In your 30s, the idea of using a dating app to meet someone to spend the rest of your life with might, to use a bit of internet slang, hit different than it did in your 20s. In fact, a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center found that nearly 50 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds say they’ve tried online dating, while only 38 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds say the same. But according to Dr. Marissa Tunis, licensed psychologist and dating coach, dating apps are still a great way to meet people in your 30s, you just have to evaluate which ones will provide you with the best matches.
As you age, big picture things tend to demand more of your time — your career, caretaking of your parents or other family members, and so on, leaving less time for meeting new people. “As people age and social opportunities naturally wane, dating apps actually become more valuable as a way to meet other single people,” Dr. Tunis, tells Bustle. According to Tunis, people in their 30s are thinking about their lives in more serious ways. You’re dealing with more responsibility, you know what you want, and you’re looking for someone else who does too.
“People in their 30s will likely be thinking about the characteristics that would make a good partner versus a good time,” Tunis says. “They have more maturity to make better decisions about how they live their lives and who they chose to be with, so it’s an ideal time to meet a long-term partner.”
The Best Dating Apps To Use In Your 30s
Whether you’re looking for someone to be a fun date to your bestie’s wedding or for a lasting commitment, there are a ton of dating apps out there right now. If you want to make the most out of your time and effort, Tunis says “the big three” are just as good to use in your 30s as in your 20s. It also doesn’t hurt to invest in your love life by upgrading to paid services if you’re serious about finding a committed partner.
You may recognize Hinge as the dating app that was “designed to be deleted.” According to Tunis, “If you are looking for a monogamous relationship in the states, people these days tend to start with Hinge.” Unlike Tinder or Bumble, daters are given interesting prompts to answer like “I’m weirdly attracted to...” or “I geek out on...” These can give you a good idea of what someone’s personality is like, and a shared sense of humor goes a long way to establishing chemistry. If you like something from their profile and they like something from yours too, it’s a match.
As you likely know, Tinder is the app where you swipe right to indicate interest (and left to discreetly say, “no thanks”). Once you make a match, you can start messaging back and forth. It’s free and simple to use, which is partly why, according to a May 2021 Statista report, it’s the most popular dating app worldwide. If you’re dating to find a lasting partnership, more people equals more potential dates and a better chance at finding love. Plus, if you’re taking some trips you postponed in the last two years, “Tinder has some great travel features,” Tunis says.
Bumble is another popular dating app that’s very easy to use. According to Tunis, Bumble is a good option because it puts women in the control seat and has many filters if you want to be highly selective. In a heterosexual match, women have 24 hours to make the first move by sending a message or else the match will expire. As of January 2021, Bumble has over 42 million active monthly users. If you like how Tinder works, but you want to have more control over who’s messaging you, this is a great app to use.
Match, the OG of online dating, was made for serious daters. Unlike other apps that just require a few photos and a profile, users are asked to answer a number of questions about themselves and their preferences. The Match algorithm will then present you with the top options that match both your profile and your stated preferences.
“No matter which app you choose, paying for the app matters; you will get more visibility with your purchase,” Tunis says. “So if you are serious about meeting someone, invest the $20 a month. Just make sure your pictures are well-selected and your profile is well-written (a friend or coach can assist you with this!) and you’ll be good to go.”
Dr. Marissa Tunis, licensed psychologist, dating coach, and founder of Datefully