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Best dating apps

by Justin Herrick | January 21, 2018January 21, 2018 12:00 pm PST

It’s 2018, and with the start of a new year is a new you. You’ve hit the reset button and put yourself in a better mindset. So why not dabble in dating? We’ve reached that lovely time known as “cuffing season” when the temperature drops and all you want to do is cuddle with someone while streaming meaningless entertainment on Netflix.

Cuffing season means that, in addition to you, a large number of singles are out there looking for that special someone. And dating doesn’t have to be hard, especially these days. Your phone is an excellent tool. Just whip it out, download an app or two, and you’re set.

Here are some of the best dating apps you should give a try.

Coffee Meets Bagel

It doesn’t matter who you are. Everyone loves a good chance, so Coffee Meets Bagel is worth taking a look at. There isn’t any meaningless swiping, browsing, and messaging to be done. Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app that means business.

On a daily basis, the app serves up a batch of potential matches known as Bagels. The Bagels have been made specifically for you after the service understands who you are and what you like. Coffee Meets Bagel takes age, height, religion, ethnicity, and interests into consideration. But Coffee Meets Bagel drops all of the annoying parts typically found on other dating apps. Guys receive preselected matches, and girls get to choose from Bagels that have already expressed interest in them.

Coffee Meets Bagel pushes for in-person meetings once a match is made. Both individuals are placed in a private chat, but they’re not left twiddling their thumbs thinking about what they should say. The app offers icebreaker questions to fuel the conversation. Even dates are suggested by Coffee Meets Bagel as long as the conversation seems to move forward.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, not a worry. Coffee Meets Bagel operates the same way regardless of sexual orientation. Fresh, tailor-made Bagels are still sent out every day at noon.

Many professionals are using Coffee Meets Bagel, and the app was presented to investors on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2015. The app’s success comes from not only the algorithm but also the push for commitment. No, Coffee Meets Bagel isn’t making anyone talk about marriage on a first date. It’s merely encouraging people to sit down face-to-face and learn about each other.

Download: iOS, Android

Grindr

Grindr is the app to have if you’re a gay or bisexual man. The user base is unrivaled by any other service no matter where you’re located.

Let’s get this out of the way first: Grindr’s users lean heavily toward hookups. You’re going to come across guys who open a conversation with a picture of their nether region. But there’s no doubt you can find interesting guys to converse with whether that’s to ultimately have a fling or grab something to eat. As long as you’re safe, it doesn’t matter what you do.

The grid-style layout makes Grindr a free-for-all. Everyone is on the same playing field with their name and profile picture shown at once. Select a profile and swipe up to see details. Grindr starts any profile with a user’s age and mini-bio, but then it breaks down into the heavy stuff — height, weight, body type, position, looking for, HIV status, and social media. The information provided here, frankly, makes or breaks you on Grindr. Gather your friends, have them help you. The tiniest error on your Grindr profile will make a guy look elsewhere.

By the way, you don’t have to necessarily be a gay or bisexual man to use Grindr. The service has done a good job as of late to welcome more members of the LGBTQ community. Grindr now lets you specify your gender and pronouns in whatever fashion you wish.

Grindr XTRA is the app’s premium subscription that’s isn’t so expensive. It’s certainly useful, that’s for sure. Pay a few bucks and Grindr will remove advertisements, provide unlimited blocks, offer more filters, and receive push notifications. No one likes saying Grindr XTRA is worth it, but the added features are a blessing for any user.

Go ahead, join the 2+ million users worldwide enjoying themselves on Grindr. It’s quite handy if you’re not someone who runs across other gay or bisexual men frequently.

Download: iOS, Android

OkCupid

Modern, casual was made popular by OkCupid. It launched in 2004 as a web-only service, and ever since it’s grown to be on mobile devices for on-the-go dating. There were competitors like Match and eHarmony when OkCupid was created; however, those were always geared toward a more sophisticated crowd. OkCupid appeals to the masses because, while it takes into account who you are and what you’re seeking, the experience is fresh and fun.

Make a profile, highlight your personality and interests. OkCupid doesn’t ask you to ramble on about yourself endlessly. Instead you’re going to add pictures and a short bio but focus on the service’s questionnaire. The questions help OkCupid understand what you’re passionate about and what your deal breakers are.

Like most, OkCupid will let you pay for additional features. Its premium subscription gets you a preview of who likes you without having to like them, advanced search, and an ad-free experience.

If getting to know someone means everything to you, look no further than OkCupid. The service’s rebrand made its appearance similar to Tinder and the like, but the robust algorithm remains strong. OkCupid learns who you are, assembles highlights to put on your profile, and then attracts the right guy or girl. Don’t be shy, mind you. It’s not like other services where you have to swipe or align perfectly to chat. On OkCupid, you message whoever you want.

Download: iOS, Android

Bumble

Since valuable relationships are trying to be built, Bumble employs “unprecedented standards for respectful behavior.” The service shakes things up by having women make the first move. If a woman sees what she likes, she has twenty-four hours to send a message. Then, if she approves, the man has twenty-four hours of his own to engage. If the clock expires, both people are sent packing. Same-sex matches get twenty-four hours apiece at the same time, so everyone is welcome.

Maybe you’ve never heard of Bumble. So far there are over 21 million people signed up, but it definitely has room to grow in 2018 and beyond. And it’s not for dates alone. Bumble would like to help you forge romantic relationships, platonic relationships, and business relationships.

Bumble’s strategy works the same regardless of the type of relationship sought. Bumble BFF is great if you’re new to a city or would like to expand your circle. Bumble Bizz, meanwhile, could land you a mentor or a new job.

Using the service won’t cost you a penny, though Bumble Boost is available to let you know who’s into you or rematch with someone you might’ve misjudged.

Download: iOS, Android

Tinder

All the cool kids use Tinder. Actually, just about everyone is using Tinder. It’s arguably the most popular dating app available with over 26 million matches made per day.

Using Tinder couldn’t be any easier. Link your Facebook profile to the app, and now you’re ready for showtime. Tinder takes advantage of your Facebook profile to learn your interests and see potential matches who are friends of your friends. So don’t be surprised if someone you match with knows people in your circle.

Swiping is all you have to do to make a decision. Like what you see? Swipe right. Not feeling him or her? Head to the left. Both you and the person you’re eyeing must swipe right to have a match and engage in a private conversation.

The superficial nature of Tinder could turn you off, but the population is bustling. You’re not going to find another dating app with as many users this engaging. Go into it with an open mind, and don’t be afraid to swipe right on that person you might not normally be about. Sometimes you have to roll the dice and risk it for the biscuit.

Tinder does offer premium features, too. Upgrading to Tinder Plus gets you Unlimited Likes, Passport (a way to change your location to anywhere in the world), Rewind (a second chance), and one Boost per month worth thirty minutes. You’re also given more Super Likes to gain someone’s attention. Then there’s Tinder Gold, which gives you Tinder Plus’ benefits and adds the ability to see who likes you before swiping.

Things can get a little spooky on this dating app when one person is seeking a date and the other just wants quick fun. But, honestly, that’s all part of the fun in dating. You’re going to find the person to take home to mom and dad, the person to have a one-night stand with, and the person who really is your other half.

There’s someone out there for everyone, folks. Just be patient and spend a Saturday night swiping left and right on Tinder. Seriously, it’s a hobby for many.

Download: iOS, Android


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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