Ask any modern couple how they met, and you're likely to hear which app they met through. Love it or hate it, it's 2021 and online dating has become fully mainstream. But people are always asking "Which dating app should I use?"
When I worked as a Matchmaker, I used various online dating apps to recruit matches for my clients. Yes, Matchmakers today are looking in the exact same pool as the public. It's all about how you use them!
So if you're ready to start swiping and dating IRL, here are my highly subjective and opinionated recommendations, in descending order. If I left it off the list (coughPOFcough) then I don't recommend using it.
And one last thing before we get to the list...
I am not affiliated with any of these companies, or compensated for any of these recommendations.
1. Hinge has seen a 500% increase in active users lastyear, and 99% are college-educated. (source) You won't get any unsolicited messages because both parties have to match before you can communicate. Their often silly prompts can be more fun to swipe and communicate through than traditional profiles. 90% of users are under 37, so options are limited if you are older, but there are still some high-quality users in their 40's, 50's, and above, from my experience. The app has highly intelligent algorithms, so swipe consciously, provide feedback, and always put your best foot forward.
2. Tinder currently has the largest userbase, and therefore the most options, with over 57 million worldwide users in 2020. While there are users looking for something casual, there are also plenty of relationship and marriage-minded users. In a 2020 study by The Knot, Tinder was responsible for pairing 26% of newlyweds who met online, solidifying its spot as the most popular dating app. (source)
3. Bumble is a relationship-oriented app with at least 85% of users looking for marriage or something steady, and only between 1 and 4% saying they want a hook-up and nothing more (source). Bumble also gives females the upper hand by requiring that she contact her match first. To promote fast-paced engagement and IRL connections, matches will expire if you don't reach out within 24 hours. Bumble also offers BumbleBFF which I love and have personally used to meet some amazing platonic girlfriends.
4. The League connects to users' LinkedIn profiles, so while its pool is comparatively tiny at only 50,000 in the US, every member is real and properly vetted (source). If you don't connect your LinlkedIn or other social media, you can bypass the waitlist by upgrading the service. Otherwise, stick with the free version to fish in a sea full of educated professionals. You will receive targeted matches every day.
5. OKCupid offers personality matching based on your answers to various optional and mostly fun questions. It's fun to see with whom you match, but it's not always based on the most important factors, so take the recommendations with a grain of salt. Also, there are 22 gender and 13 orientation options, so if you date out of the heterosexual, binary box, start here.
6. E-Harmony Most people I know who tried E-Harmony have been disappointed. The idea that their compatibility quiz will connect you with your ideal soul mate is very appealing! This quiz has 70 questions in total (down from 100 a few years ago) and aims to match members on important factors like emotional temperament, social style, and values - if questions are answered honestly of course. Many people have found love and marriage here. However, many have been disappointed by the lack of attractive matches and the slow pace of only a few matches per day, even though it's meant to create deeper connections in place of endless swiping. But I would also challenge you to remain open-minded. That way you might meet someone you wouldn't normally pick yourself, which can be great to get you out of old patterns!
7. Match actually owns most of the big dating apps today, including four of the above, but the original Match.com site still offers a good selection for people of all ages. You must pay to use it effectively and it can be a pain to cancel your subscription, but it's especially good for the over-50 crowd.
Most Popular Dating Apps in 2019 vs. 2020
Narrowing down the dating app for you is really a minor decision in the search for love. All apps are just methods of introducing you to another human being.
As I stated in my last blog Online Dating Sucks! Or Does it?...
The most important key to finding love is your mindset.
I strongly urge you to do the necessary internal work to know, love, and heal yourself, before you start looking for love online. Your future relationship starts with your existing relationship with yourself.
How's your online dating going? Are you going through the usual disappointments and letdowns? Or is your love life nonexistent? As a Love Coach, I can help.
My signature coaching program "Love Yourself, Love Your Life, and Have Lasting Love" helps women date with peace and clarity, and consciously attract and choose their ideal partner. Clients break through their blind spots including fears, limiting beliefs, and old patterns.
This coaching program is so much more than therapy, as I incorporate physical embodiment, emotional healing, mental reprogramming, and spiritual connection.
Schedule your session today and learn more about my research-based, proven process to completely reinvent online dating so that you effectively find exceptional, compatible dates, and attract lasting love.
The League Review, Dating Scout, 2021.
"Dating Apps Can Lead to Less Divorce, According to Research: Here's why users are finding love at first swipe." Sarah Hanlon, The Knot, 2020.