The landscape for dating has changed drastically in the past 20 years thanks to the rise of the internet and smartphones, which gave way to dating apps. From Bumble and Hinge to Tinder and Raya, it’s never been easier to mingle with potential romantic interests — even some of your favorite celebs are opting into apps to try to find true love. It’s a 21st-century world, and we’re all just living in it, Sharon Stone and Lizzo included.
Some celebrities, like David Harbour and Lily Allen, have successfully found their person using dating apps. In fact, the Stranger Things star and “The Fear” singer married in September 2020 after meeting on Raya in 2018. Others have had less than ideal experiences, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still out there trying!
And even if they prefer traditional methods of dating — you know, meeting someone in person rather than through a screen — celebs like Drew Barrymore are still open to giving dating apps a chance. Of her experience with Raya, she confessed during a September 2020 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, “It was a car wreck, but, you know, I love being able to be in the conversation, I have to say.” The iconic actress continued, “Like, I definitely had fun with it. And I’ve always wanted to go on a blind date, but my life got in the way of that, so I thought, like, online dating might satiate that desire.”
If you’re feeling hesitant about joining a dating app or two, or you feel embarrassed about trying to make a connection through the virtual world, look to these stars for inspiration. If they’ve got the confidence and vulnerability to leave their egos at the door and have an open mind to finding love using today’s tools, perhaps you can, too.
In March 2018, Laverne Cox revealed to Access that she met her boyfriend (whom she’s since split with) on a dating app. “Honestly, I’m a Tinder girl,” she shared. “I feel like if you want to date, you have to be on the apps. You have to be on the apps to be in the game.”
Chrissy Metz opened up to Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show in 2021 about how she met her boyfriend on Bumble during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explaining that she felt “kind of bored” in the early days of the nationwide lockdown, she decided to “try the old Bumble.”
Of using the app and eventually matching with her beau, the actress said, “I love the idea that like the woman gets to take the first step. I think that’s so cool, I love that. And yeah I mean of course you got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a Prince.”
During his conversation with Chrissy Metz, Andy Cohen shared that he also has a profile on a dating app. “I’m on Tinder. I never check it, but I’m on Tinder.” The talk show host added that he’s been kicked off the platform “for people saying I was impersonating me.” Ah, celebrity dating problems.
Lily Allen & David Harbour
Lily Allen and David Harbour are a real-life example of a match on a dating app leading to a happily ever after. During a June 2022 appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the Stranger Things actor opened up about how he and Allen — whom he married in 2020 — met online.
“We met on one of them dating apps, and then we went on a date,” Harbour explained. “She walked in and she said — she claims to have fallen in love with me at first sight — ‘When I saw you, I saw the biggest person I’ve ever seen in my life and also the smallest person I’ve seen in my life.'”
“That was what made her fall in love with me, that I was very big and also very small in a certain way” he explained, hilariously adding, “I don’t know what that means.”
During a 2017 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Charlize Theron recalled how Chelsea Handler gave her a crash course on how to use a dating app — and that she really just prefers “old school” dating.
The actress explained to DeGeneres, “She was on her phone and she showed it to me and she was explaining it to me in that Chelsea Handler way, which is just like, ‘Yeah, everybody’s doing this. What’s wrong with you? Where have you been, under a rock?'”
She continued, “So then I took real interest, and I was like, okay, well tell me, how does it work? And she’s swiping all these faces of guys in all different sorts of — I’m going to sound like I’m 80. But they’re in all sorts of different variations of no clothes, and then they know that you’ve just said no, I don’t like you.”
Theron explained why she ultimately feels like dating apps aren’t for her, saying, “You have to text them and then the flirting starts and it’s kind of awkward because you don’t know the person and they’re trying to be cute and they say weird things like, ‘What’s up, sexy?’ And it’s just awkward.” She concluded, “This is why I’m still single. I just like a good old friend hooking you up, or, I don’t know, introducing you. I’m so old school.”
Speaking of Chelsea Handler, the comedian opened up to Glamour about her favorite app in 2020: Raya. “I’m trying to get some action,” she shared, adding, “It’s very circular — you go through the same group of people, like, every six months. But it’s been so long in this pandemic that I’m like, ‘Listen, I need to make sure my body still works.’ So I’m trying to get something going.”
During a 2019 appearance on Busy Tonight, Lizzo shared, “I’ve done Raya. I tried to match with John Mayer — it didn’t work.” The “Truth Hurts” singer called the exclusive dating app “boring” and revealed she’s had more luck with less restrictive platforms.
She explained, “My dancer wanted to have a hoe phase, so I decided to join her, and I went on one of the, you know, lower-echelon dating apps. No shade, but you don’t have to get confirmed … So I hopped on it and I had a hoe phase for like a week and it was really fun.”
Drew Barrymore may have had a negative experience with Raya, but she’s keeping a positive perspective about being open to dating apps. During a September 2020 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, the actress shared, “I got stood up, and I didn’t match with anyone.”
She continued, “My friends gave me this sort of bloated sense of false confidence. They were like, ‘You should try it. You will do great.’ It was a car wreck.”
“But, you know, I love being able to be in the conversation, I have to say,” she added. “Like, I definitely had fun with it. And I’ve always wanted to go on a blind date, but my life got in the way of that, so I thought, like, online dating might satiate that desire. And no, it was a real wake-up call. But it was fun, and yes, there were lots of exciting people.”
“I’ve been on [Raya] a few years, but I’m only active for a week or two,” Rebel Wilson told PEOPLE in 2019. The actress added, “I think it’s a really good tool and a lot of the Pitch Perfect girls are on it, and a lot of my girlfriends in the industry are on it.”
When Sharon Stone was blocked on Bumble due to her account being flagged as potentially fake, she took to the bird app to grab the bull by the horns.
The actress tweeted, “I went on the @bumble dating sight and they closed my account. Some users reported that it couldn’t possibly be me! Hey @bumble, is being me exclusionary? Don’t shut me out of the hive.”
The platform’s editorial director responded, “AHA! @sharonstone, we at @bumble found your account, unblocked you, and ensured this won’t happen again. You can get back to Bumbling! Thanks for bearing with us and hope you find your honey.”
During a March 2020 episode of You Up with Nikki Glaser, Nick Kroll told the story of how he and his wife met on Raya. “I think she sent the first message, which I really liked … She was in New York and I was in LA and we had a long, kind of where we didn’t see each other,” the comedian explained. “We just chatted very casually and then met at some point in New York and liked each other and then slowly progressed.”
Kroll added, “I think the beauty of something like dating on an app is that you do get to connect to people who you wouldn’t normally meet in real life. Or sometimes you’re like, ‘Oh, I know that person in real life but I’ve never had the chance to [connect],” he said. “I think there’s something kind of romantic about it, to be honest with you, because these two people would have never met in real life.”
In their 2017 documentary, Simply Complicated, Demi Lovato shared that they had joined Raya. “I am on the dating app with both guys and girls. I am open to human connection, so whether that’s through a male or a female, it doesn’t matter to me,” the singer explained.
In 2021, Bethenny Frankel revealed to PEOPLE that she met her fiancé on a dating app. “I was pretty lucky when I walked in and saw him,” the former Real Housewives personality said of meeting him in person. “He had a twinkle. He came as advertised — better than advertised. He overshot the mark.”
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