We all keep romantic checklists in our heads.
We bring them with us as we take a jaunt through the park, go on first dates, and swipe through dating apps.
Should a prospective partner not check off a certain number of our boxes, we label them as undateable.
Dating apps are largely spaces where anyone, no matter their age, height, or educational background can sign up. But with such a large dating pool it can be time-consuming to filter out women that don’t check off the right boxes.
The League founder Amanda Bradford, had this exact problem.
This Carnegie Mellon graduate couldn’t find men that matched her professional ambition on dating apps. With no filters and 7.9 million Tinder users in the US alone the only way to find her most suitable match was to callous her fingers and go on dates until she finally met a man that checked off all her boxes.
She decided against this laborious dating plan and opted for a much more ambitious one.
She created her own dating app — The League.
Billed as “elitist Tinder” The League launched in 2014 and caters to a professionally successful userbase. Amanda herself has reported that of League users, “98% have college degrees, 8% are PhDs, 30% have advanced degrees, 14% are director-level or higher, 21% are managers, 13% are CEOs, founders, co-founders or owners, and over 39% are estimated to be making six-figure salaries.”
Despite a professionally established milieu of users, the median age of a female user is claimed to be 29 years old.
While The League dating app has come under scrutiny for its elitist admission policy, the founder argues the app is a space where ambitious women can find men that share that same ambition and aren’t afraid to date a professionally successful woman.
We here at emlovz decided to test the app for 45 days to see if it was worth recommending to our clients.
In this article, we’ll explore what you should expect during the sign-up process, waitlist expectations, how to use the league, how much the league memberships costs, their non-member purchase options, some of its unique features, dating app alternatives, and more.
Findings from our test users based in the Bay Area have been comparable in terms of matches and answered messages to other popular dating apps like Bumble and Hinge.
For that reason, assuming you’re a professional or take your career at least somewhat seriously, give the League dating app an opportunity as one of your 5 dating apps in your arsenal. It might not work as well if you’re in a rural area, but if you’re interested in meeting independent, bright women, this app is for you.
How to Sign Up for The League
While lines suck if you’re waiting in them they often signal quality.
What’s the sign we always look for to determine if a restaurant is worth dining at? -the line.
The League is one of a handful of dating apps that requires users to wait after having signed up. Our wait time took 1.5 weeks (January 2020).
The reason The League places applicants on a waiting list is because each applicant is screened by a real person. According to founder Amanda Bradford, only between 20-30% of applicants are accepted.
The League hasn’t exactly been transparent with its screening criteria, however, Bradford has given users some application pointers.
To increase your odds of getting accepted you should fill out your profile in full, log in to the app various times to check the application status to demonstrate that you care about being accepted, have at least a BA (the more advanced degree the better), and a killer job.
Funny enough the app’s screening process takes a few pointers from schools like Harvard and Stanford in that it wants a diverse user pool. The League doesn’t want a homogenous dating pool full of people with the same job who graduated from the same university.
You’ll also be asked to provide your FB or LinkedIn information in order to corroborate your identity.
The signup process really only takes about 10-15 minutes to create a basic profile. Once this is done, you’ll be tossed on a waiting list and notified when your free membership application has been accepted.
How To Setup Your League Dating App Profile
The League has some rather unique restrictions as to what users are able to upload to free member profiles. The app permits users to upload 6 photos and 1 video. along with a 25-word written bio.
Here are 3 league-worthy bio examples:
“The most spontaneous thing I ever did was move to San Francisco on a dare. Seven years later, I’m still here.”
“Fluent in Espanol, Italiano, English, and JS.”
“My ideal first date would include speaking about passerbys in other languages and pretending like we’re royals. Pinkies in the air!”
Remember that screeners will only accept you if 1) your profile is filled out and 2) your profile is witty. Take some time when putting your profile together to ensure you’re accepted from The League’s waitlist.
For your free account, you’ll select your height, ethnicity, location, religion, family situation (whether you have kids, want kids, ect.), and list a few of your interests. List at least 10 interests so that female users browsing the app can better understand who you are.
As mentioned, The League Dating App will also ask you to sync your profile to either FB, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that The League will always show your age until you purchase one of their memberships (including the owner/investor option).
