Dating apps

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iOS & iPadOS

Hi. Wondering what dating apps people are using these days and would recommend? I just opened the OK Cupid app on iPhone for the first time in ages, and disappointingly the VoiceOver accessibility looks to have gone backwards.
So any recommendations?

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Comments

Submitted by Blinken223 on Friday, March 2, 2018

Hi, I too have tried OkCupid and was also sadly disappointed that the app did not seem to be that accessible. I've installed and had Plenty of fish on my phone for a long time. The app still seems to be pretty accessible, with a few minor nuissances, but for the most part, still fairly useable. I don't use it everyday but will occasionally check to see who the app matches me with in the hopes to find that special someone.

Submitted by JeffB on Friday, March 2, 2018

The problem with Plenty of Fish is the large amount of bots and fake accounts. I tried EHarmony and it was mostly accessible but it is very expensive and I never got anywhere with it to feel like paying more. I might try Tinder

Submitted by Dave82 on Friday, March 2, 2018

True, I have also dabbled with Plenty of Fish a few times, though did not really like it, or at least I didn't find it as successful for meeting people as OK Cupid, not sure why. But yes I probably should give it another go.
As for Tinder, I had thought that was more of a visual platform, so had stayed away from it. So interesting to hear that people using it. I have never tried E-Harmony, partly because of the cost, I figure there are enough free ones out there :)
Keep them coming :)

Submitted by Vikas on Saturday, March 24, 2018

Hi, I'm using Ok Cupid for few days now and it works pretty ok. My only doubt is how to know if the person I'm talking to is online? Do any of you guys know how to find that with Voice over on iOS or with Jaws in Windows browser?

Submitted by BlindGayVegan on Saturday, March 24, 2018

GROWLr: The Gay Bear Social Media
works quite well, if one happens to be gay or bi

Submitted by Dave82 on Saturday, March 24, 2018

I'm surprised you find OK Cupid good. While the most recent version seems a little better with VoiceOver, I still can't even find buttons on people's profile to like them or send them a message.
Or are you talking about the website rather than the app?

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Saturday, March 24, 2018

I met my wife on match.com almost 9 years ago. Used it on line. Worth the money.

Submitted by Vikas on Saturday, March 24, 2018

Hey Dave, I only use the Ok Cupid app for chatting with a friend. But whenever my laptop is running, I use Ok Cupid website. As I said, I've started using it very recently and unable to find either with Voiceover or Jaws whether my friend is currently online. Is there a way to know?

Submitted by Dave82 on Saturday, March 24, 2018

I have no idea, sorry mate.
Do you mind me asking, why are you using OK Cupid for chatting to a friend though? Would you not be better using Twitter, facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Messages for example?

Submitted by Vikas on Monday, March 26, 2018

Hey Dave, It's because We met on Ok Cupid itself a few days ago

Submitted by Vicky on Tuesday, March 27, 2018

In reply to by Vikas

Hi Vikas and all,
Yes, there is a way to find a user’s online status with OkCupid. You have to double tap a button that is indicated as dimmed. I don’t remember the name of it. I disabled my account for various reasons, one of which is the inaccessibility of the app, especially when going through your list of matches; there is no way to discard one if you’re not interested in them (other than blocking them that I found anyway).
I can re-enable my account and find the name of this button and reply back when I’ve done so.
I’m also curious to know people’s experience with Tinder from a Voiceover standpoint. I tried it a year or two ago and found it to be highly inaccessible. Has this improved since then?

Submitted by Vikas on Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hey Vicky, it worked. Thanks :)
I've not tried Tinder.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hi, I've been messing around on tinder... Basically swiping everyone, but find that an app that is almost exclusively based on images is a rather fruitless per-suit for a blind user. I've also been trying bumble which is mostly accessible unless you want to access it's deeper settings but the issue remains despite there being more opportunity for personal information.

I just looked into hinge, but the app is a mess and there is no online version.

Have any of you had any more experiences with other platforms which offer more text based profiles rather than the rather shallow window shopping types?

