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.
The gist: We'd look like total frauds if we didn't include Tinder. As much as we bitch about this swipe happy app, it's just too popular and works too well to leave it off the list. It has its obvious negatives, but the user friendliness, instant connecting, and massive potential match pool make it most people's first download choice when they need a quick hook up or confidence-boosting attention. Though it's technically in the "dating app" category, I'm not so sure that everyone's intentions on the app are to find a serious relationship — but it's definitely possible. Whether you love it or think it's trash, it's going to be one of the best for the foreseeable future, and those are just #facts.
That being said, services you pay for usually provide some extra user value to justify the price tag. There’s usually more advanced matching algorithms along with other bells and whistles, and because you must pay to use them, they tend to attract people who take online dating a little more seriously. Of course, many free sites have matching systems that work just as well as (if not better, in some cases) their paid competitors, and each dating website or app tends to have its own unique aspect that makes it stand out.
Many of us individuals find ourselves at a weak spot when it comes to social interactions. Some of us are so busy with work; we don’t have the time to indulge in such luxuries. For people like this, hook up apps can be life savour. Sitting in the comfort of your own house and finding a person to flirt with or simply talk to has become as easy as the click of a button.
The downsides: Grindr is NSFW. Messages will be freaky AF, and you're 100% going to receive a ton of unsolicited (or solicited, if you asked) dick pics, so messaging on Grindr while you're on the train or in line at the store isn't quite as casual as other dating apps might be. You're also going to get badgered for pictures as well, so if you're uncomfortable with that, steer clear for a while.
The format is simple. Each featured dater takes part in a question-and-answer livestream on the first night, where they introduce themselves and take questions from the viewing contestants. The next night sees the games begin, and the contestants are asked a series of multiple choice questions about the night before. Players who get all the questions right go on to the next round, where they’re asked a number of questions by the featured dater — who then narrows the field down to three contestants, based on their answers. Those final three choices then get the chance to impress their prospective date via live video by doing whatever it is they do best — whether that’s by busting some killer dance moves, telling jokes, or some other talent. The pair will then go on a date paid for by Quiz Date Live, which can range from hit Broadway shows, Michelin-star dining experiences, helicopter rides over Manhattan, or other luxurious dates.
It’s not perfect. The quiz show format won’t appeal to everyone, and the slow burn and winner-takes-all aspect mean it’s going to be a lot harder to get a date than in other apps. Also, featured dater spots are currently only open to straight women, so there’s not much here for lesbians or gay men yet, though there are plans to expand to male bachelors and LGBTQ+ episodes. You also need to email the company to apply to be a featured dater, which means it’s not exactly a pick-up-and-go app if you’re wanting to be the featured dater. However, if you’re bored of regular dating apps, or if you’re simply attracted to the fun elements and the prospect of finding love is a bonus, then give Quiz Date Live a go.
The gist: You know those really exclusive clubs that always have a line around the corner, terrifying bouncers, and a crazy cover? The League is the dating app version of that. Considering their motto is "Date intelligently," and the fact that they require both Facebook and LinkedIn to be accepted, you could probably guess that this is the place to come if you're tired of meeting people who don't value hard work and never Venmo you when they say they will. We'll warn you, though: As far as dating apps go, it's on the serious end. This isn't an app you can download and then forget to check for a month.
Appearances can be deceiving, though. Although Coffee Meets Bagel allows for a range of super-specific preferences, the bagel it sends you may or may not match your specified preferences and, more often than not, if they do, they will be a significant distance away. The app can also be glitchy, often resulting in slow update and load times, and sometimes it’s frustrating that it sends you only a single bagel a day. You can speed things up a bit by using the “give & take” option, but it’ll cost you 385 beans to like someone who catches your eye.
But why should you give us a try? Well, we’re not like those other free dating websites with dating profiles that anyone can set up in seconds; our Relationship Questionnaire helps us to really get to know you and pair you with matches who will be exactly the right fit. Your time and money is precious, so why not put it towards a dating site with more than 35 Years of clinical experience in relationship research? With eharmony, you can rest assured that you’re investing time with a site that’s tailored to you, so you can forget all about disposable dating and finally find that keeper.
As you'd expect from any online dating option with that kind of lofty goal, Elite Singles gives you more than just a Facebook photo to base your opinion on. The site collects information about users' professions and appearances, so if you sign up, you get a chance to be as careful and thoughtful with your love life as you are when you're on the job.
Online dating requires commitment and patience while scrolling through lots of profiles to see who matches the criteria you’re looking for. Be assertive if you find someone interesting but also be kind to others. If someone sends you a message online, they’ve taken the time to read about you and are interested in meeting you in person. If you’re not interested, it’s always a nice gesture to send a reply of ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ You’ll be glad you did. Common courtesy goes a long way. This is something that can get lost in our fast-paced, modern technology and superficial, and fleeting moments of human contact.
Today, app-first options — and mobile-friendly sites with their own custom apps — from AdultFriendFinder to Zoosk have changed the game thanks to massive databases of loyal, active date-seekers providing plenty of fish in the sea to choose from. That means if you're looking for like-minded people, you won't have to swim very hard or very far. Now, you just need to find the right dating site or app to sign up for.