Best Dating Apps For Serious Relationships, Best Dating Sites For Women, Best Dating Sites For Women Over 40, For Over 50, Best Dating Sites For Professionals
When it comes to online dating, you can’t trust anything out there. The top-rated apps on Google and Apple are often the sketchiest (filled with 5-star reviews from bots). Similarly, asking your friend is not always a good idea (would you ask your unemployed friend for job-searching advice)?
The truth is, the most popular app that shows up first on play store results or top of organic search is not always the best app for you. People think that apps with the most users, options is the way to go but they ignore gender ratios, audiences, location, intention and demographics.
Some apps cater to those that are quiet, nerdy, introverted or are serious gamers. Other apps favor those from certain ethnic backgrounds. Others favor women who are very discerning and don’t mind making the first move while others favor those that want privacy and control who can see and message them.
Even if you isolate these factors, things like age, location and patience matter as some apps let you see all available profiles at once while many require you to wait everyday to see more profiles. You might think all apps are the same i.e. same users and while many guys do use multiple apps, algorithms, order and other randomness can influence when you see someone and when they see you.
Related read: Common Mistakes Women Make On Dating Apps
What Dating Site Is Best For Women? The Best Dating App For Finding A Relationship, Best Dating Apps For Women, Best Dating Apps For Finding Love
Online dating is mostly skills, self-awareness, strategy, luck and favorable characteristics and looks but it’s also about timing as well. If you are too slow to respond, too quick to swipe right or lazy in your first messages, you can sabotage your efforts in online dating.
Truth is, there is no best dating app for all women. Some apps are better than others depending on various factors such as privacy, age, location, personality, lifestyle and demographics. Below are some tips to help you evaluate which app is best for you.
Related read: Tinder vs Hinge vs Bumble
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Is Bumble A Good Dating App For Women? How Does Bumble Work For Women? Is Bumble For Serious Relationships?
Most dating apps up until before Bumble came on the market allowed any user to either send a message to other users or required a double-blind match to occur in order for either party to message the other person.
A double-blind match occurs when both people like each other and a match is established afterward. Bumble has since changed that feature slightly with the introduction of Bumble Premium which allows users to see who likes them before having to swipe right on them.
Bumble changed all that by letting women control who they could message them by requiring them to message said matches first. One major complaint of dating apps is that women get bombarded by men who can message them easily and often like on Match.com, Hinge. This was a huge complaint by women on other dating apps so this approach was a breath of fresh air (or so women thought).
The only thing men can do on the app was send a like to women. The idea here was to limit unwanted attention, dick pics and other annoying aspects of dating apps. Bumble also positioned themselves as a relationship focused apps so they also banned certain types of photos like shirtless photos of men in non-beach environments.
While this all sounds great, there are some significant unintended consequences here that women need to be aware of. First off, since men can’t send messages to women (have to wait for them to message first), they often deploy a volume approach to swiping. This means they tend to swipe right more often (sometimes without looking at profiles or other times to seek attention) than they would normally (for efficiency purposes).
As a result, many women get matched with guys that don’t necessarily like them or by men who may never have seen their profile. Thanks Bumble! Similarly, by banning certain types of photos, Bumble actually made it harder to ID red flags in dating profiles. Thanks again Bumble!
The business decisions have also led to men just sitting back and seeing who makes the most effort so they can prioritize who they like best from the matches or possible who they can hookup with easily (yes, some guys use Bumble for hookups despite the false sense of security Bumble promises). Is Bumble good for women after all?
Additional reading: Bumble App Review
Is Hinge Good For Women? How Does Hinge Work For Women? Is Hinge A Good Dating App For Women? Is Hinge For Serious Relationships?
Hinge is a dating app owned by the Match Group and when it first launched it positioned itself as designed to be deleted. The tagline here was in reference to trying to get you off the app as soon as possible because it helped you find someone sooner, more efficiently.
Hinge moved away from the popular left-swipe, right-swipe feature made famous by Tinder by requiring users to tap the screen with a heart (like) or X (not interested). This in theory made people slow down and review profiles more closely than on swiping apps like Tinder, Bumble. However, it’s possible to like profiles without looking at profiles.
