Free Singles Sites

Online Dating

12 Best Free Singles Sites (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 She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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When I first tried online dating a few years ago, I didn’t have high hopes for it, so I chose a free singles site that would let me send as many messages as I wanted without paying a cent. That way, I figured I’d only waste my time (and not my money) online.

As it turns out, online dating was well worth the investment I did not put in it because I wound up in a relationship that lasted over a year.

Sometimes online dating may get a bad wrap for being overcrowded and superficial, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Having thousands of date options at their fingertips can actually benefit singles who know what they want. Free singles sites can work if you’re willing to do the work and search the membership base for the diamonds in the rough. We’ve ranked our favorites by category to help singles of all backgrounds find their sweet spot.

Overall | Apps | Black | LGBTQ | Mature | Christian | Single Parents | Chat | Local | International | FAQs

Top Free Dating Sites for Singles (#1-2)

American singer Frank Sinatra taught us that the best things in life are free. You don’t have to pay for the moon, the stars, or the robins in the trees, and you shouldn’t have to pay to find dates and fall in love either.

Many dating sites offer free memberships to help singles get off to a good start. You don’t have to pay anything to create a profile and browse for matches on the following top-rated dating sites.

1. Match

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

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


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

Since 1995, Match has made a name for itself as one of the most trustworthy dating sites around. Its personality-driven features may seem old-school, but they have stood the test of time because they work.

In the last two decades, Match has inspired over 517,000 relationships and over 92,000 marriages around the globe. The dating platform has more success stories than any of its competitors, and it’s still growing its network in 24 countries and counting.

We believe Match is the best all-around dating site for singles because it has been around the longest, and it has honed its match algorithm thanks to millions of interactions on the site. It’s free to join the site, but you will have to pay a monthly subscription if you want to send messages.

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

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


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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Elite Singles tells you with its name what it’s all about. This dating site is designed to serve the cream of the crop.

On average, over 381,000 new members join Elite Singles every month. Most of these individuals are highly educated and discerning daters seeking someone on their intellectual level. According to internal statistics, over 85% of Elite Singles members have earned at least a college degree, and over 90% are interested in getting in a relationship.

Top “Apps” for Singles (#3-4)

As tech-savvy singles come of age and hunt for dates, dating apps have exploded in popularity. Mobile dating is undeniably the way of the future. It’s convenient, it’s fast, and it’s proven effective. In 2018, The New York Times profiled 1,000 couples in its Wedding Announcements section, and 93 of those couples said they met on dating apps.

3. 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

Zoosk began in 2007 as an online dating service driven by social networking tools. The Silicon Valley startup designed a platform where singles can mingle in a number of different ways. It’s not all about swiping and matching. Users can also send virtual gifts, winks, or icebreaker greetings to catch someone’s attention.

Though Zoosk began as a dating site, it has since adapted to the mobile dating scene and become one of the highest grossing dating apps in the App Store. Today, Zoosk has over 40 million members in 80 countries.

Zoosk members send over 3 million messages in an average day. For safety reasons, only paid Zoosk subscribers can read and respond to all messages on the site. Free members can reply to messages sent by premium members, but they cannot send an unsolicited message.

4. Tinder

Tinder is the dating app that put dating apps on the map in 2012. Its fast and fun swiping system has become the gold standard for the online dating industry. You’ve probably heard that Tinder is just for hookups, but actually 80% of Tinder users say they want a meaningful relationship. Singles of all orientations and backgrounds trust this dating app to help them meet new people.

Screenshot of Tinder's homepage

Tinder is free to use, but it also has premium plans with added perks for singles.

You can’t do much better than Tinder in terms of sheer numbers. Since its launch, Tinder has created over 43 billion matches. Its dating network reaches over 190 countries, and it has been downloaded 340 million times.

“Today’s my one-year anniversary with my awesome boyfriend whom I met on Tinder,” said a Reddit user in 2018. “Now we have plans to be married and start a family. Happiest relationship of my life, and I feel very lucky.”

Top “Black” Sites for Singles (#5-6)

Singles in minority groups can have a tough time finding people like themselves in the general dating scene. Fortunately, niche dating sites excel at bringing particular types of daters together. Black singles in predominantly white or Hispanic areas can join a free black dating site to connect with the larger African-American community in the U.S. and abroad.

