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Take a chance on me? The best – and worst – dating apps

Venturing into the world of online dating? Then you’ll need to know where to go, and where to avoid

If you’re single, the chances are you might be on a dating app. If you’ve been single for a while, the chances are you’re on more than one. I’m going to have a look at some of the best – and worst – dating apps for those of us who are a bit more grown-up.

If you were born in or before the time that flares and platform boots were considered cool, then you’re probably wondering what the heck happened out there while you were in a relationship/married/happily single. I’ll begin by saying: brace yourself. 

It’s tough out there

Tougher than the olden days of going to a bar and getting chatted up. Why? Because woke culture has made decent men too afraid to chat us up in real life, in case they offend us. I know this, because I’ve asked some super men why they’re on apps, and that’s their answer. 

…woke culture has made decent men too afraid to chat us up in real life

Dating apps have their up sides and their down sides. And the dopamine hit you’ll get from receiving messages from half-decent men is addictive. If you’re popular it’ll feel like a full-time job, so I’d advise to step back every other week and pause your profile. Take stock of who you’ve connected with already, un-match with anyone who isn’t floating your boat and take a breather. 

Still keen? Let me begin…

Some of the best


This was the first app I signed up to and I’ve no complaints. It’s incredibly easy to set up your profile, the prompts encourage you to be engaging and funny and there’s no swiping, but rather you tick to match with someone. Before I paid the subscription I was bombarded with the worst-looking men I’d ever seen and felt incredibly depressed. As soon as I paid, better options came up, although I was still only getting men my age and above interested in me, and they all looked 10 years older than the age stated on their profiles.

If you’re confident and want a younger man, you’ll have to make the first move when a profile you like pops up instead of waiting for someone to ‘like’ you. You can pause your profile when you need a break and you can’t send photos through the app, so you won’t get any nasty surprises! I’m currently chatting to eight men, all of whom are smart, handsome and have the same interests as me. The whole space feels safe and calm, so it’s my number one recommendation.


Bumble prides itself on being the ‘best’ app for women because we make the first move. If we match with someone who likes us, it’s up to us to begin a conversation and we only have 24 hours in which to do it. Men then have to respond within 24 hours to start the connection. If nothing happens in this period, the match expires, and you no longer have the option to message each other. It weeds out the time-wasters so I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I joined, and within 48 hours had 1,600 ‘likes’. If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is. 

I had a very odd mix of older men and teenage boys. Needless to say I did not take up with either.

I spent the best part of three hours scrolling down the list and only one man wasn’t absolutely stuff-of-nightmares. I swiped the wrong way a couple of times and had to swiftly un-match. You can’t see where someone lives until you scroll to the end of the profile which I found irritating and there’s barely any information on a profile to get a sense of who someone is. 

I had a very odd mix of older men and teenage boys. Needless to say I did not take up with either. I did eventually find three handsome, intelligent and (bonus) much younger men whom I’m having nice chats with now.

Match kicks off with a personality test to determine your likes, dislikes, beliefs, and ambitions. It’s a site predominantly for serious relationships and has a lot of success. It does send email notifications when someone is interested in you, though, and that may drive you insane. 

Be warned that if you’re 50 or over it’ll automatically want to stick you in the 50+ singles category which I found really annoying. Match offers singles nights and allows you to bring a friend, which is a great idea. It’s a safe site and it’s been around forever, so as a starting point it’s probably your go-to app.

This app presents you with a five-part compatibility test to help eHarmony’s special algorithm in determining the most suitable matches. It takes forever to complete but don’t let that put you off; this gives you a greater chance of finding love compared with other apps. You’ll be matched with other users who have the same beliefs and desires as you. The users are predominantly divorcees and single parents, and it’s definitely not a hook-up site. 


It takes forever to complete but don’t let that put you off; this gives you a greater chance of finding love compared with other apps


It helps you start a conversation with pre-formed messages (good if you struggle for something to say, but you don’t want an entire conversation created by a chat bot so I leave that well alone). And its algorithms really do go to town on compatibility. A great site if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.

Two to Avoid

Where to start? The site is flooded with fake accounts, probably because it’s so easy to set up a profile. Users report feeling bombarded and overwhelmed with notifications and likes (of which the majority aren’t genuine), and the navigation of the site is needlessly complicated and outdated. 

Before I’d even put a photo on my profile, I had 56 men messaging me. Strangely enough I didn’t go any further and deleted my half-built account and ran for the hills.

Abandon hope all ye who enter this website. If you want to see some terrible looking men taking selfies with their tops off, you’re in the right place. I have no idea what possesses them to do it, but out of 12 profiles that popped up, only one man was clothed. 

They are predominantly fat, old, and bald – and in bed. They have usernames rather than real names (such a turn-off) and there are message prompts you can use which will make you recoil: ‘Candies or fruit? Me or loneliness?’ Er, nope. I thought the offerings on Bumble were bad; this is a whole new level of terrifying.  

Read more: Are more people turning from straight to same-sex relationships later in life?

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Juliette Wills

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