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    Updated on Feb 20, 2019. Posted on Feb 18, 2019

    I, A Single Person, Tried Six Different Dating Apps So That You Don't Have To

    I did this all for you people (and to find love). Please appreciate this.

    Hi world, Lara here, and I'm single. However, I have recently decided that I might want to pursue finding someone to sit on my couch with me while I eat peanut butter, get high, and watch 90 DAY FIANCÉ: BEFORE THE 90 DAYS, aka my ideal relationship. Therefore, I embarked on a journey. And that journey was trying out as many dating apps as I could stomach.

    Lara Parker / Tinder / Bumble / Hinge

    This is a photo of me and my friends with dating app logos photoshopped over their heads. Thanks for being here.

    Before we begin, let me just say that there are a lot of dating apps. Like Match.com is still a thing, as is something called Sweatt (yes, two Ts) where people who love working out or doing CrossFit or something can hang out, IDK. The point is, I only chose apps that seemed applicable to my life and my interests. Some of them are free, some of them cost money, and all of them are going to help me find love, right???

    Lara Parker / Sweatt

    ^^ That's my face photoshopped onto the Sweatt app's logo. Thx 4 caring.

    It's also extremely worth mentioning that I am a straight woman looking to date men and my experience will be based solely on that. I can't speak to these apps in any non-heterosexual perspective.

    Alright, are you ready? Let's do this.

    T. Kyle / Via realitytvgifs.tumblr.com

    1. Bumble

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? Bumble is a dating app created by one of the co-founders of Tinder who happens to be a woman. In straight matches (like mine), women are required to make the first move. The idea is that women will receive less creepy messages and be more in control of the conversation. There is also opportunity to answer questions about yourself, so I liked it for the most part because it was a pretty good indicator of whether or not someone and I would get along.

    Did I like using it? Where do I begin? Overall, did I like using Bumble? Yes. The interface is cool, it makes swiping super easy, and you can apply filters such as height, religion, political preferences, and location (in miles) which makes things easier when actually trying to find someone who fits what you're looking for. Once matched, you only get 24 hours to make a move. As someone who tends to ignore notifications from things outside of Instagram, I definitely forgot to do this over 10 times. But I think the time limit is good, because in Dating App World 24 hours is more like 72. You can also send links and messages in app, which is both good and bad. Good because it feels just like texting, but without having to give someone your number. Bad because someone *could* and *probably will* send you a picture of their dick.

    Did I encounter less creepy men? LOL, no. Is that possible anywhere? Doubt it. I did like that I got to choose the conversation starter, but it also made me feel (at times) that I was already given an unfair advantage because the men *know* I have to be the one to start it and they already feel powerful or whatever, IDK.

    Did I have success? I matched and had a really, really great conversation with someone who lives in New York City, so.

    Cost? Free, unless you want upgrades, then prices vary.

    Also, for what it's worth, Bumble *really* tested my limits at times. I still enjoyed it overall, though. Am I insane? Possibly.

    next time someone tells me they met their s.o. on a dating app i’m going to punch them in the face

    2. Hinge

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? Hinge's thing is calling themselves the dating app for people who don't want to be on dating apps, and honestly I RELATE. They say their app is "designed to be deleted" and that's a campaign I can fucking get behind. On Hinge the profiles are a bit more built out — you have the 5-6 pictures, but then you also have to answer three questions and it gives you the ability to share more about yourself and learn more about others. You can react to people's answers on the questions OR photos, and anyone can message anyone. You can't send pictures, which is honestly probably for the best.

    Did I like using it? YES. I love Hinge, honestly. It's my favorite dating app that I've used thus far. And I've had the most successful connections/dates from it, too. I think the fact that people can answer questions, but not get too in depth, makes it the ideal dating app for someone who is open to whatever comes their way. I also feel like, in general, the people on Hinge are a little more serious and less likely to send you dick pics. This isn't researched, that has been my experience, though!

    Did I have success? I went on several enjoyable dates and saw someone on and off for a couple of months. Also had some great orgasms, so yeah. Success.

    Cost? Free, unless you want upgrades, in which case it's $14.99 a month.

    Hinge was overall great except for this person who is dead to me forever:

    Lara Parker

    ***Pepper is my dog. And she is perfect.

    3. Raya

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? God. Where do we begin? Raya is an exclusive dating app that requires a membership and also costs $7.99 a month. You cannot just JOIN Raya, you must know someone already using the app and be invited. This is already annoying, but I also saw it as a potentially good thing because maybe having to work so hard to get on this damn app meant that people would take it more seriously. (I was wrong. Moving on.) The thing that sets this app apart from others is the reputation it has for celebrities using it (kind of true, in my experience) and the fact that screenshots are strictly forbidden. If you screenshot, you will get a warning and if you screenshot again, you will get kicked off.

