Why sit back and wait, when the best dating apps are at your fingertips?
Even amidst a global pandemic and the possibility of World War III breaking out, dating in 2020 is still considered as one of the most difficult struggles single people are facing.
But fret not! As fate would have it, we’ve scoured the Earth for the best dating apps to give you the highest chances of meeting that one special person (or more, if that’s your thing. We ain’t judging.)
Get your swipes ready.
Best for: Those looking for something serious
If you aren’t about that casual dating life, Hinge might just be the dating app for you.
The app differentiates itself by hooking you up with friends of friends on Facebook, going beyond superficial profile pictures to match you with someone based on shared hobbies and interests.
There won’t be a need for any tedious bio-writing here, but be prepared to fill in answers to questions like “What’s your biggest pet peeve?” and “Where can you find me at a party?”
Hinge calls these “prompts”, which are used as part of their Nobel-prize winning algorithm to vet potential soulmates for you.
You can either choose to like or comment on individual profile photos or “prompts” to start a conversation and get a match.
Two potential downsides, though: 1) your friends are probably going to know that you are on a dating app, and 2) free users are limited to liking 10 profiles a day.
If this is the app for you, you can always upgrade to a Preferred membership and get unlimited likes starting at $19.99 per month.
Best for: Women who aren’t afraid to make the first move
Although both men and women are welcome on Bumble, it’s the ladies that have the biggest say here.
Bumble sets itself apart from competitors by allowing women to take charge and make the first move — a fresh take on male-dominated dating apps like Tinder.
It follows a traditional swipe-based system, but only women get to start the conversations.
This could be a great thing if you’re trying to avoid unsolicited chats from creepy dudes or accidental swipes.
Be warned, though: you only have 24 hours to initiate a conversation before it disappears into oblivion (unless you upgrade to Bumble Boost, which starts from $24.99 for a month).
Alternatively, you can choose to get Bumble Coins instead.
Priced at $1.99 each, Bumble Coins let you “SuperSwipe” a profile (a premium feature that lets you tell a potential match you’re confidently interested in them).
Founded by women for women, Bumble has recently hit 100 million users, so heads up, guys: there are plenty of bees buzzing in this hive.
Best for: Those with very specific tastes
Match has been a prominent player in the matchmaking business since 1995 (that’s 25 years ago!), so you know these guys are serious when it comes to online dating.
It currently falls under the top 10 dating apps in the U.S. (just below Tinder and Bumble) and have one of the largest databases available to match you according to your preferences, thanks to their comprehensive search function.
Although there is a free version, a paid subscription offers you a wider pool of potential matches to get the most out of it — but this will set you back at $35.99 a month, making it one of the most expensive dating apps out there.
Best for: The shy and awkward ones
Freshly launched just this year, XO is the new kid on the block that is already making huge waves in the dating app scene.
Their difference? No cheesy pickup lines or try-hard bios — just simple games.
XO’s mobile-friendly games (like word search and quizzes) are accompanied with helpful icebreakers to spark fun conversations.
If you’re on the shy side and tend to freeze up when meeting someone new, XO is the perfect app for you to find your potential bae.
Because it’s relatively new, this also means there aren’t a mind-blowing number of users on the app yet, but we have high hopes for this one (and there’s no harm trying, right?).
Best for: Those who are perpetually online
An acronym for “Hey I Like You”, HILY uses a special AI-based algorithm to continuously improve on their matches and increase the probability of you finding someone you actually like.
An interesting feature to note is HILY stories (think Instagram stories), which gives you the option to express yourself in videos if you aren’t great with text.
Since the app supposedly works better the more you use it, this means it also requires a lot more dedication and commitment than your typical dating app.
But that’s a small price to pay for finding someone you share a real connection with, right?
Best for: The music junkie
Research shows that music taste affects romantic relationships, and that’s exactly how Tastebuds works.
The app matches you purely based on music taste, so if you vibe well with someone who’s into the same band/artist as you (or if you’re finding fellow gig buddies), you’ll probably love using this app.
To get started, all you have to do is pick your preferred gender and three artists or bands that you’re interested in.
Sadly, Tastebuds is currently only available on the App Store.
*A moment of silence for Android users*
Get Tastebuds on: iOS
Best for: Those with an ideal “type”
Although it pretty much works like most dating apps, Badoo‘s secret weapon lies in its “Lookalikes” feature that uses facial recognition technology to find someone who looks similar to your celebrity (or real-life) crush.
Hold up, whaa-??
Yes, you heard us. It uses tech to find your ideal “type”.
