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Best dating apps to date through a pandemic

By the [single] Oppy board [members]

Dating is weird at baseline, throw a pandemic into the mix and you have a recipe for loneliness and hopelessness, right? Some of us at The Oppy would have to disagree. There is an air of desperation that is changing the culture of dating in NYC as singlelites rush to try and shack up before winter arrives. Whether you are looking for that perfect quarantine mate or just want someone to temporarily distract you from this dumpster fire of a year, we have dating app recs for you.

Bumble

This low-pressure app is probably the current foundation of all dating apps. While its users have different objectives, everyone and their (single) mother seems to be on it. It’s easy and can lead to countless minutes or hours (depending on how much down time you have to kill) lost on mindless swiping. The low buy-in means low stakes and questionable outcomes. 

The League

While the name itself sounds pretentious, overall, it’s a good app. Users are selected based on their LinkedIn profiles. So members are somewhat vetted and professionally successful. Each member only gets three people in a batch a day (more, if you go premium), which prevents it from becoming overwhelming, and perhaps, makes you more intentional in your swiping. A huge perk is that in the past year they have started a feature called “League Live.” Three “three-minute dates” on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Basically, you can say that you went on six dates in twenty minutes flat each week. We’re fans.

Tinder

Do people still use Tinder other than for sexting? Asking for a friend.

Hinge

This could be the best of all the dating apps. It has a good selection of catches and is more relationship-driven than a lot of the other apps (if that’s what you’re looking for). The prompts are great and the bios have all the info you want to know about a person at first glance. It involves more scrolling and less swiping, and you get to see who has “liked” you.

Grindr

Ah, no dating app guide would be complete without Grindr. Grindr is so notorious, that it needs no introduction. But if you aren’t familiar with it, it predominantly caters to gay, bisexual, “experimenting” men who want to skip straight to dessert. While it’s true that it doesn’t have the best reputation for finding a soulmate (it is kind of hard to do that when you’re staring at an endless variety of headless torsos) I have had some positive experiences on Grindr. For example, after moving to a new city, I started up a friendly conversation on Grindr with a gentleman who recommended his favorite restaurants and bars in great detail. We ended up going to a bar he recommended and simply chatting for a few hours. So yes, while it’s a good place to meet people, I wouldn’t get my hopes up on finding a lifelong partner on Grindr. But hey crazier things have happened in 2020! 

Coffee Meets Bagel

Once upon a time, this app used to be good. Or so we are told. As of late, there appears to be more suspect characters, at least under the male preference.

Stern Singles

Okay, fine. We’re biased. But let’s be real, dating a classmate can work because of the similarities between you. MBA students are a selective group with a lot in common – from personalities, to goals and aspirations. In addition, we are literally telling you who’s single and give you an insight into their lives. What more could you want! Email us at oppy@stern.nyu.edu if you’re interested or want to nominate a classmate.

LinkedIn

This is a joke. Please do not use LinkedIn to hit on people. People “sliding” into your InMail is never cute.

Facebook Dating

A lot of us are over Facebook so we aren’t exactly Facebook Dating’s target users. The whole thing seemed sketch, and we lasted about an hour. So much for investigative journalism.

OK Cupid

A few years ago, a woman reached out to me on Bumble to ask me if I wanted to get a drink sometime. Great! The system works! I bring this up in the OKCupid spot because that is the service on which she and I had previously connected and gone out multiple times three years earlier. She apparently had no recollection. I spent much of the leadup to the first date of our sequel trilogy wondering if she was aware of this or if she thought I was the person who didn’t remember. When I arrived at the bar, she introduced herself in a way that made it clear she had no idea who I was. Halfway through the date I felt things had gone well enough that I could unburden myself of the crippling anxiety I was experiencing. After all, if things got serious, it would be a very awkward bomb to drop 10 years down the line. The sooner the better. Much to my surprise, she really did not remember. I felt bad about making it uncomfortable until I remembered that, as the person who didn’t forget about the existence of the other person at the table, I was fine. Eventually the awkwardness settled. We went out one more time before the magic fizzled, ending this chapter of my life. True to form, the original, when we met on OKCupid, was superior to the sequel. 

Tawkify

Tawkify is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a place where you can just quickly upload a photo and find a date, you’d be better off on a different app. Also Tawkify is ridiculously expensive. It’s $8 per match, or $15 for three. But that’s not all! If you feel that you need a matchmaker, you can pay for the “New Client Experience….” It costs $1,500. For three months. Bargain? We didn’t think so.

Raya

This relatively new app is supposedly a “celebrity dating app.” Like the League, you are approved via social media. But instead of being star-studded, it’s more saturated with DJs and Instamodels. If I had to guess, I’d say that Jake Gyllenhaal is on it though.

Photo credit: https://www.buzzfeed.com/shylawatson/coronavirus-dating-tweets

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