But this isn’t one of those stories where I tell you I downloaded one little app, swiped twice, and, to quote Tom Hank’s character Joe Fox, found “the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.” Whether it’s been because of a friend’s suggestion, trying to up my odds, or pure frustration with not getting messages back, I’ve downloaded and used a plenty of apps! So when the InStyle team was looking for volunteers to write a real-life, first-person review of dating apps, well… I guess we had a match. Read on for my findings:
JSwipe is a Jewish dating app. You upload photos of yourself and scroll through other user profiles in the hopes of matching. This app is unique in that your matches expire in 18 days, so you've got to start chatting and schedule a date quickly. Everything is free to use but you can pay extra for "super swipes" to show a person you're extremely interested in them. This is a location-based app, so it's likely to work best in large cities.
One of the most nerve wracking parts of online dating (aside from literally the entire experience) is selecting which photos you'll use on your profile. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so it's a pretty important part of making a good first impression. Do you go with something that shows your adventurous side? Should you include a snapshot of your dog? Which photo will show the world you're a fun, interesting person?
Like Raya, joining The League can take a bit of effort. You need to set up a profile and allow the app to access your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. The League uses these networks to verify your information and to make sure colleagues do not see your account. After you complete your application, The League will verify your eligibility, and you will either be accepted on the spot (rare), rejected (common), or waitlisted. If waitlisted, it can take several hours to several months to become a full-fledged member.

Most dating apps are fairly LGBTQ inclusive. Still, it's nice to have an app to call your own. Her is tailored to lesbian, bisexual and queer women. The app serves a valuable purpose, but generally has some bugs and glitches that made it frustrating for me to use. Most of my queer female friends have told me they found the app to be just OK, but they usually end up back on Tinder or Bumble. Still I checked it regularly for some time and had a few pleasant conversations with actual human beings. And isn't that all we're really looking for in a dating app?


The Nuts and Bolts: The user experience is not bad, but not fantastic either. You’ll probably receive more messages from the app’s concierge than potential matches. The app also pulls your LinkedIn educational and professional background—so my profile lists every job I’ve had since graduating college and where I went to high school, which is a little odd. By far, the best feature of this app is that it gives you a maximum of five potential matches a day—why in the world would you need more? The users are carefully vetted, which eliminates the mindless swiping aspect of most apps, which I really like. No one has time for endless swiping these days—and if they did, I probably wouldn’t want to date them.
And now, with new features such as swipe surge notifications that alert you when a ton of people (like the ones surrounding you at a concert) are using the app, Tinder is still making sure you never go home alone. Of course, tons of people in long-term relationships can thank good ol' Tinder for their start, but it's still the go-to app for a quick HU.
If you're willing to pay for it, The League is a dating app that does all the work for you. You’ll need active Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to log in, and you'll be assessed based on the information you've provided on these profiles, like your education and professional career. On top of that, you have to fill out an application and then are placed on a waiting list for an undetermined period of time that varies by the city you live in. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to a personal concierge who does a lot of the work for you and helps curate your profile.

