14 Best Free New Dating Sites (Plus 3 Old Favorites)

Online Dating

14 Best Free New Dating Sites (Plus 3 Old Favorites)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks • 10/31/17

It seems like every day a new dating site launches and invites singles to view dating from a new perspective. There are plenty of options to mix things up online. A catchy gimmick or innovative design may catch an online dater’s eye, but effective tools keep them around long enough to connect with mutual matches.

In 2013, Forbes estimated that 1,000 new online dating services launch every year, however 99% of those fail to attract an audience in such a competitive and unforgiving space. New dating websites are a dime a dozen — the trick is figuring out which ones will actually work for singles and fill a need in the dating scene.

You don’t need to find these needles in the haystack on your own — that’s our job. Our dating experts stay on the pulse of the industry and spread the word about successful dating tools and resources. To update singles about the latest and greatest dating platforms around, we’ve compiled a list of 17 new and beloved dating sites (and apps) that offer something unique to the modern dater.

New | Favorites

Best New Dating Sites

In the Architect of Destruction episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” Barney Stinson proclaims that new is always better. Four words to live by. While his logic isn’t the soundest, he does have a point when it comes to the dating industry. Singles are forever chasing after newer, hotter, better prospects, especially online.

New online dating sites pioneer ways to improve the experience for users dissatisfied by the same old swiping game.

Below, you’ll find our list of today’s top new dating platforms that have come up with intriguingly original ideas to make online dating faster, safer, and easier. Taking advantage of these innovative tools and fun communities can bring new life to your romantic affairs. Enjoy!

1. Hater

Topping our list, my favorite new dating platform is definitely Hater. This fun dating and social app made headlines and pushed boundaries when it launched in early 2017. Why? It brings people together based on things they hate! Users can swipe hate, dislike, love, or like on over 3,000 topics on Hater.

Whether you hate slow walkers, cats, Trump, or all of the above, you can find someone who shares your disgust on this groundbreaking app. “People are tired of the lovey-dovey branding of most dating apps and sites,” Hater’s Founder told us with a laugh. “Hater spices things up a bit by allowing you to hate things.”

2. SparkStarter

Most dating sites leave singles alone to fend for themselves when searching for a date, but SparkStarter aims to bring a community element back into online dating. This site lets users play matchmaker and suggest potential dates for friends and family members.

Photo of the Sparkstarter logo

SparkStarter is a friend-approved dating tool for singles networking in Minnesota.

On SparkStarter, singles can feel confident going on dates endorsed by their friends, and couples can enjoy the chance to bring a little more love into the world by recommending dates. It’s a team effort, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

SparkStarter is one of the most original dating site concepts I’ve heard of, and I’m glad to see the network is expanding beyond its headquarters in Minneapolis.

3. LuvByrd

Founded by a young outdoorsman in Colorado, LuvByrd is a growing dating network for intrepid singles across the country. Thousands of people come together and bond over their shared interests in mountain climbing, biking, skiing, boating, and other outdoor activities. Because the site’s membership has grown primarily by word of mouth, over 60% of users reside in Colorado and are active members of the outdoor community.

4. Happn

The idea for Happn was born in Paris in 2014. Three free-thinking entrepreneurs wondered why dating sites didn’t utilize the everyday romantic opportunities of real life. People meet one another all the time in coffee shops and grocery stores, so what if an online platform could help those individuals reconnect? They thought it was a good idea, so they made it happen.

Today, Happn helps users find their Crushes and use location-based tools to view the people they’ve crossed paths with most recently. If you’ve ever met someone in the real world that you’d like to find again, Happn offers a great opportunity to create romance based on the everyday happenstance.

5. Bumble

Bumble is the feminist’s take on online dating. In December 2014, this remarkable dating app challenged patriarchal dating norms by requiring women to make the first move (meaning send the first message). From the moment a mutual connection is made, the woman has 24 hours to say something before the opportunity disappears forever.

