Like other dating sites, the new phone-based dating apps are their own individual world, with their own subtle rules and social mores.Whether you’re an OKCupid addict who can’t help writing 5,000-word explanations of your favorite books, or a Tinderholic who swipes left with the unsparing air of a French revolutionary, join us in exploring this brave new world of phone-based seduction.While a recent article detailed all the ways people are using the app for casual sex, the first Tinder date this reporter went on was a perfectly G-rated evening with hot chocolate in a park.

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Whether on purpose or not, Hinge has eliminated one of the downsides of online dating, that sense that, in a bottomless ocean, there is always a better, prettier fish to be found. Your only pictures are your Facebook profile pictures.

Still, this reporter has not yet met anyone who has ever gone on a Hinge date. The first has to do with the social minefield that comes from a dating pool only made up of one’s friends-of-friends. Your only interests are the Facebook pages you Like.

But what if you want to use a dating app mostly to augment your IRL dating life? (Until very recently, men had to opt out of being rated on the app; any dude with a Facebook profile was fair game.

Now, because of privacy concerns, Lulu has changed to an opt- system, wiping many reviews from the app.) Reviews on Lulu don’t take the form of Yelp’s exquisitely critical essays, though.

There are downsides – creepy messages for women, the possibility of obsessing over strangers you will never meet – but there’s a reason these sites haven’t changed much over the years.

(They basically help people find dates.) There’s plenty of advice online on how to “hack” these sites for your own benefit, and you’ll likely not have to set up a massive data-mining enterprise to do so. If changing your interests to become more datable sounds strange and inhuman to you, don’t worry.

Dating is, perhaps, the only activity you get a reputation for being good at by being bad at it.

(Paradoxically, someone who was great at dating would not need to go on many first dates.) Fortunately for the rest of us, a new generation of Internet entrepreneurs has arisen to make finding love – or at least, finding someone to make out with – as easy as firing off a Snapchat.

Another school of thought, backed up by OKCupid research, says that you really DON’T want magazine’s interviews with the most-messaged New Yorkers would seem to bear this out: Better to have half the population think you’re a 1 and half think you’re a 10 than for everyone to agree you’re a 6.