OK, so it’s time to get serious with this one. The personality test on EliteSingles asks questions about how you look physically and what you’re like as a person. Are you tidy? Patient? Positive? Honest? And what is it you’re looking for? Don’t worry, you can answer the questions on a scale, rather than a hard and fast yes or no, so you can hedge your bets. It’s a pretty thorough matching process which is intended to weed out any duds, but make a cuppa and get comfy as it can take up to 25 minutes to complete.
Unique features: you can select which gender/s you're interested in, and what kinds of connections – hook-ups, friendship, short-term and long-term dating, and non-monogamy. OkCupid had the most gender, sexuality and relationship preferences of all the sites we looked at, so it's a good option if you don't identify as heterosexual, cisgender or monogamous.
The experts say: For those who are at a loss as how to sell themselves in 500 words or less, this site offers the opportunity to be described by your friend. It works on the premise your friend can sell you better than you can but they can also embarrass you too. MSF has a more chatty style in the profile and gives you a greater insight into your potential date’s world.
Wild provides users with the anonymity that other dating apps don't. For starters, there's no social login required. The app also goes the extra mile to verify its users (meaning, you'll need to send a photo of you giving a thumbs up, which is then checked against the photos you've posted to verify it's really you), helping to take the awkwardness out of meeting up with a potential hookup that looks nothing like her picture. You can also filter by intention, so that you're not wasting time sorting through matches who are here for something serious. Once you've found a hookup for the night, you can set your profile to invisible so that other users aren't messaging you when you're, uh, in the middle of something.
No, we’re not kidding. You know those fancy new fridges that pair with a smartphone app to show you the contents of your fridge while you’re away from home? Now there’s a dating app that goes along with that, allowing you to find a mate based upon the contents of their fridge. Samsung's $3,000 Family Hub refrigerator now has a dating app, Refrigerdating, where you can browse user profiles with information not only about their personalities, but their fridges. The New York Times reported that's how creator John Stonehill met his wife of nine years; he perused the contents of her fridge the first chance he got. He helped develop the app for Samsung, which launched in early 2019.
Bumble is very easy to navigate. In the app at the top of the screen you have 3 menu options. On the left is an icon to access your profile (to view or edit). In the middle lists what Bumble service you are using (Date, BFF, or Bizz), and on the right is the Messaging icon. If you are not viewing your profile or not in the Message center, then by default you are in the Discovery/Connection section viewing your potential matches.
Editor's Note: Match.com and eHarmony remain the sites to beat for those looking for a serious relationship online, while OKCupid is still the best free option. For app users, we've added Bumble as an alternative to Coffee Meets Bagel and Tinder, both of which we still recommend. Bumble urges women to make the first move, a refreshing change, but keeps things easy to use.
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Most of Bumble's functionality is free to use. To get started visit their website or install their app. You can then sign up with your phone number or Facebook account, upload additional photos, edit your profile, and set your search filter parameters. Then, it is onto matching. Swipe up and down to see more photos, and left or right to say yes or no. If a mutual match is made, a conversation may be initiated. Tap the chat box icon to view your match queue and current conversations. If you see someone who would be perfect for a friend, long press their photo or open up their profile and tap “Send to a Friend” to play matchmaker.
The OG of the dating world, Match has been around since the '90s. It not only set the standard for dating apps, but also gives the most reasons to keep coming back. It's a friendly ecosystem where profiles reward extra effort, but photos aren't forgotten about. Searches are quick and easily tailored and you get daily matches that seem like more than just a reason to get you to spend money. Should you decide to open your wallet, it offers enough extra perks to feel like you've spent your money well.
We’re about creating an empowering, safe place for modern society to meet the important people in their lives. We’re making digital relationships personal again. We see Bumble as a movement, bringing kindness and respect back into introductions and promoting equality in traditionally male-dominated relationships. We expect our team and our partners to epitomize our core values, and we’re dedicated to building a worldwide community on this foundation.
When Samantha Karjala started using apps to meet more people in her small Northeastern town, she was annoyed at what they implied. “When you say you went on a Tinder date, most people expect you had sex with the person,” she says. “It’s a bummer, because I used it to meet cool people to expand my dating pool, which was helpful with the radius feature on Tinder.” She says that, despite some annoying responses from dudes, she was just out of a relationship and wanted to stick with using the app. “I think I most enjoyed the bios, because it really shows what people think is important enough to say in a few words.” Her bio was a Nicki Minaj lyric that she says, “sparked a lot of conversations”—including one with the guy who would later become her husband.
“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used eHarmony and Match as well as a few free sites. “The fact that eHarmony matched me with several women with whom I shared common interests led me to believe that I was seeing more quality matches.”
Generic sites usually have a wider variety of people so you’re likely to find someone with similar likes and values as you. Joining a niche site means fewer profiles to sort through. If you have a unique interest, lifestyle, or hobby, joining a niche site might cater more toward what you are looking for, but there is no reason you can’t sign up for both.
Starting in 2016 Bumble added related but separate modes to the app. Bumble BFF can be used to find platonic friends and Bumble Bizz is for making business connections. To switch modes in the Bumble app tap/click on the Bumble mode at the top of the screen/page. This will bring up a mode-switching menu where you can toggle between Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz.
