cater to fit singles, the LGBTIQ community, and even dog lovers. If you haven't tried app dating, well, do you even own a smartphone?

Speed dating

Woosh! Is it gone? It seemed like there were five weekly events in major cities, then Cyclone Tinder blew it away. If you fancy a quick chat-drink with a singleton (then "next!!!"), speed dating is a cruisy way to meet 15 or so potential dates. Some small mum-and-dad shops are still running events around the country (Google is your mate), and CitySwoon looks like the savvy industry leader in the speed dating space.

Don't forget about internet dating

Sure, app dating is trending, and the Wolf of Wall Street would short shares of traditional dating websites, but providers like RSVP, eHarmony, and Plenty of Fish will always suit those that prefer to learn a bit more about potential matches while taking it at a slower pace. Just as CDs and streaming was meant to be the death of vinyl, you'll still find a record store filled with top quality tunes, and internet dating will be popular for many years to come.


Sydney Soiree

If you haven't heard of it, check this out: On Saturday, 26 August, three mates will come to my place, and we will cook a starter, main, and dessert for four women who will bring wine, paired with our starter. One hour later, those women shift to meet new guys, and four more women shift to meet us for our main course, then again a shift for dessert. The grand finale is 300 single attendees from the event around Sydney CBD and East will party into the wee hours at a secret location. The Soiree is new. It's expanding around Australia. And I like the "meet real people more, smartphone less" type approach. While women seemed to have signed up early, they still need guys to sign up. You can check it out here.

Take a leap into the unknown

Singletons moan how "It's impossible to meet a nice, single person." I deplore that negative approach, because we now have more options than ever to meet somebody new. Some quick tips:

  • Be honest. Your profile should be you – height, weight, age. You will meet in person, so why lie? Save the awkward embarrassment.
  • Whatever you are seeking, have manners and respect.
  • Choose just a few dating avenues.Chat less, make actual plans more. Meeting is better than thumb typing and emails.
  • Relax, and have fun. Whether you're playing naughty or for marriage, the end goal is to meet in person for a walk, gelato, or a wine… from there? Anything is possible.

As a writer in health and fitness, I prefer my food prepared and meeting potential partners organically. However, technology has changed the way we work, live, and most definitely date. App dating leans away from organic and towards that biscuit aisle, and millions of us keep dipping our hands into the cookie jar. Good? Bad? It just is. Embrace it with optimism, and check out other options - there are some amazing people out there to share a laugh, kiss, wine and maybe more.