The Dating Apps You Should Use, Ranked By Your Level Of Hopelessness

by Sheena Sharma

I have very mixed feelings about dating apps.

As much as I want the perfect boyfriend, I'm also such a friggin' hopeless romantic that I'm more or less morally opposed to using a dating app to find said perfect boyfriend.

I want to bump into him on the street while jogging, or accidentally spill my coffee on him. Dammit, I want a street-meet romance. (I know that sounds a little ridiculous. Honestly, it feels a little ridiculous to write. It's more likely that I would meet him through friends, or at some random apartment party.)

But waiting for him is hard, so I defy my morals when I'm bored — like when I'm on the toilet or listening to a friend rant about her problems — and swipe through dating apps, only to be matched with socially awkward guys or ones who send me dick pics.

I'm not the only one who's struggling in the swipe right scene. A new "Dating Apocalypse" survey of 300 users on dating app Hinge found that only ONE IN 500 swipes results in an actual message, and 90 percent of users only swipe when they're bored (like me).

The other problem? There are so many damn apps out there, you don't know which one you should go on to meet the right person. All of them? One of them? A few of them?

Well, let's go down the typical journey one goes on when navigating the hope-sucking rabbit hole of dating apps, shall we?


You start off starry-eyed and super hopeful. Maybe it's because you're finally over your last relationship, or you keep seeing your friends successfully pairing up. Whatever the reason, you have a pep in your step.

You go out to bars every weekend with your single girlfriends and accept every party invitation — no stone goes unturned on your journey for love.

Your general demeanor is all, "Apps be damned!"

But it doesn't take you long to realize that a) people are too caught up in their day-to-day to give any fucks about ~bumping into you~ on the street, and b) all the guys you meet in bars are just looking to get laid.

So you finally listen to your friends and bite the app bullet.

Then Tinder...

You have to see what all the rage is about. So, you swipe through some average Joes, tatted-up bartenders, finance bros (they all look the same), one guy who lives in his mom's basement...

Oh! You just got a "super like!" WTF is that? Sounds legit. You have to see what this guy who "super-liked" you is all about.

OMG, this guy could be The One. You think you're hitting it off with him during your chat, when... congratulations! You get your first unsolicited dick pic.

OK, OKCupid...

Your coupled-up friends have told you if you are really serious about getting serious, you should get off of apps and onto the actual internet.

You sign up, and soon enough, your inbox is flooded with messages. Yay!

But literally, why is everyone on here so weird? Some guy has already proposed to you, and some other dude just called you "honey doll" (since when is that an actual term?).

Sorry, sir, but you don't want to talk to a 30-something, twice-divorced guy who is definitely trying to hide his receding hairline in his profile pic. Time to GTFO of this thing.

Next, Bumble...

It's like the more elite Tinder because most of the dudes actually have jobs. Plus, your best girlfriend met her boyfriend on this app, so why not give it a shot?

But then you quickly learn about this whole "girls have to message first" deal. Shit.

Despite your shyness, you finally work up the nerve to message a hot dude you match within the 24-hour limit. "Hey! I see you like Pilsners, too. We should check out that place uptown."

No answer.

Meanwhile, it's taken you three weeks to recover from your OkCupid disgust, get drunk, and vow to try apps again. But it's cool bro, you don't have to respond.

Let's Try Hinge...

Ah, sweet relief.

Since Hinge suggests romantic prospects for you based on your Facebook friends, you figure you're more likely to meet someone worth dating on this app.

You swipe through a bunch of great-looking dudes and finally match with a witty, charming guy. You guys talk and the conversation is great. You talk and talk and talk... but he won't actually ask you out.

Nope, he just straight-up disappears after weeks of verbal sparks, and your poor, already-jaded heart becomes even more jaded.


You really don't want to fill out this page-long form (what is this, the DMV?), but you know anything worth having requires effort, so you do buckle down.

Once messages start coming in, you realize you may be the youngest person on this thing. The market is chock-full of middle-aged guys looking to propose tomorrow and late-30-something, socially inept guys with cats.

You go on a date with said 30-something for the sole reason that you haven't been on a real date in ages.

Of course, it doesn't go well (shocker) because he shows up with cat hair all over him (lint roller, bro?) and then leaves early to go feed them their Meow Mix. You dump his ass.