Statistically speaking, there’s plenty of evidence that dating apps work—especially for those among us whose endgame is meeting a long-term partner. There are stats that say marriages among people who met on an app are less likely to end after the first year, and despite a big cultural annoyance about the process, the vast majority of Americans think that, ultimately, apps are a good way to meet people. Even anecdotally, a lot of the people I spoke to for this piece—all of whom self-identified as dating app haters—nevertheless met their long-term partner on an app.
Recommendations: "The Bumble app is free and I have had the most dates with this app. It's an easy format and given the female makes contact first, you can eliminate unwanted attention. RSVP is good if you're looking for something more serious. You have to pay to contact the user, but the advantage is that you can see their photos and profile description."
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Almost all dating apps have a few features in common. That includes location-based results, profiles, and some method of communication. All ten of the dating apps on this list have those features. The first feature, location, makes recommendations from us to you a little difficult. Most big cities have a decent supply of potential matches for most types of people. However, your success in any given dating app is ultimately reliant on how popular that app is in your area.
If you’re tired of the back and forth of trying to schedule a date that works with your busy schedule, check out Now, an app built specifically to make that easier. Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, it matches you with people based on your schedules. This probably isn't the best app for finding a meaningful connection, as it's based solely on you having free time simultaneously with another user, but it's a good way to schedule a lot of dates and have a lot of fun.
Feeld allows people to get very specific about who they are and what they’re interested in, and it follows that most of the people on it have given this some thought. The people on the app share a baseline of understanding regarding the many varieties of gender and sexual identity, something you won’t find on most other dating apps unless they’re focused on the LGBTQ community. No one ever messages me and asks what it means when I say that I’m pansexual. My profile says “cis het men” are last in my line of interests, and no one ever gets mad about that either. Not even the cis het men—they still message me.
The Date: I don’t have a worst-date story. My policy is to give every guy two dates because I think any mishaps in the first (awkwardness, moments of silence, lost reservations) can be chalked up to jitters. The activities for the dates I went on were fun, but that wasn’t really a reflection of the guys’ tastes but mine since we just did whatever I wanted to do—going to the Met to see a limited exhibit of the rooftop painting by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi, Café Sabarsky for German sausages, or the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Features for introverts: Instead of swiping, browsing, poking, and messaging your way into someone's inbox only to never hear back, this app will send you a potential match every day at noon. Men receive curated matches based on the algorithm and women will only be presented with potential matches (called Bagels) that have already expressed interest.
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Bumble is one of those dating apps that tries to shake things up. It'll match you like normal. However, women get to initiate chats first. She'll have 24 hours to do so and then the man will have 24 hours to reciprocate. In homosexual matches, either one can go first. Many have touted this as a way to weed out creepy people. However, we couldn't verify that one way or the other and it makes things a little difficult for male users. The app does, in fact, show you possible matches and it gives you the opportunity to talk to new people. It has problems, but it's still a cut above a lot of others. We do like it for non-straight people, though, since they do get the classic dating experience without any bottlenecks.
I’m going to assume I don’t need to introduce the concept of Tinder and its reputation to you. Obviously, I know people who've met their hookups on this app, but I also know people who've met on it and are now in serious (and lovely!) relationships. Tinder is what you make of it, but you do have to weed through a lot of people because you can only sort by age and location. I first downloaded the app about four years ago. While it might have changed since I’ve used it, I had a lot of nasty comments or “Wanna come over?” messages sent to me in the wee hours of the morning. I went on at least five horrible dates (like with the guy who told me my pictures weren’t doing me any favors) and a few amazing dates (like with the guy who I ended up seeing for close to six months). I’m not a fan of the swiping, or the unsolicited comments on my body, so eventually I retired it as an option.
It’s not perfect. The quiz show format won’t appeal to everyone, and the slow burn and winner-takes-all aspect mean it’s going to be a lot harder to get a date than in other apps. Also, featured dater spots are currently only open to straight women, so there’s not much here for lesbians or gay men yet, though there are plans to expand to male bachelors and LGBTQ+ episodes. You also need to email the company to apply to be a featured dater, which means it’s not exactly a pick-up-and-go app if you’re wanting to be the featured dater. However, if you’re bored of regular dating apps, or if you’re simply attracted to the fun elements and the prospect of finding love is a bonus, then give Quiz Date Live a go.
Length of Use: I met a few people I really liked and one guy I dated seriously, and I had some total disasters over the course of about a year. I have no idea how many dates I went on, but dozens. I stopped using it after I started dating someone I met on OkCupid seriously. By the time I was single again, more mobile apps like Tinder had come on the scene, so I didn’t go back.
Why it's awesome: What initially began as a Facebook app developed in 2007 has grown into a company with 35 million users in more than 80 countries. Rather than asking its users for dating questions, Zoosk picks dates for its users based on a user's on-site activity. If you shoot a message to Jake Doe, for example, Zoosk says it'll use that action to determine which types of profiles to show you going forward."Zoosk is fun and flirty," Spira says. "It does cater to a younger crowd – more of a millennial crowd."