With Valentine’s Day slowly approaching, reminders of love are everywhere. While some of us may be celebrating with S.O.’s, others of us may not have a current investment in the relationship market.
Enter: dating apps.
Online dating has been around for years, and with so many apps out there it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. After trying out a wide variety, here’s my honest review of five of the most popular dating apps on the market.
Hinge is considered a newer type of dating app because it takes out the “swipe or not to swipe” feature, as well as tedious bios. Instead of having to create an eye-catching bio of a restricted number of words, you can simply upload pictures (with or without captions) and reply to prompts. There’s even a feature for voice prompts that let you hear potential matches’ voices! I have found Hinge the easiest to use, and one of the best apps with free options. For free, you can match with as many people as you want and send as many messages as you want. There are a limited number of “likes” you can send to potential matches per day, but every user gets one “Rose” a week to send to a match as a “super-like.” Another feature on Hinge that makes it unique to other dating apps is the “Likes” feature. Hinge allows you to view your likes one at a time and weed through them for free to match immediately. Gone are the days of swiping right and praying for a match! Overall, I’d rate this app a 9/10.
Bumble is woman-owned and women-focused, which makes it very popular with a younger audience that has more liberal political views. The app is very similar to Tinder with swiping for matches and short self-written bios. However, the app differs from Tinder because when a match is made, the person identifying as a woman must make the first move to initiate the chat. Messages and chats are totally free which is a bonus when trying to get to know other users. The match expires after 24 hours if a chat is not initiated, unless someone pays to extend it. Between the expiration dates on matches and swiping, Bumble definitely gives the feel of instant gratification and an endless supply of potential matches. This fast-paced environment that it’s steeped in makes it seem more like a game sometimes, rather than a dating app. While I love that Bumble stands up for social justice initiatives and gives women more agency in the dating app arena, it definitely has a hook-up culture like Tinder. Now if that’s something you’re looking for, then by all means, you go girl! For the purpose of dating apps though, I’d rate Bumble a 7/10.
Ah, Tinder. Probably the most popular dating app in our generation. Tinder is mainly known for its swiping and quick, endless supply of fishes in the sea. Like Bumble, Tinder profiles consist of short bios and tags describing a person and their interests. Matches don’t expire on Tinder, and you can send one free Super-Like a day. Chats and messages are free, but with such an abundance of users, Tinder can also turn into a game for some users. The anticipation of swiping on someone and waiting to be declared a “match” can become a source of entertainment for some, decreasing the value of actually making a match. Again, hook-up culture is very present in this fast-paced app, so it may not be your best bet if you’re looking for a date that could lead to a relationship. Overall, I’d rate Tinder a 5/10.
Match, or Match.com is a dating app that has many plus-sides – if you have the money to pay for them. Match offers a few free services like searching for profiles and sending likes, but if you go with the free option you won’t be able to see or send messages to matches. The app offers both Standard and Premium subscriptions that enable users to send messages, see likes, send Superlikes, and more. One of the major downsides to using Match is definitely this lack of free options for members. While the app is simple to use and profiles are quick to make, having to pay for basic features like messaging can be frustrating when trying to get to know matches and find potential dates. I’d rate Match as a 4/10.
OkCupid is an older dating app that has since grown out of its popularity. Although users still swipe to send likes and create matches, profiles are much more involved than any of the other dating apps on this list, discouraging a lot of the hook-up culture. There’s the basic information about height, location, and age, but OkCupid also has an endless amount of prompts and questions users can answer as part of their profile. In addition to longer, more involved profiles, users can also answer questions about deal-breakers, future partners, and potential scenarios. These questions are then calculated with the “scores” of other users to give a percentage of compatibility for potential matches. Another unique feature of OkCupid is its global range. Instead of limiting potential matches to a distance of 50-200 miles around your location, OkCupid lets you match with users all around the globe. This may be a deal-breaker though, if you’re opposed to long-distance dating and relationships. With all of this in mind, I’d rate OkCupid 5/10.