When you're using apps to find a local hookup, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind that will set you up for success in the long run. The first is deciding what to put on your profile. If you're truly here for a good time and not a long time (for casual sex instead of a long-term thing), Elite Dating Managers founder Isabel James says that attracting your next casual encounter can be as easy as being upfront in your profile right from the beginning. "Explicitly state that you're looking for a hookup on your profile," she says. "Something like: 'Not looking for a long-term relationship. Looking to have fun tonight!' makes it clear." Being direct with your expectations from the get-go means you'll only be matching with women who are also looking for something casual with no strings attached, saving you the time it'd take to gauge whether or not your matches are here for the same reason as you are. Dating sites work much better if your match knows what you're looking for, and you're not being misleading.
But this isn’t one of those stories where I tell you I downloaded one little app, swiped twice, and, to quote Tom Hank’s character Joe Fox, found “the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.” Whether it’s been because of a friend’s suggestion, trying to up my odds, or pure frustration with not getting messages back, I’ve downloaded and used a plenty of apps! So when the InStyle team was looking for volunteers to write a real-life, first-person review of dating apps, well… I guess we had a match. Read on for my findings:

Tinder is great app for hookups mainly due to the sheer number of users that are on it (a respectable 57 million as of 2019). Finding a willing hookup buddy in your area is undoubtedly a numbers game, and while not everyone on this app is on it for a casual fling, the odds are high that you'll be able to connect with users that are looking for something casual tonight. Not to mention, it's beyond easy to use. Create a profile with some photos, choose an age and location range for the person you're looking for, and start swiping (left to reject, right to accept). If you both dig each other, you'll be able to send messages to get things started.


Match is the place to go when eharmony is way too serious and full of people too old for you, and the place to go when you're tired of Tinder matches hitting you up to have sex and then never talking to you again. It's truly a great happy medium, and I don't think that middle ground between friends with benefits and marriage is something a lot of other dating sites consider.

