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At Top Ten Reviews, we’ve been reviewing online dating services since 2004, watching them evolve and change with the times. We looked at today’s most popular dating websites and apps and rated their matching tools, costs, ease of use, messaging features and other features. We also spoke to several insightful people, including dating experts and typical users, to get a clear view of the modern dating landscape.
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.
Why it's awesome: Hinge marries the modern, instantaneous feel of swiping apps with the relationship atmosphere that sites like eharmony or Match offer. Hinge literally labels itself the relationship app, or as I prefer, the "anti Tinder." You scroll like Instagram, creating a smoother (and less judge-y) feel than swiping. There's a common understanding that this app isn't just for sex, but there's no pressure to rush into a relationship either. It's chill, it's legit, and traditional swiping apps should be worried.
Sick of typical dating but still wanting to take the guesswork out of meeting people, she started to feel like she had to settle. But then, “I woke up one day and decided I wanted to have a threesome, and that’s how I came to download Feeld,” she says. She noted that the app immediately felt easier than Tinder or Bumble. “To start with, the fact that I was on there looking for hot and fun people to hook up with, and anyone I matched with was looking for the same, meant that I got to skip the awkward first few dates,” she tells me. “It also meant that I knew what I was in for, so I was never worried about someone suddenly becoming a slimeball. It really helped me feel more confident at a time when I wasn't confident about dating.”
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Features for introverts: You can really be yourself on OkCupid. Whether you're looking for the relationship of your dreams, a one-night stand, or a sham marriage (seriously, we’re not judging), OkCupid doesn't care unless you're being a jerk about it. On OkCupid, you’re more than just a photo, you can share stories, your passions, and pretty much anything else you want and feel totally at home.
Hinge may seem like it plays second-fiddle to the likes of Tinder, but it has a pretty elite user base (99 percent of its daters went to college, for example). Hinge’s CEO compared his app to Facebook, versus Tinder’s Myspace—sometimes for interface reasons (Hinge is aimed at the college-educated set) and sometimes for class reasons (much has been written on the ways dating app algorithms may favor white people).
With Wingman, there’s no need for any more embarrassing blind dates. This also means if things don’t go well at first, your friend never has to know about their online dating fail and can simply look for more fish in the sea. The app is free to download, and you need to verify yourself as a wingman to get your friend set up. It went live in 2017 and is currently available for both Android and iOS. However, there isn't a desktop version.
When LuvFree.com says they’re 100% free, they really mean it. From communicating with matches to sending virtual kisses to creating a friends list to seeing who’s viewed your profile, you can do practically anything on this app. Available for Android, LuvFree.com strives to help singles meet new people near them or all across the world — the choice is yours! Whether you’re looking for friendship, dates, relationships, or even marriage, LuvFree.com is there to make your journey an easy and fun one.
Profiles are concise and settings are also pared down, like with Tinder, but swiping up allows you to scroll through additional photos instead of super-liking someone. This means that just because someone twitched their thumb up on your photo, you won’t have to see their profile first every time you open the app, even though you swipe left on their profile every time.
The thing is, there won't ever be some one-size-fits-all dating app that everyone loves and totally works: The point of these apps is to connect people, and people are sloppy. But out of all the tech that's pushed on us at all times, it’s nice to know there are some apps out there that even the bitterest-about-dating among us can find some good in.
DateMySchool is a site for those who want to connect with people from their college; whether students or alumni. The site is mostly for verified college students and alumni. If you can fit the bill, however, the site gives you awesome features. The best thing about this site is that it shows you what other users are looking for and the strategies they are applying to get it. The site has only 200,000 users which makes it possible for a user to find a mate they spent four years in college with or someone in the same college they were in.
Hinge started out by showing you Facebook friends of friends, but their algorithm is so smart that it has now surpassed friends of friends as a predictor of compatibility (AKA you won't be matched with someone all wrong for you just because you have a mutual friend). Rather, Hinge helps you get to know the other person more deeply than any new app has attempted, revealing answers to juicy, detailed questions about things like future plans, religion, and vices. Seems like a good recipe for a connection past physical stuff, right? According to Hinge, 75% of their first dates lead to second dates, so it's clearly working.
Age Match is the best age gap dating app for older men dating younger women and older women dating younger men. Age Match is committed to finding love for people who want a relationship with someone significantly older or younger than they are themselves. Age Match is the world’s first, largest and most effective dating app which is committed to cater the needs of those people who would like to meet someone who is significantly older or younger than they are. Whether you are an old or young, the best gap dating app provides the opportunity for you to start a long term relationship, dating or casual encounter with local and national matches based on your preferences.
Most sites don’t conduct criminal background checks or screenings on members. Members are fully responsible for any losses or damages whether direct or indirect. Members who decide to meet in-person are responsible to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. Several online dating sites provide “Dating Safety Tips” which explain how members can protect themselves from hackers or scammers. If a profile is reported for inappropriate activity or some other reason, companies do have the right to conduct criminal background checks/screenings at any time.
HitWe is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a free online dating app that also acts as a social media app. The platform sees almost 1.5 million daily active users and 12 million monthly active users, making it the fastest-growing online discovery network. And if you go to the Dating section on Google Play, you’ll find that HitWe is in the top spot in over 70 countries. HitWe dedicates themselves to providing all the tools you need to “meet real people for free.”
Dating is hard work, so we did some of the legwork for you by taking a deep dive into seven of the most popular apps. Check out our brief thoughts on each below, and then click through to read our in-depth reviews. Everyone's needs and wants are different, so not every app will be a great fit for you, but if we can help play a part in uniting you with your forever person or your Friday-night fling, we're here to help.
Even free dating websites and apps give you the option to sign up for a premium option, which does in fact cost you. Premium options cost about $10 each month for basic service, or if you want more effective pairing with people you’re more likely to get along with for an average of $40 per month. You could also pay less if you purchase a membership for several months at a time.
Coffee Meets Bagel hopes to offer users better quality matches by sending curated matches, or "Bagels," each day at noon. They suggest ice breakers for first messages and the profiles are more in-depth than Tinder. For people who like a little extra hand-holding, CMB isn't the worst option. However, I felt the app was confusing to use; too many features and too many gimmicks. I shouldn't have to lookup online tutorials to figure out how to use a dating app. And why call matches Bagels?
This is a sub-feature of daily matches that provides you with a specific daily match that might be a great connection for you. This is usually the first match provided in the daily matches, and the match is usually reviewed first. However, frequency of the singled out match depends on the accuracy of algorithms. Therefore, your chances of getting a singled out match increase as you review more daily matches.
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.