I Stepped Out of My Comfort Zone by Trying these Dating Apps

I Stepped Out of My Comfort Zone by Trying these Dating Apps

Frankie Follows and reviews different online dating apps as a single woman nearing her 30s.

The best dating advice I ever received was passed down by my favorite late teacher back when we were still freshies.

While passing by the topic of relationships in one of our classes, a few of my classmates complained about being single to which he returned with a query—are you even putting yourselves out there? Did we make efforts to meet people from the opposite sex or did we expect men to magically appear before us? He couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief after realizing his students were guilty of the latter. Though harsh, it was definitely a wake-up call at that time. 

Almost a decade later and equipped with a few experiences with men (good and bad), this reality slaps me back in my face as I near the big 30s. Though my current single status is a mixture of both circumstance and choice, I suddenly realized when I reached my late 20s how limited my chances of meeting men were in my current routine: wake up, work, binge shows online, work out, meet with friends at times, sleep, repeat. So, I woke up and downloaded an online dating app, since stepping out of the house was still impossible during that time (the height of the pandemic). 

I refuse to conclude that using these apps has failed me just for the sole reason that I haven’t gotten into a relationship through them. It’s been successful in the sense that I’ve met quite a few interesting people all over the world and made friends with some of them. Plus for the fact that talking to men became less intimidating, though it still scares me at times. 

So, for all my single lady friends out there, dating apps can be the first push you need to get yourself out there. Here’s a quick review of each app I’ve used which I hope you’d find useful. Oh, and caveat, this is from the perspective of a straight woman searching for a straight male. 


This one’s probably the most popular and a common first experience for newbies. The premise is simple—

You’re presented with possible matches from a certain age bracket and distance (set by you). Swipe right if you like him, left if you don’t. Due to its popularity, one of its plus sides is there’s no shortage of possible matches here.

The downside is the tyranny of choice—you’ll often find yourself swiping left too often with the knowledge that there are better choices coming. Also, with limited information provided on each guy’s profile (set by users themselves), there’s a huge tendency on basing your decision on looks, akin to the error of judging solely on first impressions. Quite often, I find myself swiping left too much without much thought into every decision, eventually tiring myself out to the point of once again deleting the app.

Tyranny of choice and lack of details for each potential match might be the downfall of this app. But this one definitely made me realize how there really are plenty of fish in the sea. 


Bumble follows mostly the same system as Tinder with you building up your profile and swiping left or right to guys presented before you (from an age bracket and distance you set).

The only novel difference is that in this app, girls chat first with the guys they match, otherwise, you lose your connection 24 hours after matching. The rule of losing your connection with your match adds pressure for you to actually move beyond just merely matching.

This sets it apart from Tinder and pushes you to give each match a chance to actually talk to you. It’s definitely a nice touch if you’re the type to take the lead in relationships. Other than this, Bumble also has a BFF and business feature, allowing you to meet people for purposes other than romance.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Despite briefly using this app, this one was one of the most refreshing ones to use. Unlike its competitors, this app limits the number of potential matches presented to you, making it less prone to swiping fatigue (yes, it’s a thing). In a single day, the app presents you with five carefully curated guys they deem to be probable matches. Names are revealed only after you match.

This app definitely values quality over quantity, making you carefully think before deciding to swipe left or right. I would have loved this app if not for the fact that I’m actually quite impatient and 5 people a day felt too little.


Okay—fair warning, I haven’t personally used this app for a longer period (yet). But it’s definitely worthy of mention how most people I know with success stories got their (longtime!) boyfriends from this app.

My first impression of this app is good, seeing how the system asks a few questions about your religious, social, and political stands down to your preference of neatness in a partner. It’s quite interesting how they try to present you with someone who most likely has the same answers as yours (the percentage of similarity is presented on their bio even before you match!).

This definitely adds a layer of elimination, allowing you to easily swipe left on people who don’t have the same views on things you prioritize, and it opens up more room for conversation with matches. This app also differs from others greatly in these aspects: you may send messages to people you haven’t matched, and you’re also presented with guys abroad without added costs. It’s a good app if you’re interested in meeting people outside the country!

The Verdict

Honestly, this decision all boils down to personal preference.

Just like how we take the time to choose what food would satisfy our hunger, our choices of which dating app works best for us depends on many factors.

Each app has pros and cons, and I promise you, each of them has success stories. So, go ahead and start swiping right. Just like what my teacher pointed out in the past, you’ll never find him if you don’t put yourself out there. But please do use these apps responsibly!

As for me, I’ve become a casual user—sometimes turning on some dating apps, often times lazily switching them off. I’ve honestly realized how tired I easily get from trying to maintain connections online, but I’ve managed to gain a few friends out of my experiences swiping online.

A part of me still is a hopeless romantic praying I’d fall in love with a stranger in a coffee shop, but this doesn’t stop me from exploring dating apps (cause someone might surprise me one day). We’ll really never know until we try.