“We black folks have our own unique challenges through which to traverse in dating online,” wrote Dustin J. Seibert in a review of dating apps. “It also helps to understand that not all online dating services are built equally for us.”

BlackPeopleMeet 4.1/5.0

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


Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet is a large dating site, and its user base is growing every day. If you're only interested in black or biracial daters, you've come to the right place...” Full Review »

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Anyone interested in dating a black or biracial single can join BlackPeopleMeet to find someone who’s exactly their type. This niche dating site caters to African-American singles in the U.S. and Canada, but people of all races are welcome to join and diversify their date prospects.

BlackPeopleMeet has collected countless success stories since its launch in 2002. The dating site’s simple tools make it easy to connect with a new friend or love interest.

Online dating has contributed to an increase in interracial relationships and marriages on a global scale, and the BlackPeopleMeet team is proud to be part of that push to broaden people’s horizons and change the dating culture one match at a time.

6. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a 100% free dating site for singles of all races and orientations. POF users don’t have to pay a cent to send messages to their online crushes, and millions of users have taken advantage of the free chat tools. As a whole, Plenty of Fish users send over one billion messages to each other in a month.

Photo of Plenty of Fish couples

Plenty of Fish creates over 57 million new connections every week.

Its chat features aren’t the only thing Plenty of Fish has going for it. The site also boasts a POF Relationship Chemistry Predictor that uses five personality aspects (self-confidence, family, self-control, social dependency, and flexibility) to generate match recommendations. Over 37 million users have taken this test and benefited from its insights on the human psyche.

Plenty of Fish has been around a long time, yet it continues to grow its audience worldwide. Over 70,000 new singles join Plenty of Fish every day and start flirting their way into someone’s good graces.

Top “LGBTQ” Sites for Singles (#7-8)

According to a Match survey of singles of all orientations, gay and lesbian singles are the most likely to use dating sites to find romantic partners. About 49% of homosexual singles said they have used dating apps, while only 28% of heterosexual singles said the same. Straight singles typically don’t run into as much scarcity as LGBTQ+ singles do in the dating scene, so dating platforms aren’t as big of a game changer for them.

7. Zoosk

Zoosk 4.7/5.0

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


Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is a go-to for busy lesbian women because the site will do all the work for them. All they have to do is upload some information and photos...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Once again, Zoosk is on our list because it’s one of the most popular and innovative dating platforms around. Zoosk has a massive following of over 40 million singles, and these individuals represent a rainbow of interests and orientations.

New users can identify as women seeking women or men seeking men, and they can change their gender identification and dating preferences at any time. Zoosk is open to everyone in the LGBTQ community. While it doesn’t have a sexual orientation option in the profile, singles can always clarify where they stand on the spectrum in their personal bios.

Zoosk profiles have open-ended sections where singles can share their stories, describe their perfect matches, and brainstorm ideal date ideas. The most popular profiles tell an original story with positivity, confidence, and humor.

8. Grindr

Grindr is one of the most well-known gay dating apps in the world. It shook up the dating scene in 2009 by catering exclusively to guys seeking guys online. Now after a decade of matching, Grindr claims to be the world’s largest social networking app for LGBTQ men. Its location-based tools can help guys find a hot date who’s within reach.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Grindr supports a growing network of more than 3.8 million gay, bisexual, and queer men.

This a fast-working dating app for guys who are out on the prowl for a date. The app literally tells users how close they are to connecting by using the smartphone’s GPS data to show users how many yards or miles they are from one another. The Grindr community is active in 200+ countries, so you can take this app as your wingman wherever you go.

“Grindr proudly represents a modern LGBTQ lifestyle,” according to the team. “From social issues to original content, we’re continuing to blaze innovative paths with a meaningful impact for our community.”

Top “Mature” Sites for Singles (#9-11)

Few people plan on being single in their 50s, 60s, or 70s, but relationships and marriages can end unexpectedly once you reach a certain age. Some empty-nest couples split up after their children are grown. Some partners pass away. Some relationships just aren’t meant to last. And then what do you do?

Senior singles don’t use dating sites and apps as frequently as younger generations — 81% of adults over 55 say they have never used a dating site — but that could change as more dating platforms target the over-50 crowd specifically.

