How to Decide Which Dating App Is Right for You

Woman using dating app
Franckreporter/E+/Getty Images

When you’re looking to sign up for a dating app, it seems as though there are countless options from which to choose. Whether you’re looking to meet others who share your religious beliefs, sexual orientation, alma mater, love of pets or simply your geographical location, finding several potential dates is only a swipe away. However, since there are so many different apps out there, it’s hard to know which app can bring you the most dating success.

Tips for Picking the Right Dating App for You

Before you hit the download button, here’s how to select the best app for you so you have the best chance of meeting someone with whom you’ll really click.

What Are Your Dating Non-Negotiables?

When you’re looking to date someone new, it’s important for you to determine which characteristics are must-haves in your potential dates so you can select an app that perfectly aligns with your priorities. For example, if you’re a vegetarian and it’s extremely important for you to date someone who’s also a vegetarian, select an app that’s specifically designed for people who share your eating preferences.

By doing so, you know that others on the app also have these same preferences right off the bat. Plus, the fact that they’re on this particular app further reaffirms the priority that they place on meeting someone with these same eating habits.

What’s Your Desired Outcome?

If you’re looking to sign up for a dating app, it’s also important to ask yourself what you hope to get out of the app in the first place. Are you looking for a serious, long-term relationship that could one day lead to marriage? Are you searching for something more casual or simply just a hookup? Or are you just looking to meet new people and make new friends?

Once you’re clear about your desired outcome, there are many different apps that are specifically tailored to meeting your needs and goals, whether you’re looking for a fling or the real thing.  

What Makes You Feel Safe and Comfortable?

Safety is a major concern when it comes to meeting someone in person from a dating app. After all, in many cases, you’re meeting a stranger. And while you should always get together in a neutral place and alert others to your whereabouts both before and after your date, there are apps that can help with your comfort level when it comes to meeting someone new.

For example, many apps will show you your common Facebook friends, and some apps even specifically select potential dates based on your social network. This is in no way a guarantee of your security and/or the success of your date, but you should decide ahead if this additional aspect of familiarity is important to you when picking a dating app.

How Much Personal Information Are You Willing to Share?

In terms of safety, it’s also important to decide how much personal information you’re comfortable sharing on a dating app when setting up your profile. While some apps ask for your name, age, location and photo, other apps can be far more intrusive, asking for information about your height, body type, eye color, education history, profession, hometown, interests and other personal content.

You may also be required to upload a minimum number of photos in order to create your profile.

So, before you sign up for a dating app, you should figure out how much personal information you’re comfortable sharing and providing to others on the app as well as the app company.

How Would You Like to Communicate With Others?

When it comes to striking up conversations with potential dates, it’s important to consider how the communication process works on each individual app. Some apps allow both parties to message each other in the app, whether or not both people expressed interest.

At the same time, other apps allow communication between members if they both expressed mutual interest or “swiped right.” Further, some apps only let one person initiate the first conversation with the other, even after both people have shown interest.

And in terms of the message itself, some apps provide suggested content that can help you create a message, while others leave the message content entirely up to you. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how comfortable you are communicating with other potential dates, both in terms of how you’d like to be messaged and what it is you’d like to say.

How Much Time and Money Are You Willing to Devote?

Along these same lines, some apps require a larger time commitment not only in terms of questions during the sign-up process, but also by encouraging you to sign in each day in order to see potential dates that can disappear if left unchecked.

Additionally, while many dating apps are free, some require in-app purchases in order to see and communicate with more possible dating candidates. And further, other apps require a fee to join, and in many cases, you’re obligated to pay in advance for a certain number of months before being able to use their services.

Do you foresee yourself wanting and willing to set aside time to find potential dates, or would you rather take a more casual approach? Are you interested in spending money in order to find and communicate with others?

By clarifying these different considerations in your own mind, you’ll be able to prioritize, strategize and astutely select the appropriate dating app that can connect you to who and what you’re seeking. The right dating app can truly help you find the right person