Love & Relationships

I Joined The Most Exclusive Dating App In The World: The League

The results: sometimes good, sometimes douchey, but always exclusive. 

Ever had Tinder-itis? That feeling when your thumb goes numb from all the left-swiping you’ve done on Tinder? As a single girl in New York City and lifestyle writer (with major FOMO issues), I’ve pretty much tried every dating app from Tinder and Happn to Bumble and Hinge. It always plays out the same: I download the app, put up the same profile pic (because I look really good in it) and then I excitedly swipe away. Ooh he’s cute. Swipe right. Ooh he’s cute and tall. Swipe right. Ooh he’s cute, tall and he loves Nas. Swipe right times infinity. Then the high wears off. I start recognizing guys I know. Swipe left. I’m making matches but the guys aren’t saying anything. Bo-ring. I’m messaging and it’s not leading to an actual date. So, why are you on here bro? I end up deleting the app and happily use the extra space for more Spotify playlists.

Dating apps are exhausting. Tinder has 50 million users but let’s be honest, how many are quality guys you’d actually want to share a martini with…and possibly more? General admission is cool but dating apps need a V.I.P. button. Cue The League.

The League is the most exclusive dating app. Founded by Stanford grad Amanda Bradford, The League sets out to match ambitious, interesting professionals in San Francisco and New York City with other ambitious, interesting professionals. You log in with your Facebook profile, but unlike any apps, The League also asks for your LinkedIn information. The almighty app lords put you on a waitlist and review your “application.” Based on your social media resume, it decides whether you’re in or you’re out (word to Heidi Klum). I joined the waitlist in last place at #113,364—which is more people than the town I grew up in—but was rushed to the head of the line because, you know, I know people.


The Profile­­

The profile is similar to most apps but there’s a huge focus on education. Where you went to college is listed at the top. The League pulls directly from your LinkedIn and Facebook, which is a hit or a miss, because the Profession listed is not my current position. At least I look good in my profile pic. 

Search Criteria

Input what you’re looking for in a match in Preferences. Unlike Tinder, you can actually search by height (6 feet and up please!) as well as location, ethnicity and age. There’s also the option to be Highly Selective, Selective or indifferent to education. If you’re looking for a Harvard man or an Amherst girl, go for Highly Selective.

The Matches

The League only gives you five matches per day. At 5pm, five new matches pop up. Once you go through them, you’re done for the day. App addicts may cringe about this but I personally liked the idea of reading through each profile versus mindlessly swiping.  Once you “like” a profile and he “likes” you back, you can open up a messaging feature and start chatting.

The matches themselves ranged in hotness and level of intrigue but a few things kept popping up.

1. Ambitious: Very impressive professional resumes. Bankers, professors, doctors, guys who work in political think tanks; everyone was career-driven.

2. Education: Plenty of Ivy League men and advanced degrees. No educational scrubs, here.

3. Well-Traveled: Nearly every guy I saw had travel as an interest in his profile, especially international travel. Get your passport ready.

Just your average members of The League, from @theleague Instagram


The Good

  • The League delivers on its promise of quality over quantity. The men are definitely more professionally-minded than they are on other dating apps. Also, it’s nice to get a fuller snapshot of who you’re messaging.
  • I LOVE that height and education are listed. Let’s just say, I’ve been burned in the past.
  • Five matches per day is enough for me. I liked spending more time on each profile—actually reading through each one—and once I was done, I was done. No mindless swiping at 3am or while waiting for a friend at brunch. I actually spent more time off my phone and meeting guys in REAL LIFE because of this app.
  • The guys I’ve messaged seem nicer than on other apps. I actually introduced one to a friend because I think they’d really hit it off.

The Bad

  • The League is still a relatively new app so it can be glitchy. Several times I would pass on a guy only to have him show up again. The app also froze for me. Try using it in the off-times (not 5pm) and it should run smoother.
  • Even with the selection process, you will see douchey guys. Just today, I had a guy whose main profile photo was a selfie with Donald Trump. Gross.
  • Guys on The League may have more education, ambition and Donald Trump’s phone number, but that doesn’t mean they’re any better at dating. Like other apps, I have several matches where the guys have yet to say anything to me. I guess they’re too busy being masters of the universe to type a message.


  • Thumbs up for The League. I’ve recommended it to several friends. If you can get off the waitlist, give The League a try.


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