For years, Tinder was the staple dating-app. Except...it wasn't really a dating app. Tinder, for a majority of users, is a tool that perpetuated hookup culture and the cycle of casual relationships.
While a lot of twenty-somethings are looking for friends with benefits, one night stands, and the ever popularity f*ck buddy, a whole lot of us are simply jaded.
I support hookup culture fully. I think it's an important part of finding out what you like and honestly, it's just fun.
The trouble is, a lot of people have been there, done that. So where do you turn when you want something more?
Enter Hinge. Hinge is by no means new. It was created in 2012 and it's had a loyal fan base ever since. The thing is though, it's lost a lot of attention due to the popularity and overexposure of Tinder and Bumble.
Hinge has a pretty basic concept as it's core. It's a dating app that is designed to help you find people you might be interested in. However, while other apps often maximize the importance of appearance, Hinge lets you get to know the person a little better.
I love Hinge lately because it forces you to look at the individual as simply that - an individual. You're not just swiping through faces on a screen.
Some features that Hinge has that allow for this more in-depth look at potential matches include the ability to like certain parts of someone's profile, personalized answers to question size that are aimed at introducing yourself and setting yourself apart, conversation-starting prompts, and preferences such as smoker or non-smoker, religion, age, political views, and location. (None of these are required to show on your profile - you pick what matters to you.)
Each potential match you're presented with is like a mini portfolio of the person. Hinge helps you cultivate your profile to include things you might not typically talk about and even things to break the ice - “you'll know I like you if," “my biggest pet peeve is," “dogs or cats?"
These sometimes silly and sometimes more serious prompts are what make it so easy to strike up a conversation on Hinge. Instead of awkwardly trying to come up with a witty one-liner, you can respond to something specific on their profile.
Hinge is designed with the end-goal of a relationship in mind. That doesn't mean you need to be looking for a relationship necessarily, but it does mean conversation will feel more natural and connections will be more substantial.
The best part about Hinge is that it feels young. Sites like Match.com tend to be associated with “adult" adults. People in their thirties and forties. Hinge attracts a host of young adults who are looking for more than sex but aren't necessarily looking for a long-term relationship. It provides a nice stepping stone between hookups and commitment.
As a recent Hinge-convert, I can honestly report that I encounter less creepy guys on Hinge. Not to say Tinder is just scummy dudes or that Hinge is a collection of perfect soulmates, but the guys I've talked to on Hinge seem more personable overall.
Hinge is a great way to meet new people, start up conversations, and find people who have the same goals as you, in terms of dating. No dating app is ever going to be perfect - but Hinge comes pretty damn close.