Free Chat Apps For Dating

Online Dating

17 Best Free Chat Apps for Dating (2020)

Amber Brooks
Amber Brooks Posted:
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When I joined my first dating app, I wasn’t in a hurry to meet anyone in person. I just wanted to chat. I thought if I could practice chatting, flirting, and matching with guys online, the stranger-danger alarms in my head would calm down, and I’d master the art of online dating.

I didn’t really think I’d fall in love with anyone I met on a dating app, but that’s exactly what happened. Years of swiping led me to my dream guy, and I’m so glad I let him chat me up one evening.

Chatting is essential to success in the dating world, and a chat app can come in handy for singles looking to get out there and hone their dating skills. We recommend using the following chat-friendly apps to make something happen in the online dating scene.

1. 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

As a social dating site and app, Zoosk has a lot of communication features to delight and excite singles of all ages. Zoosk has over 40 million members, and it sees over 3 million messages exchanged in the average day. That’s a lot of back and forth between flirty singles!

Free Zoosk members can set up their profiles and start browsing the database immediately, and they can send winks or virtual gifts to show their interest in particular people. Singles with free accounts can also respond to a limited number of messages in their inboxes, and they can purchase and use Zoosk Coins to get extra perks, including a profile boost and delivery confirmation on all messages.

“Almost eight years ago, I met my wife through Zoosk,” said one Google user in a review. “I never thought I would meet someone to marry here.”

★★★★★
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

Since 1995, Match has been a mover and shaker in the online dating world, and it holds the distinction of being the longest running dating site with countless relationships and marriages to its name.

Match is a premium dating site, so most conversations will be locked to free members; however, free members can get access to messages from the highest-ranking members in the database.

Most singles on Match.com are serious about finding someone special and making a long-term commitment. According to the site’s internal data, almost 75% of Match users have earned a college degree and 67% are non-smokers.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
EliteSingles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with EliteSingles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. EliteSingles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Speaking of high-end memberships, EliteSingles is just about the classiest dating site available on the web, and it attracts the cream of the dating crop.

EliteSingles is the ideal dating ground for doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, business consultants, and other high-earning individuals. Over 80% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college, and over 90% say they’re on the site seeking a real relationship.

Chatting is not free on EliteSingles, but it can be well worth the investment to meet so many top-tier singles living in the same area. Free members can browse the site for as long as they want to see if it’s the right fit for them.

★★★★★
4.5/5.0
eharmony

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Long-Term Relationships, Marriages
  • Match System: Get daily match suggestions
  • About the App: Responsible for 4% of marriages in the U.S., eharmony is among our top picks for relationship-minded heterosexual singles. To become a member, add the app to your phone (iOS or Android) and then take its 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility Matching Quiz. It's absolutely free to do both these things — as well as receive matches and communicate during other special events.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

In 2000, Beyoncé was still a member of Destiny’s Child, “Cast Away” was the biggest movie of the year, and eharmony launched as one of the first dating sites designed to strengthen the institution of marriage.

A clinical psychologist and Christian theologian named Dr. Neil Clark Warren came up with the idea for eharmony because he saw so many mismatched couples getting divorced, and he wanted to help singles spot dealbreakers and incompatibilities from the get-go.

Fast forward two decades, and the dating site is a national phenomenon responsible for over 2 million relationships and marriages. Every day, eharmony reviews its users’ preferences, crunches the numbers, and creates over 15 million matches based on true, life-long compatibility. You’ll receive matches in your inbox, and you can send a like, Icebreaker quiz, or message to anyone who stands out from the crowd.

★★★★
4.4/5.0
OurTime.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dating and Relationships
  • Match System: Search by age as well as zip, gender, more
  • About the App: Made just for single seniors, OurTime is one of the most well-known niche dating apps. It's a fun and straightforward app with simple swiping features. Once two people swipe right on each other, they can communicate. For more match options, visit the Connect and I'm Interested pages. Plus, if you sign up for OurTime, your profile will appear on its sister site, SeniorPeopleMeet, for free.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

As we get older, our dating prospects naturally run thin, and that’s why senior dating sites have become so essential to senior happiness. OurTime is one of the top senior dating sites with millions of age-appropriate date options available at the click of a button.

OurTime is powered by People Media, which means newcomers have direct access to a singles database encompassing people of all creeds, colors, and backgrounds. Over 20,000 new members join this network every day, so you should never run out of men and women to chat with you.

While creating a profile is free on OurTime, communication is limited to paid subscribers to ensure that spammers and scammers don’t cause problems on the dating site.