Cheers

Submitted by Tim Culhane on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I've been able to use Grindr pretty well.

Ok if you happen to be gay or bi again ...

Submitted by Blinken223 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Now, after some time, decided to give up on Plenty of Fish and have tried Facebook's new dating feature.

For the most part, the feature seems to work fairly well with no issues that I've come across.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Maybe people think we blind people do not date or have sex or reproduce. Could it b why apps are not accessible? The question of the ages.

Submitted by roman on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hello. I have also tryed apps for dating, but it is not very accessible. People have to make this accessible. We have also rite to love.

Submitted by treky fan on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Let me just start by saying that I'm not trying to discourage anybody from using these apps or websites, this is just some advice that I thought would be good to pass along. Dating apps are dangerous. I'm sure most of these dating apps and websites don't do background checks on the people who sign up for them. People can say whatever they want about themselves on their dating profiles, it may be true, it may be nothing but a bunch of lies, you never know. If by some chance you happen to meet somebody on one of these dating services, don't agree to meet at your home or place of work. meet this person in a public place, take a friend with you the first time. You can use been varrified to run a background check on a person if you happen to meet somebody on one of these dating services. The been varrified app is completely accessable. While certain parts of a person's background check are free, their name, any phone numbers, and addresses they lived at are free, other things like any crimes they commited are not and you will have to pay for that. I think the full report is something like $15 a month.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

This is true, however this is an aspect of online dating that is common to all who use it and not visually impaired, partially sighted or blind specific. The safety of its users reside with the application and the common sense of the user and I would argue, that this falls out of the question of the OP though, it's good advice to bare in mind for anyone. Stay sensible, but have fun.

Regarding dating applications, I believe that some are partially accessible, in so far as one can use the app. The issue I find is that the premise is not. I think that the increase in applications that rely on images over information makes the whole purpose of dating applications somewhat pointless for us.

How does the Facebook dating system work? Is there more information and user based matching? It does, I'd assume, have the advantage, of having mutual friends or connections to get some feedback regarding the person such that we can't access like style, image, the personality they convey in their pictures... Sadly, pictures paint a thousand words is a truism.

Submitted by Blind Adrenaline on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

There is a new accessible site called Cupids Arrow, designed by a brilliant blind guy that helped me create my online card game site Blind Adrenaline. It's purpose is to allow the disabled to find friends and partners without all the complicated setup, and he is giving out 3 months of premium memberships until March 31.

www.cupidsarrow.club
I know this isn't specifically an Apple thing, but figured folks checking this thread might find it helpful. Good luck.

Submitted by Blinken223 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The feature is found in the Facebook app itself. I believe if you tap onto the Facebook Menu tab, at the bottom right of the screen, then open the Show All Shortcuts area, there is an option called Dating.

If you tap on this, it'll bring you to the feature where you can set up your profile.

I believe you can set up the age range for matches and set up a profile. Once that is done, then, each time you return to the Dating feature, from the top down, you have buttons, such as... Dating Settings, where you can configure your matches, then there is a Dating Profile, where you can set up your own profile, then Liked You, where others whom have seen your profile and liked you will appear. Then you have a Matches button, where you can view your matches.

Then you have a Story button, that I'm not too sure as that is something new.

After that it has a Profile Card button, followed by a No Thanks and a Like button.

Then you have three last buttons. the first two are called Suggestions from your Events and Suggestions from your Groups, which I'm guessing would give you matches from Events you are participating in and matches from your Facebook Groups. Then lastly, we have a button called Secret Crush. From what I can remember, you can insert a name of a crush you have in your Facebook friends, and they will only ever know if they insert your name as a Secret Crush too.

Also, once you and a potential match have liked each other, you can also chat with one another. I believe there is also a section in the chat area that you can select from common questions, like What is your favourite science-fiction movie?, or other fun questions to break the ice.

If you wish to read a profile, you simply have to tap on the Profile Card in order to view it. Once in the profile, you can read through it and then tap on either the No Thanks or the Like button at the bottom. When pressing on either of these buttons, the profile changes to a new match, and you can simply just bring focus back to the top of the screen and begin reading the new profile.

