Tech started getting sexy when it had us swiping left and right, and using algorithms to play cupid. Here’s a roundup of some popular dating apps, websites for dating and dating agencies that may help us find The One! And, we asked a couple of readers which ones they prefer using.
Coffee Meets Bagel
If Tinder had you wishing for a more “sophisticated and meaningful” experience, try dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. The savvy algorithm bots make suggestions based on your personality and preferences. You can simply choose to connect or pass over suggestions. This is great for those wanting to shift away from the fleeting flings on Tinder, towards more “aligned” connections, shall we say.
Had enough of the sleaziness and one-liners you can find on some of the big-name dating apps? Enter Bumble. Bumble hands the reigns to the girls to hop into the driver’s seat and initiate conversations. Sticking with the simple “swipe-to-sift” methodology, this app has a real girl-power feel to it, which seems to be striking a positive note for both the pursuer and the pursued!
Here’s a Singapore app that positions itself as an “honest” dating app that avoids wasting time. The cheesy one-liners can be binned as the clever-coders have the app suggesting “potentials” based on your criteria. You connect further with interesting peeps based on what you like about their profiles. You can even add dealbreakers into your profile, so mismatches can’t get through your filters. In the age of reviews and ratings, there’s also the opportunity to add and read testimonials from friends. All of these snazzy features serve to combat the cheese and sleaze.
Speed dating anyone? Social media darlings will adore Lovoo for its video chat feature and location-based searches to find singletons nearby. You can even get your flirt on in the flirting gallery, and check out the breadcrumb trail to see who’s been checking you out! This dating app is more than a dating platform; it’s also a social networking site where you can flirt, chat and date away.
This is the grand-mama of all dating websites. Boasting over 40 million users, the platform has a rich history and a track record of over 20 years. If you’re looking for a dependable platform with a suite of online tools and a sharp algorithm (which seems to work, based on the gushy success stories you read online), then it’s worth having Match as one of your pillars of support. Besides, it’s owned by the same group that owns Tinder, OK Cupid, Hinge and Plenty of Fish, amongst others. So they probably know a thing or two about pairing you up!
Who’s that cutie you always see in the coffeeshop? Or that person you always see at the bus stop? Happn uses location-based GPS trackers to connect you with potential crushes who you’ve already crossed paths with somewhere during your daily grind. This takes out the whole unfamiliarity of dating, since you’re kind of on one another’s radar before sparks can fly. It’s like being given a heads-up that someone cute is in your vicinity; you can then use the FlashNote feature to begin messaging. You can also secretly like someone’s profile, and, if they like you back, you have a match. Table for two, please!
Locally-founded app Paktor has been matchmaking since 2013, and is arguably one of the most widely used dating services across Asia. This location-based networking and dating app features the usual swiping, but also a nifty voice-bio function, where you can use your dulcet tones to record a 15-second intro. You can even strike up a convo in the moment, via the random chat feature. Other nifty tools include rewards, quizzes and group chat. If all else fails, the app works well as a networking tool too.
If you can’t be bothered with bots, algorithms and artificial intelligence deciding on your future fate, then using a dating agency may be the answer. Singapore-based Lunch Actually has a long history of matchmaking behind it. Staffed with coaches and consultants, the agency personally handpicks matches based on your preferences and profile. It creates a personalised “love-programme” just for you, so your roadmap to the alter is left in professional hands!
This dating app was launched by Lunch Actually to make us all “Stop swiping and start meeting up!” It boasts a stringent pre-screening registration process, too, to minimise the creep factor. Both Lunch Click and Lunch Actually are great for time-strapped professionals who want to date without over-committing to longer format dinner/drink meet-ups. They even promise not to send you tons of low-quality matches, aiming instead for two to five suggestions a day. Think of it as bite-size dating over lunch without the pomp and fuss.
This is more of an interest-based networking app than purely a dating app, though there are specific groups for singles to mingle. Meetup takes the swipe-worthy pressure out of meeting peeps with similar interests. Into chess? Join the chess club. Fancy a hike? Join fellow hikers and see who shows up. Specifically want to hang with singletons? Target the singles groups. Want to leave it to Lady Luck? Then just follow your interests and hobby groups, and hopefully you’ll find The One at one of your meet-ups.
No dating list could be complete without mentioning the king of dating apps – the one that started the swiping craze. Tinder has a massive user base and heaps of bells and whistles with both its free and upgraded version. Though it seems to have garnered a bit of a rep (and rap) for casual flings, the global reviews tend to slant towards users being generally satisfied. So, if you’re looking for a more fleeting encounter (at first) with or without thrills, then Tinder may be worth a download. Get ready to numb your thumb with the slightly addictive left/right swipes to hopefully find your true match.
Dating Apps – Some EL reader favourites…
“Paktor gets my vote. I like the voice feature.”
“Meetup takes the pressure away from formal dating, as I can still enjoy the hobby I signed up for.”
“I’m enjoying Coffee meets Bagel because it seems like a quality service with less sleaze.”
“Tinder is my go-to for dating – it’s easy and active, and it has plenty of choice.”
This article first appeared in the April 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!