Annoyingly, while you can say whether or not you HAVE kids, there’s no setting for whether you want any. As a childfree-by-choice, tubes-tied, fully paid up member of the never-replicating-my-genes club, this is quite important to me, and has resulted in matching with people who turn out to want ankle-biters (evidently they didn’t read my profile, big surprise).
One thing I was hugely relieved to see is that there’s no swiping at all. There’s a heart button and an X button, and that’s it. People you tap the heart on receive a ‘Like’ (so on brand), and it’s easy to browse the likes you’ve received and find people you’re interested in.
Since it has access to all your friend data, in theory Facebook Dating should bring you better matches than elsewhere
When you tap the heart on someone who’s liked you, you match, and they go reseГ±a nudista into a separate tab. In there, you can see all your matches, and message threads with each one. No one can message you unless you like them back, although they can comment on one of your photos, which appears at the top of their profile when you view it in Likes.
When I and some friends first signed up, it took days to show us anyone nearby at all, and we worried we were unlovable. Then, all at once, a BAZILLION people appeared, and we would never be free of Facebook notifications again.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is turn off ALL push notifications from Facebook Dating. ‘Push’ notifications are the ones that appear at the top of the screen when you’re not using the app, to interrupt you. Otherwise, it’s a constant stream of RANDOM MCKENZIE LIKED YOU! and you’ll never get any sleep again. Annoyingly, these still pop up even if you have normal Facebook notifications turned off, as I do. You have to disable them separately.
The second, especially if you’re a woman, is to check out the safety features. You can block people (although it only seems to block them in Dating, not in Facebook itself, and you don’t know their last name to block them elsewhere), delete conversation threads and report messages (which, knowing Facebook, is like writing “halp?” on a post-it note and throwing it into the ocean) .
Helpfully, you can’t send photos or videos through Dating chat. Gifs yes, emojis yes, horrible eyesore stickers yes – but nothing of your own, which is definitely a good thing (I don’t need more places to receive unsolicited sausage). Of course, that does still mean they can write horrendous things, and once you switch to WhatsApp, they can send anything. So as ever, be extra cautious.
One other thing to be aware of is that even once you’ve turned push notifications off, you’ll still get a kabillion notifications within the Facebook app itself, unless you turn those off too. Oh, and Dating will add a tab for itself next to the bell, marked with a heart.
Does Facebook Dating work?
Sadly, I haven’t found that to be the case, but it has shown me a lot of people I haven’t seen on the usual dating sites, which is both a positive and a negative. It’s really brought home how many types of people I’m completely uninterested in – like those with frames on their FB avatar that say “proud Brexiteer” or “unvaccinated,” for instance. Or people in their early twenties or late sixties. Or people using Bitmoji. OR PEOPLE MY FRIENDS HAVE DATED!
There are some useful search tools, including people who attended events you went to (remember events? Ha ha, sob) and people in the same Facebook groups as you. It’ll also show you any mutual Facebook friends, although you can’t search for people you have friends in common with. That was the original idea behind the dating app Hinge, and it’s gone on to great success, so that’s an oversight.