A Relationship Expert Tells You Which 7 Dating Apps You Should Actually Be On
Ah, the dating app: It’s pretty much the modern-day meet-cute. Just ask dating and relationship expert Wendy Newman — and the roughly 80 percent of Americans who agreed it was a good way to meet people in a recent study. Prior to meeting her current boyfriend, Wendy met a lot of frogs — and we do mean a LOT — while researching her book, 121 First Dates ($11). Named for (you guessed it!) the number of dates she went on in the name of dating research (not unlike fellow author Melissa Pimentel), we think it’s fairly safe to say she’s something of an expert on modern-day dating and the apps that frequently accompany it. Read on to find out which ones she was a fan of and which ones she says you should “swipe left” on.
The release of Tinder more or less turned online dating on its ear with its swipe-n-go, lightning-strike approach to online dating. Originally viewed as a “hookup site,” the app shows users nothing more than a profile picture, age, interest and, more recently, education and job status before asking them to swipe right (thumbs up) or left (thumbs down). More recent features also include a new communal element that allows you expand your social circle.
Pros: “I like Tinder!” Wendy tells us. “It gets people off the couch.” What’s more, Wendy says it’s very male-friendly. “The way it’s designed is really attractive to a man’s brain,” she says. “[They like] the game of it.”
Also on her list of pros? The total transparency with regard to relationship status. If someone is in an open relationship or is polyamorous, “they’ll lead with that,” Wendy says.
Cons: Safety and privacy concerns were at the top of Wendy’s list of cons. “If you’re afraid to meet people… this is not gonna be your site,” Wendy warns. “[There may not be ] enough info [given] for a woman to feel safe and bold [enough to date].”
3. Match: Match.com is pretty much the old standby of online dating. The premise is simple enough — make a profile, search for a “match” and connect. Easy, peasy, right?
Pros: As what many would consider the original dating site, Wendy says that Match has a leg up when it comes to funding and helping its users take things offline. “They run the show [because they have] the most money for meet and greet events,” she tells us. “[They ] lead the way in offline connection.”
Cons: A dated model and a dwindling male pool. “More and more [men are] getting off Match and getting onto Tinder,” Wendy says.
4. OKCupid: This modern version of a Match-style site makes online dating accessible to the masses by forgoing membership fees.
This site puts the women in control when it comes to communication; in fact, male users aren’t even allowed to make the first move. Designed to cut back on unwanted harassment from overzealous male daters (although a friendly “extend” option exists for them to indicate their interest). Bumble is all about making women feel safe.
Pros: Bumble is probably a pretty safe bet for women with Wendy’s aforementioned safety concerns — its whole foundation is built around “countering problematic and antiquated hetero dating concerns” (although it is open to mutual communication between same-sex users).
Cons: Wendy’s main beef with Bumble was its age barriers. “I think Bumble is great, but it’s really for 20s and 30s,” she shared. “If a woman is 40 or over, she’s not going to be able to find what she’s looking for.”
6. Coffee Meets Bagel: Promising “quality over quantity,” the main thing that sets Coffee Meets Bagel apart is its match-a-day system. Sending you just one match for review every day at noon (based on things such as mutual Facebook friends and interests), the idea here is that you’ll be able to take your time and be choosy with your matches.
Pros: While Wendy says the site’s filters are pretty decent, she notes that they can also be pretty hard to find.
Cons: Wendy says the thing that sets this site apart is also its downfall. “I know they’re trying to have people be more thoughtful rather than swipe, swipe, swipe,” she says, but it’s also “limiting. You’re stuck with one person for the day — if you’ve accepted them, [you have to] wait around for them to reply.” She also notes that with fewer members than some of the other apps, you’re at risk of “poor matching quality.”
7. eHarmony: Using 29 “compatibility traits” to analyze your personality and match you with others of similar mindsets, eHarmony claims to be the “#1 trusted relationship services provider” in the US.