If you are newly single after being in a relationship for a long time, if you’ve been single with no luck for a long time, or if you are hovering anywhere in between, you might be wondering how to find the best dating app for you.
Online dating can feel daunting and you may feel that the odds are stacked against you, but a 2017 study found that nearly 39% of heterosexual couples in the United States reported meeting online, up from 22% in 2009.
Whether you’re new to the game or just trying to take a new approach, here’s how to find the best dating app for you.
Define Your Parameters
It’s important to go into any dating situation thinking about what you’re looking to get out of it, but particularly in online dating and dating on the apps where you are literally filtering out potential matches based on the preferences you select.
For example, if you are sober, would dating someone who had a few drinks a week be a deal-breaker for you, or vice versa? If you are religious, would a relationship with someone non-religious or outside of your religion be a non-starter for you?
Try Different Dating Apps
It can pay off to be on several dating apps. “Some people act like they’re buying milfaholic a house when they’re signing on to a dating app, like it’s such a big commitment,” says Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a psychologist and author of “Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating.”
Chloe Carmichael, PhD
While you may be the type of person who makes decisions by creating spreadsheets, Carmichael says the best way to find out the best app for you is to just jump in and try them out. “It’s like trying on a dress-you need to actually experience it to see if it’s right for you.”
Carmichael views dating as an issue of supply and demand. You are in limited supply; you want to create demand for yourself to increase the likelihood that you meet someone. “The more we can create demand and options for ourselves, what’s to lose?”
Dating Apps to Try
Bumble: Women are in the driver’s seat for this one-they are the ones to message first. For same-sex couples, either party can message first.
Tinder: One of the first to introduce the swipe-right format. Users like it for its simplicity, though it is sometimes synonymized with more casual, hook-up relationships.
Grindr: This app is for gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people to connect with each other, used predominantly by those who are male-identifying.
Dig: If ‘must love dogs’ is one of your criteria, Dig is known as “the dog person’s dating app” for the people who love dogs to find each other.
BLK App: This app is for Black singles interested in dating each other-especially since many Black women don’t feel safe dating on other mainstream apps.
Hinge: This app is geared toward people interested in more serious relationships. It requires people who use the app to answer prompts about their interests, lifestyle, and relationship goals.
OkCupid: OkCupid is for people who are looking for romantic relationships, but also for those who want to meet friends or network with others.
Coffee Meets Bagel: This is a service that is geared toward people who are looking for love and serious relationships. Once you and another person “like” each other’s profiles, you have eight days to message on the platform before conversations expire.
Should You Pay for a Dating App?
While there are many dating apps that you can access without ever paying a penny, there are also apps that either charge a full membership fee or that charge a la carte for different levels of access to features.