Gone are the days of traditional dating as many quarantined singles move from the streets to their screens in an attempt to meet that special someone.
While the pandemic has crushed normal courting rituals like restaurant dinners and nights at the cinema, virtual dating platforms such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have seen a surge in user engagement and online video dates.
“People are realising the value of having someone incredible in their lives and they’re taking more time to chat and get to know each other,” relationship expert Samantha Jayne said.
“They’re also getting creative on dates, listening to music, cooking together and becoming friends first.”
Whether you’re looking for a casual fling or your next long-term relationship, Jayne gives her best dating app and website picks for every type of person.
A fast-moving app – if it’s a match, the woman has to be the first one to make the move or else the opportunity to connect expires. You might find yourself having longer conversations before the actual date.
Best for: Women who want to make the first move
Top feature: Includes a video and voice chat features that appear only when you have made a connection with them in all three areas – BFF, Date, and Bizz.
When two people swipe right on each other and match, either one of you can start the conversation. It’s likely you’ll have little to chat about as many tend go straight to date.
Best for: Casual dating
Top feature: The app has a free “passport” feature, which allows you to match with people around the world.
The sign-up process is extensive, the questionnaire is lengthy and you are matched on compatibility. Its biggest age groups are those 30 to 44 and 55 to 64 and has an almost even split of men and women looking for a genuine relationship.
Best for: Long-term dating
Top feature: For each profile, eharmony compiles responses into a compatibility score: Anything over 100 means they’re a keeper.
It describes itself as the app that’s “designed to be deleted” and there’s plenty of preferences you can set too, from politics, religion and family plans if you want to start seriously looking for a new partner.
Best for: Coffee or brunch
Top feature: It’s new “date from home” feature allows users to notify a match if you’re ready to chat over video or a phone call. Hinge has teamed up with Headspace to create pre-date meditations.
Oldie but a goodie. You can be very specific searching for location, age range, occupation, income and all relevant parameters. It’s free.
Best for: Dating after 40
Top feature: Send a wink or use a stamp to start a conversation. Users can respond for free.
One of the newest dating apps and exclusively for professionals who are either Facebook or LinkedIn verified. Users high-calibre individuals, from lawyers to doctors.
Best for: Professionals or entrepreneurs
Top feature: Membership offers extra perks, customisation, more prospects and invites to exclusive events.
Ideal for older generation and professional people looking for a long-term relationship. You can use a free limited version or pay for unlimited access.
Best for: Dating after 50
Top feature: Its intelligent matchmaking algorithm delivers compatible suggestions for long-term relationship partners.
(POF) PLENTY OF FISH
Free and paid subscription and is great for searching specific parameters.
Best for: Singles under 36
Top feature: Livestream to an audience or host one-on-one video chats.
Originally published as A beginner’s guide to the best dating apps