Does the thought of walking up to the gorgeous woman in the produce aisle and starting a conversation seem daunting? What if she’s not even single? Do you even remember how to flirt or will your offer to help bag her melons be completely misunderstood?  Fortunately, the shelves of the app store are fully stocked with the most popular dating apps that are but a download away. Here are a few of our favorites and the pros and cons of each.

Tinder – One of the Most Popular Dating Apps

Tinder is by far one of the hottest dating apps today. Since its inception in 2012, Tinder boasts over 1 million swipes per day.  Using images pulled from your Facebook profile, with the option to link to your Instagram profile, Tinder allows you to ‘swipe’ on potential matches. Using a fairly basic set of criteria, users set parameters to show interested parties with such basic parameters as distance and age range. Once set, potential matches appear.

When there is a match, and both of you have swiped right on one anothers photos, each are notified.  It is then when either of you have the opportunity to start chatting within the app.  It’s just that simple.  Download this popular app in the afternoon and you could very well be meeting someone for happy hour.

Pros:  Very simple to use. Due to its popularity, there is already a huge user base. No lengthy profiles allow you to make rapid-fire decisions on whether or not you find someone attractive. Linking to Facebook and displaying mutual friends makes for great social proof. If people you know and like are friends with this person, you are already off to a good start. Plus, if you see she is friends with your ex a ‘nope’ may be a wise idea.

Cons:  At one point, Tinder was labeled as a ‘hookup’ app.  Not wanting to be judged, you may get tired of reading “not looking for hookup” in nearly every single profile.

Suggestions:  Keep your profile short and light. Use pictures that let her see who you are and your interests.  Saves a lot time. If you’re a hunter, throw in a good deer pic, you’ll immediately weed out every vegetarian. In person awkwardness, avoided.

Match – The Tried and True Dating App

Where Tinder is like a randy teenager, Match is like the Gandalf of popular dating apps.  Wise, trusted, and a little bit magical.  Match has been around in some form for nearly 21 years and is by far the most sophisticated of the apps, using complex algorithms and built-in tools such as setting ‘deal breakers’ as well as allowing friends to make suggestions for you.  Match offers deeper insights into prospects than its counterparts and claims its app has resulted in more dates, relationships and marriages than any app around. When you’re one of the oldest kids on the block it’s a believable claim.

Pros:  Deeper insights save time and frustration. Maybe you really only want to date vegetarians and would rather not discuss it over a steak dinner. With a greater amount of intel on a prospect, Match allows you to quickly eliminate prospects before spending valuable time and energy on something that would never work out anyway.

Cons:  Analysis paralysis. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, even if that’s information. Women on Match may be looking for a deeper connection or lack the sense of urgency found on a popular dating app such as Tinder. Days and weeks can be spent messaging someone only to have it fizzle.

Suggestions: Stick to emphasizing the bare minimum of what’s important to you. Leave some room for discovery, on an actual date. Make an effort to meet someone, that you truly have an interest in, within the first couple of weeks. If after three attempts she has yet to meet, move on.

OKCupid – Getting to Know All About Her  

OKCupid is a deeper dive into likes, dislikes and obscure random questions.  In this popular dating app, users answer as many or as few questions ranging from how they order their eggs to flashpoint topics on morals and values. Questions are weighted based on the importance assigned them by the user. When looking at a potential prospect, you are able to see, statistically, how your answers compare. A fascinating rabbit hole if you are at all a numbers guy.

Pros:  If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, or something of substance regardless of duration, OKCupid is for you. This app provides answers to questions that may otherwise take weeks to discover.

Cons:  The question feature can be a disadvantage as well.  A low match percentage may give you a false negative on someone that may light up your life, were you to actually meet. A difference of opinions on matter may make for a lively experience. Additionally, the questions make it a bit easy to spot how long someone has been using the app or how invested she is in finding a match. If a woman has taken the time to answer 4,596 questions, odds are she’s clocked some time on this popular dating app.

Suggestions:  Play with this one. It’s fun to find someone you are physically attracted to and share a high match percentage. This is a cool exercise as well, because if there was something about your ex you couldn’t stand, you’re now able to keep an eye out for those traits and avoid them, without ever having to bring her up on a date.  It’s a win-win.

Bumble – Where the Women Make the First Move

Bumble is the new kid on the popular dating apps block. And it’s turned the tables on traditional apps.  Similar to Tinder with very brief profiles and a few pictures, Bumble matches based on mutual right-swipes. But there’s a twist. Bumble only allows the women to make the first move. Yes, you read that correctly. Once matched, only the women have the ability to send the first message. And even the twist has a twist. She only has 24 hours to do so or the match disappears.  Forever. Bumble ups the ante on the sense of urgency and prompts its users to ‘use it or lose it’ as any conversation that is inactive for expires after 24 hours.  Even after she’s said hello.

Pros: Bumble is the perfect popular dating app for the nearly disenfranchised man who is tired of reaching out and being either rejected or ignored by women. If you match and she says hello, you’re already off to a great start.

Cons: Apart from a font size that would make a Smurf squint, Bumble boasts few drawbacks. If you are truly interested, ask for her number.  She’ll understand why.

Suggestions: Be original when writing about yourself. Don’t Google ‘funny things to write in a bio’, be yourself. Or get help. Bear in mind that women, on the whole, do read what you write and if you bite something off the internet, she’s probably read the same thing in the profiles of 55 other men who did the same thing. Avoid such phrases as “just seeing what’s out there” and “my friend suggested this app, so I’m just giving it a try”.

While there are a remarkable number of popular dating apps out there, consider treating the app like a pair of shoes. Try it on, take it for a walk and if it’s not a good fit try another.  Dr. Helen Fisher is an anthropologist, TED speaker and leading expert on love and attraction whose research was used in the development of the matching system within OKCupid, refers to dating apps as meeting apps. And they are just that. A way to get the conversation started.

The rest, my friend, is up to you.

 

Have you scoped out any popular dating apps? Tell us your best and worst in the comments below.

You gotta have a sense of humor. Check out 4 Middle-Aged Divorced Guy Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague and Everything I Learned About a Lasting Relationship I learned From a Sponge.

 

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(c) Can Stock Photo / esperanza7

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