Maybe you’ve dabbled on dating apps and maybe you haven’t, but if you’re looking to give them a shot, I’ve put together a little guide to help you decide which app(s) you should try out!

I’ve been on and off dating apps for the past 2 years and honestly, I’ve learned a lot about the apps themselves, about the current dating scene, and best of all – a lot about myself.

Of course, each app has its own perks and which one will be good for you is entirely dependent on your preferences and what you’re looking for, but I did begin to notice that each app had a certain feel to it. Just like different people give you different vibes, each dating app had a unique vibe as well… but don’t take my word for it, give them a try yourself!

Tinder

Of course I need to start off with the infamous TINDER, I think now more known as a “hook-up” app than a dating app. Tinder was my app of a choice for awhile. It was simple, fun, and the ego-boosts were undeniable. I didn’t need to spend hours writing out a profile about myself, I just picked my best Facebook photos and I was ready to start swiping through guys’ profiles.

It’s definitely the most superficial of the apps I’ve used, but at the same time I realized it’s not so different than what you go through in the real world. You meet someone you’re attracted to, hope the attraction is mutual, and start talking to them to see if there’s anything more than just a physical connection. On Tinder, only the people you mutually match with can message you, so you’re not talking to anyone you’re not at least a little interested in.

Good for: People who don’t care that the rest of the world sees Tinder as a sleazy hook-up app. Those who are open-minded and just wanting to meet new people. And of course, for casual sex. A disclaimer though that I have met some really awesome guys on Tinder and may have even fallen in love with one… so the people on Tinder are not all just thirst-pigs. Like I said, you have to keep an open-mind with this one.

OkCupid

OkCupid is awesome for those who have a Mr. Perfect in mind. You can filter by height, by ethnicity, by religion, even Zodiac sign. And yes, I’ve used all those filters before. OkCupid, to me, is the app that trumps all, it has the swiping elements of Tinder, personality match questions, match suggestions. To me, if you’re looking to use one app for all your dating purposes, this is the one. You can literally zero in on people looking for casual sex, for new friends, or for a long-term relationship. The only thing that I really didn’t like with this app was that it lets you know when you visit another person’s profile. You can turn on “anonymous” mode, but then you won’t know who visits YOUR profile!

Good for: Those who want to make sure they can find a 6’3”, Spanish, dark-haired, handsome Scorpio who is also Christian and lives within 5 miles of your location. Basically, those who have a good idea of what type of guy they’re into. Obviously, my disclaimer here is to not limit yourself too much and maybe reevaluate why you have so many requirements in the first place, but hey we all should be free to have our preferences. There’s so many unique and interesting people in this world, I really think you can probably have your cake and eat it too! Life’s too short to settle.

Coffee Meets Bagel

I like this app because it is not overly time-consuming. You get sent about 5 daily “bagels” around noon; “bagels” are basically your curated “matches” for the day. You can either “like” or “pass” your bagel, and if they like you back, you’re then able to message each other, basically just like Tinder. I think what I like about Coffee Meets Bagel though is that you’re limited from just endlessly swiping through profiles for hours. Oh and you can now set height preferences too! This is the only app that I am using now, and I feel like this has the most promise for me. Also, I do have a soft-spot for the witty prompts they send you to get you to actually message your bagel.

Good for: People who don’t want a dating app that is too time-consuming or for those who don’t have the self-control to stop swiping through the thousands of profiles out there. Those who want quality dates over quantity. You’re only getting around 5 bagels a day and you can only message the ones that mutually like you back, so your inbox isn’t inundated with messages from creepy guys you would never talk to. My disclaimer here is that it can get a little frustrating when you feel like you’re getting stale bagels day after day, but hey isn’t that also kind of like life in the real world too?

New dating apps are popping up all the time, but these are the three that I’ve enjoyed using long enough to really get a good sense of how they work. That being said, there’s also the apps that I would never recommend to anyone…

The (Dis)honorable Mentions

  • Plenty of Fish: It felt way too cluttered and unpolished, as if the developers released an unfinished tester version or something.
  • Zoosk: You have to pay extra to read messages.
  • Match: You pay extra for basically any feature that plenty of other apps provide for free…

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what app you use if you just keep an open-mind and be true to yourself. Dating is not only a great way to get to know new people, but a fantastic way to get to know yourself. Be honest and have fun! It’s not worth it if you’re not enjoying yourself.

Have you tried these dating apps? What was your experience like? Let’s have a conversation in the comments!

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