Fortunately, users can analyze comments sent with likes to judge effort, communication skills. With that extra level of intent, this gave users another data point to judge profiles, people but with that extra piece of information comes more messages, and time to sift through profiles, messages. Spending too much time on apps is what apps are all about.
Everyone loved Hinge early on (or at least more so than now) but since it’s takeover, monetization efforts have removed a lot of free features users became use to. Hinge allowed users to apply several filters to search results, matches to narrow down interests but over time, these features were placed behind a paywall. While dating apps are not charities, many users have been disgruntled.
Unlike Bumble, Hinge has no Incognito mode or ability to hide one’s profile from the masses (a huge privacy concern) so you will be exposed to exes, stalkers and the like. This is true of most apps or even people offline, so it’s a matter of what your comfort level is here.
Is Match A Good Dating Site For Women? Should I Make A Match.com Account?
Match is an old dating site that is now an owner of multiple dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish and now The League. Match is unique instead of showing you one profile at once, you can review all profiles at once in the search results. You can also see how many profiles are in your area. This is helpful in that you don’t have to swipe endlessly on people you are not interested in.
The main trade-off here is that there are fewer users on this app than Hinge or Bumble in some demographics. The other thing to consider is that Hinge and Bumble are free apps with premium features (at an additional cost) but Match is pretty much a paid app. Sure you can create an account to see who is on there but you will need to pay to send likes, read messages, reply to matches and the like.
There is a false sense of security in that women assume paid apps attract better profiles and that could not be further from the truth. Men use this assumption to mask their intentions (hey, women might take me more seriously if they think I am paying for an app). Not everyone on Match.com is a paid user, I would assume about 50% of profiles are inactive and of those that are active, half of those are not paid.
Given the lower user counts on this app, women can expect to get more likes from further distances which can make things a bit annoying but fortunately, there is a paid feature to hide your profile from people unless you like them first which can be handy.
Beyond the paid vs non-paid debate, like other apps, people lie about themselves regularly (see most common lies on dating apps). Lies about age, height, distance, age, marital status and more feel all too familiar. Sure, there are some decent and even great, honest men out there, but chances are, they are taken or have their pick of matches, women.
Because of the various preferences and filters on the apps, women tend to be too selective. Sure, everyone has the right to be picky but men don’t have as many deal-breakers (see age, distance, height, education, jobs, ethnicity, religion etc). This harsh reality that hits as people use dating apps like ordering apps like Doordash, unfortunately.
Related read: Match.com app review, FAQ’s
Is Coffee Meets Bagel A Good Dating App For Women? How Does Coffee Meets Bagel Work For Women?
Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the more serious dating apps out there as profiles are curated daily, which is a good thing as it requires people to spend more time reviewing profiles rather than swiping mindlessly. The app also features stats like how often people respond to matches which is a nice to have so you can avoid low-effort people who don’t reply to messages.
Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is a free app but rather limited so you basically need to pay for it. Their in-app currency is a bit confusing (beans) but can be figured out quickly. Coffee Meets Bagel is mostly used by Asian Americans, South Asian folks, and Southeast Asian individuals but open to all.
The app has fewer users than Hinge and Bumble making it a bit slow to use as one has to be patient. Similarly, the app lacks enough people to make it worthwhile in smaller towns and cities (true for most apps, but more so for CMB).
Related read: CMB Dating App Review
OkCupid Review – Is OkCupid Good For Women? Is OkCupid A Good Dating Site For Women?
OkCupid is owned by the Match Group and has been bleeding users for years but it still has a strong niche community. Unlike Hinge and Bumble, OkCupid has a more independent, non-mainstream vibe. You will find more quirky folks, introverts, gamers, artists and creatives here than other superficial apps.
Given the lower user counts on this app, women can expect to get more likes from further distances (similar to Match.com). It’s also popular among gay, lgbtq+ crowds. Some people swear by this app but it has also lost much of its popularity over the years.
Related read: OkCupid App Review
The League Dating App: Is The League Good For Women? Is The League For Professionals?
The League was an exclusive app but has since opened up the floodgates for users. It was recently acquired by Match group so you can expect things to get even worse. Just because there is a waitlist and screening process, doesn’t mean that there are enough users on the apps. The app does not always show profiles you are interested in or that are near you.
