Dating in college can be challenging, to say the least. With a busy school schedule, extracurricular groups, work, social events, and more, it can be hard to even think about dating, let alone pursuing an actual relationship.

Much of the stress surrounding dating comes from the daunting prospect of meeting people. Even though many of us are surrounded by people all day, every day, it can be hard to make a connection for any number of reasons. Maybe you’re a more introverted individual, too busy to stop and talk, or simply reluctant to approach someone in person.

This is where the concept of online dating comes in. With literally hundreds of dating apps on the internet nowadays, there is truly something for everyone. These apps simplify the dating process, making it easier to find, connect, and chat with like-minded individuals. The online aspect of these apps lowers the intimidation factor of approaching those who interest you.

Additionally, with college-students’ prowess regarding the internet and all things social media, they have become one of the largest demographics these dating apps serve. In fact, there are even dating apps specifically designed for college students and individuals of college-age.

To find out the best dating apps for college students, keep reading!

Why Try Dating Apps?

A couple embracing with a sunset in the background.
Dating apps make establishing a connection with an individual you like a more approachable task. Image courtesy of We Heart It.

Before we get into the best dating apps for college students, let’s discuss some of the reasons why you should give these apps a try.

First and foremost, dating apps are a great opportunity to connect with those outside of your usual social circle. With many of these apps, the algorithm matches you up with those of similar interests in your selected area/location. These are individuals that you maybe wouldn’t have come across in your everyday life simply because of differing schedules or friend groups.

Additionally, dating apps, especially in college, are not only a great way to find romantic relationships, they also provide you with the opportunity to make friends. Several dating apps have options to look for friendship relationships rather than romantic ones. This is a great way to integrate yourself into a new place, such as a college campus.

Furthermore, these dating apps can genuinely be a lot of fun! College is the perfect time to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and try new things. Dating at this age doesn’t necessarily have to be super serious, and these dating apps give you the opportunity to go on many dates with several different people, so you can find out what you are looking for in a romantic partner.

And, if you are looking for a serious romantic relationship, dating apps are a great place to establish an initial connection with someone that can blossom into a healthy and caring long-term relationship.

Staying Safe on Dating Apps

While dating apps are fun and totally worth a try, it is important to always put your safety first. One downside of the online aspect is it can be harder to gauge who someone truly is before meeting them in real life.

Therefore, every first few dates with someone new should take place in a public space and you should drive yourself to and from the date. You can also tell a friend or family member where you’re going and who you’re going out with. In addition, make sure to keep an eye out for any red-flags on these first few dates.

Don’t be afraid to relax and have fun, but always keep your safety in mind.

Top 3 Best Dating Apps for College Students

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits and safety tips regarding dating apps, let’s dive into some of the best ones out there for college students. If you are interested in online dating, these three are a must-try!

1. Tinder

A picture of the Tinder app.
Tinder is one of, if not the most, popular dating apps in the world right now. Image courtesy of InsideHook.

As one of the most popular pop culture phenomenons right now, Tinder is the quintessential dating app for college students. At its core, Tinder is an extremely simple app to use.

In order to get started, all you have to do is create a profile in which you upload a few photos and basic information about yourself. Additionally, while setting up your profile the app will also ask you about partner preferences such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location/Distance you are willing to commute

This information helps the Tinder algorithm display profiles that are likely to be of interest to you. Once you are all signed up, you can begin scrolling through profiles.

If you like someone’s profile and believe they could be a good fit for you, you swipe right/press the heart icon.

On the other hand, if someone does not seem like a good fit then all you have to do is swipe left/press the cross icon.

When two of the same people swipe right/press the heart icon on each others’ profiles, then Tinder notifies both of you of something called a “Match.” Essentially, this means that both of you are interested in the other. Once this happens, a chat is automatically generated between the two of you in which you can get to know one another better.

Additionally, there is a Tinder U feature in which you will only connect with other university students. In order to ensure this is the case, you must have a college email and be on campus while signing up. This is perfect for college students who want to try Tinder, but stay within the confines of other university students.

2. Bumble

Bumble profiles that include a profile picture, age, bio, and other general information.
Bumble is another great option for college students looking for dating apps. Above are some examples of eye-catching Bumble profiles. Image courtesy of Bumble.

Bumble is another simple and effective dating app college students are bound to love. Similar to Tinder, it is very easy to operate. Bumble has the same swiping/liking system in place, however with one notable exception. Unlike Tinder, not just anyone can swipe first in Bumble.

Rather, there are two categories of who can swipe first:

  • When a match is defined as heterosexual, women must swipe right first.
  • When a match is defined as a same-sex pairing, then either party can swipe right first.

Once the initial swipe right is made, then the responding party has one full day (twenty-four hours exactly) to answer the swipe before it will disappear.

Additionally, Bumble is great for college students looking to make friends or network for their career. Bumble’s other apps, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz give you an opportunity to do both these things!

3. Hinge

Photo examples of Hinge profiles in which people list fun facts about themselves. Next to this is a photo of a couple hugging one another while laughing.
Hinge is a dating app for college students to consider if they are looking to establish a long-term romantic relationship with another individual. Image courtesy of Adult Escence.

Hinge is the perfect dating app for college students who are searching for a serious romantic relationship. Unlike many other dating apps, Hinge strays away from marketing itself as a hookup app. Rather, its slogan is “The dating app designed to be deleted.”

Essentially, this is stating that the app’s purpose is to match you with someone you can form a genuine connection with, therefore leading to a long-term relationship.

In this sense, the app is designed to be deleted because once you establish a committed relationship using Hinge, you won’t have use for dating apps anymore.

Like Tinder and Bundle, Hinge uses a matching technique where if two users press the “like” icon on each other’s profile, then they are matched. However, unlike these two apps, Hinge partners with Facebook in order to base the profiles displayed on peoples’ current circle of friends/people they know.

This method is how Hinge aims to give people the opportunity to form long-term relationships rather than hookups. Because of this feature, if you are a college student set on a serious romantic pairing, then Hinge is the dating app for you!

It’s Time to Try These Dating Apps Out for Yourself

We have covered everything from dating app benefits, to safety tips, to the top three dating apps for college students. Now it’s time to give these dating apps a try for yourself and find out what all the hype is about!

No matter which dating app you choose, get excited to set up your profile, find some matches, pick out a cute outfit for a date, and hopefully find what you are looking for, whether that be a casual fling or serious relationship!

Oct 24, 2022