The Best Dating Apps (with Charts!)

The Best Dating Apps with Charts

I’ve already been on record as stating that I’m not a dating app guy. Too little information. Too quick to text. Too many options. Too impersonal. Too disposable.

All of those things remain the case. At the same time, dating apps are huge. They serve our busy lives and desire for instant gratification with right swipes and addictive little bursts of dopamine. You can see why they’re appealing – and they’re not going away.

I have many clients who use them – some who say the quality of men is no worse than on a conventional dating site – and I believe them. It’s pretty much the same people. It’s just that the medium itself doesn’t allow for much courtship or screening. It’s more like, “You’re cute. Let’s text. Let’s meet.” – which leads to a whole lot of bad dates and flaky behavior. But enough about my old-school rantings about kids and their technology.

The reason you’re here is because Priceonomics did a pretty comprehensive study of the demographics of dating apps

It’s more like, “You’re cute. Let’s text. Let’s meet.” – which leads to a whole lot of bad dates and flaky behavior.

Which dating app is the most popular? Which dating app has the most people in your age bracket? Which dating app has the most men? Which dating app has the most women?

If you’re too lazy to click on the link above:

  • Tinder has the most users.
  • Bumble and Tinder skew the youngest.
  • Christian Mingle, Coffee Meets Bagel and eHarmony are the only dating apps that have more women.
  • Grinder (for gay men) has – by far – the most customer loyalty, while PlentyOfFish, JSwipe and Tinder lead the pack for other sites.

The summary of the piece concludes:

“Straight men may want to check out Coffee Meets Bagel, while straight women can confidently choose between a number of apps where the gender ratio is favorable. Bumble is a hub for twentysomethings, while Match has the most users in their fifties. 

But the data also reflects that choosing a dating app is a matter of picking your style of dating. Users engage with Happn frequently—it’s a good choice if you want dating to be a spontaneous, ever-present endeavor. On the other hand, Coffee Meets Bagel users check in infrequently, reflecting its spirit of making online dating a planned, once-per-day routine.”

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (31 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Selena

    I’ve seen commercials for Our Time, a dating site for singles 50+.  If anyone reading has tried this one, what did you think about it?

    1. 1.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Selena,

      I tried OurTime when I did OLD.

      I think it was average. I believe I took advantage of the 30-day free trial. Dated one guy from it, but I think he was a little insecure as I thought he wanted me to proactively contact him.

      I ended my membership when the free trial was over.

      If we’re going by looks, I would say OKC had better looking men, in general, although it also seemed to have a greater number of unacceptable men, too forward, too insistent, more interested in sex than relationships, to go along with it.

      In my area, my impression was that there were more “yuppies” on OKC, while there seemed to be more diversity of professions on PoF (met an ironworker, a firefighter, and an orthopedic surgeon, among other professions, from that site).

      My boyfriend of 16 months I could only have met IRL, as he doesn’t even own a computer.

    2. 1.2
      Barb

      I’m 53 and Our Time worked better for me than match. Lots of quality guys and the one I’m seeing now I met there. 14 months!

      1. 1.2.1
        JB

        What always made me laugh is that Senior People Meet and Our Time are the same site so when I see 44 yr. old women on Senior People Meet I say to myself “do these women know what a “senior” is….lol Back in the day the word “senior” meant senior citizen 65 yrs +.  On top of that half the women in my area right now that are on Our Time are on Match too. For those of you that don’t know Match owns POF, OKCupid, Tinder, How About We, Our Time and of course all of the __________meet sites. I’m a stock holder so make sure you subscribe to them all! 🙂

        1. Selena

          The commercials for Our Time have intrigue me because of a line that goes something like: “It’s refreshing to meet men who actually want to meet a woman my age.”

           

          I’m in my 50’s. The cynic in me wonders if the men on this site who want to meet women my age are themselves in their 70’s.

           

          The optimist (?) in me wonders if a site for people over 50 might weed out those 50  – something fellows who want women in their 30’s.   😉

           

           

           

           

        2. JB

          I’m a “50 something fellow” my parameters are 43-60. Although I have recon profiles on most of them just to see what women from Match I may be corresponding with are on them too. I don’t pay for any of those.  I stay on Match exclusively because above all the quality of the site, the graphics, and the variety of options is far ahead of the other sites. There’s also more people on Match (both men & women). That’s why it’s the flagship of the brand.

          It doesn’t  take a genius to see all the sites like Our Time/(Senior People Meet), Steve Harvey’s “Delightful”, Chemistry and all of the other full of baloney niche _______meet sites have the exact same graphics/back office with the same archaic or no options as well as many less people. They want “less informed” people to subscribe to all of them separately.

