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I used to have a bucket list, but not anymore.

I used to lay in bed and think about all of the things that I wanted to accomplish before I died. I had lots of ideas, many of them extremely cliche. Jumping out of a plane, running a marathon, traveling the world; you name it, I probably had it.

I loved thinking up new ideas to add to my bucket list. It was almost as if it was an escape from my current life. The bucket list served as a promise for the future. A future in which I was constantly living life to the max, and experiencing the very best that the world had to offer.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have a list of things that you wish you could do, but you aren’t?

You definitely aren’t alone. We all have our own crazy dreams and ideas. We all also have our own reasons and excuses as to why we aren’t pursuing these things. Think about your greatest ambitions and why they’re ideas instead of memories. Ask yourself if you’re closer to achieving your ultimate goals today than you were yesterday.

I stopped having a bucket list because it made me complacent. Every entry into the list came with an excuse.

“I would love to skydive one day. Just not today, I’m too scared of heights right now. I’m not ready.”

“Yeah I want to run a marathon, but I don’t have the time to exercise. Also, my cardio is really bad. Maybe I’ll start preparing in the future.”

“I don’t have the money to travel at the moment, and I can’t just leave my home behind. I’ll do it when I’m older.”

“It’s okay, I’ll do it later. I have a lot of time left before I die.”

Constant excuses, one after another. Granted, some of these excuses were rooted in the actualities of life, as opposed to others that were mere charactertures of my fears. But regardless of how valid each excuse was, the end result was the same.

They stopped me. Instead of motivating me to make changes and fully live my life, my bucket list made me content with waiting for the future. Waiting for change to show up at my doorstep. Waiting for some kind of push, a sign in life telling me that the future can start now. I waited but these things never came. I realized that you can wait for life, but life isn’t going to wait for you. 

Yes, there are things that are completely out of our control, and goals that truly are impossible at the present. But the vast majority of what we want does not fall into that category. Take an honest look at your bucket list. How many of those things could you accomplish this week alone, or start the process of accomplishing if you simply said fuck it and went for it?

My fuck-it list.

I am terrified of heights. There was one time where I felt my legs shaking while I was on an indoor movie theater escalator. It was a BIG theater, and I could see the ground floor while I was traversing from the 5th to 6th floor. How could I ever skydive when an escalator is enough to scare me? Fuck it, that’s how. Growing older can’t defeat the fear. But jumping can.

No skydiving places near me at the moment, so I had to settle for paragliding.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but I wanted to join the track team during high school in order to impress girls and win some medals. Mostly the girls part though. My plans were foiled when I couldn’t even make it past the first practice. I got too winded, and I quit. How could I get a marathon medal when I couldn’t even make it past ONE freshman year track practice? Fuck it. My mom didn’t raise a quitter.

Not a marathon yet, but it was for climbing the world’s fifth tallest building. I’m coming for that marathon.

I had a decent job back home in America. Life was alright. I had good friends and family there with me. But I had this itch. An itch to see the world and to have an experience far outside my comfort zone. So fuck it. I packed my bags and moved to Korea for a year. If I wasn’t going to do this while I was young, when else would I be able to?

Ugly luggage for a beautiful journey.

Last but not least, I felt that I had a lot of good thoughts about love and life. I wanted to share them, and really build something out of it. It’s tough to put yourself out there, but fuck it. Takesone.me. Here it is. Here I am. And here you are.

I don’t have a bucket list. I made it into my fuck-it list, and the things on that list are going to be completed sooner rather than later. If you’re waiting for a sign to say fuck-it and go for your dreams, this it it. Let’s get it.  

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Life is a constant learning process, and one of the most important things that I’ve learned recently is the fine line between love and hate. They’re intense feelings on opposite ends of a spectrum, but they’re also razor close to each other at the same time. The transition from one to the other is much easier than people realize, and many are often unprepared when it happens. Myself including.

When you love someone, you form expectations for yourself and that other person. Expectations to treat each other a certain way, achieve certain goals together, and to invest a certain amount of ourselves into each other. These expectations create an intensity and vulnerability within the relationship. You’re handing over a piece of your life to someone else in exchange for that feeling of warmth and happiness that is called love.

