After 25 hours of research evaluating 80 products, we picked AdultFriendFinder as our top choice.
Dating apps have become a major game changer in how we meet potential mates. But, if you are not using the best dating apps you could be wasting your time. And you need to be even more picky if you are looking for the best free dating apps.
This is crazy:
Of the 54 million singles in the U.S., roughly 49 million of them have given online dating a shot. While many of them still opt for the traditional dating website platform like the Matches and eHarmonies of the world, dating apps are quickly growing in popularity.
Here's the deal:
Whether you want to meet your dream girl (or guy), make friends (that could potentially blossom into something more), or simply want someone to hook up with while you’re in town for business, there is a dating app right for you.
Don’t waste your time downloading a bunch of apps, filling out profiles, and waiting to see what works. We’ve got 11 of the best dating apps right here.
If you want a new approach to finding love on your phone, here’s a list of the best dating apps and dating sites to get you started.
If you’re looking at all these dating apps and feeling overwhelmed by the options or just unsatisfied with the results you’ve received on others, then check out Once. With this dating app, you only receive one match each day. It’s up to you to give the app more information (all you have to do is rate photos with a star) and it’ll help you find better quality matches with each passing day.
This is definitely a superficial app since you’re not rating user profiles based on who they are; just what they look like. Oh, and one match per day might be too slow for some people.
Well, since the whole point of this app is to improve the quality of the matches you receive by limiting it to one per day—and it’s based on the information you’ve fed the system—then you might find you get better results here than with an app that you can spend hours swiping through every day.
Very simple app to use. Rate pictures of users you like. Set up the details of your profile and for your preferred match. And then choose whether you like or don’t like the match you’re given. That’s it.
Once is free to use, but you can buy crowns in order to “pick” your next day’s match.
Huggle is a really cool app as it takes your commonly visited places and helps you match up with others who frequent them as well. So this is a dating (or friendship) app that works especially well for people who want to have shared interests with their matches and be able to connect through activities.
Probably not the best app if you’re looking for hookups.
Because this dating app relies on your favorite places to visit and puts less pressure on the just-sex or long-term relationship aspect of dating, you can focus more on making solid connections with other users…and then seeing where it goes.
Well, there are two reasons why this is so easy to use. To start, it works similarly to Bumble so users from that app can easily cross over to Huggle. Secondly, the UI is super simple to use. There’ll be a minimal learning curve, if any.
Huggle is absolutely free.
While there are a number of specialty dating apps that can help you find someone with your same taste in music (Tastebuds), your same religion (J-Date), or even your same dislikes (Hater), Happn simplifies it all. Let’s say you go to your local movie theater at least once a week and you want to find someone who goes there as well. This app will show you who you’ve literally crossed paths with and how often you’ve done so.
This app is really only going to be good if you’re on the move a lot and a very social person to begin with. Homebodies, stay away.
This is a really well-made app. Simple in design and straight-forward in its mission.
Unlike other apps that can overwhelm with too many ways to swipe or chat or check in on your matches, this one is very simple and streamlined. You’ll see your timeline, notifications, messages, and settings. That’s it.
Happn is free to use. Aside from maybe buying credits to engage with users in different ways (like to “Say hi!”), there’s really no need to spend money on this one.
Tinder, perhaps the most well-known of all the best dating apps, definitely deserves a spot on this list. We’d go so far as to say it’s the easiest one to use, what with its direct integration to Facebook which not only gives you the ability to import your details from the social media site, but also tells you if the users you’re checking out know anyone in your social circle.
It’s definitely a superficial platform. Although you can fill out a 500-word bio, the easy swiping makes it too easy to scroll through hundreds of matches in a minute simply based on looks. Oh, and there are no take-backs (unless you pay).
I guess this depends on how you define “quality”. If you want to find someone for a quick hookup, then you might find Tinder very useful. If you’re looking for marriage and babies, well, there are plenty of people who have claimed that’s happened as well, so I guess that’s a possibility too—you’ll just have to take more time chatting and digging through their connected Facebook and Instagram pages if you want that sort of deeper connection.
Tinder is suuuuuuper easy to use. Swipe left if you don’t like. Swipe right if you do. And you can even “super” like them by swiping up.
