As more and more single people are turning to apps and sites to find a partners, women are demanding more of the sites they use: not only to they want good matches, but also good safety measures and community guidelines that allow them to feel comfortable when connecting with strangers.
Regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, women often find themselves the target of malicious and distasteful unsolicited comments and pictures that make online dating stressful and unappealing. Luckily, many apps and sites are working to combat this and are trying to make women feel empowered and hopeful that there is a good chance to find love on the internet. These are the best dating apps for women.
The app that's begging to be deleted
Most women agree that Hinge is perhaps one of the best dating apps available to women looking for a meaningful connection. Almost every aspect about the app discourages "mindless swiping" on potential matches. Instead, the app only gives you a certain number of potential matches a day, so you need to think twice before saying 'yes' or 'no' on a profile.
When you create your profile, you're prompted to answer relatively in-depth questions about yourself instead of simply writing a bio from scratch. Potential matches will initiate a conversation by commenting on your answers to these questions or by commenting on one of your photos.
Finally, many women feel safer on Hinge because potential matches are pulled from a pool of friends of your friends - meaning that there's already a connection between the two of you.
If need be, you can ask the mutual friend about your match, or know that you at least share something in common: you maybe went to the same college, have overlapping circles of friends, or even live in the same neighborhood. With the tagline, "Designed to be Deleted," both women know where to turn to find a meaningful match.
The 'feminist' dating app
Bumble is marketed as a feminist dating app, primarily because its features put women in charge. Essentially, the app works in the same way a swiping app like Tinder does, but only women can message their matches first.
This hypothetically reduces the amount of unwanted explicit messages, and women can decide who they really want to message. However, many users report that a large amount of their messages to men go unanswered and hypothesize that perhaps Bumble is an app that boosts many men's ego: to many, the number of messages they receive from women reflects their attractiveness and desirability.
Unfortunately for non-binary folks, the app seems catered specifically to straight, heteronormative women. While gay women can join the app, in that case, it wouldn't function any differently than Tinder. Bumble also doesn't give LGTBQ+ members the option to identify their gender or sexual orientation "gay" or "straight."
Gay men can also hypothetically join the app, but it's widely agreed on that it wouldn't be much of an advantage over joining a more popular app like Tinder or Grindr.
3. The League
The 'elite' app for professionals
If you're willing to pay for it, The League is a dating app that does all the work for you. You’ll need active Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to log in, and you'll be assessed based on the information you've provided on these profiles, such as your education and professional career.
On top of that, you have to fill out an application and then are placed on a waiting list for an undetermined period of time that varies by the city you live in. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to a personal concierge who does a lot of the work for you and helps curate your profile.
Part of what draws some people to The League is the ability to be extremely picky about the kind of people you want to match with. You can filter not only by age and location, but also by race or even education. Then every day at 5 pm you'll get to see five matches and decide whether to like them or not.
Each user profile displays photos, location, height, age, education, career and hobbies. If both users like each other, you can strike up a conversation on the app's messaging feature. If you want more than your allotted five matches, you'll need to upgrade your membership, which costs more. The League also hosts events and group hangouts for users who feel more comfortable meeting people that way.
The downside to this app is it's built-in elitism. It's meant to feel exclusive, and the language used in the marketing materials isn't exactly warm and fuzzy. For example, one of the website's tagline is, "We do the scouting and the vetting, you do the matching and the petting." Still, if an exclusive and upscale dating app experience is what you’re looking for, The League could be for you.
Dating with friends
The Wingman app may not be the most popular option for online dating, but it takes matchmaking into the 21st century. With this app, you can create a dating profile for your friend and tell the world how amazing they are. Along with selecting the most flattering photos of your friend, you get to write their bio.
It can be hard to self-promote and this app eliminates that problem. Once you set up a profile, the app is pretty similar to Tinder; you simply swipe through user profiles to find folks you think might be compatible with your friend.
Like the profile you created, those you flip through are monitored and used by the friends of the person actually going on the date. If they think it’s a match that might work, you can facilitate a conversation or a meet-up.
With Wingman, there’s no need for any more embarrassing blind dates. This also means if things don’t go well at first, your friend never has to know about their online dating fail and can simply look for more fish in the sea.
The app is free to download, but you need to verify yourself as a wingman to get your friend set up. It went live in 2017 and is currently available for both Android and iOS. However, there isn't a desktop version.
Best for dating on the fly
If you’re tired of the back and forth of trying to schedule a date that works with your busy schedule, check out Now, an app built specifically to make that easier. Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, it matches you with people based on your schedules.
This probably isn't the best app for finding a meaningful connection, as it's based solely on you having free time simultaneously with another user, but it's a good way to schedule a lot of dates and have a lot of fun.
The app is free and works based on your location, so you can use it to find dates while you're traveling. You need a Facebook profile to link to your dating profile, and the apps asks you to outline your intentions and hobbies in its dashboard. That’s also where you select an activity and a time frame and see if any other users are interested in meeting up with you for the date.
Now has a messaging feature, but chats are only visible for two hours if you and another user stop talking. You get four free access keys when you sign up, which increase your chances of meeting new people. If you want more, they're available for purchase. When you buy a Gold Key, you get unlimited access to all of the app's premium features for 60 hours.
The best for special arrangements
We couldn’t give you an extensive guide to online dating without mentioning sugar babies. This term is slang – usually for younger women who use online dating services to match with older, wealthier men who provide them with financial support in some way. This has become an increasingly popular way for young people to help ease the burden of student loan debt.
For instance, the date for pay website SeekingArrangement released a report in March 2019 that found that there are more than 2.7 million students in the United States who have used the website to help pay for college.
Broken down by college, Georgia State University is the fastest growing sugar baby school. With websites like SeekingArrangement, users are on the same page in terms of what each party is seeking: one is there for companionship and the ability to help take care of someone while the other is there for companionship as well as financial stability.
SeekingArrangement is skewed toward young women seeking older men, though there are other websites and apps available as well. While the name of WhatsYourPrice might seem a little too on the nose, it has options available for both men and women to bid on potential dates.