Dating Sites By Interest

Online Dating

33 Dating Sites by Interest (Feb. 2024)

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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It makes sense to organize the best dating sites by interest because if you don’t share similar interests with your date, you’re not going to be dating very long.

I remember going on a date with a guy who seemed to be my exact opposite on every subject that came up. I have a dog, and he had a cat. I have never gone to church, and he led a Bible study group. I have a full-time job in an office, and he juggled several freelance gigs. We just couldn’t see eye to eye on anything.

Building a relationship with a new person requires you to find common ground. Some niche dating sites and apps can help with that by targeting specific types of singles and creating matches based on shared interests.

Best Overall | Free | Professionals | Relationships | Senior | Christian | Black | Hookup | LGBTQ | FAQs

Best Overall Dating Sites (#1-3)

First up, we’ll highlight a few of the all-around winners in the online dating scene. These top-performing dating platforms are open to just about anybody looking for love, and they’re also completely free to join!

1. Match


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

Match has our endorsement as the overall best dating site and app. It works for straight singles, gay singles, lesbian singles and all other types of singles. Match is a supportive environment for any single person with serious dating intentions.

Since 1995, Match has become a leader in online dating by putting personality first. The platform’s matchmaking algorithm identifies commonalities in age, education, interests, and background, and it automatically prioritizes the most promising dates. Match allows free communication between users in each other’s Top Picks list, so there’s a good chance that person sending you a message is highly compatible with your lifestyle.

2. Tinder

This one should come as no surprise. Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has become an unprecedented success as a popular dating app that single-handedly made “swipe right” the ruling philosophy of online dating.

Tinder may have the reputation of a hookup app, but it has facilitated many serious relationships as well. There’s no telling where a Tinder match could lead. It may spark an interesting conversation, a fun casual date, or even a marriage.

Screenshot from Tinder

Over half of Tinder users are under 25 years old.

Over the last decade, Tinder has been downloaded over 530 million times and created over 75 billion matches worldwide. The Tinder app facilitates about 1.5 million first dates every week.

Taken as a whole, Tinder is easily among the most popular dating apps of all time, and it’s worth a free download to see what all the hubbub is about.

3. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish

is a popular dating site and app where you can meet single people and have fun while you’re at it. The dating site and app offer 100% free messaging to all members with no mutual matching required. So people of all backgrounds can afford to maintain a POF dating profile and take a look around the database.

The POF community has over 150 million members who range in age from 18 to 80, but they all share a common desire to meet that special someone.

Screenshot of POF

All communication is totally free on the POF site and app.

Since its launch in 2003, Plenty of Fish has expanded from home country of Canada and reached the shores of 20 countries, including the U.S. and the U.K. The dating platform sees over 4 million daily active users who swipe, match, and chat online.

Plenty of Fish can give singles a free ride through the online dating scene and help them find compatible dates in their area.

Best “Free” Dating Sites (#4-6)

Single people love the idea of falling love, but they also love the idea of saving money — and we don’t think those two things have to be mutually exclusive! Free dating sites give singles the chance to browse, match, and chat without paying a cent of their hard-earned money. Here are some of the best free dating platforms worth trying.

4. Zoosk


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Zoosk has taken the power of social media and the insight of algorithmic predictions and created a dating platform like no other. The Zoosk network stretches across 80 countries and sees over 3 million messages exchanged every week.

We’ve listed Zoosk first among the best free dating sites because it offers a great value with its free trial membership. Naturally, you’ll get full access to the singles database (40 million profiles strong), search tools (including interest-based filters), and curated matches. But free members also have the ability to send a limited number of messages and chat invitations.

5. Badoo


is a positively gargantuan dating app with more than 500 registered users to its name. And counting! The platform offers free text messaging and video messaging to get the ball rolling between like-minded singles online.

Badoo is one part dating network and one part social network, which means its newsfeed is full of fun and engaging content geared toward young people.

Badoo logo

Badoo features dynamic text and video chat features.

