You have just finished reading my lengthy Dating Apps Guide and are excited to dive into the trendy, location-based dating apps game. But which one is right for you? There are many dating apps on the market, but I will only review the three that I have had any dealings with―two of which happen to be the most popular dating apps in most of the United States.
Tinder, launched back in 2012, is the old man―or pioneer―of dating apps and the app quickly developed a reputation primarily for hookups and casual dating. This stigma, while not unfounded, is probably less applicable now. Similar to Bumble and Happn, the only search filtering allowed on Tinder is by sex, age, and distance. A Facebook account is required to start on any of these dating apps, which you will need to link to, so make sure that you remove your job and place of employment to protect what remains of your privacy.
My experience: I met three women in person in less than four months on Tinder in Nashville. None of these women were particularly normal or sane. There were two very promising connections I chatted with that did not turn into a date and there were also a number of strange connections that I closed out after a few messages. Tinder also has a fair amount of fake profiles with women (or men posing as women) trying to scam you out of your money or to gain access to your personal information. Most of these phony profiles are blatantly obvious because of the type and quality of photos used, but you should be cautious of someone that appears to be too good to be true.
Verdict: In the end, Tinder is worth a shot based on its popularity alone. This means that unless you live somewhere in the middle of nowhere you will be getting some matches in your neck of the woods. Tinder’s popularity is an advantage as well as a disadvantage since the app’s notoriety and ubiquity leads to the quality of women to be lower on average than on Bumble.
Oftentimes, much lower quality, to the point where you begin to think that Tinder should be running background checks on some of their sketchier users. Using Tinder can also be a great sociological and cultural awakening since you will see firsthand the decline of the United States and the West by viewing one atrocious and disturbing female profile after another―from the tattooed single mother with children from multiple men to the entitled, demanding, vapid narcissist all the way to the bitter, ball-busting careerist feminist. Let the journey into darkness begin.
Bumble was founded by one of the numerous co-founders of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, who ended up suing Tinder for sexual discrimination and harassment after leaving the company in 2014. She pocketed $1 million for her alleged troubles during her time at Tinder and her additional revenge on her former company was launching Bumble at the end of 2014.
Ms. Wolfe has referred to Bumble as a “feminist dating app,” but don’t let this silly, fashionable slogan deter you since the only thing that makes Bumble feminist is that women have to reach out to men first. And no, your Bumble date will almost certainly not be asking you out and planning the date or splitting the check with you or buying you drinks. That is not the kind of equality that feminism is about since that would not be to the advantage of the “fair” sex, but once again I digress.
Women do have to make the first move and then you have 24 hours to reply or the connection disappears forever. I have rarely seen an opener from the ladies wittier than “Hi, how are you?” or “How was your weekend?” before throwing the ball firmly back in the man’s court to start the real courting process as God and nature intended. This flies directly in the face of Bumble’s nonsensical and arrogant claim that their app has “successfully shaken up traditional gender roles in heteronormative dating.” And have you ever heard anyone use the word “heteronormative” outside of a leftist lesbian women’s studies class at your local Marxist indoctrination center―i.e. the nearest college?
Another unique aspect of Bumble is that you are able to see how many new matches have already expressed interest in you by having swiped right on your stellar profile. The main photo of these matches are blurred out, but oftentimes you can tell which one they are as you’re going through the profiles. This is a clever feature since it does get me to swipe through more of my matches and gives me a better sense for the lay of the land.
The one strange aspect of Bumble is that I see profiles show up in my queue that I have already swiped on before. I’m uncertain if this is because these women have uninstalled and then reinstalled the app, or if Bumble automatically reloads old profiles after a certain amount of time has elapsed. Lastly, Bumble tends to load the most popular (i.e. hottest) profiles first and as you swipe down the list you will notice the slow, but steady drop in quality.
My experience: In four months of bumbling so far, I have met six women in person and four of these I saw again at least once. There have also been dozens of other connections that fizzled out or went nowhere. The overall quality of the Bumble birds―or bees per the Bumble theme―is as high as you will find nowadays on any dating platform out there. The caliber certainly surpasses the typical Friday night in your city’s bar scene and is easily above Tinder’s pathetically meager standard. Most of the matches I come across have at least a college degree, seem above average in intelligence and looks, and are not merely on there for a good time.
Verdict: Bumble is definitely worth trying and it is the best all-around dating app that I have tried despite going on one of my most uncomfortable dates of the decade. From the higher caliber women to the engaging user interface, Bumble beats Tinder hands down.
Didier Rappaport started Happn in 2014 in France with the idea of putting “the romanticism and spontaneity back into dating.” This app uses GPS to match you with women that you have crossed paths with―or at least come within an 800-foot radius of. She may have been standing three people ahead of you in line at the coffee shop this morning or you two potential lovebirds could have walked past one another on the sidewalk. The theme for Happn is the chance encounter or the missed connection, which is definitely original in this genre. However, that 800-foot radius is rather wide and you will get matched with women who simply were driving by your building or just out walking their dog a few blocks away.
My experience: I met only one woman in less than two months that I was on the app in Nashville and she turned out to be an utter disaster. This nightmare of a woman was the only one that I chatted with out of the maybe dozen women I initiated conversations with from the 50 or so total women I encountered.
Verdict: Unless you live in London, Paris, or maybe New York, I would avoid Happn unless it becomes more widespread and mainstream. I have deleted this app from my phone and have no intention of using it again unless I happen to move to Paris, which is about as likely as seeing Mark Zuckerberg wear a collared shirt.
At the time of the writing of this article in 2017, my unhesitating recommendation is to start with Bumble and, if needed, follow your bumbling by dabbling in the Tinder meat-market for a week or two. Please remember that my experience with the above three dating apps has taken place in Nashville, Tennessee since November, 2016. Nashville is a mid-size American city that obviously has a smaller dating scene than larger cities, but also a more favorable female-to-male ratio, so your results may vary.
However, since the South tends to be more traditional and women marry younger there are likely fewer available high-quality single women in their twenties and thirties here than in other non-Southern American cities of a similar size. East and West coast cities will be at the opposite end of the cultural spectrum from Southern cities, while Midwestern cities will be in between. I have also noticed less phone dependency in Nashville than in Los Angeles, which may also be reflected in dating apps not being as popular here. The bottom line is that location clearly matters greatly with the quality and availability of single women.
My advice for the single man is to get set up on Bumble right away before its popularity approaches that of Tinder. Because once that happens the standard will inevitably drop faster than Bill Clinton’s libido upon seeing his wife in a bathing suit. That calls to mind the famous Oscar Wilde quip: “Bigamy is having one wife too many. So is monogamy.”