When my friend became single again after a year in a relationship, she texted me to ask, “What are the best dating apps these days?”

Honestly, there are a lot of different answers I could give. For instance, my friend was on the rebound and not looking for a commitment, so she wanted to swipe through profiles on casual dating apps. However, some singles are ready to settle down immediately and would like apps that instill more personal connections and conversations.

It all depends on what you’re looking for in a romantic partner. If you’ve never tried online dating before, it can be difficult to know what will work for you. I took my friend’s question to heart and broke it into sections based on age and orientation to give you a complete look at all the different flavors of dating apps out there. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Best Overall Online Dating Apps

When you’re looking for the right dating app, there are a lot of things to consider. Maybe it’s important to you to find an app that has a stellar matchmaking system. Or maybe you’d just like an app that’s free. The good news is there are tons of online dating apps out there — over 8,000 by some estimates — so you can pretty much take your pick.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Match is the world's longest running dating site
  • The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
  • Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages

First of all, we’ve got to hand it to Match for setting a high bar in the online dating scene. Since 1995, this dating site (now available as a streamlined dating app) has sparked more relationships and marriages than any other online dating service.

Match offers two distinct avenues to romantic chemistry. You can set your dating parameters in the Search section and find profiles that meet your standards. Or, you could use the Discover section to quickly swipe through profiles and create mutual matches.

If you see someone you like, don’t hesitate to say so by clicking the heart icon on the profile. Free members can browse profiles and send likes for as long as they want, and they can communicate with a few premium members a month.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Over 2 million monthly users
  • Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
  • Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits

Working professionals often don’t have time to scour the bar scene on their days off. That’s why they put Elite Singles on the job. This premier dating site and app (available for iOS and Android) can offer direct access to some of the most successful and desirable singles in town.

Elite Singles uses an intelligent matchmaking algorithm to introduce singles who share similar values and lifestyles. It’s relatively easy to find common ground with people on this app. Over 85% of EliteSingles members have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and over 90% are looking for a relationship.

As one Elite Singles couples wrote, “We are going from strength to strength as our relationship builds more toward a new chapter in our lives.”

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Send messages to premium members for free
  • Over 3 million messages sent a day
  • Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts

Zoosk is among the most popular social networking apps for Android and iOS users. Once you download the app, you can connect your new dating profile to your Facebook account to get access to your best pics. You don’t have to sign in through Facebook, but it can make things easier and faster when you’re getting started.

Over 40 million people have created a dating profile on Zoosk and used its behavioral matchmaking system to strike a match.

Zoosk was one of the first online dating apps to fully integrate with social media and provide multiple avenues of communication for singles who love to flirt. Every day, Zoosk members send over 3 million messages to one another and build relationships based on mutual interest.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Over 2 million people have found love here
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals

When eharmony launched in 2000, it caused quite a stir by using psychology to drive romance. The dating platform used an in-depth personality test to identify key aspects of personal compatibility, including extroversion, conscientiousness, intellect, and athleticism.

Singles who are serious about finding The One can rely on eharmony to crunch the numbers and find a solid match.

While eharmony is one of the priciest dating apps for Android and iPhone users, it’s also one of the most effective in terms of its matchmaking system. The app offers a values-driven dating experience where you can see how you stack up with dates in terms of your interests, lifestyles, and goals.

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★★★★ 4.3/5.0

Christian Mingle is a Christian dating platform designed to strengthen Christian marriages in the U.S. and beyond. The dating app promises to provide a hassle-free experience from start to finish.

The simple and easy Christian Mingle matching system may feel like divine intervention, but it’s actually thanks to a highly sophisticated algorithm and a niche network that Christians can come together. Anyone seeking a God-centered relationship can fill out a profile and look for committed partners in faith.

“I absolutely love this app,” said Skyler Barker in a review. “Had this app for about an hour and already finding matches and talking.”

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★★★★ 4.2/5.0

BlackPeopleMeet unites singles in the black community and has earned its reputation as one of the most popular online dating apps for black men and women.

Not everyone on BlackPeopleMeet is a person of color, but they all agree that black is beautiful. The diverse dating network was created to help black singles find someone who can appreciate where they’re coming from and want to be part of where they’re going.