This trade-off may seem easy in the beginning while you’re in the honeymoon phase. There are lots of problems in this world, but love can make it seem like none of them exist. But no matter who you are, or who your partner is, there is going to be a point where the honeymoon ends, and the problems have to be approached.

The expectations that you set for the relationship will be challenged. The expectations that your partner set will be challenged. It’s not uncommon to realize that very different expectations exist within the relationship, and that’s something that can either be hurtful or be a great mutual growing point.

If you’re at this moment in your relationship right now and you’re upset, I want you to realize this: hate isn’t very far behind. Maybe you’re mad because you’re not being treated the way you want to be treated. Maybe something was said to you that rubbed you the wrong way. You might feel dumb for investing so much of yourself into someone who seemingly isn’t doing the same, and you might feel the need to get even.

Stop and ask yourself if that’s really worth it. There is a very thin line between love and hate. One hurtful comment or action may be all that is needed to step over to the other side. It isn’t easy to step back.

If a relationship has to end, then so be it. It is what it is. But don’t let hate be the reason why.

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There’s something about attractive people that induces anxiety in many of us. The mere idea of conversing with one can sometimes cause our bodies to freeze up and our minds to go blank. Whether it’s a crush or just someone you’re eyeing from across the bar, the end result of these nerves is often the same; a missed opportunity.

Constantly missing the opportunities that come our way is no way to live. The only thing that we can’t get more of in life is time, and we’re wasting our time whenever we let our fear stop us. If you’re tired of worrying and you’re ready to start making moves, this is the guide for you.

Here are the steps that you can take in order to make love to the pressure in your next moment:

Consider the Situation and the Consequences

The first thing you should do is assess the situation that you’re actually in. Where are you, who is this, and why are you nervous? There are situations where it makes sense to be worried. If you’re interviewing with someone for your dream job, and the consequence is whether or not you’re able to afford rent next month, then sure it might make sense to be on edge.

But what if the situation was a more everyday scenario? Think about it. Does it really make sense to be nervous about talking to that random girl at the club? Is it really that big a deal to spark up a conversation with that cute Starbucks cashier?

In these situations, what is the worst realistic consequence that could happen if things go bad? You become embarrassed for a few minutes and then never see that person again? You have to change your daily Starbucks to the one across the street instead?

Whatever your scenario is, the worst consequence is hardly ever anything that’s actually that bad.

Realize That Everyone Poops

This is a straight up fact. Everyone poops. Everyone pees. Everyone gets hungry and everyone gets thirsty. No matter how someone looks, what their job is, or however else amazing they may seem, every person that you’ll ever meet is fundamentally just another human being.

We all started off the same way. We all pooped our pants at one point in our lives. We all went to school and struggled with our ABCs. There was a time for all of us when 5+5 was a difficult question.

Remember this the next time you get shook by someone else’s beauty. Realize that they started off the same way that you did. Yes, at some point in their lives, their genetics and life choices allowed them to physically develop into something that you find beautiful. That’s great, but that doesn’t make them something that you aren’t yourself.

Don’t put someone else on a pedestal, and treat them like they’re something or somebody that’s better than you. “They’re out of my league” is nonsense. We’re all human, and we all have our basic needs, wants, interests, and problems at the end of the day. Talk to that person you’re interested in, and find out what those things are. If they don’t want to tell you, or they incorrectly think they’re too special to do so, then so be it. On to the next. Don’t let anybody poop on your parade.

Ask Genuine Questions

After you get yourself into the right mindset with the steps above, you have to actually talk to people and develop that sense of comfort for yourself. I think one of the best ways to do this is to ask genuine questions.

One of my best friends in college used to go up to random girls and ask if they wanted to talk about career paths. Seriously. “Do you want to talk about career paths?” was his exact opening line. He would use it in all sorts of environments and situations. It was random, it was ridiculous, and it workedSome of the time at least.

Opening your mouth, showing confidence, and saying anything at all is already half of the battle. This question allowed him to break that ice. But it also allowed him to go further because it was something that could spark a real genuine conversation and connection. It tapped into the fact that we’re all similar yet unique with our hopes and dreams.

There will be people that won’t be interested in talking to you regardless of what you ask. But for those that are open, asking real genuine questions is where its at. The more times you go out and ask questions, the more conversations you’ll end up having. The more conversations you have, the better you’ll get, and the more you’ll truly realize that talking to attractive people is nothing extraordinary.

