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With love on the brain, we're taking a look at the different dating apps people use in D.C. and what people *really* think about them. (Image: Getty Images)
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Comparing 8 of the most-used dating apps in D.C. (part 2)

Smartphones have completely changed the way we live. Pretty noticeably, it's changed the way we date. Now, finding our potential soulmate is as easy as a swipe of your thumb. But is it really that easy? With love on the brain, we're taking a look at the different dating apps people use in D.C. and what people *really* think about them.

If you missed part of the series covering Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Her check it out here.

SHIP

Created by The Betches, this brand new dating app allows your friends to match for you, so hopefully they know your taste! This one is different than the others, too, because even people in relationships can use it to help find their friends that special someone. Once you create a profile, definitely encourage all of your friends to make one -- it’s more fun that way! You and your friends can join each other’s “crews,” which allows you all to see how each of you are swiping on potential matches. Once you match with someone, both of you are able to start messaging each other. Friends also can come in handy for that, right in the app. This really eliminates the need for sending countless screenshots and message drafts to your friends’ group chats -- we all do it, it’s okay!

Local Review: “Ship is pretty new right now, so the biggest downfall is that there's just not a lot of guys on the app. I will say of the few apps I've used, it seems to have the most racial diversity, which is cool. I really love the fact that I can be part of a "crew" and have my friends swipe for me, and I swipe for them - I'm getting pretty good at knowing their types too!” --24-year-old female, interested in males.

GRINDR

While many of the other dating apps listed have the option for you to choose preferences other than heterosexual relationships, Grindr was one of the first for the LGBTQ community and is still one of the most popular today. Its target audience is gay men. Just upload a photo, select your relationship preference and include other optional profile details such as your height, ethnicity, HIV status and more. It’s similar to Tinder in respect to the fact that it’s location-based, and has evolved into more of a hookup app. When you open the app, you’ll see people that are nearby (and you can define what “nearby” means to you in your settings. If you’re interested in someone, you can add them to your “favorites.” To initiate contact with them, you can Tap them, which is similar to “liking” them, or simply send a message!

Local Review: "The main upside about Grindr is that it is the most commonly used gay hookup app on a worldwide scale. Bad news is that most people using the app are looking for a quick hookup and not a long term relationship. Since it’s so focused on one-time sexual encounters, people can be more focused on their hyper-specific sexual preferences, which tends to make people focus on physical beauty over personality, good conversation and dates, which can lead to some people being mean on the app. If you’re looking for a quick hookup, your chances are good on the app. Looking for dates might leave you disappointed." -- 28-year-old male, interested in males

THE LEAGUE

This app markets itself as the dating app for well-respected young professionals. There is a “waitlist” to get into the app, unless you pay to move yourself ahead in line. It connects to your LinkedIn and automatically filters out anyone you work with, so there’s no risk of seeing someone in your office’s coffee break room after matching with them on a dating app. I downloaded this app to check it out for this story, and after two weeks of having the app I am number 29,769 out of 41,049 on the waitlist in the D.C. area to even get into the app. Similar to Hinge and Bumble, you can list your preferences for potential matches.

Local Review: "I was intrigued by The League due to its expanded customization options (the level to which you could filter matches was novel in 2016, but now pretty standard), but my interest waned thin very fast. If you don't want to pay for the service, you are given very few matches, and I felt most of the matches I did make were outside my preferred age zone. Most of the men I matched with never struck up conversation, even if I got things kicked off, and so they sat as wastes of time in my inbox. This is definitely an app that caters to a crowd that loves something exclusive, as they constantly remind you that they have a "curated" user base and the waitlist seems like a gimmick they use to increase interest. I'm not into game playing, and this app felt like one big game the creators were playing with their audience." -- 30-year-old female, interested in males

Local Review:

COFFEE MEETS BAGEL

Coffee Meets Bagel takes a quality over quantity approach to the dating apps. Each day at noon, you're presented with a couple of "bagels" aka potential matches to view their profiles and either like them or pass. These "bagels" are curated by the app to fit what you're looking for. This app has similarities to some of the other apps because of your ability to select preferences in what you're looking for in a partner (ethnicity, religion, height, distance, etc.) If you both like each other, you are able to chat. You're only able to chat for 24 hours after matching to encourage people to take it off the app and meet IRL. To set up your profile, link your Facebook page, upload a couple of photos, and answer the 3 bio prompts: "I am..." "I like..." and "I appreciate when my date..."

Local Review: "After graduating college and entering a job that was not a place of young professionals, I found it difficult to meet people. I liked the vibe of coffee meets bagel because guys seemed interested in developing a relationship, which was what I was looking for, but there didn't seem to be a lot of users on the app. When I heard good things about hinge, I gave it a try and at first it was frustrating to navigate. Once I got use to it, I really enjoyed the layout and concept much better than coffee meets bagel because conversations seemed to spark more fluidly and sometimes humorously because of the prompts. After two failed dates, I took a break from the app. A few days later I met a friend of a friend at a Christmas party, and asked a mutual friend for his number. I felt the dating apps helped me gain confidence to just take initiative if I found myself interested in a guy, which I would have never done before. And we are currently in a relationship." - 23-year-old female, interested in males

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