        3. Sheila

          JB, that’s because most “mature” men online are seeking women much younger. That leaves women in their 40s or even late 30s to go on Ourtimes or collect social security pretty soon. Yay!

    3. 1.3
      Tiffany

      Hi. I had a very good friend on Our Time and the 3 connections she had were fake. The scammers seem to be targeting women of a certain age.

  2. 2
    Kh77

    I actually like Tinder, after a dating break I’m back on there. The men are no different than on other sites and I’ve even met some guys in person out and about and they said they were on Tinder as well so it’s regular folks, there’s weirdos sure but there’s weirdos anywhere. I didn’t like Bumble, it felt awkward to me to initiate conversations and I could tell the guys probably had the advantage which gave them less advantage to make an effort. Coffee Meets Bagel also yielded subpar results. As far as dates, quality and quantity, Tinder has been great. Not to say every guy has boyfriend potential, a handful have only wanted sex (one I took up on his offer because I knew I didn’t want anything more from him and still had fun) but that’s been the minority. I’ve liked most of the guys I’ve met and had a good time on my dates.

    1. 2.1
      Tom10

      @ Kh77 #2
      “I didn’t like Bumble, it felt awkward to me to initiate conversations and I could tell the guys probably had the advantage which gave them less advantage to make an effort.”
       

      That’s funny; I’ve just tried out Bumble this summer and, similarly, thought that the concept was fundamentally flawed, so I’ve often wondered how women felt about it.
       

      For those who don’t know, its central premise is that only women can make first contact. Once two parties have matched the woman has 24hrs to make contact and the guy only has a further 24hrs to reply. If either party doesn’t contact within this period then the match will disappear. There is no limit to “right swipes”.

       
      So due to these two factors (only women can make first contact and no limit to right swipes) it encourages guys to simply swipe right for every single woman, irrespective of whether he’s even attracted to any of them, just he can see his maximum pool of options. Once a particular woman sends him a message he can evaluate her at that point: if she’s nice he can reply, whereas if she’s “meh” he can simply unmatch her. This could be considered a bit cruel but as there are no consequences for doing so, it simply makes sense to operate this way.

       
      And as he’s swiped right for every single woman, statistically he’s not going to like many/most of his matches so he’ll simply unmatch the majority of women who contact him.

       
      I can only presume how that’s most guys operate on it, therefore, I have to conclude that many women using Bumble are sending out many messages before getting unmatched afterwards. Which can’t be good for their confidence.
       

      And if that wasn’t bad enough, the guys who only want sex now have women contacting him first, therefore, he now doesn’t even have to do any work to get some.
       

      I don’t know what the folks who designed the app were smokin’ when they came up with the whole concept!

      1. 2.1.1
        MilkyMae

        I think you described the merits of Bumble.  Dating is awkward, dating involves rejection, dating involves competition, dating involves meeting new sometimes strange people….  A dating app that doesn’t have dating side effects is going to be less productive.

      2. 2.1.2
        Evan Marc Katz

        They were thinking things from their perspective: 90% of guys are creeps who flood my inbox with charming notes like “hey”, “whats up?””let’s meet” and “wanna fuck?” Bumble doesn’t eliminate this, but at least she will only correspond with men SHE is attracted to.

      3. 2.1.3
        Kh77

        The thing is a lot of the guys I saw on Bumble were also on Tinder, the perceived quality wasn’t necessarily any better either. Maybe it works for some women but I found the process tiresome and I felt awkward.

        Tinder there still has to be a mutual match so that eliminates the guys you have zero surface interest in flooding your inbox and if you don’t wish to chat with someone it takes one click to unmatch them and they’re gone.

        I see where Bumble was coming from but I don’t think women initiating contact necessarily makes it a better app and someone could get weird on you after the initial message or still be looking for just sex. If there’s a cute guy on Tinder who I’ve matched with and he hasn’t said hi I don’t mind initiating a few chats but in reality I find most men who are really interested initiate. Tinder so far has worked better for me, since moving to my new city about 9 months ago I’ve had about 30 dates, they’ve so far been normal guys and I’ve enjoyed my dates.

      4. 2.1.4
        Tom10

         
        @ Evan #2.1.2
         
        “They were thinking things from their perspective: 90% of guys are creeps who flood my inbox with charming notes like “hey”, “whats up?””let’s meet” and “wanna fuck?” Bumble doesn’t eliminate this, but at least she will only correspond with men SHE is attracted to.”
         
         
         
        Fair enough Evan; there’s a certain logic to that I guess. Thanks for the explanation.
         
