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Frustrated with Online Dating? These 9 Apps Are Doing Things Differently

Briallyn Smith 05-08-2016

Online Dating is everywhere, but it’s hard to do it right Using Tinder? Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes Here are common Tinder mistakes you should avoid, from falling for fake profiles to sabotaging your potential matches. Read More ! 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 Tired of Tinder? Seven Free Alternative Dating Apps Now that Tinder is charging for its services, it might be time to turn to one of the many other dating apps available. Which will you try? Read More  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:

  1. You get along great with someone on the app, but never meet offline
  2. Matches who look great online end up being jerks in person
  3. You and your match don’t have any interests in common, so conversation falls flat
  4. There are so many people to swipe through that it’s hard to invest in any one person
  5. 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 5 Ways to Use Tinder that Aren't Hooking Up Tinder has a reputation as a hook up app, but it actually has non-romantic uses. You can meet new people to hang out with, kill time, or learn a new language. Here's how. Read More 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 4 Ways Playing Pokemon GO Can Improve Your Life You're likely one of the many people obsessed with Pokemon Go. Did you know the game can have positive effects on your life and the world around you? Here's how! Read More 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 The Best Social Fitness Apps to Work Out With Friends Social fitness apps are one of the best ways to stay accountable. Here are the best social fitness apps to work out with friends. Read More .

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 [Broken URL Removed]

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!

Problem Solved?

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!

Related topics: Online Dating, Pokemon GO, Tinder.

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  1. Michael Agnello
    August 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Hey Briallyn! Thanks for keeping this article nice and light :-) too many dating site articles are either doomsday messages or overly, weirdly cheerful.

    I wanted to ask if you encountered any dating sites in your research that include some of the features of social media, like posting photos and stories? I have always felt it'd be better to describe myself by posting, like I do on Instagram, instead of just writing writing writing. Have you seen anything like this?

    Thanks for your time!


    • Briallyn Smith
      September 11, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Michael - I feel so badly because I went looking for an app that fit the parameters you were looking for and then obviously got distracted before I actually wrote a reply!

      Unfortunately the reason I got distracted is because it was actually incredibly difficult to find any dating apps/sites right now that focus on that kind of long-term profile/information heavy approach. Everything's about the immediate swipe, swipe, swipe - I agree with you that using a more integrated approach would feel more authentic!

      Some apps (like Tinder, sigh) do allow you to connect your Instagram profile – that might be a compromise while you wait for this swiping crazy to die down?

  2. Dan
    August 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    What about you check your own recommendations first...! E.g. Hinge app has only negative reviews in the Play store. Quality journalism would be nice

    • Briallyn Smith
      August 14, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks so much for your advice. I did a significant amount of research on each of the apps I included in the article - I definitely wouldn't want to lead anyone astray :) what I've found with dating app reviews on the play store and the App Store is that they tend to be pretty polarizing - my goal with this article was to highlight apps that are trying different online dating techniques. Alas, with new and different ideas come even more of the polarizing opinions - sorry the article wasn't up to your standards :)

  3. The Heart Market
    August 7, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    An Honest Community For Honest People
    The Heart Market’s Founder and Senior Matchmaker spent nearly a decade perfecting her processes through thousands of successful relationships and dozens of happy marriages. What other online dating or matchmaking service can boast those precursors? Would you trust a business with no prior experience in their given industry to perform a task at the highest level possible? So, why would you trust an online dating/matchmaking service created by anyone other than a matchmaking expert to help you be successful in the most intimate part of your life? Our mission is to help single individuals find a rewarding relationship through specialized, executive-level services.

  4. Anonymous
    August 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Online dating flatly does not work. My account is nearly 18 years old now and my Okcupid is 10. Women get messaged by creeps regardless of service and that turns them off from messaging anyone; guys don't get messaged at all. The people who don't have problems with this are people who can get a date easily in the first place.

    Most new dating apps rely on Facebook, which is a complete non-starter for someone who doesn't want to participate in Facebook. I understand these apps are in part leveraging Facebook data but it is too often the gatekeeper to all social interaction. This is a sad state of affairs.

    • Shannon
      October 5, 2016 at 12:55 am

      couldn't agree more... it really is sad and makes the whole process a turn-off.

      • Briallyn Smith
        November 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

        It's such a tricky spot to be in, eh? I definitely understand the frustration – I keep hoping that the perfect platform will come around some day (and I agree, it would be nice if it didn't require you to link through Facebook)

    • Shannon Stewart
      October 5, 2016 at 12:57 am

      it really is sad. the whole process is a turn off to meeting anyone new worth the time and effort.