When ranking dating sites by download statistics, Badoo is easily the winner. The online dating app reached over 100 million downloads on Google Play in 2016. It was the first (but not the last) app to hit that milestone.

6. Happn

If you happen to live in a large and populated area, Happn can be a useful way to introduce yourself to nearby date prospects. This street-savvy dating app takes note of the user’s location data and identifies when and where they cross paths with potential matches.

Screenshot of Happn

Happn identifies compatibility based on where app users cross paths in their daily lives.

Happn will not ever disclose a user’s exact location, but it will provide a map reference of the coffee shops, bars, and other locales that two users have in common.

With over 50 million users in 50 major cities, the Happn app sees a lot of traffic and effortlessly guides singles toward likely matches.

Best Dating Sites for “Professionals” (#7-9)

Wanna go where the pros go? Then you may need to give your go-to online dating app an upgrade. Single professionals tend to skip the free-for-all swiping scene and look for more premium options to get them where they want to be in their love life.


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Elite Singles is a premium dating site for single professionals with love on the brain. Only serious daters need apply to this highly selective dating pool. Over 80% of the site’s members have graduated from college, and over 90% are at least 30 years old.

The vast majority of Elite Singles members are highly intelligent, academic singles who are not interested in playing the field or casually hooking up. They are making an investment in the future by creating a dating profile. The choosy singles who choose to subscribe to Elite Singles do so to upgrade their online dating experience and build a romantic relationship that leads to marriage.

8. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel

began as the passion project of three female entrepreneurs, and it has grown into one of the most successful dating apps that does not have corporate backing. The Silicon Valley startup has embarked on a mission to support young professionals who are serious about finding love.

Since its launch in 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel has positioned itself as the solution to online dating burnout. Its sophisticated matchmaking algorithm pairs couples based on a common interest, not a hot-or-not game.

Screenshot of Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is a free dating app that puts quality before quantity.

The CMB app embraces the idea of “slow dating,” which means individuals don’t have to spend hours swiping on profiles in hopes of finding a compatible match somewhere in the pile. Coffee Meets Bagel highlights a limited number of daily matches and puts a cap on how many profiles a person can like in a day.

9. The League

The League

is populated by doctors, engineers, financiers, and other singles with high incomes and high standards. The dating app actually verifies its new members through LinkedIn, and it only accepts the best of the best.

The app offers three membership tiers — member, owner, and investor — to empower single professionals to be the boss in their love life.

Screenshot of The League

The League has created an exclusive dating space for the world’s most successful singles.

Our experts consistently rank The League among the top dating sites for professionals because of its unwavering commitment to putting quality dates at the head of the line.

The League offers much more than just a swiping list. The app has video chat features, shared interest groups, concierge support, livestreaming parties, and other powerful tools for making a match.

Best Dating Sites for “Relationships” (#10-12)

Some single people approach dating apps with the mentality of window shopping or playing around. And others are on a mission: Love or bust. If you are serious about getting into a committed relationship, then you need a dating site that seriously works. We’ve picked out some of the best dating sites and apps for relationship seekers to help you get to that happily ever after.

10. eharmony


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

In 2000, a team of psychologists put their heads together to create the science-backed matchmaking system that is at the heart of eharmony. This dating site was designed to support love-driven singles and help them find a compatible partner as quickly as possible.

The eharmony process begins with an in-depth profile and 32-dimension Compatibility Quiz. Then the scientific algorithm calculates compatibility based on your communication style, relationship goals, and core values.

In the U.S. alone, eharmony has been responsible for introducing over 2 million couples, and the online dating app creates a new match every 14 minutes.

11. Hinge


markets itself as the dating app that was “Designed to be deleted.” Its goal is to create successful matches that lead to great first dates and exclusive relationships. According to user feedback, over 90% of Hinge first dates go well, and over 70% of them lead to second dates.

The Hinge logo

Hinge boasts having the highest first-date success rate in the online dating scene.

