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We Reviewed Popular Dating Apps So You Don't Have To

Because at the end of the day, we're all just looking for Mr./Miss Right Swipe.

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Hi. We're Kirsten and Javi, two single people who are definitely not qualified to give dating advice, but we're going to try anyway.

Lara Parker and Christian Zamora for BuzzFeed

Javi's great with the ladies. Born in Texas, he's got the gentlemanly charm and Southern drawl to make the gals swoon.

Kirsten thrives on the hope that dudes will find her awkwardness endearing — which the right ones usually do. Originally from Boston, she tries her best not to say "wicked" too much and still has nightmares about the one date where she PHYSICALLY choked on spaghetti.

We decided to go forth and do the lord's work and investigate popular dating apps so we could give you a breakdown of what they're all about...

1. Tinder


How it works: Your profile consists of pictures and a short bio, and can also be linked to your Instagram. You then set the parameters for who you're looking for: age, gender, location. Based on that, you'll get matches who you can swipe right (for yes) or left (for no).

Kirsten: Tinder is the fuckboy of dating apps for me. I feel like I'm always deleting it and then going back to it — because let's be honest, I have a soft spot for fuckboys.

Javi: Tinder is my first dating app love. You never forget it and you always go back to it. But as other apps have picked up, I've kinda moved on from it.

Kirsten: Yeah, it's kinda more of a game to me than anything else — is that fucked up to say? I guess I take it less seriously.

Javi: It's definitely more of a hookup site, in my opinion.

Kirsten: Yeah...that's probably why I don't like it. I feel like I always get, "Hey. DTF?"

Javi: People really say that?

Kirsten: Absolutely.

Javi: Well, I mean I've thought that, but I don't outwardly say it. Damn.

Kirsten: I'm not sure that's better...

2. Bumble


How it works: Bumble is really similar to Tinder in that you set parameters for who you're looking for and then swipe them left or right. However, on Bumble, the ball is in the woman's court. After matching with a woman, it's on her to reach out and say hi. They have 24 hours to do this before the connection expires.

Javi: Bumble takes you back to, like, junior high where you're waiting for the girl you like to talk to you or call you. It builds up the anticipation. And if the girl has to make the first move, to me, it feels like they actually like you.

Kirsten: Yeah, I like Bumble because I like the control of it. I mean, I like it and I hate it because then it's on me to figure out how to break the ice, whereas with Tinder I just assume people will message me first. And I'm usually not great at breaking the ice. Most of the time I open with emojis.

Javi: Seriously? Haha. Use your words, King.

Kirsten: I know, I know. But the waving-back-and-forth emoji is so cute.

Javi: But Bumble is great. It's my new favorite right now.

Kirsten: I like it too. I haven't gone out with anyone from Bumble yet. But I'm open to it.


3. How About We...


How it works: You post where your ideal date would be and then find other people in your area who have similar interests.

Kirsten: So, neither of us have used this — but it seems cool. The premise is basically you fill out what you want to do for a date and then you find people in your area who are down to do the same thing.

Javi: I like drinking and I like eating and I like lying down.

Kirsten: So your profile would be: "How about we... Lie on the couch, order Seamless, and not move for a day and a half."

Javi: Yeah, take breaks to use the restroom. Maybe a shower once in a while. If I found someone who would do that, I would delete all the other apps.

Kirsten: That's the dream, isn't it?

Javi: No! Because every girl wants to go fucking hang gliding. I just want to sit at home and watch foreign documentaries.

Kirsten: You're preaching to the choir. Why is it that everyone's damn profile says "let's go on an adventure"?

4. OkCupid


How it works: OkCupid is a free algorithm-based dating app. The profiles are more in-depth and require you to answer a series of questions which are then used to give you a certain percentage in which you match with someone.

Javi: This one feels like dating-dating to me. But once, I got in a daze answering the questions and realized they NEVER FUCKING END.

Kirsten: Oh my god, they really don't. And the questions really GO some places.

Javi: It's also kind of interesting how you can see who's looking at you.

Kirsten: But I hate that because I'll look at someone like six times while I'm talking to them to be like, wait, who is this again?

Javi: That's true. You know how I combat that? I'll screenshot.

Kirsten: Oh, that's smart!

Javi: OkCupid is for, like, relationships, I think.

Kirsten: That's what I hear. I didn't really give it a chance, I guess. I was only on it for like a day. I hated how just ANYONE could message you. I had a guy message me asking if I would send him a picture of my feet, and then a couple message me looking for a third. After that, I was out.

Javi: Oh yeah, I had a couple message me too.

Kirsten: So overall, it's good for ACTUAL dating if you don't mind weeding through some weird messages.

Javi: Agreed.

5. Coffee Meets Bagel


How it works: Every day at noon the user receives a "bagel," which they can either like or pass. So you get one person a day, rather than swiping through multiple matches.

Javi: I like Coffee Meets Bagel. It kinda forces you to focus on one person at a time. It gives you one person every 24 hours. And whenever you reject someone, it asks why. So it kinda develops a sense of your taste.

Kirsten: That's actually cool. Maybe I should try this one. I like how it feels like less of a game. That's the problem with a lot of the apps. I feel like you go on just to swipe through and pass the time.

