According to a 2016 report by the Pew Research Center, every year more and more people turn to dating apps in the hopes of finding love — or at least someone with whom they can have some fun casual hook-ups. Between 2013 and 2015, dating app use tripled between 18 and 24-year-olds, with those between 45 and 64 years of age, also seeing a big increase in use. In 2017, a survey by The Knot found that of the 14,000 engaged or recently married couples they interviewed, 19 percent of brides met their current partner through online dating. Basically, dating apps really are becoming the place to meet people — especially if you’re sick of the dating scene and your friends just can’t seem to set you up with the right people.
I asked five friends, who use dating apps regularly, about what they like and, in some cases, don’t like about five different apps. Here’s what they had to say.
- Bumble: Holly, 40, Boston
“Honestly, Bumble has the biggest selection of good-looking guys compared to other apps and more guys are employed, as opposed to ‘self-employed,’ which we all know is a euphemism for not having a job. Also, it has a broader range of backgrounds and it starts to pair you up if you start to click on more business-types, like clumping you into a group of people you’re more likely to find interesting. I feel like it has a narrower search perimeter, geography-wise, which is especially good if you have kids like me. The whole process allows you to make the first move and you don’t have to worry about dreaded dick pics. I’m so f*cking sick of dick pics.”
- OKCupid: Mieko, 35, Brooklyn
“At first, I didn’t like that just anyone could message me because some of the guys are creepy. Like, you didn’t have to match at all and someone could message me. But then that was kind of a good thing about it, too. You get messages from people you wouldn’t have found on your own that actually might be interesting — it’s just a matter of being able to weed out the creeps. But I’ve found that’s how it works for all dating apps I’ve tried. The best part about OKCupid is that there seem to more guys who are interested in a relationship instead of just hooking up as I experienced on Tinder and Bumble. However, that could have just been my personal experience with those apps — I have friends where the opposite was true.”
- Hinge: Steph, 29, London
“I’m not sure what Hinge is like in the U.S. because I never used it when I lived in New York, but in London, it has a much better quality of guys than other apps I’ve used. You have four photos and four questions to answer. In order to connect or ‘like’ someone, you have to like an aspect of their profile, not just blindly swipe right. It makes for a great conversation starter! Some questions are, for example, ‘what your last meal would be,’ ‘two truths and a lie,’ and ‘what your dream job is.’ It makes it a lot of fun.”
- Tinder: Ana, 37, Barcelona
“I like Tinder because it’s the easiest way I have right now to meet new guys, as I am always busy and also I’m a bit shy to start a conversation out of the blue in a bar. What I don’t like is the whole process of everything and, in the meantime, if you find a proper profile to share time with, you have swiped left on a ton of unmatches. In my profile, I try to have updated pictures of myself in a natural setting, so the expectations remain realistic. I have found some guys that, after being matched and we switched to WhatsApp, when I asked for more pictures, they happen to be 10 years older than in their profile, and I have to ask myself, ‘who is the grandpa?!’ It has happened to me twice. One time I told him the picture was so disappointing and misleading, and he told me that nobody looks like themselves on Tinder. I told him that I do and blocked him.”
- Happn: Alexis, 25, New York City
“What I like about Happn is that it’s really cool to see who you pass on a regular basis. The way it works is that every time you pass a fellow Happn member, their profiles pops up, letting you know the last time you passed each other. Then you get to secretly like them and they’ll only find out if they like you back. My only complaint is, if you stick to a specific schedule Monday through Friday, like just going from home to work, then back again, you tend to see the same people over and over again. But on the weekends, when I’m more likely to branch out, going to other parts of the city or over to Brooklyn, then there’s more diverse profiles that pop up. For Happn to really work in your favor, you need to always have it on and really move about the city. I don’t think it would work well if you lived in a small town.”