There are a lot of strong opinions on what is the best dating app— and there are more than enough to choose from. In fact, some would argue there are too many. I get press releases it feels like every damn day about a new app designed to match people by smell or their favorite kind of bread or where they went to elementary school. It’s just too much.
But some people are still worried about using dating apps, frustrated that people on there are ‘just looking for hookups’ rather than relationships. The truth is, study after study has shown that people on apps are looking for relationships, often outnumbering the people looking for sex. Yes, even on Tinder. Studies have shown that people are looking for relationships— and just as monogamous on the app as they are off. “On the surface, the proliferation of hookup apps might make it seem seem as though romance is dead and all anyone (particularly men) is looking for is sex,” relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. “But once we scratch the surface it seems that people are not that different today from how they always were… If most people try their best to be loyal and monogamous while in a relationship, why should they be any different just because the relationship was started from an app?” Maybe it’s just because I met my girlfriend on Tinder and two years later we’re still going strong, but I think we all need to calm down about hookup culture.
So once you get used to the idea of dating apps, it’s time to decide which is right for you. To be honest, there’s so much to consider. Here’s an outline of what you should know.
Best For Nervous Daters: Hinge
I was really nervous about joining the dating app scene— so I went with Hinge and Tinder. Hinge was great because it matches you up through your social media network, so you normally have a friend in common. Being able to vet the person and know that they weren’t totally weird or a dick made online dating more personal and just generally safer.
Best For Avoiding Creepy Messages: Bumble
A lot of women like Bumble because only women can message first, so you avoid having an inbox of creepy messages and random photos of dicks. That being said, a lot of my female friends have found it frustrating that they message men on Bumble and don’t hear anything back, essentially because the men have all of these women messaging them. Still, it’s a staple on the phones of most single people I know.
Best For People Who Have Already Invested: Match
Some people want to see that the person is really serious, which is probably why Match is a common of choice of people who are looking to settle down. Because it’s something that you need to pay for, there’s a sense that people on there are more ready to commit. You’re probably not going to financially invest just to trawl through for a random hookup when you can do that for free on other apps, right?
Best On The Sheer Numbers Game: Tinder
We can’t leave out Tinder, the OG of that dating game. Everyone’s on it. Everyone’s swiping. If you’re talking sheer numbers and opportunities, this is your winner.
Best For The Overwhelmed: Coffee Meets Bagel
Feeling overwhelmed by the whole process? Coffee Meets Bagel sends you matches once a day at noon. It’s a more curated experience, so you don’t feel lost in swiping and random messages.
If you have something that’s really important to you— you’re really religious, you have a passion that dominates your life— then it may be good to find a niche dating app. But for most of us, one of the big ones does the trick. The good news about there being so many is that it’s easy to find one that works for you. This should give you a good outline of what’s right for you, no matter what you’re looking for.