Swiping into Spring: The Top Dating Apps to Try This Season

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If you’re searching for a romantic connection this season, these days, you don’t have to look further than your phone. Because of today’s hyper-connected environment, meeting many potential partners from the comfort of your bed has never been simpler. However, the convenience of dating apps also presents a bunch of other unique dating obstacles like:

Even though dating apps can be somewhat overwhelming, they are still one of the most popular methods to meet people out there, and for a good reason–almost everyone is on a dating app. It doesn’t matter what demographic it is (race, age, career status); we’re all on dating apps looking to meet someone. 

If you want to optimize your time and effort, it’s a good idea to approach the apps with some sense of intentionality. This means signing up for the apps that give you the best chance to match up with who you’re looking for. After all, you don’t want to meet everyone; you want to meet The One.

For example, if you want to meet other career-minded individuals like yourself, you probably wouldn’t sign up for a dating app for gamers. Instead, you’d look for an app that’s catered to other professionals.

So, to help you out this season, here are the best dating apps depending on what you’re looking for, so let’s go!

How Dating Apps Work

All dating apps were created under a basic premise: to help someone match with a potential partner. However, the process for locating your match differs from app to app.

Most apps work via a swipe system, which lets you swipe left for no or right for yes on someone’s profile. A few apps give minimal information before the swipe (Tinder). This makes vetting your potential matches all about how a person looks. 

Other apps incorporate exciting and fun features like videos, profile prompts, and audio to help you better understand the person on the other side of the screen. However, if you’re picky about the method you vet potential matches, you might need to look toward apps that offer a compatibility score based on the information in your profile. While these scores are an algorithmic guess, they often reflect values and interests instead of physical appearance only.  

When you swipe right on a possible match, the app lets you know if it’s a genuine match. If you don’t get a match immediately, don’t worry. Your profile may not have appeared in someone else’s lineup just yet, especially if you have a new profile. Once two people swipe right on each other or express interest, the app usually sends a prompt that notifies you both of the match. 

Best Dating Apps This Season

Best App for Serious Relationships – eHarmony

Pros:
  • In this app, you’re able to see who checked out your profile and vice versa
  • Simple to use
  • You’re given compatibility scores for each potential match
Cons:
  • Most people don’t have detailed profiles
  • With the free membership, there is almost no capability
  • Takes a while to set up
  • Doesn’t include various sexual and gender identities

Compatibility: Android, IOS

eHarmony is terrific for those serious people looking to connect with like-minded individuals who are also interested in long-term relationships. When signing up, the app requires you to take a compatibility quiz of 80 questions, including queries about your communication style and personality type. You’re also required to choose between two images, which people have likened to an inkblot test. 

Once you’ve completed your quiz, it will prompt you to fill out your profile and add photos and icons to indicate your interests and hobbies. The profile takes approximately 20 minutes or more to complete, depending on the level of detail.

The good news is if you put extra effort into your profile, it can pay off because you’ll receive a compatibility score for all potential matches BEFORE you connect. 

Tips: although they have a free version, the best way to experience eHarmony is through a paid membership. In the free version, many users have complained about blurred photos and limited chat functions. 

Cost: Membership availability is in 6, 12, or 24-month increments. Prices begin at $60 per month for the most affordable version but drop down to $30 per month for the largest bundle.

Best App for Quality Interactions – Hinge

Pros:
  • Great voice-note feature
  • Fresh interface
  • You’re able to view matches according to race for free
Cons:
  • The tagline “made to be deleted” assumes monogamy is the goal, so it excludes non-monogamous users.

Compatibility: Android, IOS

With Hinge, you get limited swipes–unless you have a paid account, but this feature is actually good. A smaller number of likes can motivate you to slow down and take your time to review each profile as a person rather than another face in a crowd. Doing so helps avoid mindless swiping. 

If you’re just coming into the dating scene, it offers plenty of pertinent questions to get to know potential prospects. Hinge also provides a new voice note feature– an excellent way to see if someone’s voice interests you. 

When you decide to go on a date, let Hinge know about your exchanges because it adjusts your algorithm to recommend more relevant matches as the app learns more about your preferences. 

The downside is that top matches may be moved to the “standouts” section of the app. This will require you to send a rose to match. You only get one rose weekly, but you can pay for additional roses. These systematic profiles can sometimes enter the regular batch of possible matches or the “Discover” section, but that’s rare. Unfortunately, you’ll need to save your rose, or else you’ll need to pay to connect with them. 