In same-sex matches, both individuals have the opportunity to respond within the 24-hour window. By putting a time pressure on singles, the app actually speeds up the dating process. As they say on Bumble: Life’s short, so make the first move.

6. Mesh

Mesh’s slogan is “Experience Better” because it aims to bring value back to online dating. Based in New York City, the dating site empowers users to keep out the spammers, jerks, and rejects. Its most innovative feature is the messaging system. Your inbox automatically filters incoming messages so you only see those who meet your standards. The site’s founder, Asher Snyder, prioritized quality and choice when designing this female-friendly online experience.

Screenshot of Mesh's homepage

Mesh is a new and free dating site offering patented message filters and smart matches.

“On Mesh you have a curated, clean inbox with people you actually want to date,” Asher told us in an interview. “Over time, you would then trust your inbox more, so that leads to a higher response rate.”

7. Hinge

When I heard that a dating app called Hinge was positioning itself to become The Relationship App, I was so intrigued that I signed up that day. Within moments, I had matches to talk to and dates to plan. Hinge combines personality-driven profiles and mutual-match communications to ensure quality interactions. The app lets users be the gatekeeper of their own inboxes, deciding who can send messages and who goes into the discard pile.

Because your account is connected to a social media profile, you know everyone is genuine and get a full picture of who they are. The relationship app is undeniably effective. I’m actually still seeing a guy I met on Hinge months ago!

8. Aisle

Since 2014, Aisle has staked out a middle ground between India’s traditional matchmaking services and fast-paced devaluing dating apps. Aisle’s quality-focused app vets all members to cultivate a safe and friendly environment for urban daters interested in making genuine connections online. Page upon page of in-depth success stories speak to the effectiveness of this dating app.

“We didn’t have any mutual friends or relatives, and we both lived miles away from each other. But something just felt right.” — Nehha and Omprakash, a couple who met on Aisle

Instead of paying a flat subscription fee, Aisle members use conversation invites to connect with free members and make a date. CEO Able Joseph likened this communication system to buying a drink for someone. One person expresses interest, and the other person can accept that offer at no personal cost. All in all, Aisle is a trustworthy tool to build a relationship with Indian singles.

9. JustAskMeOut

In the UK, JustAskMeOut has started a dating revolution based on the idea that online daters should skip all the chatting and just go out in person as soon as possible. This new dating site gives online singles a quick avenue to offline fun.

“We don’t have a chat facility — you just have to ask people out,” said Alex Rowley, Founder and CEO of JustAskMeOut. “We designed it that way because we feel the only way to find out if that person is a perfect match is to meet in person.”

10. Coffee Meets Bagel

When I tried Coffee Meets Bagel, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to sign up and how polite everyone I met was. It was a creep-free zone with no pick-up lines in sight! Founded in 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel wanted dating to become fun again.

The dating app accomplishes that by putting women in control of who connects with them online. Coffee Meets Bagel offers women a curated list of matches (called Bagels) to like or pass on — so users only talk to quality date prospects who have expressed interest in them.

Plus, on Coffee Meets Bagel, users have the ability to ask the community to rate their photos in a simple either/or vote. Users earn activity points by choosing which photo they like better and give each other valuable feedback about what pics to post.

11. Hornet

Launched in 2011, Hornet created quite a buzz in the gay community by vying with Grindr for the position of the world’s premier all-male dating network. Today, Hornet has over 25 million members captivated by the app’s clean interface and thought-provoking content. The social-driven profile setup makes it easy to discover hot guys who share similar interests and lifestyles.

12. Her

One of my closest friends uses Her and goes on a date every other week thanks to its fast connective tools. She doesn’t know many lesbian or bisexual women at her work, so the dating app helps her tap into the diverse female-friendly community without going too far out of her comfort zone.

“We thought the best way for women to express who they are is by sharing images.” — Robyn Exton, Founder of Her

Formerly known as Dattch, the female-driven app was started in 2012 as a side project by Robyn Exton, a single lesbian dissatisfied by online dating. Today, Her boasts over 1 million members (all verified as women) and promotes user-generated events in over 50 countries worldwide.

