Which Dating App Or Site Should You Try In 2016?

There's no denying the internet has changed what it means to date today — you can actually meet your next S.O. while you're sitting on your couch in a Snuggie watching Vanderpump Rules. But with so many options out there, what's the best the dating app or site around? The thing is, it all depends on you. What are you looking for? How much time are you willing to spend? How much effort can you put into crafting a profile? Are you willing to make the first move? Do you want to meet someone who you have friends in common with? How much do you want to know about someone before you message them? Do you want to take it offline ASAP? Is religion important to you? Do you like bacon? (JK, that's technically only important for Sizzl, the bacon dating app, though some could argue it's important for all dating apps). 

And, as dating apps and sites add new features or delete them—RIP Tinder Moments —and discover new algorithms to get you better matches, the landscape of these platforms completely changes, too. What may have been your ideal app for finding a hookup last summer may now be an app catered toward those looking for LTRs.
 
Either way, there are endless options when it comes to meeting someone online. And, if you're new to the game or looking to change things up, it can be pretty overwhelming to find the best one for you. So whether you're looking for casual dating and have zero time or are looking for your soulmate and will scroll through a pool of people all damn day if you have to, here's a guide to finding what's right for you.

1. If you're looking for dates, hookups, or relationships and don't want to feel any pressure: Tinder

The OG of the swiping game, Tinder is fun, easy, and admittedly addictive. Some call it a hookup app, but the app and plenty of others swear there's much more to it, especially if you're willing to be transparent about what you're looking for. If you really don't want to see anyone's mirror shots, gym selfies, or pictures from their last fishing trip, this is not the app for you.

What Is It? Dating App

Price: Free, Tinder Plus: $9.99 or $19.99 if you're 30 or older

What You Need To Know:

- You get unlimited potential matches, so the fun doesn't stop.
- You can swipe right or left or up aka "Super Like" on potential matches. You only connect when there's a mutual match, but "Super Liking" someone will show them you like them.
- Your profile pulls in info from Facebook: Pictures, first name, age, college, pages you've liked, etc.
- You'll see which Facebook friends you have in common.
- You write your own bio, meaning you can reveal as much or as little as you want about yourself.

2. If you're looking to date or have something casual with a friend-of-a-friend: Hinge 


If you're more comfortable meeting someone through friends, this is the dating app for you. Your potential matches will only be friends of (Facebook) friends or third-degree connections. Hinge is working hard to distinguish itself from Tinder, and with new options for profiles that reveal more about your personality and timed matches designed to get you offline quicker, it's doing exactly that.

App or site? Dating app

Price: Free

What You Need To Know:

- You get a limited amount of potential matches per day depending on how many of your Facebook friends use the app — you get more matches if more of your friends are on. Matches happen when there's a mutual like.
- You swipe left (X) or right (<3)
- Your profile pulls in your Facebook pictures, first name, job, schools, age, where you're from, and you can select your religion along with other personality tags: Wine Lover, After Partier, Animal Lover, Science Nerd, etc.
- You can also select your intentions: Casual, Dating, Relationship
- Hinge recently introduced another way to form deeper connections: Story Cards, which are swipeable questions you can fill out, "Do you speak another language?", "Have you been to Burning Man?" etc, and they will let your potential matches known when you have an experience in common.
- When you match with someone, you have 24 hours to message each other or else your connection disappears ... FOREVER.
- After you've matched and exchanged at least one message, you have 14 days to exchange phone numbers or the chat disappears. Again, FOREVER.

3. If you're looking for something more serious but are busy AF: The League 

If you have no time for selfies, weeding through people who just want a one-night stand, Googling online matches to make sure they're real, or filling out a dating profile that takes more than a few minutes, The League is your answer. The League is catered to over-scheduled young professionals who "don't have time to go on five bad dates a week, instead they want to go on one date with someone they have a pretty good chance of connecting with," Amanda Bradford, CEO and Founder of The League tells BustleThe only catch? You just have to get off that damn waitlist...

App or site? Dating app

Price: Free

What You Need To Know: 
- To vet people before they come in, there's a (long) waitlist to get on the app. But, there are some hacks to cutting the line — one being to ask someone who's already in to message the the app's Concierge and recommend your friend. FWIW, I've done this twice and it's worked both times. Think of it as sweet talking the bouncer.
-Once you're in, you get five potential matches a day. Matches happen when there's a mutual like.
- You swipe left (X) or right <3)
- The app pulls in your LinkedIn and Facebook information to create your profile, which includes: Pictures, first name, education info, profession, interests (either from Facebook or ones you write in) and a one-sentence (or a line of emoji in my case) About Me.
- Your matches expire after 21 days, so there's incentive to get the conversation going and meet up soon.
- Members get a "Flakiness Rating", which is visible to people you've matched with. If you don't answer messages or look at your matches each day, you'll get a bad rating and will could even get kicked out. Hey, there's a long waitlist.

4. If you like Tinder but you're over the creepy messages: Bumble 

If you enjoy the unlimited matches and ease that Tinder has to offer, but want to take more control of the messages coming your way, Bumble is your answer. The app was created by Whitney Wolfe, who is one of Tinder's co-founders. And because women initiate the first message, it's often called "Feminist Tinder".