Plenty of success stories speak to BlackPeopleMeet’s impact on people across the U.S. and Canada. “I met the love of my life from your website,” said someone from Lansing, Illinois. “We are doing quite well, and I have to say thank you.”

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0
  • Free, unlimited communication for everyone
  • Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
  • Over 91 million connections every year

In 2004, OkCupid made waves in the online dating scene by offering completely free and unlimited communication between all singles. The dating app operates under the motto “dating deserves better,” and it offers better matches and better features to get like-minded singles in touch. In the average week, it facilitates over 50,000 dates.

OkCupid has a personality test and tons of search filters — you can even search by keyword, if you want — to help singles narrow a large dating pool to a few compatible individuals. It also highlights potential matches in the DoubleTake section where users swipe to like or nix the profile.

Only mutual matches can send messages to each other’s inboxes. Otherwise, your initial message will show up just above your bio when that person views your profile. It’s nice to send an initial greeting to smooth the way to a conversation and show your interest — just be sure to say more than just “Hi.”

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Plenty of Fish also offers completely free communication to all users, and over 4 million users log on every day to discover romance online. The POF membership base includes over 150 million singles from all walks of life, and all it takes is a virtual wink to catch the attention of someone special.

It can be risky to offer free chatting to the entire internet of online daters, but Plenty of Fish maintains strict community guidelines to ensure things don’t get out of hand. It’s golden rule is: Be kind, be respectful, be safe, and be real. Easy enough, right?

If you want to take the plunge into online dating without any app purchases, then Plenty of Fish may be right for you. This dating app can put you on course to romance with its free communication features.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • Supports active daters in 190+ countries
  • The swiping system creates over 12 million matches per day
  • Tinder Plus members have unlimited likes and 5 Super Likes

If you’re single and have a pulse, you’ve probably heard of Tinder. It’s easily one of the most popular dating apps out there, and a no-brainer for lists like these.

Tinder is the dating app that pioneered swiping — which some would argue isn’t such a great thing — and it has consistently put singles in the driver’s seat when it comes to matching. You decide who to like (or Super Like), and, if your online crush likes you back, you can start a conversation on the app.

The Tinder team estimates that the app leads to over 1.5 million dates per week, and it has created over 43 billion matches since its launch in the App Store and Google Play.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • A feminist dating app puts singles on equal footing
  • 60% of Bumble matches turn into dates
  • Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF spark non-romantic connections

Bumble has set itself apart from other dating apps by upholding progressive feminist ideals, including gender equality and personal responsibility.

You may already know this, but Bumble is the free online dating app that puts women first, encouraging them to make the first move once a match is created. If the woman doesn’t send a message within 24 hours, the match will disappear forever. This, of course, is only the case in heterosexual matches — Bumble allows either individual to send a first message in same-sex matches.

Bumble has challenged the status quo in the dating scene since its launch in 2014, and now it is expanding to new areas of life by offering Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz for users seeking friends and colleagues.

Best Senior Dating Apps

People don’t typically plan on being single in their 50s, 60s, or 70s, but sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, and it becomes necessary for them to jump back into the dating scene. It’s natural to feel nervous about that, especially if it’s been years or decades since you’ve been on a first date.

Today’s seniors may not feel all that lucky to be single, but they actually have it pretty good because more matchmaking tools and dating avenues exist now than at any point in history. Online dating is an incredible resource for seniors because it gives singles access to age-appropriate dates. That’s pretty incredible, if you ask me.

Apps like Tinder may typically cater to a younger crowd, but there are plenty of other senior-friendly options in the App Store.

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★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

SilverSingles is a user-friendly dating app that caters to a mature dating crowd. Its easy-to-understand matching system includes profile recommendations selected based on your date preferences and personal information.

You can create a profile for free and fill it with a lot of good information by completing the prompts “How I describe myself,” “What my partner should know about me,” “How I like to spend my free time,” “If I had one wish, I would wish for,” and more. The SilverSingles moderators review every response and reject any inappropriate content.

Premium Silver Singles members can view photos, send and read messages, and see their profile visitors, among other perks; however, there’s no rush to upgrade your profile. You can browse SilverSingles for free for as long as you like.

