How it works: Like a good wingman (or wing woman), Zoosk starts to understand you more and more as time goes on to help introduce you to the person you can spend the night or rest of your life with. The site's unique algorithm recognizes your preferences through the actions you take. The more you interact with the site, the better it can match you with your ideal human.
Bumble works on a similar basis to Tinder. It's free, easy to set up and simple to use, and a right swipe indicates a like. A key difference, however, is that women have to begin the conversation, thus avoiding the countless cringey messages of Tinder. There's also a 24-hour time limit to start chatting, so if you find your soulmate you'd better move quickly.
Pure offers a short window for chatting, deleting conversations and photos exchanged between users an hour after they've been sent. That means you spend more time getting busy and less time exchanging niceties. It is overtly branded as a hookup app, so you know the intentions of whoever you're chatting with without having to play the guessing game. Not only does this app protect your anonymity by making messages and images self-destruct, but it's also free to download. Talk about a win-win.
OkCupid is one of the most popular dating apps out there. You've probably heard of this one before. It boasts over 40 million people although we're not sure how many of those are daily active users. It uses a more traditional dating site method. It'll ask you a bunch of questions and try to find matches based on similar interests. It also has some more modern dating apps features, like swiping away profiles you want or don't want. It'll ask you to subscribe to a monthly payment plan to unlock all the good features. The app has some strict, ambiguous rules about some things and the app itself is occasionally slow and buggy. Otherwise, it's actually not half bad.
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.
The Date: I started using The League when I moved to New York, and I went on two to three dates. It’s ambiguous whether the guys on this app are actually catches or if they just have really carefully crafted Instagram profiles and impressive LinkedIn résumés. Overall, I can’t say that any of the dates I went on blew me away more than on another app (possibly the contrary). Each guy was certainly normal and well put-together and could hold a conversation—but no sparks have really flown yet.
Hinge is kind of like Tinder. OK, it’s a lot like Tinder — but with a few key differences that make it better. Interface-wise, it looks like Tinder’s younger sister. But function-wise, it relies more on your Facebook friends to make connections for you. Hinge connects you through friends-of-friends-of-friends and shows you not just the people you have in common, but all the interests you have in common. It does this by having you answer a bunch of questions through a Tinder-like interface. Have you been to Berlin? Swipe right. Don’t play croquet? Swipe left. This makes answering questions far easier and less time-consuming, not to mention more fun. The questions themselves aren’t as asinine as those in some other dating apps, and give you a better sense of someone than 500 characters might.
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.
How does it work? match is the most widely-used dating site in the world and has nearly 1.8 million subscribers. It works in the most traditional way: Simply create a profile, check out your potential matches, send them a few messages and then arrange to meet for a date. There are also various off-shoots of match.com with microsites for gay and lesbian dating, Asian dating, Christian dating and Polish dating. The love-gods at match also arrange singles events and provide online dating advice, so it’s easy to see what makes them one of our best online dating sites.
If you like the ease of Tinder but are searching exclusively for hookups and only want to match with people of the same mindset, CasualX bills itself as "Tinder minus marriage-minded daters." The app's functionalities are pretty much identical to Tinder, with the main (and, maybe only difference) being that no one here is trying to find anything serious. Using an app where everyone's on the same page undoubtedly increases your success rate for finding a warm, willing body to spend the night with, which makes CasualX an ideal app for hookups.