Safest Dating Sites

Women's Dating

17 Safest Dating Sites for 2021

Amber Brooks
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The safest dating sites can offer some protection from the hazards of putting personal information online and soliciting conversations with complete strangers.

Online dating safety is a high priority for dating companies big and small. Only by fostering real connections and safe meetups can they grow in this competitive arena. Of course, even the most reputable platforms can’t keep out all the weirdos and jerks of the world, but individuals can use filters, blocks, and reporting tools to take action if something concerning happens.

Here’s a list of totally safe dating sites and apps where single people can meet one another and build real friendships and relationships.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 »

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Match has achieved top marks when it comes to keeping online daters safe from unwanted contact and romance scams. Since 1995, this dating platform has established itself as a place where serious daters can establish genuine connections.

When you join Match.com, you must provide your first name, date of birth, gender, ZIP code, and a valid email address, and the platform will verify that you’re a real person by sending an activation code to your email. You must also upload a picture of yourself if you want your dating profile to appear on the website and app.

Match moderators must approve all dating profile content and pictures (typically within 24 hours), and they will remove any inappropriate or racy content before it goes live.

★★★★★
EliteSingles.com 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 has positioned itself as a dating website for single professionals. That means it caters to lawyers, doctors, CEOs, and other highly respectable people with flourishing careers and high romantic standards.

Adults turn to EliteSingles because they’re ready for a relationship and want to meet the right person. Over 80% of EliteSingles members are college-educated, and they’re not interested in messing around or chatting with bots and catfishers. They are serious about reaching their romantic goals and often invest in a paid membership to do so.

Only a paid member can view photos and send messages on EliteSingles. This paywall keeps unsavory folks from spamming people or causing trouble on the dating platform.

★★★★★
eharmony 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 earned the trust and esteem of serious daters all over the world. This online dating site uses science and psychology to identify long-term compatibility between two people, and it’s not easy to get a fake profile past the moderators.

For one thing, eharmony requires a lot of information to complete an online dating profile. You have to provide the basics (location, age, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) as well as write original responses to prompts like “I’m thankful for” and “I spend my free time.” It can take up to 20 minutes to answer everything — and then users have the option to take the Compatibility Quiz, which has over 80 multiple-choice questions.

As a final security measure, eharmony puts limitations on free members and gives them an incentive to upgrade to a paid subscription to make the most of their online dating experience.

4. Zoosk

★★★★★
Zoosk 4.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 launched in 2007 as a combination of a social media platform and online dating site. It offered Zoosk members a lot of communication tools, including instant messages, profile likes, and virtual gift options.

Today, Zoosk has over 40 million members in 80 countries, and people exchange over 3 million messages a day through the dating service. Young adults seem to particularly enjoy the open-ended and engaging format of the dating website and app. Most Zoosk members are under 30, and they often use the photo verification feature to prove they’re the real deal.

★★★★★
SilverSingles 4.6/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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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SilverSingles offers a safe haven for online daters who are over 50 and looking for a new relationship or love interest. The senior dating site has stringent member requirements and privacy features that keep members safe while they browse and communicate online.

Members must provide personal information to gain access to this exclusive club, and they can only send private messages to one another if they subscribe to SilverSingles for three months, six months, or 12 months.

Our experts rank SilverSingles among the most trustworthy and safe senior dating sites because it has a large membership and quality-driven matchmaking features to spur a real-life romance.

★★★★
ChristianMingle 4.4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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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ChristianMingle is one of the most popular and successful Christian dating sites in the world. Since its launch in 2001, over 15 million users have signed up in hopes of finding a good Christian man or woman. This wholesome platform could the answer to your prayers if you’re honestly looking for love.

You don’t have to take it on faith that this dating site works. ChristianMingle has many real success stories on its site to back its niche dating service, and it boasts being responsible for inspiring more Christian marriages than any of its competitors.

★★★★
OurTime.com 4.3/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 endeavors to make online dating more accessible to older adults in the U.S. and abroad. Its three-step signup process is fast and easy, but it includes an authentication process through email.

As a People Media site, OurTime has a vast database with millions of dating profiles sorted by location and online activity. Users can select filters to ensure only attractive and like-minded singles appear in their potential match list.

OurTime is a great ally for singles over 50. The dating service helps senior singles feel comfortable online by offering safety tips, best practices, and match recommendations.

★★★★
BlackPeopleMeet 4.1/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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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BlackPeopleMeet made waves in 2002 as a niche dating website dedicated to helping Black singles find their perfect match. The BPM network has grown rapidly in the U.S. and Canada, and tens of thousands of users have sought out this diverse alternative to general dating sites.

Black people make up the majority of the BPM membership base, but the dating platform is open to singles of all races, creeds, religions, and backgrounds. Anyone who is over 18 and wants to find a date within the Black community can create a free online dating profile on the app or site.

9. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is a dating app launched in 2012 by three sisters who wanted to bring greater civility to the online dating scene. They saw modern daters suffering from swiping fatigue and struggling to connect in a superficial environment. And the sisters knew they could do better than that and started offering smarter matchmaking tools geared toward serious relationship seekers.

Today, Coffee Meets Bagel has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews and created over 98 million matches worldwide.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

More than 80% of Coffee Meets Bagel users are looking for a long-term relationship.

The CMB app puts quality above quantity. The dating app actually limits the number of profiles a person can view in a single day, and its matching system challenges individuals to take each potential match and conversation more seriously.

10. Bumble

Bumble is basically the feminist response to online dating. This game-changing dating app was designed by a former Tinder Co-Founder named Whitney Wolfe Herd. She didn’t like how mobile dating apps made women vulnerable to unsolicited messages, pickup lines, and dick pics, so she decided to launch an app that gave women the power to make the first move.

To date, Bumble has surpassed 100 million users and created a respectful environment for finding a potential date, making a new friend, and creating a meaningful connection.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble gives women the discretion to decide which men can message them.

When Bumble creates an opposite-sex match, it gives the woman 24 hours to send a message. Otherwise the match will disappear. Men cannot message a woman until she has unlocked the conversation window by first liking his profile and then sending a greeting.

Women set the tone on Bumble, and that makes a huge difference in its overall vibe. According to a survey, about 85% of Bumble users say they are on the app to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, and fewer than 4% say they’re interested in a casual hookup.

11. Hinge

Hinge has been called “the relationship app” and the “anti-Tinder” because it’s the dating app with the highest first-date success rate on record. According to feedback given through the app, about 70% of Hinge users who go on first dates say they would go on a second date.

All Hinge users must upload six profile pictures, fill out basic demographic details, and answer three original prompts to complete their online dating profile. And they have to create a mutual match to send more than a first message to anyone online.

The Hinge logo

Hinge has skyrocketed in popularity since it was acquired by Match Group in 2019.

Hinge’s quality-driven matching appeals to quality daters who know what they want and would rather have an interesting conversation before meeting on a first date.

Since its launch in 2012, Hinge has seen many success stories in the dating scene. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was the first openly gay man to run for president, met his husband on Hinge. My boyfriend and I also connected on Hinge and have been together for over a year now.

12. OkCupid

In 2004, OkCupid made a promise to online daters that it would always be free and would always look out for their dating interests. To this day, the dating site and app have kept that promise.

Not only does OkCupid not charge a single dime for its communication tools, but it also provides data-driven matchmaking and compatibility ratings that are famous for their accuracy.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid has over 4,000 match questions that help its users get to know each other.

Despite its free chat features, OkCupid fosters a safe and welcoming atmosphere where it’s exceedingly rare to come across a scammer or fake profile. The moderators are serious about removing potentially harmful individuals, and they don’t give many warnings before booting someone for good.

OkCupid creates more than 91 million mutual matches every year, and it leads to over 50,000 first dates every week. Plus, OkCupid has been mentioned more times in The New York Times’ wedding section than any other online dating app.

13. Tinder

Even if you’ve never tried online dating before, you’ve probably heard of Tinder. It’s the original swiping app. Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has created over 43 billion matches worldwide, and over 350 million people have downloaded the dating app to give it a go.

A Tinder app user has complete control over their own inbox. Singles are essentially gatekeepers — swiping right to open the door to a new conversation and swiping left to slam that door shut.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Tinder facilitates over 1.5 million first dates every week.

Tinder wouldn’t have become as incredibly popular as it is without offering enough safety and security features to make singles feel at ease. The dating app has a block tool that ensures online daters cannot be harassed, and its reporting system ensures any romance scam is short-lived on the app.

14. PlentyOfFish

Singles often choose PlentyOfFish as their go-to wingman in the dating scene because it’s completely free to search for and chat with a potential partner. You don’t even need to create a mutual match first.

PlentyOfFish has over 150 million users worldwide, and it sparks over 57 million new connections every week.

Screenshot of PlentyOfFish

PlentyOfFish users exchange over 1 billion messages per month.

This free dating site and app has verification tools to keep fake profiles to a minimum, but sometimes a scammer or sex abuser could slip under the radar. The POF experts offer online dating safety tips that urge members to exercise good judgment, vet all potential matches, and never give money to any potential suitor.

15. Grindr

The Grindr app launched back in 2009 to give gay men a social networking tool that worked for them. Today, Grindr is widely known as the most popular gay dating app of all time, and it has over 27 million members who identify as gay, bisexual, queer, or bi-curious.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Grindr connects gay and queer people in every corner of the world.

Grindr supports an all-man community where romance and sex is never far away. The app uses a smartphone’s GPS data to find dating profiles of guys within a few miles (or even a few blocks) from each other, so it’s easy to see how guys at the club could use this app to hook up with anonymous strangers.

Even though Grindr encourages flirting with strangers, it does not allow app users to cross certain boundaries. For instance, Grindr users cannot post naked photos of themselves or put their phone number in their online dating profile.

16. HER

HER is an online dating app designed by women for women. Over 5 million app users have joined the all-female community in hopes of making a new friend or finding a potential date. All members must identify as a woman who is primarily interested in dating lesbian, bisexual, trans, or queer women.

HER requires users to follow its community guidelines and treat every person online with respect and dignity. Anyone who fails to live up to the credo “No judgment, no drama” will not be active on the dating app for long.

Screenshot from HER

The HER dating app curates a potential match list based on mutual compatibility.

The HER moderators review every new dating profile to make sure it’s legit. The app can automatically verify certain information through Facebook, but it helps to have a pair of physical eyes looking out for suspicious or inappropriate content.

HER has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to a man creating a fake profile on the app, and it will immediately ban members who engage in unicorn hunting, sexting, slut-shaming, and other activities that are degrading to women.

17. Badoo

Badoo keeps a running tally of its new sign-ups, and it has some pretty impressive stats to back its online dating service. As of 2020, Badoo has exceeded 485 million users in 190 countries. Its users make over 12 billion swipes and send more than 350 million messages per day.

The Badoo logo

Badoo is one of the most popular dating platforms in the world.

Badoo offers a free enrollment process for anyone with a valid Facebook account, email address, or social media profile, and it has free communication tools that help singles up their flirting game in no time.

Since its early days, Badoo has integrated video chat tools into its social network and encouraged its app users to interact more organically and let their voices be heard. Its video options have become particularly popular in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and the app’s team intends to expand this premium feature in the coming months.

How Do Safe Dating Sites Work?

Safe dating sites tend to provide a lot of matching filters and reporting tools that give users greater control over their experience. Users can often control who can send them a message by either proactively liking a dating profile or reactively blocking a dating profile.

Sometimes communication is a premium feature, and that lessens the likelihood of a romance scammer taking advantage of the online messaging system. Plus, dating site and app users can always set up a video call if they don’t yet feel comfortable meeting in person.

Photo of a video date

Arranging a video date or phone call with a potential suitor is a good way to verify his or her identity.

Online daters will have to disclose some information about themselves on a dating site or app, but most platforms do not publish identifying details (addresses, full names, and contact information). For instance, mobile dating apps often use location data to make matches, but they will not reveal anyone’s real-time or exact location — and they almost always allow users to operate under a first name or nickname.

If you sign up to a dating platform through Facebook or Instagram, the matchmaking algorithm may use your friend list to find a potential match within the same or similar social circle. The dating app may even let you know that you have a mutual friend in common, thus building more trust in your online connection through social media.

Is It Safe to Use Dating Sites?

Yes, it is safe to use online dating sites to meet people and create relationships. Just be careful not to trust a new person too quickly. You should treat your online matches as if a stranger approached you at a bar or nightclub. It’s safe to have a conversation, be flirty, and exchange phone numbers. But be wary about any person who tries to move too quickly or makes you feel uncomfortable.

Above all, do not agree to go on a first date at a house or apartment and do not get into a car with someone you have only talked to online. It’s best to arrange to meet in a public place and have an exit strategy in case that person turns out to be a catfisher or a creep.

Are There Any Safe Hookup Sites?

Casual hookup websites generally get a bad rap in the dating scene because they offer anonymous browsing and virtually no nudity filters. But not all platforms are sketchy and unsafe. You just have to know where to go. Certain adult dating sites have been around for decades and cultivated active membership bases of real people looking for sex.

We’ve reviewed several good options for single men and women interested in finding sex with no strings, no hangups, and no fakes.

★★★★
AshleyMadison.com 4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.0/5.0

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 a discreet dating site and app for affairs, and it has robust privacy features to support anonymous browsing, matching, and chatting. Married people can mask or blur their faces in photos and choose a nickname for their dating profile to keep their real identities a secret.

Hackers went after Ashley Madison’s database in 2015 and caused a huge scandal by releasing the personal information of millions of people on the dark web. But since then, Ashley Madison has taken great pains to encrypt its data, protect its members, and earn back the trust of the dating public.

★★★★
BeNaughty 3.9/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

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 a free hookup site where communication is open to everyone with a valid email and profile picture. So it’s understandable to have concerns about the quality and authenticity of people you meet here.

However, BeNaughty has proven to have more real daters than romance scammers because its blocking and reporting tools actively keep the bad folks out of the membership base. All you have to do is click a button to get an unwanted person out of your inbox for good. If only it were that easy in person, right?

★★★★
AFF.com 3.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

3.5/5.0

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 short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

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Finally, Adult Friend Finder has been in the business of hooking up online daters since 1996, and it’s very good at it. The AFF community currently has over 103 million members worldwide, and it has approved over 98 million photos that are definitely for adult eyes only.

AFF allows free members to browse the site, view erotic content, and post in group chat rooms, but only paid subscribers can send private messages and view videos.

Adult Friend Finder has created a sexually charged and flirtatious atmosphere where singles and swingers can pursue their desires without judgment.

How Should I Choose the Best and Safest Dating Site?

Singles put their hearts on the line when they create a dating profile, and they deserve a dating site that will look out for their interests and protect them from online harassment, romance scams, and potentially dangerous situations.

The safest dating sites watch out for scammers and delete fake profiles, so singles can rest assured that everyone they message and match with is an authentic person.

We’ve listed several well-known dating brands that foster a safe environment for meeting new people. As you take a step into the unknown, these dating sites and apps will have your back and give you the opportunity to form an online connection that can flourish in the real world. Be smart and stay safe!

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