Focus On Them, Not You

Adding on to the previous point, a common mistake is focusing too much on ourselves during conversations. It’s natural to worry about how we’re coming off to others. You may have concerns such as “I wonder what they think of me” or “Are my jokes funny right now?”

Here’s the thing. The more you focus and think about yourself, the more you’ll second guess your actions, and the more nervous you’ll be. Don’t consider conversations as a chance to showcase yourself and impress others. Instead, treat it as an opportunity to learn about the other person. Focus on what they’re talking about and the person that they are.

The question that you want answered shouldn’t be “Do they like me?”. It should be “Do I like them?”.

It’s Not Easy

You’re not going to be instantly 100% comfortable with talking to attractive people just because you read this post. And that’s okay. Overcoming your nerves is a journey, and no single article or piece of advice can instantly bring you to the finish line.

You’re going to have to go out there and practice. You will probably be rejected. You might get embarrassed. But if you really go for it and push through the setbacks, you’ll be able to truly realize that talking to attractive people isn’t a big deal.

Someone has to talk to them. Why not you?

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There’s something about attractive people that induces anxiety in many of us. The mere idea of conversing with one can sometimes cause our bodies to freeze up and our minds to go blank. Whether it’s a crush or just someone you’re eyeing from across the bar, the end result of these nerves is often the same; a missed opportunity.

Constantly missing the opportunities that come our way is no way to live. The only thing that we can’t get more of in life is time, and we’re wasting our time whenever we let our fear stop us. If you’re tired of worrying and you’re ready to start making moves, this is the guide for you.

Here are the steps that you can take in order to make love to the pressure in your next moment:

Consider the Situation and the Consequences

The first thing you should do is assess the situation that you’re actually in. Where are you, who is this, and why are you nervous? There are situations where it makes sense to be worried. If you’re interviewing with someone for your dream job, and the consequence is whether or not you’re able to afford rent next month, then sure it might make sense to be on edge.

But what if the situation was a more everyday scenario? Think about it. Does it really make sense to be nervous about talking to that random girl at the club? Is it really that big a deal to spark up a conversation with that cute Starbucks cashier?

In these situations, what is the worst realistic consequence that could happen if things go bad? You become embarrassed for a few minutes and then never see that person again? You have to change your daily Starbucks to the one across the street instead?

Whatever your scenario is, the worst consequence is hardly ever anything that’s actually that bad.

Realize That Everyone Poops

This is a straight up fact. Everyone poops. Everyone pees. Everyone gets hungry and everyone gets thirsty. No matter how someone looks, what their job is, or however else amazing they may seem, every person that you’ll ever meet is fundamentally just another human being.

We all started off the same way. We all pooped our pants at one point in our lives. We all went to school and struggled with our ABCs. There was a time for all of us when 5+5 was a difficult question.

Remember this the next time you get shook by someone else’s beauty. Realize that they started off the same way that you did. Yes, at some point in their lives, their genetics and life choices allowed them to physically develop into something that you find beautiful. That’s great, but that doesn’t make them something that you aren’t yourself.

Don’t put someone else on a pedestal, and treat them like they’re something or somebody that’s better than you. “They’re out of my league” is nonsense. We’re all human, and we all have our basic needs, wants, interests, and problems at the end of the day. Talk to that person you’re interested in, and find out what those things are. If they don’t want to tell you, or they incorrectly think they’re too special to do so, then so be it. On to the next. Don’t let anybody poop on your parade.

Ask Genuine Questions

After you get yourself into the right mindset with the steps above, you have to actually talk to people and develop that sense of comfort for yourself. I think one of the best ways to do this is to ask genuine questions.

One of my best friends in college used to go up to random girls and ask if they wanted to talk about career paths. Seriously. “Do you want to talk about career paths?” was his exact opening line. He would use it in all sorts of environments and situations. It was random, it was ridiculous, and it workedSome of the time at least.

Opening your mouth, showing confidence, and saying anything at all is already half of the battle. This question allowed him to break that ice. But it also allowed him to go further because it was something that could spark a real genuine conversation and connection. It tapped into the fact that we’re all similar yet unique with our hopes and dreams.

There will be people that won’t be interested in talking to you regardless of what you ask. But for those that are open, asking real genuine questions is where its at. The more times you go out and ask questions, the more conversations you’ll end up having. The more conversations you have, the better you’ll get, and the more you’ll truly realize that talking to attractive people is nothing extraordinary.

