Hi, remember me? Jen, who reviewed EastMeetEast’s website? Jen, who’s super bad at the Asian dating game? Well, today I’m going to give you the lowdown on their dating app.
An app to meet Asian singles. Convenient, fast, perfect for all of us who have too many things to do (nurturing our careers, volunteering, networking, trying not to go crazy). And definitely great for those of us too lazy to actually reach over and open up our laptops. It’s just so much easier to open up the app on your iPhone. You can do it with one hand while the other holds your third coffee of the day as you sit on the park bench taking 5 minutes out of your hectic work day to just B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
Or, in my case, when I’m lounging on the couch at 10pm on a Thursday night, sipping on a glass of Merlot while also surfing through Netflix. This is MY version of “Netflix and Chill”. Don’t judge. I am a delight and I really have no idea why I’m still single.
The EastMeetEast app icon is cute, with its signature white and pink colors and that swirly heart logo. The app is currently only available for iPhone users (so no Android), but if you’re on a smartphone, you can just head to the actual site via your web browser if you really want to get your online dating fix.
Open up the app and you’ll find that it’s basically the same as the EastMeetEast website. You can navigate through 5 sections at the bottom of the screen: Search, Messages, Smiles, Visits, Profile. This is the latest 2016 upgrade and EME let me know that they’ve been working hard to make this the most easy to use Asian dating app. The previous versions of this app did not have full functionality like the advanced search, sending and receiving smiles, or seeing who’s visited your profile recently. Since its first release, they’ve done plenty of upgrades, especially to the UI, to make it super user friendly and intuitive.
So why am I digging EastMeetEast? Well (in case you didn’t read my other review), it’s the “#1 dating site for Asian urban singles”. Much like other popular dating sites, EastMeetEast focuses on the key component of a successful relationship - having important stuff in common. Just as religion might be a non-negotiable for some people when looking for a partner, heritage and ethnicity can be equally so, particularly among the Asian community. %br (Check out EME’s articles on “Asian Dating Tips” and “Asian American Dating Tips” for more on this stuff.)
Here’s a quick rundown of the available features:
Use the search filters to find your potential partners. The app now offers the same extensive search function as the site, which means you can apply filters such as when a person came to the country, what languages they speak, and Asian ethnicity (Burmese, Indonesian, Singaporean, Chinese - you name it). You can also search for more basic things like location, age, and whether or not a person has ever been married or has kids.
Set up like any standard chat, this is where you can easily exchange messages with your admirers. Since women get free membership to EastMeetEast, we immediately have access to the full features of EME, including the ability to read full messages. Men, on the other hand, will not be able to read the messages they receive (they’ll only see a preview) unless they become Premium Members (membership starts from $11.99/month). Sorry boys, but you’ve gotta pay to play.
I’ve noticed that a lot of guys will send a message asking if I can email or text them directly instead since they don’t have premium membership. This is a big fat NO, especially for women. Play it safe - don’t contact these people outside of the EME platform until you’ve had a chance to get to know them better. You wouldn’t just give out your phone number or email to a random person on the street, right? Same concept!
I kind of love these “smiles”. It’s a sweet and friendly way of showing interest and a little less cheeky than a wink. (Don’t get me wrong - the right wink from the right guy makes me swoon but you don’t want to receive them left and right, virtual or otherwise). Check out the people who have smiled at you, take a look at their profiles, and if someone piques your interest, give a smile back. It could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
Here you can see who’s visited your profile. Get an idea of the type of people you’re attracting, check out the profiles of prospects, and maybe make the first move!
If you want to edit your profile and change your photo, you can do it all from here. Being able to change or add photos from the app is particularly convenient because what do you usually use to take photos? Your phone, duh. Rather than wait for your MacBook to sync your photos, save the time by simply uploading them straight from your phone.
Instead of receiving email alerts when someone smiles at you or sends a message, you can set up app notification alerts. Go check them out when you have a moment and see if you want to smile back at anyone.
One of the most appealing things about EME (aside from it being a site devoted to connecting Asian singles) is the advanced search function. This is why I’m glad they decided to upgrade the app with full functionality. As I mentioned earlier, you can filter ethnicities, languages, the age when they came to the US (or Canada or wherever), faith, and occupation and income (for those of you whose parents are still hoping that you’ll marry a successful lawyer/doctor/banker).
Let’s say (hypothetically) that I live in California, moved to the US from Korea at the age of 10, and want to find other men in the Bay Area who are also Korean and moved here around the same age as I did. While we’re at it, let’s narrow it down to men who are within 5 years of my age. Oooh, and I want someone who drinks socially (because drinking alone is never fun), but definitely not a smoker. And he should be at least 5’7”.
OK, so I’ve selected my criteria and now all I have to do is hit “search”! Up pop up my results, and I can look through the guys who fit my description.
All from the comfort of my couch. iPhone in one hand, TV remote in the other.
Of course, there are plenty of other places where you might find it useful to have this app on your iPhone. Surf for prospective dates on a lazy Sunday morning while you wait for your DIY avocado face mask to set. During your lunch break. At the doctor’s office. While you’re waiting for that friend who’s always 20 minutes late (you know who you are).
Honestly, I really enjoy having the EastMeetEast app on my phone. Trying to date in the city is hard and we’re all short on time these days. When trying to fit in yet another after work event is akin to torture and you’re over the whole “pick someone up at the bar” scene, dating sites like EastMeetEast make things so much easier. Online dating is where it’s at these days!
In general, the app seems to attract a lot of young professionals. I find myself being smiled at by physicians, computer programmers, software engineers, and graphic designers. I get why this is THE app for Asian urban singles. Search in any major North American city (NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Toronto, Vancouver) and you should be able to find a nice lineup of possible matches. You can also venture off the continent and browse in cities like London, Sydney, and Melbourne! (Confession: even though I’m looking for someone local, I definitely took a peek at some of the available Aussies because I’m a sucker for the accent. It’s OK to dream, right?)
One of the major downsides of the EastMeetEast dating app, however, is that it’s only offered in English, despite the focus on the Asian community. I don’t know if they have plans to offer the app in Asian languages, but it’s definitely something that should be considered.
Want to find out more about Asian dating? EastMeetEast also let me know about a video series they did with ISATV, called “The Dating Challenge Show” and it’s actually pretty entertaining. Take a look to hear about how other Asians are doing online dating and to see the EME app in action!