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The world of dating apps

Remember the days when you would sit at an aesthetically pleasing coffee shop and someone would confidently walk over, tell you you're beautiful, and ask for your number? Ya… me either. Maybe it happens to a few lucky ones, but if we’re being totally honest, finding a partner usually requires a little more work. Whether you’re looking for a boyfriend, girlfriend, companion, best friend, hookup, or other half, it’s a wild world out there when it comes to dating.

Believe it or not, though, dating apps are the new norm. And before you huff and puff about how they are unnatural, overdone, or awkward, hear me out. Dating apps can be resourceful, fun, flirty, hot, and successful. Seriously.

Why use a dating app? 

First, it’s so easy to get started. Most of them are free, unless you opt for a premium plan, and you can set up a profile within minutes. Have fun with it and be creative, honest, and open. Let your personality shine and do your best to express yourself. Remember, your profile is a snapshot of you. It’s a glimpse into all you have to offer. 

Another perk? They’re convenient. Open the app when you want and log out when you’re done. There’s no pressure and the apps are there when and if you want it. Swipe and explore while you sit on the couch, or dive in while you’re at dinner with friends. It’s accessible from anywhere, so take it or leave it. You run the show. 

In the same vein, dating apps are low-pressure. If you’re loving a conversation, take it to the next step and make plans. If things naturally fizzle out and you’re no longer feeling it, that’s okay. You don’t owe anyone your time, and no one is forcing you to make plans. The beauty is all interactions happen through a screen until *you* want otherwise. 

Lastly, dating apps work. Research found that one-in-ten partnered adults (a.k.a those married, living with a partner, or in a committed relationship) met their significant other though a dating app. And from personal experience… I can tell you that a dating app was the little nudge I needed to meet my long-term boyfriend. Was I skeptical and reluctant to originally create a profile? 100%. Am I grateful my friends encouraged me to give it a try? Every day. 

Be safe out there

Now, all that said, remember that safety is non-negotiable when you’re navigating the apps. Before you meet or create plans, it doesn’t hurt to do a little ~research~ and look up the person online. Do they have consistent profiles? Do you have any mutual friends? If so, ask around. At the very least, mutual friends are always an easy talking point to break the ice.

From there, always meet in a public place for the first date. Grab drinks at a well-lit bar in an area you’re familiar with and meet them at the designated spot instead of them picking you up. Don’t overly trust them, tell someone where you’re going and when, and consider sharing your location with a friend, roommate, or family member. Oh, and if you’re going to be drinking, never leave your glass unattended and plan to Uber home. You don’t have to be paranoid, just be smart. 

Okay! So what’s the best dating app out there? Here are the five best dating apps depending on your vibe, goal, interest, and personality type. 

what is the best dating app? let's find out

1. So Syncd 

Best for meaningful connections. 

So Syncd is based on the 16 personality type theory, so you can expect to connect with compatible personality types right off the bat. The app pairs couples who have “just enough similarities to understand each other but just enough differences to create a spark,” which takes the guesswork out of finding an exciting and meaningful relationship. 

It only takes three steps to set up an account – discover your personality type, let the magic happen, and connect with potential matches – so you’ll be chatting it up in no time. Oh, and it’s totally free so say goodbye to meaningless, expensive swiping! 

Pros: Free, focuses on meaningful connections

Cons: Smaller user base

2. Bumble

Best for women.

If you love vetting your potential suitors and appreciate making the first move, Bumble is the app for you. They prioritize empowering users to connect with confidence, and they pride themselves on their claim to fame – women make the first move. It may seem intimidating, but women talk first to set an equal tone from the start.

Now, while it certainly limits the amount of “you up?” texts from men, it is based on mutual attraction. If the woman is interested and the pair is mutual, you only have 24 hours to send the first message until the match expires.

Pros: Easy to use, tons of preference filters 

Cons: Must send the first message within 24 hours of matching

3. Lex

Best for queer folks. 

Looking to explore what’s happening in your queer community? Download Lex. Not only is it a great way to connect with other queer identifying individuals, but the app prioritizes LGBTQIA+ groups and events near you. Join a queer trivia group or meet up with a new friend for a picnic, because Lex focuses on the entire queer community and bringing the fun to you.

Lex also embraces the complexities of the queer identity and creates a space for all users to connect whether you’re looking for a partner, best friend, support group, or new community. Safety and inclusivity are also main pillars, so you can expect compassion, kindness, and a “queer utopia.”

Pros: Focuses on text instead of photos, prioritizes community and connection beyond dating

Cons: Some users may not be looking for an intimate relationship

4. #Open

Best for polyamorous relationships. 

#Open is intended for exploring non-monogamy and works toward creating a community where people can create fun and loving connections. So, if you’re in an open relationship and looking to meet other daters who respect, appreciate, and relate to polyamory, give #open a try. 

The app is also intentional and accepting of all genders, identities, and sexual orientations, so you can explore the dating world as your truest self. Another bonus? #Open works to educate and appreciate ethical non-monogamy as an accessible and safe lifestyle, so you can plan on meeting like-minded people at virtual and/or in-person events. 

Pros: Sex-positive, focuses on education, safety, and inclusivity

Cons: Smaller user base

5. Pure

Best for hookups. 

Pure is all about honest dating without shame, so you can expect to bust societal expectations and stay true to your “pure” dating intentions. The app is a place where you can play it real and bring your most authentic self to find intriguing connections where openness is valued. 

With Pure, you essentially make an “ad” for yourself and exactly what you are looking for — desires, kinks, goals, etc. – and people can see your post and reply to your ad. Once a connection is made, though, things move extremely fast, because the conversation and match disappear after 24 hours. In other words, shoot your shot because Pure is made for shameless dating. 

Pros: Focuses on shameless, no-frills dating, tons of preference filters

Cons: Does not prioritize meaningful conversation


There is no hard and fast answer for what the best dating app is, when it comes to finding long-term relationships, casual situationships, or steamy hookups, it’s all about exploring what makes you feel comfortable, confident, and empowered. There are *tons* of dating apps out there but finding what works for you and your intentions may take some time, patience, and willingness. Be open, expand your horizons, and explore all that dating apps have to offer because you never know what’s out there until you try ;)