How to Choose the Best Dating App for You
Since dating apps are one of the most common ways people meet new romantic partners, they’ve become a major element of modern dating. But there are now so many different options to choose from.
So how do you choose the best dating app for your preferences and intentions? Here’s a look at things to consider when choosing a dating app for you.
1. Decide Which Matching Formula You Want to Use
Many apps nowadays use the format popularized by Tinder, which lets you see potential matches in your area and allows you to swipe to indicate whether you are interested or not.
This is a convenient and easy way to get back into the dating game. But you may want to use an app that uses other technology, such as compatibility estimates. An app like OkCupid provides recommended matches based on your profile, as well as other filters.
You don’t have to default to whatever the most popular app is, and there are plenty of Tinder alternatives. Just see which platform’s features appeal to you the most.
2. Select an App That Aligns With Your Preferences
Some dating apps are targeted at the general population, while others have more niche features or specific target audiences that help you find your potential match.
For example, if you’re older and looking for a partner of a similar age, you can opt for one of the best free dating apps for seniors. If you want an app that gives the initiative to women to start interactions, you may want to use Bumble. And if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you may want to consider an app like Her.
3. Identify Your Goals
People use dating apps for different reasons. Some want to meet friends, others want hookups, and others are looking for meaningful relationships.
Apps like Tinder have introduced relationship goals to help make your intentions clearer. Meanwhile, Hinge uses dating intentions to help narrow your search. Multiple apps also include friendship modes or different goals for those who aren’t quite ready to jump into the dating pool just yet.
Check out which apps offer options that align with your own goals. Clearly stating intentions before you match helps prevent misunderstandings with new matches.
4. Check What Is Available in Your Region
Some dating apps have a global user base, while others, like Facebook Dating, are limited to certain regions. There’s no point in signing up for an app that has no footprint in your region or using workarounds to access an app that isn’t available in your country.
Narrow down the pool of possible apps by checking what the practical choices are according to your location.
5. Decide Whether You’re Willing to Pay for a Subscription
Many free dating apps have premium subscriptions available. While you can get by on free features, some apps lock powerful tools behind their paywalls.
If you’re willing to pay for a subscription, see which apps offer the best premium features. For example, you may want to compare Tinder’s different premium subscriptions.
But if you want to only use free versions of an app, make sure that the one you choose doesn’t hide all of its best features in the paid plans.
6. Decide on Your Dealbreakers
Is there something that would cause you to immediately reject an app? This could be related to an app’s data-gathering, matching formula, or entire premise.
Decide early on what’s a dealbreaker for you. For example, if an app wants you to sign up using a Google or Facebook account, you may not be willing to share that kind of data. If an app has a reputation for being very appearance-focused, you may rather opt for an alternative.
7. Get Recommendations From Friends
If you have friends that use dating apps, it could be useful to get a recommendation from them. Since they’ve tried the apps themselves, they can tell you about any downsides that aren’t well-known outside of the user base.
For example, everyone knows that Tinder is very appearance-based. But a regular user may be able to highlight other concerns, like the annoying number of notifications the app sends, or the prompts to verify your email address.
8. Check Out Reviews
If your friends don’t use dating apps, or you’re planning on using one they’re not familiar with, you should also check out app store or website reviews to see how well the platform stands up to user expectations.
User reviews can point out technical issues, but also issues like too many features being locked behind a paywall, or bad experiences with other users on the app.
This is especially true for niche dating apps. You want to know that others have had a good experience on the app and that there are enough users to make the app active before signing up for it yourself.
9. Make Sure You’re Ready
The final consideration to make is whether you’re actually ready to start using dating apps. If you’ve just come from a recent breakup, you may still be healing from the experience.
You can always try out tips for getting back on dating apps after a breakup. But sometimes you’ll just need more time before you jump back into the dating pool.
Downloading an app you’re never going to use defeats the point of it. That said, you can always dip your toes in the water and just check out the app and other users before initiating chats with any of your matches. But only you will be able to decide when you’re ready to fully immerse yourself.
Choose the Right Dating App for You
These are a few of the things you can consider when choosing a dating app to use. And whichever you choose, know that you’re not locked in. You can always switch to another app if your choice ends up not suiting you.