Let's face it, it gets more difficult to meet potential relationship partners as you get older. That's why these dating apps founded by women are a great option if you're considering dipping your toe in the online dating world. In the past I always ended up dating people I met at work or school. Now I work from home, and clearly I'm not going to meet anyone new in my living room. Also, aside from the occasional writing workshop, I'm no longer in school. Where is a girl to meet someone?
According to the Pew Research Center the answer, overwhelmingly, is online. One in 10 people look for love on the internet, and with so many options out there is can be hard to find a dating site that meets your needs. The online dating world can often feel like one big singles bar where people you're not interested in won't stop buying you drinks no many how many times you change barstools. This is why female entrepreneurs are creating dating apps for women by women.
"I always felt that for me as a woman, I always had to wait around,” Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe said in the New York Times. “In all other arenas, I was ambitious and a go-getter, but when it came to dating, I wasn’t supposed to go after what I wanted. And so I essentially said, O.K., here’s what we’re going to do: Women make the first move. And they’re going to do so in 24 hours or the match disappears, so she feels encouraged to do it."
If you're in an online-dating drought, and you're ready to take control of your dating narrative like Wolfe, check out these dating apps designed with you in mind.
Bumble, founded by Whitney Wolfe, let's women make the first move. This eliminates the unwanted messages (and crotch shots) from over-eager suiters. According to the New York Times, Bumble's method decreases online-dating abuse, and the company says its abuse report rate is among the lowest of its competitors, at 0.005 percent.
- Bumble shows you the people you want to see and lets you connect by a mutual opt in by swiping right.
- The woman always makes the first move, and if she doesn't say something to a new connection within 24 hours, that connection disappears forever.
- For same sex connections, or friendship, either person has 24 hours to make the first move.
- Feel like 24 hours just isn't enough time? No problem. Bumble lets you extend one connection for an additional 24 hours each day.
"HER is about creating a space where lesbian, bi, queer, curious, flexisexual, pansexual, and not so straight women can meet and find out what’s going on in their lesbian world," according to a press release from HER.
Founded by Robyn Exton, HER has both paid and free features. HER grew the app's popularity the old-fashioned way — in person. "In the early days I'd go to nightclubs with a bottle of sambuca in one hand, and tequila in the other, and encourage girls to download the app in return for a shot," Exton told the BBC.
Made for LGBTQ women, by LGBTQ women, HER is about a lot more than just dating. Users can make friends, read content, find out about local events, or simply chat.
3. Coffee Meets Bagel
Three sister Soo, Dawoon, and Arum Kang founded Coffee Meets Bagel, and made headlines when they turned down a $30 million offer for the app on Shark Tank because the sisters believe their app is worth much more.
According to ABC News, "Coffee Meets Bagel is free and the app delivers one match, or a 'Bagel,' by noon each day. Users have 24 hours to choose either to 'Like' or 'Pass' on their Bagel, and if two people 'Like' each other, then the app will open a private chat for them to set up a date, which only lasts for seven days. Bagels are determined through a computer algorithm that combs through users’ Facebook friends and 'friends of friends,' assessing interests and personal experiences to match users with profiles similar to theirs."
“We like to call ourselves the anti-Tinder,” Arum told ABC News. “Any woman who has used tinder has one or many stories of the kinds of behavior men exhibit on Tinder … it’s not the greatest experience and … it feels creepy.”
4. The League
Founded by Stanford MBA grad Amanda Branford, The League touts itself as a dating app that does the "scouting and the vetting" while "you do the matching and the petting."
Here's what The League has to say about it's method of matching: "So you want to date someone who shares your education level and ambition? And maybe, just maybe, you’d like them to be in your same neighborhood, attractive enough to at least look good in black-and-white photos, with a height that meets your way-too-restrictive height preferences. Perhaps you also want them to share your religion as well. While your mother may call you picky, we call you self-aware. It’s about to be happy hour, so go get ’em," The League's website states.
While some have dismissed the app as elitist, Branford rebuked the claim on Facebook stating that anyone can apply to join the app, and it matches people based on common interests and values.
Sapio bill itself as a dating app with depth. The names is derived from the term SapioSexual, which means “attracted to the mind.” According to the Huffington Post, Sapio was founded by Kristin Tynski, her wife Kelsey Libert, her twin brother Dan Tysnki, and her brother-in-law Nick Santillo.
The app offers tools like its question explorer feature, which lets you discover others through the stories they tell. Users can select a category, browse through hundreds of questions, and find someone based on their personality, not just their looks.
The app's mission is to "foster engaging conversations that enable people to find partners who are both physically and intellectually attractive.” And if you've ever swiped someone on a dating app only to discover they don't know the difference between "they're," "there," and "their," and this matters to you — then you know why this is a genius idea.