Let's be real - if you're a single person living through the digital age, there's a chance that you've downloaded a dating app at some point. And if you're reading this article, there's a possibility that those dating apps didn't work for you.
Maybe you got tired of the mindless swiping on Tinder or didn't get approved for a Raya membership after being on the waitlist for over 3 months. Whatever the reason - I'm here to tell you not to give up on the online dating world quite yet.
You're in for some good news. There are plenty of other options, beyond the more popular dating apps, that are worth exploring. You can narrow it down to your preferred looks, ethnicities, and more.
Below you'll find a list of the best dating apps to try if you're interested. You might just find the dating app that's right for you.
Best Singles Chat Apps
If you're especially tired of the mainstream swiping apps, Zoosk could be the perfect dating app for you.
No long questionnaires are asking about your personality and you can build out your profile how you want. Plus, you will have full control when approaching potential matches.
This may have you wondering how this dating site has had such strong success. With over 35 million members on Zoosk, it increases your chances to find a match. This non-swiping dating app has formed countless engagements and marriages over the years.
Zoosk was originally classified as a social media app but has since switched to a legitimate dating service. However, the platform still incorporates an "unlimited likes" feature. While the user interface is similar to a Facebook feed, it lacks a modern look.
- Quick sign up process
- Several couple success stories
- Many inactive users
- Outdated user interface
CougarLife is one of those dating apps that are best for singles who truly believe that age is nothing but a number. This is a safe platform where mature women and young men can interact and connect without judgment.
There are over 7 million users on the site, many of whom are either looking for love or something more sexually motivated.
It's important to note that CougarLife is more than just a dating site. It's a platform that is on a mission to end the stigma against older women and younger men forming a connection.
The site publishes multiple blog posts and success stories of users who have found love while using CougarLife. That's what makes it one of the best dating apps out there.
- Over 100,000 new users a month
- Safe space for mature ladies
- More males than females on the site
- Some reports of fake accounts
Facebook isn't just a social media app to post life updates or photos of your latest vacation. It is one of the world's most popular dating apps. Right now, it's available in 20 countries and has made over 1.5 billion matches!
All you need is a Facebook account, and then you can easily set up your dating profile. The biggest draw to Facebook is the large pool of users that will be available to you. This is a dating app designed to help you find people beyond your Facebook friends or someone you've crossed paths with.
Some of Facebook's premium features include "Secret Crush", where you can discreetly explore potential matches with people you know. That means you don't have to worry about that embarrassing feeling when you see someone you know on the dating site.
There are also more advanced features - like "Stories", where you can share your Facebook or Instagram Stories with your dating profile.
- Available via Google Play and The App Store
- Still in the testing phases
AdultFriendFinder is one of the largest casual dating sites on the internet today. The site hosts over 80 million members worldwide, offering all types of arrangements - such as hookups, polygamy, monogamy, and much more.
This is a place for someone who wants to explore their sexuality. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, head over to AdultFriendFinder.
There is no judgment on the site and essentially nothing is censored. Members are accepting of all sexualities, kinks, and fetishes.
While registering for the site and creating a profile is completely free, you will need to upgrade to a premium membership to utilize the site fully. Luckily, the monthly subscription fees are pretty affordable, starting at $19.95/month.
- Premium members get special perks and features
- Welcoming online environment
- Most users are active on the site
- The responsive customer service team
- You can't send messages for free
- Most members are looking for casual relationships
If settling down is your goal, look no further than eHarmony. It's one of the most trusted dating apps, with a success rate that speaks for itself.
eHarmony has a user-base full of like-minded folks that are thinking of long-term relationships and marriage. Because of this, eHarmony aims to match users that can build a strong foundation and true chemistry.
When creating an account, you are required to take a lengthy compatibility quiz. Instead of asking useless questions that may look good on paper, eHarmony has condensed the questionnaire to dive deep into how you'd be in a relationship and what you're looking for. The results will determine how the platform finds your potential matches.
- Daily match suggestions
- Compatibility score makes it easy to find matches
- Expensive monthly membership
Lovoo is one of the best dating apps because of the high user activity and strict security features that ensure the authenticity of its members. There are over 70 million users worldwide, with a majority residing in European countries.
