It’s 2am, and I’m lying in bed swiping through Tinder for what feels like the 100th time this week. It’s post lockdown, and my rotation is getting a bit tight. At this point in my university career, it feels like I’ve gone through half the dating pool in Dunedin, and every second profile is someone I know, someone I’ve made out with, hit on, slept with, or knows someone that I’ve made out with, hit on, slept with, etc. What’s a poor girl to do when she gets tired of the same three Castle Street breathas named Sam?
In an ideal world, I would dress up really cute and go to the grocery store, or to the bookshop and be able to find my perfect love match like the boomers did in the 80s. However, times have changed, and the world of dating has changed with it. After many unsuccessful attempts to meet someone in the real world, it hit me. Old school dating websites. I’m talking Plenty of Fish, I’m talking Match.com, I’m talking OkCupid. It’s no secret that dating apps are unequivocally shit. But maybe we’ve been missing a gold mine all along. Fear not, if you’re lonely and single like me, I’ve compiled a review of all the dating websites you could possibly want. Thank me later.
I don’t know what I expected with this one, but SeekingArrangement seems to be full of male boomers, so if you’re looking for a father figure, this might be the one. In fact, I’m pretty sure the first profile I clicked on was my fuckbuddy’s dad. That’s taking daddy issues to a whole new level. Sadly, it’s pretty devoid of Milfs, so my dreams of a sugar mamma were instantly dashed. I got a message within the first ten minutes of my account being verified from a man named Steve, 48, who offered me access to his “private photos”. The men on this site are pretty sketchy and tend to be either married or fake millionaires. Maybe that’s overly cynical of me though, and they’re really just looking to fund the local economy in the face of the looming recession. I never knew we had so many millionaires in NZ is all I can say. Maybe I’ll give this a shot next time my rent payment is due; my landlord is probably on here.
Rating: 6/10 - landlord/quasi-incest porn videos
Relationship status: non-ethical polyamory with a balding white man having a mid-life crisis
This website has a really weird, old school interface. It feels like logging onto MSN as an eight-year-old to chat with your primary school crush. You can also only choose either men or women, which is pretty outdated. The list of interests you can select from is also weird as hell, with options like “dining out” and “exploring”. I got the whole way through before realising you have to pay for a profile. If I wanted to spend money finding love, I’d pay for a singles cruise.
Rating: $35 for three months/10
Relationship status: Getting drunk in the Caribbean
First thing I noticed about OkCupid is their incredible gender and cultural inclusivity, which was a refreshing change from the general “I am a man / woman looking for a man / woman.” You can choose up to five gender identifying terms and seek as many genders as anyone else would identify with. Go off queen. The second thing is that OkCupid has really pretty graphics and web-design. The profiles are incredibly detailed but the questions they ask you seem irrelevant, but who knows, maybe they’ll find me my next bae. It gives you a match percentage, which is fun and reminds me of the compatibility calculators you’d put your crush’s name into after school. Has the same pass/like feature as Tinder so I think it’s attracted a younger user base, which is nice. There’s also lots of babes on here.
Rating: 8/10 non-binary babes.
Relationship status: Single, too busy writing my personal thesis
e-Harmony has by far the most bizarre dating quiz questions. It takes 20 minutes to complete and asks you things like which shape, flower or building appeals to you most. It inspires unexpected crises with questions like “what do you think of marriage as an institution?” Finally, it also gives you imagines, like a twelve-year-old on Wattpad would write. For example, “imagine you slipped over a banana peel in the street, what would your reaction be?” The kicker is, after having multiple existential crises (and wondering, which shape do I identify most with?), New Zealand wasn’t even a viable location on this website. If you want to date in the US, Canada, Singapore or Costa Rica, however, knock yourself out.
Rating: 3/10 existential crises
Relationship status: Marriage is sham, anyway
I’m pretty sure EliteSingles is a scam. You create a free dating profile, but in order to view photos of your next potential fling, you need to pay for a membership at $34.95 a month. For that price, I could just buy a new dress and go to a posh bar. Fun personality profile though. Next.
Rating: 1/10 hidden dick pics
Relationship status: My tear-stained right hand
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish has a really scarily accurate personality test, so much so that you can’t be sure the government isn’t rerouting your data into personalised ads. I finished mine to find a pretty strong breakdown of all my strengths and weaknesses, all from questions like “do you like large gatherings?” These quizzes are pretty long, so they’re fun to do if you’re really bored; be warned though, there’s five of them. As for the people on the website, plenty of fish is right. There’s a lot of people to sort through, so if you’re down for a hunt, or you’re not scared of options, this site could be the one. However, a major downside is that Plenty of Fish only lets you choose if you want to date men or women. For the last time, I AM BISEXUAL.
Rating: 3/10 fish in the sea
Relationship status: Buying my personalised sex doll off wish.com for $3.99
OkCupid, hands down. Not even a contest. But also, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t keep my SeekingArrangement profile, for financial reasons.