So given the evidence, and the fact that it’s totally okay to think dating online sucks and still do it anyway, I wanted to know: Which apps come most recommended by people who fuckin’ hate to date? Which tech have daters made peace with, and why? Some of their answers won’t surprise you—even if their reasoning does—while other options are refreshingly new.
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.
If Match is an inclusive, welcoming cocktail party full of people from all corners of the earth, then Tinder is the loud, crazy nightclub down the street that's primarily for 20- to 30-somethings looking for a bit of quick fun. Sure, older folks can hang out there too, but that's not who (or what) it's built for. The swipe left/swipe right function on profiles is intuitive and immediate; there's a reason basically everyone else adopted it. Tinder knows you're only here to make a quick snap judgment on photos, so scanning users and flicking them into the discard or keep pile is easy and addictive.
Why it's awesome: Ever heard of "behavioral matchmaking?" Probably not, but it's your new best friend. Zoosk sports a flirty "pick up and go" philosophy when it comes to online dating, so they won't make you answer a torturous string of questions about yourself. Instead, Zoosk monitors your on-site activity and attempts to give you better matches based on what you already like with their Smart Match feature.
You’re welcome on this website whether you are seeking to date, hook up, find a long term relationship, or just to chat online. You do not have to worry about your identity being revealed until that’s what you want. Also, you do not need to have your credit or debit card information handy, for the service is free of charge. And for the price of nothing you get a video chatroom, as well as to customize your profile with a video of yourself, and customize it even further with color and music. Having a song that those interested in you will associate with you can boost your chances of becoming someone’s favorite.
There's even a specialized app for creative people looking to meet other artists and creators. Raya is free to download but then becomes membership-based. First, you fill out an application, which is then reviewed by a committee of people and an algorithm. You may be put on a waitlist for a short time while your application is reviewed. Once you're accepted, you need to sign up for a one-, three- or six-month auto-renewing membership plan. As a member, you also have to agree to a code of conduct in an effort to keep interactions respectful and cordial. As the website puts it, it believes using technology to meet someone should feel safe and exciting. Because of its exclusivity, the app has become well-known for its famous users. We weren't able to get a membership, but several blogs and reviews circulating online claim the app has been used by the likes of Cara Delevingne, Ruby Rose and Demi Lovato.
Did I like using it? At first...yes. After two days? No. First of all, you only get to see a few matches a day, and a lot of them aren't even in the same city as you. Raya will show you people all over the world. I matched (and had great conversation!) with someone in Montreal, South Africa, and London. I understand the reasoning for just a few matches a day, but I don't like it. Second of all, the app's layout is wonky as hell. It glitches out so often, erases messages, and isn't particularly useful. You can't send links, pictures, or anything else in chat but you can send songs from iTunes, which like...OK? Thanks, I guess? I never sent anyone any music, nor did I ever receive any, and I was fine with that. Third, you have to choose a profile song. Sounds cool, right? Reminds you of MySpace? Yeah, until you have to actually CHOOSE the song. I went with "Boy" by Odesza for the record because WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DO YOU CHOOSE? I DON'T KNOW.
Matching: Here's how it works: You pick the gender or genders you're interested in, the age range you're looking for, and how close in distance you'd like a potential match to be. Tinder then uses the GPS on your mobile phone to search for nearby Tinder users. Once it locates them, it shows you their first name, age and a profile picture. You swipe right if you'd like to be matched with them, left if you're not interested. If both parties swipe right, you're a match, meaning you can start interacting with them.
If the thought of signing up for an online dating service without any help is scary, you can hire a ghostwriter to help you out. You might have even encountered some of these ghostwriters yourself and not have known it. Essentially, writers are paid to build your profile in a way that’s pleasing and more likely to get you dates. Thrillist even profiled an online dating ghostwriter who took details submitted by would-be daters and turned them into dating bios and even conversation starters. If this sounds like something you would benefit from, there are numerous services you can sign up for.
"It’s also a really good way to get a sense of how someone strings together their thoughts. Are they a good storyteller? Are they funny? Are they off-puttingly taken with themselves or too reserved for your taste? It’s a lot to ask of a minute-long clip, but in the high stakes numbers game that is online dating, this is exactly the kind of sorting tool many people are hungry for."
The website itself does not look professional and needs a re-design to make it easier to use. The basic paid membership fee is fairly expensive, starting at $95 for the first month and $30 for each month after that; this basic membership comes with the ability to message 100 users. Members will need to purchase the Executive Plan Membership if they want unlimited communication potions and to be able to do things such as: video message women on the website, read in-depth interviews with their potential matches, have a three-way phone call with their matches which includes translation services, or even arrange private meetings and immigration attorney consultants.
Happn is a local dating app. It uses your GPS to find people close to you. It does so with varying degrees of success depending on where you live. Like most dating apps, this one won't do you any good if it's not a popular app in your area. Thus, if you don't get a ton of matches, you should probably give up on this one. The app works by showing you who you cross paths with in real life. Once it happens enough times, their profile shows up on your timeline. You can then connect and chat. This is a neat concept because you're automatically matched with people who are usually in the same kinds of areas you are and that can be a helpful ice breaker. You can buy coins as in-app purchases. Like Coffee Meets Bagel, they're useful for adding functionality and increasing your visibility to other users.
Match.com is notable for its sophisticated search algorithm that is based primarily on the preferences you set when you sign up for a membership. These preferences take into account factors such as ethnicity, relationship status, location, relationship preferences, and even smaller nuances such as hair color. The more you use the site, the more your searches become tailored to your perceived preferences. The website also has a plethora of interaction and privacy options that make it possible to keep your profile private to a select few, or make it possible for most members to contact you if they are interested in taking things further. Members can upload photos and other personal details that will help move along the process of finding a suitable match.
