One of my most recent online dating fails involved my date's debit card getting declined, leaving me to foot the dinner bill. (By the way, I saw he had cash in his wallet, and he rejected the Venmo request I sent for his portion of the check, so this was definitely not a new thing for him.) After sharing my dating mishap at a recent brunch, I realized I wasn't alone when it came to having a hard time finding someone genuine online.
With this in mind, I decided to do some research into the newest dating apps (or those that have been revamped) that make finding a S.O. that much easier. We're looking past the most-popular dating apps to broaden our horizons. Although we can't actually promise you'll never have a bad date again, these innovative new dating apps may get you one step closer to meeting someone worth your time and energy. Keep reading to see our top five picks—and don't forget to share the apps with other singles (or maybe it's worth keeping them all to yourself).
Ever walk by someone you're attracted to and find yourself too shy to stop and say hi? Well, Happn helps with all of these missed connections. The app actually presents you with potential suitors you've crossed paths with and tells you how many times you've been in the same vicinity. And if you think apps make it hard to be yourself, then think again. If you're an up-front person, you can send a "charm" to let them know you're interested, and if you're coy, you can simply "heart" the potential suitor. (You'll only get matched if they "heart" you, too.)
What we love: Because it uses your geographical data to suggest suitors, it's likely that a match frequents the same type of places as you (museums, gyms, restaurants, etc.), meaning your chances of having things in common are pretty high.
Who else has a friend who uses an introductory technique similar to the one on How I Met Your Mother ("Have you met Ted")? I'm fortunate enough to have a best friend who will go up to men at a bar and introduce them to me (even though I find it absolutely cringeworthy). But I can't take her with me everywhere to meet people, so that's where the concept of Wingman comes in. It just launched in 2017 and relies on having your "wingman" create your profile and match you with potential dates. If you see someone you like, you can drop your friend a hint in the app. Once a match is made, the "wingman" doesn't get involved in the messages. And you're not limited to just one "wingman," so you can get your best friend, closest co-worker, and even your mom involved (she'll be thrilled).
What we love: It takes the pressure off you and lets a friend or loved one do the matchmaking. (It helps even more if you tend to date people who aren't well suited to you.)
For all those The Bachelor fans out there, this dating app is backed by former Bachelor Sean Lowe and his wife, Catherine. It reminds us a bit of Wingman in that your friends "vouch" for you, but differences include that you make your own profile and that you also have a say in who you swipe for. Matches are made when the two singles and one "voucher" swipe right. Although it pulls photos from your Facebook, you can add in details like your occupation or a short bio. It also doesn't take long to set up.
What we love: You can also "vouch" for your single friends at the same time, so there's even more of an incentive to start swiping for each other.
Instead of being matched with others based on physical attraction or where you went to college, Sweatt matches you with people with the same workout habits. And it's not just about whether you're a yogi or prefer running—the matching system takes into consideration the type of diet you follow (vegan, veggie, Paleo) and how often you exercise. Right now there's a waiting list to sign up (it's fairly new), but it's definitely worth checking out.
What we love: The app plans workout dates instead of traditional dinner dates. (Bonus: If the date doesn't go well, at least you still get a good workout.)
Okay, we're going to be frank: Tawkify isn't actually a dating app. It's more of an online dating concierge, but we think it's so good it deserves a mention. The service weeds out prospective suitors who are indecisive about being in a relationship (aka no casual hookups here). Each member needs to be screened by a matchmaker first, and then the matchmakers handle everything from there. (They even handpick the suitors and deal with the logistics of your date.)
What we love: Each matchmaker is trained by love advice columnist E. Jean Carroll herself.
Cost: From $99 to $6000 a year, depending on the plan.
This isn't to say that the dating apps and sites you're already on won't work, but the truth is that finding a partner online is all about increasing your chances of meeting someone. With these best dating apps of 2018, the odds will be in your favor.