by Elizabeth Rudd
That’s right, Valentine’s Day.
But have no fear. If you’re committed to not being dateless or alone this year, here are few free dating apps that could make your love life easier and Valentine’s Day a little less depressing.
Tinder (app only)
This is the “speed dating” of apps and you don’t even have to try to make a conversation last for three minutes. Tinder syncs with your Facebook page — four most recent profile pictures, your “About Me” section, interests and mutual friends — and with a simple swipe of your finger the dating game is on. You “Like” or “Nope” the users who meet your requirements and if someone “Likes” you back, then “It’s a Match!” Chat away, but proceed with caution — not everyone is there to “meet a nice boy or girl.”
OkCupid (website also available)
This app is all about math, or so its website says. OkCupid finds you a nearly exact match to your questions, though it doesn’t claim to find a person’s “perfect match.” Here’s how it works: You answer a question, another person answers the same question and you each decide how important that question is to you. Then the app calculates how many possible points a person can earn and what they did earn. Then the two numbers are multiplied and the square root of that number will determine how well you match — sounds complicated enough, right? The creators claim it works, as long as you’re honest and know what you want.
Plenty of Fish (website also available)
Plenty of Fish — or POF for those who are simply using the app — is a pretty simple way to meet people in your area. You sign up, take a chemistry predictor test and a relationship-needs assessment to determine all the things you don’t want to admit, and start fishing for a significant other. The concept is similar to Tinder, but a little less shallow because there’s more information. The “Meet Me” section lets you decide if you want to meet another person by clicking “no,” “yes” or “maybe” and from there you are free to chat.
How About We … (website also available)
Do something. That’s what this app is all about. Instead of just leaving a potentially awkward, “Hey, you’re pretty,” pending match, this app starts things off with a suggested date. You have your profile, and then you have a date that you’d like to go on with someone else. Example: “How about we go get coffee.” People pair with one another based on the date suggestion and profile. Added bonus: The app is made for couples too and has a bunch of fun date ideas so once you find that someone special — or if you already have — you won’t get bored.
Grouper (iPhone/iPad and website only)
It’s the ultimate blind date, but at least you’re not alone. Grouper is a web-to-app social club that pairs two people and four of their friends — it’s a triple blind date on steroids. You apply with Facebook; Grouper hand matches you with someone else; you pick two friends; pre-pay your first round of drinks and Grouper tells you where to meet; and then, as the website says, “the rest is up to you.” Only downside for those who are looking for a group date is Grouper is limited to specific cities with Seattle being the only one in the Northwest.