13. Pure

Known as the “hookup app for awesome people,” Pure certainly has swagger. Thousands of men and women come here for anonymous and spontaneous affairs made in the heat of the moment. Dedicated to fun, freedom, and fantasies, this dating app creates a nonjudgmental space for sex-oriented singles to make instant connections and arrange raunchy encounters.

All you need is a selfie to get started. Profiles aren’t permanent (lasting only one hour), so everyone you see online is actively seeking a short-term hookup. Pure offers a private online space to flirt with locals and go after what you want. If you’re a woman, the app is 100% free. If you’re a man, you can enjoy a free trial period before the subscription period starts.

14. Meld

Meld is the new black and biracial dating app getting people talking. Under the motto “You deserve to be happy,” the app invites black professionals to mingle in an upscale environment. The app uses LinkedIn to verify that members are working professionals seeking genuine connections. Singles push the MELD button to like a profile and receive invites to communicate with singles who gel with them.

Screenshot of Meld's homepage

Black professionals feel comfortable mingling on Meld’s private and niche dating environment.

To build its community and inspire love connections, Meld also hosts exclusive singles parties for members in Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

3 Old Favorites

As Barney Stinson found out when he sipped a new bottle of Jumbo Jim’s Grape Scotch — newer isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s downright disgusting. New is untested, which means it could be unreliable, ineffective, or dissatisfying.

The newest craze may be thrilling at first, but you never know how long it will last. Novel online dating ventures often end up unable to compete against more time-tested brands. Longstanding dating websites may not be as flashy, but they get the job done and have decades of success stories to prove it. Below, you’ll find three of our favorite dating sites known for staying current and getting results.

Match

Match is not a new dating site by any stretch of the imagination. It’s actually the oldest dating site. Launched in 1995, Match has been responsible for more relationships and marriages than any other site. It’s like the wise old sage offering dependable, time-tested solutions to counter the fleeting, trendy startups of online dating.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search by age, profile, zip, more

Our Experts Say: “Match.com has led to more dates, marriages and relationships than any other site. Its impressive user base and success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Even as the site stays true to the personality-based matching that made it so successful, Match continually evolves to better serve singles. Missed Connections is Match’s newest feature. Innovative location-based tools allow members to see when they cross paths with compatible Match members in real life. Because who knows? Maybe that special someone is just around the corner!

Elite Singles

Over 165,000 new US members join Elite Singles each month because they want to take a more discerning approach to love. The dating site’s claim to fame is that over 80% of members have university degrees and over 90% are over the age of 30. These are serious people interested in a serious relationship with high-quality individuals.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search personal criteria, plus get Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is the premier site for professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its Fraud Detection ensures no-nonsense dating...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

What began as a curated network in Germany has now expanded into an international endeavor to raise the bar for singles everywhere. Today, thousands of professionals have found love thanks to the intelligent matchmaking resources of Elite Singles.

Zoosk

Last of all, Zoosk launched back in 2007 to create a worldwide dating network. The real-time chat features and coin-based subscription plans encourage over 35 million members to interact with one another on a daily basis. The dating site may not be new anymore, but it is still very active with 3 million messages sent on the site every day.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search, plus daily match suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk's integration with social networks and its popular smartphone app make it one of the fastest-growing dating sites for casual and serious daters...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

When you join Zoosk, you have access to date prospects in over 80 countries. Whether you’re seeking a relationship or just want to chat, Zoosk is a fantastic place to get started.

Try Something Old & Something New to Avoid Feeling Blue

At DatingAdvice.com, we pride ourselves on keeping up with the ever-changing dating industry and informing singles about the resources at their disposal. When a new dating site pops up on our radar, we rush to explore its budding community and review its most notable features for our readers.

The new online dating websites on this list have grabbed our attention in recent months because of the imaginative ideas, niche audiences, and streamlined functionality behind them. We hope you enjoy using these groundbreaking platforms as much as we enjoyed testing them out for you. Choose wisely!