Best Dating Sites For Beginners

Men's Dating

7 Best Dating Sites for Beginners (Feb. 2024)

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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The best dating sites for beginners can offer shortcuts to new romantic relationships. Any single person can easily figure out how to hack these swiping tools and make a smart match. No prior dating experience or tech expertise is required.

We’ve playtested hundreds of online dating services to identify the ones that make things easy on the user and get results without a lot of hassle and fuss. Our reviews can help newcomers to the online dating scene by answering their questions and recommending foolproof platforms where they can start off strong.

These sites and apps don’t exactly come with a how-to manual (that’s our job), but they can simplify the process of meeting someone new and landing a hot date. Go ahead and give it a try!

1. Match


Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

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Since 1995, Match has been a trustworthy guide for relationship-minded men and women seeking a serious relationship. The online dating site and app feature an advanced algorithm that identifies common interests, values, and backgrounds, and its match recommendations offer a compatibility percentage so users know where they stand with each other.

Match users with an exceptionally high compatibility rating are known as Top Picks, and they can chat for free on the dating website and app. According to survey data from the site, over 200,000 couples meet on Match every year, and the online dating service has facilitated more marriages than any other matchmaker, digital or otherwise.


Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

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EliteSingles has raised the bar in the online dating world by curating a membership base of well-educated and successful singles. This premium dating site features in-depth profiles where users can describe their hobbies, ambitions, and lifestyles in detail and share icebreakers to get a deep conversation going.

The majority of EliteSingles members are over 30 and serious about creating a valuable partnership. But you don’t need a degree to join in the fun. Free members can set up a profile, browse the potential match list, and send likes or photo requests to compatible users. However, only premium members can view photos or send messages on the dating platform.

3. Zoosk


Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is integrated with social media sites, like Facebook and Google+, so it's very popular with singles on the go...” Full Review »

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Zoosk powers a social network for online daters who are up for an adventure. The dating website and app have over 40 million users in 80 countries, and active Zoosk members exchange more than 3 million messages per day.

Zoosk began as a Facebook app in 2007, and now it is among the top dating sites with a large and diverse membership base.

Singles don’t have to take things so seriously on Zoosk. The free dating site provides many dynamic matching games and communication features to keep things light and interesting. Zoosk uses behavioral matchmaking to create new love connections, so the algorithm learns what type of person you like by looking for patterns in your browsing history. That means the more you use Zoosk, the more accurate your potential date list will be.


Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Accounting for 2% of U.S. marriages, eharmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship...” Full Review »

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The founding mission of eharmony is to lower the divorce rate by helping compatible couples find one another and build serious relationships. The dating platform draws from psychology to determine which dating profiles sync up best, and its recommendations could lead to long-term happiness.

Joining eharmony means having an experienced relationship expert and wingman by your side to turn every new match into a success story. The online dating site promotes a science-based personality test with over 80 questions that include “where would you most like to live?” and “why are you single?” The personality test is optional, but completing it can lend insight into your dating style and relationship potential. That means smarter and more personalized matches headed your way!


Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is among the largest dating sites in the industry that only caters to single Christian men and women, and the site has some of the best search filters and safety features...” Full Review »

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For over 20 years, ChristianMingle has provided a safe haven for Christian singles in search of true love and a relationship grounded by shared faith. The Christian dating site is particularly popular in the U.S. (aka the Christian nation) and has over 16 million members.

ChristianMingle gives singles the opportunity to follow their hearts and their beliefs when seeking a potential partner. The dating profile asks users to provide their religious affiliation and favorite Bible verses, so members can connect on the values that matter to them.

“Don’t give up. Pray daily before visiting ChristianMingle,” advised Kathy and Ron, a married couple who met through the ChristianMingle dating service. “Be patient and wait on God to send you the right person for you at the right time for you.”


Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “ is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

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BlackPeopleMeet launched in 2002 to empower African American singles to come into their own in the online dating scene. This platform has millions of members who come from different walks of life, but share a similar attitude and cultural understanding.

If you want to book a date with a person of color, you can browse the profiles and send chat messages through the BPM website or mobile app.

