Every day, millions of young men and young women enter the dating scene in hopes of finding a hot date, a long-term relationship, or a flirtatious adventure, and online dating sites are ready and willing to accommodate them.
Young people are some of the most attractive and active online daters around, and they’ve got a lot going for them in the swiping scene. However, not all dating sites and apps cater to younger individuals, so you’ve got to do your research to make sure you’re on the right online dating service for your age group.
Here are some articles about the best dating sites for young people looking for dates, love, and relationships.
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College is a prime dating time for many young adults, and many dating sites and apps for college students have become the hot places to flirt on a Saturday night. With over 8,000 dating platforms in existence, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options out there, but we've done our homework to make it easier to find your…
Online dating sites and apps for young people can offer a tutorial in how to flirt with people and build romantic relationships.
The online dating scene can help young adults explore local date options, gain life experience, and figure out what they want and who they like. Connecting online can be an important coming-of-age experience for students and young professionals, and it can shape their romantic future in a lot of ways.
If you’re in your 20s and new to online dating, you should do your homework before diving into a site or app so you can have the best possible experience and meet legit dates. Here’s some common questions we’ve seen young American adults ask about dating and age-gap relationships.
Couples in age-gap relationships tend to say things like “age is just a number” or “you’re only as young/old as you feel,” but such sayings don’t ring quite true to our dating experts.
Age is a number that can tell you a lot about a person. It’s not just about maturity — your age can be a determining factor in what type of music you like, which celebrities you relate to, which social media apps you have, what kind of activities you enjoy, and how you prioritize work, family, fun, and other life goals.
A person’s age can also impact his or her health and life expectancy, which is an important consideration for long-term relationships. Dating someone older or younger will have its pros and cons, but some people are willing to bridge the gap and find common ground despite differences in experience and perspectives. Age matters, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker.
The common rule for age-gap dating is that you should take your age, divide it by two, and then add seven years, and that’s the youngest age it’s socially acceptable for you to date. That means someone who’s 36 can date a 25-year-old without getting into creepy territory.
This is obviously subject to a lot of debate in the dating scene. Some people argue that as long as a relationship is between two consenting adults, it shouldn’t matter how many years are between them. Other people say there’s something inherently cringeworthy about a 61-year-old dating someone who’s 22.
It can be OK to date someone who’s younger, but you may find that your friends, family members, and acquaintances will judge you for not dating someone your own age.
You have to proceed cautiously if you’re dating someone decades younger than you. It’s a complicated situation, and you may have issues down the line when introducing your partner to your family or meeting his or her friends and family. Couples in age-gap relationships often have to defend the legitimacy of their connection, and that can be taxing or lead to insecurities.
As the more mature person in the relationship, you may have to take the lead in these situations and use whatever influence, power, or charm you have to smooth things along for everyone involved.
One important thing to know about dating a younger person is that you may not always be on the same page or going at the same pace in the relationship. Young men and women may be more tempted to keep their options open and put off marriage, or they may not be used to making sacrifices and compromises for a relationship. You may have to be patient as you build a long-term relationship with a young and inexperienced person.
One of the major benefits of dating a younger single person is that it can make you feel younger as well. An energetic date can push you to go dancing, travel, and have more fun-filled experiences. Having a youthful partner can also energize your sex life and lead to many nights of passion.
If you’re an older man, dating a younger woman could mean you have a second chance to have children and raise a family.
It can also be a huge confidence booster to have an attractive young date on your arm. Maybe all you’re interested in is having some arm candy for parties, mixers, and networking events. Or maybe you’d like to relive your youth by playing the dating game and getting in an age-gap relationship after a divorce. Whatever the reason, you can get an instant high from romancing someone years younger.
A cougar is a woman who prefers to date younger men, and cubs are younger men who are attracted to older women. The typical cougar is in her 40s, 50s, or 60s, yet she lusts after and snatches up men in their 20s and 30s. Cougar dating sites can help promote this lifestyle and give online support to single moms on the hunt for an age-gap relationship or one-night stands.
Despite their age, cougars can be a powerful sex symbol. Some cougars are also known as sugar mommies because they have more money than their young partners and use their cash on date nights, presents, and romantic trips.
Some of the misconceptions about age-gap dating is that it’s all about money or status or physical attraction. People look at an older man with a young woman and assume she’s a gold digger or he’s a sugar daddy. However, age-gap relationships don’t have to involve such toxic power dynamics. Couples can overcome an age difference and build a healthy relationship based on more than superficial traits.
Another misconception is that age-gap dating is hard, but dating sites for young people can make it easier to meet like-minded people outside your age range.
Many celebrities end up in age-gap relationships because beauty and success are natural allies. Leonardo DiCaprio has famously dated 20-something supermodels for years, and the 45-year-old actor seems to be getting serious about 22-year-old model Camilla Morrone.
