Test: Five Ways to Find Your Partner

Everybody says dating is broken. The dating apps have ruined dating and flattened the experience of finding a partner, the thinking goes, and now all we have are hookups and things like ghosting.

That’s somewhat true; hookup culture definitely is in full effect, and dating for a deep connection and a lasting relationship has gotten harder. This is especially the case for people who are older or don’t like having sex on the first few dates.

Dating beyond the swipe app is possible, however, and I have plenty of clients who prove it. You just have to know what you’re doing, and have a few basic skills when going into this modern dating scene.

So let’s look at your options, what you need, and when each is appropriate.

Dating Apps and the Alternatives

Dating apps like Tinder, Plenty of Fish (POF) and OKCupid are the starting place for many singles today. This, and the old standbys such such as Match.com and eHarmony, have come to represent online dating and how people find each other when they look for romance.

Some think online dating is the only way, and that these options quite frankly suck.

Both assumptions are wrong. There is a time for apps like Tinder and OkCupid, but you have to approach them right. The traditional dating alternatives also still work, but you can easily waste your time if you don’t know what you are doing.

Option #1: Swipe Apps

Let’s start with the obvious, the swipe apps. There are many platforms you can choose from, with more being invented almost by the day. The category leader is Tinder, of course, but just about every online dating platform now has some version of the swipe because it is popular.

The idea behind these apps is that you swipe through photos and pick the hot people, then you reach out and set up a casual date if there is a match (and these dates often lead to sex since the main criteria for the match was physical attractiveness).

When to Chose Swipe Apps

Swipe-based dating apps only make sense if you want (or are at least okay with) sex early in the relationship. You start with physical attraction and back into everything else, and there are lots of false starts because really all you know about the person is that they’re hot.

So swipe apps are a good option if you enjoy the dating process, are ready for something physical, and don’t have any particular urgency in your dating life beyond having fun and seeing where it goes.

This is a good option when:

  • Sex on the first few dates is fine
  • Casual dating is fun and an end unto itself
  • There’s no urgency for finding a partner

What You Need for Dating Success with Swipe Apps

People do find their life partner on Tinder; it just isn’t the optimal method for finding that lasting relationship.

What you need to make dating apps work, beyond a casualness about sex, is the ability to read people quickly and create that deep connection beyond the physical. You also should enjoy dating, because you’ll probably have many short-term relationships before you find something that lasts.

What you need:

  • Sexual openness
  • Ability to read people quickly
  • Skill at building deep connections fast
  • Enjoyment from casual dating as an end unto itself
  • Plenty of time for false starts


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