Focus On Them, Not You

Adding on to the previous point, a common mistake is focusing too much on ourselves during conversations. It’s natural to worry about how we’re coming off to others. You may have concerns such as “I wonder what they think of me” or “Are my jokes funny right now?”

Here’s the thing. The more you focus and think about yourself, the more you’ll second guess your actions, and the more nervous you’ll be. Don’t consider conversations as a chance to showcase yourself and impress others. Instead, treat it as an opportunity to learn about the other person. Focus on what they’re talking about and the person that they are.

The question that you want answered shouldn’t be “Do they like me?”. It should be “Do I like them?”.

It’s Not Easy

You’re not going to be instantly 100% comfortable with talking to attractive people just because you read this post. And that’s okay. Overcoming your nerves is a journey, and no single article or piece of advice can instantly bring you to the finish line.

You’re going to have to go out there and practice. You will probably be rejected. You might get embarrassed. But if you really go for it and push through the setbacks, you’ll be able to truly realize that talking to attractive people isn’t a big deal.

Someone has to talk to them. Why not you?

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Picking out a good gift isn’t easy, especially when it’s for a significant other. You’ll want something that’s unique, exciting, and impressive; and those qualities usually don’t come cheap. There are exceptions to every rule of course, and we’ve compiled a list of them for you here:

Make Them Royalty

Sealand is a micro-nation located near the British coast. Some describe it as the (unofficial) “world’s smallest country.” They offer various noble titles for sale, such as Baron/Baroness, and Duke/Duchess. This gift is really more of a novelty thing, but who knows, maybe it could bring you closer to your own royal wedding one day.

Cost – ~$38.79 (for the Lord/Lady/Baron/Baroness title)

A Personalized Love Book

Lovebook allows you to create your own personalized book, complete with its own characters, setting, and story. This is probably the best idea on this list, its truly unique, romantic, and special. Definitely check out their website for more details.

Cost – starting at $35.96

Love Coupons

Love coupons are a versatile and easy way to offer appreciation to your special other. You can be really creative with these coupons and include ideas such as movie dates, massages, or a home cooked meals. You could cut some paper and make your own homemade coupons for free, or you could order a fully customized coupon booklet from LoveCoups. 

Cost – starting at $29.96

A Fondue Set

Melt your special one’s heart today with an easy to use fondue set. There are very few things that are better than some melted cheese or chocolate right at home.

Cost – $19.95 – 39.95

The Five Love Languages

One of the most iconic relationship books of all time, The 5 Love Languages teaches the ways in which people express love to each other. Reading this could be a great way for you and your partner to develop deeper bonds.

Cost – ~$9.59

A Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

If your significant other likes spice, then look no further for the perfect gift! This fully customizable DIY hot sauce kit features a variety of peppers and tools that’ll certainly bring some heat to your lives.

Cost – $27.57

A Star Map

The Night Sky sells posters that feature the view of the stars at any given location and past date. Commemorate any special moment in your relationship with this truly one of a kind product. It is on the pricer side of things, but totally worth it.

Cost – $60.00

Their Favorite Smell

Demeter Fragrance offers cologne and perfume sprays of practically any smell you can think of. Baby powder, new car smell, thunderstorms; you name it, they probably have it. Be sure to check them out, your partner’s nose will thank you.

Cost – starting at $3.40

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

There are very few things better than homemade chocolate dipped strawberries. They’re delicious, cheap, and they really aren’t even that hard to do! All you need is a bag of plain chocolate to melt in the microwave, and then some strawberries to dip in.

Here’s a tip, after dipping the strawberries into the chocolate, don’t immediately put them down onto a surface. Hold the fruit in front of an open refrigerator and let the cold air solidify the chocolate first. The end result will be a gift that will definitely impress your special someone.

Cost – ~$10

Do you have any gift ideas you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them, drop a comment below! 

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Life is a constant learning process, and one of the most important things that I’ve learned recently is the fine line between love and hate. They’re intense feelings on opposite ends of a spectrum, but they’re also razor close to each other at the same time. The transition from one to the other is much easier than people realize, and many are often unprepared when it happens. Myself including.