During the sign-up process, you must be careful not to accidentally click the investor option for $999.
We let a finger slip and purchased said membership and had to contact Apple for a refund after trying and failing to get in touch with a The League employee. If this happens to you just contact the apple store directly.
Free Member Scouting Preferences
By “scouting preferences” The League really just means, “preferences.” No, you aren’t provided a crew of romantic scouts upon acceptance. This language speaks to The League’s attempt to either brand themselves as an elite matchmaking-ish dating app, or just to differentiate themselves from other dating apps.
These preferences enable you to filter based on age, height, distance, ethnicity, education, and religion. Note – the furthest distance you can prospect/scout for is 100 miles.
If you want to “date in multiple cities,” you’ll need to sign up for a paid membership.
One unique preference option we like is their option to “change your league city.”
Doing so allows you to change your city by dragging a pin to the city you’d like to search in. This could be helpful if you’re traveling to say Seattle from San Francisco the following week.
Why not change your city a few days before to mine for dates while you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home. It appears this feature works for free members.
So How Does The League Dating App Work As A Free Member?
In any other app, free means that you can browse through profiles seemingly without end. The League isn’t like other apps in this regard.
Every day at 5 p.m. The League kicks off its “happy hour.” It’s then that each free user receives three prospects that they can either accept or decline.
Only after a match is made are you allowed to message. If you don’t know what to say, the app offers suggested openers. Don’t use these.
Instead of using an opener that thousands of unimaginative dudes have already used, create an opening line on a commonality the two of you share.
Scan her profile and find a similarity that you can touch on. Asking an open-ended question about something she clearly enjoys is an easy way to ensure she responds.
Here are some examples of quality opening lines to get you inspired:
“Us Bills fans are a rare breed outside of Buffalo. We should watch the next game together… I don’t like crying in public places alone.”
“So my friends and I are all obsessed with peacoats. We actually called ourselves the peacoat gang, maybe you’d like to join? We hold tryouts every winter season.”
“I’m shocked that more cultural landmarks don’t mark off selfie-free areas. Want to help me ruin someone’s IG?”
These opening lines all work because they comment on something the female user wrote in her profile. When penning an opening write, never comment on her appearance. Every guy does this. It’s not original, in fact, it’s more often than not probably borderline sexual harassment.
Once you’ve matched, you only have 21 days until the match expires. Such a feature deters users from stacking matches.
A note on the three daily prospects.
Three potential matches may not sound like a lot but consider the quality of these matches. An algorithm has been used to connect you with these people.
On other apps, you’d likely spend hours swiping through the thicket of low-quality users to get to one decent match. These three women are most likely to be compatible, coveted, and within your league.
Also if you’re already on four other dating apps, why would you want to get bombarded with profiles that you probably don’t even have enough time to parse through?
And remember guys, don’t just rely on dating apps – make time for in-person social events, hanging with friends – get out there and meet people in real life too.
What Are The League Dating App Membership Costs?
Compared to just about every other popular dating app, The League might be the most expensive.
A 1-month membership will run you $199.99, 3 months for $299.99, and 6 months for $399.99.
To put this into perspective, a lifetime Bumble Premium membership costs $149.99.
Hinge costs just $7 a month and the most expensive Tinder membership (if you’re over 30) costs $20/month.
So what do you get when you purchase a $200, one-month membership?
Well it turns out that the perks may not justify the cost. Instead of receiving 3 prospects every day during happy hour, you’ll be sent 5. You’ll also skip the waitlist, receive 2 league tickets for 5 extra prospects (or to boost your profile), be able to view read receipts, edit work and education, view profile stats like how many women have viewed your profile, create groups and events and send up to 5 friend requests a day.
The League’s Ultra Premium Memberships
If a premium membership wasn’t enough for you, no worries, there are leagues within The League that cater to just your taste.
The app offers a super premium “owner” account, where you’ll receive 7 prospects a day (up from 5 in the premium membership), know when someone in your batch has already liked you, get unlimited power moves, can rematch and message expired matches, undo anyone you unliked, and receive a complimentary profile boost upon purchase and renewal among other features.
