Maybe you’re newly single and ready to try your luck at the dating game … again. Or maybe you’ve been dating for a while, and you’re looking to change it up a bit. Either way, it’s a big dating-app world out there, with plenty of people and difficult decisions to make. Before you start stressing out about crafting a witty bio, or choosing photos that make you look both hot and approachable at the same time, you have another all-important choice: which dating app to use. Here’s the Cut’s list of the best datings app of 2019. Start with one, or download them all — and good luck out there.
Hinge makes itself unique by providing prompts to answer instead of making you sweat through the bio-writing process: from, “The key to my heart is…” to, “Where to find me at a party?” and, “I’ll pick the first part of the date, you pick the second.” Additionally, Hinge opts out of the swipe-based premise by allowing users to like or comment on individual profile photos and prompt answers. From there, the liked user has the option to start the conversation.
Pro: Meaningful conversations and connections flourish on Hinge (the reason for the app’s motto: “Designed to be deleted”), and it is well-loved for good reason.
Con: Limited number of potential matches a day.
The original swiping app, with a simple premise: Swipe right if you like someone. If two people swipe right on each other, they’re given the opportunity to start a conversation. Be warned: Reputation-wise, Tinder is still perceived by many people to be a hookup app.
Pro: High number of users means many, many possibilities.
Con: Quantity does not always equal quality.
Bumble differentiates itself from Tinder by identifying as the “feminist” dating app. While Bumble works similarly to other apps with its swipe-based system, only women have the power to start conversations. For those looking for same-sex connections on Bumble, either partner can choose to start the chat.
Pro: Fewer creepy men (read: fewer unsolicited dick pics) and an effective team that is quick to ban those who are creepy.
Con: The requirement to send the first message can sometimes be stressful, and while putting women in charge always has its pros, the drawback is that many men use the app to simply pump up their egos with incoming messages without ever replying.
4. The League
The League is a more elitist choice for a dating app. While you don’t necessarily have to be famous, users must submit an application to have an account, and it can take months to get accepted. As you can guess based on the name, the point is to find people in your “league,” whatever that may mean.
Pro: Connects to both Facebook and LinkedIn, effectively doing the internet stalking for you.
Con: Lengthy application process and totally classist.
OkCupid is unique in that it matches users based on their responses to a survey. Instead of just swiping on someone based on a blurry selfie, users are connected with people through shared values and interests. Fun fact: According to their site, OkCupid has the most New York Times wedding-section mentions over other apps!
Pro: A different kind of intimacy due to the comprehensive survey.
Con: OkCupid doesn’t quite have the same young, fun, and carefree reputation as Bumble or Tinder.
Think of Raya — the most elite of the dating apps — as the Soho House of dating apps. Most widely known as the go-to celebrity dating app, most of the users have at least a few thousand Instagram followers. So, if you’re lucky enough to get accepted, know that your potential matches are likely big-time influencers.
Pros: You could match with a celebrity; or, if you are a celebrity, you might get some privacy with their no-screenshot policy. As a Myspace-era bonus, your profile is synced to a song of your choosing.
Cons: The premise is, of course, extremely elitist. It also does not operate based on location because the assumption is you’re probably wealthy enough to hop on a private jet and meet your match wherever they may be.
Her is the dating app for queer women — “from lesbians to queers, bois, to
femmes, trans to fluid, and everyone in between.” More than just a dating app, Her prides itself on also being a social community for womxn in the LGBTQ+ community.
Pros: Queer-inclusivity, and the ability to meet people when traveling abroad through the global app.
Cons: Not as many users.
Chappy is Bumble’s gay dating app. Standing in stark contrast to the notorious gay hookup app Grindr, Chappy prides itself on being the gay relationship app. It works pretty much exactly like Bumble, except for the fact that it’s exclusively for gay men, and anyone can start a conversation.
Pro: 24/7 community moderation which strives toward a discrimination-free space.
Cons: Some users lament that, much like its parent company Bumble, Chappy does not provide enough profile information. As a result, the entire swiping process winds up feeling a bit superficial.
9. Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel attempts to take a more personal approach than most of its competitors. Users are given leading prompts, such as “I am …” and “I like …” to include in their profiles, and every day at noon, they receive matches that Coffee Meets Bagel has chosen for them.
Pro: Starting conversations is easier since the app gives users personal topics to discuss with potential matches.
Cons: Confusing interface; less detailed and personal prompts than Hinge.
Happn is a dating app not too dissimilar from craiglist’s “missed connections.” The app only shows users people they’ve crossed paths with, literally, whether that be on the street, at a party, or in their favorite cafe. Once users find people (or the person) they’re interested in, they have the option to “like” their profile and wait to see if it’s a match.
Pros: There’s a bit of a romantic notion to the idea that the universe might make your ideal person cross paths with you.
Cons: Only being shown people you’ve physically crossed paths with can be a limiting or overwhelming experience, depending on where you live. And — is it creepy? We’re not sure.