Dating even under the best of circumstances can be a hassle, as it’s not easy to find the perfect partner. Most people work a nine-to-five job, which makes it even more difficult to meet people. With more people staying indoors, meeting new people becomes an even bigger challenge. This is where free dating apps swoop in to save the day.
Free dating apps formerly had their own bad reputation. However, these days, they’ve become quite the norm as a platform for meeting new people. They’ve also become a popular avenue for possibly finding your special someone. With the rise of social media, the stigma around free dating apps is slowly declining.
At one point or the other, you’ve probably considered registering on an online dating site. That is, until you see their prices and decide that it might actually be cheaper to just sip a beer at your local bar and hope to meet someone. These expensive sites do offer free trials, but a week-long trial isn’t enough time to find someone. What you need is a free dating app that gives you a full array of options – and one that isn’t a scam at that.
If you’re unsure about dating apps you should sign up for, testing them out for free first isn’t a bad idea. It’s a great way to dip your toes into the whole dating app scene without much commitment.
With literally countless free dating apps available, online dating can often feel riskier than fun. Worry not, though. We’ll guide you through the best free dating apps that are worth your time.
The Best Free Dating Apps Today
Tinder followed the path blazed by Grindr. There’s no doubting that Tinder is great for bringing people together. However, it isn’t without its own negatives. Some people believe that Tinder is converting dating into a hookup game. As such, the app has amassed a sort of reputation for being nothing more than a hookup app. On face value alone, Tinder seems to emphasize snappy judgments about potential dates.
Nevertheless, Tinder continues to be one of the leading free dating apps today. Despite the critique that Tinder is nothing but a place for online hookups, there have been numerous success stories as well. Users can even filter their searches based on their personal preferences, which can further narrow down your search for love on the world wide web.
Facebook Dating App
The Facebook Dating App was first launched back in 2018; it’s an opt-in part of the social network. Facebook’s Dating App focuses on helping you find long-term relationships, not hookups. It finds matches for you based on your preferences, interests, and activities on the social networking site.
One major worry regarding Facebook’s dating app is how it may accidentally suggest your Facebook friends. That, or the concern that it may publicize your dating endeavors. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.
Facebook won’t suggest matches among people you already know on Facebook unless you use the service’s Secret Crush feature. This feature allows you to select your Facebook friends or Instagram followers. If they also signify they’re also crushing on you through Secret Crush, Facebook will match you up. If a match does arrive, Facebook will notify you. From here, all you have to do is just click on the heart icon on your profile to message them.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s Dating App isn’t available all over the world just yet. That’s why there are other free dating apps that continue to reign supreme, despite Facebook stepping into the dating app arena.
Load up the Hinge app, and you might think you’ve accidentally booted into Tinder. But when you take a more critical look, you’ll see there’s more to Hinge than what meets the eye.
The Hinge app gives the modern feel and no-patience-required matching like Tinder, but with the relationship (rather than hookup) mindset that sites like eHarmony or Match offer. It has done major redesign in its app philosophy and design, relaunching with an experience that’s intended to be more about relationships and connections.
On the operational side, it’s quite different as well. Hinge uses common interests to pair with prospective matches. Furthermore, Hinge rejects swipes for a more detailed profile that you fill in with pictures and stories.
Grindr is one of the best hookup apps currently available. It’s notable among other free dating apps, as it allows queer men to meet up with like-minded men nearby. Creating a profile is fairly easy. First, upload a profile pic, select a user name, and answer a few simple questions. You then choose a “Tribe” (that describes your type), and you’re ready to go. From here, you can start chatting people up in minutes.
If you’re gay, then there’s no better place to find love than Grindr. It’s the largest community of gay men on the internet, and it’s a must-download if you’re gay and looking for that special someone — or just a little fun.
Grindr is free and ad-supported, but its premium version, Grindr Xtra, offers ad-free browsing in addition to other features.
Bumble looks somewhat similar to Tinder but functions a bit differently. Its big selling point is that when opposite genders match, the woman must be the one to message the man first — and she only has 24 hours to do so. Men don’t have as much power here; the most they can do is extend matches for an additional 24 hours if they’re hoping for a message from a particular woman.
Are you seeking friends and not a relationship? Bumble caters to your demographic as well. The app has a “BFF” feature for people who are not looking for dates and a “Bizz” section for those looking to make business contacts.
Bumble has also added video and voice chat features through their updates. It appears as soon as you connect with people in Date, Bizz, and BFF modes.
It’s the only dating app that states plainly and prominently that it prohibits pornographic material, requires its users to respect one another, and has a code of conduct in place to ensure it remains a safe and friendly place. What more can one ask for?
OkCupid is a huge name in the dating business, with years and years of experience to pull from. Though it already has a huge number of users and some great dating tools, it is still looking for ways to serve its users better. One such method is the flavors system.
OkCupid‘s advertising is outstanding, but more than the aesthetics, OkCupid is so much more than that, taking compatibility factors into account that other sites haven’t even considered. Getting a premium subscription comes with yet more ad-on features like refined search tools and the ability to see users who have liked you.
Its main disadvantage is that anyone can message you. Facebook and other forms of verification helps block a significant number of scammers and bots from creating accounts, but without it, OkCupid loses a level of reliability.
Plenty Of Fish (POF)
Plenty of Fish is one of the very first generations of dating services out there. Its also indisputably the biggest, as POF hit 90 million users in May 2017. With so many users, matches happen a lot quicker.
Though POF lacks the glut of features found in some other apps, it makes up for it in breadth. Is this your first time attempting to date online? Plenty of Fish is a great choice for people just testing the waters of online dating as a tried and true option that has been around for more than 15 years.
