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With so many dating apps out there, it can be really difficult to choose which one is best. As a dating coach, I will often take on a client only to find that they have been dating on an outdated site or app for years. No wonder they aren’t getting any results! Dating apps are tools and in order to be the most effective, you need to be using the right one. Here is my recommended list for the best dating apps for relationships.
7 Best Online Dating Apps For Serious Relationships
#7 – OkCupid
Summary Of OkCupid:
OkCupid is best for users under the age of 35. It attracts this age group because of its progressive outlook on dating. For example, they offer the ability to select among multiple different genders as well as sexual orientations. Another reason it attracts a younger crowd is that you can use all it’s features 100% for free.
OkCupid is more of a traditional platform in the sense that you don’t swipe for matches, which limits your viewing to only one at a time. Instead, you can run a search using your filters (like height, religion, etc.) and see all the men that meet your criteria at once. This can really speed up the process filtering process.
How To Use OkCupid For Serious Relationships:
Better Filtering and Screening:
OkCupid is one of the best dating apps for relationships because it allows access to longer profiles. This gives you more information on potential matches without having to small talk text them as much, like you would on Bumble or Tinder. Since OKCupid also allows you to search for all matches at once, you can easily filter and message the men you are interested in the most.
May Attract More Serious Minded Young People
Many people in the younger age group are tired of swiping. They don’t want to go on dates with people who don’t match up with their lifestyles. This means that people who are tired of the quick dating scene that is Tinder and Bumble will look for an alternative, more “serious” minded site and likely turn to OKCupid.
An interesting fact about OkCupid is that according to DatingSiteReviews, “In the wedding section of the New York Times, OkCupid is the most mentioned dating app.”
Word of Warning
One thing I will mention here (and this is the same for Match.com) is that you dont’ want to get too caught up in arbitrary filters. Giving people a chance even if they don’t meet your minimum height requirement or don’t eat the same ice cream as you can really boost your chances of meeting a high-quality man. So, don’t go too crazy on the filters!
#6 – Match Mobile
Summary Of Match:
Match Mobile is the dating app version of the traditional dating site, match.com. According to statistics, this dating app is best for users aged 24-38 (DatingSiteReviews). But, my personal experience with clients on this site has determined that you should be between 30-60 to get good results. I wouldn’t recommend this app if you’re under the age of 30. Instead, you should try OKCupid (above).
Match has been around for a really long time (since 1995) and some people might think this is a bad thing. I once suggested using this site to one of my clients and she freaked out saying that “no one has been on there since 2004!”
My client was dead wrong.
Millions of people use this dating site and it continues to be one of the most popular dating apps.
How To Use OkCupid For Serious Relationships:
Statistics from DatingSiteReviews show that “91% of Match members have attended college” and that “income and ‘wants kids’ are the most important criteria. This is great news for anyone looking to score a real relationship from a dating app.
Paid Subscription Leads To Higher Barrier of Entry
Match also requires a paid subscription in order to message other members. This is a great way to filter out spam, catfishers and people looking for casual flings. It also means that the average Match subscriber has a little extra money to spare, making them more likely to be financially stable.
Allows You To Search For All Suitable Matches At Once (No Swiping)
Just like OKCupid, Match allows you to search for all suitable matches upfront, and it has much longer profiles than Tinder or Bumble. This means you can do a much better job at filtering out potential matches and you don’t have to spend time swiping! The other great thing about match is that you can run a search for men in your criteria before you pay for a subscription. This allows you to take a look at the available pool of matches before jumping in with a paid subscriptions.
I highly recommend this as one of the best dating apps for relationships if you are within the age group stated above.
#5 – The League
Summary Of The League
The League is an excellent choice for highly educated professionals. As soon as you land on their website, the first thing you’ll read is:
“Are your standards too high? Keep them that way!”
Their whole schtick is that they only accept the best looking, best-educated, and highest quality matches. In order to make sure all their matches are meeting their strict criteria, all members are put on a waitlist to have their profile vetted. If you’re in, great! If not, tough luck because they don’t accept any payments to bypass the waitlist.
I find this app is best for users between the ages of 22 and 35. If you’re older than that, I’d just give it a try for a month to see if it’s worth it.
This app does not allow you to swipe freely like Tinder or Bumble and you cannot search for members openly. You are only given 5 matches a day that are selected by the League’s algorithm.
How To Use The League for Serious Relationships:
Great for Time Saving
The League chooses matches for you based on your criteria. If you’re a busy professional this is a good way to filter for high-quality matches without investing the time yourself.
The only downside of this system is that you have to wait for them to give you your 5 matches per day. If you don’t like any of them, you have to wait until the next day. Although you’re not doing any work to find these matches, it can extend the dating process by weeks or months if you are picky.
Much Higher-Quality Matches
The League is great if you’re highly educated or very successful and looking for a partner who shares the same qualities. The vetting process is not perfect, but it does weed out a lot of the fluff. Since it has a paid subscription model and the vetting process is so strict, it does attract people who are more relationship-minded and not just looking for a fling.
#4 – Facebook Dating
Summary Of Facebook Dating
Facebook Dating is a new addition to Facebook that just launched in 2019. It is still gaining in popularity but I would recommend it for all ages at this point. Especially since it’s free and easy to use if you already have Facebook.