Designed to help users make confident decisions online, this website contains information about a wide range of products and services. Certain details, including but not limited to prices and special offers, are provided to us directly from our partners and are dynamic and subject to change at any time without prior notice. Though based on meticulous research, the information we share does not constitute legal or professional advice or forecast, and should not be treated as such.
Who it's for: People who don't know what they want. Zoosk's algorithm takes your preferences into its own hands and suggests matches based on how you swipe — even if you have no idea why you liked or didn't like that person. Zoosk offers ease, practicality, and a clean layout, and is a good bet if you haven't had any luck on the Tinders or eharmonies of the world.
About the App: Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
While there might be some stereotypes out there that online dating, especially the international kind, is just about hooking up, that’s not necessarily the case. Millions of singles are looking for someone special to share their life with, and that special someone may be across the world. If this applies to you, check out our list of our favorite international dating websites for marriage.
An online dating site allows you to upload a profile, often for free initially, and search and browse other member's profiles seeking someone of interest. On most sites you can filter searches based on multiple criteria, for example height, education and if someone has children or not, to find someone who has the characteristics that most appeal to you. 
At EliteSingles, we are dedicated to helping you through every part of your online dating journey. Our magazine pages are designed to assist you with any dating advice you may need and make your search for love as smooth sailing as possible. From general online dating tips like how to write a good profile or how to take good profile pictures, to preparation for your first date, we're here to help. Our articles include expert guidance from psychologists as well as real EliteSingles member surveys, to help you in the search of finding someone really great.
Zoosk is another one of the most popular dating apps out there. It has a ton of users although we're not sure how many of them are active. It's a fairly standard dating app. You'll create a profile, meet people, and hopefully things go further. Zoosk uses an old-school social media style for their service rather than the more modern quick match style like Tinder. However, that also makes it a prime candidate for spam bots and other such stuff. This one is kind of a wildcard, so use it at your own risk. The service also has two paywalls and we're not big fans of that.
How does it work? There are no gimmicks or USPs with DatingDirect. In fact, it’s fairly similar to our old friends Match, mentioned above. You can start looking at potential dates for free, then when you like the look of someone and fancy striking up a conversation, you need to subscribe. Like a lot of the best online dating sites, it also has a handy instant messenger service which makes chatting to your matches easy and breezy.
I’m going to assume I don’t need to introduce the concept of Tinder and its reputation to you. Obviously, I know people who've met their hookups on this app, but I also know people who've met on it and are now in serious (and lovely!) relationships. Tinder is what you make of it, but you do have to weed through a lot of people because you can only sort by age and location. I first downloaded the app about four years ago. While it might have changed since I’ve used it, I had a lot of nasty comments or “Wanna come over?” messages sent to me in the wee hours of the morning. I went on at least five horrible dates (like with the guy who told me my pictures weren’t doing me any favors) and a few amazing dates (like with the guy who I ended up seeing for close to six months). I’m not a fan of the swiping, or the unsolicited comments on my body, so eventually I retired it as an option.
eHarmony is an online dating site which has regularly had some of the best success rates for relationships in the world, over many years. Dr Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, who had practiced for 35-years and counselled couples in marriages, thought there was another way to discover love, instead of leaving it to chance. His belief led to the creation of the eHarmony website and his development of eHarmony's popular matching system. This matching system was extensively tested with married couples, and involves a complicated matching technique. It is so unique, that it has been patented in the US. eHarmony offers compatibility matches based on the 29 patented 'Dimensions of Compatibility'. 5% of marriages have occurred in the US, due to eHarmony's unique system, as per a survey in 2009, and 44,000 weddings of the site members (this equals 120 eHarmony weddings every day). EHarmony saves time by cutting out dating, so you can spend all of your time on the important matches. Keep reading our honest eHarmony review to learn more.
"It’s also a really good way to get a sense of how someone strings together their thoughts. Are they a good storyteller? Are they funny? Are they off-puttingly taken with themselves or too reserved for your taste? It’s a lot to ask of a minute-long clip, but in the high stakes numbers game that is online dating, this is exactly the kind of sorting tool many people are hungry for."
Matching: Here's how it works: You pick the gender or genders you're interested in, the age range you're looking for, and how close in distance you'd like a potential match to be. Tinder then uses the GPS on your mobile phone to search for nearby Tinder users. Once it locates them, it shows you their first name, age and a profile picture. You swipe right if you'd like to be matched with them, left if you're not interested. If both parties swipe right, you're a match, meaning you can start interacting with them.
Ashley Madison is all about cheating but this does not make it less popular. The site has garnered over 20 million users and the number continues to grow. When joining, you are asked to choose your relationship status; either “attached male seeking female” or “attached female seeking male”. The site repeatedly stresses that it is 100 percent discreet.
In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond or the connection disappears forever. In same sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move and 24 hours to respond before the connection expires. Once a message has been sent, there is no expiration date for a conversation. These time restrictions encourage users to take action and take their connections to the next level, solving the online dating problem of matches that go nowhere.
I have to point out how nice it is to only see one person at a time. When you're given too many matches at once, you don't even know where to start looking and might miss someone important during the rush. With one at a time, you're forced to more seriously consider the person and their intentions, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is part of what makes Match so successful. 
Everyone has different reasons for being on dating apps, but many of them boil down to “I would like to have sex.” This sex could be with a longterm loving partner or a series of shorter-term partners, loving or not. Or both! It’s a big world. I’d love to meet someone I genuinely adore and want to be with; in the meantime, sex really takes the edge off. Cast off your prudery and join me on Feeld, fellow daters.
The app takes on a social media-y feel with the option to post a story. Like Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, Match has a new video feature that lets you post 24-hour stories to show potential matches what you're up to, what your voice sounds like (extremely important), and give them a fuller sense of what it would be like to meet you IRL. Match may be one of the more established dating sites, but it's certainly not old fashioned — and they continue to load their app with more and more ways for users to maneuver through the masses and find their person. It also acts as insurance against catfishing, which is always a relief.

This service is also 100 percent free online dating, unless you choose to go to a Premium package. Freeandsingle has been online for over 10 years as of this writing, according to their website. They have other “niche” sites, such as MatureFree and Single, BlackFree and Single, CuddlyFree and Single for plus size people, just to name a few. These sites you have to pay a nominal fee for, but only if you have found someone on these sites who has piqued your interest.