The League advertises itself as an online dating site for people with high standards, requiring you to get approved before you can get to match-making. It bills itself as a dating app for the ambitious and well-educated crowd.
Joining The League is no easy feat. You need to create a profile and allow the app access to your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. The League verifies your information – and makes sure your colleagues don’t see your account. Once you complete your application, The League will consider your eligibility, and you will either be accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. If you find yourself on a waitlist, you can still be confirmed as a full-fledged member. However, waiting may take as short as a few hours to as long as several months.
Critics of The League say it is elitist due to its screening process. Still, if you want a heavily vetted online dating service, this may be an option worth exploring.
Since Tinder completely changed the world of online dating in 2014, numerous apps have tried to compete but to no avail. That is until Happn came along.
It’s a dating app that shows you the profiles of other singles, but by proximity to you at the moment as most dating apps do. Rather, it works by pinpointing the last place and time you were near each other. Since all your prospective matches are people you’ve crossed paths with at one point or another, it ensures that you’re always starting with something in common.
Happn helps you match with others and is a good way to get tipped off to other singles who are nearby. That means that you can finally know for sure who’s taken and who’s single in a crowd or at the bar before you approach them (if they have the dating app, of course), which can help make things a lot less awkward.
Her is a dating app/social network app designed with lesbian, bisexual, and queer users in mind. You can sign up with Facebook or Instagram accounts to get access to a stream of other verified Her users both in your area and globally. Users simply Like photos and posts of other users, and if the interest is returned, the app will link them up to chat.
Her is clearly about more than just meeting prospective dates, with the dating app offering social features, news and articles about LGBTQ issues, events, questions, and more.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel takes a different approach to other dating apps, with a focus on quality and not quantity. The app sends users potential selections – referred to as “Bagels” – every noon based on their profile and preferences. You are given a 24-hour window to decide. If you like what you see, and they like you too, you can connect and chat. If you both feel a connection to one another, the app proceeds to create a 7-day chat window.
Since that chat room expires after eight days, regardless of whether you’ve talked with your Bagel or not, that expiry date imbues an immediacy not found in most other dating apps.
Raya was created to serve people in the creative industry, so it is as much a networking app as it is a dating app. Think of it as something between professional networking and an online dating service.
The app has a friendly user interface, though becoming a member is a bit more complicated. You don’t just get in; prospective members will need to send in an application, which will be vetted before you’re admitted to Raya or not.
Although, thanks to the rigorous application method and strict code of conduct, you’ll find Raya members tend to be more respectful of others. They are also generally more invested in the app, meaning they’re more likely to meet with other members face to face.
Match.com gives you a freemium dating experience. Users can create online profiles, upload pictures of themselves, and have new matches delivered to them daily.
Prior to the rise of Tinder, Match was truly unmatched in the free dating apps game. Security is also paramount to them; it offers safety feature that lets users alert friends if they’re on a date and feel that they may be in danger. Considering the horror stories that come with meeting people in real life after corresponding with them online, Match’s prioritization of user safety may be perfect for those who are wary of online dating.
eHarmony is a long-time player in the online dating game, and the first service to push an algorithmic system to try and make the best possible dating matches for its members.
Registration is free and easy. You either sign up with Facebook or input all the information yourself. You’ll then proceed to answer eHarmony’s compatibility questionnaire. The answers you supply will then be sent to eHarmony’s algorithm.
With matches sent to you every day, you’ll then have the option to take action if the interest is mutual. Since eHarmony sends a few matches at a time and there’s no time lapse penalty, you can take your time and review matches at your leisure and needn’t feel pressured to do so.
Badoo is one of the best free dating apps available today. It features over 370 million users from more than 190 different countries, all sharing their profiles and photos as they search for matches. The app employs a variety of means to find you interesting matches, including a Tinder-esque swiping system that allows you to view the profiles of nearby users.
Additionally, Badoo isn’t strictly used for dating, either. In fact, upon signing up, users can indicate whether they want to match with others for potential dates, new friendships, or simply to chat. It’s clear, then, that Badoo is more than just another dating app. Badoo ultimately brings people together, all in one convenient package.
In your search for romance, Hily wants you to put your trust in algorithms. So that you can search for your soulmate securely, the free dating app says it will verify the profiles and ID of everyone who signs on. With the help of its patented algorithm, Hily promises to block any offensive and abusive messages before they even get to you.
Moreover, Hily uses the swiping system so common to the best dating apps, but as you swipe and chat, a machine learning-based algorithm adjusts to suggest future matches based on your preferences. It also offers compatibility checks among users, and even has a notable video call feature, which allows users to set video dates in order for them to connect to one another on a much deeper degree.
Tastebuds’ dating app is a musicentric dating app, with dating and social pairing matched primarily on musical love. Sign up, input the music you like and voila, you’ll be matched up with people near you that like the kind of songs you like.
If you are fortunate enough to be close to a number of Tastebuds members, then it’s also worth knowing that it is not just for dating — it’s also useful for making new friends who share your musical tastes. With that said, Tastebuds is definitely the dating app for music lovers. What better way to bring people together than through music, right?
Choosing the Best Free Dating Apps
While there are a plethora of free dating apps, ultimately, deciding on which one is the “best” will depend on your own preferences. Do you think talking about your music tastes is a good icebreaker? Then go with Tastebuds. Want to get things rolling right off the bat? Then perhaps Coffee Meets Bagel is the one for you.
With all the pitfalls associated with dating, it’s nice to know that thanks to online dating and the sheer abundance of dating apps available today, finding the right partner could literally be a few swipes and clicks away. Whether you’re looking for something casual or are in it for the long haul, these dating apps will help you get one foot out the door in the vast pool of online dating. Good luck!