I know for a fact that Hinge lives up to its promise to help singles get in a relationship. Because I met my boyfriend on Hinge in 2019. He had only been on the online dating app for a few days when we started messaging, and he deleted the app a week later after our second date. I deleted Hinge after our fourth date.

Many Hinge success stories have cropped up over the past decade, including that of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

12. Bumble

In 2014, Bumble created a buzz in the online dating world by taking a distinctly feminist stance on swiping. The Bumble app puts single women first, and it doesn’t apologize for that.

A single woman has complete control over her Bumble matches. A man cannot contact her out of the blue. She must like his dating profile AND message him first to unlock the conversation window. Single men have to be on their best behavior on Bumble if they want to find a potential match and make a meaningful connection.

Screenshot of Bumble

By setting a high bar for online conversations, Bumble has helped relationships thrive.

Bumble has attracted many serious online daters. The women are tired of receiving creepy messages and unsolicited dick pics, and the men are tired of making the first move and never getting a response from women on other apps. Single men can throw out their pickup lines and enjoy being chased for once thanks to Bumble’s gender role reversal.

Best Dating Sites for “Seniors” (#13-15)

As a person gets older, it’s natural to feel a little lonely and seek companionship with people of the same generation. Online dating can help with that. Mature sites and apps can guide senior singles to their perfect match and thus ensure that their golden years can really shine.


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

SilverSingles has simplified online dating by providing step-by-step profile instructions and daily matches based on custom parameters. Senior singles don’t have to do a lot of swiping, scrolling, or typing to meet a new person in this over-50 network.

Joining SilverSingles is completely free and takes less than five minutes. The process starts with a personality test that inquires about your hobbies, lifestyle, and background. This personal information is used to find shared interests among local dates. You can go into your settings to adjust preferences for the age, education, income, religion, and other characteristics of your ideal date.

Senior singles should note that unlimited communication is a premium feature on this senior dating site, so all members who send a message your way have invested in a subscription plan.


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

OurTime is a niche dating site and app geared toward singles in their 50s, 60s, and up. The high-tech platform has paved the way for senior dating and given its members plenty of ways to reach out and say hello.

The dating site empowers users to send profile likes, virtual gifts, and private messages to show interest in an OurTime user. Premium members can message anyone they like without preamble, but free members are limited to sending replies only.

Over the years, OurTime has collected quite a few success stories that speak to its powerful impact on the senior community.

15. Senior Match

In 2003, SeniorMatch took up the role of personal matchmaker for senior singles. The dating platform had  simple setup and sent a clear message: You don’t have to be alone. Today, over 1 million members have joined the SeniorMatch membership base.

Screenshot of SeniorMatch

SeniorMatch meets the needs of a mature and love-driven audience.

SeniorMatch continues to impress us with its modern design and intelligent matchmaking process. It offers a beginner-friendly dating service where over-50 singles can view their options and stay within their comfort zone.

When you create a SeniorMatch dating profile, you are opening the door to new friendships and relationships. The online dating website gives senior men and senior women the opportunity to join interest-based groups and engage in conversations through fun community forums.

Best Dating Sites for “Christian” Singles (#16-18)

Religion is an important factor in dating and relationships. Christian singles often want a partner who can relate to their faith and values, so that’s why they seek out Christian dating sites. Here are some of the most popular faith-driven resources for meeting a good Christian man or a good Christian woman.


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

ChristianMingle has over 15 million members worldwide, so it’s not an exaggeration to call it the most popular Christian dating site of all time. Since its launch in 2001, ChristianMingle has spread the good word that Christian singles can flock together and find a God-fearing partner online.

Over the last 20 years, countless Christian relationships and Christian marriages have sprung from ChristianMingle. And you don’t have to take my word on faith. The website promotes some of its most inspirational success stories to show what’s possible through faith-centric online dating.

“I had tried secular dating sites, and was continually frustrated by the character of women I was meeting. I decided to change tactics and try ChristianMingle, and I immediately met my wife,” said Jason in a ChristianMingle testimonial. “The leap of faith immediately paid off, and here we are nine years later, completely in love.”