If you’re new to online dating, you aren’t alone. Around 49 million singles have tried online dating at some point in their lives. With an estimated 7,500 online dating sites in existence, it can be hard to determine which site is the best for helping you find love. Think about what you’re looking for in a relationship, whether you just want to meet some fun people or you’re looking to settle down, to narrow down your choices and pick a dating site that can help you with your goals. Spend some time on your dating profile to make sure you’re getting accurate matches. If you want a more personal approach to finding matches than online dating provides, consider enlisting the help of a professional matchmaker.
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.
Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the more popular dating apps out there. Every day at noon, men will get a curated list of women in their area. Women will get a curated list as well, but the list will prioritize men who have already expressed interest. Matches are given a private chat room to get to know one another better. It's also LGBTQ friendly for you folks out there. It's a clean process and perfect for those who have busy lifestyles. No flicking through profiles all day long. Like most, it has its fair share of problems, but most of them are somewhat tolerable. You can also buy in-app currency to get perks like more visibility and other features.
OkCupid is willing to work to find you a mate. Throughout the signup process, it gathers enough information on you to make informed decisions before recommending potential dates. It's a good happy medium between eharmony, which makes you answer a litany of questions before signing up, and Zoosk, where you can browse after entering the most barebones of data. Better yet, OkCupid lets you do a lot for free, including messaging other members.
On Hinge users are asked questions like, “What are you looking for?” and “Who is your ideal celebrity dinner date?” Says Slater: “It allows you to get a better sense of their personality outside of their abs. I also haven’t had to swipe with Hinge because when people go through my profile, all they have to do is like my answers or my photos and they’ll get put in a queue that I can look through, knowing they’ve already expressed interest. It really streamlined the whole process in terms of quality and efficiency.”
Zoosk is another one of the most popular dating apps out there. It has a ton of users although we're not sure how many of them are active. It's a fairly standard dating app. You'll create a profile, meet people, and hopefully things go further. Zoosk uses an old-school social media style for their service rather than the more modern quick match style like Tinder. However, that also makes it a prime candidate for spam bots and other such stuff. This one is kind of a wildcard, so use it at your own risk. The service also has two paywalls and we're not big fans of that.
The 1-month membership subscription is very steep—around $60 for a single month. You can save money by being 3-month, 6-month and annual subscriptions (a yearly subscription is around $215, or about only $17 per month!) but if you just want to try out the website to see if you like it, you’ll have to pay a hefty upfront cost. Although the automatic matching is helpful, the option to do some type of manual searching would make the website more accessible.
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.
Interested in Jewish dating? Then odds are you've heard of Jdate, a Jewish matchmaking site that turns 22 in 2019. The site pre-dates the rise of dating apps, but in recent years they've joined the smartphone revolution and now you can seek marriage-minded Jewish singles in the Jdate app. For Jewish men and women seeking serious relationships, it's a great place to start.
The Nuts and Bolts: The branding is adorable. Every match is considered a “bagel,” and you’re the coffee, looking for your mate. You use “coffee beans” to gather points based on how much you engage, divulge, etc., and that unlocks more access/information on your matches. I would say, however, the best thing about this app is how you can’t scroll through a website of prospects; instead, you’re sent one match every day at noon. You get the alert, you say yes or no, and that’s it. No scrolling through endless pictures, no digging deep into essay-like profiles. In my opinion, this is the hassle-free way of dipping your toes into dating apps for the busy person who doesn’t have time to scroll through feeds or browse through profiles.
I was on Clover for quite some time but had forgotten it even existed until I started to throw this list together. I felt like it was a less successful hybrid of OkCupid and Tinder, and I also felt like the user base was pretty small, even though I live in an urban area with plenty of people who use a wide variety of dating apps. Clover says it has nearly 6 million users, 85 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 30.
Rather than who you know, self-described ''missed connections'' dating app Happn focuses on where you've been. It's a GPS based dating app that tracks your location in real time, and alerts you when you are a certain distance from another member. There's no personality matching, but you can link your account with Instagram and Spotify to let people see your interests. If you're OK with spontaneity then this app will intrigue.7
Bumble is a happy bubble of dating zen. Built to be safe and respectful of everyone, the app feels far more up to date than its competition, with modern language. For example, it asks you how you identify instead of just making you check a "male" or "female" box. It also puts all the power in the woman's hands—a man can't contact a woman unless she has shown interest in him first. Not looking for love? Bumble also offers a way to find new friends, and even a mini-LinkedIn-like section for professional connections.
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.
International Single Girls is a premium international dating website. Signing up is free. The website has been verified as secure by GoDaddy. All information you submit through the site is kept strictly confidential and not distributed to any other organization. If you want to browse the profiles of thousands of beautiful women, many of whom hail from Russian and Eastern Europe, this is the dating website for you.
This answer will vary depending on the person and the relationship. Some online daters are comfortable meeting after messaging for a few days, while others might wait years before deciding to meet in person. Whatever your preference or situation, be sure to meet somewhere public, don’t rely on them for transportation, and be sure to let family and friends know where you are going to be and who you are with. Take precautions and trust your instincts. You are under no obligation to stay on a date if you don’t feel comfortable.
Ashley Madison is all about cheating but this does not make it less popular. The site has garnered over 20 million users and the number continues to grow. When joining, you are asked to choose your relationship status; either “attached male seeking female” or “attached female seeking male”. The site repeatedly stresses that it is 100 percent discreet.
"People didn’t have mobile phones and laptops, and the process was people would go home, log on slowly, see who had written to them and write back," she says. "The courtship process was a lot slower, so it took quite a while to get from the first interaction to actually going on a date. Plus in those days, there was a stigma associated with online dating. You did not tell people you met your spouse, or partner, or even a date online."