Single and ready to mingle? Switch up your dating game — Tinder isn’t the only matchmaking app out there for modern romance
The dating game is tough – which kind of explains why there are heaps of websites, apps, matchmaking agencies and event organisers trying to make finding romantic prospects in Singapore a little easier. Shy? Dating apps could be your answer. Been swiping your heart out to no avail? Take part in a cool speed-dating session, or RSVP to a fun networking event. Even if you don’t find The One, you’ll make a new friend or two – someone to hit all the fancy bars and trendy restaurants with.
Tinder may be the millennial dating app of the century, but it’s also known for its hook-up culture. One of the first apps to jumpstart the swiping culture, Tinder allows you to dodge matchmaking algorithms by swiping right or left based on someone’s looks and short bio. While most guys and gals are straightforward about wanting a hook-up, an actual friendship or love, don’t be disheartened if you get plenty of matches but no dates. There are plenty of fishes in the sea.
Tinder, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Sorry girls, Grindr is strictly for the boys. Using your phone’s location, this geo-social networking app picks up fellow Grindr males in your area. A good way if you’re looking to come out of the closet and meet folks of the same persuasion.
Grindr, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Who run the world? Girls — and this yellow, female-centric app knows it. Think of Bumble as the less superficial sister of Tinder where women get the upper hand for every match. Dodge those obnoxious pick-up lines and make the first move. However, it’s all about fast fingers and carpe diem, so you fine ladies (and either one of a same-sex match) will have to initiate a simple “hello” within 24 hours before the connection disappears. The power is in your hands!
Tip: shake your phone to backtrack if you accidentally swipe left or right too fast!
Bumble, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
First dates are nerve-wracking, and more so if it’s after hours – it seems too rude to leave within an hour of a bad date. Perfect for time-starved lonely hearts is Asia’s premier lunch dating company, Lunch Actually, which organises short and sweet lunch dates for busy working professionals. It puts together weekend and evening affairs too.
Lunch Actually, available online
Coffee Meets Bagel
If you’re over the whole swiping shebang, Coffee Meets Bagel is one of those ‘intellectual’ dating apps that use algorithms to set you with a suitable match. Matches are based on your preferences and personality type, and you get to pass or connect with the ‘bagels’ (aka profiles) you get for the day. This is great for hopeless romantics seeking meaningful connections as opposed to Tinder’s casual flings.
Coffee Meets Bagel, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Instagram addicts will love Lovoo. The matchmaking app acts like a spiffy social media tool that allows users, typically made up of beatnik millennials, to not only network, but share photos and videos – similar to Instagram. Better yet, the app is built with a live radar that scans and shows what’s happening around you in real time.
Lovoo, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Fancy someone you bumped into on the street? Or that cutie who takes the same train as you in the morning, but you’re too shy to chat up? Using your phone’s GPS to track your location, Happn connects users who have crossed paths. Once you heart them and you get one in return, then it’s a match and you’re both notified. What sets this apart from other dating is the ‘charm’ feature where you can let someone know you fancy them even if he or she hasn’t liked you back. Don’t worry, you’ll get your ‘charm’ back within 24 hours if you are ‘ghosted’.
Happn, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android) | Windows Phone Store
Coined as “The Google of Dating” by The Boston Globe, OkCupid is one of the largest dating sites in the world. The free online site uses algorithms and formulas to match you up with a prospective partner. So pop your profile in and let cupid work his magic!
OkCupid, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
‘Cos misery loves company. And what better way to click with someone than to find out the things you have in common — like the things you hate! Instead of swiping on profiles and pictures of people on their travels (c’mon, be creative!), you swipe on issues, TV shows, celebs, and life’s nitty-gritty like selfies and avocado toast. Matches are based on the number of things you dislike. Haters gon’ hate!
Hater, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Singapore’s answer to Tinder, Paktor (which means ‘dating’ in Cantonese) was conceptualised when Joseph Phua has unceremoniously thrust into the dating world once again and looking for a fuss-free matchmaking service. You’ll notice stark similarities to Tinder’s interface, though Paktor enables you to take back a swipe without any charges – great for mindless swipers.
Paktor, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
You might be familiar with Meetup.com, with groups for everything under the sun – and that includes groups for singles. Mingle in groups for locals, expats, young adults, single parents… you name it. So if you’re looking for something more specific than swiping on random profiles, hop on to the site to join a group of your fancy.
Meetup, available online
Disheartened by being catfished by duds on other dating apps? The team behind Lunch Actually brings you a dating app that promises to match you with quality finds. The strict screening process sees the team rejecting 30% of applicants daily to ensure that only real, non-creepy, quality singles are allowed on the app. Questionnaires also give you an insight into the other person’s thoughts on important issues like living habits, so you won’t be surprised by any deal-breaking information five dates in.
Lunch Click, available to download on the App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
If you’re fond of personality tests and tend to ask your dates about which Myers-Briggs category they fall into, Esync is for you. Start by taking a personality test and you’ll receive potential matches based on personality compatibility. After which, Esync’s dating consultants will coordinate a date for you, so that you can have a chat IRL.
Esync, available online
Social Development Network (SDN)
FYI, the Singapore government is concerned about your love life too. (And no, this is not just for locals; everyone is welcome.) The SDN was set up to encourage social interaction among singles, with activities like trips to neighbouring islands, dinners, and even a journey through a VR escape room!
Social Development Network, events list available online
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