         
         
        So they’ve traded the con of receiving unwanted messages for the pro of controlling who to contact. But the price of this control is that women now assume the burden of rejection – or do they? I don’t actually know what percentage of guys respond.
         
         
         
        I guess we’ll just have to see how it fares over time, but so far I haven’t been convinced. Like Kh77 I’ve found Tinder more effective as it allows the process to develop more naturally; neither party being forced to initiate within a fixed time-frame.
         
         
         
        Besides, I’ve only tried Tinder and Bumble in the last few weeks so I’m still getting used to it.

      5. 2.1.5
        Luka

        Tom this is also how most guys use Tinder. Swipe right on everyone and then choose which of your matches to talk to, ie women are selective with their swipes, men with there conversation.

        Why Men should Always Swipe Right: The Game Theory of Tinder

        The app wouldn’t work if men were as selctive as women with swiping – matches would be so few and far between people would become disillusioned and delete it.

  3. 3
    Lisa

    I’ve done, all,of,these but Jdate I’m engaged now and my fiancé and I met on EH but I would say I did close to 100 dates in 5 or so years.  The free sites are hard to meet people on.  On plenty of fish and OK Cupid I got some,pretty offensive icky emails.  On match the quality of men just based on looks was much better but all the guys said they wanted serious relationship but most were looking for sex.  All three of these caused me to be absolutely bombarded with emails so much so that it was like a second job.  This was not a good thing though because I think I looked past a lot of great guys who did not photograph as well simply because sorting through 30 emails a day pictures were easiest.  I also got a ton of repeat emails and many were nasty.  I have a theory that 90% of the men are emailing 10% of the women.  I also had zero people pay attention to what I was looking for.  I got emails for men way too,old and way too young.  The benefit of EH is that you have to match to contact people for the most part.  I say that because now people can email and contact you under the what if option.  I got a lot more communication than I expected or wanted.  BUT EH did match me and my fiancée very well and he’s not someone I would ever think I would fall in love with.  We are so different but our personalities are a perfect match.  The questions EH asks get to the root of who you are, not where did you grow up what do you,do but real deep stuff.  The men on EH are less attractive overall than match and you do have to wade through a mine field of uber religious people but it’s my favorite by far.  Tinder is like match with less information and more honest people.  On Tinder I would match with a guy and he would say hey I’m just looking for sex cool I appreciate rhe honesty.  Same dude I’m match would lie until he got into your pants.  I think ok tinder its acceptable to just want sex but match not so much.  If you want a serious relationship I say EH is the best you really as a woman don’t find players on there.  It’s expensive too so guys that join are serious.

    1. 3.1
      Tiffany

      Thanks for this info. I just joined EH. I did see the same men on Match and Tinder. I have been on about 30 dates since Jan on Match and it feels like folks are just dating for sport with no real interest in getting off these sites.

  4. 4
    Marie

    Has anyone used Stitch??

  5. 5
    Nat

    I met one of the sweetest guys on Tinder several weeks ago, and he’s very relationship-oriented and wants to be my bf. I like him lots too. Of course there are guys on these apps who just want smthg casual, but most of them leave me alone because I wrote on my profile that I’m looking for frens. So in a fairly short time, I met quite a few good guys with LTR potential.

     

     
    I agree that the people on dating apps and dating websites are very similar. And each has their potential downsides or shortcomings but u can get around them. (Eg a recent study theorised  that Tinder decreases users’ self esteem because it makes ppl feel disposable. But I have never experienced that.) I would try the other apps along with Tinder if I had the time, but I don’t think I do. But I really feel that ud be a fool to not try some of these (unless ur in a job which allows u to meet lots of ppl regularly), because choosing a life partner is such a huge decision and u need enough options. One thing that may attract users to Tinder is that it’s perceived as having a young hip vibe, whereas some pple still stigmatise dating websites as a place for fuddy duddies who lack social skills (I disagree, but that’s a perception many still have).

     

    At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if u met in real life or online, or on which app/website. To meet online may start off as low  investment and low risk, but to have a gd LTR, u and your partner will need to invest and take emotional risks. Some ppl who use OLD think that it will magically give them a perfect rship and they barely need to lift a finger, and that’s unrealistic.

  6. 6
    JB

    The problem now is that some sites are websites(Match, OKCupid, POF) AND apps which really screws things up for someone like me on Match when I take time to actually send a normal opening email with words, sentences, and a coherent thought. The women respond through the app with a 4 or 5 word text. So a percentage of people are on their computer and another part are acting on their phone like Match is Tinder. It screws up the whole rhythm of communication. I’ll take the site and my computer any day. I need a computer to Google image search and research the women I’m interested in, make notes etc…. I know the apps will never go away. 🙁

  7. 7
    kat

    Im in my 50s . I was surprised that I actually like Tinder. Only the guys Im attracted to can contact me and its isn’t so age criteria driven as Match.

