Tinder Okcupid Bumble Happn
Credit: Shutterstock

With the COVID-19 pandemic still going on, it’s not a particularly smart move to go out to bars just to try and meet potential new partners. Luckily for us, there are plenty of dating apps, whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship, something more casual or even just friendship.

1. Tinder

Talk about dating apps and the first one that comes to mind will be Tinder. This app might not have been the first online dating app around, but it was the one that exploded in popularity and is still one of the most popular and most used dating apps around the world.

Sure, the hookup culture is much stronger here, but there are plenty of people on the app who are looking for proper relationships, and even just friendships, if that’s what you want.

2. Bumble

If you’re a lady, Bumble might just be the best app for you. It’s a female-centric dating app, which means that after both parties swipe right to like each other and form a match, only ladies can initiate by sending the first message. This might go against the grain where ladies might want people they match with to take the initiative, but it does filter out potential harassing messages and the likes.

Additionally, there’s a 24-hour time limit for the ladies to send the first message, and the same limit for the match to reply to that first message, otherwise, the match is deleted. It’s an excellent idea to remove redundant matches that would never speak to each other, as well as to reduce the likelihood of being ghosted.

Bumble has also clearly seen the growing trend of using these online dating apps for platonic friendships, with the addition of Bumble BFF for people looking to make friends, and Bumble Bizz for people looking to network for work and professional reasons.

3. OkCupid

OkCupid is one of the other long-time dating apps around. In fact, it even predates Tinder since it was launched in 2004, a good eight years before Tinder even came onto the scene. OkCupid is definitely for people who know what they want in life, since the whole premise is based on answering a bunch of questions so that you (and other users) can make a choice based on as much knowledge of the other person as possible.

This might take a bit of magic out of the whole getting-to-know-each-other phase, but it’s definitely a good idea to try this service out if you’re tired of matching with people who just end up being uncompatible for you anyways.

4. Hinge

Hinge app
Credit: Hinge

Hinge is one of the newer dating apps on the block, but it takes bits and pieces of OkCupid and mixes it up with Tinder to come up with something that doesn’t feel quite as serious, yet you’ll get more ways to filter for people that might meet your expectations.

For example, there are “Dealbreakers” on Hinge that you can set. If you know you’ll never date a smoker, a drinker, or someone who doesn’t want children in the future, these can all be set in the app so that you won’t see anybody who smokes, drinks or doesn’t want children.

Hinge boasts that their app is “designed to be deleted”, with three out of four first dates leading to second dates. Quite a big claim, but it might be worth checking out if you’re looking for a serious relationship.

5. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel
Credit: Coffee Meets Bagel

So Coffee Meets Bagel is a bit different. First off, you get “bagels” instead of “matches”, and ladies on the app get a selection of “bagels” to choose from at 12 noon every day. Secondly, you don’t get to like all your “bagels” until they run out. You only get a limited amount each day, which means you’re encouraged to take it slow and really check out each profile to see if you might be interested instead of just making a judgement based on a single photo.

It’s definitely operating on a different system compared to Tinder, where you can see plenty of profiles at once and swipe until there aren’t any profiles left in the area. Coffee Meet Bagel also claims that 86% of its users are looking for long term relationships, so if you’re willing to wait through the slow burn of only seeing a few profiles every day, it might pay off!

6. Happn

If you’re keen on something a bit more organic though, Happn might be a good choice. This is another app that’s slightly different. Instead of swiping profiles that are randomly pulled into your feed, you’ll only see other Happn users that were near you at some point in time.

This means that if you frequent a cafe near your workplace and someone else does as well, their profile will pop up on your feed and you’ll be able to match with them and chat from there. It’s actually a pretty good idea for people who might be too shy in real life to approach people off the bat!

This is definitely a great choice for people who are looking for deeper connections since you’re more likely to match with people who have similar interests. For example, if you spend quite a lot of time volunteering at an organisation and you match with someone close by, chances are that your match might also spend some time volunteering there, resulting in a common topic to strike up a conversation.

7. Lovenn

lovenn
Credit: Lovenn

Lovenn is the newest app in this list, having just launched in Jan 2021. Pronounced “le-venn”, it started out as a Kickstarter project and was fully funded in one day.

Similar to Hinge, the whole app is based on “Must-haves” that are requirements users have of their partners, whether it be the ability to accept their height, background or more. If both users’ “Must-haves” don’t match, they won’t be matched together or shown to each other, which definitely helps to filter out matches that won’t work.

8. Hater

Hater dating app
Credit: Hater

Who says you can only bond over things you like? Sometimes, mutual hatred of something can definitely bring people together. Hater is an app that takes advantage of just that. Hate vegetables? You might just be able to find someone who doesn’t eat their greens too, making mealtimes that much better for you.