Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, a woman whose goal was to make dating (and now, even networking and friendship) more female-friendly. How that manifests on the app, for the uninitiated, is a Sadie Hawkins-esque interface that requires women to message their male matches first. Then men have 24 hours to respond or else the match is erased. (For women messaging other women and women-identified folks, either party can respond first.) Although this ostensibly puts the power into women’s hands, it’s also the biggest complaint I heard about Bumble while researching this piece, calling it “annoying” and “overwhelming” (and the reason a few dating-haters I spoke to defected to Tinder). But lots of respect to any app that's actually trying to make women feel safer online, and Bumble has made that its priority.
The most popular online dating sites allow members to search within a certain area for suitable matches based on what's important to them, such as age, education or religion. Members can evaluate potential dates by reading their profiles, which typically include several photos and a statement about what that person is looking for in a mate. Some of these sites also suggest other users based on profile information. Most services charge a monthly fee for a subscription period of one month to a year if you want to be able to contact other members.
If you have some time to kill, we here at Top Ten Reviews have dozens and dozens of stories about going on bad dates. We’ve been ditched, dumped, ghosted and duped so we’re pretty familiar with the pain of dating. Online dating can alleviate a little of that pain because it gives everyone the chance to be upfront about their intentions and preferences.
The Dating Pool: On average, I go on five dates for every 10 matches. The guys are way, way cuter on Bumble; that being said, I’ve had more solid relationships/friendships come out of Tinder than Bumble. It seems everyone I’ve talked to thus far is more easily distracted than people on Tinder. On Tinder, you could talk to a guy for two months; on Bumble, maybe two days. Maybe that's because the app pressures you to start a conversation in less time? Or because there are more attractive people on Bumble? Overall, you do get more matches, but it almost makes me miss having to sift through all the bad men on Tinder to find the good ones.
Why? I'm happily married now and haven't used a dating app in 5-plus years. The big thing that set OKC apart from other options when I was a user: It was free. But this was before a lot of advances in dating services. Tinder didn't launch until 2012, and by that time I was invested enough in using OKC that it never occurred to me to try a different app.
The service also offers more specific preference options, meaning you can narrow your choices to certain religious beliefs or ethnicities if those things are important to you. You can load up to nine photos and have a much more prolific profile, too. And if you’ve entered any icebreakers into your profile, the app will send one of them to a bagel you’ve connected with as the first message for greater convenience. The fact that the chat room expires after a week puts some pressure on you to exchange phone numbers or meet up in real life or to just quietly fade away without any fuss. The interface is also relatively user-friendly, with large photos and clean text.
There was a time I was totally against downloading a dating app. Despite You’ve Got Mail being one of my favorite movies of all time, the thought of meeting my potential S.O. online felt unnatural, uncomfortable, and a little scary. Unless T-Hanks was going to IM me and tell me about his love for freshly sharpened pencils, I was not game. But then, I moved to Manhattan.
Why it's awesome: hater is a hilarious concept that started out on Shark Tank (as a half joke, I might add) that might actually work. Rather than being paired up over shared interests or mutual physical attraction, the app simply matches you with people who hate the same things as you — because the bond over disliking something super specific is way stronger. In the words of Mashable's Cassie Murdoch, it "lets you drop that idealized, perky version of yourself you’ve been putting in all your profiles and lets you show off your inner crank instead."
If you don't have the patience to weed out matches that are explicitly looking for a no strings attached hookup, a quick search on FriendFinder-X will probably make you pretty happy. You can search for potential matches using filters that range from proximity, sexual preferences and even cup size. Too lazy to search? The app has a list of compatible profiles sent to you for your consideration.
Let's say, hypothetically, that you already have some potential hookup partners in mind, and that they just so happen to be your friends on Facebook (or friends with your friends on Facebook). Don't you wish there were some way to see if they were interested in some type of casual arrangement? That's where DOWN Dating comes in: the app that connects you with your Facebook friends (and friends of friends) who are down to get down. But don't worry, the lady you have your eye on won't know you're down for a hookup unless she says she's down for one with you, too.
Once you’re a member, you can look through other user photos and see a person's name, age, location and Instagram handle. User photos are set to a song of their choice, which shows a little more personality than most other dating apps. You can also browse the app's map and see which users are closest to you. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store and is relatively easy to use if you can get your foot in the door.
Who it's for: Picky people looking for something super specific in a partner. And guys, this is not the place for the younger millennials: EliteSingles loves to brag that 82% of their members are college grads, and with most of its members being 33-50 years old, we can pretty surely say that the main target is mature, working professionals rather than the the Tinder-using generation. Sorry college kids.
Why it's awesome: When we're blinded by love, we tend to ignore red flags and can't see when someone is all wrong for us — but friends can see it clear as day and wish we would just take their damn advice. Wingman is the unique take on dating that lets your friends play cupid, essentially making it the dating app version of the "Have you met my friend?" classic bar line. Your friends want to see you get laid (or find love, obviously) as badly as you do, and sometimes, they just know us better than we know ourselves. As Mashable's Cassie Murdoch writes, "...a little bit like handing your friend your Tinder or Bumble account and saying, 'Here, you deal with this.'" And sometimes, fancy algorithms just aren't enough.
GayRomeo / PlanetRomeo Worldwide social network, instant messaging and dating community for gay, bisexual and transgender men. 6,740,000 registered and 1,107,000 active (last 6 weeks) 707,590 Free: communication, profile and picture views, search engine Yes/No: video downloads, higher database limits, deactivation of advertising Yes (exclusively) ? Free
You only get a seven matches per day, and yes, we know having restricted matches can be a bummer — because having a day where none of your matches are appealing is a definite possibility. But Hinge isn't meant for constant swiping, and everyone I know who uses Hinge has always felt 100% content with the free version. Having endless matches gets overwhelming, and if you're trying to find a genuine connect, there's no point to viciously rushing through every person in a 50 mile radius.
For a site that is 100 percent free, Connectingsingles offers many services. For instance, you can send eflowers, email, and participate in a forum, and write blogs, if that’s where your interest is. You can send ecards to your favorite members, and rate photos of your fellow members, take part in polls, and also cut videos. According to their website, there are no “fees, hidden charges, or gimmicks. Good news if you do not want these dating websites to tear a hole in your budget.
Zoosk Coins: You can also earn or buy Zoosk "Coins", which unlock your matches, allow you to send virtual gifts, boost your profile, and allow you to get delivery confirmations on emails, among other features. Coins cost $19.95 for 180, up to $99.95 for 1800 coins. Coins can be earned by using or signing up to various third-party apps, surveys, services and websites.