We couldn’t give you an extensive guide to online dating without mentioning sugar babies. This term is slang – usually for younger women who use online dating services to match with older, wealthier men who provide them with financial support in some way. This has become an increasingly popular way for young people to help ease the burden of student loan debt.
Coffee Meets Bagel does require logging in through your Facebook in order to create a profile. Once you’ve set up your profile and input your preferences, it will send you a few “bagels” a day — the profile of a potential match. You then have 24 hours to decide whether you want to “like” or “pass” on your bagel. If you like your bagel and they have also liked you, you’ll connect, meaning that you’ll be able to message one another in a private chat. That chat room expires after eight days, regardless of whether you’ve talked with your bagel or not. You can also earn “beans” that allow for extra app functions, either by purchasing them outright, recommending the app to your friends, or logging in on consecutive days.
Like most other product review sites, ConsumerSearch is supported by a combination of commissions on the sale of the products we recommend and ads that are placed on our site by Google. If you find something you like, you can help support us by clicking through and buying the products we pick. Our editorial process is independent and unbiased; we don’t accept product samples, requests for reviews or product mentions, or direct advertising.
eHarmony places a lot of emphasis on the success of a relationship being due to compatibility in various areas, including aesthetic preferences, careers, personality types, interests/hobbies, and more. The website has an in-depth preference and personality algorithm called the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility, which are designed to help the site present you with matches that are logistically compatible with you. The entire website experience is heavily tailored towards personal customization; you can choose everything from what type of information shows up on your dashboard to what type of members can view your profile if they are matched with you and more.
In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond or the connection disappears forever. In same sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move and 24 hours to respond before the connection expires. Once a message has been sent, there is no expiration date for a conversation. These time restrictions encourage users to take action and take their connections to the next level, solving the online dating problem of matches that go nowhere.

Recommendations: "The Bumble app is free and I have had the most dates with this app. It's an easy format and given the female makes contact first, you can eliminate unwanted attention. RSVP is good if you're looking for something more serious. You have to pay to contact the user, but the advantage is that you can see their photos and profile description."

Why it's awesome: It's the ideal place to come when you're ready to settle down but still want to feel ~hip~ and have fun. First things first: OkCupid's advertising is astounding. Its newest ads redefine "DTF" in colorful graphics that depict same sex couples as well as hetero couples, and it truly makes online dating seem like way less of a cliche. Along with the fact that it has gained a trusted rep by being one of the first dating sites ever (2004 to be exact), OkCupid has won the hearts of millennial and mature singles alike. But don't let their love of raunchy internet slang make you put them in the "hookup" category —OkCupid is still a serious space, and most users are genuinely putting effort into finding lasting connections.
As in...Ivy...get it? The League pulls in info from your LinkedIn to make sure you're not a scrub. Only those deemed League-worthy are granted access past the waitlist into hallowed walls of the League. Once you're in, you can set specific filters like religion or height. Matches expire after 21 days if neither person has sent a message, in an effort to keep the flakes out.
At EliteSingles, we focus on matching singles who are truly compatible in all elements of their lives. Our Canadian memberbase is made up predominantly of 30-55 year olds, 91% of which have at least a Bachelor's Degree. This focus on education is echoed across our international dating platforms and creates an understanding within our user base that people shouldn't have to compromise their careers or ambitions to find love. Instead we facilitate a means for singles to focus on both. Our professional dating site enables you to find the right balance between love, work and play.
App.net Avatars United Bolt Capazoo eConozco Emojli FitFinder Formspring FriendFeed Friends Reunited Friendster Grono.net Google Buzz Heello Hyves iTunes Ping iWiW Jaiku LunarStorm Me2day Meerkat Mobli Mugshot Musical.ly Natter Social Network Netlog Orkut Pheed Piczo PlanetAll Posterous Pownce Qaiku SixDegrees.com So.cl Surfbook tbh Tribe.net Tsū tvtag Vine Windows Live Spaces Wretch Yahoo! 360° Yahoo! Kickstart Yahoo! Mash Yahoo! Meme Yik Yak
VIDA is your very own team of experts who set up high-quality dates for you so you can finally meet your ideal woman. Say goodbye to the hassle and frustration of online dating - we'll craft an irresistible dating profile, send engaging messages, and even book your dates for you. Thousands of guys have already made lasting connections with beautiful women, and we're ready to make you our next success story. All you need to do is schedule your free confidential consultation with us now.
Tinder Plus – this in-app subscription gives you access to features like Rewind and Passport, as well as five Super Likes per day. It also gives you additional Boosts. Tinder's pricing varies depending on where you live and your age, from around $5 to $25 a month. Tinder Gold – this offers the same features as Tinder Plus, as well as access to the Likes You feature, which shows you who likes you before you swipe. At the time of writing, it isn't available in all markets but Tinder says it hopes to roll it out to all users soon.
At GoldenBride, we offer a high level of services, honesty, and reliability that our competitors can only hope to achieve. While other companies make promises we instead are focused on fulfilling promises. At GoldenBride we insure that all our ladies are real and looking for someone to meet and correspond with. Hundreds of ladies participate in our Live Video Chat service every week, enabling you to chat with and instantly validate each one through our live video streams. In addition, we are one of the only dating services on the market that have dual video streaming (this is a benefit for both the male and female users of this site) .
Matches are location-based so you only see people near the city you set in your profile. If you travel and want to see if there are any matches in your area, you need to change where you are in your profile. The app also has a "We Met" section where you can leave feedback after any Hinge date. It's almost like leaving a Yelp review for a person. Users can also specify whether they have kids, want kids, have any strong religious beliefs or vices. This gives you a little more of an in-depth look at a potential mate than some dating apps. Hinge is only available as an app and it's free, but you can pay for a membership if you want extra perks like being able to use additional filters, see likes you've received and access Hinge experts to help you along the way.

