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11 dating apps that will make you ditch Tinder

Time for a change?

11 dating apps that will make you ditch Tinder
22 September 2016

You've had a blast with Tinder. There have been some good dates, some bad, but a persistent lack of spark has seen you swipe your way through the entire single population of your postcode. And they know it, throwing a heap of new functions at the app like Social and a Spotify connection in a bid to actually get people connecting rather than just swiping. 

What you need is new hunting ground (that's not supposed to sound as creepy as it does), a new app better suited to your exact dating needs. That girl in the photo above might be on one of them. She almost certainly won't be, but she might, (she won't).

Here are eleven alternatives to Tinder you might have more success with. 


In brief: Meet people who hang out in the same places as you

What does it do differently to Tinder: As you get on with life with your phone in your pocket, Huggle will pull information from your phone's location information to build a profile of the spots you like hanging out: that bar you head to after work, your local pub, the indie cinema you always go to, that kind of thing.

With this information collected, Huggle asks if you want to add spots you regularly visit to a list of 'My Places' in your profile. With this list amassed, you're then able to browse through people hanging out in locations near to where you're currently at, or people who frequent the same places as you do. The idea is, you'll then be able to bond over obvious mutual interests and establish a conversation based on something other than "Lol, that third profile picture!".

It's not even got an emphasis on dating - you can just find new mates (if you're too nervous to go up and talk to them in real life).

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In brief: The personal touch

What does it do differently to Tinder: Rather than basing your matches on location and a complicated algorithm, Once leaves a real life human being in charge of your dating fate. 

Set up a profile and someone from the Once team will send you match at 12 noon every day.

You and your match both see each other at exactly the same time (queue tense stand off of "Who speaks first"), meaning you don't have to wait around for someone to come across your profile. If neither of you make a move, you'll just have to wait 24 hours for your next match to be sent your way. 

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The Inner Circle

In brief: Dating, plus access to 'exclusive' parties

What does it do differently to Tinder: As the name suggests, The Inner Circle is more exclusive than your average dating app, recommending you go "for quality, not quantity".

You can't just join The Inner Circle - you have to be invited, or join a waiting list of 120,000 profiles. If you meet the required standard (based on lifestyles, backgrounds and interests), you're able to access the dating app that functions much like Tinder, or attend monthly events that only Inner Circle members are invited to.

We'd tell you what it's like, but we're still waiting to get approval to join the club...

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In brief: Ladies first

How is it different to Tinder: Created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, Bumble tries to take the sting out of making a match (that's a bumble bee joke) by handing the role of "conversation opener" to the female half of the match.

If you match, she's got 24 hours to start the conversation - if not, it's game over. Both users get the option to extend the waiting time by 24 hours, but they can only use this "power" once a day. 

Be warned - if you don't get a single "Hello" after a fortnight of using it, Bumble can be a pretty crushing experience. 

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In brief: Meet that girl you saw on the bus

How's it different to Tinder: In the world of Happn, location is king (or queen). 

When you create a profile, rather than being presented with "matches", you'll be shown the profiles of all other Happn users you've crossed paths with. You're even presented with a map of where you passed each other - highlighting in stalker-ish fashion that you might share the same route to work or favourite bar.

Mercifully, they won't know you "Like" them unless they "Like" you back. So no awkward moments on that bus if the feelings aren't mutual. 

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Plenty of Fish

In brief: Looooads of profiles

How's it different to Tinder: In short, it's an app extension to the massive world of Plenty of Fish - a dating website that's been going since 2003. 

The app allows you to connect to your web profile, or build from scratch. Create a profile, reach out to other members, view conversations - all for free (though paid subscriptions offer additional bells and whistles like the ability to see if someone has viewed your message and just thinks your a werido).

If you're wanting to play the 'numbers game', Plenty of Fish is your best bet. 

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In brief: Matches based on personality

How's it different to Tinder: By answering a heap of questions, covering everything from your preferred food to your views on smoking (seriously, there are so many topics to answer on), the OkCupid algorithm will build you a specific profile, building you a list of personalised matches that you could get on well with.

Again, this is an app expansion of a long-running web dating site. If you want to put some time into finding 'the one', it's got a bit more to it than just blind swiping.

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In brief: Connect over a mutual love of music

How's it different to Tinder: If music is a maker-or-breaker, Tastebuds will help you cut to the chase.

Not just for dating (it really is though), the app helps you find people nearby with a similar taste in music. Have a chat, share favourite songs, arrange to go to that gig of the Swedish glitch metal outfit you both love, see what happens.

Alternatively, find someone else who loves singing along to Disney tunes in the shower. You know they're out there.

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Coffee Meets Bagel

In brief: Skip the swipes to only get provided people who you'll like

How's it different to Tinder: First, create a profile. Then, at noon every day, you'll be sent a 'bagel' - for men, that's highly curated matches preselected by a smart algorithm, for women, it's someone who's expressed an interest in meeting you (by which logic, that means women will be shown male matches after the algorithm has seen if the man wants to meet the woman). 

The major advantage of Coffee Meets Bagel is that it will become more 'accurate' the more you use it. So make sure you nail that profile, or you'll be single the rest of your life.

Seriously. Don't mess this up.

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In brief: Play to your strengths (if you've got a beard)

How's it different to Tinder: Bristlr is for men who have beards, or people who like men who have beards. 

It's not just a conversation app that allows you to match with beard enthusiasts nearby. Oh no. There are some clever perks to this app - like warning you if a message has been copied and pasted, removing the potential that some cad is trying the same tired line on you. 

A 'secret' section of your profile is also only available for your matches - where you could stow that hilarious story about that time you met Craig Charles in the pub. Or something.

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In brief: Get down 

How's it different to Tinder: You don't want to 'date'. You want to make "the beast with two backs" (that's Shakespearean) rather than waste money on a bottle of wine. 

Create a profile, match with "real" people (you can only join via Facebook) and then organise to "get down". Yep, it's as seedy as it sounds. Be warned that there are numerous ways Down will ask you for your money to get more matches. 

Seriously, just adopt a cat. Get a hobby. Go to a bar and talk to a real human.

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