Online dating can be a brilliant method of meeting someone special. But if you’re using the wrong dating app, the whole experience can be a nightmare. There are some great dating apps out there, but there are a lot of horrible ones too. What’s more, there are plenty of apps which could be great for one person’s needs, but terrible for yours.
That leads to the question: what makes a good dating app?
How is someone new to the world of online dating supposed to find the app most suitable for them? After all, there is an overwhelming amount of choice these days. Below is a list of five factors to consider when comparing dating apps, so you can select the app most likely to help you find your dream date.
5 important factors to consider when choosing the best dating app
Before signing up for a dating app, ask yourself these five questions to help you decide whether it’s likely to be a good fit for you.
1. What is the size of the user base?
The size and demographics of a dating app’s user base is the most important factor determining the likelihood of you getting what you want from the app. A dating app can have all the bells and whistles in the world, but you’re going to have a frustrating time if there aren’t enough active users in your local area to connect with.
That’s why most online dating users are best off using the app that’s most popular in their country. The more users that see your profile, the more likely you’re going to connect with someone great who’s attracted to you.
It’s difficult to trust an app’s official count of users. Many will inflate their numbers with bots or inactive profiles to tempt new users to stay on their app. So, use this infographic of the most downloaded apps in your country based on third-party data.
2. How much money would it cost to land a date?
Most of the world’s most popular dating apps are free to use but include paid add-ons that help your profile appear in front of more people. An example of this is Tinder’s “Boost” option, which increases the visibility of your profile by up to 10x for half an hour.
Over the last few years, mainstream dating apps have made it notably harder to land a date for free. They’re businesses, after all. Above anything else, they want their customers to pay them as much as possible.
So, when choosing between dating apps, it has now become necessary to compare the price and the effectiveness of the paid add-ons. That’s not easy to do on your own.
You’re better off reading detailed and unbiased reviews of online dating sites and apps, as these will give you the best idea of where your money is best spent. A great example of what we’re talking about would be Beyond Age’s review of Well Hello here. You want to find a high-quality site with people who are actually using both the free and paid versions of an app before you give it a shot.
You might decide to choose a dating app that has no free edition and charges all of its members a monthly subscription. These apps tend to have a smaller base, but the people who are using it tend to be taking it more seriously. An app like this is great if you’re looking for a committed long-term relationship.
3. Is there a niche audience?
You’ll find singles of all demographics on the free mainstream dating apps.
Most of these apps will have filters that help you find a suitable partner for you. While some apps only let you filter by age and location, others allow you to perform more detailed searches using more distinct features, such as someone’s hobbies, race, religion, whether they smoke or drink… and a lot more.
Alternatively, if you’re dead-set on dating a certain type of person, you might prefer to search for a dating app that caters only to that niche.
The range of niche dating websites out there is so wide, you probably won’t believe it. There most popular types of niche dating websites are:
- Cougar dating websites
- Religious dating websites (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.)
- Hookup websites
- Dating websites for specific jobs
But, if you can imagine a niche, there’s probably a dating website available for it. Among the most specific dating websites are GlutenFree Singles, Sea Captain Date, and Clown Dating.
4. Do you prefer to use a smartphone or desktop?
There are some dating apps that are only available on iOS and Android. If you find it more convenient to message your online dating matches from your computer, you might prefer to choose a dating app that has a desktop edition too.
5. Is it a scam?
There are some dating apps that have gone the extra mile to verify the identity of their users so that you don’t get caught out by catfishes or romance scammers. However, the most common way to get scammed via online dating is by the websites themselves.
As previously mentioned, there are plenty of lesser-known websites that create the illusion of an online dating website that you can only access after entering your credit card details. If you do make the mistake of entering your card details into these websites, you’ll eventually find that there are few if any active users to talk to. Some of these websites make it incredibly difficult to cancel your membership too, so be careful.
The best way to avoid getting caught out by scam online dating websites is by following some tips on how to stay safe during online dating.
6. How much time do you want to spend on the app?
Not all apps require the same amount of time from you. In some cases, all you need is a complete profile and that’s about it. The app will take care of finding matches for you. It’s all up to you if you want to message anyone the app recommends. An example of this would be eHarmony.
However, there are also apps that need you to actively be online to find matches. Examples include Bumble and Tinder where you’ll need to spend a bit of time swiping through potential matches.
Of course, after you do find matches, you’ll still need to put in the work in terms of chatting with them and creating rapport.
How to choose the best online dating app for you
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with signing up for multiple dating apps and getting a feel for all of them at the same time. In fact, that’s a great way to widen your search for a partner.
Perhaps you’ll decide it’s best to initially pay for a one-month premium membership for three or four websites. Then, once you get an idea of what service is working best, you can decide to close down all of your accounts but that one.
For an accurate comparison, post the same pictures and bio to all of the websites. It’s worth getting a friend of the opposite sex to review your profile before you publish it, as they’ll have a more accurate eye for red flags that could scare potential dates away. Perhaps this friend will also be nice enough to recommend what online dating websites have been working for them, and maybe to take some better pictures for you.
Once your profile is proven to be good enough to attract matches, that’s the best time to invest in paid add-ons for increased visibility.