Best dating apps in Singapore: Platforms for casual relationship seekers to BTO partner hunters

Bumble and Grindr
PHOTO: Reuters

Single life can be amazing, but sometimes you want be taken out to a nice cafe or to go out for a decadent dinner that’s not with friends (or your mother).

While online dating is hyper-normalised these days – a stare from a stranger along Orchard Road is more creepy than romantic – matchmaking isn’t anything new, so apps may be the way to go.

If there are plenty of fishes in the sea, you’ll need a map, regardless of whether you’re looking for a BTO-worthy catch or just someone to Free Willy. Here’s our guide to the best dating apps in Singapore.

For meaningful relationships: Coffee Meets Bagel

PHOTO: Coffee Meets Bagel

Like taking things slow? Coffee Meets Bagel regulates your swiping with only five potential matches (bagels) a day, pushing you to make more careful choices and cutting down on unwanted spam.

The app has its perks – you get to see if your “bagels” like you first, and with a 60-40 ratio of women to men on the platform, CMB has definitely become a ladies’ favourite.

With a limit of up to 21 suggested matches a day, this app gets folks seeking deeper connections through meaningful conversation… especially since you’ve only got seven days to make an impression before your chat expires!

Download Coffee Meets Bagel here.

ALSO READ: 11.11 Singles' Day: Find bae with these dating apps

For the young (at heart): OkCupid

PHOTO: OkCupid

Created by a bunch of Harvard math majors, who also happen to be founders of students’ lifesaver SparkNotes, OkCupid is popular among the young adults in Singapore.

Since birds of a feather flock together, OkCupid has an extensive list of multiple-choice questions that you can answer to find like-minded partners. This includes Singapore-specific questions like “ cocktail bar or kopitiam for the first date?” and “Toast Box or Ya Kun?”

Its also keeping up with the times with a ‘Vaccination Badge’ to indicate your jab status. Like Tinder, you can boost your profile for five times the views, and see who has already liked you.

Download OkCupid here.

For everyone: Tinder

PHOTO: Tinder

Synonymous with online dating, Tinder is the OG dating app. Simple to use and with a wide pool of singles, it’s a no-brainer for anyone looking to just put themselves out there – almost everyone dips a toe into online dating by downloading Tinder, in our experience.

With popularity, however, does come many fake accounts on the platform which can dampen your dating experience. The second caveat would be the sheer number of people only looking for one-nighters or, well, Netflix and chill.

Unless that’s what you want, you’ll have to throw a lot of fish back into the sea – but don’t let that stop you from swiping.

Download Tinder here.

For the unabashed local: Paktor

PHOTO: Paktor

Founded on local shores, Paktor boasts a user base of about 18,000 in Singapore (though it’s got many users from Taiwan too).

Instead of waiting to match people who like you back, you can send gifts to gain their attention to fast-track your connections! Sporting a minimalist and clean interface, it’s swift and intuitive to navigate around this app.

Its Wink feature allows you to send out a mix of automated messages to immediately start conversations, hence generating a lot more initial touch points. The dating pool is mainly folks down for serious relationships, though you might match some seeking platonic friendships.

Download Paktor here.

ALSO READ: Can we be friends? Dating apps say sex isn't everything in a post-pandemic world

For platonic, to romantic, and even professional: Bumble

PHOTO: Reuters

Bumble’s method is pretty similar to Tinder, with added profile features that bump up your chances of finding a date with similar interests, so you’ll probably find more people taking the dating scene more seriously here.

One thing sets apart Bumble from the others in its dating department: only women can make the first move in a bid to break ‘heterosexual norms and dynamics’. Clearly, however, the mechanic makes the app redundant for same-sex dating.

If you’re just fishing for friendships, you can also try Bumble BFF.

Download Bumble here.

For the outgoing: Tantan

China-based Tantan has a significant user base in Singapore, though you can match with users in other countries too.

With lots of its users coming from China, there’s no shortage of users that are online and looking to match – though it might be a challenge taking things to the next level.

The best feature of Tantan is its integrated platform that allows you to play games and send different media forms through text. Though it sounds like a given, many other dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid have yet to offer these fun functions.

If you’d like to get to know their match better before exchanging other socials, this app is pretty handy.

Download Tantan here.

For our LGBTQ community: Grindr

PHOTO: Grindr

An all-boys dating platform for our queer, gay, bi, and trans community, Grindr is the most popular gay dating platform out there. It neatly arranges potential matches near you in order of relative distance, with previews of photos, leaving the choice to you to strike up a chat.

Whether you’re DTF or looking to find your lifelong partner, this is one for the boys.

Download Grindr here.

ALSO READ: What online dating during CB taught me about connecting

This article was first published in City Nomads.