I always use the fisherman analogy when describing dating in any given city. Dating is like fishing in Pere Marquette. You can be the world's best fisherman with a 30 ft Cobia 296 (a $200k fishing boat), but you still won't hook a single fish if you're fishing in the desert. The same thing applies to dating. You can be a handsome, wealthy, 6ft dude with a charming smile and a Superman body, but you won't get many dates if you don't go where the ladies go. And women, in a post-pandemic world, turn to dating apps in Grand Rapids.
Instagram, Facebook, and dating apps: this is where you need to be if you want women to notice you. Being a major college town in Michigan means you have no choice but to rely on online dating to meet women. Make no mistake, the city has a few good places where you can meet and date attractive women. But girls these days are tech-savvy - and some are super busy - so online dating has become part of their daily life.
According to a recent Tinder report, girls spend an average of 90 minutes a day surfing the app. Considering you wouldn't want to drive all the way to Detroit to meet new people, these dating apps are a breath of fresh air!
#1 - eHarmony (Android, iOS) is one of the best dating apps in Grant Rapids for relationships
Market-wise, eHarmony is the fourth most popular dating app in America with an almost 30% market share and 33 million active members.
But that's not eHarmony's strongest point. You can easily call it the best relationship app on the market because it's responsible for 4% of America's marriages. In other words, two out of each three marriages starting online originated on eHarmony. The app is so successful in this area to the degree of saying that every 14 minutes someone finds love on the app. eHarmony is able to do this because of their thorough signup questionnaire and their advanced matchmaking algorithm.
If you're after a relationship in Grand Rapids then that's where you should go. It often attracts attractive, well-educated women (usually in their late 20s to 40s) that don't like wasting their time on flings. So if that's your ideal demographic, there's no reason not to use eHarmony.
Why eHarmony works
- In a college town of well-educated singles, eHarmony is the go-to app
- Very few fake accounts
- They take their matchmaking technology very seriously
- You can video chat on the app before agreeing to a date
What we don’t like about it
- Takes a lot of time to sign up and build a proper profile
- Get ready for a ton of video chats (you’ll lose a lot of potential dates if you’re bad on camera)
#2 - Bumble (Android, iOS) is one of the fastest-growing dating apps in Grand Rapids
Bumble is one of my favorite dating apps. I met my last three girlfriends on it - including my current one - and find it pretty easy to use and full of high-quality women (sometimes, even better than Tinder).
Bumble is the second most popular dating app in America in the past few years and has a decent male to female ratio (6:4) which is much better than that of Tinder (8:2). This is true in my experience because women were more likely to match with me and send messages. If an app is saturated with guys, women are rarely this responsive as they prefer to give their attention to guys who are the hottest of the bunch.
What we like about Bumble
- Impressive number of attractive women on the app
- Very thorough
- Probably just me, but my Bumble conversion rate (i.e., turning matches into dates) tops any other dating app
What we don’t like about Bumble
- You can’t text a match. She has to do it first.
- Women seem to be pickier here than on the likes of Tinder and Hinge
#3 - AFF is your best way to find casual fun in Grand Rapids (try it free here)
Fun without much commitment... Is that what you want? If yes, then you just found what you're looking for.
Despite having more than 60 million users worldwide, AFF (which has a great free trial) isn't talked about as much as it should be. Maybe because of its nature or because those who use it don't like to brag about it a lot. But AFF remains one of the best dating sites out there and one of the best hookup sites in Grand Rapids.
One reason for its success is how upfront the site is about what it does. The landing page is enough to clue you in. Another reason is that anyone with an AFF account is looking for something casual, no strings attached. Being a little coy and subtle might work on other dating apps, but on AFF, most users are pretty forward (and specific!) about what they want out of a hookup.
There are so many apps out there claiming they can get you hookup but all they do is introduce you to a bunch of cam girls or fake accounts. If you're tired of these types of dating apps and want the real deal then give AFF a try.
What we like about AFF
- Plenty of users in Grand Rapids
- Fewer flakes
What we didn’t like about AFF
- It doesn’t have an app
- Their design needs a bit of work
#4 - Hinge (Android, iOS) is one of the best dating apps for college students in Grand Rapids
If icebreakers are your biggest weakness, Hinge gets rid of that and more. Hinge works much like Tinder and Bumble in that you get a stream of potential matches. But the difference is that you can choose to like just one part of their profile or they can choose to like one part of yours. This can be a photo or your answer to a prompt. This is enough to establish a connection and allow you to message each other.
Hinge's tagline is "the app made to be deleted." In a way, we think it's true! Finding a date is pretty easy on Hinge and, according to their site, 3 out of 4 first dates lead to a second date. So it's definitely worth a shot.
What we like about Hinge
- Easy to use
- Detailed and fun profiles
- Slightly younger demographic, so ideal if you’re in your 20s or early 30s
What we didn’t like about Hinge
- Still not as popular as Bumble or Tinder
- You need to come up with some interesting answers to the prompts
#5 - Take it slow and steady with Coffee Meets Bagel (Android, iOS)
The best word to describe Coffee Meets Bagel is thorough.