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

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


Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is just for men and women who are 50 or older, and it's one of the most popular dating sites in this niche because of its size...” Full Review »

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OurTime is a senior-friendly dating site where men and women can feel safe and comfortable getting to know one another. The over-50 community has embraced this user-friendly platform in the last few years, and its success stories speak to its impact on people’s lives.

“I have met the love of my life on your site,” said Palatine, an OurTime user in Illinois. “I am walking on sunshine, and I owe it all to you. We will probably be married very shortly.”

SilverSingles 4.6/5.0

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


Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles caters to relationship-minded singles over 50 with simple, safe, and effective online dating tools...” Full Review »

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SilverSingles prides itself on introducing singles over 50 to a new way of dating. The site’s straightforward matchmaking tools suit its members, who generally aren’t very tech-savvy.

By offering some dating profile pointers for first-timers, the SilverSingles team ensures its members get started on the right foot and have the best possible experience online. The online world can be intimidating to singles over 50, but SilverSingles makes it more accessible and enjoyable.

11. SeniorMatch

Since 2003, SeniorMatch has cultivated an international reputation as a senior dating site. Whether you’re looking for a travel buddy, a pen pal, or a relationship, you can make those personal connections thanks to its private messaging system.

Though the SeniorMatch network includes people of all ages, users can stick to their own age brackets by setting specific age ranges in their date preferences and search filters.

Screenshot of SeniorMatch

SeniorMatch is a time-tested dating site designed to suit the needs of singles over 50.

SeniorMatch has worked for many singles seeking a second chance at love. “We are dating and enjoying our moments together,” said one anonymous user. “Clearly found the love of my life.”

You don’t have to be an experienced online dater to have a good experience on SeniorMatch. The site offers dating advice and safety tips written by over 1,400 users, and this collective wisdom can help you get into your groove.

Top “Christian” Sites for Singles (#12-13)

Christian singles may hesitate to try online dating because they associate it with today’s hookup culture, but dating sites can actually be terrific resources for someone seeking a values-driven dating experience. It’s a way of focusing on the things you care about (your faith) and the people you want to date (Christians).

Online dating can save Christians the time and effort of finding someone special. As a Christian online dater named Brenda said, “Taking a proactive approach to meet people through online dating was a must due to my busy schedule and the fact that I don’t hang out at bars.”

ChristianMingle 4.5/5.0

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


Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is strictly for Christian singles, and it has a large user base that you can browse through by your individual preferences...” Full Review »

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Singles who put their faith in ChristianMingle can enjoy wonderfully fulfilling relationships. The dating site attracts Christians from all walks of life, and it also encourages singles from other religions to sign up and convert.

If you’re interested in building a God-centered relationship, then ChristianMingle can be an important guiding force. Powered by the Spark Networks dating company, this niche site connects like-minded singles across the globe.

Over 80% of ChristianMingle members said they would recommend the dating site to a friend or family member, and the dating site has led to more Christian marriages than any other site or app.

“We would encourage other Christian Mingle members to be patient, and to continue to pursue the Lord with your whole heart as you pursue a person to share your life with,” said Katherine and Mark in their ChristianMingle success story.

13. ChristianConnection

Although it began as a small, U.K.-based dating site, ChristianConnection has taken off and become a respected and award-winning leader in the global dating market. Today, the site has over 55,000 active members.

The dating site sets itself apart from its competitors by hosting official Christian-only events on a regular basis. These meetups take place in major cities around the world and can include intimate bowling nights or large backyard parties.

Photos of Christian Connection couples

Christian Connection launched in 2000 to foster Christian marriages.

ChristianConnection is a proud member of the Online Dating Association, which sets high standards for how online dating service providers operate. By embracing transparency and accountability in the online world, the ChristianConnection team endeavors to have a positive impact on the overall dating culture. You can read our full review of the site here.

Top Sites for “Single Parents” (#14-15)

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 13.7 million single parents in the U.S., and 82.2% of these parents are women. Some are divorced, separated, or widowed, and some have never been married. They may be single at the moment, but not all of them want to stay single forever.

However, single parents don’t have the time to hunt for a date at bars or clubs. They can have a hard time balancing their family lives and love lives, but a dating site can help them manage their time more efficiently.

