Unlike traditional dating sites, dating apps give their users the freedom to search for a match from absolutely anywhere. From no-strings-attached encounters to platonic concert buddies and lunch dates, apps are becoming one of the easiest and most commonly used methods of meeting likeminded people. And despite their reputation of being hook-up focused, there’s a rapidly growing world of niche dating apps out there that caters to all types of relationship-seekers. What’s more, apps allow users the opportunity to share their location, so not only can they search for a match on the go, they can also meet up with nearby matches almost instantaneously. But just because they’re set up to deliver on-the-move instant gratification, doesn’t mean dating apps aren’t a valid option for singles looking to get serious with someone. From Coffee Meets Bagel to Taste Buds, the options and niche categories in the App Store are boundless and very worth exploring.
What it's good for: This is the place for gay people who can't stand the heteronormativity of apps like Tinder or Bumble, and is especially handy for those looking for a friends with benefits situation. Grindr users have no chill. It's gay paradise, y'all, and if you've been thinking that you've met every gay man in your area already, Grindr might be able to show you some newbies who you never knew existed. (Unless you're in a small town, then you'll probably see the same people recycled on your feed — but just wait until you go on vacation.)

There are a lot of conspiracy theories about Tinder “crippling” the standard, free version of the app and making it basically unusable unless you pay for a premium account or add-ons, like extra Super Likes and Boosts (the option to serve your profile to an increased number of people in your area for a limited amount of time). There is also, unfortunately, a subreddit specifically for discussing the challenges of Tinder, in which guys write things like, “The trick: for every girl you like, reject 5 girls.” And, “I installed tinder 6 days ago, ZERO matches and trust me, im not ugly, im not fucking brad pitt but what the fuck?? anyways i installed a new account with a random guy from instagram, muscular and beautiful, still ZERO matches …”
MeetMe is another one of those location-based dating apps. It features a simple. colorful interface that's easy to use. It also boasts over 100 million downloads and uses between all the various platforms. Its original intention is to be used as a way to meet people in your area. However, if enough sparks fly, those people can easily become more than just friends. The biggest issue with this one is the fake profiles and it's a fairly serious problem. However, most of these apps have fake profile problems so we're not sure when enough is enough. Still, we recommend this one for patient people and, by all means, if you can't find anything in a few weeks, get rid of it.
Once you’re a full-fledged member of The League, the fun begins. While there is a free option, most users opt for the paid membership option at $99 a month or $250 a year. As a paid member, you receive up to seven prospects each day during Happy Hour; tap the heart button if you like the prospect, or the X if you wish to move on. If you do match with another member, you have 21 days to contact each other. If you continuously fail to contact or reply to members, you will be deemed “flaky” by The League and it may send fewer prospects your way in the future.
It might take some time and genuine effort to make a profile, but that's what you want if you're looking for something real. You'll fill out a questionnaire with your answers as well as what you would like your ideal match to answer. This makes the application-building process a lot more fun than other apps, making it feel like an online quiz. It asks a range of questions, from simple stuff to if you smoke and drink to more intimate things like how many dates you typically wait before sleeping with someone. Pro tip: The app says the the more questions you answer, the better your matches will be. The deeper you go, the more accurate your profile is — and in turn, OkCupid will have a way easier time finding matches for you.     

The chat function inside a dating app is a beautiful place. Oftentimes, it doesn’t permit users to send photos or links—just text messages, gifs, and emoji. That might seem limiting, but it’s a safety protection (no unsolicited dick pics, phew). Until you meet someone IRL, it’s best to talk only within the app where you connected with them. That way, if the date is a flop, they don’t have your phone number and you don’t have to go to the trouble of deleting theirs.
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