Hugh Jackman (aka Wolverine) is actually 13 years younger than his wife, whom he met in 1995 when he was just starting out as an actor. In a 2016 interview on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hugh said his relationship with his wife “just gets better and better.”
Speaking of Ellen, she’s 15 years older than her wife Portia. They had already been together for four years when they tied the knot in 2008. “I really feel not alone for the first time in my life,” Ellen said.
Comedian Dane Cook is 26 years older than his current girlfriend, who’s been with him for over two years. “I’ve never felt so loved,” Dane wrote in a surprisingly sentimental social media post.
Some young singles hit the bar or club scene when they want to pick up dates in their neighborhood, but that’s not always the most effective way to meet singles. For one thing, bars don’t stay open 24/7, and you can’t tell from looking at somebody if they’re available and right for you.
Online dating and mobile dating can offer a more targeted environment where everyone is one the same page and looking for one-night stands. You can date on your terms and on your schedule thanks to dating sites for young people, and that makes it easier to meet like-minded people and local singles.
You can find a lot of young people on dating sites by searching the web or talking to your friends about the apps they use, but it can take time to figure out which is the best one for you. That’s because it’s highly dependent on your dating preferences and relationship goals.
If today’s hookup culture appeals to you, then online dating services like Tinder could fit your single lifestyle and give you a flirty outlet and distraction for free. About half of Tinder users are under 25, and most of them aren’t looking to settle down just yet. Tinder’s #SwipeLife allows singles to explore the online dating scene, enjoy casual chats, and go on dates that satisfy their curiosity.
Bumble is a great option for young women who want to take the lead in their romantic relationships. This feminist dating app is incredibly popular among 20-somethings. In fact, over 60% of its users are under 29 years old.
College dating sites typically provide affordable or free membership plans to encourage 20-somethings on a budget to give online dating a try. Pretty much every big-name site or app will have a free signup process, and you can usually start browsing local dating profiles immediately. The real prize in the online dating world, of course, is free communication.
OkCupid is one of the most popular free dating services on the market right now. It creates over 91 million love connections a year, and it doesn’t charge a penny for its match ratings, swiping tools, and instant messaging.
You don’t even have to form a mutual match to send a greeting to a dating profile on OkCupid, and there’s no limit on how long your conversations can go.
Plenty of Fish also has free matchmaking services and dating tips for singles of any sexual orientation. This free dating site is also available as a free dating app for iOS and Android users.
Most dating websites and mobile apps straight-up won’t let you join until you’re 18, and there’s a good reason for that. Singles under 18 are known as “jailbait” to older daters, and they could become prey to unwanted advances from people with ill intents. Teenagers need to gain emotional maturity and experience in the social scene so they can make healthy decisions about who’s legit and who’s stranger-danger.
High schoolers tend to have enough romantic interests and drama in their daily lives anyway, so they don’t really need another way to meet people and pick up dates.
The best time to start online dating is really up to you, but you should probably wait until you’ve graduated high school and enter the next phase of young adulthood. As a college student or 20-something single, you can use online dating to help you meet new people and figure out what you want from your relationships.
All ages groups! Online dating is for everyone. Whether you’re a college freshman exploring a new city or a retired senior looking for romantic relationships, online dating services can empower individuals to take action and meet like-minded people in their area.
Younger generations have particularly embraced online dating. About 48% of young singles between 18 and 29 say they have tried online dating before, meanwhile only 13% of adults over 65 say the same. Approximately 62% of young people in the survey also said they think online dating is a safe way to meet people. Less than half of people over 50 agree.
While Tinder and Bumble are dominated by 20-somethings, more quality-driven dating websites like Match.com and eharmony appeal primarily to singles in their 30s and 40s. These daters tend to have more serious intentions, and they quickly tire of the flaky dates and casual atmosphere on swiping apps. Premium online sites can offer more sophisticated matchmaking and create more promising relationships between busy young professionals.
For the over-50 crowd, OurTime and SilverSingles are the most popular online networks where millions of baby boomers come together.
College students sometimes complain about getting hit on by older singles on mainstream mobile apps, and they’re not always thrilled by their match prospects in impersonal adult-friendly dating services. That’s why college dating websites have begun gaining momentum on campuses across the U.S.
When it comes to college dating, Campus Flirts is at the head of the class. This online dating site requires users to have a college email to sign up, and it offers free chatting for current students and premium features for recent alums. This exclusive community is perfect for finding a study buddy, enjoying a college fling, or building relationships with your classmates online.
Yes, there are indeed dating services that cater specifically to teenagers. The typical teen dating site is geared more toward 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds, but we’ve also found some that offer general social networking for singles as young as 13.
MyLOL boasts being the #1 teenager dating site and app. The network includes more than 300,000 teens in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
Young singles can meet age-appropriate dates on teen-centric mobile dating apps and college dating sites, and any of the top-rated online dating services on our lists can help make the dating adventure more fun and exciting.