The plus side? You got free drinks! YAASSSS.

Maybe Raya?...

It's time to get bougie up in this bitch. If Cara Delevingne is on here, it's bound to be legit and teaming with hot, normal, boyfriend material.

You start imagining the kinds of men you'll find on Raya, and then, you realize you can't even get on the app. You need to have to have a glamorous job, great credentials and connections in the celebrity world to be accepted.


You're a part-time waitress and the coolest person you know is your dad, so...

Alright, The League...

You settle for The League, which also has a pretty annoying filtering process — vetting people who went to Ivy League schools and now wear embroidered vests at "Insert Douchey Bank Name" here.

Guys can nitpick as much as they want about the women they want to be matched with, too, so you have to be a poor man's Angelina Jolie — beautiful, smart with plans for saving the world — to find success on this thing.

Add to that the fact that this app only gives you a few matches a day, and it's no wonder you're so damn bored. There simply aren't enough guys to choose from on here.

Seriously, at this point, anyone with a half a brain will do.

Whatever, Plenty Of Fish...

Not only was The League too picky for your taste, the bros on it were even snootier than the guys on Bumble (HOW is that even possible?!).

You're back to trying to find a low-key, chill dude. And TBH, you really, really, really need to get laid.

You meet up with some guy named roger4024 to Netflix and chill. You guys bone, he lasts three minutes.

You never speak to him again and continue to shame-spiral for a week.

Here goes eHarmony...

God dammit. Somehow, you found yourself back to paying for love. Something about this feels inherently unromantic.

You pony up to get an account, and shit: There's your old English professor. Guess his marriage didn't work out.

You quickly cancel (abort payment!), but save your username in your Notes app just in case you ever feel the need to rejoin.

Ummm, Coffee Meets Bagel...

Honestly, you wanted to try this one out because the name sounded cool, but also because you needed something a little less "let's get married" and a little more "let's get coffee."

"Each day at noon, guys will receive up to 21 quality matches – known as 'Bagels,'" you read up about the app. "They are given the option to either LIKE or PASS. Then, Coffee Meets Bagel will curate the best potential matches for women among the men who expressed interest."

Wait, why are the women on here called "bagels?" I mean, you're definitely in an open relationship with bagels, but you aren't an actual bagel.

The first guy you go on a date with talks your ear off about his sacred relationship with God. Whyyyyyyy.

WTF!!! Going to FarmersOnly...

"Lemme check out farmers. Farmers can be HOT, like that farmer dude from 'The Bachelor,' Chris Soules. (UGH, love him.) And farmers are good potential partners, right? They have good family values, and they know how to use their hands," you think.

*Creates account and logs on.*

Message from farmer: "Howdy, lil' lady. Care to take a ride on my tractor? We can move to my farm and raise chickens. P.S. I'm also married to my cousin."

*Deletes account, closes laptop and downs a shot of whiskey.*

Ugh, I guess Grouper...

Wait, this group dating site is now big enough to warrant their own app?

Pretty surprising, given its premise: Grouper takes a bunch of singles, groups them all together, and they all go on a date.

Yes, you're competing for each other. May the odds be ever in your favor.

But maybe having your friends there will diffuse any potential awkwardness. So you go on the crowded date, only to realize your two girlfriends are flirting with the one hot dude there.

You try to flirt with the other two dudes, but they're nerdy and smell weird, so you drink away the disappointment and vow to never try this again.

And when I say "this," I mean dating in general, not just group dates.

Patience. Growing. Thin.

Last resort,

At this point, fuck it. You've realized love is dead (if Brangelina can't make it, you probably can't, either), so you might as well just marry for money.

Who cares if the guy has six other sugar babies and a beer belly bigger than your sister's pregnant belly? He drives a Porsche, which means new clothes for your broke ass.



Wait, this feels oddly familiar... Oh, right. You've been here before. Three years ago, before you tried and failed every dating app and site there is.

You still haven't met the one, and you'll probably die alone. But, you know, good luck.

We're still rooting for you to meet-cute with a book lover at Barnes & Noble. How awesome would that be right? Hey, maybe there's hope after all...

*Repeats cycle.*