I think we’re all a little Tinder-ed out. Or at least I know I am. Every time I ask my friends what apps they’re using, I always get the same answers: Tinder and Bumble. Then I ask the follow up question: how do you like them? And the answer is always the same: I don’t.
Tinder and Bumble can work for some people but truth is that, because they are so widely used, they’re filled with thousands upon thousands of people that you’ll have zero connection with. It is quite literally about finding a needle in a haystack, but the haystack is the size of a major city.
If you’re sick of swiping millions of strangers, try giving these lesser known Tinder alternatives a try:
Who’s it for: Busy and on-the-go people, people who are afraid of catfishing, and fans of Craigslist Missed Connections who want a safer alternative.
Happn’s tagline is “Find the people you’ve crossed paths with.” You cross so many people in your day to day life but you’re always on the move. You’re grabbing that early morning latte and you catch the eye of another patron who has your exact same order. It could be kismet but you’re late to work. In the olden days, this might have ended up on Missed Connections on Craigslist, but, today, you could open up Happn and find his profile sitting there waiting for you. Just give him a heart and you could end up sharing a coffee in that cafe the next day.
Bonus points for Happn: You know these are real people, since the only way for someone to show up on the app is if they physically walk by you. You know they’re in your neighborhood. You know you crossed them on the street. Anyone could make a Tinder profile and use pictures of some Abercrombie model and pretend they work near you.
Who’s it for: People who are sick of ghosting, people who are afraid of catfishing, and people who are looking for serious relationships.
Hinge bills itself as “the relationship app” for a reason. It discourages the anonymous hook up culture created by Tinder or Bumble and encourages people to really get to know each other by liking things on their profiles and messaging. Even though you still say yes or no to match with people, it’s focus isn’t on swiping.
In many ways, it’s the anti-swiping app swiping app, but it just may be what you’re looking for.
Who’s it for: People who hate online dating, people who don’t like to beat around the bush, and people who are too busy to date around.
Whim breaks down their process into three steps. First, you pick a calendar date that you’re free. Second, you view profiles and like people that you’re interested in meeting. Last, Whim will set up a date for you and a match at a convenient time and location for the both of you.
There’s not much work for you to do there. Just show up for the date and see how you connect. Whim believes that people can only find out if they have chemistry with someone if they meet in person. Nearly 70 percent of matches on Whim end up on real, physical dates. On other apps, only 11 percent meet each other in real life.
Who’s it for: Polyamorous singles, polyamorous couples, and nonmonogamous people.
It’s hard to find apps that work for poly or nonmonogamous people. Plenty of people use Tinder for threesomes, but what about the people who are looking for thirds to add to their relationship, not just for one night? That’s where Feeld comes in. Feeld has been embraced by the poly and nonmonogamous community as a place where they can meet people like themselves on a dating app.
The app lets you specify what your interests and desires are, so you can be completely transparent. Just looking for some kinky fun? That’s cool, there are people like you on the app. Looking for a third to turn your dyad into a triad? There are people looking for that too. Are you and your partner looking to date separately and meet new people? Plenty of folks like that here too. Polyamory and nonmonogamy can mean all different things and you’re embraced no matter how you live your lifestyle.
Who’s it for: People who want to get out and meet new people, busy people, and people looking for something serious.
Like Whim, Clover has “on demand dating,” which allows it to set up dates for you. It’ll pick the date, time, and place. Then it’ll send you potential matches. You pick who’s your best fit and then meet them at the specified location. Not much work for you to do except show up.
If you want to have a little more say in who you’re meeting, Clover also has live mixers. Join mixers that you’re interested in, like a Game of Throne Night, and meet people who have that same interest. Even though you technically met these people online, it feels a bit more organic. You get to talk to them face to face and see what kinds of sparks rise.
There are so many dating apps out there and these really just scratch the surface. Some apps are good, some are bad, and some are just bad for certain people. Don’t be afraid to try out multiple ones and see what works best for you.