The various dating apps out there are not all equal. I tell you what to look for.
Keep in mind that I’m a 51-year-old cis man. Who is pansexual, polyamorous, and into BDSM. If you are a 22-year-old straight cis girl, your experience will most likely differ from mine. Actually, I’m sure it will. I get a few match per month. A lot of them go nowhere. I’d expect the 22-year-old straight cis girl to get much more hits, and most likely more matches. However, it is difficult to compare the quality of those matches.
Unfortunately, I do not know of an app that caters to autistic people specifically. (Someone pointed me to Hiki. I plan on doing a review eventually.) However, in a sense, they all cater to autistic people, to some degree. I don’t want to go to a bar. Part of my reasons are that I do not like the noise and commotion of a bar. When you use a dating app, you can like people without having to go to a bar. I think a lot of autistic people also want to avoid bars.
Mind you, you’ll most likely have to go to a restaurant if you want to go on a date, but I find this much more bearable than a bar. It does not even have to be a restaurant, I’m fine with most restaurants, but if you cannot bear the noise of a restaurant, you should let your date know and maybe go somewhere quieter. I’d say that if you need a quieter place, you will have to tell your date down the road anyway. Better do it early, than later. You don’t want to find that your date is dead set on visiting all the dive bars in the area with you, if that type of activity irritates you.
Ultimately, I can recommend only two apps: Feeld or OkCupid. I’ve had experience with Tinder, Adult Friend Finder, Ashley Madison (yes, I know what it is for), Hinge and KinkD, in addition to Feeld and OkCupid. You should pay attention only to the last two. My experience on the rest has been atrocious. I’ve gotten no matches, or matches that went nowhere. Or their filtering features were non-existent, buggy or awful. I cannot here do more than give you an overview of both apps. If you want to know about prices, and detailed feature sets, you’re going to have to do extra reading.
Filtering is one of the important functions that dating apps perform. In this regard, OkCupid has the best filtering options of any of the apps I mentioned above. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how the functionality tiers are organized. I’ve always paid for the apps I used, at least for a while. Still, even if you do not pay for OkCupid, the people who may match with you, can pay, and then they can filter profiles according to what they want.
The ability to filter is important, even if it exists only for those other people. Let’s take the example of Tinder. When I was there, it had very limited filtering capabilities. It definitely did not filter by desire for monogamy or non-monogamy. I regularly had people match with me, who, when I told them that I’m polyamorous (a form of non-monogamy) and that I mention it in my profile, unmatched immediately! This is extremely annoying. I do have a profile on OkCupid, but I’ve set my filter so that I see only people who are not dead set on monogamy. There is no point in me seeing monogamous people. I also filter by age, distance, politics, and other criteria.
The only problem I have with OkCupid is that it is extremely vanilla. I’m into BDSM. I had just one success there. Ironically, it was the first success I had as someone into BDSM, but after that initial success, I did not have a repeat. I’ve let my subscription to OkCupid lapse in the past, then I went back. I’m likely to let it lapse again. I don’t see much point in keeping it up.
This is why for people who are into BDSM, I do recommend Feeld. I’ve had three successes there so far. I may have a fourth in the upcoming week. Feeld is not without its own problems, and bugs, but for someone who wants to find one or multiple partners who are into BDSM, it is the best that we have. Feeld has very little filtering capability. I remember being able to filter by age, distance, gender… and that’s about it. In theory, it is possible to also filter by desire, but this capability is hampered by bugs, and by the problem that not all people will use the same term for what they desire.
Feeld won’t allow you to filter by desire for monogamy or non-monogamy, but it is not as big a deal as you’d think it is. Most people there know about polyamory, even if they are monogamous. So you will find people telling you in their profile what they are looking for. It does not always work, but it is better than nothing.
Finally, I should mention that geography can make a huge difference regarding your experience. I’m sorry to say that if you live in the middle of nowhere, neither of my options are probably going to give you a stellar experience. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. I myself started in a semi-rural area, then I moved to the suburbs, and then I move right next to a metropolis. My chances definitely have improved with my last move.
Again, this was just an overview. You should seek detailed reviews if you want to know more about OkCupid or Feeld.