Dating can be tough. Even though many people turn to dating apps to make it easier, there are still plenty of pitfalls to watch out for. What if the person you're talking to doesn't respond? What if your match is catfishing you? Possibly the worst of all is getting inappropriate pictures or messages you didn't ask for.
Online dating has been around longer than Tinder, of course, and there have always been risks. If you're tired of Tinder or just looking for a new experience, check out these three dating apps that focus on female empowerment.
The Vibes dating app (iOS) focuses on respect in its code of conduct to combat harassment people usually encounter.
"Our mission is to create a safe space to meet new people, where respect and authenticity are the norm. Get Vibes and get to know your newly restored faith in humanity," Vibes said on its website.
The app said it doesn't tolerate racism, sexism, body-shaming, homophobia, or any harassment. Vibes touts a reporting system integrated into the app to protect users.
Instead of texting with your match, Vibes uses pixelated video messaging to protect against catfish and give you a better idea of someone's personality.
"From the very first message, you hear someone's voice, see their expressions, and get a feel for their personality. That means you'll know if you actually vibe with someone before you even think about meeting them in person," Vibes said.
When your video messaging, Vibes offers conversation starters for the best use of your time. They're not live videos either, so you don't have to panic. Just record your message and send it.
Vibes is welcoming of all genders and created by a team of women. The company reports more than half of women using online dating services experience harassment.
"We believe that if someone wants to meet new people without being exposed to harassment or hate speech, they should be able to do that. Vibes is here to make that a reality," Vibes said.
Female users don't need a photo, a name, age, or description to sign up. Just open the app and start browsing.
"On other apps, unwanted eyes might stumble upon their profile, and make them feel less at ease with how, when, who and how they date online. Unlike any other dating app on the market, Pickable offers women the empowering feature of complete privacy," the website said.
The app hasn't neglected their male audience either. Guys can upload a photo and set their status as "pickable." Instead of browsing pictures of women, they have a dashboard in the app that shows who's contacted them.
Matches take location into account so you can plan to meet if the sparks are flying.
Unfortunately, the Pickable app only matches only offers opposite-sex matches right now. The company said it's working on an LGBTQ-friendly version.
The app goes one step further and lets women turn off "dating mode" so they can make friends and network. Bumble also offers Bumble BFF for friendship, Bumble Bizz for career opportunities, and Bumble Boost.
Bumble Boost costs about $8 per month but adds some extra features. With Boost, you get BeeLine, which notifies you if someone swipes right on you before you swipe on them. You can rematch to explore expired matches and enable BusyBee so you can take as long as you want to respond to a potential match.
Tinder has also attempted Bumble's Sadie Hawkin's feature with "My Move." The app tested the feature in India last month and recently rolled out the ability to other countries.
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