BlackPeopleMeet does not condone discrimination based on skin color. The niche dating service welcomes singles of all races and ethnicities. As long as you are respectful of other members, you have the freedom to engage in woke conversations and pursue Black love in the BPM community.


Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles is a fast-growing, easy-to-use niche dating site exclusively for active daters over the age of 50...” Full Review »

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SilverSingles has brought seniors together through its online dating website and mobile app. The platform has insightful matchmaking tools that put a user’s preferences first and identify commonalities in age, background, and lifestyle to find the perfect match.

The SilverSingles dating pool is unique because it is exclusive to singles over 50 and requires some investment to join. SilverSingles members may not send messages unless they have a verified profile picture and pay a monthly subscription fee. This rule is in place to keep members safe from scammers and fake profiles by creating a buffer that only authentic seniors can cross.


Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

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OurTime is a senior dating site where singles value maturity and develop lifelong relationships. The platform offers a free registration process as well as some free chatting features, so newcomers can quickly establish new romantic connections.

OurTime is geared toward singles who are over 50 and live in English-speaking countries. These users have little technical experience or online dating knowledge, so the dating platform offers step-by-step guidance to help things run smoothly. The site’s basic features include in-depth search filters and daily match recommendations, and its special features can facilitate online chats, anonymous phone calls, and virtual gift giving.


Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn't about making friends, it's about finding hookups and casual encounters. No adult site has a larger or more active user base of those seeking discreet fun...”

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Adult Friend Finder has provided the ultimate hookup platform since 1996, and its membership base grows larger and kinkier every year. The AFF community encompasses over 104 million dating profiles with over 98 million sexy pics in the photo gallery.

Exploring sexual content on the AFF site is totally free, and new users can remain anonymous by choosing a random username and refraining from uploading a profile picture. Just keep in mind that only members with photos and a paid membership can send private chats on this adult dating site. Even without premium perks, online dating beginners can learn from more experienced users in the AFF forums, video livestreams, and erotic blogs.


Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “A hookup site specializing in casual encounters, secret affairs, live chats, and member videos, FriendFinder-X skips the awkward "dating" stage of a relationship and fast-forwards straight to the sex...”

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Looking for a casual hookup? Then FriendFinder-X can steer you in the right direction. The casual dating site offers location-based searches and real-time chatting that can yield results much faster than if you were to try to flirt at a local bar or club.

FriendFinder-X does not censure or restrain users when it comes to flirting. The website is full of NSFW content, including dick pics, erotic stories, and sex videos. It’s free to explore this adult playground and enjoy its liberated atmosphere, but only Gold Members have access to special features, including one-on-one messaging and video chats.

11. BeNaughty


Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “BeNaughty is a premier hookup app where you can feel comfortable expressing your desires. Plus, it's free to join, browse, and flirt...” Full Review »

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As an anonymous sex site, BeNaughty turns up the heat in the online dating scene by encouraging sexy singles to arrange one-night stands without having to exchange life stories — or even last names. A single person only needs an email address, a username, and a profile picture to complete a BeNaughty profile and start searching for a potential partner.

BeNaughty offers unlimited free communication to every verified woman on the online dating website. However, men have to get a paid membership if they want to do more than send likes and an initial greeting.

We’ve ranked BeNaughty among the best dating sites for beginners because it provides match recommendations, safety measures, and messaging tips to help casual daters succeed.


Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dates, Affairs

Match System: Search by age, location, appearance, and more

Our Experts Say: “With its massive user base and advanced privacy features, Ashley Madison is the #1 site for discreet hookups, dates, or relationships...” Full Review »

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Ashley Madison is an affair dating website and hookup app where individuals can explore date options outside the bonds of monogamy. The registration process makes room for attached and unattached people who are interested in finding romance with no strings attached.

The motto at Ashley Madison is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Over 60% of Ashley Madison members say they want to spice up their sex lives, and about 40% of members admit to have already engaged in an affair.

Ashley Madison has seen over 65 million signups since 2001. We expect this naughty dating pool to only grow larger because current trends indicate the younger generations are more open to both online dating and nontraditional relationships.



Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

Match System: Search by age, location, gender, orientation, and other factors

Our Experts Say: “ frees singles to chat with attractive locals and pick up dates on the spot. This hookup site is always open to horny and sexy people seeking one-night stands, casual dating, threesomes, and other sexual encounters...”

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Thanks to its open-ended messaging policy, can help shy daters practice their pickup lines and build confidence in their flirtatious skills. The casual hookup site has created a forum where flirting and sexting take place 24/7, and it’s free to join the fun. has a special feature called FlirtCast, which allows free members to send a friendly greeting to all compatible members within a certain mile radius. That can be a fun and low-pressure way to start your online dating experience. You simply cast out a line and wait to see if you get a catch in your inbox.

14. MenNation


Relationships: Daters & Hookups

Match System: Search by age, zip code, more

Our Experts Say: “MenNation is a well-established gay dating and hookup brand, having been founded in 1996. It's totally free to join, view profiles, receive matches, and flirt...”

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MenNation is a gay hookup site that caters to single men and gay couples interested in male companionship. The site does not offer labels or pass judgment on users, so it’s a great place for questioning and exploring one’s sexuality from the privacy of home.

The majority of MenNation users are experienced in the ways of love and online dating, and they’re typically happy to give dating advice and show newcomers the ropes. MenNation users can post a question in the public forums or send a private message to an attractive guy to build new relationships in the LGBTQ+ community.


Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “LesbianPersonals provides a fun, quick, and easy experience for gay and bisexual women looking for sex online. Join for free, and you'll be able to search and communicate immediately...”

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LesbianPersonals puts women in the center of the action in the online dating scene. Its personal ads have inspired many lesbian hookups, threesomes, and sexual encounters, and that’s why it consistently ranks among the top lesbian sex sites on the market.

A sexually adventurous woman can use LesbianPersonals to network with sexy singles and couples who have similar interests and kinks. The hookup site features chat rooms, livestreaming shows, and nude photo galleries where women can find plenty of eye candy and anonymous dating opportunities.

16. OkCupid


may not have the largest dating pool, but it has the benefit of being a 100% free dating app, so it’s great for beginners. Users start by answering in-depth questions about their personality quirks, opinions, and habits, and that information factors into a compatibility formula that drives potential matches.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid is a sophisticated dating service that has been perfecting its match algorithm since 2004.

All communication is free on OkCupid. The only catch is you have to strike up a mutual match to get beyond the first message. Only OkCupid users who have liked each other’s profile will show up in each other’s inboxes.

Every year, OkCupid is responsible for creating more than 91 million matches and inspiring over 1.5 million first dates in the U.S. and abroad.

17. PlentyOfFish


(or POF) has attracted over 150 million singles around the world with its free messaging features. The POF brand started in Canada in 2003, and it has since expanded to reach 20 countries. The online dating site and app currently see about 4 million daily active users.

Users do not have to pay for the pleasure of matching and messaging on the POF site or app. PlentyOfFish allows completely free communication, and it doesn’t even require a mutual match to carry on a conversation.

Screenshot of POF

POF offers a free dating app to support daters on the go.

PlentyOfFish has a great track record in the online dating scene. The platform creates over 57 million love connections every week, and it adds over 65,000 users every day. Its free tools can give beginners everything they need to chat, flirt, and date with confidence (and without cracking open any piggy banks). It doesn’t get much better than that!

18. Tinder

Even if you’re brand new to the online dating scene, you have probably heard of Tinder. It’s among the most popular dating apps of all time. Tinder’s swipe-right matchmaking took the dating world by storm in 2012, and the app has created more than 55 billion matches and has been downloaded over 400 million times since then.

Tinder has the reputation of a hookup app, but many real relationships have sprung from its swiping technology. So it’s worth giving Tinder a shot.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Tinder users have the power to swipe on profiles and act as gatekeepers of their inbox.

Tinder has a good balance of free and paid features to support all sorts of romantic pursuits. New users can download the app, swipe on user profiles, and chat with mutual matches without paying a dime. Or they can choose to upgrade to a paid membership to get more potential date options at their fingertips.

Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold subscriptions come with an array of premium features, including the ability to Rewind on the swipe list and view profiles in other cities, states, and countries. Tinder subscribers can also send unlimited likes through the dating app.

19. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel

is a serious dating app that prioritizes quality over quantity. Three Asian American sisters came up with the idea for the CMB app in 2012 because they were tired of getting bombarded by messages from incompatible dates on mainstream dating platforms. They envisioned a female-friendly dating space where more selective singles could thrive — and then they built it.

The CMB app curates a potential match list based on innate similarities, and it limits users to a certain number of profile views and likes per day.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

Coffee Meets Bagel began as a passion project of three sister in California.

Much like many popular dating apps these days, Coffee Meets Bagel has a Facebook signup option that can speed things up a bit. A new user can tap the Connect with Facebook button to link their online dating profile to their Facebook account, which means the app will auto-fill your demographic information and pull Facebook photos from your albums.

Connecting through Facebook does not mean your online dating history will show up in any newsfeed. Your Facebook friends or mutual friends will not be able to tell that you’ve joined Coffee Meets Bagel. It’s strictly used for identity verification and profile creation.

20. Badoo

As a global dating platform, Badoo has some impressive statistics behind it. Nearly 500 million people have registered on the dating site or app since 2013. Badoo adds about 300,000 new members and 10 million photos to its database per day.

Badoo supports an active and swipe-happy dating scene where online dating beginners can encounter a lot of single people at once.

The Badoo logo

The Badoo network reaches 190 countries, including the U.K., the U.S., Brazil, and Russia.

Android users can download Badoo for free on Google Play and view unlimited profiles in this massive dating pool. The free dating app is also available in the App Store where it is currently ranked among the top 50 lifestyle apps

21. Bumble

I can sum up Bumble in three words: feminist dating app. The app puts single women first in the online dating scene and gives them the sole power to turn a match with a man into a conversation with a man. Men cannot send the first message on Bumble — instead male users must wait to be approached by their opposite-sex matches.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble has made headlines as the first dating app to give women First Move Privileges.

Bumble’s women-first rule has upturned the traditional roles of heterosexual dating and sparked more engaged and civil conversations online.

To date, Bumble has been downloaded over 100 million times and created one of the most women-friendly, beginner-friendly, and all-around-friendly dating spaces around.

22. Grindr


is probably one of the most famous — and infamous — gay dating apps in the world. Since 2009, Grindr has been downloaded by more than 27 million men, and it currently sees approximately 3.8 million visitors per day.

Men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer can encounter tons of local date options in just a single swiping session on Grindr. The app automatically sorts dating profiles based on GPS location data, so it’s easy to arrange a meetup in big cities, suburban areas, or even rural areas.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

The Grindr app sees nearly 4 million daily active users.

Grindr is a proud supporter of LGBTQ+ people from all walks of life. The dating app has made social networking easier for individuals, and it has also launched Grindr for Equality to fund social empowerment and activism efforts throughout the world.

23. Hinge


bills itself as the dating app that’s designed to be deleted. That means its goal is to help a new user find a perfect match and get into an exclusive relationship ASAP.

Based on user feedback, Hinge boasts a 90% first date satisfaction rate, and about 72% of Hinge users who go on a first date report wanting to go on a second date with the same person.

The Hinge logo

Hinge is a free app that encourages singles to discover common interests.

Hinge has made a name for itself as one of the best dating apps for relationship seekers. The app adds more details to dating profiles and brings more personality to swipe-based matching to inspire singles to get to know each other on a deeper level.

How Do Dating Sites for Beginners Really Work?

Beginners can get their bearings with a free membership on a dating site or app. The process starts with creating a profile that describes who you are and what you’re looking for. Most platforms require users to upload at least one profile picture to show they are the real deal. We’ve outlined some dating profile tips to steer new users in the right direction as they start their online dating journey.

Once you’re satisfied with your dating profile, you can start looking for local dates or international dates by using search or swiping tools. The platform may ask users to describe their ideal match, or it may automatically generate a match list based on the dating profile information.

