Finding a date in a society where people hardly ever speak to each other is tough. Dating apps work to make the process a little easier, but how do you know which one best suits your needs?
Major sites such as Match and eHarmony are not app-based and have been known for their ability to find potential matches based on common interests. They've also been known for their appeal among users in the market for a serious relationship.
Apps like Tinder, Happn and Bumble have been known to be used more for hookups, allowing users to quickly swipe through profiles and make quick decisions.
So what do you do when you want an app to help you find a serious relationship?
That’s the problem the dating app Hinge hopes to solve.
Last November, Vanity Fair published a provocative piece capturing the world of ‘empty hook-up culture driven by the proliferation of free dating apps.’
The article described a lonely world where singles avoided "catchy feelings," where romance was dead and everyone swiped without really connecting.
The in-depth look at the app-centered dating culture influenced Hinge to rebrand as the "relationship app," which launched last week. Now for a fee of $7 you have access to users who are looking for more than just a hookup.
Hinge refers to the new app as "Instagram profiles for dating."
“The mission at Hinge had always been to create relationships — but somewhere along the way we started contributing to superficial swipe culture,” the company said in a statement.
What sets Hinge apart is that the app encourages conversation. When the user opens the app, they see the people with whom they have already matched, making the experience about the existing connection, not the next one.
"You get dropped right into people's stories, which is a series of questions that they've answered and photos that they've posted," Hinge CEO Justin McLeod said in an interview with NPR.
With all dating apps, you're certain to be sifting through a lot of less-desirable prospects until you find that special someone, and even with a fee of $7 you're going to have some crazies out there because no matter what, dating sites are full of them.
Unless, of course, you managed to get accepted into The League, which is an all-exclusive dating app for the classy and popular. But you might be stuck on the waiting list for a bit since there are a reported 80,000 waiting to get into that one.
There's certainly no perfect dating app, and just because the idea is innovative doesn't guarantee you'll find the right match, but at least Hinge seems to be a step in the right direction.
Follow Angela Gosnell on Twitter: @angelamgosnell