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The best dating apps and sites for New Yorkers

Step up your online dating game with the best dating apps that help you hook up, find long-term relationships and more

Photograph: courtesy Shutterstock

If you're still looking for love, relax! We've got you covered. Check out these best dating apps, and you'll find there's an online dating program for anyone: Try Tinder if you're seeking a casual dalliance; How About We if you're tired of boring first dates; or Match if you're comfortable looking for something a tad more serious. So what are you waiting for? Get browsing with these NYC apps, find a great date idea and have a night on the town. (…or maybe “and find that perfect someone”?)

RECOMMENDED: See the best date ideas in New York City

The best dating apps


Think of CitySocializer as a singles mixer crossed with MeetUp. Powered through Facebook, it strives for group dating at its best, hosting events daily and even allowing you to create your own. Initially launched in the U.K.—it debuted stateside in September—CitySocializer works by tagging your profile with your likes and the neighborhoods you visit. Custom events make this app the closest you can get to artisanal dating (think: an afternoon at the Dumbo Arts Festival or a Lower East Side food crawl).
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: citysocializer.com/new-york/meet-people


If you’re really into beards and really unwilling to date anyone without one, download this app, which matches facial-hair lovers with facial-hair havers. You can interact after you each “heart” each other, and the site flags users who copy and paste messages (for shame). With more than 60,000 users, you can satisfy your fetish—sorry—personal preference.
Works With: iOS, Android
Get the app: bristlr.com


There’s no shortage of apps for gay men looking to get some on the fly (SCRUFF. Grindr. Recon…). But what if you’re hoping for something long-term? Distinc.tt caters to LGBTers (although you can join if you’re straight) looking for relationships, not hookups, tipping subscribers off to community events where they can mingle. The social network allows you to browse nearby singles who you can message—and you can even get groups together for trips to the museum.
Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: distinc.tt


One of those “Why did no one think of this before?” apps, it lets you video chat with potential dates. You’ll see if your conversation flows, and it puts an end to “You don’t look like your profile picture” moments. The downside? It’s way easier to get out of a boring message chain than it is a super awkward chat with someone who is staring. Right. At. You.
Works With: iOS, Android
Get the app: fliqpic.com


If you’re the person on Tinder who directs viewers to your Instagram, this is the app for you. Now in its second iteration, Glimpse uses your Instagram photos’ metadata (like geolocation and hashtags) to connect you with users who have similar interests. Wait, what the what? How does this work? Basically, if you’re, say, way into food porn, you’re shown nearby people who also take too many snaps of that to-die-for dinner. You can check out their photo feeds and message them in the hopes of, you know, meeting in the flesh. Unlike Tinder, it awesomely allows you to go back and change your mind if you reject someone initially.
Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: itsglimpse.com

How About We

For those tired of the usual drab first date, How About We connects singles who are more interested in creative outings. If you use the app’s “speed dating” option, like Tinder, you see a person's full-size picture, age and location, but you also get to see their idea for a date before you swipe left or right. The dates vary, like the extravagant “go to the opera,” fun “take an improv class together” or traditional “grab a beer in the West Village.” To receive messages and view popular dates, you have to pay to play. If your first date is an adventure, you’re not likely to get hung up on the same old boring first-date banter.
Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: howaboutwe.com/about


Just looking for a nice Jewish boy or girl? JSwipe is Tinder crossed with JDate, and it’s quickly gaining steam, with 50 million swipes and 2.5 million messages exchanged. Chosen users are given an 18-day countdown to make an interaction with each match, after which your phone will announce “Mazel tov!” For the quirk factor: A swipe right leads to a green smiling Star of David; a swipe left to a red-star frowny face. You can also let your matches know if you’re kosher, conservative, reform, orthodox or “just Jewish.”
Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: jswipeapp.com


The classic dating site Match.com has been pairing couples since the 1990s, and some people swear by it. The app matches you with others based on key words from your profile, such as your listed interests. Nonpaying users can browse and “wink,” but you have to pay for a subscription to get chatting. Though if you don’t find a match in your first six months, you can get another six months free. Because it can be pricey to receive messages (a six-month subscription is $24 per month), the website tends to appeal to people more seriously looking.
Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Get the app: match.com


Connects you to every eligible bachelor and bachelorette in New York City and the rest of the known universe. No, seriously; everyone you know is on it; once they reboot Sex and the City (you know it’s coming), the entire show will just be people going on OkCupid dates.What, you still think you’re going to meet someone at a bar? Get online and ignite that big city romance you’ve always dreamed of already!
Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Get the app: okcupid.com


Unlike Grindr, Scruff is for more than just hooking up. Its more extensive profile-building features allow gay guys to communicate for just about any purpose, from one-night stands to networking. Seeing the same old fellas at the same old Village bars can get fatiguing—expand those horizons.
Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Windows Phone
Get the app: scruff.com


Wouldn’t it be nice if an app filtered out anyone who likes the Counting Crows? Enter Tastebuds, which matches you with people who dig the same kinds of music. The app can analyze your iTunes library, or you can manually enter your favorite bands. Trust us, your cutesy mixtape exchanges are gonna be incredible.
Works With: iOS
Get the app: tastebuds.fm


Lets you swipe, swipe, swipe away until you’ve exhausted every coitus candidate in the city (conceivably, anyway). Also provides endless fodder for New York Times thinkpieces on “hookup culture.” NYC is DTF. Don’t get left behind.
Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Get the app: gotinder.com


If you’re sick of online chats going nowhere, try Whim, which actually gets you out with a promising cutie. Users pick days they’re free, and the app goes ahead and picks a time and a place to meet. The founder says 90 percent of matches result in dates, higher than the average online dating meet-up rate, which according to a Pew Research Center survey, is 66
Works With: iOS
Get the app: joinwhim.com


It’s an ingenious way to minimize creepy dudes—the only way for men to join is via a personal invitation from a female. Women, meanwhile, can join whenever. (Who needs wage equality!) After a mutual match, you start messaging, but Wyldfire encourages face-to-face meet-ups by stopping you at 20 exchanges, so put some thought into your natural selection.
Works with: iOS, coming soon to Android
Get the app: wyldfireapp.com