I've been using this for a while and do find it pretty much accessible. I have had a few matches and have liked a few of my own and it has worked pretty well.

I do agree with Treky Fan and Oliver that you do have to be prudent and use common sense when using an online dating service, but like Oliver mentioned, this is true for anyone, sighted or blind, using an online dating service.

HTH!

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

That's great. Now if only I could get back onto Facebook. All my accounts have been disabled! Ha. Just another hurdle in love... Or accidentally matching with a goat called Colin.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Thursday, February 13, 2020

To begin with, the person who said online dating is dangerous has a point, up to a point. if you handle it sensibly it can actually be less dangerous than orthodox dating. you've a chance to know a lot more about the person you're dating before you meet them, to begin with. sure, they might not be who they say they are, but you can do that with orthodox dating too. Anyone who's seen that episode of Only Fools and Horses entitled 'Dates' wil know what I'm talking about, and anyone who hasn't seen it jolly well should.

My experience with online dating apps is that the free ones are nice because they're free, but they also get the lion's share of nutjobs because they're free. eHarmony might be expensive but I found my other half on there and thought that, by and large, you've got a more limited but at the same time more sensible selection. The app had its accessibility issues but I found it usable, and where the app fell short I could at least go on the website which usually filled the gap. I should add that this was three or so years ago, so the app might have gone backwards since then. If you go for eHarmony, be honest in the questionnaire. it saves time later.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, February 13, 2020

In reply to by Blind Adrenaline

It did a profile for fun and did a search. It looks like no one is there. Did a basic search and found no one. Unless you have to pay first? Did not see anything about March.

Submitted by Jose Lomeli on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I’m also interested to know.

Submitted by Brad on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I'm honestly not expecting a lot, I think I'll have better luck off line dating instead of on line but it's very accessible.

The only thing is, the hobbies box only allows you to list 3 or 4 hobbies.

Submitted by jay on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hi guys.

First I want to tell you about a few apps that I have tried, and also tell you about my own personal dating experiences. Take what you want of this, but I thought everyone should know. The first app on my list is called hinge. it’s mostly accessible, except for the four tabs on the bottom. The first tab is the Discover tab, the second is the lake tab, where you can see who liked you the third tab is the messages tab, where you can chat with your potential matches, and the fourth tab is the profile tab where you can do things such as edit your profile, and change your account settings. EHarmony is also great, but fairly expensive but you might find better luck on there just because people pay for the app, or rather the features not the app itself but the features like browsing your matches and messaging people. I also found that there are a lot of people who are not quick to judge on sites like eHarmony and match. OkCupid is somewhere accessible, I haven’t had any issues with the Accessibility part but finding someone on there is crazy sometimes.

For those of you who are wanting to get into the dating world, it’s hard out there. Especially for people that have disabilities. Most people on these dating sites are quick to judge, and from my experience is a lot of them instantly think that blind people need to be taken care of. There are also times where people will pretend to like you, then you meet them for the first time and then they either ghost you which means they don’t talk to you ever again, or they pretend to like you for a few weeks or maybe a month, and then they decide to cease further contact. some people just won’t respond to you at all. They may look at your profile, but as far as responding to you? Forget about it. Then there is my personal favorite, LOL. The ones that want that one thing and that one thing only. What I’m talking about, is the S word. Basically, if you don’t want to do this certain thing on the first date they don’t want anything to do with you. Another one of my favorite things is when people ask you the stupidest questions they can think of. LOL. A couple of good examples of this is you can’t see, so how are you reading my texts? Can you send me a picture so I know what you look like? I will send you one back. Like a picture is going to do anything for us blind people. LOL. How do you shave? How do you know what you’re putting on for clothes in the morning? I honestly feel a lot of the reason why us blind folks can’t find that special someone is because a lot of people just don’t understand about our disability. Yes, you can educate them and tell people all you want about how you do things, and you could show them how independent you are but with my personal experiences I found that most of the people I have talk to you on the sites have either never dated a blind person before, or they are afraid to take a chance and date someone who won’t judge them based on how they look, and treat them with The respect they deserve. Some of these profiles are crazy too. I’ve come across to several different profiles that say they want nothing but love, respect, and acceptance, but then when you give them what they want as far as love, respect, and acceptance, you get something totally different in return. You get the your too nice, or you get the people who will only date you because of what you can offer them physically, for example money, or nice things, or other things. Now, like I said before there are some good people on some of these dating sites. For those of you who have met people online, and have had relationships and marriage with these people, congratulations. I am happy for each and everyone of you. For those of you who are still out there searching for that special someone, my advice is don’t give up. Yes, there are some crazy people out there, and there are people who are going to constantly hurt you and make you feel like online dating is a waste of time and nothing but a joke, but there is someone out there for everybody, and I truly believe that if you continue to search you will find that special someone. I don’t know about me personally, LOL. But I’m sure everyone has a right to be with that special person, and when they find that person they will hopefully be non-judge mental, and except you for who you are. :-)

