Best Dating Apps For Relationships

Women's Dating

17 Best Dating Apps for Relationships in 2021

Amber Brooks
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When endless swiping and ghosted conversations get you down, the best dating apps for relationships are there to pick you back up.

Online dating has the power to make meaningful connections for singles with serious intentions and good hearts. A recent survey of newlyweds found that 22% of spouses now meet online, making it the most popular resource for falling in love.

We’ve ranked the top dating apps for relationship seekers to help singles forge a more fruitful path in the modern dating world and get the results they desire.

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4.9/5.0
Match.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by location, age, interest, and more
  • 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 date prospects, and receive compatible matches based on personalized preferences. Free members can also chat with select members and send unlimited likes.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Match is the original online dating site, and its companion dating app can bring a lot of value to singles who are looking for love. No other dating service has led to more real-life relationships and marriages than Match.com

Since its launch in 1995, Match has supported a virtual dating space where personal compatibility powers all new connections. Singles can see how much they have in common based on their overall match rating, and those who score 80% or higher can use the free communication feature to pursue a relationship.

Setting up a Match dating profile is totally free and takes less than five minutes, so users don’t have to wait around or pay a membership fee to start exploring the local dating scene.

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4.9/5.0
EliteSingles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with EliteSingles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. EliteSingles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

As a premium dating site and app, EliteSingles caters to singles with high standards and serious ambitions. The majority of its users are well-educated professionals looking for a long term relationship.

EliteSingles can up the caliber of your date prospects and make smart matches based on a sophisticated formula that identifies similarities in age, education, income, religion, and other important factors. You can learn more about the platform’s matchmaking tools and success rate in our full review.

Free members can browse profiles, send smiles, and exchange icebreaker greetings on EliteSingles; however, only premium members can view photos and write original messages on the app.

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4.5/5.0
eharmony

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Long-Term Relationships, Marriages
  • Match System: Get daily match suggestions
  • About the App: Responsible for 4% of marriages in the U.S., eharmony is among our top picks for relationship-minded heterosexual singles. To become a member, add the app to your phone (iOS or Android) and then take its 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility Matching Quiz. It's absolutely free to do both these things — as well as receive matches and communicate during other special events.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has been a beacon of hope for love-driven individuals. The online dating site and app get to the heart of who a person is and curate a potential match list full of desirable and compatible people.

The Compatibility Quiz is the foundation of eharmony’s scientifically proven matchmaking. This psychological assessment analyzes a single person’s personality quirks, communication style, lifestyle, and family values, and then calculates a compatibility rating that is exceptionally accurate.

More than 2 million American couples have met thanks to eharmony, and the dating service creates a new love connection every 14 minutes.

4. Zoosk

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4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Zoosk is a dating website and app that was inspired by social media, so it has a lot of matching and chatting tools available to kick off a real relationship.

A free Zoosk member can browse a database of over 40 million dating profiles and use advanced search tools to find their ideal match. It’s free to send likes, winks, and some free messages to Zoosk users, and users can also spend Zoosk Coins to send virtual gifts. However, if you’re really serious about meeting someone, it’s best to subscribe to a monthly membership so you can chat with anyone you like.

Every day, Zoosk members send over 3 million messages and spark online connections that can lead to fun first dates and loving relationships.

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4.2/5.0
SilverSingles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Filter by age, height, and distance
  • About the App: SilverSingles runs an exclusive dating community for single men and women over the age of 50. Its database includes recently divorced singles as well as singles who have never been married. The dating app matches people based on their similarities in age, lifestyle, hobbies, and relationship goals. If you want to show your interest in someone online, you can send a smile, message, or request that they upload a profile picture. Either way, they'll know you care.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

SilverSingles is the mature solution for silver-haired singles seeking meaningful connections in the modern dating world. This dating website and app can upgrade a person’s swiping experience by providing personalized match suggestions.

Every day, the SilverSingles platform will highlight the most compatible and active online daters in your area, and it can even help facilitate a promising conversation. The dating app encourages senior singles to get to know each other by sending prewritten icebreaker questions and private messages. And it’s totally free to download SilverSingles and create a match.

