Tinder, Bumble, Happn, Hinge. Let’s be honest, dating apps won’t be going on the endangered list anytime soon. But which is right for you? Find out in our definitive guide for 2019…

If Valentine’s Day is good for anything, it’s making singletons feel sidelined. But when it comes to nabbing yourself a new partner, there’s never been a better time to be free and single: the dating app scene is positively booming.

So, how do you choose which service to sign up to? With more options than ever before, it can be difficult to know where you’ll meet the right match for you. But fear not – we’ve taken one for the team and done all the leg work.

Consider this guide your ultimate accomplice to digital dating in 2019. Let’s get swiping…

Tinder

One of the dating app old-timers, Tinder has been around so long that it basically defined the market. And it’s done a great job of remaining front-of-mind for dating app converts since its launch in 2012, ensuring there are always plenty of people to match with. But why is that?

The simple answer is… Simplicity. You sign up, add your best pictures and a catchy bio (not mandatory, but highly recommended), set your preferences, and you’re away. Once you and a fellow user have – quite literally – swiped right for one-another, you’re a match. So, while you’re then free to trial your best chat-up lines, in turn you won’t be receiving messages from anyone you haven’t already shown an interest in.

Best for: Speed and simplicity

Bumble

Bumble very much comes from the Tinder school of dating apps. With very similar usability features (swipe left for no, right for yes) and profile settings, on first impressions Bumble would appear to be a like-for-like copy. But there’s one big difference.

Bumble places the onus on women to initiate the conversation. When opposite genders match, it’s the woman who must message the man first of all – and she only has 24 hours to do so (either person can speak first with same-gender matches). Bumble’s designers added this time-pressure feature to the app to ensure that successful matches are actually acted upon, and not just left to slowly move down the ladder.

Best for: Women happy to make the first move (and men who aren’t).

OKCupid

Whereas Tinder and Bumble centre more around speed and simplicity, OKCupid has more of a “slow and steady wins the race” approach. Upon signing up, you’re asked to complete a rather lengthy questionnaire – providing answers for you, as well the ones you’d like to see from a future match. You then also have the option to rank your questions/answers dependent on their individual importance to you.

OKCupid then uses the answers you’ve both given to calculate your compatibility percentage – 0 percent meaning there’s not a hope in hell, and 100 percent? Well, you’d best get those wedding invites sent out. The other big difference here is – unlike Tinder and Bumble – you don’t need to ‘match’ to be able to message.

Best for: Meeting people with similar likes and interests.

Hinge

Dating apps are often guilty of a ‘quantity over quality’ approach. Hinge, though, has taken the opposite path, alongside a zero-swiping system.

With a ten-match maximum per day Hinge encourages you to carefully choose who you’re interested in – and also what exactly it is on their profile that’s tickled your fancy. Every profile must include six photos, and answers to any three questions from a long list of ready-prepared ones (ranging from the factual, to the funny, to the downright bizarre).

If you’re interested, you just need to drop a like or comment on any one of those pictures or answers, which acts as a basis for your future conversation. Then, with any luck, they’ll see your like, like you back, and a match is made.

Best for: Those who need inspiration with their conversation starters.

Match

Match was on the scene before apps even existed (see match.com), and is regarded  as the service of choice for those wanting to take their dating seriously.

Based on the answers you give upon sign up, Match will provide you with daily personalised matches. If you see someone you’re interested in, you can let them know with a “wink”; and, if you’re feeling proactive, you can search through Match’s tailored list of “winkable” accounts.

Starting from £12.99 per month, subscriptions give the power to reveal who’s visited your profile and liked your pictures, amongst many other features.

Best for: Those serious about dating, and willing to get their wallets or purses out.

Happn

Is there someone on your daily commute that’s taken your fancy? Or do you ever meet eyes with the same person in the gym? Well, if you’re a yes to either, but haven’t built up the courage to introduce yourself, Happn may be your answer.

Happn uses the location services on you and your crush’s phones to digitally introduce you to each other – the only parameter being that they must also have the app downloaded. Happn works by pinpointing the last place and time you were near to each other (which must be within 800 feet), and then you both have the option to match.

To prevent any stalkerish-activities from taking place, Happn doesn’t allow for contact to be made until a match has, and there isn’t the option to see another’s position in real-time.

Best for: City-based daters (those in the countryside may be less successful).

Besides just dating, want to know this month’s best new apps? Check out our February must-haves…