While you may be perfectly content with the most popular dating apps, other lesser-known dating apps have features that set them apart from the competition and are also worth taking a look at. After all, believe it or not, you can find a dating app catered to exactly what you're looking for, whether it's a bona fide relationship using Hinge or matching with a fellow dog owner using Meet My Dog. And with spring right around the corner, now's the perfect time to expand your dating app horizons and try out new ones.
"Successfully using a dating app means that it is providing you with your desired outcome," Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert, and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life, tells Bustle. "For some, that may mean finding a well-suited match for a long-term relationship or marriage. For others, it might mean finding attractive partners for casual hookups. There are plenty of dating apps to help one successfully meet any desired goals these days. The important thing is to be honest about your intentions with both yourself and the people you're meeting, so no one's time is wasted and feelings don't get unnecessarily hurt."
So if you're looking for some new dating apps to try that you may not have known about, look no further than these.
1The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle not only just won big at the 2017 UK Dating Awards — including for "Dating App of the Year" — but their main mission is for their members to respect fellow members. Yes, please. The Inner Circle is a boutique dating community — 500,000 members — that was first set up back in 2012 to help a circle of friends find love in Amsterdam, CEO David Vermeulen tells Bustle.
To join the app these days, you can apply to the waiting list, although a friend recommending you improves your chances and speed of acceptance. "From the beginning, it wanted to ensure that people were accountable (i.e., visible across social media platforms and a genuine human being, with work and with friends), positively engaged in life/broad-minded, and respectful of themselves and each other," Vermeulen tells Bustle. "The main criteria for joining the app is that you're respectful, something which is monitored through your behavior on the app (we personally approve EVERY single member), and at events, where you'll get your karmic comeuppance if you've treated people poorly in messaging or on one-on-one dates. What's more, when surveyed, 85 percent of our members said they'd rather go out with someone with good manners than good looks — and that sums us up. :) Respect is massively lacking from modern dating, and we put it at the heart of everything The Inner Circle stands for and does."
In addition, the app has additional features, such as a travel section and an area where you can highlight a favorite bar or restaurant. "But it's not a swipe-fest," Vermeulen says. "The app was made by young professionals for young professionals, and people are encouraged to spend more time on their profiles and also to meet offline at one of the regular parties we hold across the world, which includes NYC, L.A., San Francisco, London, Paris, and Amsterdam, to name but a few."
MissTravel is a traveler's dream come true and has more than 800,000 members across 135 different countries. If you want to date and travel, or just have a vetted new friend to travel with, you can use MissTravel to find people to plan trips with. So goodbye to first dates over coffee and hello to adventure ones somewhere across the globe.
"While MissTravel.com is the world's first travel dating website, MissTravel is meant for anyone looking for an adventure," Hannah Dela Cruz, MissTravel's Public Relations Manager, tells Bustle. "Whether you're looking for love or just a travel companion, MissTravel connects adventurous people looking to explore the world. You can create, list, and view trips with details such as destinations and specific dates."
MeetMe can not only be a way for you to meet your TBD significant other, but is also away to meet online and real-life friends. Recently, the app was a finalist in many categories at the 2017 UK Dating Awards, including for "Dating App of the Year."
"MeetMe is the mobile version of the bar or coffeehouse where everyone belongs," Catherine Cook Connelly, Co-Founder and VP of Brand Strategy at The Meet Group, tells Bustle. "MeetMe's mission is to meet the universal need for human connection among all people, everywhere. Originally founded in 2005, MeetMe has originated an untold numbers of chats, shares, good friends, dates, romantic relationships — even marriages. MeetMe has strong appeal among people 18-34 and is a leading app for meeting new people in the U.S."
In addition, MeetMe has live-streaming now, too.
TrueView focuses on trying to get you to meet someone for a long-term relationship, so if you want to swipe endlessly and find hookups, it's probably not the best dating platform for you. It's won many awards, including winning the "Gaydar Safer Dating Award" at the 2017 UK Dating Awards.
"TrueView was set up to offer a safer and more honest platform for those seeking genuine and long-term relationships," Matt Verity, TrueView's Co-Founder, tells Bustle. "Allowing users to be in control of their own TrustScore means those who put the effort in will get a much bigger reward. Acting as a filter system, it also gives our single members a more natural way to identify any affinity and spark a conversation in a more natural way. Being frustrated online daters ourselves, we understand how important it is to make the right first impression and to feel comfortable with yourself and confident in starting conversations. We believe that if you are serious about a long-term relationship, then you will welcome TrueView and what is required for success. If you are wanting to use online dating for a quick fix, then immediately it will be a frustrating platform for you, which is kind of the point."
Sweet Pea is a dating app that combines many features you may know from other apps into theirs. For instance, you can use Video Stories, so you see someone’s personality right away — plus, this can help reduce catfishing. There are also Icebreaker Questions to help you get conversations going — nothing is worse than getting matches, but then no one messages each other, right? The app will also pay attention to your match preferences and discover settings, and if you’re looking for something to do offline, you can do a search for activities and locations, as well as conversation topics before meeting someone IRL.
One of the coolest features is the way your inbox automatically organizes and prioritizes messages and matches. Is it just me, or does it get confusing keeping up with certain app conversations and matches? Although the app is free, there’s also an option to become a VIPea — clever! — wherein you can get additional features like message read receipts and more filtered matchmaking. Subscriptions for the paid option vary from $8-12 per month.
Sweet Pea is also about to launch a new feature that’ll allow users to have Wingmen and Wingwomen vouch for them within the app. A friend’s referral to help connect you with someone can definitely be a bonus, just like when it happens in person.
Wingman is a new app to help you get your friend a date. So if you're single and looking, you may want to get your coupled up friends on this app ASAP. And isn't that what friends are for? They can go through the app and find matches for you — and all from their couch. So easy!
"Online dating can often be quite a solitary experience and sometimes overwhelming," Founder and Ultimate Wing(wo)man Tina Wilson tells Bustle. "My dating choices from time to time have been disastrous, so I've always needed a wingman to help point me in the right direction. Wingman gets friends and family involved, meaning that there's an offline social experience to the app. Plus, our friends always believe that they'd be able to spot the best match, so their input at introductions will hopefully save singles from making the same 'mistakes' again and again."
If you want to change things up in your dating life, try downloading the above apps. After all, since people say dating is a numbers game, the more sites and apps, the better, right?