Before you jump in, make sure you’re not fooled (or overwhelmed) by the endless options. As with any website that requires your personal information — like your credit card, location and more — it’s important to read through the fine print of any website you browse. You don't want to invest your energy, confidence and hard-earned dough into something that isn't worth it. Not sure where to start or how to proceed? Luckily, we’ve completed the deep dive for you and have narrowed down the top sites to focus your energy and time. Though these are safe choices, there are some untrustworthy sites that make promises they can’t keep — from fake members to guaranteeing success.
How many times can you say that you’ve gotten to dine on authentic, home cooked food from wherever you visited? Unless you met a local and have hit it off, you probably never have tasted anything so good. Although international dating may not be for everyone, it can show you a whole new side of a country that you may not have even realized existed or had a chance to experience. When you use a dating website to meet these singles, you just might start wondering to yourself why you hadn’t tried it sooner.
The app is free and there is no desktop version. You can purchase credits separately in the app or pay monthly for the premium version, which lacks any ads and lets you see who has liked you, among other features. It has 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Apple app store, and some user reviews note the app can be very confusing in busy urban areas, like New York City. We're guessing it's also not very effective in less populated rural areas, as it relies on a lot of people having the app on their phone. You can also play the app's built-in game CrushTime, which lets you guess who has liked you from four profiles you've recently crossed paths with.
Let's say, hypothetically, that you already have some potential hookup partners in mind, and that they just so happen to be your friends on Facebook (or friends with your friends on Facebook). Don't you wish there were some way to see if they were interested in some type of casual arrangement? That's where DOWN Dating comes in: the app that connects you with your Facebook friends (and friends of friends) who are down to get down. But don't worry, the lady you have your eye on won't know you're down for a hookup unless she says she's down for one with you, too.
A majority of us probably have a Facebook, Google+, or Instagram account (or a combo of the three), so instead of having to repeat yourself on a dating app, check to see if you can sync up one of your existing profiles. Your information and photos can be pulled in a matter of seconds, and you can get to browsing that much sooner. More than likely, the app will also use your social profile to find matches for you based on friends of friends and will have a policy about never posting on your behalf.
Subscribers can access premium features such as Incognito, which allows you to view matches anonymously. You can turn it on or off depending on whether you want to be in stealth mode or not. What If? is another premium feature that lets you browse up to 30 additional people per day. Using the Spotlight feature means your profile will show up in the top spot for all your matches for 24 hours. It's only available via the mobile website.
Sapio is a free dating app with a simple goal: to foster more meaningful conversations than “Hey” and “What’s up?” Start with Sapio’s Question Explorer, which is filled with 300 open-ended questions in 21 categories ranging from “Hopes and Dreams” to “Achievements” and “My Quirks.” Scroll through the topics that matter most to you, and discover answers from people with similar interests. Answer questions to grow your visibility with others who care about the same things, and further refine your search with filters that matter to you. Find your soulmate faster based on their personality, not just their looks.
It’s important to be upfront about what you’re looking for online. If you’re interested in something casual, free sites that require less information to sign up could work perfectly. It’s probably not worth paying for a membership if you’re not looking for anything long term and are willing to risk going on a couple of potentially bad dates. If marriage is what you’re after, then you might have better luck on paid sites that pair you with people who have the same priorities.
Feeld isn’t perfect, by a long shot. It’s populated by all the same weirdoes sitting around you in the coffee shop right now. Most of them I don’t want to meet. My profile is extremely explicit about what I’m into, what I’m looking for, and what I’m not. This makes it much easier to see very early in the conversation who respects those desires and who does not.
Jenna Slater, 27, lives in San Diego and found the entire notion of meeting people online daunting. “Dating apps have always been hard for me because even though I find myself hilarious, that struggles to come across via text,” she says. “I also work insane hours and simple don’t have the time to swipe hoping the person swipes me back.” Tinder was decidedly not for her, and she began to think dating apps in general might be a bust, until she found Hinge.
Who it's for: Picky people looking for something super specific in a partner. And guys, this is not the place for the younger millennials: EliteSingles loves to brag that 82% of their members are college grads, and with most of its members being 33-50 years old, we can pretty surely say that the main target is mature, working professionals rather than the the Tinder-using generation. Sorry college kids.
Zoosk has a cleaner, more intuitive interface than Match.com that draws a lot of inspiration from social networking sites. As you use the site more, you'll receive more tailored recommendations. Like Match.com, Zoosk allows you to sign up and browse members' profiles for free, but you'll need to purchase a subscription to communicate with potential dates. This includes use of the site's chat function. Subscriptions are available for one month, three months and six months (Est. $29.95, $19.98, and $12.49 and per month, respectively). You can also buy or earn "Zoosk coins" regardless of whether you have a subscription to do things like boost your profile visibility and see whether members have read your messages. There is no money-back guarantee. Apps are available for iOS and Android devices.
Clover is a little bit like Tinder and a little bit like OKCupid. You can login with your Facebook and then add more information about your appearance and reason for using the app. For example, you can choose from several “intentions” including “looking for dating” or “looking for people to chat with.” Clover uses your location to find you dates in the area, so like most location-based dating apps, it won’t work well if you live in a rural area with a small population. Once you’ve logged in you’re prompted to start a free 7-day trial or sign up for either 3 months or 1 year of service. With a paid membership you can see read receipts on your messages, share photos and videos and get access to advanced filters for your potential matches like income and ethnicity. You can also opt out and just use the free membership if you’d prefer.
"Zoosk is one of the strongest dating apps in the North American market, which comprises half of the $5 billion global online dating opportunity," said Jeronimo Folgueira, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Networks SE. "Similarly, North America has been a key strategic market for Spark, and the focal point for our growth initiatives. Our deal with Zoosk creates the second largest online dating platform in North America and the second largest publicly-listed dating company in the world.” (Match Group is the largest)
Ukraine Brides Agency brings together professionally and personally successful, relationship-minded men with beautiful, nice, and funny women. Most of the women are from Ukraine and Russia, and they’re all looking for their Knight in Shining Armor. Free features include creating a profile, online matchmaking, chatting via email, video, and audio (for women), and 24/7 customer support.
Why it's awesome: When we're blinded by love, we tend to ignore red flags and can't see when someone is all wrong for us — but friends can see it clear as day and wish we would just take their damn advice. Wingman is the unique take on dating that lets your friends play cupid, essentially making it the dating app version of the "Have you met my friend?" classic bar line. Your friends want to see you get laid (or find love, obviously) as badly as you do, and sometimes, they just know us better than we know ourselves. As Mashable's Cassie Murdoch writes, "...a little bit like handing your friend your Tinder or Bumble account and saying, 'Here, you deal with this.'" And sometimes, fancy algorithms just aren't enough.