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Firstly, thanks for such an in-in depth response on this. Yeah, I think apps such as tinder and bumble are not going to cut it due to the high visual content. It's frustrating because they do seem to be the most widely used and I personally don't want to reduce the possibility of meeting the right person because I'm on the wrong platform but, it is what it is.

Secondly, it's difficult for everyone. Aside from people being judgemental about disability, everything else, including just wanting hook ups, not being truthful about what they want, ghosting etc, is the same for sighted, non sighted or disabled people. People are judged on how they look, how they talk, what they've done, what they've not done... Remember to focus on what you have and what you've done, not what you lack and what has passed you by. That's the same for everyone.

I think now, more than ever, people are turning to online dating, and to these apps to establish some conversation that could be considered romantic. there will be a lot of time wasting and when the lockdowns loosen a lot of ghosting, but people are people, we change our minds, circumstances change. What I'm saying is, now is most likely the best time to try and establish a 'romantic pena', and dazzle them with witty conversation so that when you can eventually meet in the real world, in 2028... There is already a connection.

I'll check out EHarmeny and Hinge then I think. One of the issues I face is a lack of photographs of me. It seems that everyone else has a plethora of selfies, which I of course don't and not being on Facebook doesn't hep either.

What apps on the iPhone or other solutions do you have for taking that all important image of yourself for a dating profile? To be honest, I find that asking friends is a little embarrassing, dating and romance are private things in my mind and letting others know you are looking and no doubt having to tell them it's not going great when they ask further down the line, only adds to that feeling of failure...

Anyway, that was a bit glum.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hi Oliver, subject line says it all. Online dating is not something whacky and weird. The chances are that your friends will probably say 'good on ya' or words to that effect. In my experience it really is important to get a sighted person to take that profile photo for you. A sighted friend is at least someone you can trust who isn't going to stitch you up. Just as, I assume, you'd want to look the part on a face to face date, you'll want to look the part in your picture, so get a friend to do it. I was also a little embarrassed about such things but I'm very glad I had a friend sort out my profile picture for EHarmony. I then added a couple later on - one very interesting one of me in the house of Commons with a pint, I seem to recall - but even if you can't do that you'll know you have a decent profile picture.

By the way, I think it was a couple of posts back that suggested asking a blind person how they are reading messages is a silly question. I actually think it's a very good question. Don't be too harsh on the sighted who, incidentally, are made just as miserable as we are by people not liking them, suddenly ceaseing to send them any more messages, only after one thing, and so on.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Vulnerability is a difficult state to embrace especially for us who spend so much time working towards independence and, indeed, avoiding vulnerability where we can. Dating requires us to be vulnerable, to put ourselves out there and to say, this is me, warts and all, what do you think?

Agreed, I do rely on friends to go through pictures of me though there does seem to be a distintct lack of them. I seem to be the only person in the world who is friends with people who don't live lives through the window of their phones. A good thing in some ways.