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4.4/5.0
ChristianMingle

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dates or Serious Commitments
  • Match System: Search and receive matches
  • About the App: Christian dating doesn't get any better than on ChristianMingle. With the free app, available on any iOS or Android device, you can browse the more than 2.4 million Christian singles. Since you already know that everyone is on the same religious page, you can focus on other things like age, distance, hobbies, and education to make a deep connection with someone of the same faith.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

ChristianMingle is a faith-driven dating site dedicated to uplifting singles in the Christian community. Since 2001, its dedicated services have led to countless Christian relationships and marriages.

The God-centric message of ChristianMingle appeals to singles who are actively looking for a Christian soul mate. Christian Mingle fosters a friendly place to talk about your interests, your relationship goals, and your faith. About 80% of ChristianMingle members said they would recommend the dating service to a friend, and the Christian dating site boasts having the best success rate when it comes to Christian marriages.

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4.4/5.0
OurTime.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dating and Relationships
  • Match System: Search by age as well as zip, gender, more
  • About the App: Made just for single seniors, OurTime is one of the most well-known niche dating apps. It's a fun and straightforward app with simple swiping features. Once two people swipe right on each other, they can communicate. For more match options, visit the Connect and I'm Interested pages. Plus, if you sign up for OurTime, your profile will appear on its sister site, SeniorPeopleMeet, for free.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

When you reach a certain age, finding companionship can be more important than ever, and OurTime can help senior singles feel less alone on a day-to-day basis. The dating site and app can offer search tools and deliver daily match suggestions to encourage a real relationship to grow.

If you’re looking for a potential partner in your golden years, then you can depend upon OurTime’s support and assistance. This niche dating platform caters to singles in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and older, and it is responsible for countless loving relationships in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

“I’ve found my soul mate,” said an OurTime user in an online testimonial. “We’ve been together for 6 months and are perfect for each other. We are in a serious relationship. He is one of the nicest, sweetest men I have ever met.”

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4.0/5.0
BlackPeopleMeet

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by city, hobbies, age, etc.
  • About the App: Since it was founded in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has established the largest online dating community for black and biracial singles of all orientations. Every month over 1.4 million daters use this simple and safe platform to connect with African-American singles in their area. You can download the app and create a profile for free to find new friends, hot dates, and love interests online.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Since its launch in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has gotten a lot of attention as the #1 online dating site for Black singles in the U.S. and Canada. The BPM team is on a mission to empower minorities and promote greater diversity and inclusion in the online dating world.

Anyone interested in finding a date in the Black community can create a free dating profile on BlackPeopleMeet. Its networking tools facilitate Black relationships as well as interracial relationships, and many singles say they enjoyed going outside their social circle to find a date. The Android app currently has a 3.2-star rating after over 11,000 reviews.

9. Hinge

If you want something more than a casual fling, the Hinge mobile app has your back. It boasts being “the dating app designed to be deleted,” meaning its end goal is to get its users into a committed relationship as soon as possible.

I know from experience that Hinge really works. I met my boyfriend on Hinge over a year ago, and we both deleted the app within a week of meeting each other.

Screenshot of Hinge

Over 70% of first dates arranged on Hinge lead to second dates.

Hinge offers a quality-driven online dating experience where users must like or comment on something specific to spark a mutual match. This system leads to more creative greetings and interest-based conversations than you’ll find on the average superficial swiping app.

The Hinge team actually asks for first date feedback from its users and has found that over 90% say they enjoyed their date with a Hinge user, and about 72% say they want to go out again.

10. Bumble

Bumble is an online dating app created by women for women, and it doesn’t compromise when it comes to quality. This progressive platform encourages single women to make the first move in their chats with men, thus setting a more positive and respectful tone in the online dating scene.

In the spring of 2020, Bumble surged in popularity and surpassed 100 million users worldwide.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble has a good reputation as the world’s first female-friendly dating app.

Bumble is a great place to get serious about finding an equal partner in life. Over 85% of Bumble users said they’re looking for a relationship on the app, and fewer than 4% said they were interested in a casual hookup.

11. Coffee Meets Bagel

Three sisters in Silicon Valley launched Coffee Meets Bagel (also known as CMB) in 2012 because they wanted to bring civility back to online dating. They felt the key to doing this was to slow down the matching process and motivate male users to place greater value on every dating profile in their match list.

Coffee Meets Bagel puts a cap on the number of likes a single person can send each day, and the app automatically deletes conversations that have been inactive for over three weeks.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

Coffee Meets Bagel has over 21 million users.

