Single and ready to mingle? Switch up your dating game! Tinder isn’t the only matchmaking app out there for modern romantics...
Dating in Singapore is tough – which kind of explains why there are heaps of websites, apps, matchmaking agencies and event organisers to help you find romantic prospects. Can’t get out of your comfort zone? Dating apps could be your answer. Been swiping your heart out to no avail? Take part in a speed dating session or perhaps RSVP to a fun singles’ event at a romantic restaurant. Even if you don’t find The One, you could make a new friend or two – someone to hit all the fancy cocktail bars and trendy rooftop 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 loads of matches but no daytime dates. There are plenty of other fishes in the sea.
Tinder, available to download on App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
Who run the world? Girls! And this female-centric app knows it. Think of Bumble as the less superficial sister of Tinder where women get the upper hand for every match. So you can 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 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 App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
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 partner. Matches are based on your preference and personality type, and you get to pass or connect with the ‘bagels’ (aka profiles) that come your way each day. This works great for hopeless romantics seeking more meaningful connections, as opposed to Tinder’s casual flings.
Coffee Meets Bagel, available to download on App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
First dates are nerve-wracking, and more so if it’s after hours – it just seems too rude to leave within an hour of a bad date. Perfect for time-starved lonely hearts, popular matchmaking company Lunch Actually organises short and sweet lunch dates for busy working professionals. It puts together weekend and evening affairs too, in case you were wondering. Plus, you’ll be in good hands as these matchmakers are pros at helping others find love (and they’ve been doing it for years now).
Lunch Actually, available online.
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 start if you’re looking to come out of the closet and meet folks of the same persuasion.
Grindr, available to download on App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
Instagram addicts will love Lovoo when it comes to dating in Singapore. The matchmaking app acts like a spiffy social media tool that allows users, typically made up of beatnik millennials, to not only network but also share images and videos – similar to a certain photo-centric app. Better yet, the platform is built with a live radar that scans and shows what’s happening around you in real-time.
Lovoo, available to download on 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 start a chat? Using your phone’s GPS to track your location, Happn connects users who have crossed paths. Once you ‘heart’ them and get one in return, you’ll both be notified of the match. What sets this apart from other dating options 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 end up being ‘ghosted’.
Happn, available to download on 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 international dating sites in the world. The free online platform uses algorithms and formulas to match you up with a prospective partner. So pop in your profile, sit back and let Cupid work his magic!
OkCupid, available to download on App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
‘Cos misery loves company. And what better way to connect with someone than to find out what 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 can swipe on issues, TV shows, celebs and life’s nitty-gritty like, er, selfies and avocado toast. Matches are based on the number of things you dislike. Haters gon’ hate!
Hater, available to download on App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android)
Singapore’s answer to Tinder, Paktor (which means ‘dating’ in Cantonese) came about when its founder was unceremoniously thrust into the dating world once again and struggled to look 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 App Store (iOS) | Google Play (Android).
You might be familiar with Meetup.com, which is home to interest groups for everything under the sun – and that includes singles. Here, you get the opportunity to mingle in groups for locals, expats, young adults, single parents… you name it. And it’s not limited to dating in Singapore. 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 the number of catfish duds on other dating apps? The folks behind Lunch Actually have launched a platform that promises to match you with quality finds. The company’s strict screening process sees the team rejecting a good amount of applicants daily to ensure that only real, non-creepy and quality singles are allowed in. 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 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 could be the one for you. Start by taking a personality test and you’ll receive potential matches based on character compatibility. After which, Esync’s dating consultants will coordinate a date for you so you can have a chat IRL.
Esync, available online.
Social Development Network (SDN)
FYI, the government is concerned about your love life, too. (And no, this isn’t just for locals; everyone’s welcome!) The SDN compiles singles’ events from accredited dating agencies to encourage more social interaction among those looking for romance, with activities like trips to neighbouring islands, salsa sessions, dinners, cooking classes and rounds of speed dating in Singapore.
Social Development Network, list of events available online.