By CAITLIN OBRIEN
Being a single lady who digs the ladies is tough. If you’re like me, just the thought of approaching a girl and asking for her number makes you want to run and hide. In my experience, the probability of going out and meeting an attractive, down-to-earth, woman with a killer personality that also happens to be a single woman interested in woman is slim to none. Nine times out of 10 she is either straight, taken, or both. However, dating apps have made the task of finding available women much easier and way less painful and awkward. I am a self-proclaimed lesbian dating app connoisseur. I’ve tried them all, made all the mistakes, and lived to write about them. Take my wisdom with a grain of salt—everyone’s experiences are slightly different and I can only speak for my own.
Lesbian dating apps are all pretty similar. With the exception of a few details they pretty much all have the same features and clientele. You will most likely come across the same people on different apps, which means you may be matched with someone on two different apps. If you didn’t reach out the first time, you should definitely reach out the second. Put yourself out there and actually talk to the people you match with-they’re just as nervous as you are.
You swipe left to reject someone, and right to like. Swipe carefully. You cannot swipe back unless you pay for the app, so, again, swipe carefully. You have pretty solid chance of being asked for a threesome by a couple. Just ignore those profiles and move on. They are incredibly annoying, and are the bane of the lesbian-dating world.
The pictures you choose for your profile are very important. I would include one or two body shots, a selfie or two, and then a really good picture of your mug. These apps are somewhat vain; you’re swiping based on what you see. Make sure your portray yourself the way you want to be viewed. Finally, carefully construct your bio. Really think about what you think are the most important things for someone to know about you. Keep it brief and lighthearted. If you had to describe yourself in one tweet what would you write? Now add the sunset emoji and make that your bio.
My best advice for using dating apps is to be upfront and clear with what you want. If you’re just trying to have some fun your senior year before you move across the country, of if you’re looking for your princess charming, let the person know. Dating apps are wonderful, but err on the side of caution. Don’t meet someone for the first time in private. Even if you have chatted for weeks they are still a stranger and you don’t want to find yourself in a sticky situation.
If you’re ever stuck for something to say, “I want to rent a uhaul with you” is probably the most romantic pick up line the lesbian community. So get out there, and go find your new Tinder bae.
Her is the, “Lesbian, Bisexual & Queer Dating Network.” It is the most mainstream ‘lesbian only’ app, and I can almost guarantee that you will not come across any cisgender male profiles. When you first make a profile it will ask for your name, age, height, sexuality, gender, and email. Her kindly includes 12 sexuality choices, as well as TBD and questioning, along with 25 gender options. Once you start swiping, you can hit the heart button to like someone, and the person is notified that you liked them. Once you match with someone you are able to chat. The app generates a corny question you are supposed to answer in order to start a conversation, such as, “Should glitter be banned or put EVERYWHERE?” This is a “you tried” moment. No one that I have matched with-and I have a copious amount of matches-has ever answered the questions. If you want to be cool, ignore them at all costs and just say hey how are you? with a smiley face. You can also click on their profile to add friend. If the other person accepts your friendship then you can chat without being matched. This app is not my personal favorite, although I do actively use it. After a certain number of swipes you are unable to continue for a defined number of hours unless you purchase premium, which is $19.99 a month for 12 months. I am a broke college kid and often question whether or not I can even afford ramen, let alone a dating app. I have also found that I am often swiping left, and rarely come across profiles that I am interested in. I give Her a solid 5/10. It would be a three, but it gains two points for being inclusive.
Tinder has quite the reputation as being the hookup app of our generation. In my experience that is somewhat true. I’ve met women who are genuinely interested in finding love, and women who just want to Netflix and Chill. Tinder is not an exclusively lesbian app, although you can set your profile to ‘women and men’ or ‘women only.’ Mine is set to women only, although occasionally I come across a man’s profile. I just swipe left and move on. Tinder does not list your sexuality or gender, although you can post it in your bio. In order to match on Tinder both people have to swipe right on each other without being notified that they were liked. You are notified when you receive a match. Similar to Her, you can chat if you match, however, unlike Her it does not offer conversation topics. Tinder is my favorite dating app. I typically find more interesting profiles, and tend to have better conversations then I do on Her. I give this app an 8/10.
The final, and most interesting dating app is Bumble. Whitney Wolfe, a co-founder of Tinder, left and sued the company due to sexual harassment and soon after created Bumble. Bumble is mostly marketed towards straight people as a feminist app. When a blind match occurs, the woman has to initiate the conversation within 24 hours of the match. If she chooses not to reach out, then the match goes away. This is supposed to eliminate dirty and inappropriate pick lines from men typically found on Tinder, and encourage respectful behavior. However, all bets are off for the gays. In a same-sex match, either party can initiate the conversation. This app is probably more useful to bisexual women, although one can set their preferences to ‘women only.’ Honestly, I rarely ever use this app and when I do not much ever comes of it. In my opinion, Bumble isn’t too LGBTQ+ friendly and I wish they would figure out a way to make it more inclusive. I give it a 4/10. Bumble has good intentions, but needs to work on its gay-friendliness.
Caitlin Obrien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org