Millions of people look for love online, but it can be hard to know where to start.
But how do we navigate the glut of options available to help us find love? With about 25 million people in the US alone thought to have regularly used dating apps this year, the sea is stocked with fish aplenty — so should we Bumble, Tinder, Happn or perhaps Grindr our way to success? What is it?
The most popular and enduring of the first wave of dating apps, Tinder was founded in as a way to help US students meet each other ; in other words, a social network for friendship as well as dating. How do I use it? All you need to do is some ideally well-lit photos. Who will I meet?
Tinder is where you are most likely to find anyone and everyone in your local area: the person you see on the train platform each morning who you swear wears a wedding ring; the primary-school friend you lost touch with 15 years ago; your boss; or maybe your ex.
You have to delete your profile as well as the app to be fully off-grid.
Use it if you are looking for … a late-night rendezvous. Billed as the female-friendly version of Tinder, Bumble is very similar except for the fact that only women can start the conversation. When it comes to same-sex matches, either person can make the first move.
Again, users swipe left or right depending on their preference and the requirements for ing up are minimal: images, your name and your age. Word of warning Despite taking the lofty position of promising a platform for relationships rather than encounters, Bumble still exists for the same purpose, no matter what your matches may tell you. Use it if you are looking for … flirtatious texting.
Here is where things get a little strange. In theory, you or someone you know should be friends with your match.
Getting started with dating apps
There is no swiping — instead, users have to answer an array of questions that are posted on their profilealong with their again ideally well-lit images. McLeod and his wife met in college, broke up and spent eight years apart before Copaken encouraged him to take action before it was too late.
If they had used Hinge, they might never have found their way to each other again. Use it if you are looking for … the one or are ready to settle for less. What is it for? Things get even stranger here. You need to be on the app all the time.
Whether you're looking for a casual hookup, a serious relationship, or even a marriage, we've tested all the major competitors so you don't have to waste time you could be spending on dates.
Every time you see someone who catches your eye, you check the app to see if they are also on it. Then, rather than approach them on the street, you strike up a digital conversation, where you painstakingly recount your non-encounter in the hope that they will agree to a planned meet. Basically, a meet-cute for the socially anxious. Anyone within a 1km radius, from colleagues to commuters and — God forbid — family members.
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Word of warning You are likely to bump into your matches again, so it may be harder to live down embarrassing first dates. Use it if you are looking for … a story to sell to a gossip magazine. Tinder, Bumble and Hinge are generally targeted at to year-olds.
Lumen is the dating app deed for overs. Perhaps as a result of all of this, STI rates among overs doubled between and Founded in SeptemberLumen reachedusers in just six months with its canny reinterpretation of the swiping format. The interface is minimal but clunky — deed for the least tech-savvy Boomers — and has few market rivals.
Late bloomers, divorcees and basically any singleton over 50 with functioning knowledge of a smartphone. Word of warning Facebook Dating launched recently in the US. Use it if you are looking for … a partner for a single parent, or love later in life.
The ultimate, utilitarian ideal of the dating app world. The app removes any frivolous pre-date agonising from the equation and has been serving all manner of location-based meetings since its launch in From the curious to the adventurous, all are welcome. Eighty per cent of users are Guardian readers, so your political opinions and environmental consciousness will probably be reciprocated.
And it is free to start. This is a website and an app, so you can use your desktop to register your profile, images and personal details, then message away with other singles in your area. The diverse range of single Guardian readers and maybe even some journos. With Soulmates flaunting marriages on its homethis app is one for those who are in it for the long haul.
What makes a dating site better for relationships than others?
Use it if you are looking for … someone to gaze at over your morning copy of the Guardian, of course. Online dating. Newly single?
Should you Bumble, Tinder, Happn or Grindr your way to success? Composite: Getty Images. Ammar Kalia. Mon 2 Dec Reuse this content.