14. eharmony

eharmony 4.8/5.0

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


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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As a personality-driven dating site, eharmony appeals to adults who are looking for a true partnership. The site uses psychology principles to create personalized compatibility ratings for couples on the site. If you see someone you like, then click on the profile to learn how you match up with that person in terms of temperament, family values, athleticism, and other lifestyle factors.

By using a 29-dimension questionnaire, eharmony makes matches that have relationship potential. The site takes into account whether singles have children or want children, so you don’t have to play a guessing game.

15. Coffee Meets Bagel

Three single women founded Coffee Meets Bagel in 2012 to change the way online dating works. They wanted to create a space where single women could feel safe and empowered, so they developed a matching system that puts women in the driver’s seat.

The dating site delivers a curated list of no more than 10 matches (aka bagels) every day at noon, and its smart algorithm learns and improves as it goes. Coffee Meets Bagel stimulates lively conversations by prioritizing quality over quantity. This system encourages singles to take their time and consider each match recommendation.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

CoffeeMeetsBagel began as a passion project of three entrepreneuring women.

To date, Coffee Meets Bagel has made over 50 million matches that have led to countless dates, relationships, and marriages worldwide.

“It felt like we had known each other forever,” said Tony and Megan in a CMB success story. “We dated for nine months, got engaged, and 10 months later we’re married… and are now expecting our first child.”

Top “Chat” Sites for Singles (#16-17)

A lot of dating sites promote their matching and searching features, but I’d argue that the site’s chat features are actually the most important part of the whole experience. Singles need a dating site that facilitates conversation and flirtation online — while also making sure singles don’t stay chatting forever.

If you’re looking for free chat features, then we recommend checking out the following two dating sites. They have private messaging, sexy chat rooms, and even video chat tools to get people engaged.

16. BeNaughty

BeNaughty 4.2/5.0

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


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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As one of the top hookup sites around, BeNaughty offers singles a lot of ways to dive into a flirtatious conversation. The dating site’s chat features are open to all full members. You must have a verified photo on your profile if you want to send a message.

The BeNaughty team approves all photos on the site and removes pictures that are offensive, fake, or otherwise inappropriate. You cannot use a group photo as your main profile picture, and the site has banned all pictures of guns or other weapons. Anyone caught violating BeNaughty’s terms of use will be banned from the site for good.

BeNaughty also allows its users to send a free auto-generated message to a lot of matches at once, so they can save time and attract attention. These flirty messages are designed to get the ball rolling with a smooth compliment and question.

17. Badoo

The Badoo dating app is available in over 47 languages and reaches over 190 countries. Over 460 million people have joined the platform since it was founded in 2006. A devoted and innovative team in the U.K. go to great lengths to make Badoo unlike any other platform out there.

You can see your chats, favorites, visits, and likes in the Badoo Connections folder, and you can send a sticker, gift, video call, or tried-and-true message to anyone who stands out to you.

The Badoo logo

Badoo is a vast social network where singles can make video calls.

Badoo users send over 350 million messages on an average day, and the site sees over 60 million monthly active users, making it one of the most engaging dating platforms around.

Badoo is available on Google Play and iTunes, but it also has a mobile-friendly dating site accessible to desktop users.

Top “Local” Sites for Singles (#18-19)

Not everyone is willing to uproot their lives for a romantic relationship. Singles may be reluctant to leave their careers, their families, or their hometowns, so they are on the lookout for dates who already live in the area and aren’t going anywhere.

Anyone dating on a local level should definitely try online dating because many dating apps use GPS-based search tools to identify the closest and most compatible dates. The following dating apps have mastered location-based matching systems that pair up dates with long-term potential.

18. Bumble

In 2014, Bumble made a big splash by empowering women to make the first move on a dating app. Tech entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe left Tinder to launch a dating app that better met women’s needs and represented their interests.

Over 36 million people have joined Bumble to see if this feminist dating app can live up to its lofty promises. About 85% of users say they are looking for a serious relationship or marriage, and less than 1% of women on Bumble say they want a hookup.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble is a female-friendly dating app with a location-based match formula.

In recent years, the Bumble team has run with its billion-dollar idea and expanded beyond romantic connections to create friendships as well as business relationships through Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz.

