What online dating on Tinder, Bumble and Hinge in Leeds is really like - from a serial swiper

I’m a serial swiper. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge - I’ve tried them all.
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Having moved to Leeds from rural Cambridgeshire, where my only options on dating apps were farmers, people I knew from school and American army lads from a nearby base, a whole new world opened up when I came to the city for university.

The way we date has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Mindlessly swiping on the apps to fill 20 minutes while dinner’s in the oven, the accessibility of dating apps has its pros and cons. The prospect that the person of your dreams could be one swipe away is a thrilling one, but the choice can feel overwhelming.

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In brief, for those of you who aren’t familiar, Tinder is the original quick-swipe app, Bumble requires women to send the first message after a match, and Hinge includes some more in-depth Q&As on your profile. On all three, swiping left is a ‘no’, and swiping right means ‘yes’. If you both swipe right, it’s a match, and the messaging begins.

YEP reporter Abbey Maclure shares her experiences of online dating in LeedsYEP reporter Abbey Maclure shares her experiences of online dating in Leeds
YEP reporter Abbey Maclure shares her experiences of online dating in Leeds

In my experience Hinge has some phenomenal yet sometimes annoying algorithms, meaning once you’ve swiped left to a couple of people, you’ll be presented with a hundred others who look exactly like them. Bumble has been my biggest success with more serious relationships, while Tinder is full of people who are clearly messaging about 10 people at the same time.

I’ve had some brilliant dates with interesting people in Leeds - and some very bland ones. And post-uni, when it’s increasingly hard to make friendships as adults, more and more of my friends have turned to the friendship options on dating apps - some have made friends for life on Bumble BFF.

It’s often said that the best people come along when you’re not looking for them - but honestly, aside from a night out (when the best judgments are certainly not made), and unless you have an interesting hobby (mine is yoga so not the place to be getting your flirt on), it’s hard to meet people.

For me, online dating apps have been the best way to do that and although you might have to swipe past 100 people and date 10 to find one connection - when it comes along, it’s worth it.