When you love someone, you form expectations for yourself and that other person. Expectations to treat each other a certain way, achieve certain goals together, and to invest a certain amount of ourselves into each other. These expectations create an intensity and vulnerability within the relationship. You’re handing over a piece of your life to someone else in exchange for that feeling of warmth and happiness that is called love.

This trade-off may seem easy in the beginning while you’re in the honeymoon phase. There are lots of problems in this world, but love can make it seem like none of them exist. But no matter who you are, or who your partner is, there is going to be a point where the honeymoon ends, and the problems have to be approached.

The expectations that you set for the relationship will be challenged. The expectations that your partner set will be challenged. It’s not uncommon to realize that very different expectations exist within the relationship, and that’s something that can either be hurtful or be a great mutual growing point.

If you’re at this moment in your relationship right now and you’re upset, I want you to realize this: hate isn’t very far behind. Maybe you’re mad because you’re not being treated the way you want to be treated. Maybe something was said to you that rubbed you the wrong way. You might feel dumb for investing so much of yourself into someone who seemingly isn’t doing the same, and you might feel the need to get even.

Stop and ask yourself if that’s really worth it. There is a very thin line between love and hate. One hurtful comment or action may be all that is needed to step over to the other side. It isn’t easy to step back.

If a relationship has to end, then so be it. It is what it is. But don’t let hate be the reason why.

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Takes One by Ronald - 3w ago
“Why did you name your blog Takes One?”

I started this blog for a variety of reasons. I wanted to write about love and relationships because it’s something that I care about. I wanted to have a platform that could showcase my writing for future employment opportunities. But above all, I wanted to share a particular way that I approach life.

One of the most common pieces of advice that we hear is to “never give up.” I think it’s a totally fine phrase, but we’ve all probably heard it so many times that its meaning has become lost on us. Why shouldn’t we give up when things are hard? Why not try something else when things seem impossible?

Here’s something that I realized: no matter what you’re trying to achieve in life, there is going to be a point where you’re only one step away from success. I think this is particularly true with relationships. If you’re single, it’s only going to take one other person to change all that. Now finding that person might take a long while. Or maybe it won’t. Regardless of who they are, you’re really only one step away from meeting them.

That step could be your next blind date. It could be the next random girl or guy that you muster up the courage to talk with. It could be the next person that you swipe right to. There are so many opportunities to meet someone, and it only takes one for you to succeed.

You can apply this thinking to other areas of life as well. If you’re unemployed for example, don’t stand still with your back on the ropes. You’re one job application away from an interview. Maybe it won’t be the very next application you send in. Maybe it won’t be the 50th. But you will eventually reach a point where the next application is the one. The final moment isn’t always clear, but realize that every step that doesn’t work out is just bringing you closer to the one that does. 

Life is hard. But it’s not complicated.

A lot of us are in the position of the bottom person. We’re so close to finding the diamonds in our lives, but we stop before it happens. We can’t recognize the final step, so we fail to take that it. The person on top is far away from the diamonds, and he doesn’t know it. But it doesn’t matter. That one last step will come eventually, and he’ll take it. Will you?

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Imagine you’re at the end of your life, and you decided to write an autobiography about it. What would you want to be included?

I remember talking about this with a friend back in middle school. It’s a vivid conversation for me to this day. I remember discussing jobs, making lots of money, and of course, girls. At the time I had a crush on three different girls in my class, and they all really stressed me out. I told my friend about how each one would probably get a few pages in my book; one in particular being deserving of her own chapter in fact.

Of course, I couldn’t be more wrong. All it took was the arrival of high school a year later for these girls, and their impact on my life, to disappear entirely. Few pages each in my autobiography? More like zero combined.

I lacked perspective on what really mattered. A middle school crush ranks pretty damn low in the grand scheme of things, but I couldn’t realize it at the time. I was young, naive, and had a small view of the world. But just as the current 24 year old me is looking back at the 12 year old with disbelief, I’m sure my future 36 year old counterpart will do the same.

Perspective is difficult, but it’s perhaps one of the most important things we can try to find. Separating the things that matter from those that don’t is a life long process; but I believe it’s a process that is ultimately the key to fulfillment and happiness. Think about all the things that are on your mind everyday. Which one of those truly matter? 

