dating in your 30s for the first time a woman is figuring out which app is best

An Honest Review of Dating Apps when you’re Dating in your 30s

After a couple of months being single, it felt like it was time to try some of the most popular online dating apps. How else do you date when you’re dating in your 30s? I had read reviews of the major dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and had heard about Hinge and others, but there is no substitute for trying them yourself. Here’s my honest review of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and even Plenty of Fish in 2020.

Tinder

I was excited to try Tinder. After hearing things like all the rules of tinder, the memes, and to see how much of it’s reputation Tinder really lived up to.

Feels like lots of people just looking

There are a lot of profiles on Tinder, and maybe it’s me but not a lot of matches. It feels like Tinder is more of a game rather than a an actual place to meet people. I also wonder how many profiles are stagnant.

While Tinder got it’s reputation for being the hook up app, I haven’t really found that to be the case.

Tinder Premium

This will be a post for another day, but if you’re wondering if Tinder Premium is worth it, I’d say yes. It’s nice being able to see the people who swiped yes to you, and the boost definitely gave a nice increase in views. I haven’t had any luck from top picks or super swipes yet though

Very mainstream

Everyone knows Tinder. It’s by far the most main stream of the apps. This also means there are a lot of people you wouldn’t be interested in it. Personally, I’d love some filters for specific deal breakers, but that’s part of the simplicity of Tinder that makes it such a great app.

Fake profiles

I hadn’t heard anything about this outside of Catfishing – but I thought that was just people using old pictures or pretending to be someone else. There are a lot of fake profiles. Maybe they’re just seeing what’s out there, maybe they’re trying to find someone specific, but they’re definitely out there.

There are plenty of escorts, or something shady. You can tell the profiles because the 416 phone numbers 555 are hidden like this 4565 in the descriptions. Sometimes you’ll be asked to find the hidden email address. Shout out to them for their creativity.

Summary

What I liked most about Tinder is how quickly and easily it is to get up and running. Upload a few photos, drop some emojis in and you’re set. The 100 likes go fast on the free account thought.I’m not crazy about how they charge more if you’re over 30, and am actually curious as to how they can legally do that without some sort of age discrimination. If you’re dating in your 30s, Tinder might make you feel old quick!

Oddly enough, I found Tinder’s desktop experience too be top notch. See the video below for a quick demonstration.

If you’re just starting out on Tinder, my biggest piece of advice would be that just because someone swipes right, on Tinder you swipe right to say yet and match with someone, doesn’t mean that they’re into you just that you weren’t hideous, so don’t get your hopes up too much.

Bumble

My first impression with Bumble was how happy I was to get some matches right away. I actually met a couple for coffee and it was OK, but I didn’t really feel anything.

Lots of barriers to entry

Perhaps the best thing about Bumble is that you have to really work to get a match. Both people have to say yes, then the woman has to be the first to start messaging – within 24 hours. This means for a conversation on the platform to happen, a lot has to go right. After my first week on Bumble, I didn’t have many matches and ended up checking the app less and less.

Didn’t pay for Bumble Premium

Unlike Tinder, I didn’t splurge to pay for premium. If there is interested in the comments, I’ll do a full write up tear down wondering if Bumble premium is worth it

Most Number Of People I Knew from Highschool

This may have been the most interesting thing about Bumble to me, was that I saw the most profiles of women I knew in High School. At first I didn’t swipe right to them, but later I did to train the algorithm that they’re worth surfacing to more people. I don’t have any proof on how the algorithm works, but more swipes have to be a good thing, right?

None of them swiped back at me. Guess dating in your 30s isn’t that different from dating in high school.

Bumble review

I think that Bumble is the best app, and I really like the idea of Bumble BFF and Bumble Biz. I’ve seen Bumble do a lot of events, like having a place at Austin City Limits. Unfortunately, I just didn’t get enough matches to keep trying on the app. Saying yes, no exaggeration thousands of times, ends up getting pretty depressing pretty quick.

Hinge

Everyone said Hinge is best

When I first started talking to my friends about dating apps and online dating, they all said Hinge, Hinge, Hinge. While I should have listened to them, I also wanted to try them all, and had this post to write.

Decent number of likes per day

Hinge has a great free version, I’ve only ran out of likes once or twice. I also like that you can see who likes you and if you want, you can message them. This seems to be by far the best user experience.

Love the profiles

Hinge also seems to have the best profile flow. You can see someone’s picture right away to decide if you’re even remotely attracted to them, or get to know them from their other photos, which can easily be pulled from Instagram, or the profile prompts. Profile prompts are conversational items like two truths and a lie, never have I ever, or something you’d never do again.

Love the profiles

Hinge was by far the best app that I used. As a pleasant update, I’m now dating an awesome woman from there, and we’re looking forward to trying a number of these Toronto date ideas come summer. If you’re dating in your 30s, Hinge is your best bet.

Plenty of Fish

This was the first dating app I joined. I know a few people who have used it, it’s free, and I figured why not start with something more web based. I never ended

Not many fish in the city!

The first thing that surprised me about Plenty of Fish was that there were very few matches from Toronto. Lot’s of matches from the surrounding 905 suburbs like Brampton, Oakville, and Pickering, but very few from within Toronto proper. This might make POF a viable option for those outside of the city but not me.

Low res photos

This was another weird thing about POF, the images seems to get really compressed. Not like when uploading a photo to Facebook or Instagram, but web resolution circa 2003. This made the site feel very dated, and as the kind of person who starts a blog/podcast/online dating course when he becomes recently single, it didn’t seem like my tripe.

Lots of hookers

As I would find out as I joined other networks, mainly Tinder, this isn’t something exclusive to Plenty of Fish, but I did find it to happen quite a bit. It’s pretty disheartening to finally get a match, or see that someone likes you only to know they’re an escort.

Feels dated

Overall, Plenty of Fish just felt a bit dated to me. I’m sure it has it’s merits, some of which I’ve listed below, but if you’re a fairly technical person in a major city, it probably isn’t the app for you. If you’re dating in your 30s for the first time in a while like, you may have remembered POF from back in the day. It doesn’t feel as though it’s changed much.

What I liked and summary

POF is free which is a good way to dip your foot into online dating. I also liked that you can set your search filters and parameters. Finally, it’s nice to be able to check out a few profile and send the message you’d like to send. However, for anyone in a major city, I’d skip pof.

Not tested

There were a bunch of other apps I had heard of but didn’t try out including, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match, OK Cupid and any other niche sites or apps. What has your experience been? Would love to hear your stories in the comments below.

 

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