With the rise of social media, online dating is now more culturally accepted than ever before. In fact, anyone who owns a smartphone has probably seen advertisements for many of the dating apps available. However, the struggle to determine which one works best for you is real.

What’s the right choice for me? At 22 years old and fresh from a breakup, I trolled and rated three popular dating apps currently available. Here’s what happened:


Tinder – To Swipe or Not To Swipe

I was surprised by how insanely easy the Tinder is to use. It connects directly to your Facebook account, importing pictures, information, likes/dislikes and even your friends list. You’re less likely to get catfished on Tinder since Facebook screens for fake profiles regularly. I would say the biggest issue I had extends to all of dating apps—it’s fairly superficial. You base your swipe on physical appearance alone. Someone on the cusp of a left swipe may have more to offer than a solid right.

The guys I chatted with were mostly nice and polite, which was a bit of a surprise. I was invited to several bars, restaurants and clubs in the area. I’d say roughly 85 percent of the male users seemed like great people, but 15 percent did not.

All in all, I would suggest Tinder to guys and girls who are looking to meet people for hangouts and casual hook-ups, but nothing serious.

OkCupid – The Odds Are Good, but the Goods Are Odd

I actually consider myself an OkCupid veteran, having met a few people on the website in the past. The website and its full service app are free, and offer quizzes that are fun and serve as great icebreakers. Compared to Tinder, I think OkC is more personal. Each profile comes with several sections that provide insight into who they are as a person.

Unfortunately, anyone and everyone can send you a private message and there lies the problem. A lot of the negative stereotypes of online dating come from these types of platforms. While the vast majority of the messages I received were polite, some were sketchier and frankly, more disgusting than the messages I received on Tinder. Any denial of these messages was usually met with a rude, offensive comment by the sender.

I definitely recommend OkCupid if you’re looking for something “more” than Tinder but proceed with caution and definitely grow thick skin.

Bumble – It’s a Woman’s World

A friend of mine told me once that he spent 45 minutes trying to come up with the “perfect opening line” to send to a girl on OkCupid. Spoiler alert: he eventually settled on “Hey! How’s it going?” As a woman-targeted derivative of Tinder, Bumble empowers women while simultaneously alleviating men of the icebreaker burden.

Since women instigate the conversation, men know they are talking with someone who WANTS to engage them. It is also empowering to women since they determine how far the initial interest will go. That being said, the Tinder-like swiping is the only control men have over the situation. While it does remove the opportunity for unsolicited, creepy messages for men or women, according to a friend of mine, “it feels like waiting in a hallway for an interview you’re not even sure is going to happen.”

Bumble seems to be appropriate for men and women who are potentially looking for something serious. A person looking for a hook-up probably won’t enjoy the vetting process that sets Bumble apart. That being said, a person should really know what he or she is looking for before proceeding.

The Game Players*

The Serial Profiler

Whether you’re looking for men or women (or both), you will always find a serial profiler on any dating site. This is an individual who treats their online profile like a resume for a CEO position. Each section will be filled up with at least two to four paragraphs, detailing who they are, their ideologies and what they are looking for. While this does provide an in depth look intro who they are, it could also be construed as narcissism.

Negative Nancy

It is wise to have a positive outlook when online, otherwise, you become a Negative Nancy. This is an individual who is quite vocal about their disdain for online dating (“I don’t know why I’m back on here. This is pointless. Everyone here is so fake!”).

The Tight Lip

There is a reason for an online dating profile; it’s so other people can get a general idea of who you are and what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, no one shared this with The Tight Lip. The online profile usually contains three simple words: “Just ask me!”

The Golden Oldie

Online dating isn’t just for young adults anymore. Adults 50+ have been taking to OKCupid and other sites to find a relationship. This has also led to older men and women hitting on young adults. Women under the age of 25 are extremely susceptible to this. “Hello beautiful, I know I am older than what you’re looking for, but I can show you a great time” – message sent to me from a 62 year old.

The Catfish

Yes, we’ve all seen the MTV show, but the truth is, catfishing is a real thing. There are men and women who use a fake picture, or even a picture of an attractive friend to coerce an attractive man/woman into meeting them. The biggest reason behind this deception is a lack of confidence in their appearance. “He/She will fall in love with me over the computer, and my appearance won’t matter so much.” A lie is a lie.

**WARNING** Although online dating is more widely accepted, please exercise caution when meeting a stranger in person. Drive your own car or call an uber, do not get drunk, let your friends know where you are, meet at a public place and if anything seems suspicious or unsafe, leave immediately.

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