Keen to shake up your love life? These dating apps make meeting potential love interests easier than ever

Ah, the ‘good old days of dating’, back when it felt unscripted and easy. Those heady days when we met our next paramour serendipitously on a night out over lukewarm G&Ts in a pub garden (just us?), and left it up to fate to decide the next date (will they, or won’t they call?). Not so any longer. Amorous 21st-century singletons are taking the dating game into their own hands, or rather their smartphones, as the latest survey on UK online dating from Comscore revealed that over 7.6 million of us visited a dating app or site last summer*. That's one in six of the UK’s adult internet users, showing that as a nation, we are fully on-board with digital dating.

But which app to choose? Results vary widely, depending on whether you’re after a part-time squeeze or you’re on the hunt for the real-deal. We’ve done the swiping for you and collated our top seven dating apps for those looking for lust, love – and everything in between.

Bumble


Rather than spending hours crafting your perfectly witty profile description and uploading a wildly flattering pic and then waiting for someone to slide into your DMs, Bumble is great for the pro-active female dater, since it’s the woman who has to make the first move and begin the conversation. It seems so simple, yet totally cuts out the somewhat shady side of aggressive male attention that has given online dating a bad name. Whilst initial details are less in-depth than some apps, you can make video calls to get to know your potential match before you date – plus, it’s not just about love; there’s Bumble Bizz for career network and Bumble BFF for finding new mates, too.

Hinge


Hinge uses a Nobel Prize-winning algorithm to help you zero in on the right person for you. You can’t say that for the dancefloor of your local club circa 1998, can you? Great for showcasing your quick-wit and charm, your profile is embellished by three ‘prompts’ – witty one-liners that add a bit of colour and personality to the usual age/sex/location. Limiting the number of profiles you can connect with each day keeps things considered and more mindful. With the tagline ‘designed to be deleted’, it’s a great springboard to get you dating IRL again, rather than forever lurking in the realm of online banter.

Tinder


Bear with us on this. Whilst Tinder does indeed get a bad rep for – how can we put it? – less than honourable hook-ups, if you are ready to get back out into the dating arena, it can’t be beaten for its endless possibilities. Agreed, the arena may feel gladiatorial at times with its cut-and-thrush world of swipes left and right, but as an entry level to online dating, it’s a fun way to meet new people.

Her


Her, with its four million-strong members, is a global platform for meeting lesbian and queer women. It’s a social as well as a dating app, featuring LGBTQ+ news; details of real-life meet-ups and events; and online community style groups so you can meet others in a safe, group chat environment.

Muddy Matches


Ever feel like you’re missing out on top totty by living out in the shires? Are you looking for someone who shares your love of country pursuits? With 200,000 members in the UK and Ireland, Muddy Matches specialises in ‘country-minded people’. You don’t have to live in the sticks to be a member; just need to have a penchant for wellies over heels and country pubs over flash city bars. You can browse profiles and tip them the ‘wink’ if they tickle your fancy. Only Barbour wearers need apply.

Scruff


Originally set up as a niche gay dating app for men who like men with beards, Scruff’s 15 million users have now diversified to bi, gay and trans men – and even welcomes clean-shaven chaps, too. With a slightly older demographic than say, Grindr, the site has a modern, laidback feel, and users can give other members an appreciative ‘woof’ if they like what they see.

Lumen


If you’re coming to dating later in life – perhaps your children have flown the nest, or you’re recently divorced – getting back out there in your fifties and beyond can feel more than a bit daunting. Rather than a perfunctory ‘thumbs up’ or ‘swipe right’ to denote interest, Lumen is designed to spark real, meaningful conversations, with initial introductions of at least 50 characters long, more in-depth profiling and multi photos as standard. Focusing on quality over quantity, you can spark up six conversations a day as a free member and, unlike other ‘mature’ dating websites, the app feels fun and interactive. A great place to get back on the dating wagon for the over-fifties.
*data taken from June 2019

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February 2020
By Lydia Mansi

Lydia Mansi

Lydia is our resident expert on beauty.

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