Have you ever spent so much time on Tinder that you feel like you’ve completed it, almost as if it were a video game? Do you feel like you’ve seen every possible match on the app and connected with every possible person, and yet you’re still single? If so, you’re not alone. Tinder still works fantastically well for some people, but others are beginning to feel fatigued about the app after several years of using it. As Tinder is increasingly the platform upon which a lot of people find love in the 2020s, though, we tend to feel disinclined to give up on it because of the fear that doing so means we’ll be single forevermore.
There are alternatives out there, though, and not all of them use that ‘swipe to find a match’ mechanic that sometimes feels like it reduces dating to triviality and turns it into an online slots game. There are definitely comparisons there to be made. The way you ‘swipe’ to find a new match is almost identical to the way that people swipe their phone or tablet screens to spin again when playing online casino. If we were being especially cynical, we could also say that sometimes the connections you make on Tinder feel as random as the combinations you land when you’re playing online slots, too. If you have Tinder burnout and you don’t want more of the same in 2021, this is the article for you. Alternatives are out there, and this is what they look like.
Hinge has spent the past twelve months changing the way that it operates. It used to be reliant on Facebook, using your Facebook profile data to connect you with friends (or friends of friends) on the social media website, and trying to provide you with potential partners that way. It’s had the occasional PR disaster too, like that unfortunate time that it tried to match up a pair of siblings. That doesn’t mean you should sleep on it, though. As it allows users to create more detailed profiles than Tinder does (including, for example, political leanings and attitudes toward having children in the future), it should lead to more substantive matches. The app’s motto is ‘designed to be deleted,’ which is a sign of the developer’s confidence that you won’t need it for very long.
It would be remiss of us to talk about dating apps without talking about Bumble. It’s probably the best known of the Tinder alternatives, and so it has a lot of users – many of whom can’t be found on Tinder. If you’re unfamiliar with Bumble, its unique selling point is that it requires women to make the first move, meaning that men can’t just message women out of the blue. This gives women more control of communication and gives men the confidence that if someone does message them, they’re genuinely interested. You can even use Bumble to find new friends if you’re not looking for a relationship! There’s a ‘time out’ feature that deletes matches if people don’t respond to messages within 24 hours, which might not be great if you have a very busy lifestyle, but in reality, most people can find time to fire off at least one message once a day.
Not everybody can create a profile on The League, and that’s the appeal to those who use it. It’s an unashamedly elitist dating app aimed at people who have high-paying jobs and/or excellent qualifications. Not everyone is enthused with this approach (with some commentators going as far as accusing it of worsening society’s inequality), but if you’re looking for a ‘partnership of equals’ when it comes to a relationship, this is one way of ensuring you get one. The app uses LinkedIn data to verify the claims of people who apply, which means you can’t join if you’re not on LinkedIn. There’s also a waiting list to gain access in towns and cities where it’s especially popular. The League is a secret dating club that most people don’t know even exists.
We’ll give ‘Happn’ a pass for joining the trend of app developers who like to misspell basic words because it’s actually a pretty good dating app for people who want to meet someone immediately. It will need access to your location data as most dating apps do, but in return for that access, it will match you exclusively with people who are very close to you. In fact, it refreshes this data throughout the day and alerts you when you’re in the vicinity of another Happn user. If the idea of meeting someone exciting the next time you go to the store excites you, Happn has you covered. At the risk of sounding crass, it’s also ideal if all you’re interested in is an instant hook up. Just try to avoid instant hookups with people who live on the same street or in the same apartment complex as you. That might get awkward.
Despite being one of the oldest internet-based dating platforms online, OkCupid is still going and has managed to evolve to stay relevant in the way that many other old dating websites haven’t. Some of those changes have made it a little more like Tinder in the way that it operates – especially with the swiping feature – but its user demographic is sufficiently different to Tinder’s for that not to matter. It might not be new, which means people may not find it as exciting as Hinge or Happn, but the fact remains that it has millions of users, and it’s a trusted name. If you’re over 30, the chances are that you either know or have met a couple who were introduced on OkCupid and formed a lasting relationship. The platform still has arguably the most thorough and detailed member profiles in the dating game, too, so you should at least get a strong idea of who you’re meeting before you decide to meet them.
There’s no such thing as an app that guarantees that you’ll find love because that’s not how human beings or apps work. However, it is possible to cast your net a lot wider than Tinder, and you shouldn’t be afraid of doing so if Tinder isn’t working for you. 2021 doesn’t have to be like 2020 when it comes to dating. Try a new app, meet new people, and you never know what might happen next!