Four alternatives to Tinder for lesbians

We know we can’t see any of you right now, but we imagine that if we asked all of you who actually enjoy using Tinder to put your hands up, it would be less than half of you. In 2020, Tinder has become something of a strange app. Like Facebook with social media and Google for searching the internet, Tinder has become the default ‘go-to’ place when it comes to dating. It’s the app where all the single people are, and so it’s where you go to look for single people. We know it has flaws, but we use it anyway.

When we say that Tinder has flaws, we all know what they are. After a while, flicking through Tinder becomes a soulless experience. Some psychologists have even said that swiping left and right on Tinder activates the same parts of the brain that are activated when gamblers play mobile slots. The cause and effect are very similar, too – online slots players are looking for the instant gratification that comes with a win, just as Tinder users are looking for the instant gratification of a match. As all experienced users of online slots websites can tell you, though, sometimes those moments of gratification take too long to arrive and cost you too much money by the time you get them. If you’re not careful with Tinder, it can eat into your time, your money, and your soul.

Most of us have heard a Tinder horror story from a friend. We enjoy reading horrendous tales of first dates gone wrong online, but we don’t relish the idea of becoming one of those tales ourselves. Unfortunately, by using the app, we’re leaving ourselves wide open to such an experience. It might come on your next date or the one after that, but if you keep dating and swiping, the law of averages says it will come along eventually. If all you’re looking for is no-strings fun, then you might be happy to play that game, but for anyone looking for something more serious, it’s a worry.

We’ll say it quietly, because we don’t want to offend the app’s many fans, but we don’t think Tinder is actually all that good for lesbians anyway. We all know that it’s full of straight men posing as women because they want to speak to us for their own amusement and wasting our time in the process. Tinder has also known about that for a long time, and yet they refuse to do anything about it. Profiles are reported and removed, but then they spring up again, and the process repeats. Tinder’s moderation is reactive rather than proactive. Someone should be making sure those profiles never appear in the first place. Nobody ever does.

If you’re a single woman looking for another single woman right now, make this the year you ditch Tinder. Try one of these alternatives instead.

Amazingly, there aren’t all that many dedicated lesbian dating apps in the world. Perhaps that’s because not enough women are working in technology. Perhaps it’s because not enough gay women are single and looking for dates. There has to be a reason, but we don’t know what it is! Fem, however, is one such app — and it’s an app with a difference. Just filling out a written profile isn’t enough for Fem – users also have to upload a video to introduce themselves. You can get more out of seeing and hearing someone talk than you can from reading their words, and so you get the chance to make a better assessment of whether you’d like to date them or not before agreeing to meet. You have to be a little brave to record the video, but the rewards are there if you have the courage!

We think — or at least we hope — that we’re not introducing people to HER for the first time. If we are, then congratulations — today is the day your life as a single woman changed! According to its marketing, HER is an app that was developed by gay women for gay women. It works to similar principles to Tinder, but you don’t have to swipe through an endless parade of straight or pretend-gay profiles to find what you’re looking for. More than three million people around the world currently use HER to find dates, and that community is growing all the time as more and more people find out about it. Some people like to compare HER to Grindr, but we don’t think that comparison is fair. From what we know of it, Grindr is a meat market. HER is a little more upmarket in its approach.

This app has been available for quite a long time, but only now is it beginning to see the user levels that it deserves. Hinge is an app with a difference. You have to trust it with your data, but if you do, it will (theoretically) find you much better dating prospects than any other app would be capable of. That’s because it connects itself to your social media accounts, finds your friends, finds the friends of your friends, and draws you up a dating shortlist based on what it knows about them. It sounds a little creepy, but people will only be shown as potential matches if they also use Hinge and are therefore also looking for a date. In the good old days before the internet and dating apps existed, meeting people through friends is how most couples got together. Try to think about Hinge as being the digital equivalent of that experience!

No, this isn’t specifically designed for lesbians. That’s OK, though, because neither is Hinge. We wouldn’t normally recommend a ‘mainstream’ dating website, OKCupid has made a big effort to be LGBTQ+ friendly, and it shows in their approach. You can select from multiple different sexual orientations and preferred pronouns when you’re building your profile, and once you’ve done that, you’ll only ever be shown profiles that are relevant to your interests. You’ll also be shown a percentage match with those profiles, which allegedly indicates how likely you are to be compatible with the owner of the profile. While we don’t believe that love can ever be boiled down to a series of equations (how depressing would that be?), it never hurts to get an assessment of this kind – even if it is from a computer.

We suspect that most of you will have tried at least one of these apps before. If so, try the other three. Try all of them! For single women, the options in front of you are either another twelve months of getting RSI swiping through Tinder, or the chance to try something new. What do you have to lose?

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