Tinder is free to use. Tinder Plus gives some really nice bonus “powers” however and it’s actually pretty cheap when compared to the cost of other dating apps. So if you want to hide your age or distance, rewind a mistaken left swipe, skip the line and show up first to other users, and more, you can ante up a bit more.
Because dating apps are relegated to mobile devices, most of them will import your data from Facebook and then stick to the superficial connection that goes along with 500 words and a few photos. Clover strives not to go that route by imploring users to offer up more details, play “20 Answers” games, and search for potential matches using advanced filtering.
There are a few drawbacks to this app: 1) the labor intensiveness of filling everything out, 2) Android doesn’t offer all the same features as iOS, and 3) you can see if someone passed on you (which is not great for insecure people who still have the power to message the rejector after the fact).
Despite its shortcomings, what Clover has done here is really quite admirable for a dating app. Because so many online daters have griped about the quality of results on apps (probably because of the lack of information offered), Clover’s app offers an alternative that does focus on building deeper and more quality-driven connections.
Because there are more fields to enter, more photos to upload, and more questions to answer, this one does take some time to set up. There are also more features on this one—like the Mixers chat rooms—so the interface isn’t the most intuitive for users who have spent significant time in other dating apps.
Clover is free to start. For anyone interested in the premium upgrade, you can actually try it for free for a limited time to see if those additional features (e.g. chat with anyone, send unlimited gifts, send photo, video, and audio files, see read receipts) are worth it.
Hinge—with its community-friendly vibe—is a great "social media"-type app. It’s also super easy to use, so there’s no lengthy fill-everything-out period before you can jump right in and start meeting people.
There’s a lot to see in each person’s bio on Hinge, so the interface will take some time to get used to.
If your goal is to match with someone within your community or perhaps who plays in your social circle, then Hinge is it. You won’t have to worry about connecting with people who are 50 miles away and a potential gamble due to the lack of information in their bio either. Hinge has everything covered.
Hinge makes it really easy. From the guided tour that walks you through all your necessary profile questions (like political affiliation, religion, height, drug use, etc.) to all the ways you can import pictures, Hinge simplifies the process of getting you set up.
This is the only thing that might make you want to look elsewhere. While Hing is free to use, you only get 10 likes every day. So if you’re an easy person to please and know you’re going to want to like more people than that, you’ll have to upgrade to the preferred membership. In all honesty though, it’s probably worth it as you get advanced filtering, access to analytics, and unlimited likes.
Although most of the best dating app reviews will say that Bumble is on the list because it’s similar to Tinder, we’d have to disagree. While the functionality may be similar, Bumble is a much friendlier place to look for a date as it puts the majority of power into the hands of its female users; giving you time to kick back and wait for them to swipe right on your profile and send a message.
There is a 24-hour limit on your initial interactions with potential dates. So if you should happen to be on vacation or she happens to be out of office on a business trip and that 24 hours lapse, you could potentially miss out on a great connection (unless you pay for it).
At the end of 2016, Bumble had 800 million matches—not too shabby of a number. And with the platform being so female-friendly, you’re probably going to have a higher chance of meeting someone of substance here than any other of the best dating apps on this list.
Because Bumble makes use of the swipe left and swipe right functionality that most dating apps these days use, there should be no issue getting the hang of liking or passing on a match. However, Bumble uses a swipe-up to scroll through user photos—which can cause confusion for some Tinder users who swipe up for super likes.
Bumble is free to use. However, Bumble Boost will give you access to more features like rematching with someone after 24 hours elapses. You can also buy Bumble Coins to access special features like Super Swipes.
Zoosk has taken extra precautions to make sure all users are real and that users genuinely look like their profile pictures. It's free for the initial sign up and is also available in 25 different languages!
You cannot cancel your subscription until it is over. If you're not sure yet about the app, try out the one month trial before signing up for the three or six-month trial!
Zoosk has over 35 million users and a strong presence in over 80 countries. It's the #1 grossing online dating app in the Apple App Store. Zoosk is unique because it verifies the authenticity of a users profile pic. Zoosk will review your photo with a video submission to authenticate that it is you in the picture.
