Who it's good for: Hinge is the place for people who want a real relationship but don't want to commit to a full-fledged dating site with extensive questionnaires. Hinge literally labels itself the relationship app, or as I prefer, the "anti Tinder." Instead of seeing one profile at a time, Hinge is set up like Instagram, which creates a way smoother (and less judge-y) feel than swiping.
The downsides: It's going to take a while for HER to get to the Tinder level user base. Though Tinder isn't a strictly lesbian app, that's still where most of the queer women are. Unfortunately, Tinder has a lot of straight girls saying that they're "interested" in women just to find friends or a threesome, and you'll still have men's profiles thrown into the mix when you didn't ask for that. Right now, you'll just have to choose between HER's peaceful lack of straight presence and less variety of users or Tinder's extreme heteronormativity and unbeatable amount of users.
However, if you’re a woman and you really hate being the first person to initiate a conversation, then Bumble definitely isn’t for you. Profiles are also very short, consisting of a concise blurb and six photos or fewer. This can make it hard to gauge whether or not you’re interested, even at the most superficial level, in someone. Furthermore, because Bumble places the onus on the woman to initiate the conversation, we’ve found that it can attract a more passive crowd than other dating apps.
The app does an incredibly good job at collecting feedback from singles, using it to help increase your rate of success. Members are given a report card-style dashboard that shows them why users liked or passed on their profile, down to the specific reason, such as low-quality profile pictures, as well as offering ways to improve their likelihood of getting “liked.” For any online dater, this dashboard alone is a good (and free) tool to gauge how their profile is performing compared to others.
In the "meeting goals" section, you'll specify whether you're looking for something long term, looking to date but nothing serious, etc., and then Plenty of Fish will try to match you with others who answered similarly. The idea is to eliminate the awkward "What are we" conversations and set you up for success by pairing you with people who share your priorities. It feels like the site is geared toward people who have been unlucky with love in the past, which offers a sliver of hope to those who claim to be "forever alone." POF doesn't take all the fun away, though — you'll still get to swipe and have a fun and mysterious bio, aiming for serious connections without the serious feel.
Out of all the quirky dating apps to have come and gone since the digital sex-plosion of the late Noughties, Tinder has managed to stick around. It’s that comforting old blanket we wrap ourselves in, brilliant in its simplicity – swipe this way, or that, wait for a bit, then go on a date. The trouble with being successful is people are perhaps less discerning, as they know there are always other options a swipe away, but what they do, they do well, and Tinder isn’t going anywhere yet.
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.
It might take some time and genuine effort to make a profile, but that's what you want if you're looking for something real. You'll fill out a questionnaire with your answers as well as what you would like your ideal match to answer. This makes the application-building process a lot more fun than other apps, making it feel like an online quiz. It asks a range of questions, from simple stuff to if you smoke and drink to more intimate things like how many dates you typically wait before sleeping with someone. Pro tip: The app says the the more questions you answer, the better your matches will be. The deeper you go, the more accurate your profile is — and in turn, OkCupid will have a way easier time finding matches for you. online dating application