A person may have lots of reasons for wanting to keep their online dating habits a secret. Whether it’s because they’re already married, or a closeted member of the LGBTQ+ community, or just because they don’t like their personal life to be out in public, secret dating apps are a great tool for people who want to keep their search for love, sex, or companionship discreet.

These dating apps and sites make it easy to keep your personal information under wraps while you seek out the right person. Each one boasts various tools and features to help you stay private and secure whether you’re looking for anonymous sex or a happily ever after.

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★★★★ 4.2/5.0

Ashley Madison has a naughty reputation as an online dating platform for affair seekers. Of course, that’s what the dating site and app started as, and the people behind the platform haven’t shied away from that reputation at all. But whether you’re a married person looking for a partner outside of your marriage or just someone who wants a discreet love affair, Ashley Madison has the tools to help you keep your search discreet.

For one thing, the dating app icon is about as discreet as you can get. When you search for the app in the Google Play Store or App Store, the right one is very simply a black background with a white underscore. This way, even if a person looks over your apps, it’s not immediately obvious. Ashley Madison offers next-level security in other places too. You can tap on the panic button and immediately pull up an innocent-looking site or mobile browser window to hide what you’re doing.

The affair dating platform also allows you to lock away profile pictures, or use blur and masking tools to prevent your true identity from getting out there. All in all, Ashley Madison does discretion very well.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0

If you’re looking for a discreet site to find your next hookup, OneNightFriend provides all the tools you need with none of the extras you don’t. The casual dating platform keeps things simple from registration to matching, but that doesn’t mean that the site skimps on privacy. The most basic feature that allows OneNightFriend users to maintain their privacy is the fact that the site doesn’t demand a lot of personal information at registration. Age, gender, sexual preference, and location are all you have to provide. 

From there, you can pick and choose the personal information you want to include in your dating profile. Although you don’t have to provide a picture, you’ll get more attention on the platform if you do. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that free members only get access to five messages per day. If you want to reach out to another active user beyond the complimentary five messages, you’ll need to pay for the premium subscription.

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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

It’s no secret that Tinder is known as a hookup app, but it’s less widely known how easy it is to keep your identity private on the Tinder app. Most people opt to sign up for the original swiping app by connecting their Facebook profile, but it’s not necessary. And by avoiding that choice, you can also keep your personal details more private. Instead of using your Facebook details, you can register and verify using your phone.

Tinder also gives you control over just how much information you provide to your potential matches, from what you put in your bio to how many and which pictures you include. Although Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold and Tinder Platinum don’t come with any added privacy perks, the premium membership packages do give you a little more discretion when it comes to seeing who already swiped right on your profile, as well as to “passport” and swipe in other locations.

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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

Grindr quickly developed a reputation both inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community since its launch in 2009. The popular dating app dedicated to gay hookups and community is loud and proud, but members don’t have to be. Closeted MLM can use Grindr to find a hookup or just make a new friend and get comfortable within the community, without outing themselves or risking discovery.

All you need to provide to sign up is an email address, username, age, and sexual interest. You can provide a picture or not, and of course your username need not have anything to do with your real name. The team behind Grindr understands that sometimes queer men aren’t comfortable being Out, and other times it’s just not safe to be Out, so the app makes it easy to explore your sexual interests without taking on the risk.

5. Facebook Dating

Despite the fact that Facebook Dating requires a Facebook account to work, the dating platform doesn’t advertise your presence on your main profile. Instead, Facebook uses the information it gleans from your main profile to help build your dating profile and to steer you to matches within your broader friend network (friends of friends). The dating site and app don’t post to your main page and don’t share any details of your browsing or messages on your Facebook account.

Per the Facebook Dating privacy notice, the platform uses your information in very particular ways, and doesn’t share information across Facebook properties, apart from using your main account to better inform your match suggestions. 

6. Pure

Although hookup apps are far from a new phenomenon, Pure app takes things to the next level by combining a sex-positive ethic with honesty and privacy to create a playground and safe space for pleasure seekers. The dating app takes the place of old-school personals ad forums like Craigslist and Backpage, allowing users to anonymously post ads describing exactly what they’re looking for in their areas.

Screenshot of Pure
Pure is an anonymous app for casual dating.

To keep things private and secure, Pure doesn’t ask for very many personal details. All you need is either a phone number or email address for verification purposes, age, gender, and a description of the person you’re looking for. Post it, and Pure will serve up potential matches in your area. Your ad and all of the messages associated with it disappear after 24 hours — so you have to act fast. There won’t be any lingering evidence for anyone else to find.

7. Secret

A relative newcomer to the casual dating app scene, Secret lets users search for casual encounters and hookups while staying in control of their personal details. The Secret app doesn’t require a lot of information for your dating profile, just geographic location and your birthday, with optional details like name, height, and whether you own a car. And of course, you don’t have to use your real name.

Secret app screenshot
Secret is a free dating app for people who want to date in a private space.

You can also choose which picture to use on your Secret dating profile, or whether to show your face at all. Keep in mind that the platform doesn’t allow explicit adult content, so keep things above board until you meet your potential hookup. The app also doesn’t include a lot of extra features, so it’s easy and straightforward to browse, reach out, and make plans.