Zoosk's algorithm uses unique matching techniques where it learns from the user's behavior on the app. Using Behavioral Matchmaking™ and SmartPick™ technologies, Zoosk helps you find your best match. There are Zoosk coins (you can send digital roses, teddy bears, chocolates, etc.) that you can send to other users to up your flirting game.
Zoosk literally takes only seconds to sign up! The initial sign up is free - all you do is create a user profile, and you can immediately start finding matches. The homepage is user-friendly, and you only fill out what you want for your profile - you can add or delete details anytime.
Zoosk is free to sign up but to send messages or boost your profile; you'll need to start paying. You can get a one-month membership for $29.95, a three-month membership for $19.98, or a six-month membership for $12.49.
OkCupid has one of the best free subscriptions that dating apps have to offer. With a free subscription, users can reach out to other members and view complete profiles.
Customer service is not OkCupid's strong suit.
OkCupid has over 10 million users all searching for the middle ground. This app isn't made for quick and crazy hookups or immediate marriage. Their advertising is very modern, and the company seems to be aiming for building genuine relationships.
OkCupid offers 12 gender identities and 20 sexual orientations, which is a huge game changer and truly shows that this app wants to be here for everyone. There is no open messaging - which means you need to match with someone before you can start a conversation with them. This helps weed out the flooding of spam in inboxes, which is a really nice feature.
OkCupid is easy to set up and has quirky and unusual questions to help build user profiles. It's very modern and the deeper you go in, the more personal the questions get - which we believe will help you find someone you can genuinely match with.
OkCupid is one of the most affordable dating apps out there. You can get so much with a free subscription, and for only a few dollars, you can boost your profile to get more views without subscribing to a monthly plan. You really have nothing to lose by giving it a try!
eHarmony guarantees that if you're not satisfied after three months, they'll give you another three months for free.
You can only interact with users that eHarmony shows to you which some users find a little frustrating.
eHarmony is looking to find you a partner you can spend the rest of your life with - so it might take a little time. Each day, eHarmony will send you a batch of users it feels are compatible with you. This means you don't browse through hundreds of random pictures and profiles, but rather have a few carefully selected profiles sent to you daily.
eHarmony takes some time to set up - although one could argue this is why eHarmony has one of the best match records out of all the dating apps. Once you register, you'll have to fill out a very lengthy questionnaire where you should be sincere so you can genuinely find your best match.
Once you get started, eHarmony is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.
You can't do much with a free subscription to eHarmony. It's a little on the pricier side when it comes to dating apps but does have some deals. Right now you can get three months for $39.95 a month, six months for $29.95 a month, or a year for $19.95 a month.
When you first go onto this website, the first words that pop up are "Join the World's Largest Sex & Swinger Community." This app is one of the most well-known sites out there for finding casual hookups and sexual encounters.
Not for making platonic friends or long term relationships.
Adult Friend Finder offers an array of options. This site attracts almost 25 million visits per month. There is a tab solely for hookups, where you can then pick the kind of hookup you're looking for, whether it be casual, a threesome, cybersex, or swinging. You can join a live-chat room for nude cam chats, or become a part of the sites sex community. Anything you're looking for sexually, you will probably find on this site (minus a long-term relationship).
As long as you know what you're getting into when entering this site, you can have a lot of fun - and that's what it's there for! Adult Friend Finder is great for adults interested in sex dating. It's engineered to quickly help you find other adults in your area looking for hookups.
You can set up a profile within seconds and immediately start messaging people. You don't even have to add a photo (although it's recommended). Once you've made an account, you can add as much or as little to your profile as you desire. While the site is not incredibly stylish in design, it's very user-friendly and easy to navigate through.
You can make an account and register for free (and do so much with a free account!). Once you're on the site, there are so many packages and upgrades you can sign up for depending on your taste. The initial sign up is free, so why not give it a try?
With the Internet, times have changed and so has dating. If our parents used to meet the traditional way (let’s say through friends, work, or family), today dating apps — and the Internet — have profoundly amended the way we encounter people.
At first, we could think that using a dating app was solely for the purpose of finding a sex buddy; but in fact, there are way more reasons. The Knot says that over 40% of persons using dating apps are looking for a serious relationship — with 44% of female and 38% of males.