17. ChristianCafe


is a wholesome and heartfelt place to meet a Christian friend or potential partner. This Christian dating site is proudly Christian-owned and maintains one of the largest discussion forums populated solely by single Christians.

Our full review goes into more detail about how ChristianCafe works and what it can offer faith-driven singles.

Screenshot of ChristianCafe

ChristianCafe offers fellowship on its Christian forums and dating platform.

Since its launch in 1999, ChristianCafe has received and shared over 3,000 testimonials from couples who met on the site, and that’s just a drop in the bucket of its overall impact. The team estimates that ChristianCafe is responsible for inspiring over 25,000 marriages before God.

18. Christian Connection

Christian Connection

started in the U.K. in 2000, and it has since expanded into a global operation to promote Christian love. This premier dating site has been honored at multiple industry award shows and voted among the best niche platforms and Christian apps available.

The team that runs Christian Connection are true believers in the power of online dating to change a person’s life. These experts have crafted a matchmaking system that focuses on shared beliefs as the foundation of a loving relationship.

Photos of Christian Connection couples

Christian Connection has led many faithful followers to their perfect match.

Christian Connection has partnered the Online Dating Association to ensure customers are safe and protected every step of their virtual journey. The dating platform operates with high integrity and a firm commitment to Christian values. Check out our feature article on Christian Connection to learn more.

Best Dating Sites for “Black” Singles (#19-21)

Black singles often have a lot more than just skin tone in common with each other. They may have similar upbringings, lifestyles, or family values. Sometimes they can bond over a shared cultural understanding or a common desire for social justice. Or even just trade jokes from Black Twitter.

If you want to meet singles in the Black community, we recommend using online dating sites that are known for celebrating diversity and uplifting minority groups. Here are some good options for Black men and women.


Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “ 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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

BlackPeopleMeet is rightfully famous as the top Black dating site in North America. It has been around since 2002 and brought millions of diverse singles together. You do not have to be a person of color to join BPM — anyone seeking Black love or an interracial relationship is welcome.

It’s totally free to register an account on the BlackPeopleMeet website or download the BPM app. The free membership does not expire and includes unlimited browsing and some messaging features. However, you’ve got to front some cash if you want to send private messages to BPM members. The pay-to-chat system is in place to deter fake profiles and scammers from overrunning the online dating service.

20. BLK


is a free dating app that was created as a love letter to the Black community. The platform has the familiar look and feel of a standard swiping app, but its personalized list of profiles offers a richer and more diverse dating experience.

Screenshot of BLK

BLK livens up the local dating scene by bringing Black single professionals together.

Black singles have raved over the BLK app’s inclusive, affordable, and efficient services. The app currently has 4.2 stars on Google Play and 4.5 stars on iTunes.

“I met my life partner on this app,” said a woman in a BLK review in 2020. “What more can I say, I was able to have interesting conversations with individuals I would likely never have encountered IRL.”


lets you know what it’s all about right away. This dating site has served the Black singles community since 2002, and it isn’t slowing down going into its 20th year.

“Each day, thousands of Black singles visit in search of singles in their area,” the team said. “We do all that we can to help our members find success.”

Screenshot of has partnered with esteemed dating experts to support Black singles looking for love. offers a number of free features that can help a single person navigate the online dating scene and discover potential matches. A free member can view all profiles on the website, conduct a search based on their desired preferences, and initiate contact with the click of a button.

Best Dating Sites for “Hookups” (#22-26)

In the mood for a casual hookup? An adult dating site can satisfy your needs while keeping your romantic activity a secret. Here are some of the most popular and discreet platforms for sex seekers all over the world.


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 finding hookups and casual encounters. No adult site has a larger or more active user base of those seeking discreet fun...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

At any given moment, Adult Friend Finder has more singles looking for sex online than any bar or nightclub has on even the most packed post-COVID night. The AFF community has hosted over 105 million people since its launch in 1997. All of them adults, and all looking for something a little more exciting than a platonic friendship.