And hey, this account will only cost you $399.99/month of $899.99 for 3 months. Wait… did I say only?
The other SUPER SUPER VIP membership is their “Investor” upgrade.
Investor accounts will run you a mere $999.99/month or $399.99 per week. You’ll get 9 prospects a day, see everyone who’s liked you and be able to chat with them in 1 click (that’s pretty cool), send an opener message to any user in your daily batch (don’t need to match with them it appears), receive a complimentary profile boost, extra privacy, and support from a human being (unless you decide you want a refund :)).
The cost to upgrade to the next membership tier often doesn’t justify the perks. You’re basically paying a couple hundred dollars more a month for a couple more prospects.
Let’s remember that these are just prospects. You’d still need to be able to match with and score a phone number from these matches to arguably be able to make it worth your while.
The League Dating App’s Tickets
For those that don’t want to splash big on memberships, there’s always League Tickets.
Tickets function as a-la-carte purchases. The League allows you to purchase “tickets” to use for different purposes. Currently, you can purchase 5 tickets for $24.99, 15 tickets for $69.99, 100 tickets for $399.99.
These tickets can be used to boost your profile, rematch, undo an X, perform a power move, purchase an extra batch of prospects including an upgraded all-star batch, get a new user batch (users who just joined), or a hearts batch (women who’ve already liked you), or boost your profile.
If you’re just getting your feet wet with this app, purchasing a few tickets might be the best way to determine if a membership is worth the money.
More Info on These A-la-Carte Purchase Options for Free Members
Boost Your Profile
As a free member, your profile is shown to 3-5 users per day who have you in their search parameters. One of the a-la-carte purchase options is to “boost” your profile.
If you choose to boost your profile, you’ll be shown to the next 30 users that are compatible according to your set preferences. You can also do a local boost that’ll match with only local women.
The league recommends boosting your account 30 minutes before Happy Hour and to open up all your filters. This will allow you to match with as many of the 30 prospects as you can.
Boosting with local women is a smart idea considering the app offers a search radius of 100 miles. Are you really going to go on a first date with a stranger if you need to drive 30 miles or so to meet her?
You can press the power move icon on any prospect shown to you. Once you do so, the league notifies you of how many people have “liked” this prospect before you
This screenshot example above was cut off a bit, but it showed us that 43 people have hearted “Heidi” before the test user and that it could take 10 days for her to be shown your profile.
If you power move her profile, your profile will be shown to her the very next batch/day she logs in for her 3 happy hour prospects. Of course, you’ll need to purchase tickets (see bel0w) to be able to Power Move a prospect.
The League has a super-premium option called Global Entry that allows prospects to view you even if your distance, age, height, religion, or education doesn’t satisfy their preferences.
For a whopping $399.99 fee, The League will boost your profile across all cities until you receive between 10 and 50 new likes. Users will see you if they match your age/gender, and sexual preferences, even if you are outside theirs.
Global entry also gives you access to the “likes you” feature until you’ve received 10-50 new likes. But once you hit your max likes, global entry will halt and you’ll revert back to the 3-5 views/day in your area. And again, a like doesn’t mean she’ll ultimately go on a date with you.
Imagine blowing $400 without even nabbing a date. You could literally have purchased almost 3 Bumble Premium memberships for that same amount.
I honestly don’t even know why this is a feature.
You’re basically paying a fee to slip by undetected by her search preferences. It’s a deceitful act that once exposed, will take some explaining to do.
My advice, save your money for MegaDating. But first, let’s get into some profile tips to assure you get some matches on the League.
The League Dating App Profile Tips for Guys
To even get accepted to The League you’ll need to put together a quality profile. Refusing to fill out portions of your bio will dock you points in the eyes of the admission team. Hell, even if you are accepted, what women would want to match with a guy that just wrote “Netflix lover” in his bio? In The League more so than other dating apps, writing an appealing bio is crucial to not only receiving hearts, but being accepted.
When writing a bio, length is everything. Too short and you’re too much of a mystery to match with, too long and you appear desperate. Keep the bio right at their max 25 word limit.
In those 25 words you’ll need to give her enough information to make you heart worthy. Do this by injecting a bit of wit into the bio, while also telling her a bit about who you are. Take a look at the bio below.
