Tired of being forever single? Looking for the love of your life? Or just dying to get hitched so you can get that BTO? If you have no idea where to meet people, you can turn to these 5 popular dating apps in Singapore that you can join for free.
Note that the free versions of many dating sites and apps might come with limitations. We’ll also talk about how much you’d need to pay for an upgrade and whether it’s worth it.
Tinder is the app that made dating apps socially acceptable, and probably the most widely used in Singapore.
The way it works is simple. The app shows you photos of random people. Swipe left if you don’t like the look of them. Swipe right if you likey. If you swipe right on someone who also swipes right on you, you have a match, and you can then send each other messages on the app.
The basic version of Tinder is free to use, but you only get a limited number of swipes per 12 hours. No one knows exactly how many though. It varies with age, sex, location and so on.
If you want unlimited swipes (and the chance to undo an accidental “like”), you’ll have to pay for Tinder Plus. It costs US$9.99/month if you’re under 30 or US$19.99/month if you’re 30 and above. Sounds pretty ageist to us, but then again, so is health insurance.
Honestly though, it’s doubtful that paying for unlimited swipes will really get you any closer to tying the knot. You might get more matches, true, but there’s no guarantee of how they’ll turn out as there are so many casual Tinder users on the platform.
According to our totally informal survey, after Tinder, OKCupid is probably the most commonly-used dating app in Singapore… or at least, the one the most people admit to using.
OKCupid users choose potential mates based on the site’s algorithm, which attempts to match you with people who share similar values.
When you sign up, you have to answer a quiz, which includes questions about what you’re looking for on the app (eg. hookups, short-term dating, long-term dating), and what your ideal person is like.
Based on your answers, the app generates a list of matches, which you can then swipe Tinder-style. As you swipe, they’ll ask more and more questions in order to refine your searches.
The free version of OKCupid is pretty robust as it is. You can send people messages even if you haven’t matched with them. The downside is that some users, especially women, get bombarded with unwanted attention.
There’s are 3 paid versions of OKCupid – Incognito, A-List and Premium A-List. These have premium features like the ability browse invisibly and stalk your favourite profiles as often as you like. Or they give you more search options, e.g. filter by body type or “attractiveness”.
Online sources speculate that the pricing mechanic is not transparent, and that it varies with on your age, gender, location and how attractive you are, i.e. your “market value”. It is very hard to find their prices – without creating an account, you won’t be able to find it on their site.
On DatingScout.sg, the subscriptions are as follows:
A-List Basic: $19.95/month, $14.95/month for 3 months, and $9.95/month for 6 months.
A-List Premium: $34.90/month, $29.90/month for 3 months, and $24.90/month for 6 months.
There’s no information on the incognito prices – you’ll just have to sign up and see for yourself.
Should you upgrade? Hard to say as it depends on the price you’re offered. If you’re thinking of paying for Incognito to stalk someone in particular, you might want to quit dating and see a shrink.
Technically, Bumble isn’t a full-blown dating app. It can match you not only with potential dates (Bumble Date), but also platonic friends (Bumble BFF) and business partners (Bumble Bizz)… although the efficacy of picking business partners based on their profile pics is a bit questionable.
The interface is very much like Tinder’s. You swipe right on people you like and left on those you don’t until you get a match.
The most distinctive feature of Bumble is that when you get a match between 2 members of the opposite sex, only the female user can send that first message. This must be done within 24 hours, otherwise the chance is lost.
Because of that, guys might have to wait a long time before they actually get to converse with someone on the app. Then again, whoever you’re chatting to actually likes you enough to make the first move on you.
There’s a paid subscription called Bumble Boost, which shows you a people who already swiped right on you. That’s right, a buffet of people who already like you. Saves you a whole lot of time. It launched at US$9.99/month but the pricing now varies depending on “market value”.
Less well-known than Tinder or OKCupid, Lovestruck markets itself as an app that offers “meaningful” dating experiences. It is ostensibly an app only for those who are seeking long-term relationships.
Lovestruck displays lists of profiles that you can browse, and you can “like” or send messages to those that interest you. Out of all the apps on this list, Lovestruck tends to display the most detailed profiles. You can filter your matches based on height, body type, dress style, income, nationality and ethnicity. Perhaps the app thinks that’ll make your dates more “meaningful”?
Lovestruck’s Singapore users tend to be lower key types who are looking for marriage, compared to the younger, hipper, more casual demographic on, say, Tinder.
Similar to Twitter and Instagram, Lovestruck profiles can be verified, by an actual human who will check your online profiles to match your photos, job, age, relationship status, etc. So if you’re worried about catfishing scams, Lovestruck is an option.
The free membership is actually sufficient for you to see what’s out there, but Lovestruck also offers paid Standard and Premium Memberships in case you don’t know what to do with all the spare cash you’re rolling in. According to online reviews, the prices seem dynamic as well, changing from time to time and from user to user.
Coffee Meets Bagel
The name of this app sounds awfully cheesy, but it’s actually become one of the more popular dating platforms in Singapore.
The app aims to offer a more curated experience than Tinder’s meat market approach.
Once a day at 12pm, you will receive a few matches based on their algorithm, which you can either choose to like or pass. If you like someone who likes you back, then it’s a match and you can start chatting.
That means that some days you might not receive any matches at all. You then have to wait till 12pm the next day to receive the next batch of matches.
What if you’re too impatient to do things to slow way? They have a “Discover” function that lets you browse random profiles. If you see one that you really like and want to contact them, you’ll have to use your credits (“beans”) to “like” them.
You won’t have an unlimited number of beans though. Once you run out, you can buy more beans (US$1.99 / S$2.71 onwards) or earn them through in-app activities, like recommending a profile to a friend.
Unlike the other apps on this list which have a monthly structure for paid membership, Coffee Meets Bagel’s beans are more like typical in-app currency (e.g. Pokemon Coins).
Have you ever used a dating app? Share your experiences or horror stories in the comments!