Love in the Time of Dating Apps: Seven Dating Apps That Work

Cartoon image of two phone and people showing online dating

In Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera”, Florentino Ariza pines over his first love, Fermina Daza, for 51 years.  But he isn’t exactly chaste, dallying with other women while Fermina marries another. Still, that’s life in a fictionalized city in South America in the late 1800s to early 1900s. You date who you can when you can because otherwise, lovesickness (analogized by that whole cholera thing) will make you barf.

Thankfully, though ills of the heart plague us to this day, there are remedies. Like dating apps! Nowadays, instead of eating gardenias like Florentino does to ease the pain of unrequited love, all you need is your smartphone, a decent profile picture and willingness to swipe right. But which app is best? Therein lies the mystery… a mystery this article will hopefully help you solve.

Seven Dating Apps that Work


Tinder is a location-based dating and social app that was launched in 2012. Accessible in about 190 countries and available in 49 languages, Tinder is considered one of the pioneers of “swiping” in the dating app sphere. The basic membership account is free.

The best feature of Tinder by far is that the user will only be able to send a message if both parties “like” each other, which means users don’t get unsolicited messages. Tinder offers a host of other features should you upgrade from free to a paid membership. Tinder Plus lets you undo a swipe, swipe through people from another location, and have an unlimited number of likes. Tinder Gold—the latest paid tier plan of the app—allows a user to boost their profile and see who swipes right on him or her. was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest online dating site in the world. It currently serves 24 countries and is available in 15 languages. Signing up is free and gives users access to a limited number of functionalities. These include creating a profile, running searches, adding photos, and sending winks. The best feature of is that it provides personalized matches that consider your interests and details. has received recognition from Dating Sites Reviews as the Single’s Choice for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018, and as the Overall Top Pick for the year 2016.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is a dating app created by three sisters, Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang, and was launched in 2012 in three major U.S. cities—New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The app is popular among women as it recognizes the fact that women are selective. Under this premise, users are presented a limited number of matches, called “Bagels”, per day.

Bagels are matched according to the set criteria and with people whom the user shares at least one Facebook friend. Users are given 24 hours to “Like” or “Pass” on the suggested Bagels. If both users hit “Like”, then they can start the conversation, but only for a period of eight days. Once the time to reach out and interact has lapsed, your option is to use the app’s internal currency—beans. The option to reopen the conversation is only good for 30 days. With so many choices laid in front of us, we could all use a little pressure to start the move. This feature could very well be the ingredient we need to achieve success on a dating app.


Bumble gives its female users, in heterosexual matches, the choice to send a message to her match first. Men can only extend the match for up to 24 hours and have to wait for the woman to message first. But aside from this women-empowered feature, Bumble’s interface looks pretty much the same as Tinder.

Plenty of Fish

Plenty Of Fish (POF) is considered as one of the largest free dating sites with over 100,000,000 members. Why is Plenty Of Fish on this list? First, POF is fully functional. Depending on your preference, you decide on how much or how little information you can show on your profile. Second, POF makes online dating more fun and interactive. The site offers tests like Relationship Chemistry Predictor, and Relationship Needs Assessment. If these add-ons interests you, then Plenty Of Fish may just help you achieve the success on a dating app you are looking for.


Zoosk is a dating app that gathers data from user activities, clicks and messages, learns from this information, and use an algorithm to find a match. However, this behavioral matchmaking process tends to ignore the personal details of its members, such as specific filters, preferences and personal values. Zoosk also has a photo verification feature and offers extensive tips and guides about safe online dating.


OkCupid’s tagline is, “Dating Deserves Better.” And it looks like it is living up to this promise. The website’s interface is modern, fun and novel. Setting up your profile can be a bit arduous—it will ask for the kind of relationship you are looking for and ask a series of quirky questions that reveal a bit more detail about your personality. But once you get past this stage, you are all set. This profile set-up process makes OkCupid’s matching mechanism more precise and defined. If advertisements do not bother you that much, then you can stick with the free membership. Otherwise, you can opt for their paid membership—the A-List Basic or A-List Premium. These paid memberships allow users to disable ads or receive notifications if your email has been read.

Pick One of the Dating Apps that Work for You

Using dating apps is fast becoming the “new normal” of meeting people. Moreover, it has significantly altered the ways by which people interact. Yes, it’s tricky terrain. But it’s terrain that can be mapped thanks to these dating apps. And you (hopefully) don’t have to wait 51 years to finally be with your true love!

About the Author

Imee Rabang is a blogger/writer and bilingual poet from Manila, Philippines. She is an advocate of Philippine culture and supports causes that promote language and national identity. She juggles her time between work, parenthood, and community outreach programs. She also dabbles in photography and graphic arts in her free time.
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