When Samantha Karjala started using apps to meet more people in her small Northeastern town, she was annoyed at what they implied. “When you say you went on a Tinder date, most people expect you had sex with the person,” she says. “It’s a bummer, because I used it to meet cool people to expand my dating pool, which was helpful with the radius feature on Tinder.” She says that, despite some annoying responses from dudes, she was just out of a relationship and wanted to stick with using the app. “I think I most enjoyed the bios, because it really shows what people think is important enough to say in a few words.” Her bio was a Nicki Minaj lyric that she says, “sparked a lot of conversations”—including one with the guy who would later become her husband.
Badoo has a little bit of everything. It’s formatted like Tinder (but with more profile), it tells you if you’ve crossed paths like happn and you can use it for friends or dating like Bumble. It also has over 300 million users between its website and its app, which means a large dating pool, but also more scammers and fake accounts. Beware of that model who’s so into you.
Why? I pretty much only use Hinge now. I have tried almost all of them: Tinder at one point in college, Bumble, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel .... I found that Tinder was mainly for hook-ups and while I liked that guys were less grimy on Bumble, I’m pretty shy so I didn’t like that I had to be the one to initiate conversation. (Editor's Note: Women seeking men must message first on Bumble; for women seeking women, that rule goes away.)
Zoosk is another one of the most popular dating apps out there. It has a ton of users although we're not sure how many of them are active. It's a fairly standard dating app. You'll create a profile, meet people, and hopefully things go further. Zoosk uses an old-school social media style for their service rather than the more modern quick match style like Tinder. However, that also makes it a prime candidate for spam bots and other such stuff. This one is kind of a wildcard, so use it at your own risk. The service also has two paywalls and we're not big fans of that.
eHarmony was one of the pioneers in the online dating space, and -- while I haven't personally used this one -- we all remember the pitch, thanks to years of TV commercials: The service matches couples based on "29 dimensions" of compatibility (as determined by a thorough relationship questionnaire). While you can review the profiles of your prospective matches for free, you'll need to pay to unlock the full features of the service. But that comes with a guarantee: If, after three months of paid membership and communicating with at least five members, you're not satisfied, eHarmony will refund your money. Despite a rocky road that eventually involved a high-profile lawsuit, the site finally added same-sex dating in 2013, too. I have mixed feelings about using the site myself, but the site is at least technically more inclusive now.
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