Digital Love

Do’s and don’ts for looking for a Valentine online

By Anthony Costello, Feb. 12, 2015.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, dating apps and websites are stepping up their advertisement game in hopes of adding more singles to their digital dating pools.

Even the gay dating/hook-up app Scruff, which currently boasts seven million users, doled out major dough for a billboard ad outside University of Phoenix Stadium ahead of Super Bowl XLIX. The slogan: “Play On Our Team” situated next to two men sizing each other up in a locker room.

Such apps as Scruff, Grindr, Tinder, and the new lesbian-centric Scissr are geared toward matching users with potential mates, but aside from providing a veritable source of hookups, do many actual relationships come out of them?

“A lot of my friends have had more positive experiences with [apps] than I have,” said local Grindr, Scruff and OkCupid user Greg Breeden, adding that he believes the difference between dating and hook-up apps is defined by users themselves. “You can go out on a great date with Grindr, like I did in the past, or it can be a hookup. Depends on [the user’s] intention.

Similarly, Arizona State University student Alejandro Ramirez said the lines between dating and hook-up apps are blurring.

“I feel that the line between the two has really blurred,” he said, adding that he often bases his decision on how the app identifies itself. “I prefer to use dating apps because they allows for more conversation to happen. With Grindr and the like, messages tend to be really brief. It’s either ‘are we hooking up or not?’”

OkCupid (okcupid.com) is a free friendship, dating and social network service that landed in Time magazine’s top dating websites for 2007. While the site offers basic free features, such as messaging and viewing unlimited profiles, users can pay to use features that “spotlight” your profile in order to gain more views.

Plenty of Fish (POF.com), Badoo and Mamba are among other free dating sites that follow this similar structure.

Conversely, such sites as match.com, Zoosk and Compatible Partners, eHarmony’s LGBT-specific site, are limited models that require subscriptions and payments for users to use all features, like sending and receiving messages.

Dating/hookup apps, including Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, feature similar components, in addition to GPS roaming so users can see what new singles are out and about in the cities and places they visit. Although mobile apps are notably different from their website-based counterparts, they function similarly.

So, are dating apps that are sometimes rife with immature users and dozens of faceless, torso centric profiles, subscription gimmicks, and the like really worth your time?

Ultimately, as Breeden said, it’s the user that defines the experience. However, with the countless apps and digital sites available at your fingertips, it’s hard to choose just one. The act of choosing the right platform can be just as tricky as selecting a date.


Defines Your Dating Experience

The Do’s and Don’ts of dating and hook-up apps and websites etiquette


1. Know Before You Go
If you’re hooking up with someone at their house, let a close friend know where you’re going, when to expect to hear from you and that you will contact them to let them know you’ve arrived home safely. Always supply the address and the name of who you’re meeting, regardless if it’s a date or hookup. Even if it’s spur of the moment, take some time to get to know the person and ask a variety of questions to find potential ulterior motives.

2. Perfect Your Profile
Keep your profile picture current. People want to know what you look like now, not two years ago when your summer body was at its peak. Tips: No one wants to date/hookup with a silhouette and posting a picture that doesn’t even look like you is just as bad. Profile picture honesty allows you to meet the people who are actually interested in you, not the “idea” or mystery of you.

Specifically state what you want in your profile. If you’re DTF, then just put DTF. If you’re DTF and want a long-term relationship, put that too. The more honest you are, the more likely you’ll find what you’re looking for. Don’t mislead others that are strictly looking for dating and long-term relationships if you just want a quickie.

3. Play Smart
Always wear protection/protect yourself-This goes without saying.


1. Photo Protocol
Know the difference between warranted and unwarranted photos. A selfie or general picture, along with a short introduction, is fine for getting things going. A picture of your junk is not. Save nude photos for the person whose profile mentions that they want to see those types of images or for when they are requested.

2. Easy Come, Easy Go
Don’t get weirded out if people don’t respond to you, it happens. Sometimes people end up becoming uninterested in you and that’s your cue to move on. Don’t force a conversation or a situation. Instead, delete or block and move on. Be aware that investing time in someone who is not reciprocating is actually keeping you from talking with others who are interested in you.

3. Negativity is not Attractive
Including language like masc4masc, no femmes, no fats, no blacks, on your profile is rude, homophobic, racist and body phobic. There’s nothing worse, or more unattractive, than a page-long shopping list of what you DON’T like. Instead, list what you DO like and you might actually find what you’re looking for. It’s as simple as saying, “I love exercising and am looking for someone with the same passion.” Done.