★★★★
4.0/5.0
BlackPeopleMeet

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by city, hobbies, age, etc.
  • About the App: Since it was founded in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has established the largest online dating community for black and biracial singles of all orientations. Every month over 1.4 million daters use this simple and safe platform to connect with African-American singles in their area. You can download the app and create a profile for free to find new friends, hot dates, and love interests online.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

BlackPeopleMeet is another People Media site where like-minded folks can mix and mingle. The niche dating site caters to black, biracial, and multiracial singles who want to date someone with a similar family history and cultural understanding.

Since its launch in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has collected quite a few success stories, including some from couples who have tied the knot.

“I have met the love of my life, and we will be getting married,” said a BlackPeopleMeet user from Long Beach, California. “Thank you, BPM, I had fun.”

7. Flirt

★★★
3.4/5.0
Flirt

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates & Hookups
  • Match System: Search by age, distance, ethnicity, and appearance
  • About the App: Flirt is a discreet hookup platform that has sparked millions of flirtatious connections in the casual dating scene. The Flirt network appeals to adult singles interested in enjoying a sexual encounter, including one-night stands, summer flings, and threesomes, and they're looking for a potential partner who wants the same sort of no-strings-attached relationship.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Flirt.com is one of the best free chat apps for dating because it offers messaging to all users with a valid profile picture. Once you set up your dating profile, you can browse under an anonymous user name and then upload a photo whenever you’re ready to start sexting a person you met online.

The Flirt dating service includes search filters for age, location, appearance, and other characteristics, and you can even sort the results by the most active or newest members.

Flirt is a traditional hookup website that was launched in the 1990s, but it has kept up with the times and is completely mobile-friendly. That means you can access the Flirt network from any mobile device (iOS and Android) without having to download anything.

★★★★
4.2/5.0
SilverSingles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Filter by age, height, and distance
  • About the App: SilverSingles runs an exclusive dating community for single men and women over the age of 50. Its database includes recently divorced singles as well as singles who have never been married. The dating app matches people based on their similarities in age, lifestyle, hobbies, and relationship goals. If you want to show your interest in someone online, you can send a smile, message, or request that they upload a profile picture. Either way, they'll know you care.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

SilverSingles has cultivated an exclusive seniors-only dating community where users can chat and build relationships without feeling unsafe.

The dating site sees over 800,000 monthly users, and its keeps those loyal members entertained and satisfied with an array of search filters and matchmaking tools. Singles can find dates on their terms by adjusting their Dating Preferences in the Dashboard section. You can set preferences for your ideal partner’s age, height, distance, education, income, religion, and other characteristics, and you can also mark how important those standards are to you.

SilverSingles uses that information to generate an ever-growing list of potential matches who are everything you want and more.

★★★★
4.4/5.0
ChristianMingle

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Dates or Serious Commitments
  • Match System: Search and receive matches
  • About the App: Christian dating doesn't get any better than on ChristianMingle. With the free app, available on any iOS or Android device, you can browse the more than 2.4 million Christian singles. Since you already know that everyone is on the same religious page, you can focus on other things like age, distance, hobbies, and education to make a deep connection with someone of the same faith.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

The faith-driven network on ChristianMingle is much larger than any congregation, and you don’t have to wait for Sunday morning church to mingle with these goodhearted Christians

As a dating site, ChristianMingle has the largest concentration of Christians, and it welcomes people of all religious beliefs and backgrounds. The site’s mission is to introduce Christians to loving partners, and it has been a rousing success over the last two decades.

“Robbie messaged me on ChristianMingle two weeks after I joined the site,” said Elaine in a testimonial. She and Robbie got married in July 2017. “Little did I know, he would propose to me in the same location as our first date. The rest is history!”

10. Tinder

Tinder went viral in 2012 because of its unique approach to chatting and matchmaking. The dating app instituted a swiping system that empowered singles to choose who slid into their DMs.

Screenshot of Tinder

Based in Los Angeles, Tinder has built a swipe-happy dating network spanning 190 countries.

Tinder’s matching system has become the status quo for most modern dating sites and apps, but I’ll go over the way it works in case you’re not familiar. You swipe right on profiles you like, and left on profiles you don’t like, and only couples who have liked each other can send messages on the app.

Since its launch, Tinder has created over 30 billion matches worldwide, and it facilitates over 1 million dates per week on average.

11. Bumble

Bumble prides itself on being a female-friendly dating app. Since 2014, the app has operated under a simple slogan: Ladies first.

Women seeking a date have to send the first message to unlock a conversation with a male match (anyone can send the first message in a same-sex match), and they only have 24 hours after the match is made to say something. If they choose to stay silent, the chat window will disappear forever.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble offers Date Mode, BFF Mode, and Business Mode to help singles network and socialize.

Outspoken feminist and entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe-Herd left an executive-level position at Tinder and founded Bumble because she wanted to support single women in the dating scene and bring more value and integrity to online dating.

