If you are new to the dating scene, recently single or just curious to find out more about online dating, navigating the world of dating apps can be a time-consuming experience. But picking, choosing and testing out each one that promises true love with catchy slogans is a whole other mountain to conquer.
So how do you know which app will bring you potential true love (or a fun Saturday night)? You’ll never know until you fire up one of these apps.
Fast, fun and casual
If you’re returning to the fray after coming out of a relationship and not looking for anything serious, Tinder could be the one for you! This may be the most notorious dating app but there’s no denying it’s been tried and tested.
Tinder has achieved critical mass so the pool is bigger than new apps. Swipe and browse the gallery of selfies and mirror shots and submit your bio, revealing as much or as little of yourself as you wish. Don’t forget to link it to your Spotify and Instagram so you’ll have some conversation starters.
Paktor (which means ‘dating’ in Cantonese), a Southeast Asia and Taiwan-focused app, offers another way to meet new people with unlimited matches. However, only when two parties like each other will the app then facilitate an introduction. The good thing about Paktor is that is screens users for fake accounts and requires users to have at least 50 Facebook friends to sign up, lessening your odds of getting catfished.
Tip: Both apps are heavily visual, so make sure you have a range of photos (like the ubiquitous dog pic) to help you stand out. The good news is that Tinder’s smart photo function tests and automatically pics your best performing photo.
Friends and connections
If the thought of putting yourself out there with complete strangers puts you off the online dating scene, Hinge is the app for you. It introduces you to friends of friends, so it offers an immediate security blanket. The app links you with Facebook friends and third-level connections – perfect for those with a wide social media network. Choose your level of intent (casual, dating or relationship), then look forward to meeting someone who has at least one thing in common with you – a friend!
Happn is also a good match for the wary, as it only links you with people you’ve crossed paths with before. Check out your last encounter and ‘like’ them with a secret heart. They won’t find out it’s you…unless they heart you back of course.
Tip: Make sure your Facebook profile and pictures are up to date as that’s where Hinge pulls its data from.
If you’re female and want to take matters into your own hands, give Bumble a rumble. Created by one of the female co-founders of Tinder, Bumble is nicknamed the ‘feminist Tinder’. That’s because on Bumble, it’s the woman that makes the first move to message or connect with a potential match. What we love about bumble is that it’s also a great way to meet your next BFF!
Tip: You need to be decisive on Bumble, as you only have a 24-hour window to message a match or the opportunity disappears.
Sizzling and specific
For those looking for a like-minded partner, an app that matches specific likes or shared hates is a great way to go. Consider Match, which only pairs you with dates who have similar interests. Although it’s sometimes compared to Tinder, Match is generally favoured by users who are looking for something more long-term.
OkCupid, which uses complex algorithms to whittle down the list of likely interests, is another popular option. To generate matches, users answer questions, rate the importance of the question, and indicate what answers he or she would accept from a partner.
Then there’s Hater which matches you with people who detest the same things such as people who wear sunglasses indoors, zombie movies and even long walks on the beach (really?!).
Tip: For niche apps like Hater, think carefully about what really annoys you in a partner before signing up.
Serious and professional
Coffee Meets Bagel is all about quality over quantity, and is hugely popular amongst women. You’ll have to create pretty a fleshed-out profile that includes your occupation and education, as well as three questions: I am ___, I like ___, and I appreciate when my date ___. It can be a little time consuming, but definitely worth the effort. You’ll get a few bagels (i.e. matches) a day to choose from based on your preferences and chats expire after a week, which forces you to take the conversation offline, or more likely to WhatsApp. The app itself seems to attract people looking for something a little more serious.
Then there’s LunchClick by Lunch Actually, a highly discreet dating service that brings young professionals together for lunch dates. Consultants will even help you make your restaurant reservations. All you need do is show up and use the hour to get to know your date. The app itself is truly made for serious singles, as it checks users’ national identification numbers against the Singapore marriage database!
It’s also kind of the antithesis of apps like Tinder that encourage a ‘swipe culture’ as you can only be matched with one person each day. LunchClick users can only select from a pre-defined list of questions when chatting, which encourages users meet and talk IRL instead.
Tip: Make sure you completely fill in your profile and don’t forget to include an interesting or hilarious icebreaker.
Now that you know what you’re looking for and how to find it, go ahead and get swiping!