How many bad dates does it take before you decide to cancel every membership to every online dating site in existence — that’s the big question many people grapple with after suffering through one too many horrible dates.
Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that anyone, or in this case, any computer program, would consider it a wise idea to hook you up with a person you wouldn’t even want to share coffee with, nevermind the rest of your life.
But the solution isn’t to hide out in your apartment and swear off online dating forever. Open up your mind when it comes to the types of dating sites you’re frequenting and consider one of these seven online dating websites that are just so crazy and out of the box, they might work.
Lori Cheek, founder of Cheekd, describes the app as a “hyper speed dating app that could be the next Tinder.” If you’re always on the go, love spontaneity, and prefer face-to-face connection over virtual friendship, this might be your ideal dating app.
“The app gives users the ability to never miss a connection thanks to cross-platform low energy Bluetooth technology, which fosters hyper local engagement and sends users an immediate notification when someone comes within a 30-foot radius of them,” Cheek says. “It’s real time and works on a subway or a plane without any cellular connection! Cheekd sets itself apart from other apps because it gives you the option to interact with a match before starting a virtual relationship with the compatible user.
After setting up your page and what you’re looking for, Cheekd will then send you notifications when a potential match is within 30 feet of you. Instead of encouraging users to continue to hide behind a screen, Cheekd pushes you to engage in social settings while paying attention to potential matches in the area. Our new dating app gives us the power to light the spark face-to-face first and leave the talking for later.”
One of the biggest issues with online dating is that people feel so much pressure to find the one. Meetup.com takes some of that stress out of the equation by putting the focus on whatever fun activity you’ll be enjoying that day — not on one individual or one dinner where no one can decide who should pay the bill. By meeting at a writer’s workshop or basketball game, you are guaranteed a fun night or day out, no matter what the romantic outcome.
Maybe the biggest problem you have with online dating is that all of your connections only always want to meet in bars and you’re just not into it. Meetmindful.com is a dating site for those who would find meditation and yoga and spiritual conquests far more appealing than anything else.
First of all, Hinge is free. Second, it’s the app your mother is going to love because you can tell her you’re not really using it to meet total strangers — instead, it pulls from your Facebook friends and their Facebook friends to find you a suitable match. Or, at the very least, someone with whom you can play six degrees of separation.
Hallelujah, another free dating app. Bumble was founded by Tinder’s co-founder Whitney Wolfe — after she jumped ship from the controversial swipe dating app and sued her former partner for sexual harassment. But that’s a story for another day. Many call Bumble a feminist dating website because women are in control of whether they want to start a conversation, should they be alerted to the fact that a potential mate swiped right (which means “yes”) when viewing their profile.
More: 8 Things to know about the newer, better Tinder
Love music and concerts? This site may be just the thing you’re looking for. Tastebuds allows you to search for potential mates according to the bands you like and also lets you see what types of music different users are into. Even if you don’t fall in love, the worst thing that can happen is that you discover a new band through a guy you absolutely have no interest in dating — hey, it could be worse. Word of warning: A thirty-something female friend complained that the site is filled with twenty-somethings and married men who “just want friends to see shows with.” Uh huh.
If you’re idea of a good time involves biking, camping, swimming — basically, any form of entertainment that does not take place on the couch, Gociety is perfect for you. “This app connects like-minded people to do adventures (accessible for all fitness levels – there’s people planning activities around book clubs, sunset hikes, stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, etc.),” says Deborah Parker of Turner PR. “It’s a simple concept — Gociety.com believes that no matter what you are wanting to do outside, there’s someone else nearby who wants to do the same thing — you just haven’t met them yet. This is great for people who don’t like dating sites (especially women, as a lot of the members on Gociety are male). Gociety also plans outings in their top markets (like Denver and Seattle), centered around rooftop yoga, breweries and environmental causes (i.e., Picking up trash from trails and watersheds).”