AFF provides local search tools, kinky interest groups, video chat rooms, and members-only forums to encourage singles (and couples in open relationships) to up their flirt game. The hookup site doesn’t have rules against naughty photos or sexting, so adults can pursue their desires without restraint.

23. BeNaughty


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

BeNaughty is a hookup site that encourages people to trade pickup lines and enjoy naughty encounters on the down low. Anyone with a hot selfie and an email address is eligible to join the fun. The site hosts sexting conversations throughout the day and night, so it’s never too early or too late to send a flirty message.

BeNaughty is a NSFW (not safe for work) playground for adults only. All members must certify that they are at least 18 years old, and BeNaughty has banned photos of children from the platform. Naked photos will also be caught by the censors, but semi-naked photos are OK as long as the important bits are covered. You’ve got to leave something to the imagination, right?


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...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

FriendFinder-X is an online dating site where sex is always part of the conversation. Adults browse the database because they are looking for no-strings sexual encounters, and they don’t have to be shy about saying so.

From the video blogs to the discussion groups, FriendFinder-X provides plenty of spaces for people to own their desires and meet willing partners. The only catch is that only premium members have full privileges on FriendFinder-X. Free members can look, but not chat, so the only way to escape temptation purgatory is by upgrading to a subscription, which costs less than $1 a day.


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 »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Let’s be real. Ashley Madison is not a dating site for happily married monogamous puritans. It is not a dating site for swingers in an open relationship. It’s a dating site for cheaters. People join Ashley Madison because they want to explore extramarital dating options and arrange an affair — all without their partner’s knowledge.

Ashley Madison protects user privacy by allowing people to blur or mask their faces in photos. It also has a discreet payment system that ensures the words “Ashley Madison” or “dating site” will never appear on the bank statements of any member.

Additionally, the Ashley Madison app uses a black-box icon that looks innocuous at a casual glance. The app requires a passcode for entrance, so there’s no need to worry about anyone snooping on your account while you’re away from your phone.



Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

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

Our Experts Say: “ 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...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now definitely has the right URL name. This hookup site is positively bursting with flirtatious energy, and it can be a thrilling place to make a new love connection. All you need is an email address, a profile picture, and a sexy username to get started.

Female users can chat on as much as they please without needing a paid membership. Male users don’t have as many free messaging options, but they can send a FlirtCast, which is basically a prewritten icebreaker, to test the online dating waters. If they like what they see on, single men can opt to get a one-day or one-month subscription to reply to the messages in their inbox.

Best Dating Sites for “LGBTQ” Singles (#27-33)

Online dating has created a rainbow of possibilities for a single person to explore his, her, or their sexuality. A survey of American singles found that LGB adults online date at a higher rate than their straight counterparts (55% versus 28%) and are twice as likely to say they met their partners online. We’ve reviewed several LGBTQ+ sites and apps that have mastered the art of same-sex matchmaking.

27. MenNation


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...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

MenNation is a gay hookup site where secret desires and sexual interests can run wild. Men across the sexuality spectrum can find something to pique their interest here. The site’s X-rated content includes strip tease videos, erotic stories, and naked pics.

Online dating sites like MenNation can be enormously helpful for LGBTQ+ singles who are in the closet or questioning their sexuality. Adult men can set up local personal ads on MenNation and start sexting strangers from the privacy of home. The profile does not have to have a photo or provide any personal information beyond their age, city, and username.


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...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

LesbianPersonals is a lesbian hookup site where singles and couples don’t have to play guessing games. LP users are pretty upfront about what they’re looking for and why they’re attracted to a female partner. The site even has kinky groups dedicated to certain sexual acts and fetishes.

It’s important to note that LesbianPersonals is not only geared toward lesbian singles. The hookup site has signup options for lesbian couples, trans people, and swingers in a straight relationship. Whether they’re interested in a casual hookup or a threesome, LesbianPersonals members can find willing partners by browsing the site’s blogs, forums, video livestreams, and photo galleries.

