If you’re like me, you couldn’t imagine dating without some sort of digital assistance. Dating apps are everything when it comes to modern courtship. The only problem is that the people who make the apps realized how necessary dating apps are. And now like there are a million different cars or running shoes or other necessities, there are a million different dating apps to choose from.
So, how do you know which dating app to choose? What app is actually going to help you out? Which app is going to not going to be a total waste of time? Which one is going to actually be worth it if you decide to throw some money at your dating endeavors?
You’re in luck, dear reader. Because I’ve tried them all. Well, all the ones that aren’t blatant scams anyway. I’ve come up with a top 5 list. And no, they’re not ranked from one to ten. That would be useless and trite. I did, however, give you the top 5 apps for distinctly different kinds of dating.
There are different types of dating! I’m sure you’ve noticed! So, here are the top 5 best apps for if you’re looking for love, a one night stand, or something in between:
Best for Hookups: Tinder
I bet you’re surprised by this one! And honestly, I’m sorry that my top app for hookups couldn’t have been something out of the blue. But Tinder has proven that they’re the undisputed champ time and time again.
When it comes down to it, you’re looking for something fast and fun. You’re looking for someone that you can meet up with at a bar or a party or have over for a night of Netflix and Chillin’.
You’re not looking to sort through anyone via the grid, and you’re not interested in putting forth too much effort for someone you’re not going to put an emotional effort into. I do hope that you put forth some work in bed though…
Plus, the word Tinder has become synonymous with dating apps. Everyone has a Tinder or has signed up at some point in their lives. Tinder in a lot of ways is like pooping; everybody does it. And if they say they don’t, they’re lying.
With the ease at which you can swipe through people and how large their user base is, Tinder is obviously the go-to when it comes to looking for hookups.
Honorable Mention: Pure
Okay, while I maintain that Tinder is the undisputed king for finding online hookups, there is another app out there that I like for second place: Pure.
Pure is run by people in Europe and has a distinctly Euro/New York City feel to the art direction, but it’s one of the most NSA sex apps that I’ve found.
Basically, all you do is sign up (you have to pay to use the app if you’re a guy), add a photo, and then your profile will be live for an hour. All that person will see is your photo and your general location. From there you can mark that you’re interested and if it’s mutual a chat box will open. You have the rest of your hour to make conversation and arrange a meeting. After that hour your request will end (or you can end it yourself on the last page in the app), and all of your match and message history will be automatically deleted.
I’d say that this app is purely focused on hookups. However, they have too small of a user base to beat out Tinder for the number one spot.
Great for casual/hands-off dating: Hinge
I usually find that there is something between hooking up and looking for a serious relationship. And I find that most young adults usually find themselves existing in this liminal dating space: casual dating.
I think most people are casually dating. Unless you’re looking to start a second or third marriage, I’d say that you’re probably casually dating or at least passively dating. There does come a time where you want to really look for a partner, you know? But today might not be that day for you, and if it isn’t then, I’d recommend Hinge.
What I like about Hinge the most is how they have you structure your dating profile. Instead of letting you go wild with emojis and 1000 characters of space, you’re asked to answer three of a large selection of questions. These questions help you reveal things about yourself that maybe wouldn’t otherwise be revealed if you were left to just ramble on about your personality.
So, on top of basic things like your age, location, height, and if you smoke or drink or have kids, you have these three questions and some photos of yourself. I find that this app is one of the easier ones to start a conversation on.
Hinge is my favorite dating app and I actively use it myself.
Best for serious dating: OK Cupid
If it were that day for me where I’d decided that I needed to get serious about searching for a partner, this would be the app for me: OK Cupid.
While a lot of people would argue with me that OK Cupid is outdated (since it’s been around FOREVER), I think that of the dating OG’s they’ve done the best job with staying current.
For one, I love their new ad campaign. The app has seemed to try to redefine DTF so that the “F” stands for fun date ideas instead of… well, you know… FUCK.
But on top of that, they have you answer questions about important things (your views on political matters, religion, ethics, etc.), then they have you rank how important those answers are to you, from where they work that into their algorithm to show you, people, that you match with percentage wise.
This is great for people who want to get serious about their dating endeavors. It also helps if you’re a total numbers person. I think that this site is great for someone looking for a husband or long-term partner.
Most value for a paid subscription: Meet Mindful
If you’re someone who’s looking for another person to share your mindful lifestyle, then I suggest that you join this dating site. This site isn’t free, however, if you find that you need to date someone who’s open to your lifestyle choices – or perhaps shares them – then this is definitely the site for you.
If you’re someone who’s committed to self-development, environmentalism, veganism, or another lifestyle that pushes you to care about those around you, you might find that there’s a lack of people like that on other dating apps. Let’s be real, Tinder and Bumble are over saturated with dude-bros and total chads… so what app do you use if you’re less of a frat boy and more of a yoga master? Well, this one.
This app will run you anywhere from $30 to 9 dollars a month depending on how much of a commitment you want to make to the site. However, I think that this site definitely provides the most bang for your buck.
Best for the Swipe-fatigued: Happn
I don’t know about you, but I personally hate swiping. After using Tinder and Bumble for so long, I’m just over that motion. My thumb cramps and quite frankly I just can’t do it anymore!
So, if you’re like me and you’re totally tired of swiping, then you might want to check out Happn. While this app works best if you live in and frequent highly populated areas, I think that the concept is something new and fresh in the grand scheme of things.
Instead of being matched with people that you’re near, you match with people you cross paths with throughout the day. So, if you go to the coffee shop and so happened to miss the super-hot girl at the front of the line, you might be able to have a conversation if you match on the app!
It shows you people that you’ve crossed paths with throughout your day, and from there you can choose to match with them or ignore them. From there, if the match is mutual, you’ll be able to chat with that person!