You don’t have to download a new app to use it, you can simply access it via your Facebook app. All you have to do is hit the hamburger (three lines) menu button on your app and select “dating”. Here’s what it looks like:
Then, you will go through the process of creating your profile.
The dating app is completely independent of your Facebook profile. It will not show your dating activity to friends or family on Facebook.
How To Use Facebook Dating For Serious Relationships:
Filters Based On Preferences and Interest
Ok, I know its creepy that Facebook knows so much about us, but if it can get you a real relationship, that’s not so bad, right?
Facebook uses the interests and preferences of each person to send you suggested matches for who they think might be a good fit. Other dating sites like eHarmony and EliteSingles claim to do this as well, but we all know that Facebook has the most accurate representation of who we are as people. So technically their algorithm for finding like-minded matches should be spot on.
Facebook dating is still very new to the dating world so time will tell how effective it is at matching people up. For now all of its features are free so it’s worth a shot.
#3- Coffee Meets Bagel
Summary Of Coffee Meets Bagel
Ever since Tinder took the dating world by storm, many people quickly grew tired of the swiping model. It often lead to casual hookups rather than more serious relationships. Both Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel are marketed as dating apps for relationships, not hookups. This means they do not rely on the swiping method.
The Coffee Meets Bagel website specifically states:
“It’s the meaningful dating app for people who are sick of swiping.”
This is another app that uses an algorithm to match people based on similar criteria and preferences.
Coffee meets bagel works well for people under 35 who live in more populated cities. For some reason it is also very popular in the Asian community so if you are Asian yourself or looking for an Asian partner, this is the best app to be on.
How To Use Coffee Meets Bagel for Serious Relationships
Limited Number of Matches
Coffee Meets Bagel limits the amount of people you can like per day. This encourages you to really look at each match individually. You can see if you might have a connection rather than endless swiping to see “just one more.”
Encourages The Dating Process To Move Forward
Coffee meets bagel also has a countdown system that only allows you to chat back and forth on the app for 7 days. After the 7 days are up, the conversation will expire. This encourages people to actually meet up and go on dates rather than creating penpals.
#2 – Bumble
Summary Of Bumble
Now, Bumble is the only one that I have on this list that uses the traditional “endless swiping” method but it still has less of a hookup culture than Tinder. Bumble markets itself as being a place to have deeper connections, while Tinder markets itself for quick hookups.
The profiles on Bumble are short and you must swipe and match people before you can talk to them. Women initiate all conversations by being required to send the first icebreaker.
The reason I put Bumble on here as one of the best dating apps for relationships is because it is so popular. This app is the second most popular app (after Tinder) so the number of options for high-quality matches are endless.
Pretty much anyone that you’ll find on any of the other dating apps I mentioned will have tried Tinder and then also Bumble.
This makes it a great choice for people who live in less populated cities.
How To Use Bumble For Serious Relationships
Best For Lower Populated Cities
Since Bumble uses the endless swiping and the short profile method, it can be a little harder to filter out the fluff and find someone that is serious. This is why I only suggest using Bumble if you live in a smaller city (less populated) or have tried some of the other options on this list and had no luck.
Related: How To Write A Good Online Dating Profile: The Do’s And Don’ts
Best App For Endless Options
Bumble works in your favor in terms of numbers. There are many, many people on it and if you keep swiping and talking to people, you are bound to find someone.
The only problem with this is that it can get time-consuming really quickly, so use this one with some caution. As a dating coach, the biggest reason why people are single is that they get too tired of online dating and they give up. Pushing it aside year after year. Bumble has the potential to make you feel that “dating fatigue” much faster.
Summary Of Hinge
We made it to number one! Hinge is the absolute best dating app for relationships because it was specifically built with that in mind. The CEO and founder of Hinge has stated that he wanted Hinge to be like the serious relationship version of dating apps. Much like Match was for serious relationships and Plenty Of Fish was for casual relationships, he wanted it to be the opposite of apps like Tinder and Bumble.
Years later, Hinge has taken off and is becoming one of the most popular dating apps out there. It definitely tops the list for best dating apps for relationships.
How To Use Hinge For Serious Relationships
Doesn’t Rely on Swiping
Hinge doesn’t use the swiping model, and instead you can interact directly with people’s profiles. You can send them a like on their photo, or answer one of their many “prompts”. The prompts are conversation starters that encourage people to connect on a deeper level rather than just starting things with a “hey, what’s up” like you might get on Tinder or Bumble.
Gaining In Popularity
Although traditional sites like OkCupid and Match still have millions of users, the the growing trend for dating is gravitating towards phone apps. Since phone apps have had the culture of quick swiping/hookups, Hinge is actively trying to change that. They are trying to mesh the convenience of the phone app with more serious dating. Bcause of this, it has really taken off in the past few years and I can see it continue to gain popularity as the years go by.
How To Find Serious Relationships Using Dating Apps
The hardest part about dating online is that it is time consuming and emotionally draining.
The best way to increase your chances of success is to make sure you’re doing everything you can to attract high-quality matches. If you need help with this, check out my Free Checklist: “How To Attract Higher-Quality Matches” by clicking here.
Thanks for checking out my list on the best dating apps for relationships. If you need help with getting better at online dating, feel free to check out these related posts: