I was on the friend section of Bumble, appropriately called Bumble BFF, looking to make a new female friend outside the city near where my boyfriend lives. I don't know anyone else in that hood and thought it would be nice to have a freelancer friend to work alongside during the weekday or to grab an after-work drink with. Chow was looking for a guy to distract him from a long-running situationship — an "are we or aren't we?" romantic entanglement. His dating app, Chappy, is for gay men and was co-founded by, get this, Ollie Locke of the British TV series Made in Chelsea fame. McNeely and Wicktorczyk were each in search of a meaningful connection or potential long-term romantic relationships on Raya, a private, membership-based dating app.
The downsides: Uh, well, not a lot of people know about it. Though its download rate has been picking up rapidly over the past year, it's gonna be a little difficult to find mutual haters who are actually near you. I'm in the United States, and most of my matches were from Europe — which is fine if you're just looking to bitch about the same thing together, but not awesome if you're trying to start a legitimate relationship. (Give it time, though. I believe in this.) There's no desktop version (most modern apps will skip that), but the smartphone app is really hip and slick.
What it's good for: This is the place for gay people who can't stand the heteronormativity of apps like Tinder or Bumble, and is especially handy for those looking for a friends with benefits situation. Grindr users have no chill. It's gay paradise, y'all, and if you've been thinking that you've met every gay man in your area already, Grindr might be able to show you some newbies who you never knew existed. (Unless you're in a small town, then you'll probably see the same people recycled on your feed — but just wait until you go on vacation.)
FlirtMaps, Flirtomatic and Speed Flirt, for instance, allow you to post profiles and photos quickly and scroll through those posted by others. You can send “winks” or invite strangers to chat. This is also the approach of better-known apps and online services like Skout, Flurv and Grindr. These are not the user-friendliest pieces of technology, though. Many don’t let you sort people according to geographic distance, for instance, so it’s easy to waste time flipping through poor matches.
The gist: Though it's not the most attractive setup, Plenty of Fish is a great newbie choice for people just dipping their toes into the world of online dating. As a tried and true option that's been around for over 15 years, the 30+ crowd is way more familiar with Plenty of Fish than they would be with newer apps or even OkCupid, which recently received a modern makeover. The advertising, lengthy questionnaires, and profiles are extremely traditional, making this a safe bet for non-millennials, divorcees, and single parents who are not in the mood to mess around. Oh yeah, and its 90 million registered users beats out almost every other dating site's stats — so you're guaranteed to never get bored.