When in doubt, swipe it out
Jayde Atchison (she/her) // Opinions Editor
When it comes to dating apps, it can feel like it’s the same sh*t, different interface. I have been single for the last four and a half years, and I have downloaded a variety of apps in a variety of cities in hopes that one person out there wouldn’t let me down. Here I am, still let down, but with a finer grasp on the ins and outs of the online dating universe. Dating apps might not be for everyone – not everyone wants to swim through the sea of dead fish. For those thinking of jumping into the digital romance sphere, there is a clear pecking order of the popular apps.
Coming in dead last is OkCupid. Back in the 2010’s, I used an actual computer to fill out my profile. I never actually met anyone off this site in person because I got the least immaculate vibe from all those that interacted with my profile. To paint the picture of little, youthful Jayde – she was into Marvel comics, Stephen King books, indie music you probably had never heard of *cue eye roll here* and all things Joss Whedon. This sent my profile into a flurry of accusations about whether I had actually read, heard of, breathed near these interests of mine. It seems like the majority of men were taught flirting consisted of ensuring women felt they didn’t actually know anything.
At a respectful third place is Tinder. I have a soft spot in my heart for this toxic app, not unlike some of the situationships I have found myself in. It was the first app on the market that was catered to people my age, it felt new and shiny. The dopamine spike I got from the countless likes because I was 20 years old in a new cyber world full of possibilities. Back then, this app was meant for dates, and it was the top tier of apps on the market. I mean, I met my ex who I dated for two years on Tinder. I cannot say the same for the Tinder of today. In the year 2023, Tinder has become the app you go to when you’re not looking for anything serious. This is wholeheartedly a hook-up app, and there is rarely anyone trying to lock down their forever person here.
In a sturdy second place, we have Bumble – the app that projects a women-first movement. In my many years of dating, I have had a mixed bag of experiences with this particular beehive. I have met some great people from the matches I have made, but I am nowhere near being featured on Bumble’s Instagram page as a success story. If anything, I’m more likely to be interviewed about how I feel after I’ve won the “most matches that let the time expire” award. It has a variety of people that are looking for something casual and something leading to a bit more. Thankfully, there is a feature that allows you to add what you’re looking for right onto your profile – leaving out any possibility for confusion (she says as she’s been ghosted by men looking for the one).
Unanimously in first (ranked only by me), is Hinge. This is by far the most interesting app on the market for those that like a bit more substance to their potential match than “I’m 6 ‘1″ if that matters”. I love that you can comment on something specific on a profile and start an engaging conversation without the awkward intro chat. It is also has the incredibly entertaining voice note feature – there is almost never a time where it isn’t cringe-worthy and I can’t get enough of it. Hinge is great because you can tell pretty quickly if you want to engage with someone based on how dry their question prompts are. If you don’t have time to answer a question properly, chances are you aren’t going to have good chatting skills either, and I’ll end up bashing my head against the wall, just to feel something. This feels like the most relationship ready app on the market for millennials.
Honourable mentions need to be made for the apps that didn’t make it to the top ring of the dating Olympics. Raya is on the radar, for the chosen few that have made it past the application request purgatory. Not the celebrity haven it has been promised to be, but it is fun for when you’re travelling. However on the other end of the spectrum, perhaps I have been on the market too long, and speak about my singledom in front of my phone too often, but if I get another ad for Facebook Dating, I will personally dismantle the internet – because no matter how long I’m single I will never be that single.