Dating apps can save time and allow you to connect with far more people than offline dating allows. This gives you more room to keep your standards high while you sort through potential matches.
But if you select the wrong dating app, you could end up wasting your money.
This article helps you avoid that by presenting the best free dating apps alongside their pros and cons.
Let’s get started by looking at how free apps compare to paid ones.
Our Top 3 Picks
Dating Apps: Paid vs. Free
Dating apps are a multi-billion-dollar industry because of the value of human connection and people’s interest in easier methods of finding love.
Some people want more ease than dating apps generally offer, so they choose to go for paid apps that boost their visibility or get them into quality-controlled groups. But are paid apps objectively better than free dating apps?
Paid apps can help people get matches quicker, but there is no evidence that paying for a dating app can improve your odds of finding love.
There are fewer spammers on paid dating apps, but any app that forces you to pay for messaging credits can get exploited by bots that are meant to keep you on the platform.
Free dating apps with paid features are the best of both worlds, and usually, paying for the privilege of knowing who likes you back can speed things up.
Below are some free dating apps you should consider.
|Bumble||Women make the first move||Shy men. It’s also good for women who want to make the first move without feeling awkward.|
|Hinge||You have to like a specific thing within a profile instead of swiping right on entire profiles.||People who want to be appreciated for a specific aspect, including pictures, wit, and interests.|
|Facebook Dating||Facebook’s interest tracking is put to use for your quest to find love. Meet people who like the same stuff as you.||People looking to find partners to accompany them in their favorite activities.|
|Tinder||The most popular dating app with the most users. Get matches more easily.||Users who are short on time and want to date a large number of people.|
|Coffee Meets Bagel||A pre-curated limited number of potential matches are uncovered for each user every day.||People who want to be considered more seriously than the swipe culture allows.|
Which Free Dating App Is the Best?
Bumble is a platform where women make the first move. This flipping of the antiquated script is the perfect excuse for girls who want to put themselves out there without feeling weird. If you approach a guy first elsewhere, he might see you as too forward.
But if you do the same on Bumble, it is the norm. It is also excellent for guys who feel anxious or draw a blank when they’re trying to start a conversation.
- Roughly equal proportion of men and women – With roughly similar demographics, there is no steepness in competition for men or women.
- Easy to use platform – It follows a formulaic layout and user interface reminiscent of most swipe-driven dating apps.
- Has photo verification – This helps you avoid catfish and bots.
- Men can’t make the first move.
Hinge discourages mass liking and unliking because it doesn’t base its “prospect selection’ system on swiping right or left on the entire profile. It allows users to pick a specific prompt or image to like.
- Deeper connection – Because the basis of liking is more specific.
- Easier opening conversation – Because you know what someone likes about you, you can have a conversation about it.
- Hard to get used to – The platform has a different interface than Tinder and other mainstream dating apps.
- Fewer matches – Due to the need for specific actions, people get fewer likes on Hinge, which leads to fewer results.
3. Facebook Dating
Facebook Dating is a dating platform owned by Meta (which owns Facebook). The extensive database that Facebook has about people’s likes and dislikes allows the platform to present a dating app based not on people’s professed interests but their actual interests.
- Profile setup is easy – Since it is an extension of Facebook, you can easily migrate your information.
- More rapport with Matches – Given that the app uses your interest data to find your matches, you’re more likely to have things in common.
- Might bump into close friends – Because it is Facebook, bumping into colleagues and friends is inevitable.
Tinder is among the most popular dating apps in the world. If you want a high volume of potential matches to sort through, this is your go-to app.
By swiping right on people you like and left on ones you dislike, you’re able to register your interest anonymously. If someone is interested in you and likes you back, he/she will see that you like them too.
- Plenty of people on the app – This gives you more choices and room to be pickier.
- Easy to set up – Connects with Facebook for easy imports and connectivity.
- A lot of spam and plenty of fake profiles – Because a lot of people know about the app, a lot of them use it. With a higher number of users, there is a higher chance of fake profiles and spam accounts.
- Notorious for flings – Even when the users are real, getting a long-lasting connection has become hard on Tinder because of the app’s reputation. Tinder has become notorious for being an easy source of flings.
5. Coffee Meets Bagel
If you’re tired of swiping or getting swiped, then Coffee Meets Bagel is an excellent app that flips the script. It’s the opposite of Tinder’s volume-based model, as it curates a small selection of potential matches delivered to you each evening.
This artificial scarcity makes all users consider their potential matches (or bagels) more seriously. Aside from this, the rest of the app model is the same.
- Deeper consideration – Because the app pre-selects a finite number of potential matches, users go through each profile more thoroughly before choosing to like or dislike it.
- Low likelihood of getting judged based on looks – You’re not likely to get judged based on your first picture on this app because users can’t be frivolous with potential matches on Coffee Meets Bagel.
- Fewer matches – Pre-curation means you are considered more serious by other users. But it also gives you fewer potential matches and forces you to consider them more seriously.
- False interest out of boredom – A smaller selection of prospects can be a good thing for depth of consideration, but it can also encourage people to fake interest in each other out of boredom. And that defeats the purpose of this app.
Best Practices for Using a Free Dating App
Use Multiple Pictures
And when you add multiple pictures, skip the selfies. One or two selfies are fine. Any more than that, and you might as well have a signboard saying, “loner.” Having a group photo is essential as well.
Don’t Copy-paste Your Bio
No matter how witty a Twitter bio might be, you can’t copy it onto your dating profile. At best, it will be embarrassing down the line. At worst, it will be embarrassing up front. Write your own bio, even if it means you aren’t going to be as witty. Authenticity matters more and stands out the most on free dating apps.
Keep an Open Mind
There will be a lot of spam, catfish, and fake profiles on any free dating platform. You just need to keep an open mind that real people looking for a real connection are also there.
Keeping an open mind means you’re going to be cautiously optimistic about your prospects on the app.
Don’t Trust Everyone Immediately
While keeping an open mind is important, you need to exercise caution as well. Free dating apps are populated by bots that try to migrate you to a different platform where messaging costs money. Make sure you stay on the app or switch to your Line, Telegram, WhatsApp, or Instagram.
Use a Trustworthy Dating App
Finally, you need to make sure the dating app you use is trustworthy. While no dating app can ensure that users aren’t lying, you can at least aim for an app with an airtight photo verification system.
Such apps weed out catfish, at least, and reduce the overall bot profile count on the platform.
Final Thoughts: The Crown Goes To
While Hinge and Bumble remain the top tinder alternatives, the strategic use of Tinder is still the likeliest to get you more dates.
Each free dating app is curated toward specific types of users, and picking one that is right for you is key to getting the best results.