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6 Alternative Dating Apps

No Date? No Problem


We’re living in the age of digitalised dating. Dating agencies and websites were a nice alpha for it but the art of getting to know people ahead of a date without actually meeting them has been heavily refined with the advent of apps. Being that it’s almost Valentine’s Day, the switchboards are going to be lighting up, it’s not a lot of fun being single and having to avoid Facebook and Instagram for day, knowing that they will be awash with couple-selfies, play-by-plays of ridiculously overblown dates and all the rest of it. It’s perfectly reasonable to try and ferret out some other, equally jaded singleton to share the experience with, but is Tinder really your best option?

It still doesn't have quite the same usership behind it as the bigger dating sites like eHarmony and Plenty of Fish, but it’s been hailed as the definitive mobile dating service, despite the cynicism of its structure. Perhaps it just doesn't suit you though. Perhaps you want something more specific, abstract or sophisticated. Well, here are 6 other, slightly more out there options that might help you out.

420 Mate

With the increasing decriminalisation of marijuana, blazing is becoming much less of a social faux pas than it used to be, but it can still make dating a little bit problematic. If you do smoke weed, it goes without saying that anyone you get involved with is going to find out at some stage or another. They might catch sight of the gravity bong on your bookshelf, notice your Dazed and Confused poster or the ungodly hoard of Cheetos in your kitchen, but it’ll happen. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it’s a dealbreaker.

420 Mate allays that concern, everybody signed up to the site either blazes or has enough of a liberal attitude towards it to want to date people who do. All the standard dating site touchstones are present and correct, but your profile also displays how much weed you smoke and how often, if you want it to. It removes what can often be a very awkward sticking point before any actual dating even starts, ideal for those who are just looking for someone to lie around watching nineties cartoons with.


As I said, Tinder certainly has a cynical bearing to it, being that you’re practically encouraged to take everyone at face value. If cynicism is exactly what you’re going for though, Carrot is the app for you. Aimed primarily at men, Carrot creates a system wherein the suitor offers a ‘carrot’ (which can be anything from a shopping spree to a fancy dinner)  and the object of desire decides if the offer is enough to get them out for a date.

There are two ways to look at this, one is that it’s a succinct; to-the-point way to make the first move without any of the initial awkwardness, the other is that’s just bribery. You could argue that this concept suggests that getting romantic attention is as simple as having money, but equally those who participate on the other side have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.


Mutual interests are a really important part of dating, especially in the early stages and while they always play a role within more general dating apps, Tastebuds takes it further by building a whole dating app around music. You fill in your profile like with any other app, but it contains a huge, comprehensive list of artists and bands for you to compile into a list of favourites, then matches you based almost solely on that.

While you can’t really build a healthy relationship purely on liking the same music (I know, I’ve tried), being able to talk about it from the outset is a really good way to get things rolling. The app also features a ‘send song’ button which allows you to send music to other users based on their taste profile (the app chooses the track for you). The app has as much validity as a way of meeting like-minded people and sharing music with them as it does as a dating app.

Salad Match

Food can be even more important than music when you’re first getting to know someone. You might be a vegetarian, you might have allergies or you might just really hate a particular type of food and if you don’t disclose that information early, what could have been a great first date can turn into an agonising, mortifying experience.

If you like salad, this app has got you covered. Health food restaurant chain ‘Just Salad’ developed this app specifically for its customers. In making your profile, you log your favourite salads and what dietary needs you have, as well as which Just Salad you frequent, and when. The app then matches you with other local health food enthusiasts.


Of course, if you are happy with Tinder’s way of doing things, but perhaps you already have a significant other, and still want to get in on the action? Well, meet 3nder. You register as a couple and then singletons with an interesting in having a threesome (or several) scroll through to see how interests them.

It’s been around for a while, but it’s not the most widely used app out there, likely given that it’s such a specific interest-set. I’m no expert (sadly), but I would think that most threesomes generate fairly spontaneously, rather than being canvassed for and organised online, but if you’re interested enough in the idea not to want to simply wait for it to happen, give it a go.

How About We

On the opposite end of the spectrum, perhaps you want things to be more dignified, more amicable and altogether more civilised than all the hookup-centric fare out there. How About We does away with the picture scrolling and interest matching, leaving all that business to when you’re actually out on a date with someone.

Signees post the kind of dates they would be interested in going on, then you scroll through your matches, connect and organise it all, leaving the ice-breaking until you’re face to face with the other person. Your profile just has a simple rundown of your traits, likes, dislikes and doesn’t shed a great deal of light on physical attributes (besides pictures). Shared interests and compatibility are absolutely central to this one, making it much more like dating out there in the world than more appearance-based apps like Tinder.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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6 Alternative Dating Apps Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, February 13, 2015 Rating: 5
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