SeekingArrangement is skewed toward young women seeking older men, though there are other websites and apps available as well. While the name of WhatsYourPrice might seem a little too on the nose, it has options available for both men and women to bid on potential dates. Happy Matches has a plethora of options for women seeking to financially support someone, as does Sugar Elite. However, it does cost money to use many of these services.
Who it's for: People who don't know what they want. Zoosk's algorithm takes your preferences into its own hands and suggests matches based on how you swipe — even if you have no idea why you liked or didn't like that person. Zoosk offers ease, practicality, and a clean layout, and is a good bet if you haven't had any luck on the Tinders or eharmonies of the world.
It doesn't cater just for the LGBTQI+ community, but OKCupid is an inclusive app with many non-binary profile options (you can choose from 13 orientations and 22 gender identities). It's also not afraid to get political: users can get badges that show support for organizations like Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. For some singles, this is a drawcard, while for others it may feel like it's breaking the politics and dating taboo.10
Like their desktop site, the Match.com dating app is designed for those seeking lasting relationships. It employs a mixture of matchmaking and profile searching, which means you'll see many faces on this site. It also rewards interaction, basing some matches on how much you interact with certain types of profiles -  so if you have the time to click your favourites, you'll be rewarded.1 
To use the app, you must sign up with your Facebook account or your phone number. If you use your Facebook account, this then forms the basis of your Tinder profile. According to Tinder, this is to ensure matches are made with people who share interests and common friends. That being said, Tinder doesn't post to your Facebook profile, so if you're concerned about friends getting updates about your use of the site, at least on this point, you can rest easy.
MPWH is the best dating app for singles who are living with herpes! MPWH means meet people with herpes. All of the personal information of members can be kept private and anonymous until users choose to take things further. It is specially designed only for singles living with herpes. MPWH is devoted to providing a safe, stigma-free, nondiscriminatory, warm and friendly online dating environment. It is totally free to place to create a free anonymous profile and start connecting with other Herpes Singles.Full Review »

Plus, every user needs to answer a series of detailed and in-depth questions when creating a profile, including ones about how stubborn you are and your body type. Once that’s done, then comes the required chemistry assessment and a bunch of optional questionnaires that dig even deeper. If the mood you’re bringing into the new year is one that’s open and up for anything, POF’s tons of users are for you.
Much like Happn, Grindr is a dating app that alerts you when other members are nearby. Much like Tinder, Grindr is a dating app with a social reputation as a big player in the casual dating market. While the app does have legions of fans who love the fact that it can provide quick, fun connections with other men seeking men, in recent years Grindr has been working to provide for gay men more inclined towards monogamy too.9

We know how hard it is to be successful. We understand the problem that sometimes happens when, having achieved your goal, you look around and realise there’s no one with whom you can share your glory. No one wants to be alone! With our international dating site, you’ll be able to find a member in the same situation, someone who understands what it means to work hard and what it means to take a well-deserved rest. Someone who is seeking someone like you!


Paid: Memberships cost $12.49 per month on a six-month membership, $19.98 per month on a three-month membership or $29.95 a month paid monthly. Memberships auto-renew unless you cancel your membership before it expires. With a paid membership, you can send and receive messages and winks, chat with connections, see profiles of those who have viewed yours, and get full access to Smartpick, Zoosk's matching services. 
×