Singles can indicate their interest in another user by sending a virtual like, wink, smile, or greeting. Sometimes only mutual matches (people who have liked each other’s profiles) or premium members can send private messages. Dating platforms with free messaging allow more free-flowing conversations and ultimately lead to more date opportunities.

How Do I Know How to Choose the Best Dating Sites for Beginners?

Companies have created niche dating sites to suit single people of all ages, backgrounds, and proclivities, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that speaks to you. The online dating world features a range of offerings from asexual dating sites to polyamorous dating sites. Ultimately, the best option for you depends on what you’re looking for in a potential partner.

For instance, senior singles will naturally have better luck on a senior dating site like OurTime because it has many more mature date options than swipe-happy apps like Tinder and Bumble.


Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is just for men and women who are 50 or older, and it's one of the most popular dating sites in this niche because of its size...” Full Review »

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Age isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing the best dating site or app. Some platforms appeal to singles seeking different types of relationships. Ashley Madison is a well-known dating site for affairs, and eharmony is famous for facilitating long-term relationships. Such values matter in the online dating world, so find an environment where singles share similar interests and outlooks as you do.

When comparing online dating sites, pay attention to the special features and matchmaking processes that distinguish the most popular services, and ask mutual friends for their recommendations as well.

Are These Dating Sites for Beginners Safe to Use?

It’s natural to be a little nervous about jumping into a new and unknown dating scene. But online dating is perfectly safe as long as you keep your wits about you in every match and conversation. Remember that a dating profile is not proof of identity, and you owe absolutely nothing to strangers on the internet — no matter how much they try to cajole or sweet talk you.

Some warning signs of an online dating scam include someone asking for favors or trying to advance a relationship without meeting in person. Fake profiles often do not have a profile picture or have a generic photo that keeps the user’s true identity hidden.

If a person bothers you or raises red flags, you can hit the block button and report the behavior to the online dating powers that be. Blocking a dating profile means that you cannot see or talk to that person anymore, and that person cannot see your profile or conversation window. The block tool is similar to a restraining order, and it’s an effective way to make sure your matches behave themselves.

What are the Search Functionalities and Other Features of Dating Sites for Beginners?

Online dating sites and apps have all sorts of search tools to help individuals find user profiles that meet their standards. Basic search functionalities often include things like age, location, gender, and sexual orientation, but some sites may go further with premium search tools based on appearance, religion, education, income, and other factors. Some dating sites also have a keyword search or a photos-only option in the search tab.

Are There Hookup Sites for Beginners?

Yes, we’ve already listed a few beginner-friendly dating services for singles seeking a casual fling, and many more exist in the X-rated corners of the web. Swinger dating sites and sex dating sites create an open forum where fetishes aren’t just allowed, they’re celebrated. Anyone over 18 can join a hookup site and use its search tools to meet hotties in the area.



Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Encounters
  • Match System: Sort profiles by zip code, appearance, more
  • About the App: On BeNaughty, everyone is interested in finding sexual encounters with no strings attached. Within a couple of minutes, you can get a profile up for $0. Free membership includes unlimited photos, browsing, matches, winks, and chats. BeNaughty also has an advanced anti-fraud system to ensure your personal information stays private while you flirt online.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

If you’re completely new to the casual dating world, we recommend starting on BeNaughty. This hookup site automatically generates compatible date suggestions, and it can suggest sexy pickup lines to send to potential matches.

BeNaughty is completely free to join (just like all the other dating services on this list), and it has free communication options available to start things off with a bang.

Create a Dating Profile to Enjoy a New Beginning

If you’re new to online dating, you may feel awkward or like a dummy the first time you create a profile or send a message. But once you’ve gotten some practice, you’ll start to lose your nervousness and feel like an online dating pro. Online dating sites and apps offer a variety of ways to meet new people and build confidence with every matchup.

No matter your age, orientation, ethnicity, or experience level, you can always go online to find new love interests and spark a promising romance. And the best dating sites for beginners can help light the way.

A tried-and-true dating platform can identify compatibility, facilitate introductions, and even offer good conversation starters for singles seeking casual dates or serious relationships. Beginners can start with a free membership and explore basic matchmaking tools, or they can get more perks by upgrading to a paid membership.  Best of luck!

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