When we say “dating app,” what do you think of? The first app that likely comes to mind is Tinder. Tinder first launched in 2012 and since then, it has truly changed the way that we date. Tinder normalized “online” dating. It brought “The Swipe” to our lives. And it made dating fun again. Tinder is a dating app, of course, but it is also fun. The app comes out at bars in big groups of friends who can’t wait to help each other select who might be the next person you end up dating.
But Tinder is clearly not the only dating app out there, and it is certainly not for everyone. If you’re just not that into Tinder, or if you like to keep your options open, here are some other dating apps you should look into.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel is an app that relies heavily on the woman’s choice. If you’re a woman using the app to meet men, you will only see suggestions from men who have already expressed an interest in you. One of the app’s slogans is, “Ladies, choose from guys who already liked you!” Basically, guys receive up to 21 matches a day, who they either like or pass on. Then women receive a select number of curated matched from the collection of the men who expressed interest in them that day. So if you’re a straight woman who doesn’t like to wonder whether or not a guy is interested, Coffee Meets Bagel may be up your alley.
Are you passionate about travel? The aptly titled dating app “MissTravel” is perfect for you. When you match with someone, you can immediately start making travel plans, rather than planning to meet at a bar or a restaurant. MissTravel doesn’t use GPS like most other apps, so you can reach out to anybody, anywhere. This app is super specific and may be best for someone who is out and about in a new location.
Bumble is one of the more well-known dating apps for a few reasons. First off, men aren’t allowed to reach out to women first, which puts the ball in the woman’s court and helps alleviate unwanted contact from strangers on the app. If you’re a woman and you’d like to chat with a man, you have to take the first step. (In same-sex matches, either person is encouraged to make the first move.) And if you’re interested in connecting with people for more than just dating, Bumble has branched out into other areas as well. Bumble also has a feature for making friends (called Bumble BFF) if you’d just like to meet people in your neighborhood rather than date them and a feature for making business connections (called Bumble Bizz) for person-to-person networking.
OkCupid, or as people familiar with the app call it, “OKC” was actually launched before Tinder. But to keep up with the times, OkCupid launched an app (rather than just a desktop version) and is now one of the most popular ways to online date. OkCupid works on the premise that you can refine your search based on interests and passions and offers a lot more options for people in terms of gender identity (including bigender, hijra, interxes, non-binary, two spirit, and more) and connections you’re open to (including hookups, new friends, long-term dating, and even non-monogamy). If you’ are more into searching for people based on interests and passions, or need more gender and relationship choices you can’t filter by on Tinder interests, passions, hobbies, and the like, OkCupid is a great alternative. You aren’t swiping based solely on looks with OKC. Warning: many of their features are available only to people who pay for the service.
Hinge is another app that’s been steadily making a name for itself. It started as an app that connected you to friends of friends using your Facebook profile and then they revamped their look, and their style, to be the anti-Tinder relationship app. That means, no more swiping. Instead, Hinge has a steam of profiles that you scroll down through before saying no. The profiles have a different style too—they use photos and short questions you can like and comment on.
Zoe and Grindr
Grindr is one of the most well-known non-Tinder dating apps, but it is exclusively for LGBTQIA men or people who identify as men. Zoe is the same idea, but for women, and people who identify as women. If you don’t consider yourself straight, check out these apps for a much more fine-tuned selection of people and features.
This app is all about friendship—well, mostly. The app is similar to Tinder in that you can say “yay” or “nay” on certain profiles, but Skout is all about relationships and not just attraction. Skout claims that they are “all about preserving the magic of unexpected meetings.” They promote the idea of friendships and romance. Check it out if you’re bored by Tinder.
Originally started in France, Happn is a dating app founded on the idea of missed connections. (Yes, just like Craigslist.) It tracks your location and sends you matches based on where you’ve been but doesn’t disclose the exact place you’ve passed by. It’s a great way to get to know people in your area and has some fun extra features that let you send songs of voice messages to each other.
Dating is hard, but it can also be a blast. With the rise of dating apps in the past few years, it has certainly made dating seem easier, or at least more accessible. If you’re interested in trying out some non-Tinder dating apps, there are plenty of fish in the sea.