The CMB algorithm prioritizes quality over quantity, which means it doesn’t overwhelm female users with too many options or give male users an incentive to blindly swipe right on every dating profile they view.

“There’s a lot of exhaustion and frustration with modern dating — I think it’s become really complicated,” said Coffee Meets Bagel Co-Founder Dawoon Kang. “I’m interested in using Coffee Meets Bagel as a vehicle to change the conversation [and] to get this generation to share and connect more authentically.”

12. OkCupid

OkCupid is a free dating app where online daters can send messages and carry on lengthy conversations without paying for a subscription. The only catch is that you must establish a mutual match if you want to go beyond the first message.

If you’re looking for a real relationship, OkCupid can be your wingman and scour the local dating scene for people like you. Its learning algorithm uses a combination of profile details, match questions, and browsing history to determine which users will be the perfect match.

Screenshot of OkCupid

The OkCupid app creates over 91 million matches per year.

For nearly 20 years, OkCupid has fostered an open-ended dating space where people of all ages, orientations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds are welcome. Countless friendships and relationships have blossomed thanks to its smart matching technology and free communication system.

13. Happn

Happn is a mobile dating app that is constantly working in the background to find a potential match for you. The app uses your real-time location data to power its match recommendations, which come with a map reference of all the places where you and another person have crossed paths.

While you’re on the bus, getting coffee, shopping for groceries, and going about your daily routine, Happn is hard at a work scoping for singles who share similar interests and habits.

Screenshot of Happn

Every Happn profile shows a map of where users have crossed paths.

The Happn app has over 90 million users worldwide, and it is particularly popular in New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London, and other large and bustling cities where singles swipe on a daily basis.

We’ve ranked Happn as one of the best apps for finding a relationship because it doesn’t ask users to go very far out of their way to find common ground — and its live chat feature is completely free.

14. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a completely free dating app, and that’s reason enough to give it a whirl. It doesn’t cost anything to create a dating profile, view your matches, and send private messages to any user you like (no matching required, and the free membership never expires.

The POF community has over 150 million users in 20 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, and the dating site and app see over 4 million views per day.

Screenshot of POF

Plenty of Fish is a free dating app that streamlines the swiping and matching process.

Some online dating services require users to jump through hoops and provide a lot of personal information to set up their profile. But that’s not the case on Plenty of Fish. A new member can download the app and start swiping on profiles within less than a minute, and all they need to do is upload a profile picture from Facebook, Instagram, or their smartphone to send unlimited messages.

15. Tinder

Tinder has the reputation of a hookup app, but it has actually led to many serious relationships as well. You can read dozens of Tinder love stories on Reddit as proof of the dating app’s matchmaking success. There is no faster or easier way to meet a new person, and those romantic connections could lead anywhere — even down the aisle.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Tinder is an all-purpose dating app that works for casual daters as well as relationship seekers.

Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has sparked over 43 billion matches and seen over 350 million downloads, making it one of the most popular dating apps of all time.

The Tinder team is always working overtime to keep online daters engaged. In the summer of 2020, Tinder launched its Face to Face video chat feature, which allows Tinder matches to increase their intimacy without having to leave the comfort of home.

16. Badoo

The Badoo app has one of the largest dating pools in the world — 483 million members and counting — so singles will certainly have a lot of potential date options here.

This fast-paced dating scene is a nice change of pace for men and women who struggle to meet people in their daily lives.

Badoo is available in 190 countries, and its members exchange over 350 million messages per day.

The Badoo logo

Badoo members swipe on 12 billion dating profiles per day.

Badoo is a popular dating app on which singles can mix things up and see where their conversations take them. Not all Badoo members are looking for something serious, but those who just want sex tend to be upfront about it.

Online daters often mention what type of relationship they want in their dating profile, and it’s pretty common to pop the “what are you looking for” question before meeting up.

17. HER

HER is a women-only dating app that, unlike many of its competitors, was actually created and designed by a lesbian woman. In 2013, Robyn Exton decided enough was enough and it was time to give the LGBTQ+ women a place where they wouldn’t be hit on by creepy men and unicorn hunters. Dare to dream, right?

The HER community currently includes over 5 million lesbian, bisexual, and queer women in 55 countries.

