I’m old. I’m very, very old. I’ve used several dating sites and apps over the last 20 years and here’s what I’ve learned: because humans are all basically the same and looking for basically the same things, all the sites and apps yield basically the same experiences, more or less, regardless of how they are marketed.

Whether you’re on OKC, PoF, Tinder, or Match you will bias towards appearance and your encounters are likely to be of a relatively brief duration if you’re in your 20s. Moving on through the age continuum, those same sites/apps will be used by folk in their late 30s and 40s to search for longer-term relationships where appearance matters less than other qualities such as reliability, kindness, and basic hygiene.

In all cases, people looking for “the one” are likely to be disappointed because first of all, there isn’t just one person out there who’s “perfect” for you; and second of all, any meaningful relationship takes time to establish and develop in the real world. Sites & apps can only expose you to possibilities; your own filters will be far more important in the process than your choice of site/app.

By the time you get to my advanced age, it becomes relatively simple to find compatible people out there. Just look for give-away phrases like “I always bring a defibrillator and Epi pen on a first date” and “Seeking avid book reader with own O2 supply and catheter.”

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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