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Like nearly every other sector in our modern world, technology has changed how dating and hookups work in our society. There are dozens of dating apps out there, but not all of them are created equally. While most call themselves “dating apps” and have the intention of getting people into relationships, some have a big reputation for being more for hookups and casual fun than actual long-term relationships. Whether you lead a busy life or you’re just looking for something not-so-serious, you may prefer a method for finding a quick fling over a long-term relationship. Most dating apps can provide you with some sort of short-term meetup, but there are certain dating apps where it’s a bit gauche to use their service to find a fling when most users are looking for something more serious.
With the advent of smartphones and other similar technological leaps, being forced to go to a bar or party with the express purpose of hooking up with someone has been retired, for the benefit of everyone involved. You don’t have to feel odd or uncomfortable trying to find someone who’s looking for the same connection as you, since these apps are often all based around quick hookups or casual relationships. Using these apps is a far easier method than heading out to a bar or party, and you can do it all from the comfort of your couch. There are plenty of apps that are aimed at more “serious” relationships, including Plenty of Fish or Okcupid, but these are all based around some form of casual relationships or hookups.
And remember, before you meet anyone in public or give any personal details out to a stranger, make sure you feel comfortable with the individual, along with a standard level of trust between the two of you. Stay safe over all else.
Unsurprisingly, our favorite hookup app has become a staple of American culture. Yes, Tinder is our favorite casual and hookup app on iOS, the undisputed king of the “hookup app” industry. The app’s been considered for flings and quick relationships for years, even if Tinder markets itself as a full-fledged dating app. And while it might be difficult to pinpoint exactly why this app became the hookup app over all others, we’d argue it’s the simple method of sliding left and right to select your choices. Let’s take a look at the app.
If you’re unfamiliar, Tinder functions like a “hot or not” game, rebuilt for the twenty-first century and combined with the social media that fuels us all. Though your bio is important (as it is in any dating app), your looks and photos are easily the most important of your profile. You swipe between accounts purely based on what your photos (and your bio, if you choose to view deeper into a profile) look like, with a card-based interface that divides your possible nearby matches into yes or no selections.
Every day, millions of users swipe left and right on the app, with a user base in the hundreds of millions of users per month, making it not only one of the most popular dating and hookup apps on the market today, but one of the most-used apps in general. Tinder was one of the first apps to use a swiping mechanism for dating apps, creating a brilliant user interface for anyone looking to find love in the decade since the iPhone first launched. As you swipe either left (for no) or right (for yes), you’re playing a matching game with potential suitors. If you and another user both swipe right, you’re matched up and a conversation thread begins. It’s an incredibly easy way of going about matching users together, but it does rely on having good pictures, a strong bio, and generally not being a creep when beginning a conversation.
While branded as a dating app, Tinder has its own reputation among the general public for being used primarily as a way to hookup with other users. While relationships have started from users meeting on the app—indeed, it’s become far more socially acceptable to say you and your significant other met while using Tinder—the app seems to spawn far more stories of being used as a tool for casual romance. Obviously, not everyone using the app is looking for something purely casual, but you’re bound to find users simply looking for a potential meetup rather than love and romance. Like any dating app, using Tinder for casual entanglements often requires you to be open and honest about your intentions from the get-go—don’t lead anyone on by claiming to be looking for a real relationship when you aren’t.
While it may be concerning to some, you’ll need a pre-existing Facebook account to use Tinder. However, the app won’t post anything to your page without your permission beforehand, and no one will be able to see or recognize that you use Tinder by visiting your Facebook profile. Tinder’s easy to setup, too, so long as you already have that Facebook account. You can build your profile over a short few minutes, importing pictures from your Facebook account and building a biography. After you’ve created your account through Facebook and you add your additional login information, you’ll be ready to go, complete with your own sets of match radiuses, age ranges, and preferred gender(s).
The app uses your physical location to connect you with others in your area, and if you both “like” each other, you will match and can have a conversation within the app. From there, you can choose to share other details like phone numbers, and even plan to meet up in person. With its huge user base and popularity, you’ll find plenty of options to match and speak with. The app is free to start using, but there is an option to pay to get extra features such as unlimited likes, redos on missed matches, and matching with anyone in any location and other things that might be of interest to some people. While there are numerous paid optional features on Tinder Plus, you can still use the app in its limited form without paying a dime. And while the app is well-built, it’s the name recognition and the popularity of the app that keeps it in our first position—the user base makes this the best available dating app on iOS.
The most common way people use Tinder is to search for an individual, but a few months ago, Tinder launched a different method of swiping. Called Tinder Social, their newest app is all about going out with friends and meeting other groups Instead of swiping with individuals left and right, you can swipe through groups of friends in the same way, making it a great way to meet up with some new friends if you’re in a new town or city.
So whether you are an individual or a group looking for some people to hang out with or someone to hook up with, Tinder is likely the best app for you. Not only is it extremely easy to set up and use, but it also has millions and millions of users and is extremely popular. Wherever you live, there is a very good chance that there will be a ton of potential matches in your city and neighborhood.
Tinder might be the clear leader in this industry of dating apps, but it certainly isn’t the only app created for those looking to meetup with others and possibly hookup casually and freely. If Tinder doesn’t push your buttons in the right way, you certainly aren’t out of luck—the next app you should check out is Blendr, one of our favorite dating apps on iOS.