Every moment of our lives is a possible inclusion in our autobiographies. But not every moment can fit. We have to be selective in the things we deem important and write about. If you don’t want to have an entire chapter about spilled milk, stop living like it deserves one. 

What truly belongs in our autobiographies? I don’t know yet. And I bet you probably don’t either. But I do know what doesn’t belong. Minor setbacks. Toxic relationships. Anything unnecessary that doesn’t bring joy.

Perspective isn’t found in a day. But the best time to start looking is today. Write the autobiography that you deserve.

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Not getting any messages on your dating apps? Your pictures may be the reason why. They’re one of most important components for attracting others online, but they’re also one of the easiest to mess up.

Here are some ways you can improve your picture selection to make sure you’re getting the results you deserve:

Make Sure You’re Actually Visible

The primary role of your photos is to let people know what you look like, and in order to do that, people have to actually see you. This seems obvious, but it’s actually pretty common for people to only use artsy or group photos where they aren’t readily visible. Here are a few examples of what not to do:

Jane is practically invisible while Summer is clear and visible. Guess which profile will catch more attention? This group photo is an immediate left swipe. This is a great photo, but we can’t actually see the person. It’s okay to have photos like these in your collection, but don’t make them your primary photo. Have An “Interesting” Photo

Try to have at least one picture that shows off something interesting about yourself. It doesn’t have to be extravagant like being on the top of Mount Everest, but it should be something that’ll help differentiate you from others. If you’re a chef, put a picture of you cooking. If you like to play soccer, put a picture of you playing. Anything to make sure your photos aren’t just a bland collection of selfies.

Way more compelling than a regular posed picture Have At Least Three Pictures

You should aim to have at least three pictures on your profile. Having only one picture can seem suspicious, and having two isn’t really enough to showcase yourself. I would recommend having the following at minimum:

The Close Up  A picture from the chest up that shows your face clearly The Full Body Shot Your whole body, while still having your face visible The Interesting/Action Picture As mentioned before, a picture that shows off you and your interests Avoid These Photo Types Altogether
  • Mirror Selfies – Absolutely do not do this. Get a friend to take your picture, or set up your phone with a timer at the very least. The only thing mirror selfies reflect is poor decision making.
  • Low Quality Pics – You have all the time in the world to select your pictures, there’s no reason to use blurry or low pixelated photos at all.
  • Edited Pictures – To reiterate the first point, people want to see the real you in your pictures. Save the Snapchat dog filters and overly photoshopped pictures for your 2006 MySpace page. They look immature and unattractive.
These types of pictures should have no place in your dating profile Ask Others For Feedback

If you’re still not sure whether your pictures are good or not, try incorporating a second opinion. A great way to gain in-depth feedback is to use Photofeeler, a picture testing service. They utilize a community of people as well as artificial intelligence to rate photos in various different categories.

Photofeeler – A great option if asking your friends isn’t cutting it

Coffee Meets Bagel also offers a “Photo Lab” feature where you can have two of your photos voted on. It’s not as comprehensive as Photofeeler, but it’s a quicker and easy way to help decide between two photos.

Coffee Meets Bagel’s Photo Lab

Online dating is hard, but being more thoughtful with your photos should make things easier. If you have any questions or would like your own dating profile photos to be checked, click here!

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Choosing your first dating app can be an overwhelming process. There are thousands of options out there and they come in all shapes and sizes. From free apps that welcome anybody to paid ones that are specific to a certain interest, the online dating landscape is often vast and confusing.

If you’re a beginner, starting off with the most popular, affordable, and accessible dating apps is recommended. There is a learning curve involved with online dating, and it’s best to start somewhere easy. Here are the top 5 dating apps that beginners should check out:

Tinder

What it is: The quintessential dating app; Tinder is the probably the most popular dating app in the world and for good reason. It’s simple, and it’s effective.

How it worksYou’re presented with someone else’s profile and you have the option of swiping right if you like them, and left if you don’t. If you both swiped right on each other, you’re matched up and are able to have a conversation.

Notes: Tinder has a reputation as a hook-up app, and that is well deserved. However a lot of people do use it for other reasons, such as serious relationship finding, friendship, and confidence boosting. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t immediately find someone that’s looking for the same thing as you, there’s a lot to sift through on Tinder.

