Dating Apps in Prague: A quest to find the good, the mediocre, and the remove-from-phone

I was asked to write an article for Expat.CZ about dating applications back in early 2014. The article was to be a first person account of my own experiences. Finding myself rather newly single, I was all too eager to try and date all for the sake of an article – market research is fun! I questioned friends in the States about their favourite apps, taking advantage of a short trip to Atlanta to download the likes of Hinge, which requires a US zip code, and asking other friends in London their favourite apps and websites. Using the apps I discovered men, almost all of whom later became friends of mine, in Vienna, Prague,  Budapest, London and Stockholm. There were the occasional romances and second dates, but no where near the horrible experiences touted by the media in the US. On the contrary, I have found the apps listed below weren’t anything like what the media had demonized them to be. What is below is my original article, the not-so-nice version that I showed to a friend who works at InStyle Czech Republic and was met with a, “oh my god, this is fabulous, but really mean!” The toned down version is on Expats.CZ now and can be read HERE. It should be noted that the original is only tips for men, whilst the Expats.CZ article is all encompassing for both sexes who are ready to try the world of on-line dating.

Want to meet good-looking women in Prague? Download an App

How Prague’s new singles are connecting

You’re single and the old outlets just aren’t cutting it anymore. Speed dating – pff – blasé;  meeting in a bar- she’s out with her friends;  hitting on the girl in your office kitchen- it’s going to end in silent elevator disaster. As 20 and 30 something’s begin to turn more to mobile applications to find everything from tram times to concerts in their area, it makes sense that we would all begin to use it for meeting up, hooking up and dating.  For the single who poo-poos the idea of online dating please take note; in a recent study by Match.com (US) some 22% of the single population met their dates through friends (pretty good), but  another 20% met their dates through their electronic friend the dating website  (that’s pretty stiff competition for your real life friends).   The Favorites But we are getting ahead of ourselves here; let’s first start with the basics of dating apps- which one to choose. There are a slew of applications available with new ones popping up every second day, but for the sake of sanity I picked four of my favourites all of which are available on both iOS and Android operating systems.

Tinder

‘It’s like real life, but better’. The premise is simple- swipe to the left if you are uninterested and swipe to the right if you are interested. Using information from your Facebook and your current location, you can see friends and interest in common, as well as how close the potential new lady is. It’s only once you mutually like each other that you can begin your conversation. For those travelling it’s an excellent app for meeting new people, having a city fling or getting insight from a local.

The Innercircle

It’s an invitation only, private members clubs where applications are tightly vetted. The online site has already launched in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and Stockholm with additional cities launching in the coming months. A small profile should be filled in and pictures uploaded. Anyone can contact you, but since the website is private the barrage of annoying emails most women receive doesn’t exist here. It is a place where beautiful, single people can meet other like-minded individuals (and it seems to be working).

Badoo

Anyone can message you, which can be either flattering or incredibly annoying. It too takes your information from Facebook showing mutual friends and interests. There is a block option for those who would like to stop receiving messages from their secret admirer. You can contact people “nearby” through the GPS option on your phone or play a game called “Encounters” which took a page from Tinder with the swipe left /right option. It seems that everyone on Badoo caters to both Czechs and foreigners living in Prague, so expect to practice another language more often than Tinder.

OkCupid

You need to fill out a profile section where a minimum of 100 characters is needed for the ‘about you’ section. It doesn’t pull information from Facebook, but it does have you answer questions like the mother-of-all dating websites, match.com. This website is more for the person looking for a serious partner and not just a good time; though I’ve been told by other gentleman that this is an excellent app for scoring the occasional NSA hookup.

How to Grab that Lady’s Attention

Now, for those who believe that the photo and for that matter, the FIRST photo, isn’t the most important part of the profile, that it’s vain to only look at the pictures; welcome to human nature! Appearance is important for both sexes and nowhere more so than on a dating app- its vanity super charged; pure and simple. Below are a few suggestions that I and many of my lady friends have agreed should never appear on your profile:

Don’t

Sunglasses in every pictures What are you hiding? Do you secretly live in your summer cottage (or with 8 other flatmates in a two bedroom flat)? Ditch the sun glasses it makes you feel untrustworthy! The good from far, far from good Monet Everyone looks amazing when the picture is taken 800 meters away. Add some photos where I don’t need a magnifying glass to see you. The Porsche Poser Smearing your oily body up against a car that clearly does not belong to you definitely says, “here is my number, call me maybe?”- swipe left. The fish Apparently it’s the size of your carp or cat fish that matters The obligatory bathroom selfie Because really, nothing says narcissist like showing off your kind of six-pack in your bathroom mirror that you haven’t bothered to clean (which, for the record, if you haven’t bothered to clean the place where you get clean, what the hell does the rest of your apartment look like?) Only studio/photoshopped photos I have no idea what you really look like and am willing to guess I couldn’t pick you out of a lineup.

Do:

Upload different types of pictures so that we can see your personality. Get creative with your tagline or profile so that it fully reflects you. Not creative, that’s ok- just tell me a bit about you in a language that doesn’t dumb women down and make you sound like a pompous fool.   The Next Steps: awkard-first-date Now that pictures have been uploaded, a profile and bemusing tagline have been written, you’ve now got to put fingers to keyboard and type it out. Should your flirting continue in a pleasing manner you’ll more likely than not move to WhatsApp and may then decide to meet your potential person of interest. As a single woman myself and someone who has used these applications and websites for a while, might I be so kind as to give a bit of advice to other single men:

  • Don’t proposition me for sex. I am not a hussy and even if I was looking for something “quick and easy” it would most certainly be at a private event, not with someone who drops lines like,  “I’ve decided we have a lot in common and I will allow you to sleep with me.”
  • Back handed compliments are a no, no. A nice gentleman I had met in Stockholm was kind enough to use this one on me, “You are very beautiful, but beauty is subjective.” While this is a completely factual statement let’s save it more for conversations about art or architecture and not as your chat up line. *This lovely chat-up line found it’s way into Time Out London, so thank you Stockholm guy!*
  • Don’t collect other women’s phone numbers while we are out together on a date. Yes, this has happened; No, I am not joking. If you are genuinely that uninterested then say it. Believe it or not, most women are not as deranged as you would like to believe.
  • Be a gentleman! Look at me when I am talking, open a door (or preferably all of them), pay for a drink. Every woman that I know, and I mean EVERY woman, appreciates these small gestures.
  • Don’t brag about how well-endowed and great you are in bed, it makes us believe immediately that you are lacking in man-hood and that we’d have more fun rolling around with our sheets than with you.
  • “I’d like to have a stalker, I think it would be fun to have someone like me that much.” This should never be said, ever. Red flag (regardless of which sex says it).

Of course, not every man uses chat up lines which are this bad, and surely there are women who also stoop to levels deemed unacceptable, but as long as you make your intentions clear in the beginning, both people can measure whether or not it’s worth pursuing. So now that we’ve covered the basics and you’ve been given a small look into the world of a single woman, download an app, meet some people and get to swiping and typing!

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