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Dating can quickly turn from exciting to “Great, another first date” when you’re a working professional. Since the pandemic started, Zoom meetings, workdays balanced with childcare, and virtual office happy hours have us stretched thin when it comes to not just our professional obligations, but the amount of energy we have to invest in our other relationships and ourselves. It’s safe to say that dating can feel like a little bit of a slog right now, if not a downright minefield.

But this is why dating sites and apps were invented: to make finding matches and exploring connections easier by allowing us to date on our own schedule.

2020 famously had a huge increase in the number of dating app signups during the pandemic, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, it’s a great way to find connections you otherwise might not if your workdays run long.

Why professionals should use dating apps

No one with a packed work schedule has extra energy to spare, so getting to know someone before you clear your agenda to go on a date with them can help you perform a vibe-check ahead of time.

While different dating sites and apps serve different purposes (Tinder for hookups, eharmony to get really serious), you can do a little filtering for people who will better understand your professional lifestyle on most of them, which makes it easier to weed out people who don’t quite match your speed. You can get an idea about whether the app will help you find like-minded individuals by looking at things like user base, sign-up requirements, and more to up your chances of finding what you want.

What to look for in a dating app

There are plenty of sites out there if you want to find hookups and casual flings, but if you’re really looking to settle down with someone for the duration, a few dating sites are better suited to that than others. The general rule of thumb? If there’s a membership fee to sign up, people probably aren’t going to be trying to waste their time (or your time) — in other words, they’re just as serious as you are about meeting up IRL and hoping things go somewhere. We’ve all been at the end of a Tinder conversation where it’s all chat and no meet-up, and no working professional has time for that.

What are the best dating sites and apps for professionals

Ranking highest on our list were EliteSingles and Match. We found that with sites like eharmony and Match, the initial output (i.e a lengthy sign-up and/or membership fee) is worth it for the return. We also loved Hinge: One of our top picks, the app is full of singles who are on the app specifically to go on dates, and it’s especially popular in big cities where more people are bound to have moved for their work.

But our top picks aren’t limited to just those — here are the 12 best online dating apps for people who are focused on their careers.

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