You should NOT always swipe right. You might think that always swiping right will increase your chances of matching, when in reality it’ll obliterate your chances by making your profile practically invisible to everyone else. Be somewhat selectively with your likes, even if you have an unlimited amount, and you’ll find that your matches should actually increase.

Cost: The app is free, and most of it’s functionalities are free. There are two paid membership types available:

Tinder Plus – $9.99 a month.

  • Allows you to check out people and swipe all around the world, as opposed to being limited in your current location.
  • Option to “rewind” and undo a swipe. Useful if you’re swiping through 100 profiles a minute and you make a mistake that you want to undo.
  • Unlimited likes, as opposed to the limited daily amount that you get if you don’t pay.
  • Five daily super likes. A super like will notify the person that you specifically liked them, and it increases the chance that they’ll notice you and will like you back.
  • One monthly “boost” that allows your profile to moved to the top of the swiping queue of others for 30 minutes.

Tinder Gold – $14.99 a month

  • Ability to see who has already liked you, and the option to like them back
  • All the other benefits of Tinder Plus.

Is It Worth It?: Tinder is perfectly usable without paying. However the paid memberships do offer a lot of benefits, and they’re relatively inexpensive when compared to those of other dating services. The additional $5/month for Tinder Gold might be a reach, but you could probably do a lot worse with your money. In short, yes.

Bumble

What it is: An expanded version of Tinder, with a female twist. Bumble is very similar to Tinder, but it comes with more rules and features.

How it works: Bumble starts off the same as Tinder; you’re presented with other profiles and you swipe left to reject, and right to like. If two people like each other, it’s a match. However unlike Tinder, the woman has to send the first message in order to start the conversation. If they don’t send anything within 24 hours, the conversation expires.

Bumble also features two additional modes within the app, one for friendship, and another for networking.

Notes: The biggest differentiating factor of Bumble is that women make the first move. The company’s aim for this is to empower women and allow them to take control of conversations. This is also great for guys out there who are terrible at opening messages. Note that Bumble does allow for same-sex matches, in which case this rule is inapplicable.

In a recent update, Bumble released advanced filters that allow users to fine-tune their searches. Options include things such as astrological sign, political leaning, relationship goals, drinking, and exercise habits. With the different types of people on dating apps, these new filters make it a lot easier to find a compatible match.

Cost: Once again, the app is free and most of the functionalities are free. Bumble offers one membership type:

Bumble Boost – $8.99 a week, $24.99 a month

  • Ability to see who has already liked you, and the option to like them back
  • Rematch with someone if your conversation expires after 24 hours of no messages.
  • Unlimited extensions of the normal 24 hour messaging period. Free users get one extension a day.
  • Unlimited advanced filters, free users are only allowed to select two.

Is It Worth It?: Probably not. Bumble Boost is pretty pricey when compared to it’s Tinder counterpart, and the “rematch” and “unlimited extensions” features essentially fixes a problem that doesn’t even exist on other apps. You would essentially be paying $10 a month more than Tinder Gold for some additional filters.

Coffee Meets Bagel

What it is: The best app for serious relationships. If you’re looking for a significant other, this is the app you need. 

How it works: Every day, men are given up to 21 potential matches to choose from. Women are given a list of men that already liked them, and they can choose whether to reject them, or like them back. If a match occurs, a chatroom will open up for a week.

Notes: Coffee Meets Bagel takes a quality over quantity approach to online dating. Limiting the amount of potential matches per day seems unusual, but it is absolutely effective in generating higher quality matches.

Profiles are often more substantial as users give answers to the prompts “I am…”, “I like…”, and “I appreciate when my date…” as opposed to being given a blank canvas to write whatever. Conversations are often more substantial as well, as the app provides ice-breaker questions or comments that matches can discuss.

Matches come slower on Coffee Meets Bagel, but they mean more. The users on there seem to be more serious about relationships, and the subtle differences of the app help make it happen.

Cost: Coffee Meets Bagel utilizes “coffee beans” as a currency. Users get a small amount of beans for free by logging in and referring friends, and these beans can be used to obtain additional matches, reopening chat rooms that expired, and more. In addition to offering coffee beans for purchase, CMB offers one membership type:

Premium – $34.99 a month

  • An “Activity Report” that allows users to see if a prospective match has been active within the past 72 hours, how often they send the first message and actually chat, and average message response time.
  • Ability to see when your messages are read
  • 6000 coffee beans
Coffee Meets Bagel’s Activity Report

Is it Worth it?: Absolutely not. Coffee Meets Bagel is my personal favorite dating app, but it’s unnecessary to spend a single dollar on it. The features of premium are pretty unique, but they aren’t worth it at the steep $35 mark. It is nice being able to gain more insight with the activity report and read messages, but it ultimately isn’t something that will significantly impact your chances of finding someone.

