But, there’s actually a whole slew of other dating apps that may be even more useful for you. The one drawback of the location focus is that after a bad date, you risk an awkward run in at the gym.
There are apps that bring together people with similar nerdy interests, apps designed for encounters even more casual than what Tinder delivers, and profile-heavy apps that really get into the specifics of users’ personalities. Bumble is like Tinder, but with all the power in the ladies’ thumbs, and far fewer inappropriate pics.
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A Captain America fan might be connected with someone who’s really into Bucky Barnes, for example.
At ten times what it was last October, the app’s small user base (around 10k downloads on Google Play) is growing faster than your action figure collection. Why feel guilty for leaving Fluffy at home when you could organize a double date?
“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.
“There are people of different intentions on every platform; it’s more important what your intention is.” Perhaps the key factor that determines whether you’ll like a site is not the price to join but the kind of people you find on it and how they behave and communicate.
When it comes to the apps on our phones, we tend to become loyal to a select few.
“If sending messages had a price or you could send only a fixed number per day, people you contact online would know you had to give up something to do so, which would incentivize better behavior,” he says.
Perhaps beyond just charging for messages, sites could adjust the price according to how high quality someone's engagement seems to be.
“That’s the real issue—how happy are people with their interactions on the dating sites,” says Scott Kominers, a lecturer in economics at Harvard University.
On a site like Ok Cupid anyone can send you a message, whereas on the free app Bumble or on Tinder or e Harmony, only people you are matched with can get in touch.