10 Dating Apps That Actually Work

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By now, you've probably read about which dating app is best for this, that and the other thing ad infinitum. Important question, though: Of them all, which dating app is most effective? Perhaps you've read about which dating app is best for relationships, or which you should try if you live in New York or San Francisco, or which are the highest-rated dating apps. And while that's all well and good, and fun to read about, what most people really want out of a dating app is effectiveness, amirite? You don't want to waste your time gadding about, flitting from app to app like a crazed bumblebee without getting any results.

The results you crave likely vary, depending on who you are. One person's idea of an effective dating app might be landing tons of fun dates. Another person's dating holy grail might be an actual relationship, and they might be unwilling to yield or give up until they find that special someone. And, of course, there are some who just want to have fun, and don't even really want to date, per se — casual sex is their modus operandi. All are valid, but just which app is best to download? Never fear. There's a dating app for that, and that, and that. Here are the 10 most effective dating apps.

1. OkCupid

OkCupid's genius lies in the fact that it has so many users, and many (not all) of them want to date or get into relationships. If that's what you're after, you likely want to try this. Bonus points for lots of inviting profile pics and a robust, filled-out profile around here.

2. Coffee Meets Bagel

For the purposes of this piece, I'm sticking close to apps that I know are effective, either from personal experience, second-hand experience or high ratings in general. I know one couple — in fact, I was just with them last night at a Julia Holter concert — that met on Coffee Meets Bagel. Its premise is super straightforward: Each day at noon, you get one — count them, one — match. Not three, not five, not a swipe-all-day-erry-day situation. One. If you like them, yay. If you don't, you can dial in your preferences and help the app send you a better match the following day.

3. Tinder

Tinder, like it or hate it, isn't going anywhere any time soon. The ubiquitous app that everyone loves to hate or hates to love — or just, like, loves — is effective in part simply thanks to its saturation: Some 50 million people have Tinder, according to Wikipedia. Though the app is known for its nefarious hookup culture, people totally meet and fall in love here too. It just depends on what you're looking for. If it's love, be upfront about it in your self-summary. If your match is just looking for a lil' somethin'-somethin', they'll know to not come knocking on your door.

4. Hinge

Any app that matches people based on friends of friends is a friend of mine. Isn't that how the expression goes? No? Anyway, Hinge is all about introducing you to people who are connected to your real life Facebook friends, or to your Facebook friends' Facebook friends, so you'll never have more than one degree of separation when you meet. ("So, how do you know Jacob?" is always a good starting line.)

5. Match

Match calls themselves "number one in dates, relationships and marriages," and they have the data to back this one up. It's pricey, but if you don't find The One in six months, they'll give you another six months gratis. Not a money-back guarantee, exactly, but an incentive to roll up your sleeves and join if marriage or an LTR is what you're after.

6. Bumble

Bumble has really taken the dating game by storm of late. Founded by an ex–Tinder employee, who experienced sexual harassment at her old job and sued the company, the app puts the power where it belongs: In the woman's hands. (As far as online dating goes, at least.) If you see someone you like, you reach out within 24 hours before the connection disappears. If you don't, you don't. End of story. For LGBT matches, either person can reach out before the connection is gone.

7. Her

OK, the claim that "Her connects you to every lesbian worldwide" is a bit of a stretch, as every lesbian worldwide definitely does not have this app. So it's a little hyperbolic. But Her is certainly is the most popular app for women ISO women, and the interface is clean, easy to use and handsome. Whether you're down for dating or looking for love, Her is certainly worth a download.

8. Align

Since we're talking about effectiveness, I have to include Align. Why? Well, Align matches you based on your horoscope. Aries? You need a Libra, of course. Cancer? Grab a Scorpio (but not by the tail!). Since all of this matching we're doing online is pretty willy-nilly, mostly based on looks or the fact that two people happen to both love the writing of Andre Dubus or the singing of Jeff Buckley or the dancing of Isadora Duncan or whatever — aka it's so far from an exact science as to be downright laughable most of the time — why not rely on the stars to matchmake? Also, it's fun.

9. Jaumo

I had never heard of this one until today, so don't panic if you're like, Huh? But Jaumo is, in fact, the highest-rated dating app, according to Applause, an app-quality company. The popular app allows you to "share your moments," which will appeal to those who are Snapchat-obsessed, and promises to simplify "flirting and looking for a partner," which can be one and the same on this app.

10. Mesh

Mesh is another one you may not be familiar with, but even Vogue recommends it, which is reason enough to be intrigued. In terms of effectiveness, Mesh employs a built-in spam filter, which means that you never have to subjected to endless "sup" messages again. (At least if you stay off Tinder, that is.) Mesh offers you a chance to "de-clutter your dating experience," thanks to their "patent-pending Mismatch," which "automatically filters sub-par messages to a Mismatch folder." Sounds like a dream.

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