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★★★★ 4.4/5.0
  • Open to straight, gay, and lesbian singles over 50
  • Free match recommendations and conversation starters
  • Use Tokens to promote your profile and send virtual gifts

If you’re over 50, OurTime can reinvigorate your love life and bring more romance to your days and your nights. This leading senior dating app has led to countless relationships, and it has also helped senior singles regain confidence in their dating skills.

The OurTime match algorithm pinpoints commonalities by scanning profile information regarding age, ethnicity, interests, and relationship goals. You can look in the Connections section to see who’s interested in you, or you can go to the Matches or Search tabs to begin seeking dates yourself.

OurTime has received mixed reviews from users, but it can work if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to make a solid match.

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★★★★ 3.7/5.0

Since 2003, SeniorMatch has dedicated itself to satisfying the romantic needs of seniors all over the world. Its central message to people over 45 is:  You don’t have to be alone. And that’s definitely something we can get behind.

SeniorMatch has been remarkably successful as a senior dating app. It has over 1 million singles in its database, and it facilitates over 1.6 million conversations every month. All in all, SeniorMatch has more than 36,600 success stories to its name, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

We’ve written a full review of SeniorMatch detailing its perks and membership stats, and we even have some promo codes in the article to give our readers a discount on their subscriptions or app purchases.

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★★★ 3.2/5.0

SeniorFriendsDate is a free dating site where seniors can mix and mingle without restraint. You never have to pay anything to send messages here.

To quote the SeniorFriendsDate team, “There is never a fee to use this site.”

Totally free dating platforms are rare because it requires a lot of policing to make sure scammers and spammers don’t take advantage of the messaging tools — however, SeniorFriendsDate is proactive about checking and removing profiles to ensure no fake profiles slip under the radar.

Safety and privacy are chief concerns in the Friends Date Network, and the team goes to great lengths to make users feel comfortable on the site.

Best LGBT Dating Apps

Online dating is about twice as popular among LGBTQ+ singles, and that’s really not very surprising when you think about it. Dating apps can open people up to a world of sexual exploration and give the gay community a place where they can pursue their desires without judgment. Even if you’re in the closet IRL, you can come out and have fun on any of the following free online dating apps.

15. HER

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★★★★ 3.5/5.0
  • A quirky and unapologetic womxn-only dating community
  • Queer events get users connecting IRL
  • The constantly updated Feed facilitates social networking

HER is a dynamic dating app made for womxn, by womxn. The app supports a global community of over 4 million queer ladies, and it maintains a strict no-boys-allowed policy.

You’ll have to connect your HER account to an existing social media profile — that’s how the HER team confirms you are who you say you are — and you can pull photos from Facebook or Instagram to spice up your profile. As a full member, you can browse a newsfeed of stories, photos, and events shared by local womxn. Many relationships have blossomed in this fun, joyful, and genuine environment.

“We are so thankful for HER for bringing so much happiness in our lives,” wrote Jasmine and Stephanie in a #WeMetOnHER story. “We are getting married in May.”

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★★★ 3.4/5.0
  • Social networking for gay, bi, trans, and queer men
  • Location-based matches spark instant chemistry
  • Grindr Equality advocates for LGBTQ+ interests on the global stage

If you’re a gay single man, I’m sure you’ve heard about Grindr. It’s easily one of the most well-known gay dating apps in the history of online dating. Late-night comedian Conan O’Brien has even used Grindr to get a laugh on his show.

Grindr’s claim to fame is its location-based matching. A lot of gay guys on the prowl enjoy having access to local hotties who could be at the same bar or just around the corner. It’s easy to track down a hot date using the app’s simple matching and chatting system.

Since 2009, Grindr has provided gay men with a space they can call their own, and it has continued to grow thanks to its fast-working tools.

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★★★★ 3.8/5.0
  • One of the largest gay hookup sites in the world
  • Search filters for age, location, physical attributes, and more
  • Available in 12 languages and counting

MenNation is a hookup platform where single men, gay couples, and groups can seek men in the dating scene. Millions of guys have created profiles in this network and thousands more join every month, so you’ll never run out of date options no matter how often your search.

