6 DATING APPS THAT AREN'T TINDER It's Time to Ditch the Hookup App

Meeting your match on a dating site has surpassed old school introductions including through friends, at work, and during college, according to the popular wedding site The Knot. So much, in fact, that The Knot’s 2017 survey showed roughly 19% of brides met their S.O. online/ through a dating app. And that digit is only rising; an earlier Pew Research poll from 2015 showed 5% of American couples met online. Better yet, research suggests using a dating site facilitates longer-lasting connections.

With these pretty figures in mind and it being a new year (new you?), the top of your goals list may be to fall in love, or at least start dating a potential life-long partner. Some of the better-known dating apps such as Tinder may be deterring you given its reputation as a one-and-done hook-up site, but have no fear; you don’t have to use Tinder.

Here are 6 dating apps that aren’t Tinder where you can seek your soul mate.

Find someone who hates the same stuff. Simple concept, but hyper efficient. Swipe through dozens of topics from N’SYNC to Tapas, dogs to deadlifts, and find a date who hates (or loves) butt selfies as much as you do. Free to download, the app was launched to the masses February 2017 after Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban invested $200,000 in the company—which also resulted in tens of thousands of new downloads…meaning the crop of prospective wifeys is aplenty.

Private and membership-based, think of Raya as the top tier of dating sites (it’s even been called “the Fight Club of Dating Apps”). But I wouldn’t suggest joining unless you love music and really want to join, as Raya is notoriously difficult to get on. Why? Well, regular Joes and Joannas are present but the app also caters to professional DJs and musicians (does the name Tim Bergling ring a bell? You might know him as Avicii. Or Actress/Model Ruby Rose). The qualifications to be accepted are left vaguely as: Have a cool and/or creative occupation, have a significant Instagram following, have other friends on Raya who can recommend you, be hot, and maybe be magical? Verbatum. But did we mention you could match with Ruby Rose? After being accepted, choose your theme song carefully.

Coffee Meets Bagel
Yes, it’s just as delicious as it sounds. This dating app was designed for those seeking a real, meaningful relationship is not so willy-nilly as Tinder in that each day, 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 curates the best potential matches for women among the men who expressed interest. Women then choose who gets to talk to them among quality men who already liked them. So the ball’s in her court and it’s Ladies Choice…putting some pressure off you. Don’t believe this works? There are dozens of success stories to give you hope.

Get your mind out of the gutter! This app is made to help you avoid that dreaded moment when after dating for a month you find out they hate going to the gym…which just won’t fly. Sweatt believes amazing relationships are fostered between motivated, confident, strong people, aka people who like to be active. The app builds each user profile off a full-body image, fitness preferences (run, yoga, weights, CrossFit, etc.), how many times a week they workout, typical workout time, and favorite way to post-fuel. The only flaw, Sweatt’s user base is small, so don’t expect to be swimming in matches.

Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but it’s easier to cultivate a bond if you’re close by. Enter: Happn—a dating app that harnesses the power of your everyday schedule and location to find you matches with people in the same local. Literally, you could match with that hot barista who you ordered coffee from. Every time you cross paths with another Happn user, you’re notified, making it easy to discern who is looking for love and who is taken. It’s also an instant conversation starter, seeing as you both might like the same bakery or pizza joint. Bonus: more than 40 million users have the app. So by all means, go for a stroll.

An app where the woman messages first (phew, no sweating over corny pick-up lines). Bumble is notorious for producing dates and has a safer, more mellow feel in comparison to Tinder. At the same time, the woman-always-messages-first can create a strange, sometimes imbalanced dynamic and, combined with other effects, can result in more friendships and networking than romantic relationships. In fact, use it specifically as an avenue to mix business with pleasure and network with attractive professionals—there’s an option for that!

+ 1 Dating App We Want Back

“What’s shakin’ bacon?” This would be your opening line on the dating app Sizzl…seeing as it was designed to connect fellow bacon lovers. That’s right, all this time you were wasting money trying to meet women in bars when there was a bacon dating app waiting for you. Released by Oscar Mayer in 2015, Sizzl was no gag app. Users were asked to seriously answer a bacon questionnaire, specifying how they like their bacon cooked (crispy, chewy, etc.), what type of bacon they prefer (pork, turkey, you get the picture). Sizzle also passed on the tradition app swiping mechanism for a “sizzle” button allowing you to rate the heat/attraction to a user. “We’re thrilled to give our true bacon lovers the chance to find each other and potentially meet their soulmates, in life and in bacon,” said Eric Dahmer, Oscar Mayer’s marketing director upon its launch, but the app has literally sizzled out and is no longer offered. We say, BRING IT BACK!

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