Coming Un-Hinge-d: A Dating App Review


A couple months ago my friend turned me on to a new dating app, Hinge. It's similar in form and functionality to Tinder, but my friend swore up and down that it was geared toward the relationship-minded, not the hook-up scene. She had been on a plethora of wildly successful dates with wildly successful men (read: not adult-sized boys). Now, if you're a loyal reader (I love you), you'll know that I'm not huge fan of online or any type of digital dating. But this friend is very savvy when it comes to dating, both online and off, so I trust her judgement. And I can't be a dating blogger and not have tried at least one, amirite? Plus, yolo.

Off to the App Store I went. Now, one initial downside was that this app is only available in a certain number of cities--New York, Boston, Philly and DC, and they just added San Fran and Chicago (shout out to my hometown peeps - get on this!).

I happen to not live in one of these cities, but was curious, so threw an NYC zip on the profile, and got to Hinge-ing. The rest of my digital deets were populated from my Facebook profile pics and pages that I liked. You also have the option to further define your personality by selecting descriptive tags like Night Owl, Conflicted Omnivore, Midnight Toker, Early Bird, Sports Fan, Secret Agent, Illusionist, Overachiever, After Partier, Die-Hard Carnivore, Dance Machine, Wine Lover, and the like. They're clever, those Hinge developers.

It pulls date suggestions from your Facebook network, essentially friends of friends. Which is genius. Because it's like going to a singles dinner party hosted by your bestie and meeting a dude who's three degrees removed from your immediate network. Conceivably, you might have something in common with this sultry avatar.

Every day you get a new batch of guys, and like Tinder, you swipe right or left (or heart or X).

So here are a couple reasons why I've avoided apps like this:

1) I hate rejection. No, but for real. Like, my body physically shuts down when I get rejected. Traditionally, dating apps require that you go through a lot of rejection. However, Hinge is set up so that you never really experience immediate rejection. You only see a match if you've hearted / swiped right. So you never know if someone's passed on you. Theoretically, if you heart and he doesn't immediately show up as a match, it could just be that you haven't yet shown up in his feed. But there is no warning about pending likes that have you dying of anticipation. Anyway, it seems to take some of the pressure off.

2) Another main reason I avoid digital dating is because it forces you to make snap judgments based on virtually nothing. Like a bad pic taken at an unfortunate angle, or a foretelling page you liked just to support one of your friend's companies, or a dating blog you write...

I was doing the judging (they made me do it!) and I was being judged.

I got dropped by a cute but snooze-worthy suitor after he peeped my Facebook feed (must have been my latest in inappropriate status updates). Another opened with swear words and a smiley and I was all, NOPE (I'm not even a prude, but my God, sir, have some decorum. I don't know you like that). Then there was Really Excited Guy who opened with more exclamation points than consonants. See? This makes me sound like a snooty bitch ready to cut men at the knees. But I'm not. At all. Swear. My dating history proves otherwise. It's this damn digital filter!

But these are minor obstacles and par for the course, really, when talking dating apps. Bottom line, there are clearly some great guys on this app and it has definitely differentiated itself from Tinder. These guys are actually there to meet somebody significant. You got everything from the 29-year-old I-banker to the 45-year-old divorced dad. And they're attractive!

So, if you're down to swipe through a few frogs to heart a prince, then I'd recommend you get Hinge-d. It may start out in the virtual realm, but ultimately, Hinge is about real men going on real dates with real women. I heart that.