Screenshot from HER

The HER dating app welcomes all singles who identify as female.

HER uses Facebook to verify that a woman is who she says she is. Its signup process ensures that men cannot create fake profiles and harass women on the app. The moderators have a strict no-boys-allowed policy and will remove anyone who breaks the HER Community Guidelines.

“There will be lots of opinions in the community,” the HER team says. “Respect others’ comments, engage in fun humor, and be appropriate. No judgment, no drama.”

How Do Dating Apps for Relationships Work?

Online dating is one of the most effective ways to meet new people these days. And it’s easy to make someone’s acquaintance, strike up a conversation, and create a foundation for a committed relationship.

First, you’ll download the app and create your dating profile — be sure to complete every section so the match algorithm has a lot of information to work with. Then you can start swiping and searching for a potential match based on your criteria for age, location, gender, education, ethnicity, and other factors.

Photo of a dating app

A popular dating app can give a person access to tons of romantic possibilities.

Most dating apps offer some sort of free communication tools, but serious daters can choose a paid alternative to get faster results and receive more matches and messages.

Singles can waste precious time looking for dates in bars or waiting on a mutual friend to make an introduction, or they can be proactive, download a free dating app, and pursue local dates anywhere and anytime they want.

How Do I Choose the Best Dating App for Relationships?

Every dating app is different, and choosing the one that’s right for you is just a matter of knowing what you want and trusting your instincts. We’ve listed a lot of great options in this article, and any of them could lead you to relationship success.

The best dating apps for serious relationships have quality-driven matching tools, a mature membership base, and security protocols to make the experience a positive one. Do your research and ask friends for their opinions about popular dating sites and apps. Plus, it never hurts to look at user reviews on Google Play, Trust Pilot, and the App Store to make sure you know what to expect.

Are Dating Apps for Relationships Safe to Use?

Safety is a huge concern for online daters — and women are particularly nervous when it comes to meeting a stranger online. Mainstream dating apps are sensitive to the needs of all daters, so they offer an array of security features to foster a safe environment for a 2o-something woman, a single mom, a senior woman, and anyone else hoping to put themselves out there and meet someone special.

Online dating companies don’t run extensive background checks on all users, but they can put in place some verification tools that will automatically flag any fake profiles. For instance, if you’re required to connect to a valid Facebook account when signing up, that’s a good sign for the authenticity of the user base.

And, don’t worry, dating apps don’t post anything on your social media account, so your Facebook friends won’t see your online dating activity.

Photo of a computer keyboard

Always vet your online matches before you meet up to make sure they’re on the level.

Online daters can also do their part to keep unsavory characters out of their inboxes. Dating apps have reporting tools to make sure online harassment never gets very far.

If you spot any suspicious or harmful activity, you can block the user and report him or her to the dating app. Taking such a step will delete your conversation and hide your profile from that user, and it could also lead to the online dating account being permanently removed from the database.

Just remember that dating apps can screen new users by asking for an email address, phone number, or Facebook login, but that won’t always be enough to stop people from lying on their dating profiles or in their messages. It could be as innocent as a single guy claiming to be taller than he is, or it could be a more serious deception that involves a scam, a cyberattack, or infidelity.

Can You Search by “Relationships” on Dating Apps?

No, not all dating apps have search filters based on relationship type. Most don’t even ask singles to disclose that information in their dating profile. Tinder, for instance, asks for basics such as age, orientation, and ethnicity, but does not inquire about a member’s relationship goals.

OkCupid is one of the few dating platforms that has a detailed Looking For section. It includes the question, “what connections are you looking for” with checkboxes for new friends, hookups, short-term dating, and long-term dating. “Open to any” is also an option if you’re not really sure what you want.

The Best Apps Help Singles Build a Real Relationship

An old saying tells us that the road to love never did run smooth — and that can be painfully true in the online dating scene. Singles can get stuck in a swiping rut or feel bogged down by incompatible matches, and sometimes it can feel as if they’re spending hours on apps and sites without getting any closer to their ultimate goal of finding true love.

The best dating apps for relationships strive to give singles greater control over their matches, so they can filter out the undesirables and focus on building quality connections based on mutual compatibility.

All it takes is the right dating profile on the right dating app to spark a new love interest. A tried-and-true matchmaking service can help online daters stop playing games and actually find the person they’re looking for in the dating scene.

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