    Did I like using it? At first...yes. After two days? No. First of all, you only get to see a few matches a day, and a lot of them aren't even in the same city as you. Raya will show you people all over the world. I matched (and had great conversation!) with someone in Montreal, South Africa, and London. I understand the reasoning for just a few matches a day, but I don't like it. Second of all, the app's layout is wonky as hell. It glitches out so often, erases messages, and isn't particularly useful. You can't send links, pictures, or anything else in chat but you can send songs from iTunes, which like...OK? Thanks, I guess? I never sent anyone any music, nor did I ever receive any, and I was fine with that. Third, you have to choose a profile song. Sounds cool, right? Reminds you of MySpace? Yeah, until you have to actually CHOOSE the song. I went with "Boy" by Odesza for the record because WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DO YOU CHOOSE? I DON'T KNOW.

    The thing I noticed most about Raya is that I got the feeling that most people were on the app just to say they were on it. I'd say about 5% of the people I matched with actually wanted to meet up, and the rest would match and then not respond to any messages and then you would just sit there forever. It's a weird place.

    Did I have success? I matched with Mike Posner and he asked me what BuzzFeed was.

    Cost? $7.99 a month, not worth it.

    4. Tinder

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? Listen, Tinder is like one of the OG dating apps. If you don't know, here we go: you can swipe right or left on people based on the five pictures they choose to upload and a small description. It's pretty straightforward which is both good and bad.

    Did I like using it? I was on Tinder back in 2014, got into a long-term relationship, and now I'm back. I didn't enjoy Tinder then, and I can't say that much has changed. The app itself is mostly fine, easy to use, easy to understand. But it just...isn't fun. It's really hard to make a connection with someone based on a few pictures and sentences. And I know this could be said of literally every dating app ever, but Tinder has always been a bit of a letdown for me. This may be because I'm not actively looking for hookups, or maybe I am just swiping right on the wrong people, but it's not the app for me!

    Did I have success? Lol, no.

    Cost? Free, unless you want upgrades!

    Also, Tinder is low-key hard to delete. They asked me like 12091039292 times. And I was like YES TINDER, I'm sure. I think. I hope.

    Lara Parker

    5. The League

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? Another "exclusive" app that you can't just join. This one requires membership and invitation, but not from someone already on the app like Raya. You can apply to be a part of "The League" and then get waitlisted for like six months like me! FUN! But in general, the idea is the same as every other app, but supposedly more tailored to your preferences. You only get a few matches a day, and it also gives you an option to connect your LinkedIn profile, which, lol.

    Did I like using it? The app itself is lovely. Designed beautifully, nice features, makes it easy to see what type of person you would possibly go on a date with, lots of extra features. But it's expensive, a little too "exclusive", and just overall didn't feel different enough to warrant its price point. I could definitely *see* a world where this app could be useful, it just wasn't...for me.

    Did I have success? NO! But I found out that I should update the things I like on Facebook so that they don't transfer automatically over onto dating app profiles!

    Cost? A year-long membership costs $29 per month or $349 for the year. A six-month membership costs $33 per month, and a single month costs $99. Shit is EXPENSIVE. Worth it? No.

    6. OkCupid

    Lara Parker

    What's this app's deal? Like any other dating app, but much more in depth. It really gives you the ability to fill out in-depth questionnaires about yourself which helps find people you're more likely to actually want to date long-term! I loved my user experience with the app, and really appreciated their attention to detail.

    Did I like using it? I decided to try OkCupid because I know five different people who are now in long-term, happy relationships with people they met on OkCupid. And I'm really happy for them. But, personally, this app gave me carpal tunnel. Just kidding. But it was a lot. And it made me realize that maybe I'm not quite ready for the intensity of breaking myself down into a profile to find a potential suitor. Which kind of goes against the whole reason I joined dating apps in the first place, right?? But this app definitely gave me more "marriage" vibes, when I was looking more for like, "Let's get high together, cuddle, and watch tv for longer than a night."

    Did I have success? I did not, but I also didn't try that hard, so don't blame the app. Blame me. :/

    Cost? Free, unless you want upgrades!

    So, am I still single? And if so, what apps am I still using you might ask?

    I am still single, but things are promising. 😉(Sorry for using a winky face.) As far as apps I am still on? Just Hinge. That's it. But for the record, I would be open to OkCupid and Bumble down the line if need be. Thanks for listening. And by listening I mean reading.

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