For the past two weeks I have been trying out different dating apps to let you know which is the perfect one for you.
What this means is that my phone has been blowing up with embarrassing notifications at most moments of the day, and I have lost essentially all hope that decent human beings exist. That being said, I hope this guide will help you choose the app for you.
UP NEXT: I’m going on dates with the first person who asks me out on each app (assuming someone asks me out) and rating the experience – sorry mom and dad!
Tinder is the classic, go-to dating app. The premise is you swipe either right (yes) or left (no), make snap decisions after seeing the first picture available and hope for the best. You either match with someone or you don’t. For the pickier user, you can further view his or her profile and see additional photos and maybe even a bio! (Learning more about the person could sway you in either direction.)
Tinder has recently added the “super like” feature, which essentially is the super thirst button. You get one per day if you don’t pay for the app – five per day if you do – and it lets the person know you have already swiped right before they choose. This is the kind of people I got super likes from:
Cost: Free or $9.99 per month for members under the age of 30. $19.99 per month for members 30 years or older. You can also buy Tinder Plus for $9.99 per month if you’re under 30 and get the opportunity to redo your last swipe, change your location and send more super likes.
This app is perfect for you if: you like to swipe quickly; are just messing around; aren’t overthinking the whole dating thing; you’re tryna shmang
Don’t get this app if you: are looking for your soulmate
Pros: simple; pretty; entertaining af
Cons: can suck you in for hours; it can be a bag of surprises
Bumble is based on the same idea: swiping right for people you are interested in and swiping left for people you’re not interested in. The twist is that only girls can start the conversation. This makes things hard because a simple “hey” will not do. Cosmo recommends starting with a game of FMK or Would You Rather? or maybe even just asking where you’re going for that drink. I tried to get clever and look up pick up lines…but it turns out guys can be real dicks about answering my wit. But, I will say there seemed to be a lot of really hot guys on Bumble compared to other apps.
The app gives you a limited amount of time to chat up guys – 24 hours – so there’s a sense of urgency when you match with a particularly hot dude. Do not fret if you don’t make the first move in time, ladies: matches that never get messaged are thrown back into the pool, so you can match again. Bumble also allows you to sort your matches by who is near you, who is active, and it even allows you to favorite certain conversations.
The app also comes with a “VIBee” feature, which you get if you share information about the app on social media. I tried it out, and I am not sure how I felt about the benefits of VIBee. Apparently, you’re supposed to stand out, and you’re allowed to access a section specifically for VIBee members to match with each other, but I felt embarrassed to have a badge on my profile saying, “Hey, I’m on this dating app enough to want to stick out look at me!!!!”
This app is perfect for you if: you are a girl confident enough to start conversations; you don’t mind being shot down sometimes; you are a guy who doesn’t like always starting the conversation
Don’t get this app if you: are a shy girl; prefer guys make the first move; are a guy threatened by strong women
Pros: shake your phone to go back on users you swiped left on too quickly; guys can “extend” the time girls have to start conversations before the match expires; hot dudes (for girls); confident girls (for guys)
Cons: matches disappear after 24 hours; people don’t appreciate your humor; you have to be creative and that’s an effort sometimes…
This up and coming app is based on the idea that you usually meet the people you date through your closest friends. Hinge presents you with users you share mutual friends with on Facebook. Friends in common, at least in my experience, mean people from middle school and people you made eye contact with once in class, so usually not the “trusted friend” the app advertises. But, the app aims to remove the ‘randos’ that you might encounter on other dating sites. The app claims that while Tinder is for hookups, this app is for relationships, but every user has to indicate whether he or she is open to “casual, dating or relationship.”
A huge benefit of this app is that the more you use it, the more it caters to your type, based on interests, height, religion, education, etc. My app has stopped showing me guys below six feet tall, which helps eliminate the awkward conversation about my almost 5′ 9″ frame and the fact that I need a man to be taller than me in 4 inch heels.
Supposedly, the app tries to match you up with people who have similar interests and education based on your Facebook information. Because Hinge wants to avoid being a hook-up app, they limit how many potential matches you see a day to seven. You have 14 days to start up a conversation with a match before the person disappears, encouraging speaking before your potential bae is gone (but don’t worry, like Bumble, you can rematch with disappeared matches.)
A new feature on the app is “story cards,” which are yes or no questions you answer, and it allows you to see “uncommon commonalities” you have with matches. You can answer these questions only when you have torn through your potential matches for the day, so basically it’s a way to keep you busy as you wait till the next day. The questions range in specificity like, “Have you ever been to a music festival?” or “Do you watch Game of Thrones?”
This app is perfect for you if: you want to take your time and consider people; don’t want to be overwhelmed by too many matches; want someone you already share something in common with
Don’t get this app if you: wanna swipe through hundreds of people in a few minutes; are impatient; are trying to hit it and quit it
Pros: it shows people’s heights (important for this tall girl and whoever else cares), no clutter with people you haven’t recently spoken to, hot dudes, you can put a lot of pictures (aka are able to stalk more pictures of matches), limited potential matches make you think more before swiping, you can shake your phone to undo a recent left-swipe.
Cons: Limited pool of people to those you have connections to, pressure to start conversation before they disappear.
This. App. Oh my god. My phone was constantly blowing up with messages from OkCupid and it’s humiliating when this happens all the fucking time. OkCupid starts by asking you a series of fundamental questions, and then it makes matches based on your answers. The app gives your percentage of compatibility with matches based on all of your answers and how important you rank your answers.
