5 Apps Like Tinder That Will Lead To An Actual Date, Because You're Too Old For Pen Pals

So how do dating apps work? Well, I'm still learning. I just signed up for a couple of dating apps for the first time, and I was confused by the 'no pen pals' written into a lot of profiles. I am confused no longer. About two weeks on Tinder and I can see how it could quickly turn into an endless swiping and matching and chatting and not actually doing a damn thing to meet up in real life. It's weird, right? Because meeting up is the whole point of them, I thought— but I guess the little dopamine hit from getting matches keeps us swiping even if we're not getting anything more from it. 

But it gets annoying, and I certainly feel a little lost in an ocean of matches and not sure where to go from there. And I don't think it's just me, as a lot of my friends seem to do way more swiping than meeting. Luckily there are some apps that focus a little bit less on the match and a little bit more on the meet. Because some of us need an extra push— so from gentle suggestions to booking a date for you, these are the best dating apps that will make sure you're not just pen pals.

1. Hinge

OK, Hinge's main selling point is that it matches you up with people from your social network, like people you have shared friends with on Facebook. But it also is one of the more encouraging apps out there, so when you a view a match it will suggest saying hi. You also pick out things you would do on a first date, and it tells you if your match likes the same things, so a little message saying "You're both up for a museum!" reminds you that the point of these is to actually meet in real life. This is the other app I downloaded and, as someone who is new to dating apps and is feeling a little overwhelmed by the swipes, I appreciate the little nudge.

2. How About We

I'm not a hundred percent sold on this idea, but How About We will definitely lead to dates because that's pretty much all it's for. Basically one person suggests an ideal date idea, and if you're interested you reply, and then they can pick whether or not they want you to join them. Simple. 

3. Tastebuds

Music lover? This app sets shows you people nearby who have a similar taste in music, so it has a natural end goal of meeting up for a concert. Because you both know each other's tastes, it makes for a safe first date if you're already sure you'll both enjoy the gig.

4. The League

The League, while it has a huge waitlist (there are ways to cut the line though!), CEO Amanda Bradford says the exclusive app is designed for busy, young professionals who are ready to dating a little more seriously — aka they're completely over Tinder's duck face selfies and mirror shots. One way to ensure members are taking the dating app seriously? The app will kick you out for being rude or inactive. There's also a flakiness rating for users, so if you don't answer messages or use the app, it'll show to your matches.

5. Whim

As the website says "Dates, not texts". It makes its point pretty clear. This takes "How About We" one step further. As TechCrunch explains "users create profiles and specify the days when they’re free. Then they can browse other users and identify the ones they want to meet. As soon as two people have expressed interest in each other, the service will go ahead and set up a time and place for the date, based on your availability and preferences (like whether or not you drink alcohol)." It sort of calls your bluff about meeting up, which if you're someone who just messages for all eternity, might be a good thing.

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