Does anyone today even know what the classified ad section of newspapers was? Well, they were the forerunners of sites like CraigsList. And people placed ads in the personals section if they were looking for a date or relationship. Today, there are also “dating/matching” features on most social media platforms too.
But the real explosion in recent years has been dating apps of all kinds. There are the biggies, those apps that are all-inclusive and worldwide, and then there are those that are very specific, for seniors, farmers, and more. Why such an explosion? For obvious reasons:
COVID has isolated people from general meetup places – clubs, community organizations, social events, vacations, etc.
Like everything else, our digital world has made everything more streamlined and convenient – searching, shopping, eating, and, yes, meeting up with others for dating relationships. We have learned to demand this convenience and speed.
Looking for matches and getting to know someone before an actual meetup can be done on our time, from any location, and when most convenient.
Today, about 323 million adults worldwide are using dating apps. The largest group is millennials, but it looks like Gen Z’ers won’t be far behind.
Obviously, pretty well. In fact, members of this population are using dating apps twice as much as the general straight population. One reason for this, in addition to the reasons listed above, is that there are now dating apps designed to serve this community specifically, and the owners of these apps are working hard to market themselves and earn the trust of their potential users/clients. With this kind of specificity, no LGBTQ person needs to fear that they will potentially be “knocking on the door” of a straight person by mistake, or another LGBTQ community member who is not within their sub-population of interest.
If you are looking for an LGBTQ+-specific dating app, then this is what you should look for. The reputable apps will all offer the following:
They will vet their users, confirming that they are real people from the LGBTQ+ community, not scammers or trolls, looking to harass or worse. This is done by thorough verification of identity and methods in place for members/users to report inappropriate activities by others.
They will offer geo-location features so that when a user only wants to “date” matches who are local, that will be filtered.
There will be an easy “swipe” feature to select or reject matches.
They will offer multiple ways for users to communicate – text, audio, and video chats, live streaming, etc.
They should present other resources – perhaps networking and an internal social platform for posts and discussions.
Now that the COVID isolation is over, people who have been dating online are ready to get out there and meet up in person. Apps have created a safe environment so far, but it is a totally different situation as person-to-person encounters are set up. This of course applies to anyone engaged in online dating, but the LGBTQ+ community has been victimized more than the straight one.
Are there still safety issues for the LGBTQ+ community? Of course, there are. And there are dating apps out there that treat the safety of our community as an afterthought and do not provide verification and enough protection against scammers and trolls. Stick with those that do.
The benefits of online dating apps for the LGBTQ+ communities cannot be denied. Where else can you create a detailed profile, insert exactly what you are looking for, and then receive local or long-distance matches, based upon your “demands'' and preferences? Where else can you have a look at the presented matches and accept or reject them? Where else can you message and chat with potential matches before you ever make plans to meet in person? In fact, the use of dating apps will probably result in meeting people you never would have met in normal meeting and dating scenes. In short, the pool of possible matches, whether for a hookup, a casual dating relationship, or even something more serious and long-lasting, is just so much larger than any efforts you may make on your own.
Balance all of this against the potential risks involved. And, yes, there are risks. But if you take the precautionary tips that are provided to you seriously, you should be able to have safe meetups with people who have also chosen you as a good match. Happy hunting!
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