8 Dating apps for those tired of swiping for Tinder

Aug 12, 2015 at 10:28 a.m. ET
Image: JGI/Tom Grill

If you happened to scroll through your social media feed last night, you probably came across bits and pieces of Tinder’s Twitter rant . The rapid-fire succession of tweets bashed Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales for her recent piece “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse.’” Tinder wasn't afraid to fight back and defend its online daters. But this did get us thinking — what if there were other dating apps with a more personal touch?

Sure, Tinder has the name recognition and street cred to back it up. It's simple and direct. Plus, you get a slight ego boost when you match with someone. But for many people, this method is a bit too superficial and prone to attracting creeps. So we found eight other free dating apps that are reliable, innovative and more relationship-focused.

1. Bumble


Image: Bumble

For online daters who are sick of creepy messages for guys, Bumble is the way to go. On this app, when a connection is made, only women can start the conversation. Men can't send the first message, so women get to choose who they get messages from. But you have to hurry — the connection disappears after 24 hours if no one makes a move. For non-heterosexual couples, it's up to either person to make the first move. Available on iOS

2. Hinge

Hinge works directly through Facebook, so it only matches you with friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends (don't worry, we had trouble following that, too). Hinge's goal is to match you up with "real people" who you have a "real life" connection with. Available on iOS

3. OkCupid

Ah, old faithful. OkCupid may have adopted a few Tinderisms such as the swiping, but it still focuses on matching people based on personality. When creating a profile, people answer a lot of questions about beliefs, preferences and habits. You are then matched based on how well you would get along, but you can message anyone. Luckily, there is an option to block certain users if necessary. One major thing going for OkCupid is that it recognizes a variety of sexual orientations. Available on iOS/Android

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4. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish takes a very optimistic approach to dating by referencing the classic "there are plenty of fish in the sea." When first creating your profile, you fill out a chemistry test. This not only assesses your preferences, but also what you look for emotionally. In other words, Plenty of Fish is dedicated to creating healthy and long-term relationships, or at least as long as you want. As an added feature, this app looks into what things you might need to work on when it comes to relationships, particularly how best to overcome challenges from past relationships. Available on iOS/Android

5. Coffee Meets Bagel

Strange name aside, Coffee Meets Bagel has a truly refreshing take on online dating. Founded by three sisters, this app gives you a match, or "bagel," every day at noon. But only one match. You then have 24 hours to select "like" or "pass." If you and another person both click "like," you are then able to message each other. Like Hinge, this app only matches you with people who have a friend in common with you. Available on iOS/Android

6. Loveflutter


Image: Loveflutter

Loveflutter is committed to ending the superficial nature of online dating. The app is pretty much structured like Tinder, but all of the profile pictures are blurred. Over the image, there is an interesting fact about the other user (a fact that is 140 characters or fewer). By touching the screen, you are then able to see the profile picture, but you can't see any other picture unless you swipe right. Available on iOS/Android

More: Everything you should (and shouldn't) put in your online dating profile


SCORE finds a way to match people and make it fun at the same time. You anonymously answer the same questions as another user, and then you see how you "scored." Depending on the number, you are able to message the other user or gain access to other features. Available on iOS/Android

8. Tindog

This app takes the structure of Tinder and adds the spirit of your best friend. On Tindog, you choose who you like based on the picture of their dog. In other words, it's still all about swiping, but instead you get to look at pictures of cute dogs. Plus, it's a good conversation starter. And because honestly, why not? Available iOS/Android

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