Men can only reach out to women on Bumble after she has sent a message, and that essentially stops pickup artist culture in its tracks.

12. OkCupid

As a totally free chatting platform, OkCupid offers free messaging to singles of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds, and its inclusive, quirky, and fun features have made it an unrivaled success.

The OkCupid origin story goes back to a Harvard dorm room in 2004. A group of math majors decided to come up with a formula for love, and their work culminated in a data-driven dating site that uses profile information and personal questions to score compatibility.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid facilitates over 91 million love connections in the average year.

OkCupid operates under the mantra “Dating deserves better.” The site’s goal is to provide highly accurate match ratings, advanced search filters, and limitless opportunities to chat and match with like-minded folks.

Every week, more than 50,000 couples hit things off in an OkCupid chat and arrange a real-life date at coffee shops, restaurants, bars, parks, and other social spots around the world.

13. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a free-to-chat dating app where over 4 million singles flirt and match every day. The user base includes over 150 million profiles, but you’ll only see the most active and attractive users at the top of your search results.

POF singles don’t have to send likes to send messages to one another, and there aren’t very many restrictions on chatting. Conversations do expire after 30 days of inactivity, so keep the messages flowing if you want to pursue something.

Screenshot of POF

POF sees over 3 million messages exchanged every day on the site and app.

Be sure to bring out your best pics when creating your Plenty of Fish profile. A 2019 study of POF users found that singles are six times more likely to message someone who’s smiling an unfiltered photo than someone in a professional or filtered photo.

14. Hinge

Since its launch in 2013, Hinge has distinguished itself as a relationship-building app where singles can get to know one another and chat about their shared interests and opinions.

Hinge takes swiping to the next level by requiring users to like or comment on something specific on the dating profile. Many singles ask questions about a photo (as in “When did you visit Portugal?” or “How did you learn how to juggle?”), or they voice an opinion about a prompt (as in “I love putting pineapples on pizza” or “Lion King is my favorite Disney movie too”) to get the ball rolling.

Screenshot of Hinge's homepage

Hinge is a quality-driven app that inspires interest-based conversations between singles.

Hinge’s goal is to foster real relationships, and the team is always brainstorming ways to improve online connections. In 2017, Hinge implemented a “Your Turn” feature to remind singles when it’s their turn to say something so they don’t accidentally ghost on their matches. Early testing revealed the feature reduced ghosting by 25%.

Hinge also has a We Met feature that allows singles to give feedback on the matches they met in person. Nothing too deep. You’ll simply indicate that you went on an IRL date (or even a virtual date), and then you can say that you enjoyed it and would go out again or did not enjoy it and don’t see a second date happening. This helps Hinge figure out how to foster genuine relationships that last, and it boasts being the best dating app for second dates!

15. Grindr

When Grindr launched in 2009, it was pretty much the only game in town for gay singles. Now, the all-male dating app faces a lot more competition, but it remains a leading matchmaker for gays on the go.

Grindr has over 27 million users all around the world. The dating app serves as a rallying point for gay, bisexual, queer, and trans men seeking hot male dates.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Grindr sees 3.8 million daily active users who are spread across 234 countries.

Grindr uses a location-based matchmaking system to help men find romance with no muss and no fuss. The app shows you date prospects who are in close proximity to you, and that often leads to steamy encounters in bars, clubs, parties, and bedrooms.

Although it has the reputation of a hookup app, Grindr can lead to relationships of all types. “If it wasn’t for Grindr, I might not have met my gay best friend nor had some of the best sex of my life,” said a nursing student on Reddit.

16. Happn

Happn has taken the idea of serendipity and turned it into a dating app. It uses a smartphone’s real-time location data to let singles know where they’ve crossed paths with their matches. Maybe you both frequent the same pub, or maybe you study at the same library, or maybe your buy groceries at the same store. The app won’t give away anyone’s exact location, but it will show a map of shared destinations.

Singles don’t always have the opportunity to flirt with someone they see in public places, so Happn gives them a second chance to make that connection and discover romance in their everyday lives.

Screenshot of Happn

It takes less than five minutes to create a Happn profile and start flirting with singles near you.

Millions of singles have joined Happn in hopes of meeting someone who fits nicely in their routines and lifestyle. The app has been installed over 50 million times on Google Play where it has a 4.3-star rating.

“Better than Tinder, in my opinion,” said a Happn user in a five-star review. “Location showing up where you cross paths is really a big win.”

17. HER

HER has become the top lesbian dating app by focusing on community rather than profits. As a female-driven space, the app has taken a firm no-boys-allowed stance and employs moderators to review incoming profiles and remove all fakers, scammers, and men. As long as you’re genuinely a womxn seeking womxn, you shouldn’t have a problem finding partners here.

