I have not paid for any dating apps or websites. Because I’m cheap AF (kids are expensive, ok?!). So I downloaded the ones that I thought might be acceptable. I knew enough from younger coworkers that Plenty of Fish (PoF) was just the lowest of the low. I wasn’t even about to fuck with that one. I consulted Google for “best dating apps of 2019” and settled on three: Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge.
I started with Hinge only because Hinge apparently has the reputation of attracting a higher calibur of men (I do have a master’s degree…. education snob, party of one). In this app, you can select a specific picture or piece of info they share that you like, and you can even comment on it (e.g. “Oh that’s the BEST karaoke song.” “You look great in that tux!”). Additionally, either person can start the conversation if you both like each other. For the most part, I would agree that I got less creepers on there than the other apps; however, unless you do the paid version, you only get a certain number of likes per day. So that kinda sucked. Also, it told me ALL men that liked me, not just the ones that I liked first. So there were a lot of times that I would get a notification of, “John likes you! See if you like him too!” only to see that John was not my type at all, and I would just unmatch, meaning John would never get a chance to talk to me, but he also clearly knew that I wasn’t interested. On the flip side, that hot rocket scientist clearly didn’t think I was a hot commodity either, as I never heard from him….
So anyway, Hinge was ok. Less creepers, but also less matches. However, I think the matches I did get were some of the best ones. Quality, not quantity, amiright?
Now for Bumble. The female-friendliest major dating app. So basically it’s the whole swipe left for no, swipe right for yes, dating thing, and when you get a match, it’s the woman’s job to start the convo. I am super extroverted, so no big for me. The thing I also really like about Bumble is that you can fill out some basic demographic information like height, political affiliation, religion, level of education, etc. Obviously the person filling it out is in charge of what they put, and some people put next to nothing, but I can also filter through these. For example, I’m pretty tall for a woman, and I love high heels so after going on a few date with like-heighted people, I realized I NEEDED my men to be at least 6 ft tall. So I put a filter on there saying I only wanted to see men who were 6 feet and over. Also, I am extreme liberal (in case you couldn’t tell), so making sure I filtered out the hardcore conservatives was nice to be able to do. The other category they have on there that I found useful was basically what the hell the person is wanting out of this app. Are you just looking for some fun, casual sex? Are you looking for your soul-mate? Yes, you could put that in your description, or you can just check the damn box they give you. That’s another way I could filter out men depending on what I was looking for (hey, sometimes I just wanted some hot sex with a young, good-looking dude. When the casual sex got old, I could filter out some of the ONS only guys). So yeah, liked the filters a LOT. Still got some overtly creepy dudes, but for the most part, those filters helped me know what I was potentially getting into. Also, you can send photos in their app, which is nice if you’re trying to be visually flirtatious without giving out your Snap, number, IG, or whatever.
And then, the granddaddy of app dating, Tinder. I also lovingly call it the Tinderverse, and alternative universe where seemingly normal humans act like total hedonistic crazies. Not to say I haven’t taken advantage of that (hello, on vacation and single!), but this is not the place I would put my money to find my next serious relationship. Hot sex, sure. Mostly total horndogs who would rather skip the whole drinks or coffee thing and just go straight to the bedroom. Which again, NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT if that’s what you’re looking for. Things I don’t like about Tinder… oh God, where to begin… you can’t really filter by any type of information. People can makeup pretty much whatever they want and use whatever images they want (I see you, penis disguised as a drawing). I’ve seen everything on there from men being earnest in trying to find the next love of their life to Cookie Monster trying to get a date.
No really. The blue puppet with a bio that say “me like cookies.” I’m tellin’ ya, anything flies.
Also, I don’t like that you can’t exchange photos of any kind. In Bumble, when you exchange a photo, it’s blurred out until you click on it. So if you’re afraid it’s an unsolicited dick pic, don’t open it. There’s no option for anything on Tinder. So it’s either take a risk and give them more personal information, or don’t do any additional photo sharing. Additionally, the Tinderverse is MUCH more diverse than the other apps, I’m guessing because it’s the most well known? So there are more…. men of a lower status on there. I don’t know how to say that without sound judgey and horrible, so I’m just gonna put it out there. So lots of guys that from the looks of things do not have their shit together in any shape or fashion. Again as a mom, a business woman, and someone with education, I have a certain level of expectations for my mate, and there’s just more men that I personally wouldn’t choose on there. You can judge that from what they do (or don’t) write on their bios, the pics they choose to share, whatever. There’s just more of them. Ex: by the time I had been on Tinder for 2 weeks, it notified me that I had FIVE THOUSAND likes. 5,000. What the what? I didn’t even know there where that many single men in my area, much less ones that wanted to bang me.
So, all in all, I think if I had to pick the lesser of the evils, Bumble is my go to choice. If Hinge had more users, I might be inclined to pick that, but I often run out of options quickly there. Additionally, these all have options where you can pay for more features like more filters or bumping up your visibility in your area. But I’m cheap, so I don’t pay for those. And right now, I’m still just exploring my options, so I’m not especially goal oriented in my search.
If there’s another super awesome app out there, lmk! And for free, bc remember, I gotta feed these kids.