Still, Lovoo is relatively popular among singles in the United States. Most of its members are young professionals, between the ages of 18-35 years old. Most of these users are active daily on the site.
You can create an account with Lovoo to meet like-minded individuals within your community or for dating purposes. It's entirely up to you.
- Quality free membership capabilities
- Active user base
- Most participating members are located in Europe
Badoo is one of the fastest-growing dating apps online today. The app has over 459 million users, 350 million messages sent, and 300,000 new user signups every single day. With numbers like that, it makes the classic dating experience a whole lot easier.
Badoo can be used as a social media and networking platform rather than simply a dating app. For instance, when setting up your account, you can specify that you want to make new friends, have a private chat, or enter into the dating game. The choice is up to you.
Other than the diverse and widespread user-base, Badoo also has plenty of interactive video chat features and advanced search filters.
- Available in over 190 countries
- Swiping system
- One of the location-based dating apps
- Some fake profiles and scammers
Skout is a social platform that helps users find new friends, relationships, and networking circles. This app is used in more than 100 countries across the world, where individuals are finding connections and creating special bonds.
Skout is considered one of the best dating apps because of its impressive search filters, advanced services, and other features.
For example, you can try their "Blind Date" service. There will be a streaming host and a handful of contestants in the video chat. At first, you won't be able to see the person on the other side of the screen. However, as the video chat continues, the image will become less and less blurred until the individual is fully revealed.
- Impressive features with a free membership
- The quick and easy registration process
- Accommodates people who want just friends
- Young user-base
- Too many advertisements
If you're dating after 40 and are tired of the limited options when using some of the more popular dating apps, try out MeetMe. With most of the users ranging from 46 to 65 years old, you will likely have more luck here.
One of the biggest perks of MeetMe is the unlimited messaging feature. The site allows for free communication with other users, which is ideal if you want to show expressed interest to another member.
Similar to some of the other free dating sites, MeetMe follows the structure of a social media platform.
It only takes about 1-2 minutes to create an account and then users are directed straight to the dashboard. You only need to fill out a short form with some personal information and then you're all set!
- Free messaging
- Large user base with an older crowd
- Some scammers on the site
- Most users are not looking for a committed relationship
Best dating apps FAQs
What are the best dating apps?
When deciding between the best dating apps, it's important to pick one that fits your lifestyle and goals. For instance, if casual dating is your thing, steer clear of the dating apps that prioritize long-term relationships.
Adversely, maybe you're sick of the hookups and one-night-stands. Then you should choose a dating app that puts a greater emphasis on matching compatible singles - like eHarmony.
And remember - not all dating apps are good simply because they're popular. The popular dating apps - like Tinder and Hinge - are great for some people, but they're not the only options when online dating.
Consider venturing outside of the traditional dating site method with spots like Facebook dating or AdultFriendFinder.
Which dating apps have free chat features?
Most dating apps let you sign up for a basic account for free. However, basic accounts typically do not allow you to send messages to other members.
Because of this, many singles will wind up paying for a premium membership, so they can begin to message other people.
Certain chat room apps include free unlimited messages.
If you would rather not pay for a dating app, try out Facebook dating. This dating site will not charge you to send messages, making it a great choice.
Are dating and chat room apps safe?
For the most part, dating apps are very safe to use. But, you still need to be careful when connecting with some online.
Most dating sites and apps will have privacy and security features in place to protect you. For example, if a platform notices suspicious behavior from an account, they will hopefully address the issue and shut down the account if necessary. This helps to avoid cat-fishers and scammers.
You can read up on the app's privacy protocols and check how they verify user profiles. Some dating sites will even manually check every single member's profile to ensure authenticity within the community.
If you plan to go on a date in person, there are certain measures you can take to stay safe. Do not give out your personal information ahead of time and always plan to meet in a public place. Additionally, let a friend or family member know where you're headed and what time you should be back.
Best dating apps - key takeaways
When entering the dating scene these days, it's most likely the online dating scene.
Whether you're interested in a casual fling or determined to find your next long-term relationship, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people via dating apps.
Finding the right dating app for you is essential, but it definitely can take some trial and error.
The options listed above are some of the best dating apps on the market. They could help you find your perfect match!