17 Best Apps to Meet People Around You

Online Dating

17 Best Apps to Meet People Around You

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews
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In high school and college, meeting people is as easy as turning to your right or left — you’ve got classmates, teammates, roommates, friends of friends, and fellow commuters, partiers, and studiers to start a conversation with.

Once you’re out of school, though, you’re usually working 40+ hours a week. When you’re not doing that, most of the time you just want to go home to your dog and Netflix. The thing is you don’t have to give up your puppy and couch time to meet people — that’s what apps are for. Read on to learn more about our 17 favorite apps for meeting people, particularly singles.

Overall | Black | Teen | Senior | Gay | Lesbian | Sex

Best Apps to Meet People (#1-4)

We figured it’d be best to start with the top apps for meeting people and then work our way through the individual niches. Whether you’re black or white, gay or straight, old or young, in the mood for a date or hookup, you’re sure to find an app you like in this section.

1. Match

Match has been helping people meet in a variety of ways since 1995. Not only is Match a leading dating app, but the company also hosts fun singles events in cities throughout the country.

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

You can create a profile on Match as well as add photos, search through and like members, receive matches, send and receive virtual winks, and create a Favorites list, among other things — all for free. However, perhaps the most impressive aspect about Match is that it’s responsible for more first dates, second dates, relationships, and marriages than any dating app.

2. Tinder

Tinder is basically a household name for singles… or just people, in general. If you haven’t tried it, you probably know someone or know someone who knows someone who’s tried it. Tinder took the dating world by storm when it introduced its GPS and swiping matching system. Meeting people has never been easier or more fun.

Photo of Tinder

Tinder uses GPS to find compatible singles near you, so you could even meet up with someone right then if you want.

Here’s another look at Tinder by the numbers: 20 billion total matches since 2012, 1.6 billion swipes a day, 1 million dates a week, 196 countries, and 40 languages.

3. OkCupid

Always free and fun, OkCupid is where millions of men and women go to connect for friendship, dating, and love. The app has unique personality questions it uses to get to know you and find your ideal match. Once you answer a question, you’ll specify how you want someone else to answer that question. You’ll also rate how important that question is to you.

Screenshot of the OkCupid homepage

OkCupid is one of the largest dating apps, particularly because everything is 100% free, including sending and receiving messages.

OKCupid, which gets more than 1.3 million monthly visitors, is all about “substance, not just selfies” and offers a ton of advanced features, including seeing who liked you and read your messages and boosting your profile once a day.

4. Bumble

Bumble was created in 2014 with a mission to combat unsolicited dick pics and lazy messages, and the way the app does that is by only allowing women to initiate communication. However, if you’re gay or lesbian, either person can send the first message.

Photo of Bumble

Bumble is a very female-friendly dating app that requires women to initiate all of the communication (unless it’s a gay or lesbian connection).

Another important component of Bumble is that once you match with someone, one of you has to start the conversation, or the match will disappear after 24 hours. The team wants to encourage users to meet in person to see if the chemistry is really there — instead of getting trapped in the back-and-forth messaging phase.

Best Apps to Meet Black People (#5-6)

According to BlackDemographics.com, approximately 50% of black Americans have never been married. In addition, 12% are divorced, 6% are widowed, and 4% are separated. For black singles who want a quick and stress-free way to find one another, you can turn to these two apps.

5. BlackPeopleMeet

BlackPeopleMeet is under the Match umbrella, which means you can feel confident that it’ll get the job done. The app gets over 1.4 million black and biracial users a month and is available for free in the App Store and on Google Play.

BlackPeopleMeet

★★★★
4.0/5.0
BlackPeopleMeet

Available on: iOS, Andriod

  • Relationships: Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by city, hobbies, age, etc.
  • About the App: The largest black-only online and mobile dating community can be found on BlackPeopleMeet. This popular dating app was designed in 2002 to serve black and biracial singles around the world. Today, BlackPeopleMeet’s easy-to-use chat features and location-based searches allow millions of African American daters to flirt with one another while on the go.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

In her testimonial on Google Play, LaToya Parker gave BlackPeopleMeet four stars and wrote: “Good app. But I get overwhelmed by all the flirts and responses. I guess that’s a good thing.”

6. MELD

“You deserve to be happy” is what MELD believes, and the app will do everything it can to make sure that happens. All members have to sign up with their Facebook and LinkedIn information, so you can rest assured that everyone is who they say they are. This is especially important because MELD is for black professionals.

Photo of the MELD homepage

MELD was created with single black professionals in mind, and it’s available for free via iTunes and Google Play.

On MELD, you’ll make meaningful connections — you won’t just have random interactions. To be matched and to enable chatting, both people have to like each other.

Best Apps to Meet Teens (#7-8)

Teens need a secure, yet fun, place to socialize with their friends and meet new people that isn’t just through school, sports, church, or anything like that. We’re all on our phones all the time anyway, especially teens, so that’s where these two apps really come in handy.

7. Zoosk

Zoosk is strictly for older teens (18 to 19), and to make signup even easier, you can upload your info and photos from Facebook or Google+. The app has more than 30 million iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon downloads and more than 40 million users sending and receiving 3 million messages a day.

Zoosk

★★★★★
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

The matching is based on your behavior (e.g., what you put in your profile, who you like and don’t like, and who you message), and you can search on your own as well as receive match recommendations in the Carousel and Smart Picks sections.

8. My LOL

My LOL is the self-proclaimed “#1 teen network in the world,” including the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. Every feature is free to access, and you’ve got intuitive search, live chat, an active forum, an up-to-date blog, and so much more to pick from.

Screenshot of the My LOL homepage

My LOL is a fun, yet safe, platform where teens from all over the world can meet and discuss school, dating, hobbies, or any other aspect of their lives.

My LOL has received several positive reviews on Google Play such as Nicole Biech, who said she’s “met loads of friends through here,” Harry Stock, who called it a “great app,” and Uranus Kebab, who is “really enjoy using it.”

Best Apps to Meet Senior People (#9-10)

I’ve seen many older single relatives and acquaintances struggle in their dating lives because they’ve gotten divorced or lost a spouse and are aren’t sure how to navigate this new territory. They were in a relationship when online dating and dating apps took the world by storm, so they have a huge learning curve to tackle. The good news is they can learn the ropes in no time by checking out the following senior dating apps.

9. eHarmony

eHarmony is a great option for single seniors because only commitment-minded people tend to join the community. Members also often lead religious or spiritual lives. Your deepest wants and needs are taken into consideration more so than on some other dating apps — specifically because of eHarmony’s 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Questionnaire.

eHarmony

★★★★
4.3/5.0
eHarmony

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Long-Term Relationships, Marriages
  • Match System: Get daily match suggestions
  • About the App: eHarmony is a household name, in general, but especially for older men and women because it handpicks all of their matches for them. No browsing required on your part! Just take the app’s comprehensive personality test, and then you’ll get highly compatible recommendations every day. You're not on your own then either. Guided Communication is eHarmony's messaging system that will help you break the ice.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

eHarmony is behind a significant number of marriages in the US and doesn’t charge for basic stuff like registration, profile creation, uploading photos, taking the questionnaire, and receiving matches.

10. OurTime

Mature daters flock to OurTime for many reasons — some of them being its clean interface, simple signup process, and large targeted user base. The app has millions of over-50 singles who are looking for all forms of companionship.

OurTime.com

★★★★
4.3/5.0
OurTime.com

Available on: iOS, Andriod

  • Relationships: Dating and Relationships
  • Match System: Search by age as well as zip, gender, more
  • About the App: OurTime is a leading dating app for those aged 50 and older because it was made specifically for this audience. With one less desire to put on your list (in this case, age), you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money on OurTime and can focus on more important characteristics and qualities like lifestyle, passions, and dating and relationship goals, among others.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

To get started for free, OurTime just needs a few pieces of information like your name, age, location, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking).

Best Apps to Meet Gay People (#11-12)

Mobile dating can be twice as frustrating for gay singles because most general dating apps don’t know how to cater to them. I’ve heard plenty of friends tell me they still receive straight matches even though they selected gay as their sexual orientation. Two apps that really have a grasp on the gay dating audience are Elite Singles and Grindr, which you can learn more about below.

11. Elite Singles

Elite Singles is a go-to for intelligent gay men. The app was made for college-educated singles who are looking for someone with a similar background, lifestyle, and values. About 82% of its users hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Elite Singles

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Elite Singles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: While a significant number of Elite Singles' users are college-educated, they vary greatly in age, appearance, location, and (most importantly for gay singles) sexual orientation. The app looks and performs great on iOS and Android, and free features include download, profile creation, browsing, match recommendations, a customized personality assessment, and certain forms of communication.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Every month, more than 290,000 people visit Elite Singles’ homepage, over 165,000 people create a profile, and 2,500 people find love thanks to Elite Singles.

12. Grindr

Grindr was launched in answer to Tinder so gay men could have a dating app that better meets their needs. It works in pretty much the exact same way except it’s only for gay, bisexual, and curious men. You’ll swipe right if you like someone and left if you don’t, and matching is mostly based on your location and age.

Screenshot of the Grindr homepage

Grindr is often considered the gay Tinder because it’s strictly meant for gay, bisexual, and curious men, and they swipe right if they like their matches and left if they don’t.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, Grindr is 100% free to do all of the important stuff, but you can upgrade to Grindr Xtra if you want to remove ads from your experience, view as many profiles as you want, and save and send chat phrases, among other things.

Best Apps to Meet Lesbians (#13-14)

You’d be hard-pressed to find lesbian dating apps that are better than the two we’ve chosen. They have everything going for them — affordability, efficiency, size, ease of use, entertainment, reputation, and success rate.

13. Zoosk

Zoosk is a top choice in another section on our list — this time for lesbian singles. The app is one of the most inclusive in the dating industry — not to mention one of the most advanced. Zoosk was among the first platforms to introduce social media integration.

Zoosk

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: Founded in 2007, Zoosk is the most well-known dating app out there. If you're constantly running from place to place and have less and less time to meet people, give Zoosk a try. The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store, and you don't have to start from scratch on your profile either. Just create a login through Facebook or Google+.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

The app has a 3-star rating on iTunes and a 4-star rating on Google Play, where Bobby Fuller shared his experience: “Very easy to use and very easy to meet new people. You will like this because it is so easy.”

14. HER

Created by LGBTQ women for LGBTQ women, HER (formerly known as Dattch) reinvents mobile dating for this community across the globe. In addition to finding romance, you can find friendship, support, and events.

Screenshot of the HER homepage

HER isn’t just a dating app for lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, and curious women — it’s a community for them to find support, local events, and so much more.

One person with the username Khyyyyyyyyd raved about HER on Google Play: “It’s amazing! I’ve met some great people at the HER party. I’d definitely recommend this app to those who are looking for new people to meet in their city/state.”

Best Apps to Meet People for Sex (#15-17)

Fewer people are following the traditional dating steps once observed by older generations. You know, boy asks girl out, they go on several dates before making it official, they wait a reasonable time to get engaged, they don’t have sex until they’re married, they have kids, and they grow old together. If you’re one of those unconventional people just looking to enjoy yourself and the company of someone else (without the pressure of it leading anywhere), look no further than these two sex apps.

15. BeNaughty

Some people just want sex, and they should be able to find it without feeling bad or being judged for it. BeNaughty is where they can go. This popular hookup app has millions of turned-on users of various ages, genders, sexual orientations, relationship statuses, locations, and appearances.

BeNaughty

★★★★★
4.5/5.0
BeNaughty

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Encounters
  • Match System: Sort profiles by zip code, appearance, more
  • About the App: "Try more new delights. Feel no limits!" is BeNaughty's promise to naughty singles. After you download BeNaughty, you're automatically given a free account. There aren't any limits on how many profiles you view, matches you receive, and chat rooms you participate in. On the app, you can be as racy as you want because your info and conversations are protected by SSL and 24/7 customer service.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Complete these seven steps (at no charge), and you’ll become a new member of BeNaughty: 1) Select your gender. 2) Choose the gender you’re interested in. 3) Pick your age. 4) Provide a username. 5) Specify your location. 6) Input an email address. 7) Type in a password.

16. Pure

Pure is “the hookup for awesome people,” and it works like this: You’ll sign up and add a photo. This will then become a meeting request. It’ll appear on the app for one hour, and then it will be deleted. If you have any correspondence with anyone during that time, it will also be deleted. Pure strives to get people meeting in person ASAP.

Screenshot of the Pure homepage

Pure isn’t your typical hookup app. Once you connect with someone, you have one hour to set up a meeting, or your messages disappear.

The same goes for if you reply to someone else’s request. They first have to show that they like you back, and then you two have an hour to set up a meeting before your connection is deleted.

17. Whiplr

“A messenger with kinks,” Whiplr says it’s “the first and largest mobile community for kinksters.” Singles and couples are equally welcome, and you should feel 100% comfortable expressing your fetishes and desires and searching for all kinds of play partners.

Screenshot of the Whiplr homepage

No matter what your kink is, feel free to talk about it as openly as you want on Whiplr.

Whilpr has a slew of helpful features — ranging from video chat to real-time messaging to phone calls to group chats, to public and private groups to virtual gifts to pre-written icebreakers and an events calendar. You can also upload an unlimited number of photos and even submit them for online competitions if you want.

Meet People Nearby Without Having to Leave Your House!

After you graduate high school and/or college, don’t think that your people-meeting well has run dry. You’re not going to be stuck dating co-workers or getting set up by friends and family. With any of the apps above, meeting new people in your area is as easy as whipping out your phone. And you still get to cuddle with your doggo and catch up on “Stranger Things”!