Community + Relationships

To Swipe or Not to Swipe: A Lawyer’s Guide to Dating Apps


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  • When used correctly, dating apps can help lawyers save time and find better dates
  • Focus on apps that value making quality matches more than large dating pools or number of matches
  • Pick an app that encourages message and time limits to move you toward an actual date more quickly

Whether you love ’em or loathe ’em, dating apps have revolutionized the way we date.

They make it easier than ever before in history to find potential dates. And we can open dating apps when we’re bored or waiting for the train, which can turn swiping and matching into a kind of low-cost game.

Online dating works nicely, too; statistics show that those looking to date have been increasingly going online, with over 50% citing online services as the matchmaker for long or short-term relationships.

But how do dating apps stack up for the well-educated, busy lawyer? As with most areas in life, lawyers’ busy schedules also require us to take a different perspective when evaluating the efficacy of dating apps for the lawyer lifestyle.

Below, we’ve ranked three of the most popular dating apps according to lawyers, to help you choose your next best bet for finding love (or at least a great date).

Tinder

Arguably the king of modern dating apps, Tinder offers a full selection of all location-based users of your gender/orientation for your consideration. With just up to six photos and a short 500-character bio to go on, you can swipe right to indicate interest or swipe left to reject. If both of you swipe right, you’ll both receive a match notification and the option to message your potential flame.

Pros: Tinder can’t be beat for its massive user base and ease of use. With quick swiping and instant match notifications, looking for love is a snap.

Cons: With a limited profile and tendency for users to just rack up matches without pursuing a date, Tinder is accused of being the dating equivalent of flipping through TV channels. And, of course, the size of its user base (and location-based matches) increases the odds of running into people you’d rather not.

For the Lawyer: For the busy lawyer, we’d have to give Tinder a pass. With its “quantity over quality” approach, you need a serious investment of time and energy. With an abundance of just-for-fun users, Tinder’s most frequent complaints are matches who ghost and unanswered messages. Add in the odds of running into your co-workers or clients, and we would strongly recommend trying somewhere else.

Bumble

Women first, please! This Tinder-lookalike functions with a basic swipe and match set-up, but with a few key differences. After you’ve matched with someone of the opposite gender, only the woman can message first. (In same-gender matches, either side can message first). And the catch? She only has 24 hours to do so before the match disappears from both parties.

Pros: The ladies-first approach helps avoid the unanswered pick-up line, and makes this app more comfortable for women users. With a 24-hour messaging deadline, matches have to get a move on to start their conversation or risk losing it forever.

Cons: Like Tinder, Bumble relies on photos and basic attraction over depth or shared interests—so the odds of finding your soulmate aren’t higher than your local bar. The 24-hour limit can also be frustrating if you’re not checking the app on a regular basis.

For Lawyers: A definite upgrade from Tinder, Bumble is a savvier choice for lawyers who want to try a less formal approach to online dating. But remember, the limited profile space means Bumble is fueled by little more than looks, and you still need to swipe your way to a date. The 24-hour limit, while helpful, can also make the app a burden for a time-strapped attorney.

Coffee Meets Bagel

You might roll your eyes at the name, but Coffee Meets Bagel is more of a matchmaker in a sea of swipe-right dating apps. Every day, male users receive a small selection of potential matches (“bagels”) based on their profile and selected preferences. After selecting the ones they’re interested in, the women then receive a selection of the men who’ve expressed interest. Matches then are given seven days to message or miss out.

Pros: With curated matches and an attempt at some degree of compatibility, Coffee Meets Bagel tries to minimize the wasted effort of swipe apps. Even if you don’t have time to hang out on the platform, knowing you’ll have a selection of options waiting for you is a huge plus.

Cons: The downside of swipeless matching? You pretty much need to rely on the app algorithm to give you a potential date. And although you can specify your preferences as narrowly as you’d like, you may find your “bagels” don’t fit the criteria—or if they do, they live miles away.

For the Lawyer: Despite its flaws, Coffee Meets Bagel may be the best of the three choices for a busy lawyer. After you set up your account, you can sit back and let the app do the magic for you with a guaranteed selection of potential matches or interested men–with a full week to send a message.

What app have you enjoyed the most? If you haven’t tried apps yet, what dating strategy are you most comfortable with?

Two Other Apps We Like for Lawyers

Lesser-known apps may mean a slightly smaller dating pool, but also decreases the odds of running into your firm’s senior partner’s profile.

How About We

Combining activities you’d do anyway and a potential date? Sounds convenient! Suggest a date anytime to find others nearby and ready to go.

The Inner Circle

Catering to the professional and vouched-for, The Inner Circle has high standards for members, and a series of IRL singles events in major cities. It can be a little tricky to get in, though—which is a good indicator of how seriously they take their vetting process.