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But too many filters and rigid check-boxes can have you dismiss huge numbers of people at once – something that apps like Bumble, Happn and Tinder tried to do away with (though that brings its own set of issues).
One 5ft 10in friend reports she saw only 400 potential men to browse when she logged in to
Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating (or married to) single parents they met in real life.
With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now.
And there’s no sense in ruling someone out for reasons that may become insignificant once you’ve met in real life.
‘Only show me people without children’ ‘Only show me men over 6ft 1in’ ‘Only show me vegetarians’ ‘Only show me people who don’t want kids’ The tick-boxes on many dating sites are a common part of the structure of the sites – and people often fill them in and make their choices quickly, based on in-the-moment gut feeling, prejudice or a past bad experience.
When she reduced her height to 5ft 9in, that rocketed to almost 2,000.
But size isn’t everything – as anyone who has just wrapped up a three-hour swiping session on Tinder will attest.Another friend is about to marry the short, bald banker with absolutely no ‘online dating’ message-type chat she met at a party.As a 5ft 9in glamorous cocktail type who says she hates bankers, she freely admits she’d have swiped right past him on Tinder or blocked him on Match – and he may well have done the same.A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy.
Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics.