Best Social Distancing Dating Sites

Online Dating

21 Best Social Distancing Dating Sites for 2020

Amber Brooks
Amber Brooks Posted:
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The best social distancing dating sites allow singles to mix and mingle without stepping foot into a crowded bar or nightclub. Today’s daters can go online to chat with romantic interests in their area and build new relationships in a way that immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci would approve of.

Online dating platforms can facilitate mutual matches, instant messaging, and video dates and thereby allow daters to come together while keeping their distance.

Social distancing dating sites started trending in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and Europe, prompting singles all over the world to go under lockdown. During this uncertain time, people needed a way to continue pursuing their romantic interests, and these online dating sites and apps provided the perfect virtual meeting place.

★★★★★
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 predates social distancing guidelines by about 25 years, but it remains a relevant and effective online dating site for the modern dater. Its matchmaking tools can help singles overcome physical distances in the dating scene and encounter people they may never have met otherwise.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Match.com has promoted dating while distancing and developed video chat tools for its app users. Match members who have exchanged likes or private messages can up the intimacy of their relationship by using the Vibe Check tool to initiate a video date. This tool is available exclusively to paid members on the Match website and app.

★★★★★
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 premium dating website and app designed to help single professionals meet someone on their level. The vast majority of its members have graduated from college, pursued highly successful careers, and are looking for a long-term partner to complete their happy life.

The dating service’s smart match algorithm identifies personal compatibility based on shared interests, values, and backgrounds. Individuals can go into their Preferences to include any dealbreakers they may have when it comes to education, religion, height, or lifestyle.

It’s free to join EliteSingles and browse the membership base, but only a paid member can view photos and send unlimited private messages.

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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Since its launch in 2007, Zoosk has developed many creative ways to inspire an authentic human connection online.

The dating platform’s instant messaging and behavioral matchmaking are the foundation of its success, and now its team is working on adding video chatting to its repertoire.

Zoosk can bring some excitement to any single person’s dating life. No matter what time of day it is or how many coronavirus waves emerge, the Zoosk platform can always offer real-time chatting opportunities. The site and app has seen over 40 million registrations, and its members exchange over 3 million messages per day.

★★★★★
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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In the days before Facebook and Twitter, meeting people online was stigmatized as dangerous and desperate. Then eharmony came onto the dating scene in 2000 to show singles that it was possible to find a meaningful connection online.

The eharmony team looked to psychology to improve online dating’s matchmaking power. Through years of trial and error, the current Compatibility Quiz was born. This 80-question test identifies important values, communication styles, and personality traits that often come into play in relationships and helps a single person find their perfect match without a lot of hassle.

Our experts consider eharmony one of the best dating sites during the coronavirus because it offers free icebreakers, personality-driven matching, and premium chat and video features to foster relationships that can go the distance.

★★★★
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 a popular Christian dating site that welcomes people of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds. The free service is open to any single adult who is interested in creating a God-centered relationship and raising a Christian family.

Over 15 million singles have joined this faith-driven dating pool since its launch in 2001. According to the site, approximately 90% of members identify with a Christian denomination, and 71% attend church services at least once a week (of course, a good number have switched to virtual services during the pandemic).

ChristianMingle connects people through shared values and traditions, so it should come as no surprise that many of its online conversations progress to in-person dates and real relationships.

★★★★★
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 gives hope to senior singles currently battling isolation and fears of the coronavirus. The social distancing dating website and app allow its members to converse virtually and build friendships simply by typing on their smartphones, laptops, or desktop computers.

You do not have to leave the house to meet new people thanks to SilverSingles. This exclusive over-50 dating pool is always there for anyone feeling lonely or chatty. Not sure what to say to a potential match? Don’t fret! SilverSingles recommends interest-based icebreakers to help seniors form a deeper connection from the first message onward.

★★★★
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 (also known as BPM) has gotten a lot of traction in the Black community because it prioritizes the romantic interests of people of color. The dating website and app can offer a more diverse network than some of its biggest competitors — and it enables Black singles to social distance while they flirt.

Since 2002, millions of people have joined the BPM network. The vast majority of its members are Black Americans and Black Canadians looking for dates who can understand where they’re coming from.

If you want proof that BlackPeopleMeet can work, you can read the success stories on the site posted by former BPM members who have fallen in love with someone they met 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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As a popular senior dating platform, OurTime can offer single seniors a virtual dating space where they can have a conversation, make a friend, and pursue a romance without leaving home.

Browsing the OurTime network is completely free; however, members will have to upgrade their accounts to send unlimited messages. Free members can only respond to certain messages in their inbox, while premium members have full access to OurTime’s messaging and phone call features.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many senior singles to withdraw into social isolation, but OurTime can bring them into a digital society where meeting people is safe and easy.

★★★★
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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Hooking up during a pandemic is tricky, to say the least, but hookup sites like BeNaughty aim to make it easier to sext your way into someone’s good graces.

The BeNaughty platform allows its members to indulge their fantasies, share raunchy pictures, and create emotional intimacy while waiting until it’s safe to explore physical intimacy. Singles should use good judgment while flirting in this sex-driven space. BeNaughty chats tend to move pretty quickly from “hello” to “when can we meet up?” so make sure you’re open about your comfort level and voice social distancing concerns early on in the dating game.

★★★★
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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Every day, Ashley Madison tempts people to explore new relationships and enjoy secret sexual affairs regardless of their current relationship status. The affair dating site is open to single and attached adults who want to spice up their love lives.

Ashley Madison can facilitate sexting with a stranger in a discreet and anonymous environment. Members don’t have to use their real names, and they can blur or mask their faces in photos if they wish. They can also make some X-rated photo albums private and control who can see the goods.

Over 65 million people have signed up to Ashley Madison because they’re intrigued by the idea of going outside monogamous relationships and dating without rules or limitations.

★★★★
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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Adult Friend Finder has over 103 million users worldwide, and they all came with one purpose: sex. The hookup site allows sexually active adults to explore local date options from the safety of home.

The AFF platform publishes personal ads that feature naked photos, graphic language, and other adult content. It’s a sexually vibrant and adults-only forum where singles and swingers can enjoy many erotic encounters while maintaining their social distance.

Our Adult Friend Finder review goes into more detail about the site’s features, cost, membership, and success rate.

12. Flirt.com

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

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

Our Experts Say: “Flirt.com 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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Flirt.com has a name that says it all. The sole purpose of this hookup site is to connect horny, lonely, and flirty individuals in the dating scene — and it can help them make something happen on their terms.

Female users can chat for free on Flirt.com, and male users have a limited number of free messages and mass texts they can send to spark interest and get the ball rolling. Just remember that not everyone feels comfortable meeting a total stranger in person during a pandemic, so you may have to content yourself with sexting online or going on a virtual date via video chat while you wait for a coronavirus outbreak in your area to die down.

★★★
3.4/5.0

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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FriendFinder-X is a casual hookup website that gives adults the freedom to express their desires and pick up hot local dates. The site has location-based search tools so singles can dive into their city’s dating pool with one simple click.

Sex seekers can register an account on FriendFinder-X for free and browse personal ads for as long they like. Free members can also post in discussion groups, view live video feeds, and view X-rated photo galleries.

The FriendFinder-X site boasts being a place “where good girls do bad things,” and it offers women tons of chat and search tools to help them get their bearings and feel comfortable exploring their sexuality.

14. MenNation

★★★★
4.0/5.0

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 for men seeking men. Both gay singles and gay couples have used this platform to arrange a little bedroom time with a new sexual partner. During the coronavirus pandemic, it has also allowed guys to set up a Facetime call and get intimate that way.

Anyone seeking gay sex is welcome to join this flirty and discreet network. MenNation is a wingman for over 65,000 daily active users and has a long history of success. The site takes your dating preferences into account when recommending potential matches, so finding a man who is your type shouldn’t take very long at all.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

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 launched in the 1990s to empower lesbian women to find a sexual release. The hookup site provides romantic avenues for women who are looking for a one-night stand, a sexual relationship, or even a threesome.

You don’t necessarily have to be single to join the fun on LesbianPersonals. Lesbian and straight couples can create a shared account on the hookup website and seek female companionship through private messages and group chat rooms. However, the majority of members are single women who identify as either lesbian or bisexual.

16. Hinge

Hinge characterizes itself as “the dating app designed to be deleted” because it aims to spark genuine relationships and bring greater quality to the swiping scene. How does it do that? By requiring its members to complete a detailed dating profile and send specific likes or comments when expressing interest in another person.

Screenshot of Hinge

Hinge boasts a high first date success rate because of its focus on quality over quantity.

The Hinge profile gives users a clear snapshot of a potential match’s personality and sense of humor, so it’s easier to strike up a conversation and discover common interests.

Hinge was quick to launch virtual dating tools during the 2020 pandemic and allow Hinge users who have established a mutual match to invite each other on a video date so they can continue to deepen their emotional connection.

17. Bumble

Since 2014, Bumble has been dubbed the feminist dating app because it puts women first in every match. Single women have the First Move Privilege in matches with men, meaning they have the sole power to send the first message and start a conversation. A man cannot send an unsolicited message to a woman on Bumble.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble can be an online dater’s wingman during quarantine.

The year 2020 was a major one for the Bumble team. The app surpassed 100 million users in July 2020, and its in-app voice and video calling feature has become more popular than ever.

In addition to its dating tools, Bumble has created social networking (Bumble BFF) and business networking (Bumble Bizz) spaces to help people stay connected with one another.

18. Tinder

Nowadays, Tinder is a dating app that needs no introduction. Since it invented swipe-based matching in 2012, Tinder has become synonymous with online dating and hooking up in many people’s minds.

The Tinder app has been downloaded over 340 million times and created 43 billion (yes, billion with a B) matches in 190 countries around the world.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Over half of Tinder users are under 25 years old.

Before the pandemic, Tinder facilitated about 1.5 million first dates a week. The dating app saw a surge in online traffic in the spring and summer of 2020, but it led to fewer in-person dates as many singles followed social distancing guidelines and avoided close contact with strangers. To bridge this gap, Tinder launched a video chat feature that’s available to all mutual matches on the app.

Tinder also made its passport feature free to all users during the pandemic. This allows singles to network outside their own city limits without paying for a Tinder Gold or Tinder Plus membership.

19. OkCupid

The OkCupid team believes online dating should be free for everyone at all times. This online dating app offers free communication to singles of all ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientations, and the only rule is that a person has to like your dating profile before you can send him, her, or zem a second message.

OkCupid creates over 91 million matches every year, and many of those online connections blossom into full-fledged relationships.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid encourages its members to showcase their personality quirks and voice their opinions.

In terms of social distancing, OkCupid has proven itself ahead of the dating game. According to OkCupid, the platform saw a 10% increase in matches and 20% increase in conversations within the first few weeks of shutdowns in the U.S. A staggering 94% of OkCupid users responded to the match question “How do you plan on dating during this time of coronavirus?” by affirming they would continue to date either virtually or in person.

“Even though singles are staying at home, our data show they still want to meet new people,” the OkCupid team concluded. “It’s a good thing you never have to leave the comfort of your couch in order to use OkCupid.”

20. Grindr

In 2009, Grindr made a big splash in the dating industry as the first gay dating app to use geographic networking tools to facilitate local matches. The app gave gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning men the ability to safely explore their date options and arrange meetings on the down low.

Now over a decade later, Grindr has been downloaded over 27 million times and sees nearly 4 million visitors a day.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Grindr is an international gay dating app that is available all over the world.

Grindr is a staunch advocate, ally, and wingman for LGBTQ+ men of all ages and types. Its networking tools have given men the ability to date on their terms. Most guys on Grindr are expressly looking for a casual hookup (yes, even during a pandemic), so don’t be surprised if your match skips the small talk and starts sexting right away.

21. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel (CMC) is an online dating app that began gaining momentum when it launched in 2012 on a mission to bring authenticity back to online dating. This was the passion project of three sisters who had experienced firsthand the difficulty of creating a real human connection in the swiping scene.

“We wanted to create a great experience for everyone, and make a platform and experience that appealed to women,” said Coffee Meets Bagel Co-Founder Dawoon Kang. “We care about safety and quality. And that was the genesis of Coffee Meets Bagel.”

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is a great app for serious relationship seekers.

The CMB founders believe that online matches benefit when singles take their time and treat one another as people rather than profiles. Coffee Meets Bagel creates a curated list of dating profiles based on mutual compatibility, and the app limits the number of virtual likes a person can send per day.

To date, Coffee Meets Bagel has sparked over 50 million matches and led to countless meaningful conversations and relationships.

What Does “Social Distancing” Mean?

Social distancing is a term used by health officials to encompass the behaviors necessary to stop the community spread of airborne pathogens (i.e. the coronavirus). Social distancing guidelines encourage folks to avoid large crowds, stay at least six feet apart from other people, and order takeout or delivery rather than dining in a restaurant.

A single person observing proper social distancing may prefer outdoor date venues with lots of space and perhaps even a mask requirement. It may also be a good idea to bump elbows instead of shake hands and bring along hand sanitizer instead of flowers. And, of course, couples should stay away from large crowds and poorly ventilated places. Such socially distanced protocols can lower the chances of an airborne virus spreading from one person to another.

How Does a Social Distancing Dating Site Work?

A social distancing dating site works the same as a regular dating site — because they’re one and the same.

The virtual matchmaking experience starts with an online registration process. A single person will typically have to provide their first name, phone number, email address, or Facebook login to verify their identity. They will also have to choose their best photos to upload to their dating profile.

Photo of a dating app

Singles can up their dating game by joining an online dating network.

Once you’ve completed your dating profile, you can start swiping, matching, and chatting to your heart’s content. Just be aware that some dating apps may cap the number of likes you can send or profiles you can view in a single day, so be sure to pace yourself and consider each profile carefully.

The top dating sites and apps provide instant access to local date options, and for that reason alone, they’ve been lauded as one of the safest ways to meet new people during a pandemic.

Are Social Distancing Dating Sites Safe?

Yes, particularly during a coronavirus outbreak, it’s much safer to meet a potential date online than in person. Singles have the ability to screen their dates online by engaging in a conversation through text, phone, or video. This can help them avoid potential health hazards and get to know someone without having to meet in person.

Online daters should exercise caution and not be too trusting of anyone they meet online. Scammers may post a fake profile or lie on a dating profile to con new marks, so it’s a good idea to arrange video calls with all your online matches to verify that they are who they say they are.

What’s the Best Way to Choose a Social Distancing Dating Site?

The best dating site for you depends greatly on your age, gender, location, sexual orientation, and dating or relationship goals. For instance, if you’re a straight guy interested in no-strings sex, then a popular hookup site is your best bet. But if you’re a lesbian woman seeking a meaningful connection, you may have to go beyond the mainstream and seek a lesbian dating app like HER.

Do your research by reading reviews and asking your friends to see if any online dating site or app speaks to who you are and what you want in the dating scene.

How Can You Have a Safe First Date While Social Distancing?

The idea of social distancing while dating may seem counterintuitive, but it is possible if you choose the right date locale and set proper boundaries. For instance, instead of meeting at a movie theater or bar, couples can plan socially distant dates in public parks, at outdoor restaurants, or even Netflix and quarantining at home.

A growing wave of singles has opted to go on video dates as a substitution for the interview-like coffee date. This allows couples to have a natural conversation, see the other person’s face, and, potentially, build enough trust to merit a real-life date.

Photo of a video date

A Facetime date can be more personal than text message or phone conversations.

Make sure to talk to your online crush about your comfort level and your safety concerns, so he or she can act appropriately. Before you go on your first date, be sure to outline what you expect in terms of mask etiquette and other social distancing guidelines. It’s common for daters to establish certain boundaries during their dates — especially if they’re still getting to know a new person — so don’t be shy about talking over these issues as you prepare for a first date.

You and your date may not want to stay six feet apart during your first date, but you may want to keep your face mask on and skip the kiss for that first encounter, just to be extra safe.

Online Dating Offers a Safe, Socially Distant Way to Meet People

In 2020, the dating scene changed dramatically as singles, couples, and families stayed indoors and refrained from socializing as they normally would. This presented quite a challenge for single people hoping to meet a new person, but online dating sites provided creative solutions to their romantic quandaries.

Mainstream dating sites and apps haven’t needed to change very much to fit perfectly into the new normal and facilitate long-distance relationships. Some have added video chat or voice messaging features to help people branch out in the dating scene, but most have simply kept doing what they do best.

The best social distancing dating sites can make introductions that spark a conversation that would lead to a real-life romance, but it’s up to online daters to decide how they want to move forward. Stay safe!

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