Not only does the bio let us know that the user likes podcasts, in particular, Crime Junkie, but that he’s witty as well. Originality goes a long way in humanizing you. Dating apps have a way of reducing users to a set of cards within a deck. Use your personality to set you apart from the rest.
Two major League bio no-nos are lists and cliches. No office quotes, talking about tacos, or telling her you’ll date her just for her dog (yes guys say this too). It’s easy to appear basic on dating apps, so avoid the cliches.
Merely listing what you like is a cardinal sin as well. If the user above had turned his bio into a list it’d look something like this, “Podcasts, going out with friends, staring at women from across the room.”
Actually putting in the effort to write an intelligible sentence goes a long way, especially when vying for the attention of the power princesses on The League.
The League Photo Tips
Fact: Written bios will never matter as much as your photos.
I don’t care if you wrote a bio that would make John Green swoon, if your pictures aren’t up to snuff, you’re not in her league.
The League only allows members to post 6 photos. With these 6 photos you’ll need to answer the most important question every user has -what does he look like?
You answer this question with the first two photos of your profile.
The first should be a candid headshot that is unobscured by hats, photos, scarves, or anything else that could hide your features.
The second photo should be a full body shot where the user can still make out specific facial features. Make sure the photo isn’t taken too far back.
The League values high-resolution photos. Photos that were taken with a DSLR or the newest iPhone are recommended. Any photo of lesser quality might as well collect digital dust in your phone’s library.
After you’ve clearly demonstrated what you look like in your first two photos it’s time to get a bit creative. Throw in a photo of you traveling abroad, one with friends, another while playing sports, and one with you and your K-9 companion.
Never post selfies, wear the same shirt in two photos, go shirtless, or post a photo of you and a former significant other.
If you don’t know which photos are right for your profile you can upload a few to Photofeeler and receive feedback from real people. Only upload a photo that’s been rated by more than 15 people and has a score of 8 or better.
The emlovz League Dating App Review
Thus far our test user’s free account has yielded solid results.
Our test account has received quality prospects and has a match rate of about 10-20%.
To be clear, we have a 10-20% match rate among the most desirable of The League users. We’re not blindly saying yes to every prospect thrown our way. Doing so will devalue the score the app assigns you. A low score will probably result in being shown to fewer women and women with equally low desirability scores.
As for the app’s features, we feel as though there are too many.
There’s a membership upgrade, investor purchase option, Regional Boosts, Local Boosts, Boost Profiles, Global Entry, Extra Batches. ect. ect. With an excess of options it’s easy to feel like you’re not getting the most out of the application.
Our recommendation to The League is to make it simpler for the users – perhaps 2 membership options and 3 a-la-carte purchases. How is confusing the customer ever a good thing?
At the end of the day, The League is probably going to work great for city folks, while being less effective for rural areas (although you can change your league city, which is super cool). This is generally the case with dating apps but the disparity is amplified when an app is still relatively new.
Give The League a shot and let me know how it goes for you!
Is The League Waitlist Worth the Wait?
Currently, it is.
2 years ago we waited months to get on The League but were never approved.
This time around, it was less than a 2 week wait time. But keep in mind our test user has the typical corporate professional job and title that The League would seem to typically approve quicker than say if you are a male in between jobs.
There’s no downside to trying your luck. But while waiting why not download another dating app?
Need Additional Support?
Now it’s decision time.
Either apply to The League or opt for a different way to find eligible women?
The reality is that The League can only put you in front of single, ambitious women, but it doesn’t promise to find you a girlfriend or even getting you a date.
Signing up for a pricey dating app with little dating know-how is like shooting a free throw with your back to the basket. Sure you have all the equipment necessary, but you have no idea how to use it.
That’s where we at emlovz comes in.
We offer full services coaching and matchmaking programs for singles looking to find their forever partner. Whether you’re looking to hire a coach or a personal matchmaker, we’re here to help.
Book a 1-on-1 Zoom new client session with me or one of my team members today to see if you qualify. During your call, we’ll discuss your dating goals, create a strategy, and see if our coaching or matchmaking services are right for you.