Valentine’s Day probably isn’t the best day for a first date if you hold any regard for the greeting card holiday. There’s a lot of pressure. That being said, if you don’t want to spend the day alone, consider thesr apps to help you find some love, a friend, or a little somethin’ somethin’ wink wink, nudge nudge.
Meeting: Tinder, Grindr, and HER
Whether you’re looking for a quick fling or hoping to strike up something more substantial, you’ve got to meet new people. Tinder —which also offers an Apple Watch app—lets you and others anonymously express interest in each other, and if and when a match occurs, lets you make contact and see what happens. Grindr focuses specifically on the gay and male bisexual community, and HER on the lesbian and female bisexual community. Whoever and whatever you’re looking for, one of them will suit your desires.
Dating: POF (Plenty of Fish), OKCupid
At some point, you may not want to meet just someone, but the one. There’s not an app in the ‘verse that can guarantee that, of course, but there are some that focus less on the hookup and more on the matchup. You’re still playing the odds, but hopefully they get stacked a little more in your favor. OKCupid—which offers an Apple Watch app—is a classic, and for a reason. If you’re just starting out, it’s also an OK place to start. Plenty of Fish, on the other hand, has over 50 million members and a lot of features to help you meet the right one, in the right place, at the right time.
Messaging: Snapchat, Wickr Me
Communication is vital to intimacy — not the general banter we engage in every day and often barely listen to, but the flirting, the sharing of hopes and dreams, secrets and desires—the things we would only every share with each other. Snapchat is what pretty much everyone uses these days for ephemeral messaging. Wickr Me is relatively similar to Snapchat, in that you can send messages, pictures, video, and files, but the sender has total control, so if you want to delete a message at any time, you can, and there isn’t anything the recipient can do about it.
Dining: Foursquare and OpenTable
Casual or candle-lit, fast or fine, classic or fusion, trendy or timeless, there are all kinds of restaurants for all kinds of occasions. If it’s a first encounter, maybe you want a coffee or pastry shop to keep things light and informal. If it’s a budding romance, maybe you want someplace that’ll help stoke the fires. If it’s a getaway from your everyday, maybe you want someplace that’ll let you fall in love all over again. The updated iOS 10 Maps app is great for finding local fare. For more, Foursquare—and its Apple Watch app—offers the best social recommendations. And once you find the perfect place, OpenTable—also with an Apple Watch app—can help make sure you get a reservation. (OpenTable even integrates with Siri and Maps, which makes it quick and easy to start the process.)
Getting away: HotelTonight
If you live with family or roommates, finding time and space to be alone together can be tough. If you have kids, finding time and space to be alone together can be almost impossible. Yet that’s the very thing that takes your relationship to the next level, or helps you get back to that level. If you have a little extra cash, if you can arrange for someone to watch the kids, HotelTonight—and its Apple Watch app—can help you find a room for a get-away or even an oasis right near home. And it’ll even let you book with ApplePay!
What iPhone apps will you be turning to for love this year?
Updated February 2018: These are the best apps to help you snag a date, friend, or romantic rendezvous this Valentine’s Day!
Looking for a bigger list of dating apps? Check out this list compiled by Whataportrait.