The app is quite strict compared to many dating apps in Grand Rapids. For instance, it doesn't allow a woman to receive texts from random strangers, just those she liked. Also, the daily matches are limited to a maximum of six for women (and 21 for men) so you can't just swipe on anyone you 50/50 like.
Why is this good?
- It forces you to think about what you like in a person: People tend to be pickier when their choices are limited. You will automatically ask "what do I want in a date" instead of aimlessly swiping right on any cute person that pops on your screen.
- Less flakiness: Those who accept the app's rules tend to be more serious and less flaky when it comes to meeting their matches in person.
Coffee Meets Bagel is an interesting app that isn't for everyone. If you're a busy person who doesn't want to waste hours on dating apps and/or someone who wants a serious relationship, then you should definitely give this one a try.
What we like about Coffee Meets Bagel
- Not fling-friendly
- Popular in large cities
- High conversion rate: The number of matches turning into dates is high on Coffee Meets Bagel compared to many other dating apps
What we don’t like about Coffee Meets Bagel
- Too many rules can be daunting for some people
- Not good in small cities
The Best Dating Sites in Grand Rapids for Long-Term Relationships
Now that we covered the best dating apps and sites in Grand Rapids, let's categorize them to match your goals.
While some apps are built to help you find something long-term, others are geared toward fun, casual dates, and hookups. We're not here to judge. Instead, we'll help you find what you want. In the following section, I'm going to cover the best dating apps in Grand Rapids for those who want meaningful relationships. Here they are:
eHarmony is the best dating site for making meaningful connections
We had a debate over eHarmony and Bumble, but the latter seems to be quite new to the market, despite attracting a decent number of fans every year, so I'm going with eHarmony.
As I said earlier, what makes eHarmony the go-to app for meaningful relationships is its sign-up process. It's detailed enough to weed out those who aren't serious, but it's also pretty fun to answer if you think about it. Dating, especially when seeking a relationship, is all about filtering all the available options. You meet somebody, keep seeing them for a while, then decide whether or not you're compatible.
Similarly, the questions and filters in eHarmony will limit your search criteria to a few options so you don't waste your time with the wrong person and make sure that at least you share some common ground with whoever you match with. Remember, long-term relationships aren't based on just looks.
Bumble is the go-to app for the serious guy and gal
If I'd written this article a year ago I would've gone for Zoosk but based on my experience, and numbers, my vote will go to Bumble. The app suits all types of dates; casuals and serious daters - with the tip moving slightly towards the latter. Also, being the second most-downloaded dating app means that your options are unlimited.
Running out of matches is the last thing you want in a dating app. I've seen a lot of relationship apps that are full of thirsty guys and no women. But with Bumble, things are different. Like eHarmony, finding a relationship on Bumble is easy if you stick to it for 6-12 months. You just need to be patient and make the best out of your profile, photos, and texting skills.
The Best Hookup Sites in Grand Rapids
Most of the hookup sites and apps out there are owned by some scammers wanting to milk some horny dudes for some money. And I mean 90% of these apps because we've tried nearly all of them!
They're constantly rebranding themselves to avoid being called out, and most of them will never get you anything worth your time and money. That's why you need some guidance. Here are our top picks for the best casual dating sites in Grand Rapids:
AFF is for quick and easy Grand Rapids flings
On AFF, you get what you ask for... Just hookups. The app is all about casual fun, which is why plenty of Grand Rapids singles use it constantly.
The best thing about AFF is that it's not all about the looks but the chemistry. You see, while many AFF users are looking for something fun, vanilla, and convenient, you'll also find some adventurous types on the site. So if you have very specific tastes when it comes to hookups, you might find someone on AFF who'll complement you!
Hookups come easy to Tinder users... if you're hot
Well, in case you didn't know, Tinder was basically for casual hookups before it turned itself into everybody's app. On Tinder, you can get whatever you want. The only problem? You need to be hot. Really hot.
Most women swipe left on guys who are just a little bit above average, especially if they know that they can get someone hotter. Our tip? Work on those photos. Wear something flattering and choose your best angle. Then type up a short, witty bio that will make women laugh. Considering there are millions of users on Tinder, the odds are in your favor.
The Best Free Dating Sites in Grand Rapids
I'm all in for free dating apps, as long as you have your ducks in order (photos, bio, and texting skills). As I mentioned earlier, many apps will use a guy's thirst for love and affection to milk him some money. And the best way to test a dating app is to try it for free for a while before deciding whether it's worth an upgrade or not.
Does this mean you should never pay for a dating site/app?
Nah, you should. But only the right ones.
Some apps will give you great exposure as soon as you upgrade your membership or buy their boosts. Such exposure can easily translate into a ton (yes, I said it: TON) of matches if your profile is sharp. But make no mistake, no premium fee will make up for a crappy profile. If your looks aren't on point, no one will like to match with you, not to mention date you.
Use a couple of free apps for a while until you get in shape and build some decent texting and social skills. Once you see some success (probably 3-8 months), then consider paying a premium to get more exposure. Or you can also invest in a paid dating app.
And as for the best free dating sites in Grand Rapids, these are my top selections: