Looking for dating apps like Tinder without the hookup stigma? I’ve got you covered.
First of all, let me say that I am not opposed to Tinder. In fact, I recommend my male clients download Tinder along with other apps when entering the dating scene. Tinder is an extremely popular app. In fact, you could say that it paved the way for all the other dating apps out there. Furthermore, Tinder is a big part of what made online dating mainstream.
Remember the days when people would shudder at the thought of letting their friends know they met online? Concocting tales of locking eyes in the produce aisle or some other form of happenstance was popular then. However, nowadays, new couples will say “We met on Tinder,” or “We met on Bumble” without a beat of hesitation.
(Psst…want to learn how to actually find success whilst locking eyes with a woman in the produce aisle? Check out How to Meet Women at the Grocery Store.)
The Issue with Tinder
But although Tinder arguably brought online dating to the forefront, it has also garnered a reputation as more of a hookup app. Although plenty of people find long-term love through Tinder, sleazy profiles and those looking for one night stands are much more abundant on this app than some of its relationship-oriented competitors.
That’s why it’s important to add apps like Tinder that don’t have a hookup stigma to your dating arsenal. There’s plenty of apps like Tinder that come equipped with layouts and features that are just as fun and easy to use. Several of these are also free.
Below, check out the top dating apps like Tinder that don’t carry a drastic hookup stigma.
Dating Apps Like Tinder #1: Bumble
Bumble rivals Tinder in popularity, as it emerged as Tinder’s first great competitor. This app gained a ton of downloads after positioning itself as a bit of an anti-hookup app. To stand out as one of the most anti-hookup apps like Tinder, Bumble adopted a “ladies first” mentality.
Women make the first move on Bumble. Once you match with a woman, she has to initiate the conversation in order for you to message her as well. See my article on how to respond to a woman’s first message on Bumble for more information on how to convert more matches into real-life dates.
This app is free, but it does come with some optional paid features like Bumble Coins and Super Swiping. You’ll notice that free dating apps like Tinder (and even Tinder itself) pretty much always come with some sort of paid feature. I never recommend shelling out any cash on a free app. While these features always promise more matches and real-life dates, you can easily attract women without spending a dime.
At the end of this article, I’ll offer some expert strategies to help you get the most out of your dating apps.
Dating Apps Like Tinder #2: Coffee Meets Bagel
This cute little app made its debut on the hit show Shark Tank. Like Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel attracts a female audience that is tired of having their inboxes filled with messages from creepers and want to find a real long term girlfriend.
I love this app because has a great layout and is highly curated when it comes to matching people. One of the drawbacks is that you don’t have access to thousands of singles at one time like with Tinder and Bumble. However, a part of that is because the system ensures that you match with people that are tailored to your interests.
Each day, men receive 21 matches (bagels). They can select which bagels they are interested in. From there, women receive potential matches based on the curated list of men who liked them. Then, they can decide whether or not they want to offer their own “like,” and make it a match.
Dating Apps Like Tinder #3: Hinge
Hinge is another popular dating app that’s undergone a face lift over recent years. It’s got a great layout and introduced a Most Compatible Feature, which curates the best potential matches for you. This feature uses your activity on the app to determine which users you’re likely to have the best connection with — both online and off.
This app also uses your Facebook friends to curate general matches. Not every match shares a mutual friend with you, but it definitely works to curate through a “meeting through friends” type of deal.
One thing I really love about Hinge is that it uses profile questions to delve deeper into the personalities of the users. These questions range from “Go-to Karaoke Song” to “Most Spontaneous Thing I’ve Ever Done” and everything in between.
I highly recommend answering these questions when using the app so you can show off some wit and creativity that women find intriguing.
Need help showing off your best self while using Hinge? Check out my article, 34 of the Best Hinge Answers for Guys Who Want More Dates.
Dating Apps Like Tinder #4: Badoo
Badoo has been around for years. However, it’s gained more attention since getting an awesome makeover. It’s visually more appealing and easier to use than ever if you want to meet eligible singles in your area. But what I’m really crazy about is Badoo’s new anti-ghosting feature.
This feature gives users a nudge after they go radio silent during conversations with matches. It’s really annoying when an online dating conversation devolves into nothing, which they often do when you don’t apply some expert strategies.
How the Anti-Ghosting Feature Works
With the anti-ghosting feature, Badoo prompts a ghost icon to appear on an idle user’s profile. This icon will cutely remind the user to practice good manners and either:
- Let their match know they are no longer interested in meeting or
- Set up a darn date already
You can choose from messages that let your match know that you’re sorry for not responding and that you’d like to meet up during the week.
Alternatively, you can send a message that lets them down gently by saying something like, “Hey I think you’re great but I don’t see us as a match. Take care!”
Dating Apps Like Tinder #5: Tonight
Finding a real person to go on a date with this very evening is the idea behind this fairly new dating app, Tonight. The Tonight dating app operates as a matchmaking app. You complete your profile (which includes a fun series of questions to generate something tailored to your specific personality) and select users you would like to go out with.
But you don’t need to worry about getting your matches’ attention via a messaging system. Each day, you can opt to mark yourself as available for a date that evening. From there, the app will connect you with a match and set up a date for you at a location that is convenient for both of you. It’s that simple.
I love the no muss, no fuss approach of the app. The only thing I’d warn guys about is to not become lazy as a result of this app. Even though it’s doing all the work for you for the first date, you need to be prepared to get creative when asking a girl you meet on subsequent dates.
