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Online Dating is everywhere, but it’s hard to do it right! A lot of online dating apps are great for finding people that you consider attractive, but it can be difficult to progress from a match or online conversation to real-life dating. Thankfully, new online dating apps and updates to existing ones are helping to make that transition from messaging to meeting up.
There are really five main problems with what online dating looks like right now:
- You get along great with someone on the app, but never meet offline
- Matches who look great online end up being jerks in person
- You and your match don’t have any interests in common, so conversation falls flat
- There are so many people to swipe through that it’s hard to invest in any one person
- Your match is great, but their dog is awful. Crushing disappointment ensues.
These nine apps and websites offer solutions to each of these problems – depending on your geographic location and preferences you may find that you have to try a couple different apps before you find the one that works right for you (…which is an awful lot like online dating itself, come to think of it).
Problem: You Never Meet Up With Anyone Offline
Online dating starts to feel like a huge waste of time when you invest into lengthy conversations, only for them to not result in a date of any kind. These apps, websites, and updates are putting a new focus on the offline portion of your online dating experience.
Solution A — Tinder’s New “Going Out” Feature
Tinder seems to be trying to break out of its “hook-up app” reputation with the release of a new feature called “Going Out” that encourages users and their friends to meet up with other friend groups through the app. Select “I’m Going Out” on your profile, select at least one friend who also uses Tinder to go out with, and then match with other groups of people who are also going out tonight. If you and another group hit it off, you can meet up in a no-stress way while doing an activity of your choice.
This isn’t an entirely new idea (the app Grouper has been offering this for a while), but chances are that most of your single friends are already on Tinder, likely making it the easier option.
Solution B — PokéDates
We all knew this was coming. Pokémon Go has seemingly taken over the world and life has improved for Pokémon Go players in many ways. Now, it may even help you to meet the love of your life!
When signing up for the online dating service (created by Project Fixup, who are long-time supporters of off-line dating activities) you’ll be asked to provide some information about what you’re looking for in a “PokéMate” and your schedule. Instead of browsing for matches, PokéDates will email you a summary of information about your date and a time and place for you to meet up and catch some Pokémon together.
Your first Pokédate is free, but after that you may be subject to a “Fixup Fee” of $20.
Problem: You Always Seem to Match With Jerks
There’s nothing worse than the moment your “perfect” online match turns out to be an unkind person. These apps are dedicated to preventing this disappointment by including tools that discourage poor behavior (both on the app, and in person).
Solution A — Hinge
Hinge tries to make sure you know what kind of person you are matching with by only matching you with friends of friends. While some may see this matching process as limiting, it can be helpful too! After all, no one is going to be able to give you better insight into what kind of a person a match is (and whether or not they’ll be a good partner for you) than a mutual friend.
Solution B — The Grade
The Grade approaches this problem a different way. While you’ll be able to match with anyone on the app, you’ll have a good idea of who’s worth a match and who isn’t because everyone has a “grade” assigned to their profile. This grade indicates how other users have found their profile, messaging, and personality. If a user receives too many failing grades, they’re removed from the site.
While there’s no accounting for taste (there’s no guarantee someone you think is great has been rated positively by others!) the rating system does give you a pretty clear idea of who is, and isn’t, a good person to spend your time with – and it encourages all of its users to be on their best behavior at all times!
Problem: You Have Different Interests than Your Match
It’s great that dating apps can help you find people you’re attracted to, but apps that are entirely based on appearance can lead to some awkward dates when you realize that you and your match have absolutely nothing in common. These apps base your matches on your interests, so that no matter what you’ll be able to go into the first date with at least one topic of conversation!
Solution A — Score
Score bases its matches on personality. For each person’s profile that you view, you can choose to answer a set of fun questions that indicate how good a match the pair of you would be. The more similar your answers are, the more features are unlocked (such as a clear view of the other person’s photo, and additional profile information).
This strategy can be a great way to kick off conversations, to make sure that you and your match agree about important topics, and can be a really fun way to get to know more about your match that other apps don’t allow for!
Solution B — Sweatt
Sweatt is an app targeted at fitness enthusiasts of all kinds. Based on the philosophy that people who enjoy working out have a different view on life than those who don’t, the app believes in connecting you with matches who have similar workout goals, schedules, and opinions.
A four-step profile allows you to quickly begin swiping through potential matches – all of whom will understand your workout-related interests, spandex fashion, and dietary requirements.
Problem: Endless Profiles Have You Feeling Overwhelmed
Popular dating apps can have seemingly endless possibilities, making it difficult to decide on which profiles you should pursue. These apps simplify the matching process, helping you to make informed and thoughtful decisions.
Solution A — Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel simplifies the online dating process by sending male users a set number of profiles (“bagels”) every day at lunch, after which the app will calculate matches for women. Women are sent one match a day who has already liked them, taking all of the guesswork out of the matching process, and giving women the chance to really consider whether or not their match is someone that they are interested in.
Solution B — Once
Once follows a similar strategy to Coffee Meets Bagel, but it doesn’t differentiate its approach for men and women. With Once, both people in a match are sent the other’s profile at the same time – after which, they only have 24 hours to make a move by chatting with each other before the match is deleted.
Not only does Once simplify the matching process, the added time pressure can be very helpful in inspiring users to follow through on their match and set up plans for other communication or a first date.
Problem: Their Dog is Awful
Okay, so maybe this problem isn’t as common as the others – but just in case you’re worried about this possibility, there is a solution out there!
Solution — Twindog
Whether you want to meet a partner for yourself, or just a friend for your dog, Twindog is the app for you.
Your profile features a picture of your dog (with a small photo of yourself in the bottom corner), and owners can swipe left or right on other users’ dogs (just like Tinder). The app doesn’t place gender-restrictions on your swiping, so your first meeting at the dog park could be romantic or not depending on your preference!
It might sound kind of crazy, but hey, dogs tend to be excellent judges of character – and your dogs will definitely give you something to talk about!
Hopefully one of these nine apps will fix any problems that you’re having with online dating apps, and you’ll be right on track to finding the love of your life or a fun summer fling.
Is there an app that you’ve used that you’ve found to be head and shoulders above the rest? Do you have a great story from using one of the apps above? Let me know in the comments!