When it comes to dating online for Christians, the need to protect your heart is of the utmost importance. What this means for Christian app companies is that they better bring transparency, strong morals, and the right boundaries and safeguards to create a God-honoring experience where you can also find that special someone.
One of the most recent to enter this arena was Upward, a swipe-style dating app (from the makers of Tinder) aimed specifically at Christian singles. But does Upward offer a safe and and effective way for Christian men and women to connect?
That’s what we’re talking about today. In our Upward dating app review, we’ll share our thoughts, what we like, what we don’t like, and what we think you should do if you’re trying to figure out if this app is legit and/or worth your time and money.
- Fast sign up time
- Convenient for Christians who are looking to date casually
- Good for Christian singles who care a lot about how someone looks (photo-first app)
- Swipe-style dating may cheapen the goal of a Christian dating app.
- No limits on photos that some Christians may disapprove of
- The platform is only available as an app.
- The swipe-style of matching doesn’t utilize personality algorithms.
Upward Features Overview
What we’d like to look at now are the different features that are available at Upward. Bear in mind that our reviews and opinions of these features are done from a Christian single’s lens. Many of these features may be great (or bad) for mainstream singles, but they may be the opposite for faith-focused singles.
At Upward, you have three different membership options—free membership, Premium membership, and Elite membership. Additionally, there are add-ons that can be used with either of these memberships. Let’s start be seeing which features come with each membership level and then talk about some of the more prominent features.
Matches and Swiping
One thing we did like during our Upward review was that everyone does get to do some swiping without paying. The big difference, though, is that free users on Upward have a limited number of likes they can use per day. If you’d like an unlimited number of swipes and likes, you should upgrade to a Premium or Elite account.
Want to get someone’s attention quickly? Then you need a Super Like! When you Super Like a profile, that person is immediately notified. This way, they can choose to respond to you instantly instead of waiting for them to happen upon you in their matches.
Want to get more attention platform wide? Visibility boosts allow you to show up first to other matches in your area for a fixed amount of time. As long as you’re doing your part to swipe on matches, this could really help your chances in making connections.
Second Chance or Rewinds
Rewinds are a way to go back and correct a mistaken swipe. These casual dating apps can often unconsciously coax users into swiping marathon style. This leads to mistakes that can be incredibly frustrating. Having the ability to undo those mistakes, without limits, makes Upward a much more enjoyable app.
Removal of Ads
While we didn’t see many ads during our last Upward review, it does stink to hear that they’re out there. If you do upgrade, though, you won’t have to worry about seeing ads anywhere. Showing ads is definitely not something on par with higher quality dating apps, so it was a bit surprising from a Match Group site.
See Who Liked You
Most of Upward’s premium services involve ways to get matches faster. See Who Liked You sticks to that theme by offering you a look at the users who have already liked your profile. You can choose to like these users back and quickly create a match/start a conversation.
Upward has added a feature called stickers where you can add a little badge that goes right on your profile. It’s a way to spark up conversations, inspire interest, or show off the way you feel about something. As of our last review, there were just under 20 stickers to choose from.
While we liked a lot of the stickers, there were a few that could be considered controversial for a Christian dating app. First, the “Woke AF” sticker. AF stands for words that you typically don’t use as a Christian. Second, there was a Team Yeezy sticker that is in support of Kanye West, which has become more controversial as he has made some anti-Semitic comments and questionable faith-based remarks.
Third, as you’ll see below, there is a Netflix and Chill sticker. We think it’s pretty clear why this is not the greatest option for a Christian dating site.
The Quality of Singles on the Upward Dating App
So, our review score for the quality of matches on the Upward dating app could be a little misleading but we want to explain. Are there good looking, real people on the app? Absolutely. However, there are two reasons we knocked a few points off.
First, a lot of the profiles we read seemed quite casual about their faith and dating. While this may be good for some people, it’s not ideal for anyone looking for a serious faith-based relationship. Yes, this was anecdotal from our reviews, but it was something our team saw fairly consistently.
The second reasons we knocked the points off was because the profiles weren’t very robust. Much like Tinder, they were short and to the point. While this is great for casual dating, not so great to make real connections. So, that’s why we said the review score may be misleading. This is at no fault to the people on the app, but we felt it needed to be reflected somewhere.
Overall, though, there are quality singles on the Upward app. We’re just not sure the people mixed with the platform creates the best opportunity for serious Christians.
Is Upward Worth It? – The Bottom Line Upfront
Full transparency—when we’re reviewing Christian dating apps like Upward, we put things through a lot more intense scrutiny. Why? Because we know that singles looking for faith-based relationships care a lot more about the quality of the experience.
So, how does Upward stack up? Let’s get into it.
In short, Upward is nothing more than Tinder for Christians. It’s an app where you swipe left or right (depending on if you like someone). If there is a mutual match (you both swiped right to indicate interest in each other), the app lets you know and a conversation is opened up.
You’ll also notice we didn’t say “an app like Tinder,” but instead we said, “Tinder for Christians.” This was intentional. Upward is owned by Match Group, the same company that owns Tinder. It’s not something that resembles Tinder, it’s literally from the exact same company which may be a red flag for a lot of single Christians. Here’s a link to a video explaining this and showing real examples.
For us, this style of dating can be effective for casual dating (minus the potential dangerous effects of swipe dating on your mental health) but when you try and make what should be a more serious and intimate process into a streamlined, and photo-driven process—it’s a miss for us. As most Christian singles are looking for committed and Christ-centered relationships, you can see the disconnect.
Additionally, there are no good boundaries put in place to protect Christians from things they may not want to see. For example, a quick scan through some of the members in our area and you see quite a few scantily clad photos, a ton of cleavage, and what we personally would call an environment that’s just not that wholesome.
Here’s one of the first pictures we saw on the app. While some Christians might not have an issue with this image, there are probably quite a few who would. This seemed to be fairly par for the course. (Yes, we blurred the user’s face for privacy purposes).
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