To quote the HER Community Guidelines, ” We are all different shapes, sizes, colors, identities and that’s pretty badass that we can share this space together.”

Screenshot of HER's website

HER is a free dating app where lesbian, queer, and bisexual womxn can find their person.

The HER app has a frequently updated newsfeed and queer events calendar to help womxn socialize, flirt, and get involved in the local LGBTQ+ community.

If you want to see HER’s impact on the dating community, take a look at the #WeMetOnHER love stories flooding its Instagram page.

“I promise to spend the rest of my life showing you unwavering trust, ultimate respect, and, above all else, unconditional love,” said Jessica to her new wife. “Huge thank you to HER for a successful first date and now marriage.”

What is Badoo?

With over 459 million users, Badoo is one of the fastest-growing dating apps on the market. Every day, the app onboards over 300,000 new users, and it sees over 350 million messages exchanged. Those numbers are truly mind-boggling, but it makes sense once you see the engaging, seamless, and fast-working interface.

The Badoo logo

Badoo’s dating network includes 60 million monthly active users in 190 countries.

Badoo offers a fun social spot where people can mix and mingle freely. When you set up your account, you can identify yourself as “here to make new friends” or “here to chat,” but most users mark themselves as “here to date.”

Our dating experts reviewed Badoo and gave it 4 stars in recognition of its diverse user base, interactive chat features, and straightforward matching.

What Dating Apps Have Free Messaging?

Most dating apps will let singles join for free, but not all include free unlimited messaging. Some singles think it’s worth paying a subscription fee to know they’re meeting the best of the best. Others would rather not pay for a dating service, and that’s fair, too.

Dating apps with free messaging include Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and OkCupid. Most of these apps have premium plans that allow singles to see their likes and upgrade their dating experiences, but the chat features are available to everyone, no payment necessary.

OkCupid is one of the most popular free dating apps out there, and its team has promised to never charge users to send messages. You can send a first message to anyone you like, but that person has to like you back to respond and start a conversation.

What is the Best Free Hookup App?

BeNaughty is our favorite hookup platform because it is free, fun, and flirty. Its search tools, swiping game, and instant messaging features can help people come out of their shells and find local dates in no time at all.

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

Casual daters can rely on BeNaughty to hook them up with people who have similar intentions in the dating scene. Everyone joins this network looking for straight-up sex, and that makes the chatting extra exciting.

What is the Best App to Chat With Foreigners?

We’ve reviewed many international dating sites in the past few years. It’s a growing trend in the industry and a natural part of globalization. Singles are no longer stuck only dating someone within the same city, state, or country. Modern technology can allow them to take their search for romance all around the world.

If you want to chat with singles who live in different parts of the world, you’ll have to go beyond local dating apps and find more globally minded spaces.

Screenshot from Cupid Media's website

The Cupid Media dating network spans the globe and has translation services readily available.

Established in 2000, Cupid Media is a leader in the international dating scene, and it has helped over 30 million people search for dates around the world. Cupid Media now runs InternationalCupid as well as 34 niche dating sites that introduce chatty singles from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

InternationalCupid has over 1 million members all over the world, and it currently has 4 stars on Google Play, which is pretty impressive considering how diverse its membership base is.

Which App is Best for Dating?

The best all-around dating app is going to vary from person to person. If you’re looking for something serious, a relationship-driven app like Match or Hinge will have your best interests at heart. These personality-driven apps deliver compatible matches like nobody’s business, and I can say from experience that they work.

★★★★★
4.8/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

If you just want to chat and see what’s out there, then a more casual dating app, like Tinder, is more appropriate. Tinder encourages the #SwipeLife, meaning singles swipe on profiles and chat with matches without making a big commitment.

Tinder sees over 2 billion swipes per day, so in terms of sheer size, it’s got the competition beat. However, all that endless swiping can lead to online dating burnout if you’re not careful.

Chatting is Easy (and Free) on the Best Dating Apps

When I started online dating, I was lucky to meet a lot of patient and kind people who were willing to keep the conversation going until I felt comfortable meeting for a date. It was nerve-wracking the first time I met an online pen pal in person, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t all that different from going on a blind date with someone you met by chance.

The more I chatted and flirted online, the more my confidence grew. Eventually, I became accustomed to saying yes to a date after just a few days of idle chatting. Even though I didn’t start out with serious intentions, my online dating journey led me to a serious relationship, and I couldn’t be happier with my mutual match.

Dating apps have helped millions of singles chat, match, and date on their terms, and that’s empowering for people who are shy or don’t meet a lot of singles in their daily lives. We’ve listed dozens of top-notch chat apps for singles looking for reach their dating potential. Good luck!

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