The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
As someone who was on the dating apps for more years than I'd like to think about, I definitely have a sense of which ones are a good bet if you're looking for a long-term partner.
While there are now tons of different apps out there that cater to specific interests (faith-based, sexual preferences, etc.), when I was in the dating pool I stuck to most of the big ones and dated in Toronto and the GTA.
Two years ago, I swiped right on someone who turned out to be my perfect match. We've been together ever since and are now living together, so it's safe to say that it is possible to find serious relationships on dating apps, if that's what you're looking for.
Here's my take on some of the most popular dating apps out there and what they're like.
Tinder is the OG dating app and it's where I, like many others, started out.
The app definitely has a reputation as a place for people to find hookups or something more casual, and in my experience, that's what the men I matched with were mainly interested in.
As well, lots of them were keen to move the chat off the app and onto Snapchat, which of course leads to people sending pictures of their junk. Depending on what you're looking for, that can either be exciting or off-putting.
I didn't have any success on Tinder in terms of serious relationships, but I did have luck with something casual and I'm still somewhat friendly with him to this day.
According to Tinder, the app has been downloaded more than 530 million times and has resulted in over 75 billion total matches, which is kind of wild when you think about it.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Marketed as the "app for serious daters," Coffee Meets Bagel has a special place in my heart because it's the app where I found love (or what I thought was love) for the very first time back in 2018.
When you sign up the app asks you to answer a few questions and then presents you with a handful of profiles every day based on your answers.
"Do they want kids? Are your values aligned? The important details like education, interests, and family plans are front and center," says the app.
I appreciated the fact that those questions were dealt with right away because as a woman who doesn't want to have kids, it sucks to match with someone and get excited about them only to later find out that they want to have little ones.
The only thing I didn't like about the app was that you could only swipe through so many people at a time, but perhaps some appreciate having a limited selection so they can focus on a smaller pool of people.
In my experience, people on Coffee Meets Bagel are indeed looking for something serious, so it might be one to check out if that's also your goal!
Bumble is a bit of a strange one for me. I love the concept that the app is centred around women making the first move, but I have never personally had any success with it.
One of the things I found tricky as a lazy person is the fact that your match expires after 24 hours if neither of you starts to chat. You can rematch with someone, but it's a feature you need to pay for.
The limitation of the timeframe isn't something that worked for me, but I'd say out of all of the apps, my friends have had the most success on Bumble in terms of actually going on dates.
Maybe it was a me problem!
Happn is a dating app based on geolocation, which means if two people are on the app and cross each other's paths or general vicinity, their profiles will appear for one another. Then, if you both "like" each other, you'll be matched.
In theory, this sounds like a great way to meet people in your area and maybe grab a coffee at a local spot, but in practice, I found the people I matched with were mainly looking for hookups.
As well, I once ran into someone in my neighbourhood who didn't "like" me back when our profiles popped up for one another. Big yikes.
Out of all the apps and sites I tried, I had the most success on Hinge.
I met two great people on Hinge that I ended up in relationships with, and while it didn't end up working out with the first guy, I'm currently madly in love with the second guy.
The thing I most like about Hinge is the prompts it asks you to fill out for your profile as it gives you a better sense of someone's personality rather than a little bio where people tend to list standard info.
For instance, one of the prompts I often saw was, "What would your dream job be?" and so, so many people answered "Assistant to the regional manager."
While that was generally a strike in my books, I did see some super creative and interesting answers to other prompts which really helps the conversation get rolling.
For instance, something that caught my eye when I saw my boyfriend's profile was his answers to the prompt asking what he geeks out over – he listed folklore and etymology, and it was at that moment I knew we were going to be something.
As well, many of my friends have had success setting up dates and meeting people and I know quite a few people who have also found love with Hinge.
So, if you're looking for something serious, I would highly recommend it!
What are the best dating apps in Canada for serious relationships?
In my experience, the best dating apps for serious relationships are Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel and Bumble.
That being said, there are a ton of apps out there that people have had success with, so if you've found an app you like, just keep at it! I'm rooting for you!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.