I’m a late 30s female looking for a potential relationship, not just a hookup. Which dating apps should I be using? I live in a smallish city.
Great question! I'm so glad you asked. When it comes to dating apps, as a general rule I encourage people to try more than one. Sometimes a particular app will work great for you, while the same profile on another app has zero success.
In general, I like Tinder because the users are active and real, and because it has the most people on it. If you were in a city like New York or San Francisco, some smaller apps like Happn or Hinge could be good options. But in most parts of the country, Tinder is the only app people really know about, which makes it the one to use to actually make matches.
If your next question is: But isn't Tinder for hookups? My answer is: Yes. And no. There are plenty of people looking for hookups on Tinder, but they are easy to spot and avoid. There are also plenty of people looking for a relationship. There are people who go to church to find hookups, so the point is less about the venue and all about the intention.
Most importantly, when you go on an app, put in the time and effort to maximize your experience. Use multiple recent photos of yourself (just you, unless it's a photo with your pet), take the time to write a bio that reflects your personality and gives a window into your interests.
When you match, write away, right away! Don't delay, because attention spans are short and it's too easy for app communications to go nowhere. An app like Bumble is good because it has a rule - women write first and after 24 hours your ability to communicate goes away. It's a clear cut approach designed to maximize your success on the app.
Lastly, I don't consider OKCupid to be a "dating app", but rather a dating website that also has a robust app. I definitely recommend OKC, due to their great match questions and easy-to-use features.
Whichever you choose, don't be afraid to switch it up if it's not working! And keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to meet dates IRL.