Once you pick that perfect selfie and write paragraphs to sell all your best attributes to your future mate, it's time to start browsing. This is where the big differences between these apps are apparent. For instance, Tinder, with its famous hot-or-not swiping interface, makes it quick and easy to find your next date. Bumble, on the other hand, puts all the power in the woman's hands; men can't even contact a woman unless she's expressed interest first. Others, like OkCupid, have robust profiles that let you dive deep into a user's personality (or at least the one he or she has decided to present to you), before you decide to go on the pursuit.
A lot of dating websites and apps advertise the fact that they’re free, but be careful what you’re signing up for. Setting up a profile is always free, but most of the websites we tested offered only some of their matching services free of charge. Many dating websites make you pay to view user photos and send messages. Apps, on the other hand, are predominantly free. Upgrades are available if you want to use the app’s extra features, but for the most part a free account is all you need.
Setup is basic: You'll see pictures and short bios of potential matches in your area and can swipe right if you're interested and left if you're not. It's a pretty close mock of Tinder, except for the fact that Bumble relieves the anxiety of accidentally swiping left on a hottie by letting you backtrack. Bumble also offers a BFF feature to find strictly platonic friends and a LinkedIn-ish networking feature called Bizz in attempts to remind everyone that it's not just a hookup app.
The app will show you your daily matches all at once instead of one at a time, so you'll have to scroll — but the Discover tab is where the app gets a little jumbled. Everything still looks clean, but it's basically endless scrolling of the profiles within the distance you've set (no compatibility figured in), so this is probably used more like Tinder. Regardless, the app is user friendly and makes it easy to do some swiping or searching on the morning commute or while waiting in line at the store, and makes using a dating app feel cool — not like a desperate old person begging someone to marry them.
Why? I personally like Coffee Meets Bagel because it’s not an endless cycle of swiping through uninterested prospects. It’s very casual [in tone], but catered more to individuals looking for actual dates/relationships rather than just a hookup. In comparison to the other apps/sites, I think there is a better quality of men on CMB. Only issue I have: Their messaging app is extremely subpar, doesn’t load correctly and messages don’t send.
Did I like using it? YES. I love Hinge, honestly. It's my favorite dating app that I've used thus far. And I've had the most successful connections/dates from it, too. I think the fact that people can answer questions, but not get too in depth, makes it the ideal dating app for someone who is open to whatever comes their way. I also feel like, in general, the people on Hinge are a little more serious and less likely to send you dick pics. This isn't researched, that has been my experience, though!
Bumble has set unprecedented standards for respectful behavior to ensure all users feel safe, including banning shirtless bathroom mirror selfies (seemingly a staple of all dating apps) and implementing photo verification to ensure users are who they claim to be. Bumble also attacked the problem of ghosting head-on by implementing time limits on communication.
OKC is one of the most popular dating apps out there. With over 10 million users since its launch, it’s available in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. It asks a series of questions, designed for you to meet your perfect match. When answering the question, users can indicate their own answer and the answers they would accept from partners to determine what percentage you’ll match with someone.
Nearly half, or 44 percent, of those who tried online dating said it led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage, the magazine found. Traditionally known for reviewing products like household cleaners and washers and dryers, Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers in the fall of 2016 about online dating and then rated matchmaking sites based on their overall satisfaction.
When you're using apps to find a local hookup, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind that will set you up for success in the long run. The first is deciding what to put on your profile. If you're truly here for a good time and not a long time (for casual sex instead of a long-term thing), Elite Dating Managers founder Isabel James says that attracting your next casual encounter can be as easy as being upfront in your profile right from the beginning. "Explicitly state that you're looking for a hookup on your profile," she says. "Something like: 'Not looking for a long-term relationship. Looking to have fun tonight!' makes it clear." Being direct with your expectations from the get-go means you'll only be matching with women who are also looking for something casual with no strings attached, saving you the time it'd take to gauge whether or not your matches are here for the same reason as you are. Dating sites work much better if your match knows what you're looking for, and you're not being misleading.