Our Time is a breath of fresh air for those who are tired of swiping and want to meet someone IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ in text speak). The site hosts regular events for mature singles in your area, where you can meet likeminded people. Feeling shy? You can bring up to three friends with you for moral support.
The app is owned by Match Group, meaning your profile will appear on other dating sites – which widens the pool for meeting your potential partner.
6. Telegraph Dating
As you set up your free profile, simply describe the type of person for whom you’re searching. Then, browse the site and view others’ profiles; once you find someone who you feel is a good match, send them a message.
A free membership allows you to read messages from potential matches and reply with a one-liner. Only paying subscribers can start conversations and write personal, customised messages. It costs from ?12 per month for 12 months for a subscription. For an additional ?10 per month, you can upgrade to Premium, where anyone can reply to your messages for free.
Parship has a scientific approach to helping you find love. Relying on 40 years of findings on how to build a successful relationship, the site categorises users into 36 personality traits, and uses a matching algorithm of 136 rules. The compatibility questionnaire is extensive, and covers everything from what you look for in a partner to whether you sleep with the window open.
There is a fairly even male/female split in the users, and 52 per cent of them are graduates. The site welcomes 23,000 new members every week, and almost four in 10 find their partner through Parship. However, whilst it is free to sign up, take the comprehensive personality test, view your matches and send them ‘smiles’, you have to pay to be able to message your matches. Membership costs from ? per month for 12 months, but you can trial the site for six months (? per month) or three months (? per month), too.
8. Original Dating
Tired of swiping right? Original Dating is unlike other apps in that it focuses on singles meeting up in real life. There are speed dating events (including virtual options) where you will typically meet between 15 and 20 people in one night. Unlike the speed dating events of old, Original Dating ensures there is an even ratio of men:women by asking all attendees to book online. You can subscribe for discounts and access to more exclusive events, or just give an event a go (prices start at just ?10).
OkCupid has an extensive personality questionnaire, designed to increase compatibility. You can then inject personality into your profile by answering quirky questions, such as “Do you make your bed every day?”
Instead of being bombarded with messages, you can only message those with whom you have matched. Downloading the app and speaking to users is free but you can upgrade to Premium for extra features.
In 2014, the OKCupid app was the first to introduce 22 genders and 13 sexual orientation options. This inclusive outlook has made OkCupid particularly popular, making 91 million connections every year according to their site.
To redress the gender imbalance of dating apps, women have to begin the conversations on Bumble. Profiles are not as detailed as on some apps, but you can make video calls and get to know your match before you meet.
Lazy users are penalised on Bumble, as you only have 24 hours to initiate a conversation before the match expires. The app is free to use but you can upgrade to Bumble Boost, where you can see users who have already ‘liked’ you, for ? per month for 6 months or even just ?2.49 for the day.