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Online dating has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In the past, the online dating options available to singles (or people in open relationships) were fewer and further between. Worse, at the time, free online dating options were often either highly sketchy, putting your identity and privacy at risk, or simply did not have the membership numbers to give you a worthwhile experience.
How does it work? A similar taste in music can be a great indicator as to whether you’re compatible with someone, so the fine folks behind Tastebuds have struck gold with their music-based online dating site. Getting started is dead simple: pick three artists or bands that you’re interested in, the gender you’re looking to date and press ‘go’. It’s a fun and relaxed site, which can introduce you to new music, concert buddies and potentially even your own real-life Caleb Followill.
Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the more popular dating apps out there. Every day at noon, men will get a curated list of women in their area. Women will get a curated list as well, but the list will prioritize men who have already expressed interest. Matches are given a private chat room to get to know one another better. It's also LGBTQ friendly for you folks out there. It's a clean process and perfect for those who have busy lifestyles. No flicking through profiles all day long. Like most, it has its fair share of problems, but most of them are somewhat tolerable. You can also buy in-app currency to get perks like more visibility and other features.
Just like most every other dating site, messaging other members requires a paid membership. Once you’ve searched around for other users and found a match you want to message, sending emails is pretty easy. Here you can chat online instantly or share information so you can text or snap, whichever you want. Just be careful if you use the sight as a pen pal opportunity as there are a number of catfishers out there. Before getting too intimate, make sure they’re real.
Hinge makes itself unique by providing prompts to answer instead of making you sweat through the bio-writing process: from, “The key to my heart is…” to, “Where to find me at a party?” and, “I’ll pick the first part of the date, you pick the second.” Additionally, Hinge opts out of the swipe-based premise by allowing users to like or comment on individual profile photos and prompt answers. From there, the liked user has the option to start the conversation.
Unlike eHarmony and some other dating sites, you are free to search anyone and anywhere. What makes it easy is the filtering process. You can narrow your results a lot on what you’re looking for. You can search by body type, whether they smoke or not, their age and location, what they’re looking for and so on. There’s also filters specifically for religious beliefs, which makes sense given who the audience is.
Hinge lets you customise your profile to add three key bits of personal information - claiming this will help you find something more real. You can certainly tell more about your potential partners from their profiles, but the catch? It comes with the pressure of coming across as witty, fun and effortlessly debonair. Plus the answers might get a little old - we get it, people hate slow walkers.
Why? I pretty much only use Hinge now. I have tried almost all of them: Tinder at one point in college, Bumble, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel .... I found that Tinder was mainly for hook-ups and while I liked that guys were less grimy on Bumble, I’m pretty shy so I didn’t like that I had to be the one to initiate conversation. (Editor's Note: Women seeking men must message first on Bumble; for women seeking women, that rule goes away.)