29. OkCupid

When OkCupid launched in 2004, its sole purpose was to find a formula for love. The dating site was the what-if project of some Harvard math majors who saw an opportunity to use technology to improve relationships across the board. And that’s exactly what they did.

In 2014, OkCupid expanded to include 22 gender options and 12 sexual orientation options — just to make sure singles knew this dating platform is for everybody.

Screenshot of OkCupid

LGBTQ+ singles can be themselves and pick up dates on OkCupid.

OkCupid uses an in-depth and complex matchmaking system to help singles find a romantic partner who is on the same page about the important stuff. The platform’s optional questionnaire touches on everything from race and religion to Netflix and chilling preferences.

OkCupid is the kind of smart dating app that we love to geek out over. In fact, we’ve written extensively about OkCupid’s many strengths and history of success.

30. Grindr

Since 2009, Grindr has amassed the world’s largest networking platform for gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer guys. The gay dating app invites single men to have fun flirting and chatting with a same-sex match. Today, Grindr has over 27 million members in its database, and it sees nearly 4 million daily active visitors.

Screenshot of Grindr

Men of all orientations have embraced Grindr as their go-to wingman.

Grindr is a free dating app, meaning guys can create a profile and send messages without a paid membership. However, the Grindr Xtra subscription can offer some useful perks, including the ability to see if a guy has read your message and the ability to rewind on your swiping list.

31. HER

In 2014, a lesbian woman named Robyn Exton wanted to make online dating better for women in the LGBTQ+ community. And that’s when she came up with the idea for HER, a dating app where single women are in charge and men are nowhere to be seen.

Screenshot of HER

HER offers an international dating network for women seeking women.

HER caters exclusively to lesbian, bisexual, and queer people who want to date a single woman. The app has over 5 million users, and it uses Facebook verification to ensure everyone is genuine.

HER has a zero-tolerance policy regarding male users, and it will boot anyone caught lying in their profile or harassing other members.


The SCRUFF app has established an all-male community with more than 20 million members worldwide. It’s a go-to place for gay men looking to shoot the breeze and pick up a date.

SCRUFF highlights local date options in the Match list, but it also has a Venture option that allows men to publish their travel agenda and mingle with guys in the cities they plan to visit.

Screenshot of SCRUFF

SCRUFF excites guys with its bold dating tools and events.

Instead of braving the crowds at a local gay bar or club, a single man can get instant access to viable dates swimply by logging into SCRUFF. The dating app powers matches through swiping technology, and it has community groups and events to help flirtatious connections grow.

33. Jack’d


welcomes gay, bi, trans, and queer men of all ages and backgrounds. The gay dating app proudly maintains a safe space where men can feel seen and valued. Its diverse membership base includes over 5 million members in 2,000 cities around the globe.

Screenshot of Jack'd

Gay dating apps like Jack’d let guys follow their passions and interests.

Jack’d may not be as big as some of its competitors, but some guys see that as a good thing because it means they face less competition online. The Jack’d app has actually encouraged lengthier conversations simply by limiting the swipe and match options available.

“I meet many fun and interesting people while on the Jack’d site,” said Michael in a Google Play review. “I would definitely recommend it wholeheartedly. Each time I use the site , I meet creative, thought provoking , and talented new people”

How Do Dating Sites Really Work?

Online dating may seem complex to an untested beginner, but it’s really easy to get the hang of it. First, you create an online dating profile by answering simple demographic questions, filling in personal prompts, and uploading at least one photo of yourself. If you choose to join through Facebook (or another social media account), the online dating platform will autofill your profile and recommend photos for you to use.

After your profile is complete and has been approved, singles can start swiping or searching for a potential match. Online dating apps tend to offer curated swipe lists based on the user’s age, location, and background. Traditional dating sites tend to favor user-driven search tools where individuals can set their own standards and browse at will.

Once you see a person you like, you can show interest by sending a virtual like, an icebreaker question, or a brief introductory message. Some sites may also have video chat or virtual gifting options. Free members may not have access to all communication features, but they will typically have some limited means to reach out and say, “hey, I like your profile.” Then it’s just a matter of waiting for a response and seeing where the conversation takes you.

