Ladies and gentlemen, we invite you to put on your finest gowns and tuxedos, walk down our red carpet, take your seats and behold… the 2017 awards for best dating apps, or as we affectionately call them, “the Appies.”
If you enjoy stirring up trouble. If you find the idea of throwing a lit match into a room doused in gasoline as exciting — then you sound just like the sort of person that would ask a roomful of writers and editors dedicated to the online dating industry, “Umm, so, what are the best dating apps?”
Recently, we were posed with this very question. After the cops had left and the paramedics had patched up the wounded, we were finally able to put our differences of opinion aside. We then concluded that there isn’t such a thing as an individual dating app that is universally best for everyone.
We agreed that dating apps should not be qualified in a linear fashion. Instead, they should be segmented and categorized — similar to how Oscars are given to the best in different fields of the motion picture industry. This opens up the possibility for having multiple dating apps that can be labeled as “best” depending on the audience that they serve.
This was a seminal and synergistic moment. After we had finished holding hands and singing our rousing rendition of “Kumbaya,” we generated a list of these best dating apps and posted them here. They run the gamut from the well-known to the fringe and obscure. What they all share in common, however, is that they are effective for their target demographic. They all provide an enjoyable user experience and when payment is involved — they offer a good value proposition. Needless to say, chatbots and fake profiles are at a minimum in these sites.
— Best Dating Apps for Women: CoffeeMeetsBagel and Bumble
Women have a special set of concerns when they search for a dating app. Top on their list is safety, discretion and the ability to ensure that their input is not overwhelmed by the massive currents of testosterone-fueled male profiles that dominate many dating apps. In this regard, two apps offer the best option for women. CoffeeMeetsBagel and Bumble.
Coffee Meets Bagel
CoffeeMeetsBagel is more suited for finding long-term relationships. With more female members than male, the user experience for women is more sedate, less predatory. The fact that a connection for communication cannot be made until a woman approves of the male’s profile makes it more conducive to meaningful conversation and eventual meaningful meetups. Couple all of this with the fact that the app is free and you have a real winner on your hands.
Bumble has all of the attributes associated with more popular swiping apps such as Tinder. The twist here is that the features on this app are female-centric. In other words, women call the shots here. Only women can initiate conversations. Also, the app is time sensitive. When a connection is made the parties involved only have 24 hours to make the most of it before it disappears into the digital Neverland. This gives setting up real-world encounters a sense of urgency. Better suited for casual encounters than long-term, it still wins an award in this category.
— Best Dating App for Instant Flings: AdultFriendFinder
AdultFriendFinder is designed as a hookup app more than a dating app, but it still deserves mention as being the best app for those who are only seeking a fast, immediate and one-time fling. For those seeking partners who are far more open-minded, partners that are into whatever gets your freak on, look no further than AdultFriendFinder. AFF is the best for the wilder side of dating.
— Best Novelty Dating App: Dating.ai —
One of the problems with entering the dating scene is that some people take it too seriously. Mind you, we are well aware of the importance and dedication that one should give to the task of finding a romantic partner, but it is also important to lighten thing up occasionally. Otherwise, you are bound to become too serious, too analytical, quite simply too methodical for your own good.
This is why apps, such as Dating.ai, offer a good dose of relief. Dating.ai is dedicated to helping you find people that look like your favorite celebrities. Obviously, this is not the most recommended path for finding everlasting bliss, but joining and engaging with others on the site can be fun. Not only can you find interesting people on the site that may result in real-world dates, but it also offers a good training ground to work on your online dating game. It’s a great place to practice your online chat skills, etc. Consider it a fun place to serve as your minor league club before you move up to the Bigs. Besides, if along the way you can hookup with someone who looks like Katty Perry or Zac Efron, who’s going to complain, right?
— Best Dating App for Music Lovers: TasteBuds.fm
Some of the best dating connections come when you meet another person that shares one of your passions. This is never truer than when it comes to music enthusiasts. If music to you is something more than what you play in the background of your life. If music has a direct connection to your soul — then the dating app known as TasteBuds.fm can help you connect with others that share your groove.