Well if sighted never talk to blind people those question are OK. Most people have problem doing things in the dark like dressing or whatever. Asking those question are not bad if they never met any blind person or have any idea about accessibility. If many webpages do not know about accessibility why the ordinary person would no?

Submitted by Kaare on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

In reply to by Blinken223

Seems to be a simple workable solution that people are enjoying... Flexible and very accessible.

Submitted by Brad on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I'm going to try off line dating and see how that goes.

Online is good if you have the pacience, I don't. This site is knew so there's no one from the UK and I doubt there will be in the buture.
If there is, great! but I'm going to leave that site alone.

Submitted by jay on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I am actually curious about cupids arrow. I peaked at the site this morning, and found it to be very accessible. Is anyone in the US using it? How have your experiences been so far?

Submitted by SoYoung on Thursday, May 7, 2020

I don’t read all the topic but I’m just wondering if there’s any dating app specially made for blind or low vision people to help meeting each other? I’m in Canada so I don’t know if all the dating apps you mentioned is there also and I found the popular dating apps like tinder not very helpful for meeting people more like me.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, May 7, 2020

In reply to by jay

I check it and yes it is accessible. There are not to many people and the one do not respond. It is not worth it.

Submitted by Brad on Thursday, May 7, 2020

The website is very accesssible but you can't delete your account, I really don't like that.

It's easy to set up and is a mixed bag of pictures, and answered questions if one were to fill out the profile correctly. The chat features are secure enough and work well. Caution though. I've tried the app and stuff, but didn't meet my current lady there. It was one part of a multiple pronged strategy.

Submitted by Keenan on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hello, Recently I noticed that the messaging feature on the facebook dating section seems to be broken. It only gives the times that messages are sent, and voiceover won't read the messages themselves. Has anyone else encountered this problem, and have you found a way around this? Thanks, I hope everyone is well!

Submitted by Matthew Robinson on Thursday, June 11, 2020

In reply to by Bingo Little

It has also helped my hopes if I just put it out there that I'm blind by including a picture of myself with my cane in my profile pictures. That way it clears the air right out of the gate and hopefully suggests independence. Then again, I'm new at this and am passing along advice from a sighted friend.

Hi. I met my wife on match.com. I forgot to mention to her that I was blind until she called one day before we had ever met, saying she would be in my neighborhood, and would I mind if she dropped by? It was then the lightbulb went off over my head, and I said, "Oh, there's something I forgot to tell you," whereupon I proceeded to tell her I'm blind, ending with a challenge to a water fight (it being July), provided I got the hose and she got the squirt gun. Smile. We married a year later. We first met eleven years ago next month.

Submitted by DMNagel on Friday, June 12, 2020

Now i'm not in a relationship, but i can say that the truth occasionally helpped me make some solid friendships.

Hi, I like to tell them straight up front when engaging in online dating about the blindness. It helps me define whether or not attention is being paid. Being asked after a snap of me and the guide dog and a "have to tell ya up front that I'm blind," is issued, that they want my comment on their picture... She's probably out... It's not only consideration for them, but my time and effort. :).

Submitted by Sherry on Sunday, June 14, 2020

I have been using the Facebook dating app since September 2019 and it was very accessible until recently. now, it is not showing me messages when I go into them. I can read part of them before I go in, but when I open them up it just has the timestamp and no message. Is anyone else having this issue? I tried deleting the Facebook app and reinstalling. I also deleted my profile and re-created it. Neither one helped..

The only work around that I have managed to find is as follows. I go to the conversations section of facebook dating, and I tap on the conversation that has the new message, but I don't go into that conversation, the VO curser is just on it. It will read the latest message, but if they send multiple messages in quick succession, you're basically stuck guessing what came before the latest message. I hope that makes sense.

Submitted by Keenan on Sunday, July 12, 2020

On a different note, I tried hinge the other day, and I can't seem to upload photos into the app. I got one in there somehow, but that's it. I reached out to the company about this but haven't heard back. The app is basically unusable without at least 6 photos uploaded which is understandable, but mildly frustrating simply because it doesn't work with VO. I hope everyone is well!