6 Elite Dating Apps You Need Approval to Use
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.
Dating app images from App Store.
The great wave of swipe-based dating that the advent of Tinder, Bumble, and the like created in the 2010s has, unsurprisingly, begun to ebb.
After checking out these apps — along with all their clones and competitors — the buzz of new match notifications wore off a little when people started realizing that most of the time, they weren’t that into their matches, couldn’t start good conversations with them, and if and when dates occurred, they were awkward at best.
Geolocation apps were great at finding people nearby who might be down to date you, but terrible at finding people you would likely really click with. That led many to start looking for other solutions, like apps that kept people they probably wouldn’t want to date out of the dating pool entirely (for a price).
Enter the rise of the exclusive dating app. Where Tinder built its empire on being free and accessible to everyone, a new crop of apps that have arrived in the past five years or so are centered around keeping most people out while catering to a clientele of those with good looks and/or cash to burn.
But is a walled-garden approach the best way to meet your match? And are these exclusive apps worth the often steep price of admission? AskMen decided to look into it.
The Benefits of Using an Exclusive Dating App
If you’ve ever deleted a dating app out of frustration because you spent hours swiping through profiles with low-quality photos and boring bios, a more exclusive app might be just what you need.
While they don’t all approach the situation the same way, more exclusive apps tend to be about quality first and quantity second. Of course, depending on your tastes, exclusive dating apps either might be perfect for you or incredibly wrong.
They tend to collect like-minded people, a negative if your tastes are more diverse. Also, of course, there’s the possibility that the elite-level nature of the app will also keep you from even taking part. Being rejected on the basis of your looks can be a humbling experience.
For a lot of these apps, it’s being particularly handsome, financially well off, or both, that’ll allow you to secure a spot in what could make for an exciting, aesthetically pleasing experience with a greater chance of romantic and/or sexual success.
Depending on the selection criteria, you may find these obnoxiously good looking people interesting or not, but if looks are something that’s important to you in a partner, this is definitely the way to approach it from an online dating perspective.
Not only do these apps filter out less conventionally attractive people, by allowing rich people to buy their way in, they ensure that the only people skipping the line are capable of spending money on their looks and the quality of their profile photos.
Still interested? Here are a few of the aforementioned exclusive apps, in no particular order of price or success promised.
The Best Exclusive Dating Apps
Luxy is a relatively new app, but it’s managed to become quite the dating destination for the rich and beautiful in just a few years time. The app doesn’t have a ton of American singles yet — it seems to be more popular in Russia — but if you’re rich enough to be on there, maybe you’re rich enough to travel for love.
The app has a 24-hour waiting period to join, during which your profile is scrutinized by existing members. If more than 50% vote you in then you’re golden. (You can also pay to skip the line, of course.) It’s a little buggy, but the singles inside are as gorgeous as advertised, for both men and women, and most of the profiles are verified, ensuring you’re not wasting your time on a catfish or bot.
Raya might not necessarily be the most exclusive app on this list, but damn if it’s not the most high-profile. Thanks to a healthy selection of Hollywood celebrity members (reported to include celebs like Nick Kroll, Channing Tatum, Demi Lovato, Sharon Stone, Moby, Lily Allen, Cara Delevingne, Matthew Perry, Raven-Symoné, and Emma Watson), it’s gained quite the reputation as the dating destination for the world’s most eligible. The only problem? It takes but 8% of applicants, meaning you better hope you’re the hottest guy out of every dozen or so who apply. Still, it’s humming along enough to have recently branched out to offer friendship and business functionalities, much like Bumble did a few years back.
While its name may conjure up a more sporty vibe than an elite dating app might be expected to, The League is all business when it comes to dating. It’s ultra-exclusive, with most major cities having lengthy waiting lists (even after filling out my profile completely and ticking off all the extra steps that will help shorten your wait time, such as linking it to your LinkedIn account). Here, too, you can pay to bypass the waiting room, but the prices are steep at around $90 a month for a basic membership.
Why won’t this name mean anything to Americans right now? That’s because Toffee is a U.K.-based app that’s exclusively for people who’ve gone to private school. The app targeted at the Oxbridge set is now also available in Australia, but the concept remains the same: By filtering according to alma mater in the U.K.’s stratified education system, you basically ensure that only well-off, well-educated poshsters can use the app. That said, some app store reviews note that the app’s exclusivity has backfired, as there don’t appear to be too many users at all.
Probably the oldest site on this list, Millionaire Match is two decades old. Rather than keeping out those deemed less desirable from the outset, it follows a more traditional model where anyone can sign up, but only paying members get access to the aspects you really want to use.
Costs range from $70 a month for a single month to just $45 a month for a six-month stretch. It boasts close to 5 million members, although how many of those are inactive profiles created in years past is anyone’s guess.
Strictly speaking, Elite Singles isn’t an exclusive app — it’s just an app with an exclusive concept: helping rich and successful people find lasting relationships. But, to a degree, marketing your app as for rich professionals can help deter people who don’t see themselves fitting into that crowd.
It also requires you to complete an incredibly long questionnaire to sign up for it, meaning anyone without a certain amount of ambition and follow-through will flame out halfway through the application process. It’s not exactly the hallowed halls of Luxy, Raya or The League, but if your wallet balks at the full membership for those apps, you might be able to make it work at Elite Singles.
You Might Also Dig: