Dating Sites For Those With Anxiety

Women's Dating

17 Best Dating Sites for Those With Anxiety (2020)

Amber Brooks
Amber Brooks Posted:
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Dating with anxiety is no joke. Some singles get extremely nervous in crowded places and social situations, and their anxieties can isolate them and make them shy away from the dating scene.

Fortunately, dating sites can help those with anxiety overcome their confidence issues and wallflower tendencies. Free sites and apps give people the opportunity to meet singles from the comfort and safety of home, and that can really take the pressure off anxious daters.

When you’re online dating, you’re in control, and you can set your own rules and go at your own pace. You don’t have to go on an actual date if you’re not ready, and if you’d rather browse photos and profiles without chatting at all, that’s fine too. You can stay in your comfort zone and look out for your mental health on the following dating sites and apps for singles facing anxiety.

★★★★★
4.8/5.0

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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

If you’re concerned about your romantic prospects, Match can put your mind at ease. This dating site has spent the last three decades learning the secrets of the heart and perfecting its online matchmaking.

Match takes the time to understand who you are before it begins recommending compatible dates to you. The signup process offers many opportunities for singles to share your demographics, interests, values, and relationship goals, and every piece of information will inform the matching process.

You don’t have to bare your soul on Match.com (there’s a 4,000-character limit), but the in-depth profiles can allow you to provide some good details about yourself and learn a little bit more about your matches, so you can enter every online conversation feeling prepared and knowledgeable.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

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 is a highly esteemed dating site for working and retired professionals who just so happen to be single. This premium site cultivates an exclusive membership base and removes all fakers and troublemakers.

In addition to its top-notch security, EliteSingles can offer a quality-driven matching experience guided by your particular preferences. You can set high standards in terms of education, income, age, distance, religion, and other factors, and thereby weed out undesirable dates.

EliteSingles uses a sophisticated formula to calculate a match rating that can let you know how well someone is suited for you. Over 80% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college, so, at the very least, you won’t be talking to many dummies here.

3. Zoosk

★★★★★
4.5/5.0

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 is a bustling dating site and app with a lot going on. The constant influx of notifications and messages can help singles get into the online dating groove and gain confidence in their own desirability.

With a lot of free chat features, Zoosk encourages singles to explore romantic possibilities and take a chance on new connections, and many singles have gone all in with this dating platform. Over 40 million people have created Zoosk profiles, and its members send over 3 million messages a day here.

Zoosk is a socially driven dating site with an open-ended space for sending likes, flirts, favorites, gifts, and messages to anyone who looks interesting to you.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

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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Since 2000, eharmony has put a lot of resources into identifying, measuring, and highlighting relationship compatibility, and it gives marriage-minded singles a lot of meaningful support in the dating scene.

You don’t have to worry about picking the wrong person or meeting phony people on eharmony. This premium dating site screens all new members, and it requires them to invest in the online dating process (by paying a subscription fee) before they can view photos and send messages.

Once you’ve completed the 80-question Compatibility Quiz, you’ll begin to receive a curated list of matches who meet your standards and then some. All in all, eharmony offers a worry-free dating experience where quality dates can come to you.

★★★★
4.1/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com 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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As a niche dating site, BlackPeopleMeet boasts having the largest database of African-American singles in the world, and it gives black and biracial people the chance to be in the majority and find solidarity.

The BlackPeopleMeet community is a welcoming space where people can be themselves and pick up dates at their leisure.

“It took eight months, but I have found the perfect person for me,” said a BPM member from Philadelphia. “I encourage people to be patient and carefully seek, and you will find.”

★★★★
4.4/5.0

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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If you’re beginning to lose faith in online dating, an upstanding and trustworthy dating site like ChristianMingle could be the answer to your prayers.

This Christian dating platform was designed to introduce church-going, God-fearing singles to one another and create a match made in heaven.

“We were so nervous at first but instantly just melted together, holding hands walking around laughing,” said Edwina in a ChristianMingle testimonial. “He proposed to me on bended knee in front of my whole family. We had a beautiful church wedding.”

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

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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The dating scene can seem intimidating to singles of a certain age, but senior-friendly dating sites make the journey a little less stressful and scary. SilverSingles is a friendly site where singles in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and up can feel comfortable mixing and mingling.

As an exclusive over-50 community, SilverSingles fosters a mature and respectful dating atmosphere where people are held accountable for their actions. The moderators remove unsavory characters and remind people to be polite in their interactions.

SilverSingles maintains a premium dating network where only paid subscribers can view photos and send messages. If you’re feeling nervous or shy about online dating, SilverSingles offers safety tips to get your bearings and learn how to protect yourself online.

★★★★
4.3/5.0

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 leading senior dating site where singles can chat with age-appropriate dates in their area.

It’s easy to search for dates on OurTime. New members can view compatible profiles in the Matches section, or they can take matters into their own hands and conduct a unique search by age, location, relationship status, ethnicity, build, and other important qualities.

User safety is a top priority for the OurTime team. The site’s security measures keep cybercriminals at bay, and OurTime members also have the power to block and/or report anyone harassing, spamming, or threatening them online.

★★★★
3.9/5.0

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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BeNaughty is our favorite hookup site because it has streamlined matching, search, and chat tools. From the moment you join BeNaughty, you’ll see a vast gallery of active users seeking sexual experiences, and you can contact anyone who catches your eye.

As a casual dating space, BeNaughty doesn’t put any undue pressure or stress on singles. Instead, it gives people the freedom to follow their desires, explore different date prospects, and see what happens. If you’re feeling frisky and experimental, go ahead and give BeNaughty a try.

10. Bumble

Single men often feel pressured to make the first move in the dating world, but a forward-thinking dating app called Bumble is on a mission to change all that. This app has flipped the traditional gender script by encouraging women to send the first message in a match with a man.

That’s right, men can take a back seat to women on Bumble and let go of the anxiety of coming up with a pickup line. Meanwhile, women no longer have to worry about creeps sending profane or inappropriate greetings.

Screenshot of Bumble

As a feminist dating app, Bumble gives women greater control of their dating experience.

On Bumble, women must give their seal of approval to every new match, and they only have a day or two to make up their mind and send a message to their potential love interest. After 24 hours (or 48 if the guy extends the match), the chat window will disappear for good.

By instituting gender-based rules and respectful guidelines, Bumble has brought order to the matching process and given feminist daters a chance to escape the superficial swiping scene.

11. Hinge

Hinge, aka the relationship app, has brought greater peace of mind to millions of daters seeking genuine connections. The app has upgraded the swiping experience by requiring users to like or comment on something specific if they want to strike up a match.

The Hinge profiles are full of plenty of icebreakers and conversation starters. Each profile features six photos and three personal prompts ranging from silly (What’s your favorite Disney movie?) to serious (How my mother would describe me), and it also lists demographic stats about the person’s age, education, height, drinking habits, smoking habits, religious views, and political opinions.

Screenshot of Hinge's homepage

Hinge is a quality-driven app where serious daters can take the time to get to know one another.

Instead of superficial likes, Hinge users receive more personalized messages, questions, and compliments, and that often inspires positive feelings and deep conversations.

Hinge’s goal is to help users find a relationship and delete the app as soon as possible, and it has been remarkably successful so far. I actually count myself as one of its success stories. Hinge introduced me to my boyfriend last year, and we’ve been going strong ever since.

12. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is a free dating app that prioritizes quality over quantity when matching singles online. Three entrepreneurial women founded the CMB app in 2012 because they were frustrated by the flaky dates and mindless swiping on the typical dating app.

What began as a San Francisco startup has become an online dating phenomenon responsible for more than 50 million matches.

Screenshot of Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel curates a shortlist of desirable matches for singles seeking relationships.

Coffee Meets Bagel sets a daily limit on likes and matches, so singles have to take their time and consider each profile carefully. The point isn’t to create as many mutual matches as possible and flood someone’s inbox — the CMB community is about dating with respect and authenticity, and that means taking things a little more slowly.

13. OkCupid

OkCupid is a completely free dating site and app where singles can show off their passions and quirks in lengthy profiles and private chats. The platform operates under the motto “Dating deserves better,” and it provides many different avenues for reaching an online dating nirvana.

Since its launch in 2004, OkCupid has built a massive following and refined its compatibility ratings based on individual responses to over 4,000 personal questions.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid empowers singles to be themselves and pick up dates on their terms.

OkCupid is also one of the most inclusive dating networks out there. In 2014, the database added 22 gender identities and 13 orientations to its profile settings and search parameters, thus enabling everyone in the LGBTQ+ community to date with pride.

Every year, OkCupid creates more than 91 million online connections, and those smart matches lead to over 2.6 million first dates and countless loving relationships.

14. Happn

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had the guts to approach someone in public in real life and ask for a date. Even if I’m attracted to a cute face or a kind smile, I stay quiet because it’s too nerve-wracking to say hi to a stranger out of the blue. Fortunately, the Happn app has begun introducing singles about town and providing a second chance at a first meeting.

Screenshot of Happn

Happn is currently active in 50 major cities around the world.

Happn uses a smartphone’s location data to show users where they’ve crossed paths with potential dates and to give them the opportunity to express interest and say hi in a virtual setting. That can be a game changer for singles who feel shy or anxious in the real world.

As Rick G. said in a review, “Ever see someone you’re interested in, but have no way to talk to them? This app bridges that gap. Love it.”

15. HER

A lesbian named Robyn Exton created the HER dating app (originally known as Dattch) in 2013. She was tired of seeing dating companies paint their sites pink and call them female-friendly, and she wanted to create a safe space where LGBTQ+ womxn could create real bonds.

Today, HER has over 4 million womxn in its network, and it continues to grow by word of mouth.

Screenshot of HER's website

HER is a dynamic dating app where lesbian, queer, and bisexual womxn can connect with each other.

HER has the look and feel of a social media platform — you can post statuses and view event calendars — and it inspires close friendships and relationships between lesbian, bisexual, and queer womxn.

“In just this year alone, we have grown so much individually and together,” said a Boston resident who met her girlfriend on HER. “I am so lucky to experience life with you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally.”

16. GayCupid

GayCupid is the premier gay dating site owned and operated by Cupid Media, which has over 35 million singles in its network. Newcomers automatically receive a three-month free trial period on GayCupid, so they can test the features and learn the ropes at no cost.

As soon as you create a profile and upload a photo, you’ll have immediate access to thousands of local men seeking men like you.

Screenshot of GayCupid

You don’t have to worry about running out of guys to chat with thanks to GayCupid’s network.

GayCupid is one of the top dating sites for gay men seeking hot dates and steady relationships, and it is also available as a dating app for Android users on the market.

17. No Longer Lonely

No Longer Lonely. The name says it all. This compassionate dating site offers a helping hand to single adults with some type of disability. It could be a physical limitation, or it could be a mental illness, including social and anxiety disorders.

Over 22,000 people visit No Longer Lonely seeking comfort, companionship, and community, and the website doesn’t disappoint. The chat room is full of people who can relate to one another’s life experiences.

Screenshot of No Longer Lonely

No Longer Lonely uses a token-based system to help singles overcome stigma and build relationships.

Jim Leftwich, who has schizoaffective disorder, launched No Longer Lonely in 2004 as a beacon of hope for singles facing deeply personal challenges.

“I just want to help more people and send them a message of empowerment,” Jim told us in an interview. “Mental illness is not something that should hold you back.”

Which Dating Site is Best for Serious Relationships?

From the beginning, Match.com has distinguished itself as a dating site for people who want to build serious relationships. Its personality-driven matchmaking and premium messaging has attracted singles who aren’t messing around.

Match.com

★★★★★
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 and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Match has created more relationships and marriages than any other dating service, and we’d say that makes it the best in the business if you really want to find a long-term partner.

Which Dating Sites Actually Work?

The dating world is full of “what if” questions. What if my date doesn’t like me? What if I say the wrong thing and have to go into hiding? What if online dating doesn’t even work? We can’t predict your dating future, but we can set your fears aside for that last question.

Online dating has been proven to work. Sure, in the early days dating sites were seen as tools for the desperate and lonely few, but now over 40 million Americans have tried online dating, and it’s very much mainstream.

Photo of a computer with a heart on it

Online dating facilitates new relationships and heart-to-heart conversations.

Nowadays, dating sites and apps see billions of views and arrange millions of dates each day, and countless relationships have blossomed as a result. In a 2017 survey, more newlyweds said they met online than through friends, in school, or at work.

I’m an online dating success story myself. I spent a couple years swiping and dating before I finally settled down with a cute engineer I met on Hinge.

Which Dating Sites are Completely Free?

A lot of dating sites are free to join, but not as many are completely free from matching to messaging. Free-to-chat dating sites are great for singles who are on a budget or aren’t sure what they want.

Sites like OkCupid don’t require people to hand over credit card information or take on a monthly payment just to get a date. OkCupid has vowed to be free forever, and its free members can message anyone they like for as long as they like.

Plenty of Fish also has free messaging features. You can create your profile, complete the personality quiz, and start flirting with POF members without paying anything.

What is the Most Successful Dating Site?

Each dating platform measures success differently. Tinder is remarkably successful at bringing singles together and pairing them off — the app has created over 30 billion matches to date — but it’s not clear how many of those online connections lead to real-life romances.

Screenshot of Tinder

Tinder promotes #SwipeLife, which means playing the field and enjoying dating as a single person.

The Hinge app is more relationship-focused, and it measures success based on how many promising first dates it can inspire. The app asks for feedback from singles after a first date to see if things are going well with the match. According to its internal data, 90% of Hinge users say they had a good time on their first date, and 72% said they would go out again.

Take a Breath, Create a Profile & Pick Up a Date Online

Anxiety is a constant companion for many singles. Sometimes it’s a symptom of low self-esteem or fear of rejection, and sometimes it denotes a serious mental health issue. Either way, it’s not something you should deal with on your own. Going to therapy, journaling, meditating, and joining like-minded communities (including dating sites and apps) can help you face your fears and move forward.

You don’t have to face your anxiety alone — family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, and medical professionals can provide support as you figure out how to calm your worries, handle stressful situations, and come into your own. Online dating can help you on that journey and give you a chance to practice flirting and gain emotional resilience with each interaction.

“If you experience anxiety while engaging in online dating…it’s important to check in with yourself,” a HelloGiggles blogger says. The article recommends “setting limits on how long you spend on [dating apps] and how many people you communicate with at once, since boundaries can help soothe anxious feelings.”

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