Javi: That's kinda the problem with L.A. and big cities. Everyone's always swiping for the next thing. That's why I think the more specific apps like this work better.

6. Hinge


How it works: Hinge connects you with other users through Facebook and lets you know who your mutual friends are.

Javi: Hinge kinda scares me a bit.

Kirsten: Because people can background check your dirty little secrets with all their mutual friends?

Javi: Precisely.

Kirsten: I kinda like that. It's hard to find someone at this age that your friends can vouch for. I mean, Hinge was great in Boston (where I'm originally from) when I had a huge network of friends to draw from. But being out in L.A. I haven't used it, just because my network of people isn't as big.

Javi: I stand by that it still scares me.

Kirsten: Javi, what are you hiding...?


7. ChristianMingle


How it works: This site is specifically for Christians who are looking for meaningful relationships and who share similar values rooted in faith.

Kirsten: I can't say I'm super religious, so I've never used this one.

Javi: It's cool, but it really stresses religion. There were nice girls on there. I feel too evil to be on it, though.

Kirsten: Same.

8. FarmersOnly

How it works: According to the site, it helps you find a "farmer, rancher, cowboy, cowgirl or animal lover."

Kirsten: I would love this. There's something sexy about living off the land.

Javi: Let me tell you, I'm from a rural area, and there's nothing sexy about living off the land.

Kirsten: So they're not like scruffy hot guys in overalls, you don't think?

Javi: Every farmer I know is physically dirty — just because they're always working. And my friends that are ranchers, their fingers are always gross. Do you really want a guy who smells like horses and tobacco dip?

Kirsten: I mean...when you put it like that.

9. PlentyOfFish


How it works: It's free to sign up, and after creating a profile you take a chemistry test, which hopefully helps you match with people. According to the site, they then "tell you what you need in a relationship, where you screwed up (without knowing it) in past relationships."

Kirsten: So, I've never used this one.

Javi: It's garbage. It's like the Craigslist missed connections of dating apps. I thought it was Christian-affiliated at first because the fish is like the Jesus fish.

Kirsten: OMG it is a Jesus fish. So I can skip this one?

Javi: Fuck yeah. It's the bottom of the barrel.

10. Siren


How it works: Men can only see women's profiles if the women want them to, so if they put out a "siren" call. Though it is commonly used for hooking up, it can lead to serious relationships.

Kirsten: So, basically, men only see women's profiles if they choose to share it with them. So then the men know they're interested. Also, there's a "question of the day" feature, which kinda encourages conversation.

Javi: A siren call? Is it like a bird call or something? What the hell.

Kirsten: I don't think it's an actual noise, Javi.

Javi: It's like a bat signal for thirst.

Kirsten: *suppressed laughter*


11. Happn


How it works: This app is mostly used in highly populated metropolitan areas. Happn connects you with people you cross paths with on a daily basis and gives you the chance to connect with them if you couldn't when you saw them in person.

Kirsten: So Happn, from my understanding, is truly like the Craigslist missed connections of dating apps. It tells you the people you've come across throughout your day and who mutually thought you were cute.

Javi: This sounds like someone is going to get murdered.

Kirsten: Yeah, it's a little stalker-y in a way.

Javi: For sure.

Kirsten: But come to think of it...this would be great for the guy I have a crush on at Trader Joe's.

12. Pure


How it works: Pure is primarily used for immediate hookups. You post a timed "request" for what you're immediately looking for and then different people will like your request.

Javi: [after hearing the name] Is this like for virgins?

Kirsten: No, it's just the opposite. It's just for hooking up, basically. You put up a request and write the type you're looking for and the area you're looking for.

Javi: *scoffs*

Kirsten: Pure is a little sketch to me. You find people looking for "dates" right now (aka hookups), and then your conversation history and photos disappear within an hour. So it's like, hey, let's sext, then sex, then never talk again.

Javi: Have you ever heard that joke, "Threesome? If I wanted to disappoint two people I'd have dinner with my parents." For some reason that comes to mind with this app. This app is just broken dreams and empty promises.

Kirsten: It's like putting out an advertisment...

Javi: Putting out...

Kirsten: I hate you.

13. Match

How it works: Match, which started in 1995, allows users to upload up to 26 photos and has several writing sections. Match is known for having relationships lead to marriages and long-term commitments.

Javi: Match is like the mother app of all the apps. It was kind of a precursor to the other apps.

Kirsten: Yeah, it kinda started everything, didn't it?

Javi: This was like an old-school dating app. Like dating someone with the potential of actually marrying them.

Kirsten: Yeah. It's really spiraled off from here...

Though we couldn't test all the apps out firsthand (because we would lose our damn minds), we had some final thoughts on all of them:

Lara Parker for BuzzFeed

Overall, dating is all about what you make it, and communicating what you want with the other person. So you wanna go out and get some booty? There's an app for that. You want to find someone else who wants to wait until marriage? There's an app for that. You want someone who knows how to rock a pair of overalls? There's an app for that! As for meaningful relationships, a lot of these apps have the potential for finding someone who is looking for the same thing. You just gotta be patient (and of course weed through some not-so-Mr./Miss Rights).