Music is the matchmaker on TasteBuds. It allows you to find people in your area that share a love for your type of music. Likewise, it also allows you to discover and appreciate new forms of music through people in your area. The majority of the user base is young — it would be appropriate to label it as millennial-focused. However, if this is your demographic, friendships and romance can easily be found via TasteBuds.
It is currently only available as a mobile app for the iPhone, but you can register via a desktop browser by navigating to their site. Just make sure to visit TasteBuds.fm, not TasteBuds.com. The latter is a children’s video game site.
— Best Dating App for Those Who Love to get High: HighThere
Why not? If there are dating apps for every niche imaginable, why not for those among you that enjoy a little bit of smokey imbibement.
HighThere is a free dating app that in its own words, “is the first global social network for the cannabis community that was created with a mission of connecting the cannabis community in a judgment-free environment.”
Part social network, part dating site, part hookup app — HighThere is an excellent place to find like-minded and open-minded people. Just remember the old rule, never show anybody where you hide your stash until after the third date.
— Best Dating App for Dog Owners: TwinDog
On the surface, it may sound silly to have a dating app exclusively for dog owners. If you think about it, however, it makes perfect sense. Pets are an integral part of our lives. If you have a dog and you meet a person that hates dogs or is allergic, wouldn’t it be good to know that before becoming emotionally involved?
That is what TwinDog resolves. It does so by putting your pooch ahead of the humans. Users create profiles not for themselves, but for their dogs. This with the purpose of establishing play dates or walk dates between two dogs. In the process, you are able to share quality time with another person and determine if both canines and humans have any chemistry together. Yes, it’s an esoteric way to meet people but canine enthusiasts we are certain will get it. By the way, it’s free.
— Best Dating App for Haters: Hater
Haters gonna hate — we all have heard that before. However, if you are honest about it, we all hate something. Be it slow walkers, people with 75 items in the express checkout lane, or avocados — we all have things that we just cannot stand. The Hater app takes your little hatreds and uses them to match you with other people that hate the same thing. It’s a great way to take what some potential partners might view as a negative quality and turn it into a positive. Good from the bad —a great idea.
— Best Free Dating App: Badoo
If you have spent any time testing dating apps you are well aware that nearly all offer “free” versions. Most, however, use their so called “free” versions merely as hooks to get you to register. Afterward, you realize that their main features require a paid membership.
This is why this category is so prestigious. A dating app that offers a robust feature set, good results and that is easy to use while being truly free definitely deserves to be praised. This is why we laud Badoo. You may have to tolerate the presence of display ads on the app, but in exchange, you receive a powerful and detailed search engine that generates real lists of potential matches. You can also choose mutual matching as a discovery option. Badoo keeps trolls at a minimum by not allowing incomplete profiles to appear on the site. It is the free dating app that truly packs a lot of punch.
— The Classics (Our Lifetime Achievement Awards)
eHarmony, Match, and Tinder
There are three sites that should always be mentioned when discussing the best in the dating app industry. These sites and apps not only helped to forge the industry into what it is today, but they are still responsible for a majority of the traffic in online dating and are still constantly innovating new ways to improve the user experience.
For thoroughness in personality and lifestyle profiling combined with top-notch algorithmic matchmaking, you have eHarmony. For those seeking the power of a stable platform and an enormous user base, you have Match.com. With two decades of experience as both a dating site and app, it offers powerful search feature as well as daily matchmaking recommendations.
Before we conclude, we cannot end this list without mentioning the dating app that turned us into a “swiping” society. Yes, we are talking about Tinder. You know the drill swipe right to like and cross your fingers the person will like you too. Swipe left and move on to the next. Love it or hate it, it has such a large user base, especially among those 35 and under that you cannot ignore it when considering dating apps.
— Try Them For Yourself —
In the end, we are but mere guides here to show you what’s good on the menu. You must be the one who determines which one is truly best for you. So get out there, test these apps and stop spending your Friday nights alone.