If you are not familiar with the online romance vocabulary such as swiping, matching, or ghosting, then make some research. Proof of such popularity, at the end of 2016, Bumble had 800 million matches while Zoosk registers today over 35 million users in over 80 countries and is listed #1 in the Apple App Store.
Using technology to find love is totally okay as long as you follow some rules and understand what you are after — and what you can get. Let’s explore how to make the most of dating apps for your needs and find out how the dating market has changed.
The majority of people seek a long-lasting relationship, wish to get married and have children. Even if you do too, there’s a likelihood you can find your soulmate on Tinder, Bumble, or Happen — and even Facebook or Instagram.
Today, technology is accused to “market” love and to give birth to a “shopping spree” as described by Carole Lieberman in her book Bad Boys. But on the other hand, dating apps allow more flexibility and provide more romantic possibilities than ever before. If your goal is to find a life-partner, a casual date, or just a hookup, dating apps bring all of this to you.
So what is your goal and when do you need a dating app?
Indulging into therapy: Some studies found some people were at first using dating apps to find comfort or to talk to someone, especially after breaking up with their partner. Getting attention through online conversations enable men or women to swap away their old feelings. Even myself, I used dating apps twice after painful breakups.
Satisfying some ego or boosting confidence: Another aspect of using dating apps is to simply boost confidence and finding attraction among men or women. MarketWatch mentions that 44% of Tinder users swipe for “confidence boosting procrastination” meaning to reassess their values and ego.
Making friends or simply by curiosity: Other interesting data suggest that among the 50 million people who ever tried a dating app, over 40% of them made friends on such apps. Dating doesn’t necessarily end up with a sexual or romantic affair, indeed. And if you don’t even try a dating app, then how can you even know if it’s for you?
Bonding when traveling: When going abroad, a good way to meet people is to use a dating app. As for me, I used Happn in Tokyo and met someone awesome one evening and went drinking with him. I also used once Tinder in Bangkok for Valentine’s day when I was single and had a proper Valentine’s date.
Getting instant sex: DatingNews mentions that one in third women using a dating app have sex after their first date (and even that four in five of them don’t even use protection). True, dating apps are used for instant sex. Remember to stay protected when meeting with someone through a dating app and during your first date.
Finding a romantic partner or casual romance: Tinder had a reputation for being a hookup app when it launched in 2012, similar to Grindr for the gay male community. But today, people are more positive about Tinder — and dating apps in general — and view them as tools to find a romantic partner, similar to going to a bar, at work or when traveling.
Looking for a meaningful relationship: According to muchneed.com, 80% of Tinder users are in fact looking for a meaningful relationship — that is to say, either getting married or establish a healthy romantic partnership for some time. If we thought that dating apps were first used for sex, we went wrong!
According to a thread on Quora, 91 million people worldwide would use dating apps. Forbes has researched that, in total, there are about 8,000 dating websites and apps today. Attitude toward online dating also appears more positive with 59% of people thinking of dating apps as a good way to meet people over 44% in 2005, a study from Pew Research Center highlights.
Tinder was launched in 2012 and today has 10 million active users — the app is preferred in the USA among Millennials. Another popular dating website, Adult Friend Finder would attract 25 million visits per month. Let’s say it clearly: the dating website market is flourishing!
Play the honesty card. Don’t say something you don’t mean. It works either for your first date — or online when you talk for the first time. Don’t play the fool, stay cool, and remain honest at any time.
Don’t mislead others. Some studies have found out that women tend to lie over their appearance by showing photos of when they were younger, while men mention fake occupations or lower their age.
Be frank and don’t open yourself too much. Keep your full identity safe until you have met the person or at least exchanged a few times together or met personally. Stay protected at all time.
Open up with a simple conversation that starts with a “Hello, how are you” rather than “Hey, fancy a f*** tonight?” Stay classy and polite. You actually don’t know what the other person has in mind, so don’t make assumptions.
When you decide to go on a date, don’t cancel at the last minute or don't stand up someone. Some studies have shown that, on average, for 53 matches, only 4 actual dates happen.
