Let’s just say 2020 has been… what’s the word I’m looking for? Interesting. Complicated. A hot mess. However your year has been going, there’s a good chance that the pandemic, among other major world events, have impacted your search for love (or just a hot hookup). But because there are so many dating apps to try in 2020, there’s still a chance your year could turn around.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and your other old standbys — but you may also be eager to shake things up and get out of your dating comfort zone. Fortunately, in recent years, there’s been an influx of niche options that hone in on specific hobbies and interests, cultures, and lifestyles. The advantage to these kinds of apps is that you’re probably more likely to meet someone who you have a thing or two in common with.
According to an April 2020 survey of 1,000 singles conducted by the dating app The Inner Circle, 59% of singles believe the pandemic has made more people care more about connection, and 48% think it’s made them want a partner more than they ever did before. In other words, while quarantine has undoubtedly posed challenges to finding love, the bright side is that it’s seemingly given people a whole new perspective on their dating goals. So, why not capitalize on that? Cuffing season is fast approaching, after all.
Whether you’re just looking for someone cute to flirt with over FaceTime, or you’re hoping to find a soul mate to send off 2020 with a bang, here are some unique options you should consider downloading pronto.
Launched in late 2019, Fourplay puts a unique spin on finding love by pairing up single duos. On this double dating app, you and a friend scroll through other teams of two, and you only match when all four people give the “thumbs up.” Once the connection has been made, you can message back and forth in a group chat and plan a date — whether over Zoom or IRL.
Not only does Fourplay eliminate some of the awkwardness of first dates (’cause you get to bring your bestie along), but it also adds another layer of safety, too: You have someone to keep an eye on your drink while you’re in the bathroom, or help plot your escape if things are getting weird. Plus, since your BFF will be on the date with you, it’s *way* easier — and more fun — to analyze whether or not there was a spark afterwards.
What sets this dating app apart is that it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to analyze data from your social media accounts, better understand your preferences, and then provide you with matches that you’re likely to be attracted to. And the more you use the app, the smarter the algorithm gets in terms of linking you up with compatible users. Still quarantined or playing it safe? Say Allo not only boasts a video chat tool but also a video speed-dating feature if you’re seeking to take things up a notch.
Chispa means spark in Spanish — and that’s precisely what this app aims to help its Latinx users find. Designed with a Tinder-esque swipe interface, this apps allows singles to display their roots on their profile by choosing which country they’re from.
It’s simple to set up your profile and super straightforward to use — and while the app is totally free to download, you can purchase a “Boost” to increase your visibility in your geographic area, or a “Super Chispa” to let a specific user know you like them (so they can decide if the feeling is mutual).
This app was founded by a sober couple who found the dating scene tough to navigate — particularly when so many singles opt to meet up at bars for the first date. And a recent study by WhistleOut found that it’s been the most popular niche dating app in both New York and California during 2020.
Whether you decided to give up alcohol during quarantine or you’ve been sober for years, Loosid can help to connect you with others who share the same lifestyle. The best part? Once you’ve matched with someone, Loosid will suggest local events for you to attend that don’t involve drinking.
BLK was designed with one core goal in mind: “bring[ing] Black people together to spark meaningful connections.” And it shouldn’t take too long to get used to: like many other apps, it’s based on a swiping system that allows you to like or pass on potential matches. The more info you fill out when you’re setting up your account, the more personalized your experience will be to meet your preferences. If you upgrade to a premium account, you’ll be able to send out five “Really Likes” per day to let specific users know you’re into them, and you’ll also have the option to give people you passed on a second chance by hitting “Rewind.”
The app’s new #BLKVoices feature provides a space for users to express their views on timely social and cultural topics. So, basically, the app is timely AF in the best way.
Getting to know someone is supposed to be fun, right? Unfortunately, swipe fatigue is real, dealing with ghosters is a drag, and sometimes you just can’t muster up the creativity to come up with a clever opening message to send your match. That’s where XO comes in: This app allows you to get to know other singles by playing games with them.
The options range from drawing and word guessing games to quizzes and rankings — but whichever one you and your match choose to play, it’s bound to be a little less awkward than busting out that overused pickup line. Not only do games provide tons of conversation starters, but they also serve as a unique way to get to bond with someone and get a sense of their personality. Want to shake things up? Be sure to try the “Blind Date” feature, which enables you to play a game anonymously and have your identities revealed after it’s over.
Indecisive when it comes to dating? Then Ship may very well be a godsend. This app, which was created by the ladies behind the legendary @betches IG meme account, lets your squad take the reins on your love life by evaluating and weighing in on prospects.
Here’s how it works: Whenever a member of your “crew” likes a potential match’s profile (and that user or their wingperson has shown interest in yours), you’ll get connected. As long as you trust your friends’ taste, the beauty of this app is that it eliminates all the exhausting swiping work out on your end. If your date’s a bust, you can blame your friends — and as an added bonus, when you do finally find a great match, you can rest assured that your BFF already likes them.
Calling all music lovers: Tastebuds is a dating app that pairs people up primarily on their taste in music. You can even add your Spotify profile, too, to make sure your profile and preferences are kept current.
Tastebuds offers an excellent way to find like-minded friends — so, even if you don’t find your soul mate on here, maybe you’ll meet a new partner in crime to hit up concerts with, or someone to finally start that band you’ve always dreamed about.
Tired of unsolicited d*ck pics? Scared of a coworker or family member coming across your dating app profile? Either way, Pickable provides a viable solution. This app allows women to scope out prospects without ever revealing their identity.
No need to upload pics or create a bio — simply download the app and start swiping anonymously. Then, whenever you feel like coming out of #stealthmode, you can temporarily add a photo of yourself and set a time limit until it’s taken down again. In other words, you get to be totally in control on Pickable — and how fun is that?
If you’re so over swiping through a seemingly endless sea of people — many of which you’d never consider IRL — using HILY might feel like a breath of fresh air. This app, which stands for “Hey I Like You,” gets increasingly smarter at picking out matches for you with every swipe you make, comment you leave, and message you send.
Need a little help getting a convo started? HILY’s suggested icebreakers just might inspire you to make the first move. In addition to swiping through singles, you can also view their stories (and upload your own), and post comments on their profile, making HILY feel just as much like a social media network as it does a dating app.
While many apps may be somewhat LGBTQ-inclusive, HER is specifically tailored to lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women, as well as cisgender and non-binary folks.
Not only can you meet local cuties you may have never otherwise come across, but you can also find out about cool local LGBTQ events from comedy shows to music festivals. HER is also known for prioritizing user safety by employing moderators who are online 24/7.
Love is Blind fans are bound to love this dating app that enables users to get to know each other before they ever get to see what they look like. With S’more, you’re not so focused on looks — which you might be more likely to connect with someone for the right reasons.
Every day, users get a series of recommended profiles based on their preferences, but all the photos are blurred out. Once you engage with a certain match, both of your pics will gradually become more visible. S’more limits the number of chats you can have simultaneously, making it a better fit for people who are truly looking for connections with lasting potential. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find the Cam to your Lauren.