In theory, dating apps are simply a way to meet potential love or sex partners.
These smartphone-dwelling matchmakers can even facilitate experimentation, helping users code for and discover what they want from another person in any given moment.
It describes itself as a place to “meet open-minded couples and singles near you,” making it the premiere app for unicorns and those who want a more openly kink-friendly app experience.
While that may sound pretty niche, Veronica*, 35, who lives in Queens, says Feeld became her favorite dating app.
The truth is, no app embodies the “necessary evil” aspect of swiping the way Tinder does.
And it’s not even Tinder’s fault: As a pioneer of the current dating app format, Tinder’s utter ubiquity means everyone has an opinion about it.
Yet, where Tinder acts as a gateway app for some daters (from which they move onto apps more aligned with their specific desires), for others it remains the best of the bunch.
“I used to travel abroad alone for work a lot and would just get super bored.“None of the men seemed cute enough, and a lot of them were exactly as gross and Air-Drop-a-dick-pic-slimy as the stereotypes go,” she explains.Sick of typical dating but still wanting to take the guesswork out of meeting people, she started to feel like she had to settle.“When you say you went on a Tinder date, most people expect you had sex with the person,” she says.“It’s a bummer, because I used it to meet cool people to expand my dating pool, which was helpful with the radius feature on Tinder.” She says that, despite some annoying responses from dudes, she was just out of a relationship and wanted to stick with using the app.“I think I most enjoyed the bios, because it really shows what people think is important enough to say in a few words.” Her bio was a Nicki Minaj lyric that she says, “sparked a lot of conversations”—including one with the guy who would later become her husband.Julia* lives in Maine and, though she says she’s had the most success meeting people via Bumble, kept Tinder for her work trips.“We didn't have to hide those facets of ourselves, and that made it easier—at least for me—to feel good about just getting to know him and figure out that we had a genuine connection.” Hinge may seem like it plays second-fiddle to the likes of Tinder, but it has a pretty elite user base (99 percent of its daters went to college, for example).Hinge’s CEO compared his app to Facebook, versus Tinder’s Myspace—sometimes for interface reasons (Hinge is aimed at the college-educated set) and sometimes for class reasons (much has been written on the ways dating app algorithms may favor white people).At the time of download, she was single and recovering from a bad breakup.She used Tinder and Bumble for regular dating, but hated the experience.