We’ve ranked MenNation among the best dating apps for gay men because it has a lot of exhilarating, X-rated content to get users in the mood.

In just four simple steps, you can create an anonymous dating profile and start looking for sexy partners in the MenNation network.

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★★★★ 3.5/5.0

LesbianPersonals has a similar setup to MenNation — because it was created by the same folks — but this hookup site is geared entirely toward women seeking women. The lesbian dating platform makes it easy to flirt and hook up with lovely women about town.

You don’t need to step too far outside your comfort zone to make a love connection here. Simply sign up with a valid email address, use the search filters to find dates, and send private messages, pictures, or videos at your leisure. LesbianPersonals also supports live video broadcasts where women can bare their desires.

Best Hookup Apps

You can let go of your inhibitions and satisfy your desires on the best hookup apps. The following dating networks keep singles and swingers entertained and turned on with plenty of matching features and search filters. If you’re in the mood for a hookup, we recommend chatting up people in this sex-positive environment.

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0

BeNaughty grabs attention immediately with its sexy profiles and revealing photos. You know exactly what you’re getting here, and it’s not a wholesome date that ends with a peck on the cheek.

Singles join the BeNaughty network because they want to get down and dirty with someone, and they’re not afraid to be explicit about their fantasies and fetishes. Over 13 million people visit this popular dating platform every month.

It’s easy to make a match on BeNaughty. The search filter saves your dating preferences in terms of age, distance, appearance, and lifestyle, and you can send a mass message to everyone who meets your standards to get the ball rolling.

Or, if you’re only interested in pursuing one person at a time, you can head to the Like Gallery and answer the age-old question “Cute or Not?” based on a profile picture. If that person thinks you’re cute too, you’ll have a mutual match to explore.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0

AdultFriendFinder is another exciting dating platform where singles and swingers can get some action. Whether you want to sext online or hookup offline, you can use the AFF community as your personal dating ground.

The AFF app is available in the App Store, but it was just too raunchy for Google Play, so Android users will have to use the mobile-friendly site if they want to flirt from their smartphones.

You can create an intimate connection by sending messages in a private chat, or you can explore the popular dating forums and dive into over 14 million group discussions about sexy topics.

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★★★★ 3.9/5.0

FriendFinder-X does exactly what its name promises. You can find sexy friends by using this discreet dating platform. The search tools make it easy to sort through the local dating scene and focus on the most attractive and viable people.

Men, women, couples, and groups can create dating profiles on FriendFinder-X and use it to make something happen in the hookup scene. Whether you’re interested in a one-night stand, a threesome, an affair, or a NSA connection, you can find willing playmates in this fun-loving network.

This free online dating profile promises to remove fake profiles and offer connections without any app purchases necessary.

Which Dating App is Best for Serious Relationships?

A lot of free online dating apps can facilitate serious relationships, but some do a better job than others. Swiping apps like Tinder can keep you occupied for hours but fail to provide viable romantic connections.

We really like Hinge as a relationship app because its profiles put personality front and center, and its unique swiping features encourage conversations based on mutual interests. Hinge is free to use, and it has a lot of success stories to its name — including that of Mayor Pete Buttigieg who met his husband on Hinge.

We’ve also got to hand it to Match.com for consistently pairing up couples who can go the distance. Match has been around longer than any other free online dating platform, and it has also inspired more first dates, relationships, and marriages than any other dating site or app.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • In-depth matching appeals to women with high standards
  • Video chat tools help online daters establish a rapport
  • An established singles network in 50 countries worldwide

Match identifies personal compatibility by assessing the user’s demographics, profile information, and dating preferences. If you’re serious about meeting someone special, Match is a great wingman and matchmaker.

If Match isn’t your cup of tea, you can try other less popular dating apps like Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Facebook Dating to shake things up. These smaller platforms are widely considered some of the top dating apps for relationships because they prioritize quality over quantity.

Are There Any Free Hookup Apps?

Sure, there are plenty of free dating apps available to singles on a budget. We’ve named a few of them here already, but we can review the best of the best again for your convenience.

BeNaughty is our all-time favorite hookup app because it has great privacy features, lots of search options, and thousands of dating profiles ready to go. It’s free to join and browse profiles until you find someone worth getting to know better, if you know what I mean.

