Is it time to try a dating app? It’s funny to think that online dating has been around since the nineties and yet, it’s only the last few years that it really and truly became culturally “mainstream.” Just as it happened, a new wave of matchmaking apps have sprung up and started quickly outpacing desktop counterparts. You've likely heard these names popping up in conversation: Tinder, Hinge and Bumble. To think that there’s an entire directory of people on these apps, just like you, looking for a connection at your literal fingertips – why wouldn’t you want to give it a try?
There’s really never been a better time and each app offers its own unique features, benefits and (sometimes) pricing scheme. So, dear friend, I’m here to help. Let’s talk about the most popular dating apps out there and what really makes them better (or worse) so you can choose the one that makes the most sense for your unique wants and needs. Ready? Let’s go!
If you’re not into the idea of professing your love (or like, in this case) for someone only to learn they don’t feel the same way, then Tinder is a great option for you. When you swipe to indicate your interest in somebody, they’ll only ever see that you did it if they also like you back. It works the same the other way around too, so it saves everyone involved the awkwardness of putting yourself out there only to wind up feeling shut down. Plus, Tinder requires that you have a Facebook profile in order to create an account and can even show you the Facebook friends that you have in common with a match, so it adds an extra level of comfort and security that you don’t always find with other dating apps.
Oh, and did I mention that Tinder has around 50 million monthly active users? The odds have never been more in your favour, friend! Tinder is often touted as the most popular mobile dating app. With its ever growing pools of singles in towns and cities all across the world, you’re sure to find several matches in your first day of use.
When getting started on Tinder, make sure you set yourself up for success. If your goal really is to find a great, offline date on the app, then make it happen. Spend some time on your opening line. It should feel natural and really speak to who you are as a person and what your view is on life. Choose a recent, smiling photo of yourself and limit the number of selfies you add to your profile. You want the guy you’re looking for to be able to get a quick understanding of who you are, what you’re into and your overall style without having to read through paragraphs or swipe his way through an entire album of photos. And when you do start browsing, make sure you really do read the profiles that attract you. It can be all too easy to get carried away and go a little “swipe” happy on Tinder, but not every great smile is going to be a great match. Opening lines and profile info are there to help you narrow down your search, so use them!
Hinge takes the idea of being set up by friends and brings it into the mobile world. Their tagline is, “Meet someone through friends you trust,” and it’s pretty darn fitting. It relies on its users synching the app with their social media accounts to be connected through mutual friends. Something different, but very helpful, about Hinge is that it will only show you a limited number of matches each day. This helps you really focus in on each individual profile and not feel the “profile overwhelm” that can happen when you see pages and pages of matches.
How Hinge further fulfills its promise to help you “meet” someone is with its new time limit feature. Once you see that you have a match, you only have 24 hours to strike up a conversation. Then, once you begin chatting, you’re limited to 14 days to continue chatting with the mobile app. This is all designed to encourage people to use the app to find connections and then take them where they belong – into the offline world. If you’ve been looking for that extra push to meet someone new, Hinge might be the choice for you.
When using Hinge to find your next date, take advantage of the fact that you only have 24 hours after becoming a match to strike up a conversation. Ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going, and if you feel there’s a spark, suggest you take the conversation offline and meet up at a neutral coffee shop or wine bar. Texting can be great, but it can also lead to a state of limbo where you’re no longer on the app, but you also haven’t met in real life. Keep the momentum going and see where the spark takes you!
It’s no wonder Bumble is doing so spectacularly well – a former co-founder of mega dating app Tinder launched it! One thing that Bumble does differently than many other dating apps, however, is focus on improving the dating experience for women specifically. How does it do this? Similarly to Tinder, you’re able to swipe through profiles and either show your interest or skip to the next. However, when you make a match with another profile, it’s up to the female user to initiate the conversation.
Yep, you read that right, only female users can send the first message. After that first message is sent, you can go back and forth with that user for as long as you like – but guys have got to wait for the lady to strike up the conversation that first time around. What this does is create a safer, less overwhelming space for genuinely interested people to connect with likeminded individuals. In its initial few months of existence, Bumble reported more mindful, responsible and thoughtful behaviour from both genders. It’s worth a try!
If you’re getting set up on Bumble, I’d recommend choosing a great profile picture that showcases your natural beauty and genuine smile just like on any other mobile app. What I’d also recommend you to do on Bumble, unlike what I’d recommend on Tinder, is to be a bit bolder when it comes to striking up conversations with matches. Since the app relies on females initiating conversation, you really can’t wait for him to make the first move. So, put yourself out there and get the conversations going – you never know who you’ll wind up hitting it off with!
All three apps are free, although Tinder does offer premium features for a small fee. No matter which you choose to try, signing up won’t take longer than a few minutes and, if you don’t like it, it’s as easy as uninstalling. Don’t forget, I’m always here if you need a confidence boost before your first date or need a bit of help crafting a profile that really showcases your authentic self.
To your authenticity,
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