Meet your matchmaker, the iPhone

Aug 18, 2010
Shine

Checking email, reading the news, navigating a strange city – we use our smartphones for myriad critical daily activities. Now, you can use your iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android-powered device to manage — and enhance — your dating life as well. So tell your mom to stop scanning the pews for that eligible guy/girl and download […]

Checking email, reading the news, navigating a strange city – we use our smartphones for myriad critical daily activities. Now, you can use your iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android-powered device to manage — and enhance — your dating life as well. So tell your mom to stop scanning the pews for that eligible guy/girl and download the following apps. And please, don’t forget to invite us to the wedding.

Meeting the right somebody

Singles live life on the go, and they need dating tools to match. Luckily, two of the web’s most popular dating sites are available wherever you may travel. Use the free Match.com app – which is available to iPhone, Android and BlackBerry owners – or eHarmony (currently just for the iPhone with Android and BlackBerry versions reportedly in the works) to access an existing account or to create a new one. Both involve detailed surveys and are aimed at creating long-term, compatible matches.

They say love conquers all, but what about the 405 Freeway? If you live in a traffic-ridden metropolis, residential proximity could be a significant factor in your dating life. Download the Skout iPhone app (free), which uses geography to create connections.

For slightly lighter fare, try the free SpeedDate iPhone app and “flirt” and “wink” your way through an entire network of potential mates. And if you want a lesson (and a few laughs) in what not to say to somebody upon first meeting, check out the free Pickup Lines app, also for the iPhone.

Making it to the second date

After you have scored the telephone number (or email address), it is time to make plans. The Date Smart iPhone app ($1.99) will help you come up with some creative date options, based on your interests and price point.

If you’re a foodie who enjoys courtship over a good meal, Urbanspoon is a great app that can be tapped into on an iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phone. Browse restaurants by neighborhood, price and cuisine, or give the app a good “spin” and let it make the decision for you.

If you are an iPhone owner and need to brush up on your table manners, try the Fine Dining Etiquette app (99 cents) – it provides instruction about what fork is for which course of the meal, among other etiquette examples. And if you really want to keep the conversation flowing, try the Conversation Starter app (99 cents) for some clever ideas.

Relationship maintenance

So you may have convinced him/her to be your steady, but the work is not done. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself back in singledom. For men with shoddy memories, try the free Girlfriend Keeper iPhone app. It will help you remember birthdays, anniversaries — and all other significant dates.

Owners of Android devices can avoid potential pitfalls with the help of the free Dating Tips and Advice App, while BlackBerry’s App World offers separate dating tip apps for men and women. While each of those apps will run you $2.99, having all of this expert knowledge in your pocket is priceless.

When it isn’t going so well

Awkward silences, excessive body hair, burping at the table – if your date is disaster, it might be time to make a premature exit (with class, of course). There are several fake phone calls app that will allow you to feign an emergency. Try the Excuse Me iPhone app (free); you set it to ring your phone and it includes an actual voice for that air of authenticity. If you are ready to end a relationship, but are unsure how to go about it, download the 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover iPhone app (99 cents) for painless tips.

While not the most intelligent genre for smartphones, there are also fake call apps available for BlackBerrys and Android devices.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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