Are Dating Sites Actually Safe to Use?

Yes, online dating is a safe way to meet new people — as long as you’re careful about it. Read: Don’t trust a stranger with your personal information, and don’t rush into a relationship after a few flattering messages. Online daters can do background research and ask follow-up questions to differentiate authentic love interests from fake profiles and romance scams.

Some warning signs are obvious. An online dating profile without a clear picture or under a false name should automatically raise red flags. But sometimes a catfisher or a scammer can make a convincing pitch, and the only way to detect the lie is by arranging a face-to-face meeting either via video or in person.

Photo of a computer keyboard

Most dating platforms have report and block tools to stop online harassment and other bad behavior.

Arranging a video date is a simple and safe way to verify that the person you’ve been chatting with is the real deal. A lot of singles use a video date or a phone call as a litmus test to see if it’s worth actually meeting for a first date.

Take your time vetting every potential match and love interest that comes your way. Don’t let any person rush you or pressure you into doing something that feels unsafe. A good partner should respect your boundaries. Full stop. Do not compromise when it comes to matters of safety.

Lastly, for all the ladies out there, don’t let a single man tell you what should and should not make you feel safe. As in, “I sent you a bathroom selfie, so you should feel safe getting in my car” or “I bought you dinner, so you should feel safe hooking up in my apartment.” He is not entitled to anything from you, and if he’s not willing to listen to your concerns and earn your trust, he’s bad news.

How Do I Go About Choosing the Best Dating Site?

Don’t overthink this decision. Choosing the best dating site is a simple matter of following your interests and knowing what you want from a potential partner. If you’re just looking to chat and stay casual, then a swiping app should be just your speed. But if you’re looking for a more serious relationship, you may want to consider upping your game on a premium dating site with more compatibility features.

Singles don’t have to break their monthly budget to land a date on a site or app. For example, some platforms offer a free trial or limited free messaging. But a premium membership can offer a leg up on the competition by boosting a profile or unlocking useful features, such as the ability to see who has liked you.

Are Niche Dating Sites Better Than General Dating Sites?

It may seem tempting to join a niche dating site that speaks to your particular interests or background, but that isn’t always the best online dating strategy. For one thing, niche dating sites are not as large as mainstream apps, so they will automatically limit your date options.

Maybe a smaller dating pool sounds good if you’re overwhelmed by incoming matches and messages on apps like Tinder or other Match Group properties. But you’d better be willing to travel to meet a potential date because niche dating sites have significantly fewer local personals.

Another pitfall of niche dating sites is how easily they can attract the wrong sort of people. We’re talking creeps who treat an interest or an identity as if it’s a fetish. Some sites end up with more “admirers” than singles in the actual niche, and the environment can become toxic, especially if there is little policing of fake profiles and spam messages.

What’s the Best Dating Site for Jewish Singles?

That’s an easy one. JDate has been the most popular Jewish dating site for over 20 years now, and we don’t expect it to lose its good reputation any time soon.

Screenshot of JDate

The JDate network is open to any single person who wants to date a Jewish person.

The JDate membership base includes everyone from Orthodox Jews to cultural Jews, and it also welcomes non-Jewish people who are open to converting to Judaism.

JDate is easily the most successful matchmaker for Jewish singles in the United States. In 2011, a survey of married Americans revealed that JDate is responsible for about 52% of the Jewish marriages that started online.

Follow Your Interests to Find Your Ideal Date Online

By ranking dating sites by interest, we hope to give singles a shortcut to the type of dates they desire most. That way, they don’t have to wade through a sea of mismatches just to meet one or two potential date candidates. Dating sites and apps have become increasingly specialized in how they tackle romance, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make something happen and find a date on your terms.

Niche dating sites have split into all types of categories and groupings, but it all comes down to what you like. As long as you’re true to yourself and follow your heart, you should be able to thrive in the online dating scene and find plenty of local singles to catch your interest. Good luck out there!

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