8. Secret Date

Although Secret Date is another relative newcomer to the casual dating space, the app boasts 10,000 matches per day, which is an impressive number. The dating platform helps you keep things anonymous by letting you pick and choose how much information you want to reveal on the app. 

Secret Date uses secure SSL encryption and other features to ensure your information stays put and lets you connect with people around the world at your discretion. This makes it especially valuable for traveling singles, who may want to get a preview of the available dating pool before they visit somewhere new. 

9. Gleeden

Like Ashley Madison, Gleeden launched as a tool for dissatisfied married people to find love outside of their monogamous relationships, but the discreet app has developed well beyond that niche. Gleeden keeps things simple, private, and secure with tight encryption, tailored anonymity tools, and a focus on quality membership and interactions.

The dating app takes a similar approach to other affair apps, in that women have full run of the features and tools without charge, while men have to step up a bit more if they want access to everything. Women on the platform have the opportunity to rate the men, and the atmosphere that Gleeden maintains is fun, relaxed, and open-minded, thanks to the privacy and security features the app includes.

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★★★★ 3.5/5.0

If you’re a woman looking to hook up with another woman, Lesbian Personals provides an ideal environment to keep things secure, private, and safe. The dating app for queer women doesn’t allow single men to sign up, though men in relationships with lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or transgender women can join in on their significant others’ accounts. 

The best part is, you can feel free to reveal as much or as little about yourself as possible. Lesbian Personals functions through forums and chat rooms, as well as instant messaging, so if you’re a closeted lesbian or bi-curious woman, you can find other queer women without the risk of either harassment or being outed. Let your desires guide you, whether you’re looking for an experience with one woman or a dozen at the same time, and take comfort in the fact that you can stay anonymous through it all.

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0

BeNaughty isn’t just a suggestion. The dating site and the app that goes with it practically demand that members push the limits, placing adult content front and center on the platform. Part of the freedom that BeNaughty embraces comes down to the features that help members maintain their privacy and security on the platform, including encryption for every user.

Frequently rated one of the best apps for hookups, BeNaughty offers a baseline level of protection for everyone on the platform. But premium members get added perks to help them stay anonymous while they seek out their secret crush. The Extra Security Package and The Premium Dater both include browser history clearing, incognito browsing, and higher-level encryption to keep your identity a secret while you look for your next casual hookup.

FAQs: Is There a Discreet Dating App for Relationships?

While there are many apps and dating sites for people seeking discreet casual encounters, it can be tricky to find an online dating platform that caters to discreet dating for real, long-term relationships. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, however. Some dating sites and apps make it easy for introverted people to find true love without putting their business out in public.

Match consistently earns top rankings as the best dating site and app for introverts, and for good reason. While it is a mainstream dating site, Match offers a level of security and privacy to members as part and parcel of what the platform does.

The online dating site and app also prioritize privacy by requiring a paid membership to gain full access to messaging. That makes it easier for members to keep their dating lives secure and away from prying eyes. It also means that whoever you’re talking to is more likely to be just as serious as you are in searching for a real relationship.

How Can a Person Spot Fake Profiles on a Dating Site or App?

Avoiding fake profiles and scammers on dating platforms is a major concern, and rightly so. The romance scam industry is a big, international pest, and all the biggest dating sites and apps try to do what they can to police their user base and screen out bad actors. But no system is perfect, so the final line of defense is to know what to look out for.

On the most basic level, the biggest red flag is to ask yourself: Is this person too good to be true? A fake account will often provide inconsistent or vague details, such as a description that doesn’t match the profile picture or a location that doesn’t make sense (think: “Location: New York, California”). Another common error by scammers is making major grammatical or spelling mistakes in their profile information. Anyone can have a typo in their profile, but someone who  misspells the simplest of words should raise a red flag.

All in all, if someone seems too perfect to be a real person, chances are they’re not.

Do All Dating Apps Require a Social Media Account Link?

No, in fact for the majority of dating sites, you’re not actually required to provide a social media link. Several platforms like Tinder, Bumble, and Zoosk give you the option to link a social networking profile to speed up the registration process, but you can just as easily input the information yourself.

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

One of the few dating platforms that actually requires a Facebook account for verification purposes is Facebook Dating. In addition to pulling your dating profile details from your main account through the Facebook app, the online dating app also uses your Facebook friends network to help suggest a perfect match.

What Is Ghost Mode on Dating Apps?

Ghost mode — or incognito mode — is a special feature that some dating apps provide to ensure extra privacy for members on the platform. It’s typically a paid perk, not a free feature, and it could be well worth it if you’re looking to lurk in secret. Basically, ghost mode means that you can see dating profiles, but you can’t be seen by anyone on the app. Your views won’t be listed in notifications, and in some cases your profile won’t even appear in searches or swipe lists.

The Right Dating App Can Keep Your Romance a Secret

Whatever your reasons for wanting to pursue a new partner a secret, there’s an app or a dating site that has the solution. These secret dating apps provide different tools and features that will keep your face from showing up in a random search or prevent a loved one or friends from discovering you are looking for a hookup or new relationship.

Your personal information is in good hands on these discreet dating platforms!

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