Blendr uses your GPS location like Tinder, using your location to match your account with potential matches. While the user base isn’t quite as large as what we’ve seen from Tinder, it’s large enough to find different users than what you’d otherwise find on an app like Tinder. While Tinder has become largely synonymous with the idea of dating apps, Blendr—itself a spin on popular app Grindr, which will discuss in more detail below—certainly has grown in size and strength in the half-decade it’s been on the market.
With so many people available on the app, there are a ton of opportunities to find someone for a casual hookup or fling. Like most dating apps, picking your photos is incredibly important. If you choose poor photos, or your photos are obnoxious or cliche, there’s a chance that you’ll turn off some potential flings. Best to pick photos that show yourself and also your interests at heart. Just like with Tinder, be prepared to snap some new images for your account.
One of the most popular features of this app is the ability to not include personal details about yourself. In fact, you don’t even have to use your real name if you choose not to, though remember that others may be hesitant to click on your profile if it doesn’t contain some straightforward attributes. You do have to provide your phone number for verification. Some like this sense of anonymity, while others feel it could possibly scare others away. One this is for certain, though—that anonymity might help people be honest about their intentions, even while they’re hiding their names, occupations, or personal details.
Like Tinder, this app is also free, but also offers some paid features, including a subscription model. There is a credit system on the app, which can involve you purchasing credits that will allow users to put your profile near the top of the “nearby” section, gaining you priority in search results. If you purchase more credits, you will likely get more potential matches, but even if you don’t, there should be no shortage of people to chat with and hang out with. There are also a few cool features about this app that apps like Tinder don’t have including seeing who has viewed your profile and more.
While it may not get as much publicity as Tinder does, Blendr is definitely a good option to meet people who often seem to be into some casual fun. With a user base of 200 million and growing, no other dating or hookup app has as many people using it.
Grindr, the first app from the creators of Blendr, was one of the first social dating and hookup apps to appear in the App Store geared towards gay and biseual men. Grindr’s available in a ton of countries and areas and, unlike pretty much every other app on this list, isn’t made under the guise of being a dating and casual encounter app. Nope, in this case, Grindr wears its message on its sleeve: Grindr is for hooking up with other gay and bisexual men around you. Unlike other apps like Tinder, Grinder shows you exactly where and how far away other Grindr users are from you. This makes it easy to meet other men looking to hookup or meetup in person, without having to deal with the social anxiety and dangers that can spawn from trying to meet another gay man. Unlike other apps, everyone on Grindr is on the same page when it comes to dating. For obvious security reasons, apps like Grindr could never really work well with straight relationships—showing your location on a map as a woman is just asking for a dangerous stalker or assaulter to attack—but if you’re a gay man looking to meet other gay men, Grindr is absolutely the place to go.
Bumble is one of the hottest, most-talked about apps in the dating industry right now for one reason: unlike Tinder, there’s a limitation on how conversations. Let’s take a look. Bumble boasts having the highest post-match chat in the industry, which they claim spawns from their respective rules when it comes to chats. Once a match has been made, only the woman in the situation (if it’s a heterosexual match) can begin talking, stopping creeps from trying to lay down some terrible pickup lines—or worse. In a same-sex match, both people have to respond to each other within twenty-four hours. And of course, there’s a robust reporting feature within the app in order to discourage people from inhibiting disrespectful behavior and messages towards each other. The app’s free, with an optional subscription service available, and sees regular updates to the app with bug fixes and new features.
Pure is an incredibly simple and straightforward hookup app on the App Store, one of our favorites. All you need to get started is to upload a selfie of yourself. Once you like another person’s profile and they like yours—just like Tinder—you can begin a chat. A unique feature of this app comes from the hour limit users have for chatting, which stops any kind of annoying or long-term chat that can drag on. There’s no doubting this app is purely for fun and hookups; the company itself even supports that notion. Pure markets itself as an app not for relationships, but for after-dark fun, and for that very reason, it’s a ton of fun to use to meet people in your neighborhood who are down to get down. Here’s the one downside to Pure: other than a free trial, it’s a paid subscription app. You’re going to have to pay to use the service, and some users might not care for a new monthly or annual fee (especially since the cheapest plan is a $14.99 weekly fee). Still, if you need a hookup app, this one is the most direct, self-aware app we’ve seen on the App Store.
Down is an app based on providing you with ten matches per day based on your location. In that regard, the app is far more toned down than its competitors like Tinder or Blendr, where you can cycle through dozens of different people in a day. As has been found with Tinder’s own limitations, this helps to spawn natural discussion between you and your ten matches, without the feeling like you don’t need to talk to anyone. You can specify whether you’re looking for a strong relationship or simple casual fun, making it easy to determine what you want compared to what other users are looking for. You can choose between “getting date” and “getting down” with your matches, and the user won’t know what you’ve chosen unless they select the same. The app boasts over 5 million users, and with local users around the world, you’re bound to find a great match.
You’re probably familiar with the term “Netflix and chill,” a dating euphemism meme that essentially refers to asking someone of your preferred sex to come over to “watch Netflix,” which will inevitably lead to an episode of Parks and Rec playing in the background while you, er, chill. The phrase grew throughout the country’s lexicon so much, became so common, an app was invented solely for the purpose of “chilling.” This app, Mimitate, is simple enough: men post a selfie of themselves watching their favorite content on Netflix. If someone is interested in your selfie, they can initiate a chat. The app’s a great premise, but a lack of recent updates and reviews on the iTunes listing tells us the market for Mimitate might just not be there. Still, it’s worth trying, especially if you’re interested in finding someone who loves binging Orange is the New Black as much as you do.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is