LAST year, my nephew asked me if I knew of any gay-dating apps aside from Grindr, and I asked him if he liked “bears.” In gay slang, a bear is a tall, muscular and hairy man. My nephew said yes, so I recommended that he download GROWLr, a gay social network.
Grindr, by the way, is easily the most popular social-networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people to connect with.
For heterosexuals, the most popular is Tinder but I heard from single friends that there’s one that most millennials use and it’s like a combination of Tinder and LinkedIn (more on this later).
We gathered some of the most popular dating apps and here are some of the most interesting ones:
- Scruff is also a bear equivalent to Grindr and many of my friends have met nice guys via the app. Early this week, I was viewing the Instagram Stories of a friend who lives abroad and he was with this guy, so I asked who the man was. My friend replied, “He’s someone I met through Scruff. We aren’t dating anymore but we’re still friends.”
- Bumble, like Tinder, is a dating app that requires a Facebook login. That’s because information from the your Facebook account is used to build a profile with photos and basic information, including where you went to school and where you work. I like Bumble because it requires women to initiate the conversation of their matches or the matches disappear within 24 hours. In a same-sex match, either person can start the conversation. Another unique feature of Bumble is that you can favorite conversations.
- Surge has been called the gay Tinder. It used to be known as Lavendr. It’s probably the most uncomplicated dating app. It shows one profile picture for you, the people around you, and allows you to input basic information about who you are and what you are looking for. But unlike most dating apps, it is not location-based. Surge is actually said to be more useful for hook-ups than dating.
- OkCupid is a dating app that’s unique in that it allows you to rate other people’s profiles. The profiles on the app are on public but you can change this. You are also informed whenever someone views you OkCupid profile. According to an article I read, OkCupid is for people looking for casual flings and more serious relationships.
- Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating and social-networking web site. What makes it unique is the number of profiles users can interact with each day. Coffee Meets Bagel looks at the user’s Facebook account to help identify potential matches. The user is exposed to at least one match per day, but can only contact their matches if they “Like” them and their matches “Like” them back.
“Each day at noon, guys will receive up to 21 quality matches—known as ‘bagels.’ They are given the option to either LIKE or PASS. Then, Coffee Meets Bagel will curate the best potential matches for women among the men who expressed interest,” the Coffee Meets Bagel web site explained. It is then the woman who decides which man to talk to among those who have “liked” her. Women will choose who gets to talk to them among the “quality” men who already liked them. That’s right. No more guessing games. #LadiesChoice
How effective are dating apps? A couple of my friends have found good matches on Tinder. One is dating the first guy she meet through the app, and their relationship seems solid.
I’ve never used any of these apps as I’m already married but if there is one piece of advice I can give beyond “be cautious,” it is to manage your expectations. Don’t go on Tinder looking for the love of your life. Virtual dating is a lot like real life in that love is not easy to find. But if it happens, then good for you.