While coronavirus restrictions are slowly being lifted in some parts of the world, in others staying at home and resorting to video chats with friends and family remains the new normal. That’s also true for dating, where health organisations without exception are urging potential couples to meet, talk and even date online. If you’re not sure where to start, here are five of the best remote dating apps for lockdown.
5. The League
Professional-focused dating app The League was an early adopter of voice and video calls, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the service has seen significant growth over the past few months. The most interesting part of the app is the League Live feature, which is a collection of live video feeds from users that you can swipe through, with the app giving you two minutes to make a decision about whether you’re interested in connecting further. The League Live runs on Wednesday and Sunday at 9PM, so if it’s one of these evenings maybe give it a go!
Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” tagline sounds like it’s meant for adultery, but from what I can gather it’s more about getting you off the app - and happily into a relationship - with as few intermediate steps as possible. Likes are given to updates - like photos and videos - rather than to users, so you can get past the initial first stages of conversation more naturally. You also get a miniaturised version of the questions from older web-based internet dating, providing more conversation fodder. Like Bumble and some other apps, it recently gained a video chatting feature that is ideal for a safe first date.
One of the most fascinating dating apps is Once, which takes a drastically approach to dating than rivals like Bumble or Tinder. The app is designed to offer only one match per day, at noon exactly, which is handpicked by an actual human being based on the information you offer into the app (and your dating record). This means that you don’t have to spend time swiping away on everyone that passes by - you just look at your match for the day, and if you’re interested you can have a chat. Like other services, Once has been quick to add online-focused features like video dating, with a sensible 30 minute limit on the first date to ensure you spend your time wisely.
The oft-imitated swipe left or swipe right app has grown a fair few features since I used it many years ago, not least of which is a paid-for “passport” that allows you to match with people around the world. When you’re not allowed to meet up with people in the same building, there’s no reason to limit yourself to your actual whereabouts - so why not go somewhere you’d like to visit after the current situation has passed? You may find a friendly local, or a fellow traveller interested in the same places you are. Either way, it could be a fun trip. Other premium features have also appeared, like just straight-up seeing who likes you, Rewinding to undo your past action or Super Liking someone to really try and get their attention. Of course, the free app still works as well as it’s always had, with no real need to pay up for casual use, so give it a go if you’ve never tried it or it’s been a little while. The one big drawback here is the lack of video calling, but the company promises this will arrive by the end of June.
The advantage of Bumble is that women, who typically make up a smaller proportion of dating app users, get the privilege of making the first move. (For same-sex dating, either party can!) That means that women are not constantly drowning in messages, which is probably better for everyone involved. Bumble has adapted well to the current crisis, with the release of video and voice calls that mean you don’t have to leave the app (or divulge your contact details!) to get a more personal connection with a match. Definitely a good one to try.
So, there we have it. I hope these recommendations were useful, and be sure to let me know if any work for you by tweeting me @wsjudd. Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the next article!
Header image: time.com