Somehow, the app knows how attractive you are and, with the paid service, you can ask for only people who are considered hot or not (WTF?!?). This app doesn’t have any type of filtering system, so if someone wants to message you they can. It doesn’t matter if you like their profile or not. Anyone. Can. Chat. You.
There is also a Quick Match feature you can use, like Tinder, where you swipe yes or no without looking at someone’s full profile.
Cost: Free with limited access to views or packages of $4.95 a month for 6 months, $7.95 a month for 3 months and $9.95 a month for one month.
This app is perfect for you if: you like your phone blowing up; you like to see a lot of options; you like to know what people think is most important off the bat; you think chemistry is quantifiable; you want to wake up to messages like these every morning:
Don’t get this app if you: hate random messages; don’t want your phone to blow up; don’t want a screen name
Pros: seeing what someone defines as important; understanding how much your views match up
Cons: screen name; randoms; no filter; lot of effort
I tried all the dating apps I could, including this lesbian dating app. The app functions more like Instagram where you like people’s photos and you are notified when they like yours, but only you can see how many likes a photo of yours has. The app also alerts you if you both like each other, prompting you to start a conversation.
This app is perfect if you are a woman who is: lesbian, queer, gay, bisexual, bi-curious, fluid, pansexual, flexisexual, polysexual, asexual, TBD or questioning. It encourages you to identify, which allows you to find better matches for your needs.
This app is perfect for you if: you’re a girl who is into girls; you’re a girl who is unsure if you’re into girls, but want to find out
Don’t get this app if you: are not trying to date a woman who is also trying to date women
Pros: kind of like Instagram; not typical swipe right swipe left; specific sexuality identification if wanted; aesthetic; events page
Cons: lots of notifications; not a lot of space to write information
I didn’t get a ton of matches on JSwipe – most likely due to my not so Jewish heritage – but I still enjoyed playing around on this app. It’s really pretty, using circles that you swipe left for no and right for yes. This app lets you filter your matches by Jewish preferences from Orthodox to Willing to Convert. Other than that, the concept is again, based on the Tinder model. You have 18 days to interact with your matches, and there’s a lot of space to write things about yourself. Mine said “fun-seeking Shiksa.”
This app is perfect for you if: you are Jewish and looking for a Jewish counterpart; if you’re trying to just find yourself a NJB; your mom is pressuring you to marry a nice Jewish man/woman; you’re looking for someone to go on a kosher date with
Don’t get this app if you: can’t appreciate a good challah
Pros: aesthetically pleasing; lets you choose your level of Jewish in a partner; accepting of non-Jews
Cons: I didn’t want to leave anyone out so I don’t know how I felt about the limitations
OK, so this one was a little harder for me to get into…Grindr doesn’t even ask if you are male or female when signing up because it’s presumed you’re male. Basically, from where I stand, it’s a hook up app for men. No one chatted me up, probably due to the fact that my profile picture featuring me and a puppy screamed, “I AM A GIRL.” It seems like you could swipe through dudes, send them messages, and send them pictures. You can favorite people and see their height and weight and tribe (swanky). I wish I had more to write, its a tough world out there for a girl on Grindr. If you’re a girl who has a lot of gay friends, I recommend following this Instagram, which often features some of Grindr’s most note-worthy conversations.
Seriously, though, I sent out messages with the hope someone would just talk to me. Nothing.
Cost:Free, Grindr Xtra: $0.99
This app is perfect for you if: you are a man looking for a man, with (usually) little committment
Don’t get this app if you: are me (aka, a female)
Pros: looking through photos on a grid was cool; lots of shirtless dudes
Cons: no one wanted to talk to me FML.
The concept of this app is that you anonymously choose friends-of-friends to meet up with, and the app plans drinks between you, your friends, them and their friends.
There’s a swiping feature now that you can match with people so the app can better set you up, but you either go with 2 of your friends or one other friend. You choose a night and time and the app does everything else.
You basically have to harass your friends to going out with you and being wingmen/women, and the app does the rest. It helps you not be awkward as fuck. Also, if you end up going and the date sucks, at least everyone has a friend there to play with so… everyone wins. It’s like your friends bringing someone to a party and saying, “There’s this guy who’s perfect for you,” except…it’s done by an app.
Cost: Free, but the date itself costs $15 plus $2 gratuity for your server per person.
This app is perfect for you if: you are nervous that a dating app will match you with a murderer; you like going out with groups of people (#thebachelor)
Don’t get this app if you: just wanna stare into your dates eyes
Pros: not a ton of notifications; no pressure when your friend is there; minimal effort
Cons: no messaging
“So this one time I go home with this guy from the club. We go to his place, start doing our thang, and it’s going well. All of a sudden he stops and asks me if I know what a fleshlight is. Thinking that he meant flashlight, I said sure, and all of a sudden he whips out a 10inch long flashlight-shaped apparatus from his drawer. Thoroughly confused, but also intrigued, I waited for him to take off the top to reveal what appeared to be a rubber inside shaped like a butt hole. He whipped out a fucking pocket pussy. I’m open to most things and was a little drunk, so we started using it, having fun, etc. All of a sudden, the rubber lining pops out of the plastic flashlight mold of the toy and flops around the bed and on my chest like a fish out of water, bouncing all over the place. I’ve never seen a guy more embarrassed in bed.” – 20
“I brought a guy I just met back to my room for a hook up and my roommate was sleeping, so, naturally, we decided to use the pull out couch in my living room. Fast forward 45 seconds and some hand and mouth stuff later and I hear, “I’m sorry.” In my head I’m saying, “WTF does that mean?” but before I could ask my hair is covered in jizz. I’ve since made a mental note to duck and cover next time someone apologizes during sex.” – Three Shampoos Later, 20