For our fake dating profiles, we counted how many matches and messages we received in 24 hours. We also noted whether you could block or report inappropriate behavior, how long the profile setup process was, how in-depth setup questions were, and whether we encountered any obvious bots (fake profiles like ours). For sites that require you to “like” users to get matches, we did so to the first 30 accounts we came across.
File this under the more “exclusive” dating apps. To use the free version, you have to be invited to join or added to a waitlist to go through a vetting process and then you’re accepted. When I joined the waitlist, I was around number 37,000. It’s connected to not only your Facebook, but also your LinkedIn (but it remains private, so you don’t have to worry about your boss finding out) and is marketed as being to app that lets you "date intelligently" and caters to your "high standards." You can get uber specific, like if you only want to date guys with the same education level and religion. The list moves, but not quickly. I had it for about a month and still was at about 33,000. You can move up the list if a friend who is already a member refers you. That got me to number one on the list, believe it or not. But then I was number one for three weeks ... Sorry, but if that’s still not enough to join your bougie dating app, I’m not interested. I deleted it before getting accepted.
The site offers its members a new list of possible matches every day and users can let match.com know whether any member sparked your interest. If you are interested in any member on this list, Match sends an email to them. If you are not interested, the user is removed from the list. The choices you make help this application to provide a better list of matches in the future. Users have the option to search for matches too. You can go to the advanced search option on the site and break down the search criteria to exactly what you are looking for.
So if the idea of socializing in a noisy bar or trying to make conversation in large groups is your personal idea of hell, there are dating services out there that cater to your specific needs. Have a hard time coming up with what words to say to someone you're into? There's an app for that. Prefer to make meaningful connections without revealing what you look like? We found a few websites with features that can let you do just that too. 
Dating.com gave me the chance to adventure out and meet people that I may have never had a chance to know. Exchanging messages first and getting a chance to know someone before meeting them was very nice to me. Believe it or not, you can really get to know someone pretty intimately by doing this. I made some great friends and then eventually, I met my soul mate here when I had honestly given up on the idea of true love!
Dating.com is seen as the top of the online dating tree and u can see why. Lots of people to talk to, easy to use, offline gatherings are easy to set up. I'd say of the four or five dating sites ive tried only wejustfit.com betters it. So much better than blind dates or being hooked up by mutual friends (oh the disappointments) and far cheaper too. Give it a shot if you're considering it there are good trial options for most dating sites and ive never had any problems. Gemma
When we think of marriage-minded online dating, we think of eHarmony. The site was built in 2000 strictly for singles looking for serious relationships, so you won’t have to weed through profiles of incompatible people. In fact, you won’t have to do any weeding at all. After you take eHarmony’s exclusive and in-depth questionnaire, the site will do all of the matching for you. All you have to do is say yes or no!
The truth is, I’m not particularly kinky. I could have only vanilla sex for the rest of my life, if chemistry and skill were involved. But I don’t have to, and I’m happy to try lots of things. If I like someone and they have a very particular fantasy, it’s fun to experiment. You might be surprised by what turns you on, or at least enjoy the playfulness of attempting something new. This could happen on any app, but again, Feeld facilitates people saying what they want sooner rather than later—like, when you’ve already met their parents.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of dating apps out there, but these 5 are a great place to start. Oh, and don’t worry about the data you use when you’re getting stuck in, because Go Binge on Three lets you use data infinitely without it coming out of your allowance. If you’re not with us, you can also get Unlimited data on our £20 a month SIM.
Features for introverts: You can really be yourself on OkCupid. Whether you're looking for the relationship of your dreams, a one-night stand, or a sham marriage (seriously, we’re not judging), OkCupid doesn't care unless you're being a jerk about it. On OkCupid, you’re more than just a photo, you can share stories, your passions, and pretty much anything else you want and feel totally at home. 
Christian Mingle is full of fake profiles. I got to where I recognized their profile or picture or both. You don’t get a response back BC they aren’t real. You can put down you weigh 300 pounds have 10 children, fish, snakes, 10 dogs and cats and still get a flirt. I would rather pay a sight that checks profiles than waste 6 months of my life. Good luck. Stay away fro Christian Mingle and Singles with children.Too many scammers
You can like people secretly, and they won’t find out unless they like you, too. If you’re comfortable being bolder, then you can tap the Charm button to let them know you’re interested. However, Charms cost coins which you’ll have to buy with real cash via in-app purchases. When you get a match — which Happn calls a Crush — you can start chatting with each other.

After you have signed up and created your account you can then choose what you want to do first. Your choices are: Find dates, new friends or networking. For this review we picked "Find Dates". You are then asked who you are interested in and are given 3 options, Men, Women, or Everyone. From here you must give permission to Bumble for your location. On the phone apps the GPS is used and on the web your IP is used to determine your location. If you don't give permission you will not be able to continue to use the dating app as manually entering your location is not allowed. After that you are presented with some slides which Bumble explains the basics on how the service works and that all members are required to "Bee kind, confident and respectful". Now your initial dating profile is done and you are taken to the Discovery section where you will be present with matches that you can review and swipe right or left on.

Clover is a little bit like Tinder and a little bit like OKCupid. You can login with your Facebook and then add more information about your appearance and reason for using the app. For example, you can choose from several “intentions” including “looking for dating” or “looking for people to chat with.” Clover uses your location to find you dates in the area, so like most location-based dating apps, it won’t work well if you live in a rural area with a small population. Once you’ve logged in you’re prompted to start a free 7-day trial or sign up for either 3 months or 1 year of service. With a paid membership you can see read receipts on your messages, share photos and videos and get access to advanced filters for your potential matches like income and ethnicity. You can also opt out and just use the free membership if you’d prefer.
Paid: Memberships cost $12.49 per month on a six-month membership, $19.98 per month on a three-month membership or $29.95 a month paid monthly. Memberships auto-renew unless you cancel your membership before it expires. With a paid membership, you can send and receive messages and winks, chat with connections, see profiles of those who have viewed yours, and get full access to Smartpick, Zoosk's matching services. 
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