You might see profiles far away or people who are still married or going through separation (just like with any other app). Exclusivity or a professional marketing spin doesn’t mean this app is better than others. You will see a lot of lawyers, doctors and executives on the app but they are likely also on Hinge and Bumble too (heck they might even have a hookup profile on Tinder).
What Is The Safest Dating App For Women? What Is The Most Trusted Dating Site?
That has less to do with apps in particular and more about your ability to screen profiles, read people, ask questions, use good judgment. Dating apps don’t do background checks. The same guys at your neighborhood bar are also on most dating apps.
Related read: Online Dating Safety Tips
Best Dating App For Single Moms, Best Dating Site For Divorced Moms
Best Dating Apps For Women Over 40, Best Dating Sites For Women Over 50, Most Popular Dating Apps, Best Online Dating Apps For Women, What Dating Apps Do Women Use
If you can’t tell from my tone above, there is no universal best dating app. Bumble is not for you if you are terrible at sending first messages. Hinge is not for you if you get overwhelmed with messages for guys. Match is not great if you are under 35. Coffee Meets Bagel is not great if you are over 40. Bumble is not great if you are expecting every match to reply to your messages. Hinge is not great if you value privacy.
Dating apps thin out quickly for women over 40 but particularly over 50 unfortunately. Unless you lower your requirements, move or expand your radius, there will be limited options here. How much exactly depends on your deal-breakers, location and other demographics. I typically recommend trying out 1 app at first and then using 2 apps max. If you are not sure which to start off with or need help building a profile, I offer services just for that.
Guys are on multiple apps and a good portion of them will lie about something. You can’t avoid romance scammers, either. There will be narcissists and manipulators on all apps (some more than others). Some guys will lose interest or fail to carry a conversation or ghost you after a first date.
Does this sound depressing yet? Well, the thing is, these men exist offline too. Dating apps are merely tools and you can’t expect them to conduct background checks for you nor screen out bad apples. Would you expect a bar to not allow married men in? Of course not. Using good judgment, being patient, learning to screen profiles and read people is key to having a shot on dating apps.
Apps are not ordering apps like Ubereats. They are introduction sites. Part of the reason why men find dating easier is because they are less likely to discriminate against ethnicity, age, height, education, religion, politics and jobs. If you don’t see anyone worth your time on apps, try another or stop using them altogether.
Dating requires focus, self-awareness, continual self-improvement. I am not saying dating is easy for you, it’s not, I know. There is a reason why matchmakers favor working with men rather than women. I know it’s unfair but that is the reality and the quicker you are to understand the competition, limitations of apps and the effort needed to prioritize dating and cut off time-wasters, the better off you will be.
I am not an optimist, I am a realist. You likely have enough cheerleading friends to say you are great, are doing everything right and just need to be patient. Listening to biased friends can be unproductive, especially when they are more attractive, younger, less picky or prioritizing different attributes than you. You can’t expect a guy to make you whole or make you happy – you have to be happy on your own before you can be ready to date.
Patience helps but what helps more is understanding apps, putting yourself out there, being proactive, improving yourself, optimizing your profile and being areas that attract the men you want to meet. Even though Tinder is used for younger folks, casual relationships and hookups, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a relationship on there (in some parts of the world, it’s the only app with traction).
Successful dating blends offline and online dating efforts, but also require slightly different skills sets. Knowing what you want, getting feedback on your dating profiles, setting expectations, cutting loose time-wasters and understanding men will go a long way in your dating life.
Related read: Biggest Mistakes Women Make On Dating Apps
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Additional Reading: Top Dating Sites, Popular Dating Apps & Best Sites To Meet People, Best Internet Dating Sites, Best Dating Apps, Best Dating Apps For Relationships, Dating App Review, Dating Sites That Work
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Online Dating FAQ’s, Beginner Guide – Dating App FAQ’s
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About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating coach for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, Silicon Valley, London, Washington DC, Boston, Sydney and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News, AskMen, Women's Health Magazine & more.
Former analytics professional and user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into dating app algorithms, user behavior, first impressions and communication styles. He provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, messaging, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, and offline tips for meeting people organically.
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