Tinder, the quick and addictive dating app, has certainly changed the game for online dating, simplifying the system to the point where the process becomes almost like a game. However, the app is also becoming known for its increasing reputation for creepy guys sending unsolicited sexual requests and harassing young women.
You don’t have to look far to see the onslaught of sexist comments and threats made through Tinder, as Instagram accounts such as Tinder Nightmares, Tinder Creeps and the magnificent Bye Felipe regularly update with new and disturbing posts that range from amusingly bizarre to downright offensive.
Couple this with the allegations of sexism and discrimination by Justin Manteen, the app’s co-founder, and you may want to cast your net a little wider when looking to meet fellow singletons online.
Luckily for you, Gadgette have scoured the online dating world to find some of the alternative dating apps out there, which may be a little less creepy than your average swipe right on Tinder (no guarantees – it is the internet after all).
Bumble was created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, who quit Tinder after suing the company for sexual harassment. Hailed as the ‘Feminist Tinder’, this app has a similar layout to the easy, swipe ready appeal of Tinder.
However, the app’s primary focus is giving females more power in the conversation; only women have the ability to send the first message, and after 24 hours if no contact is made, the connection will be lost.
Pro: The necessity of women making the first move is something both men and women would welcome in the online dating realm, giving women the confidence to start the conversation, whilst taking away the pressure men may feel to always make the first move.
Also, the 24-hour time limit on matches puts a restraint on how many connections you can keep at one time, meaning less creepy messages from that random match you may have forgotten about.
Con: Sending the first message is a step in the right direction for women who want more control over their online dating profiles, however this is not to say that an unwanted reply will not be pinged back once the initial message is sent – the content of messages received can’t be censored or monitored, so the potential for harassment is still present.
If you aren’t keen on the idea of meeting up with a completely random guy for a date, Hinge may be the dating app for you. Hinge uses your Facebook to connect you with friends of friends (or more likely your friends of friends of friends), so whilst your match is not completely known to you, neither is the match completely random.
Unlike Tinder, It also gives out both first and last names once you’ve connected (which, again, will vex Holly), and lists the employer/university of the potential match, which adds a new level of transparency to who you are chatting to.
Pro: This is a great app for those just getting into online dating – there is something less intimidating about being matched with someone who can be vouched for by someone you already know, with the added bonus of knowing exactly who you’re talking to.
Con: Facebook friends are not always real friends – so for anyone who has yet to scroll through and cut out the random work colleagues and old school friends from their friend list, this could mean being matched with someone entirely random anyway. Also, if you know your match’s full name and employment details, then they know yours – Hinge is one way to weed out random creeps from your potential dating life, but it doesn’t account for creeps that vaguely know you.
Aiming to take the inherent awkwardness out of online dating, this so-called ‘social club’ matches you and two of your friends with another group of 3 friends, based on a sign up questionnaire and a look at your Facebook page, and then arranges where to meet up once you’ve found a suitable connection.
After paying a pre-paid £15 for the date, Grouper shells out for the first round of drinks at their chosen location, and all you and your mates have to do is show up and wait for your matched group to arrive.
Pro: This kind of online dating has the potential to both be safer and less intimidating than your average Tinder date – not only does bringing a couple of friends out with you for a group date take pressure off what is often an initially awkward encounter, having people with you when you are meeting up also ensures a certain level of protection that you don’t necessarily feel when going for a one-on-one date.
Con: This may not be the most realistic way to meet someone – serious online daters beware. If the chances of dating apps matching you with someone suitable are often slim, the chances of Grouper finding a suitable match for all three prospective daters are even slimmer – this, combined with only one person’s questionnaire being used to match with a chosen group, could lead to four very bored wingmen and women.
Available on iOS (Android users can’t personally sign up yet, but can still be join in as part of a group)
Loveflutter aims to turn online dating on its head by taking away the vanity of dating apps like Tinder, and turning it into something more personality-based.
Loveflutter matches people based on their shared interests rather than on photos alone, with the user initially having to write a 140 character “quirky fact” about themselves instead of posting a photo. If this fact sparks curiosity in another user, by pressing down on the screen the potential match’s photo will then be shown.
This way of connecting with someone is not based instantly on attraction, which supposedly leads to more matches based on shared humour and interest.
Pro: The main appeal of this app is that it seems to at least try to guide people beyond the immediate physical factors of online dating, something that to many people might be a refreshing alternative to the photo-heavy, info-light world of Tinder.
Con: If the pro of this app is its quirky, selective appeal, the con would be the app’s potential for pretension – if I were to create a profile on Loveflutter, my interesting fact might be something along the lines of “I do not trust people who self-identify as quirky”.
There is definitely more of a niche market for this app, however there is a risk that you will be replacing your average sexist Tinder creep with a Loveflutter pretentious moron.