Digital matchmaking is nothing new (after all, Match.com launched TWENTY YEARS AGO) but the online dating scene has, for better or worse, evolved towards casual hook ups, leaving those looking for lasting relationships floundering.
Finding the right app to meet your new bae is a little bit like online shopping: You throw everything in your basket and pray something fits. To help make the decision a little less confusing we rounded up the newest apps on the local market, that just might help you find Mr. Right (or at least Mr. Right Now).
Adventure seekers and fitness nuts rejoice, there's a dating app just for you! Originally launched in 2014 in Colorado, LuvByrd has officially expanded to San Francisco this month. "With the city's close proximity to some of the country's best coastline, mountains and wilderness, we expect to fill a niche local outdoor enthusiasts looking to find love," said founder and CEO Mike Keshian. Instead of sifting through Tinder profiles where potential dated claim they want a partner in crime to go on adventures with, LuvByrd users actually mean it. So if you're looking for a significant other whose ideal Sunday involves a long hike rather than brunch, LuvByrd is where your potential suitor is hiding. It's free to use the app but buying a membership ($3-$10/month) will buy you additional perks such as seeing who's looked at your profile, who is actively interested, etc. // luvbyrd.com
Coffee Meets Bagel
Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel just switched up how it works in the hopes of finding you more bagels (a.k.a. matches). The new #LadiesChoice function allows women to see profiles of men who have already expressed interest in them; avoiding that awkward does he or doesn't he stage. Here's how it works: each day at 12 p.m., male users will receive 21 matches. Men are then free to peruse the matches and like them or pass on them. After that, the men who expressed interest will be curated for the female users. Women will then be shown up to five of these higher-quality matches. The women can then decide who to start a conversation with. Bonus: #LadiesChoice now has options for the LBGTQ community as well. // coffeemeetsbagel.com
Amanda Bradford, third from left, founder and chief executive of the League recruiting users for it at a San Francisco party. (Matt Edge for The New York Times)
No, it's not just a TV show about fantasy football. It's also a highly exclusive, members-only dating app with the mission to create power couples. Seriously, potential members are even put on a waiting list while they are vetted to see if they qualify. The League is also adamant about privacy. Users give the app access to Facebook and LinkedIn so that friends and co-workers will be blocked from viewing your dating profile. Each day users are shown five potential matches at 5 p.m. and once you swipe right you have three weeks to make contact before the match expires. Want to get in on the cool kids table? The app gives you pointers on what changes to make to your profile to ensure you're taken off the waiting list, and friends who are already members can send you a link to get you to the top of the list. // theleague.com
Now even self-proclaimed nerds have a dating app designed specifically for them. Created by geeks for geeks, DragonFruit gives fellow nerds the opportunity to celebrate what makes them unique and meet other individuals with the same nerdy interests. Upon signing up, users are asked to define three of their "geekdoms," which are the kinds of geeky categories that interest them most. Users can choose from popular categories already set in the app (Batman, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, etc.) or submit their own user-generated geekdoms. The app is smart enough to understand what kind of groupings match with what in the specific universes and match you with the nerd of your dreams. // dragonfruitapp.com
Three Day Rule
TDR takes finding Mr. Right one step further, offering a dating service that is just as focused on good customer service as it is on creating lasting connections. This is the Nordstrom of dating sites. TDR matchmakers take on only a handful of clients at a time, giving each client the attention they deserve. Users take a quiz and meet their matchmaker, who then hand selects dates for them. There's even next day coffee meetups with your matchmaker to discuss dates and feedback from both parties, so you know if your date had fun. Like Match.com, TDR caters to users who are looking for a long term relationship but are having trouble finding the right person. It's free to join the dating pool but matchmaking memberships start at $4,000. // threedayrule.com
The PokéDates site (via Project Fixup)
It was only a matter of time. For those looking for the Ash or Misty of their dreams to accompany them on Pokemon Go crawls, welcome to PokeDates. Here's how it works: You sign up on the website, answer a few questions about what you're looking for in a partner, and then fill in a schedule of when you're free to go roaming for pokémon. PokéDates then pairs up applicants, and sends both parties a time and location (near a pokéstop or gym) to meet up and start playing Pokémon Go. Then, presumably, comes love, marriage, kids in Pikachu outfits, etc. // projectfixup.com/pokedates
Have some burning questions regarding your sex life? Naturally, there's an app for that, too. Brianna Rader founded Juicebox as a means to combat her home state of Tennessee's sexual education laws (Tennessee allows abstinence only education in public schools). Rader designed the app so that individuals could ask questions—users can either "snoop" (ask questions) or "spill" (relay embarrassing sexual encounters)—and have them answered by a sexpert. Regardless of where you are in your sexual education, sometimes you need expert advice without any judgement. // juiceboxit.com