Finding the perfect partner is never easy, but thankfully your phone is trying to help. There’s no need to sit at your computer anymore to search for your other half. Thanks to your mobile device and GPS-locating apps, wherever you are, the world is your playground for dates, hookups, and long-term relationships. Here are our picks for some of the best dating apps and how to use them — your next great love could be lurking behind your next swipe.
OkCupid is an oldie but goodie. People come back to this free site, which is now accessible through an app, because it’s a reliable dating service with a massive user base and straightforward dating tools. The app uses the basics of the website’s tools, allowing you to set up a profile, check and rate the profiles of the people around you, answer quizzes, scroll through matches, and chat up potential dates. A premium subscription adds other features such as refined search tools, with the added ability to see users or potential dates who have liked you.
The now infamous swipe right or swipe left has become a modern verb for whether you consider someone attractive. You create a simple profile with a handful of favorable pictures, write a few sentences about yourself, and you’re then instantaneously thrown to the Tinder wolves for a swipe right if they like you and find you attractive. Once it’s hooked up to your Facebook and once the app has identified your location, it will display singles in your area. After scrolling and swiping left and right, you find your match if you both swipe right on each other. You can then send a message to them and set something up.
Hinge, which boasts real connections, makes the online/app dating world a little more personable by introducing you to people that you share mutual Facebook friends with. Users log in with their Facebook accounts, enter preferences, sexual orientation, location, and age. Every day at noon, the app supplies you with a bunch of potential matches.
4. Coffee Meets Bagel
The name of the app itself makes it appealing and non-threatening, which is always a good way to think of a dating app. Coffee Meets Bagel aims for quality over quantity with matches and brings you a single “bagel” every day, which is a curated match that shares mutual Facebook friends (similar to Hinge but not quite). You then have 24 hours to decide whether to like or pass, all while the app learns from your preferences for potential matches. If you both express interest, Coffee Meets Bagel then brings you together in a private chat room where you can get to know each other and plan a date or meetup. Included in the app’s features is your ability to see you and your potential mate’s mutual friends, which can only be unlocked if you purchase a virtual currency called “beans.”
The old saying happens to be true: There are many fish in the sea. If you don’t catch one, you’ll catch another. Although PlentyofFish is one of the older apps, what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in breadth. This free dating app is one of the largest and most popular in the world, boasting more than 55 million members worldwide. Considered appealing for many because of its simplicity and wide reaching appeal for people of all ages, users set up a simple profile, including age, height, education, and profession, and can search for potential matches and message them. The sheer multitude of users makes the app worth a try.
Bumble is an app that puts the ladies in complete control. Similar to Tinder, both men and women can swipe but only women can start the conversation, and they only have 24 hours from the time they match to start a conversation, otherwise the connection disappears forever. It puts the onus on women which can be a good thing for the insecure man who needs a little bit of an ego boost. Bumble works in this way: Download the app, set up your profile, and start swiping. If you accidentally swipe left on someone when you meant to swipe right, unlike with Tinder, you can shake your phone to undo your swiping mistake. Overall, the interface is easy to use.