LunchClick vs Tinder: How to take a swipe at love

Singles are spoiled for choice when it comes to online dating apps. LunchClick, a new dating app that wants to be a “safer and more effective” Tinder, is joining the fray. We test-drive both apps.

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In a nutshell

LunchClick: The dating app for serious daters, developed by dating agency Lunch Actually.
Tinder: The dating app for serial daters that has taken the world by storm.

Legit or not?
LunchClick: To sign up, you need a Facebook account and an ID number for the administrators to verify that you’re single, and not — gasp — (secretly) married.

Tinder: Like LunchClick, your account is linked to Facebook. The tricky part is sussing out what your match is looking for, which could be anything from hook-ups and relationships to friendship and an ego boost from accumulating ‘likes’.

Play the field
LunchClick: You get only one curated match a day. Once you get a mutual ‘like’, both parties get to know each other via over 100 templated MCQ questions. Want to meet up? Click on the ‘propose a date’ button and fill out the date, time and venue and sit back and wait for the other party to accept. No actual interaction until you actually meet.

Tinder: The world is your oyster. Swipe till you drop! Once you get a mutual ‘like’, both parties can start messaging freely — yes, like regular humans. However, how you want to respond to a booty call from that dude who springs a message at 3am is entirely up to you.

What it really feels like...
LunchClick: Doing the MCQ section of an exam: After a few rounds of “questioning” with a teacher in his 30s, he proposed a date. I accepted, only to find out that he’d done so “just so we can talk like normal humans”. Fair enough. After all, I was beginning to have trouble remembering if it was the guy in marketing or the wealth manager who hated football. It also forces you to do some serious soul-searching, especially when you’re asked “What kind of wife do you want to be?” and there’s no ‘none of the above’ option. Gulp.

Tinder: Getting a crash course in what kind of guys — or jerks — are out there in the dating jungle: At best, you meet someone who’s genuinely looking for a relationship — like the guy in finance in his mid-30s who wanted to add me on Facebook almost immediately ’cos “you [can] learn a lot about someone”. Er, what? There are times when it translates to actual dates which may or may not lead to an actual relationship. Then there are those who have no intention of actually meeting anyone, which results in endless rounds of online messaging with no end in sight.

Post date
LunchClick:There is a feedback feature for a post-mortem on your date. The app is free but you can shell out $99 for a ‘Love Assistant’ to do an analysis of what you’re doing wrong, and one guaranteed offline date.

Tinder: You’re left to your own devices, which could mean agonising over why he hasn’t Whatsapp-ed you after three days after your date. Get some Kleenex on standby.

Verdict
LunchClick: If you can never find the right words to say and prefer the SDU style of matchmaking, this is the app for you.

Tinder: If you’re just in it for the, er, ride, this playground for players is for you.  

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