The 6000 coffee beans can be helpful, but they’ll be gone before you know it. One additional match costs 385 beans; really not a value when you can get 21 daily for free already.

OkCupid

What it is: The most in-depth dating service available. OkCupid has been around for a long time, and it is the definition of comprehensive.

How it works: OkCupid takes dating profiles to the next level by offering its users the opportunity to answer questions about themselves. From light hearted matters such as “Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?” to heavier political and moral issues, OkCupid attempts to cover all the facets that may be important for considering a significant other.

After users finish answering questions, they’re given a compatibility score with others. This score is based on the answers to the questions, and what each person has deemed to be an important question/acceptable answer.

OkCupid’s Compatibility System

OkCupid is also different in that a match isn’t necessary in order to start a conversation. Users are able to send a message to whoever they want. Of course, getting a reply is a whole other matter.

Notes: There is no other dating website/app that has as many features as OkCupid. In addition to the questions and compatibility scores, OkCupid also offers a plethora of filters that can be utilized to narrow down a search. Filter options such as ethnicity, height, drinking/smoking/drug use, pets, and education are offered all for free.

In terms of features and usability, OkCupid is EASILY the best dating app. However it falters a bit in practice. OkCupid is really accessible, and perhaps too accessible. Anybody can be messaged; meaning the cute girl or guy that you caught your eye probably has dozens of other messages in their inbox already. Competition is high, and you can expect response rates to your messages to be significantly lower than other apps. OkCupid also seems to feature more fake accounts and spammers than other apps. Keep your expectations lower, and your guard high while on OkCupid.

Cost: The free version of OkCupid is tremendous, and it’s already leaps and bounds ahead of other apps in terms of features. However they still do offer two membership types:

A-List – $9.99 a month

  • Ability to see who has already liked you, and the option to like them back
  • Additional search filters, such as body type and attractiveness (They have very advanced algorithms to figure this out)
  • Able to see if your message have been read
  • Removal of ads

Premium A-List – $24.99 a month

  • Same benefits as regular A-List
  • A free daily boost that moves your profile to the top of people’s searches
  • Ability to see the answers of other people without having to answer the questions yourself. Non-premium A-List members can only see the answers to mutually answered questions.

Is It Worth It?: Yes. The A-List is essentially the same thing as Bumble Boost, plus the messages read feature, at 40% of the cost. If you’re looking for a complete dating app experience and are willing to invest a few dollars, OkCupid is one of your top options. The extra $15 for Premium A-List is iffy, as the only real useful benefit is the daily boost.

Hinge

What it is: The liking, not swiping app. Hinge introduces “why” to attraction.

How it works: Users have to mutually like each other in order to start a conversation. However instead of just swiping right, Hinge users show their interest by choosing a specific part of another’s profile that they like.

Notes: Hinge has a casual feel similar to that of Tinder and Bumble, but it’s less superficial. Users have to essentially answer why they’re interested in someone else, and that why could often be something other than an attractive picture. Profiles on Hinge consist not just of pictures, but also answers to prompts such as “My greatest strength is…” or “We’ll get along if…”

Hinge is also unique in that it attempts to track real world success. If users exchange phone numbers, the app will later ask if a date occurred, and if it went well. The feedback is then used to generate better matches in the future. Hinge prides itself with its quality over quantity approach, and features like this help justify their claims.

Cost: Hinge offers one paid membership:

Preferred Membership – $12.99 a month

  • Ability to see who has already liked you, and the option to like them back
  • Advanced filters; the free version only allows for age, distance, height, ethnicity, and religion
  • Unlimited likes; the free version has a daily limit

Is It Worth It?: Yes. Hinge’s preferred membership is a pretty good deal at its price, as the ability to see other likes is pretty helpful, and the advanced filters are substantial. The unlimited likes is a lesser benefit, as the daily limit is already pretty high. Overall though, not bad at all.

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