Being single in the city can be hard, especially if you are on the hunt for a romantic partner. Options seem limited: you have the guys (or girls) who are friends of a friend, co-workers (which could potentially get real messy), and people you meet at bars (which will normally end up in exchanging numbers with someone too drunk to function or a one night stand). After graduating from college, it’s hard to meet new people; you no longer have the luxury of chatting up a cute guy from class or saying hi to someone you recognize from around campus. So what do people who encounter this dilemma do? They turn to online dating sites. There are many out there, each with a different “dating style” and “purpose.” Based on my own personal, uh, “research,” here are five commonly used online dating sites and apps:

  • Tinder. This app is pretty simple to use – simply upload 1 to 5 pictures, fill in some information about yourself, and select your gender and distance preferences. Based on your answers, images of different people in your designated radius appear. After looking through their pictures, you simply swipe left for “no” or right for “yes” in you’re interested. If someone you’ve “yes’d” to does the same, it will show up as a match and you have the opportunity to chat with your match on the app. Though this can result in actual dates, this app is most often used to find a hook-up. If you are looking for something more than a night of fun, proceed with caution and try to send messages prior to 1am. This is a looks-based app, after all.
     Download: Apple | Android
  • OK Cupid. Much like a site such as eHarmony or Match.com, OK Cupid requires you to create an online profile. You then have the opportunity to answer preset questions where the app and website generate matches for you – compatibility percentage included. Users can read one another’s profiles and can send messages to make conversation. I find this app to be the most successful when you include things about the person’s profile that you genuinely like. Most people I know who have used this app have gone on multiple dates and formed successful relationships.
    Download: Apple | Android
  • Coffee Meets Bagel. This app is very similar to Hinge, except you have a bit more of a profile to fill out and you only receive one match a day based on personal preferences. This can get frustrating if you don’t like your bagel, however it can be very successful. A friend of mine has gone on many dates with different “bagels” and has always had a good time. Definitely an app that is hit or miss but worth a try.
    Download: Apple
  • How About We. Compared to other dating sites I’ve encountered, this app is very unique. Aside from the usual profile, users also post an idea for a fun date preceded by the phrase, “How about we…” After a user finds a suitable date, the other party is notified and the conversation begins. Unlike the other apps, How About We requires a paid subscription to use.
    Download: Apple | Android
  • Grouper. Grouper is a great app for singles who do not want to go on dates alone. When a match is picked, each party brings with them two friends to go on a group date with the other party’s friends. Like How About We, this app is not free. However, this includes your first round of drinks at a bar of Grouper’s choosing. By going with a group instead of a one-on-one date, there is definitely less pressure and a better chance at having a great time.
    Download: Apple | Android

Though online dating can often end with success stories, it goes without saying that you must proceed with caution. Before going on a date, make sure to tell a friend where are you going, when, and with whom. If you want to be extra cautious, ask your date to add you on Facebook or another social media outlet to make sure they’re real. Better safe than sorry, right?

So what are you waiting for? Try using these apps to meet your match!