App or site? Dating app

Price: Free

What You Need To Know: 
- You get unlimited potential matches aka you won't put your phone down for hours.
- You can swipe right or left on people. Matches happen when there's a mutual like.
- Your profile pulls in info from Facebook: Pictures, first name, age, college, school, job etc.
- Potential matches will see mutual friends from Facebook
- You can write your own bio, meaning you can reveal as much or as little as you want about yourself.
- Matches expire in 24 hours and the woman has to message first or else the match — you guessed it— gone!
- For LGBT members, either party must make the first move within 24 hours

5. If you're open to different things (dating, hookups, LTRs) but just want it to feel organic: Happn 


Happn is another low-effort, no pressure dating app, but the app's experience is a bit different — it's geared toward meeting people you've crossed paths with in real life. Think of it as the "missed connections" dating app. It's perfect for busy, social 20-somethings living in cities. According to Marie Cosnard, Happn's Director of Trends, the app makes dating prospects in your busy city look more real, so it's a way to get to know the people in your environment.

App or site? Dating app

Price: Free

What You Need To Know: 
- You have a feed of the people you've crossed paths with and you can click their pictures to see their profile. Potential matches are unlimited and your feed updates as you move around your city.
-  You see where you and potential matches have crossed paths on a map and the exact time you crossed paths, along with how many times you've bumped into each other.
- You " X" or "<3" potential matches. Matches happen when there's a mutual like.
-If you want to get someone's attention who isn't a match (yet), you can "charm" them so they'll see you're into them.
- The profile pulls in information from Facebook: Pictures, first age, job, school. You can write your own bio.
- You can send songs to matches through the app's Spotify integration. The #1 song to send? “Hello” by Lionel Richie.
- Instagram integration on profiles allows you to see potential matches latest brunch pics, so you won't have to leave the app to stalk them.

6. If you're looking for ~true love~ and are willing to put in some time, effort, and money: Match 

Serious about getting into a relationship? Match has of different ways to meet people, but you'll have to spend money, time, and effort in creating a profile and going through the pool of potential matches. Unlike apps, the conversations are more like emails than text messages and you don't have to mutually like each other to send or receive messages. If that's something you're not OK with, this site may not be for you.

App or site? Dating site & app

Price: Free to look, but $41.99 a month to really join.

What You Need To Know: 
-  Members have first names or usernames
- To create your profile, you first answer a detailed questionnaire about you and what you're looking for.
- You get 10-12 potential daily matches to talk to based on your answers, along with the option to browse other singles in your area.
- You can filter the pool of potential matches by age, appearance, background/values, lifestyle or keywords.
- There are plenty of ways to communicate with someone: You can "wink", “like”, or send someone a message. 
- If you prefer swiping, there's an accompanying app, too.
- Match's Guarantee: If you don’t meet someone in six months, they’ll give you another six months for free.

7. If you want to meet someone you're compatible with, and don't mind spending time on a profile: OkCupid 

Willing to put the effort into meeting someone who's right for you, either casually or seriously, but don't want to spend a dime? Enter OkCupid, which uses an algorithm to find you matches for free — you just have to take the time to fill out the lengthy profile and answer questions to really get the most out of the site. And like Match, if getting messages from someone you didn't like back stresses you out, this site/app may not be for you.

App or site? Dating site & app

Price: Free 

What You Need To Know: 

- Members have usernames

- After answering a few yes/no questions "Would you date someone messy?", "Is jealousy healthy in a relationship?" etc, you're asked to "like" three profile pictures out of a large selection to get a better idea of your appearance preferences.

- You can then fill in your profile, which asks you things like: "What I'm Doing With My Life" and "You Should Message Me If..."

- You can browse through a pool, which shows you your "match" and "enemy" percentages, based on the questions you answered. From there you can visit their profile, "like" or message them.

-There's also a "QuickMatch" feature, which lets you star or "X" potential matches.

- There's an accompanying app that lets you quickly browse and connect, too.

8. If you're looking to get offline and go on fun dates with someone who has similar interests as you: HowAboutWe  

Whether you're looking for something serious or casual, sometimes you just want to meet people IRL and go on a kickass first date ASAP. HowAboutWe is designed to make that happen by having members suggest date ideas to singles in their area. If some of your dealbreakers involve your hobbies, this could very well be the site for you.

App or site? Dating site & app

Price: Free to browse, $9.99-$15.99 for Basic membership, $13.99-21.99 for Premium membership

What You Need To Know: 

- Members have usernames

- You fill out a few basic questions and post a date suggestion.

- You can browse through profiles hitting "X" or "<3" and search through the pool based on your preferences or keywords.

- You can message other members or tell them you're "intrigued" if you're interested in the date that they suggest. Dates include things like "How about we ... go to the farmer's market" "How about we...get breakfast before work" etc.

- Want to go on a date in a few hours? The "Tonight" feature gets you a date-on-demand.

9. If you'd rather meet someone when you're out with your friends: Squad 

Feel more comfortable in groups? Squad is another easy way to get offline ASAP, but this time your friends are invited. The app isn't specifically a dating app, but rather, a way for two groups of friends to meet up. It's kind of like Grouper, which is group dating, without the pressure of calling it a "date."

What Is It? Dating site & app

Price: Free

What You Need To Know:
- You a create "squad" with your friends on the app: Each member has their picture, first name, and age pulled in from Facebook. You come up with a group name and tagline. 

- You can have anywhere from 2-6 members in your squad and they can be co-ed

- You browse through squads in the area, swiping left or right.

- Matches happen when there's a mutual like between the two groups.

- You can group chat with your matches, but the connection expires after 24 hours so the two squads can meet up and have a grand ole time.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

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Images: Fotolia; GIFs: Elizabeth Minch; Caroline Wurtzel; Dawn Foster; Mary Rabun; Cora Foxx/Bustle

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