Dating Apps Similar to Tinder #6: Huggle
I always say that the first step in developing a romantic connection with someone is by building trust and rapport through shared interests. Enter Huggle. Huggle is a location-based dating app that connects you to people who like to go to the same places as you.
So if you’re a gym rat, it will match you with other active singles. If you’re an art connoisseur, get ready to meet up with some avid museum goers. The list goes on. This makes it easy to plan a date that you’re both going to be interested in.
Dating Apps Like Tinder #7: OkCupid
You can download an app version of the infamous website, which is kind of an O.G. when it comes to free online dating. OkCupid has been around for a really long time, as has the similar Plenty of Fish. But unlike Plenty of Fish (and Tinder), there’s much less of a hookup stigma when it comes to OkCupid.
You don’t have to match in order to message someone on OkCupid. Simply browse the different profiles and message the people who interest you.
Also, each profile you search will have a percentage that shows your presumed compatibility based on your profile. One way to curate matches based on compatibility is by answering OkCupid’s many questionnaires. I recommend filling out as many questions as possible in order to find someone who is likely to be the most compatible with you.
Now that you have some great dating apps like Tinder to add to your arsenal, let’s take a look at some online dating strategies you should use to get the most out of your online ventures.
Tip #1: Use the Best Photos Possible
Despite popular opinion, photos aren’t the only thing that matters when it comes to capturing women’s attention online. However, they are extremely important. They’re basically the very first impression a woman has of you.
Thus, make sure that your photos are current and attractive. Don’t post old or blurry photos. Pose with confidence, smile and maintain good eye contact with the camera. And when it comes to finding a relationship, make sure that you don’t post sleazy pics, shirtless photos or awkward gym selfies.
For in-depth tips on posting online dating photos, check out my article, Top 5 Online Dating Photo Tips for Men Who Want More Matches.
Tip #2: Fill Out Your Entire Profile
Just as you should leave no stone unturned, no area in your dating profile should be left blank. It may seem silly or irrelevant to fill out every area. However, remember that women tend to be more cautious than men when it comes to online dating. They want to see a guy who has nothing to hide, so hide nothing.
Tip #3: Set an Outreach Goal
Rather than mindlessly swipe to the point of burnout, set a specific number of swipes per day that you feel comfortable with. For example, you could swipe 50 times a day, which will add up to 350 swipes per week. That means 350 chances to match up with a woman every seven days. Or, mix in 10 emails (and 40 swipes) via OkCupid or another app that allows you to email first before matching.
This tip is strategic because it allows you to track and measure your progress. You can see how effective your response rate is and — if your match rates are low or suddenly start to decrease — you can use this information to alter your profile.
Tip #4: Add Your Spotify and Instagram, if Applicable
A lot of apps allow you to connect your Spotify and Instagram accounts. I highly recommend doing so. This offers women more insight into your personality, which makes it easier to connect over shared interests.
Tip #5: Ask Her on a Date ASAP
A mistake a lot of online daters make is messaging endlessly without ever setting up an actual date. Don’t fall into this trap.
Allow for a few lines of banter and then set up a date. This date should be something compelling that has a clear TDL.
What is a TDL?
A TDL is an acronym for time, date and location. It’s what we here at EmLovz use to refer to a date’s call-to-action.
Using a TDL when asking for the date assures that you won’t get stuck in limbo between talking and actually meeting up in person. Women appreciate when men use a TDL because they don’t have to worry about doing any of the date planning themselves. All they have to do is show up.
Tons of guys ask women to “hang out sometime” or “grab a drink,” leaving it up to the woman to yank an actual spot in the guy’s schedule out of him. You’re also way more likely to get women to go out with you if you use a TDL.
What Makes a Date Compelling?
A compelling date is one that introduces a woman to a new experience based on her interests. For example, if she’s a coffee connoisseur, take her to a fancy coffee/espresso tour or tasting at an event near you. Don’t simply ask her out for coffee at your local shop. Get creative and show her that you’re invested in both of you having a good time.
A friend of mine recently moved to Los Angeles and was thoroughly impressed by the way a guy she met at a bar asked her out. After they had been talking and hanging out for a bit, she mentioned that one of her favorite places to go in LA during vacations was Manhattan Beach. He asked her if she wanted to go with him for a bite to eat and to see the pier lighting in Manhattan Beach for the holidays.
She’d never visited LA during the holidays so this was going to be a brand new experience for her in a new place, but one she was at least familiar enough with to be comfortable. She jumped at the opportunity.
Notice that this guy was clearly paying attention to my friend’s interest while they were talking? Make sure you do the same when you’re first talking to a girl you like. Think on your feet and come up with something that you know she’ll like.
Tip #6: Hire a Dating Coach
I hope this list of dating apps like Tinder helps you in your quest to find a real, long lasting relationship with a like-minded woman. If you’re still struggling, or simply want some 1-on-1 guidance- perhaps its time to get an objective, expert perspective on your unique situation.
Since my 100-date experiment, I’ve helped men all over the world overcome their dating issues and find lasting love. I’d like to do the same for you.
No matter what stage you’re at or what pitfalls you’ve experienced in the dating world, I’m here to help. If you’re ready to increase your confidence in the dating world and find the girl of your dreams, head over to my calendar and book a 1-on-1 new client Skype session with me today. During our session, we diagnose your dating history, talk about your pain points, create an action plan, and see if 3 month coaching program is right for you.
I look forward to connecting with you!