Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and you, dear reader, are single. After nearly a year of wafting through the waters of pandemic dating, the wormholes of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and all the other mainstay apps — you may be sick of it.
Endless scrolling has its cons. The world is theoretically your oyster, but you’re also left to wade through your entire region’s population. Your thumbs and your brain are weary from seeing the same userface and the same over and over. Seeing as we’re still stuck indoors, you still have to meet online — but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something new.
Newer dating apps can be hit or miss. On one hand, they cater to a smaller user base — which could be great if you’re among like-minded company. On another, you don’t have nearly the amount of options you do with an app with . Keeping these potential benefits and risks in mind, here are some fresh dating app options:
If you’re especially tired of the of swiping, Jigsaw may be for you. Self-described as “anti-superficial dating,” Jigsaw doesn’t even let you see your match before you have a conversation. The app places a puzzle over a potential match’s face, and the pieces only fall away through exchanging messages. Jigsaw is currently available in New York and London, with more .
You can download Jigsaw for iOS on the Apple App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store.
S’More has a similar pushback to the usual swipe model. Like the campfire dessert, S’More wants to offer its users “Something More.” Similar to Jigsaw, it conceals people’s faces — only on S’More, the photos are blurred. Each day, users can pick eight profiles to view. Profiles include icons such as what that person is looking for, what turns them on, what’s their zodiac sign, and the like. The more matches message each other, the more the photos unblur. For these stay-at-home times, S’More even has , where the first two of five minutes of conversation are blurred. All S’More users need selfie verification, so there’s no worries about catfishing.
You can download S’More for iOS on the Apple App Store. According to their FAQ, an Android app is coming soon.
Chekmate is another app reworking how we date online. Chekmate was founded during the pandemic and is meant to bridge the gap between online and offline dating by being text-free. Instead, users communicate solely through voice and video messages. If matches are comfortable meeting in person, the app suggests local venues and users can send invites to each other; considering the coronavirus trends in the U.S., that may have to wait awhile — but it could make post-vaccine dates that much sweeter.
You can download Chekmate for iOS on the Apple App Store.
Chorus is also trying to blur the lines of app and in-person dating, though in a completely different way than Chekmate. Chorus lets users invite a friend to play matchmaker and swipe for you; the only swiping on Chorus is done by the user’s friends. Pals can also give feedback on your profile and comment on matches. Since the pandemic hit, the app added a “roulette” option where users opt-in and are paired on a spontaneous, five-minute blind video date.
You can download Chorus for iOS on the Apple App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store.
For a similar experience, the dating app also lets friends swipe for you.
that uses much more than one’s sun sign (the “main” sign based on your birthday) to calculate compatibility. According to the app’s lead astrologer Haley Comet, NUiT uses a complex algorithm that takes other factors into consideration, such as natal charts, which are diagrams that display the sun, moon, and planetary positions at the time of one’s birth. NUiT also received recognition among the queer community for a feature I haven’t seen on any other app: An option to not see or be seen by straight people. For astrology lovers — especially those who are queer — NUiT can result in a star-aligned match.
You can download NUiT for iOS on the Apple App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store.
Ever go on a date with someone only to discover they’re a fan of a highly problematic or just plain bad musician? You won’t have to worry about that with Vinylly, an app that matches you with potential suitors based on music compatibility. Users pair their Spotify account to their profile and the app uses streaming data to come up with matches. As the user listens, the algorithm adjusts and shows potential matches accordingly. The app also uses music habits, such as concert attendance, into account as well. If you’re desperately missing live music, you can find someone to lament with on Vinylly.
You can download Vinylly for iOS on the Apple App Store. An Android app is coming this month, according to Vinylly’s website.
Instead of your Spotify account, Whisk uses your Twitter account. You read that correctly: On this app, your dating profile and Twitter profile are one in the same. It sounds bizarre, but it could actually be brilliant. As Whisk proclaims on its website, “Rather than building your profile with the self-reported and unverifiable data other dating apps rely on, Whisk uses the genuine and timely information on your Twitter account to showcase your true sense of humor, interests, and opinions.” Whisk is currently in beta, but you can try this social media-dating experiment .
While having children or being forward about wanting them may scare those trolling for hookups on Tinder, but it’s . The dating app is specifically for parents or wannabe parents, thus cutting through potential awkwardness of bringing up kids. When users sign up for heybaby they answer a round of questions about their (would-be) parenting style, plans for the future, and more. The founders’ aim isn’t just to match potential couples, but also potential parents.
You can download heybaby for iOS on the Apple App Store. The site’s FAQ says to “stay tuned” for an Android app.
If you’re discouraged by the top dating apps, know that there are plenty of other options to choose from. You may never have to swipe again!