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★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • A global network of naughty singles over 18
  • Ability to blur nude and explicit content, if desired
  • Advanced search filters and one-on-one messaging

AdultFriendFinder is also a free hookup platform worth checking out. The AFF community has over 95 million profiles, and it is constantly expanding its reach

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

AdultFriendFinder attracts sexy singles and swingers who want to hook up with someone on the down low, and it doesn’t cost a thing to get your dating profile up and running.

Many popular dating apps can offer a lot of free dating services to help Android and iPhone users connect, and you can connect through Facebook or another social media profile to speed things along.

Which Dating App Has the Most Success?

Success is in the eye of the beholder. Tinder has created over 43 billion matches since 2012. That’s pretty impressive. But Match claims responsibility for more relationships and marriages than any of its competitors. That sounds pretty dang successful, too.

Plenty of Fish claims to be the best dating app for conversations because it sees over 1 billion messages exchanged per month. Even if not all those flirty chats lead to dates, that’s still something to be proud of.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • Prompts more conversations than any other dating site
  • 30% of members get in a relationship within a month
  • Success stories include engagement and wedding announcements

Facebook Dating is one of the newest free online dating apps on the scene — Mark Zuckerberg announced the app’s launch in 2018 — and it uses your Facebook friends list and the power of social media to connect real people online. Because you must have a Facebook account to start Facebook Dating, the app can promise no fake profiles or catfishers will show up in your DMs.

It’s important to note that your Facebook friends and Instagram followers will not see any of your online dating activity. Facebook Dating uses your Facebook account and Instagram account to set up your dating profile, but it doesn’t post anything in public online forums.

Every dating app measures success differently. Apps like Coffee Meets Bagel aim to spark conversations, while apps like Tinder try to arrange matches. Meanwhile successful apps like Hinge and Match seek to create IRL relationships. The free dating apps on this list are all successful in some way, and they can help singles succeed as well.

Is Bumble Better Than Tinder?

I’ve heard this question a lot over the years. Bumble and Tinder definitely have a rivalry going, and that leaves many singles wondering which side to take.

When it launched in 2014, Bumble positioned itself as the anti-Tinder in a lot of ways. The CEO and Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd was originally a founding member of Tinder until the bro culture, a toxic breakup, and other frustrations led her to leave the company and start her own dating app.

Photo from Bumble

Bumble is a feminist dating app designed by a former executive at Tinder.

Bumble is a female-friendly dating app that has a similar look and feel to Tinder but with one important difference — only women can send the first message to potential matches. The Bumble team argues that this helps set a more respectful tone on the app, effectively keeping the pickup artist culture at bay.

So, to sum up, Bumble is better than Tinder in terms of quality — but not quantity. Bumble has about 6 million fewer users than Tinder, so it’s a smaller dating pool but one with more integrity, transparency, and heart.

Is Tinder for Dating or Hooking Up?

Why can’t it go both ways? Tinder is an open-ended and all-purpose dating app that can satisfy singles seeking a hookup as well as singles seeking a relationship.

Tinder may have the reputation of a hookup app, but it actually supports singles with a variety of dating and relationship goals. Some are just looking for the confidence boost of racking up likes, while others are looking for something more serious and long-lasting.

In fact, according to one survey, 80% of Tinder users are looking for a meaningful relationship and only 22% are interested in hookups.

Tinder verifies users through Facebook and identifies potential matches by using a time-tested algorithm and automatically hiding your dating profile from your Facebook friends, so it’s no wonder this has become one of the most popular free online dating apps for singles of all stripes.

The Best Dating Apps Turn Romance Into a Fun Game

Whether you’re recently out of a relationship or have been single for a while, you can enjoy a fresh start in the dating scene by creating a profile on a dating popular app like Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, or Bumble.

The online dating world is full of romantic opportunities, and singles can dive into flirtatious conversations anytime they like by using a reliable app for Android or iOS. Many free dating apps can guide users with match suggestions and filtering options, but it’s up to the individual to attract dates and build a relationship.

From creating your profile to going out on a first date, you can increase your odds of meeting someone special by picking the right app, choosing your words carefully, and being your most authentic self. Enjoy!

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