Superficial, or insanely clever? We’re not sure yet.
The way Badoo works is pretty straightforward: you either find matches via “Encounters” (your typical swiping system) or use the “People Nearby” function to find people with common interests near you.
Best for: People who live and breathe spirituality
It can be tough to find people on the same level as you spiritually (especially on a dating app).
MeetMindful fills this gap: this app is built for those who are into all things spiritual, such as yoga, travel, and healthy eating (a.k.a. finding the perfect avocado toast).
Instead of the traditional swiping system, you get profiles within your geographical area that you can immediately begin matching with.
Overall, a great app to find your ideal zen mate.
Get MeetMindful on: iOS | Android
Best for: In-depth matching based on compatibility
Launched in 2004, OkCupid is no stranger to the dating app scene.
The beauty of this app lies in its in-depth profiling system, where you’re required to fill in a long series of questions during the initial setup.
OkCupid’s unique algorithm then uses this information to gauge your compatibility with someone else based on a percentage.
The higher the percentage, the more compatible you are perceived to be, and you get to decide on whether you wish to pursue these matches or not.
The app is big on inclusiveness too: it offers 13 gender identities and 22 sexual orientations so that everyone can partake in the fun!
Check out this list by OkCupid of the 12 most asked and answered questions on the app – it could be a vital clue about what your future partner is looking for.
Best for: Casting a wide net
Mention “dating apps” to your Grandma and she’ll probably reference Tinder.
The OG of all dating apps, Tinder processes a whopping 1.6 billion swipes every day, and in terms of probability, this means the chances of you finding a match is pretty high.
The way it works should sound familiar to you: swipe left for a no and right for a yes.
It might not be as detailed as Hinge or OkCupid, but it seems to do the job just fine.
While Tinder has gotten a pretty bad rep over the years as a casual hookup app, there are plenty of success stories as well.
If you can’t get enough of swiping, you’re better off upgrading to the Tinder Gold subscription at $29.99 per month.
11. Coffee Meets Bagel
Best for: Hand-picked matches delivered to you
Coffee Meets Bagel specializes in curating matches (a.k.a. “Bagels”) that are delivered to you every day at noon.
While this means you only get a limited number of matches a day (up to 21), you might find that quality beats quantity, because it makes you really think twice about your matches.
Overall, it’s a pretty passive app that works better for those who are patient enough to wait for matches daily.
There’s also the fact that the app’s name itself offers a cute first date idea: getting coffee and bagels.
Get Coffee Meets Bagel on: iOS | Android
Best for: Gays, bisexuals, queer men and the trans community
Whether you are gay, bisexual, trans, queer or simply curious, Grindr is an oasis for all guys.
It’s strictly for the dudes (sorry ladies!) and is currently the largest and most popular app serving the gay community.
Grindr works similarly to Tinder and is mostly catered to those looking for flings and hookups — nothing too serious.
Subscribing to Grindr Unlimited, as the name suggests, will allow you to view an unlimited number of people and browse in incognito mode, if you’re willing to fork out $49.99 a month.
Chances are, you’ll probably find someone to match your kink or fetish (can we get a yas queen?).
Best for: Lesbians, bisexuals and queer women
We’ve got Grindr, and then we have Her – an app that targets queer women and the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s slightly more sophisticated than Grindr in the sense that it aims to connect you to a community, rather than short-term hookups.
Her regularly hosts events and group chats that you can actively participate in, helping you build meaningful and deeper connections.
Though the number of people on the app is undoubtedly less than Tinder or Bumble, Her serves a valuable purpose that is definitely worth trying out.
Best for: Those who want to settle down ASAP
With 2 decades of success under its belt, eHarmony is one of the most popular dating apps among those looking for long-term relationships.
Founded by clinical psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony focuses on finding matches based on psychological principles to identify relationship compatibility.
Users are required to fill up a questionnaire (149 questions, to be exact), and then let the patented eHarmony Compatibility Matching System do its magic.
So, while this model doesn’t allow you to actively find your own matches, the ones presented to you are backed by pure science.
Now that’s what we call intense chemistry.
Get eHarmony on: iOS | Android
Should You Use Dating Apps?
Reality isn’t exactly a cute, romantic Hollywood film.
Unlike couples in these popular romance movies, we don’t just randomly “bump” into our soulmates at the bus stop or cafe.
This era of digitization and technology has torn down the stigma that dating apps are for “shady” people or hookups, and there are countless success stories to back this up.
For a society that’s striving to become more progressive, we’d say it’s about time to take control of your own destiny — and love story.
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