Tips: If you don’t know how to begin a conversation when you set up your profile, Hinge eliminates the issue with interesting conversation prompts that include built-in icebreakers. These conversation starters allow you to share specific hobbies, interests, and fun facts about yourself to help you converse with matches. 

Cost: A premium membership is only $15 monthly if you sign up for six months. It increases to $30 monthly for a one-month membership. 

Best App for Hookups and Meetups – Tinder

Pros:
  • Very easy to navigate
  • Free version is great
  • Plenty of users
Cons:
  • Users can encounter a lot of people wasting time
  • It can be superficial

Compatibility: Android, IOS

You can meet individuals for casual dates or sex on any app; Tinder is the best in this category. The app is simple to use, which also means people make faster snap judgments. This can turn into people focusing more on a person’s photos instead of their interests and bio. 

To keep up, focus on your pictures and how they can best represent your winning personality and the things you enjoy. 

Tinder still has a few viable dating potentials, but you must weed through many matches to discover them. Although many people these days have met their perfect match on Tinder, it isn’t the best app for those looking for a long-term relationship because of its over-saturation. 

However, Tinder’s strong reputation is a strong suit. It’s still widely used, which is great if you’re not in the city and instead live in a remote area. 

Cost: Tinder Plus, Gold, and Platinum start a just $20 monthly. 

Best App for the Ladies – Bumble

Pros:
  • Great interface
  • The free version is excellent
  • There are plenty of “happy endings” of people who found their partners on Bumble
Cons:
  • You have to send a message first (or answer it) within 24 hours of making a match
  • It’s not suited for women who don’t want to make the first move

Compatibility: Android, IOS

Bumble is made for women by women. It’s an app that’s user-friendly and strives to put women in the driver’s seat by creating a positive experience for its daters with its zero-tolerance policy toward body shaming and hate speech. 

Women must initiate a conversation after matching with men, but with same-sex matches, either can begin the conversation. 

Women must make initial contact within 24 hours, which gives an added urgency for interaction. This minimizes conversations falling by the wayside so you can make the most of your connection. 

Bumble isn’t just for those looking for romantic matches. It also contains other features for BFF and business connections.

Cost: You can choose select features like “Spotlight” (a bump up to the top) and SuperSwipe (a method to show your interests.) These options start at approximately $2. If you choose to upgrade, you’ll spend $25 monthly, but you can also opt for a cheaper “boost,” which will unlock some of the premium features. 

Best App for Busy Daters – Coffee Meets Bagel

Pros:
  • This app encourages in-person meetups
  • The free version is great
Cons:
  • Leans toward a younger crowd
  • You get only a limited number of matches each day

Compatibility: Android, IOS

If swiping makes you exhausted, Coffee Meets Bagel can help you. Unlike other dating apps that allow you to scroll through a bunch of photos, Coffee Meets Bagel sends a list of suggested profiles (interestingly called bagels) daily. 

Each suggestion is tailor-made according to your preferences. Once you make the connection, the app has an eight-day option where you will both have to agree to a conversation again. This can encourage you to set up an in-person coffee date sooner rather than later. 

This app is best for people with distinct preferences in what they’re looking for from their match. The app will periodically offer you some free likes for when you decide to take your matches into your own hands. It’s an excellent option for people searching for a relationship without spending much time on the apps.

Cost: Each membership costs only $35 monthly and unlocks certain features like profile boosts and read receipts.

Best App Option for Religious Dater – Christian Mingle

Pros:
  • Most of the users have the same religious beliefs
Cons:
  • These sites often have a smaller pool of members

Compatibility: Android, IOS

Other apps also filter for religious preferences, but you’ll need to go through many conversations to figure out the role religion plays in their life. If religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are a dealbreaker for you, you should check into religion-specific apps like Christian Mingle.

This kind of app attracts a good database of faith-driven people, making their religious beliefs front and center in their dating experience.

For example, Christian Mingle asks for plenty of information about a person’s education, upbringing, interests, and relationships to spirituality. They do this to appeal to serious daters. It can also go through matches by age and location and enhance specific privacy features.

Conclusion

If you’re unsure about which dating app to choose before investing time and money, check out all the best dating sites. Once you’ve found the one right for you, go for it and find your happily ever after. Happy Dating! 

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