Cupid has changed. He is no longer working his magic with a bow and arrow. Today, he’s making connections with the help of the digital world, through dating apps. So, here’s the international student's complete guide for all you need to know about Valentine’s Day in the 21st century. Connecting with locals and with other international students has never been easier.
Three of the most popular dating apps
OKcupid is THE largest dating app in the UK (it has more than 30 million users) – just be sure to answer as many questions as you can, as this is what your matches will be based on.
2. Hitch – Where mates can mean a match
Hitch is a pretty clever little app that makes matches through mates; it works with your Facebook profile to discover other people who are registered on Hitch, with whom you share mutual friends.
3. Wiith - An app for making friends, rather than making a romantic match
Dating apps needn’t be purely for making romantic connections. Wiith is an app that has been designed purely for meeting likeminded people who are also looking to make mates. So, if you fancy a Valentine’s date that’s about fun and friendship, rather than following dating rules and stumbling through silent moments, you might want to switch from Tinder, to Wiith.
A word to the wise – Here are the top four lies you should look out for:
Most people who create a dating profile add a little gloss and the odd white lie – here’s a rundown on the most common fibs that you should look out for whilst browsing through profiles.
1. Age Age tends to become a factor that is altered once daters hit their mid-thirties, and whilst the majority of fibbers take a year or two off, there are some offenders out there who are willing to go all out, with the removal of 10 years or more.
2. Weight This lie is a universal one – both men and women tend to shave a few pounds off their ‘official’ weight.
3. Income 82% of online dating profiles lack any information on income, which is probably a good thing, as a recent study found that men and women who have a listed income of £150,000+ are the ones who bag most of the contacts from the opposite sex (which wouldn’t be such great news for students scraping by on their student loan!).
4. Job Many people give themselves a promotion when it comes to online dating – so bear in mind that any managers, team leaders or executives may not be all that they appear. For men, this could equate to as many as 40% of all online profiles.
5. Photographs This last point is less about lying, more about using a photo from the last decade. As many as 20% of women use an old picture of them when they were both slimmer and younger.
Made a match?
Ready to set off on your date or day out with a newly found friend? Before you go, bear these three safety tips in mind.
1. Meet in a busy public place
2. Let your friends know where you’re going and with whom
3. Stay contactable – keep your phone on.
4. Consider installing a safety app - Such as ‘Watch Over Me’, which allows you to enter a set number of hours that you’ll be out for, will track you by GPS and will alert your contacts should you not confirm your safety after the defined hours have passed.
Overall, whether making romantic matches or making friends, have fun, stay safe and take any dating profile with a pinch of salt.