If you have met someone and liked this person, then say so. Respond with a new text and mention that you’d be pleased to plan a second date, “I had fun meeting with you and I would love to see you again”.
On the other hand, if you didn’t like the person after the first date, simply leave with a smile and say, “It was nice to meet you.” Don’t show the other person you actually don’t plan to see her or him again with a “Bye, take care”.
Non-verbal communications can’t work online. If like me, you enjoy hearing the voice of someone, seeing him or her smiling and studying the mimics, on a dating app, you can’t do this. Be creative and try to decipher such small elements during a date, if any.
Ghosting is a phenomenon that has grown in popularity over the last years, and especially with online dating. Ghosting can be referred to as the practice of ignoring intentionally someone after an initial meeting or a chat and disappear. Learn how to get away clean.
Sometimes, after meeting up with someone, you may end in turmoil yourself, and wonder if this person is for you. For multiple, personal reasons, ghosting may be necessary.
Either you simply don’t match and can’t find a reason to continue the communications with the other person, or you did match, but in between, you found another person you liked more.
Another scenario may deal with a series of disappointments you don’t want to experience again, and after a try, you’d rather just leave. Or, you are already in a relationship, like 60% of people who use dating apps, and finally, can’t seem to get back to yourself.
Finally, maybe you stumbled upon someone who is disrespectful and decided to leave.
For whatever reasons, just get away clean by doing the following:
Start to take distance, don’t respond too often, and be elusive regarding your daily routine.
Slowly, with time, the person will surely stop messaging. Nobody keeps giving without receiving.
Don’t let the other waste his or her time. If you had another date, cancel in advance.
If you have a business trip or a holiday soon, take the occasion to not respond anymore.
Do spend time with friends or family and mention you have no time for them now.
Focus on your work and personal projects first, and don’t turn back.
Ghosting is irreversible, so be sure to only ghost people you will never see again. You can also delete them from social media after a certain time. At any time, stay polite, friendly, and leave nicely.
Perhaps, you don't know where you belong, or what to look for, but the good news is that there are so many gender identities to choose from.
Indeed, we can find around 63 genders listed on apath.org. Some of them are quite common, others a bit less:
Masculine homosexual man
Feminine homosexual woman
Androgyne bisexual woman
Masculine bisexual androdite
Androgyne homosexual androfemale
And way more.
For fun, you can also have a look at the comprehensive list of LGBTQ definitions. From gay to bicurious, from stealth to straight, every sexual orientation is covered.
Once you have defined your sexual orientation, be clear and honest in your introduction in the app. Don’t fool others by pretending you are gay if you are just straight.
On the other hand, if you are open-minded and want to try new things, feel free to say it. The beauty of dating apps is honesty, accessibility, and the idea of “trying things out” that you could not easily do in the real world. So play your cards well and enjoy.
“Love at first swift” does exist as seen in some of the best stories in online dating. The truth is that some people do get married after they met on a dating app and some couples do form for a long time. In fact, datingnews.com reports that one if five committed relationships began online.
On the contrary, some awful stories may also happen when dating online. Be careful with regards to perverts or weirdos. There are also people to stay away from when dating online:
The funny and poetic guy/girl: True, it’s fun to be fun, but don’t overdo it, especially when you don’t even know the person.
The puppy addict guy/girl: If the other person can’t seem to have a passion or something amazing to share with you apart from talking about his or her puppy, then consider another date.
The player: You will recognize the player straight away. This person is someone who is confident, very good looking, and can’t seem to be even online for a few days since he or she is too busy with other dates already.
The sexual implicit person: Of course, you can talk about sex since dating apps are also used for sex, but do it if only there’s a “demand” for it. Don’t overexaggerate or send naked photos at first.
Some success stories may inspire you to use dating apps — others could make you feel like, “Well, I don’t think this is for me”. Either way, the decision is yours; take advantage of new technology to meet new people, stick to the golden rules of online dating as specified above, and please be patient as you may not find the perfect love at first "swift" straight away.
Beware of fake profiles or weirdos who may wander on dating apps. It’s always good to check a few social accounts to actually see if the person is real and is not hiding behind a fake profile.