    Most all of  the messages I get from guys my age or older on match just irritate me because they rule out women their very own age but they don’t look remotely like George Clooney to get away with that LOL

     

    1. 7.1
      Sheila

      Kat, that was my experience with Match. The desired age bracket started at 23! That’s for men 40 and over. I saw a guy’s profile at 44 asking for women 18 and above..ugh!

      When I asked about this from some of my dates, they told me is biological, or I like to play strategy card games and women my age are not interested [that was from a self proclaimed super geek – age 46], or sex with a younger woman is more intense,…

       

      1. 7.1.1
        Kat

        Thanks Sheila

        When a guy my own age or even decades older contacts me , I clarify with them if their age range is correct because I am over their age criteria . They always claim that Match inserted their range, or they have no clue what their profile says or they say they are willing to make “an exception” for me. I  usually snort my coffee laughing because Im far more attractive than them and they seem so mediocre. So maybe they can in some cases get a younger woman who is compromised in some way,

        but probably not as attractive as me. It just seems so futile … I have to laugh ……

  8. 8
    Sandy

    Zoosk has been worth it, then Match.

     

  9. 9
    cub9

    Not much mention of OKC- fun and spontaneous and you can message for free. If everyone is on several sites why on earth would I pay for Match. PPay  or not -I’ve done both-Match seems far less oriented toward open minded dating. OKC seems most open minded.

    1. 9.1
      JB

      “why on earth would I pay for Match?”. Because quality wise it’s best site with the most options available. People that are quality and serious don’t mind paying for it.

      I know in my area (Chicago) in my age range 45-60 there’s no comparison. As a man, the amount of quality AND quantity single women I see on Match on a daily basis far surpasses any of the free sites. And I do occasionally peruse all of them like I said above. Some people know you get what you pay for.

      1. 9.1.1
        Kiwi

        JB

        I think Match is probably great for guys 45-60. In my area in S CA I’ve looked at women profiles in that age range and the women are extremely attractive , high quality and present themselves very well.  Interestingly they are  generally far more attractive, and in far better  shape than the men in that same range.

        A high percentage of the men have never been married

        1. JB

          It’s the same here in Chicago Kiwi. I see many incredible women’s profiles and most of the men’s are below average. I do occasionally peruse my competitions profiles and say to myself  “who are these women emailing back?” I can’t find 3 quality profiles!! One reason is that, like you said women in general spend more time, energy, and of course money on how they present themselves both online and off in this world. Where as men can barely dress themselves at 50 yrs old if they’re not going to work.

  10. 10
    JB

    Funny story that coincidentally happened to me yesterday. I was shopping in DSW shoes and I run into a guy I hadn’t seen out and about at the singles events in our area etc…. for about 4 or 5 years I said “where the hell have you been?” and he holds up his finger and says “I got married!” I said great for you! Where’d you meet her? He said Match. He said “I decided to go back on after you told me to look at it as just another club in the bag and not to pin my entire dating life on it”. 2 months later he had a 7 hour meet & greet at Starbucks and got married a year later. FYI Rob is 48-52 about 6ft, average to good good looking and just a regular kind of shy nice guy. He’s a carpenter (god forbid ladies he doesn’t have a Masters!) they’re very happy, even though he was shoe shopping with her on a Sunday during football season….lol I guess it does work for some.

  11. 11
    Kelly in Florida

    Ok Cupid seems good so far. It’s free and the men seem to be of slightly above average quality, and for some reason I get a lot of younger men who want to date me on there. I heard Zoosk is good too, but have not yet tried it. My ex husband has had luck on Plenty of Fish. We will see!

  12. 12
    TC

    I’ve been on match.com’s, our time, chemistry, eHarmony, tinder, ok cupid, and the defunct singlesnet because I’ve been single for nine years. You have to remember it’s the vehicle only, you’re pretty much going to find the same statistics on everyone of them.  Scammers abound. Pervs. Constant window shoppers.

    I stay away from the free sites because to me that does allow them to have any skin in it. No cost. They can just play and play.

    Sooner or later anyone who signed up for a 12 month membership decides after day 30 not to ever log on again. Knowing which sites actually have active members is the issue.

    Being 47 I prefer dating men age 52-60 for maturity and they understand how to call, not always texting for communication.

    Just my experiences.

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