The best dating apps 2023
If you’re “on the apps” like I am, then you’ve probably gotten used to many of the common trends – ghosting, catfishing and even Plenty of Fish’s newly coined phrase “OnlyPlans”, which refers to repeatedly making plans with someone without following. Personally, I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve swiped through of men proudly holding a freshly caught fish or “I’m falling for you” invitations that end with “if you trip me up.” It all starts to feel quite tiring after a while. But sometimes dating apps lead to positives, or at least interesting experiences that are not so ongoing. For example, my best friend Emily quickly swiped right on a Tinder profile advertising a free front row ticket to a NYC Paramore concert, and ended up at the show that night. The guy had flown in from Charlotte, NC seeking a one-night-only style date with zero expectations, except for a full understanding of Hayley Williams’ insane vocals. But what if she wanted more than that. . . say, a permanent connection without an expiration date? How is she supposed to know which dating app is most useful for building a relationship with the type of person she’s looking for? How should any of us know?
That’s exactly why I started testing the waters, signing up for as many apps as I could to get a feel for each one. From taking notes on benefits only available to premium users (even those who pay to upgrade for a weekly, monthly or annual fee) to analyzing my encounters in an attempt to come up with a list of pros and cons – I’ve learned the ins and outs of nine different dating apps that are popular right now. Of course, there are more than nine, and I’m not on Feeld, Lex, Chispa, or HER, so I conducted interviews with current members to write in-depth reviews of these apps.
My research has led me to find out which platforms are best for developing long-term relationships, exploring sexuality and finding quick hookups or even “situational relationships”, as Tinder has reported that 49 percent of young singles (18-25 years) have added their bios in the past year. Some dating apps, like Clover and Plenty of Fish, offer a live stream feature where you can connect with new singles instantly as a non-traditional way to get to know each other. There are also apps that value stance on social and political issues, with Chispa designing profile badges to help people express their opinions and Tinder reporting that activism and voting rights interests both increased (84 percent and 37 percent, respectively) in 2022.
Ahead, I break down the basics of each app so you know which one(s) to sign up for, whether or not it’s worth an optional payment plan, and what your profile might be up for. Fortunately, no actual fish. At least not yet.