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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.
Age-based niches: These sites are for people of a specific age. Baby boomers are overwhelmingly turning to the web to find a mate. Sites like Match.com and POF.com offer members a chance to search specifically for the age group that interests you, but SeniorPeopleMeet.com and OurTime.com are the two largest sites designed specifically for the baby boomer market.
Match has a free version, but the general consensus is that you need a paid subscription to have any luck on it. That's a hangover from the early days of online dating, when paying for membership to a site meant you were serious about settling down. But my friends and I have long since come to the conclusion that you might be a little too eager to find a significant other if you're paying to get dates, particularly given the abundance of free dating apps. There are definitely paid features on some dating apps that are worth the price, but I've yet to be able to justify shelling out cash for love.
I was all for Bumble when it first came out. An app that gives women the power to start the conversation, hopefully eliminating the sexist comments to my inbox? Yes! You swipe just like you would with Tinder, there’s a tiny bio section, and it’s location and age-based as well. You both have to match to chat, but only the girl can start the conversation. I went on quite a few dates from Bumble, but nothing serious ever came from it. While my dates were overall decent, and I met a lot of cool, interesting people, it didn't make me feel in control. I messaged a lot of guys that never ended up responding back, and it honestly started to hurt my self-confidence. I felt like I was making way more of an effort than my male counterparts. I rate it higher than Tinder, but I definitely didn't like it as much as I thought I would.
Beca, 30, lives in Atlanta and says she "tried and failed at Tinder forever." For her, the choosiness with which Coffee Meets Bagel forces you to approach dating is actually the draw. "The limited amount of daily swipes made me more thoughtful and deliberate with the app," she says. "I much prefer it to apps like Tinder—where you can swipe matches while your friend is in the bar bathroom—when it comes to looking for long-term partners. You have to be much more intentional." She met her now-boyfriend on Coffee Meets Bagel.
Limiting who sees your profile: Does the site allow just the bare minimum of your profile to be seen in search results? Some sites wait until you favorite, wink, or in some way OK a member before they can see your whole profile. That said, it is important that you only share information in your profile that you are okay with a stranger being able to see.
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.