Bumble is the ideal dating app for local singles who don’t subscribe to old-fashioned gender roles and want to start a relationship on equal footing.

19. Happn

Happn was founded on the premise that romantic opportunities are everywhere, and all singles need is a little push to say “hello” to that cutie standing in line or waiting for the bus. This European dating app finds singles who have recently crossed your path and gives you a second chance to chat with them.

Many singles use Happn to make local connections that have a real shot at working — because you already live in the same area and have similar schedules or interests. Every profile shows you the number of times you’ve seen this person IRL, and every new encounter will prompt a notification on your phone.

Screenshot of Happn

Happn users can discover shared interests through Facebook connections.

The actual location of a Happn user is invisible on the app. Users see only an approximate location of where you crossed paths. Only users who have liked one another can send messages on the app.

Happn has an active dating network in 40 countries and counting. A majority of its 50 million users are in major cities, including Paris, New York City, London, and Toronto.

Top International Sites for Singles (#20-21)

Looking for romance abroad? Then you can use an international dating site to expand your horizons. The world’s largest dating platforms have millions of users in hundreds of different countries, and it’d be a shame not to explore all those avenues. Today’s singles no longer have to stay in their corner of the world when seeking love. They can journey far and wide to find that one-in-a-million dream date.

20. Match

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

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


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 got started by a small team in Dallas, Texas, but now it has become an international sensation with offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Beijing. The dating site itself reaches 24 countries and has been translated into 15 languages.

Match hosts events in big cities around the world. If you don’t see an event happening near you, you can always volunteer to host one yourself.

Whether you’re looking for a date around the corner or around the world, Match can meet your needs. Its far-reaching search tools can cross borders to find your ideal match. Just put in your preferences in the Discover section to start browsing dates within any given mile radius of you.

21. OkCupid

OkCupid began as a nerdy challenge to find the formula for love. In 2004, a group of Harvard graduates decided to create a dating site that could collect valuable information about who people are and how they connect with one another. OkCupid built its algorithms by using multiple-choice survey questions ranging from “Do you like the taste of beer” to “Do you prefer to date someone of the same ethnicity you are?”

This treasure trove of dating information allowed many singles to hack the dating scene and identify date prospects who aligned with them on the important things, the silly things, and everything in between.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid allows singles to pick from 22 gender options and 13 orientation options.

Today, OkCupid has over 4,000 survey questions that singles can use to highlight aspects of their personalities. Such an information-rich profile can give the site a good idea about the kind of relationship you’re looking for. OkCupid takes all this data and generates a compatibility score for every potential match. The more questions you answer on the dating site, the more accurate your ratings will be.

In the last 16 years, OkCupid has made over 91 million connections and given singles a free dating platform where they can have fun, date around, and find love.

How Do Free Sites Compare to Paid Sites?

Free dating sites may sound great on the surface. You get to talk to as many people as you want with no restrictions or payment plans? Yeah, that’s a great deal. The problem is that sometimes you get what you pay for, and that’s not a lot. Free dating sites may attract a lot of signups and messaging, but they can also be breeding grounds for scammers, spammers, and unsavory characters.

You should look into a free dating site’s terms of service to see how it handles fake profiles and harassment. Many dating sites will offer online dating safety tips to help free users have a good experience and watch out for suspicious behavior.

Dating profile photos

By their nature, free dating sites tend to appeal to young, casual daters on a budget.

Paid sites typically offer more safety and confidence because they don’t just let anyone into people’s inboxes. Everyone who sends you a message on a paid dating site has paid for the privilege, and that means they’re usually more serious about making a connection. They’re invested in the dating process, they want to make something happen, and they’re financially stable enough to spend $20-$100 on a dating site.

Generally speaking, paid dating sites tend to support a more adult, professional, and relationship-minded crowd.

“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a paywall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” said Joseph Lynn, an online dater from Chicago.

How Can I Spot a Fake Profile, and How Do I Avoid Scammers?

Fake profiles are like snakes — they all look different, but they share a few common traits that give them away. Spotting a fake dating profile is pretty easy once you learn the signs. The number one giveaway that the profile is fake: No profile picture. Pretty much everyone has smartphones and social media accounts these days, so there’s no excuse for not even having a blurry selfie on a dating profile.

Photo of online dating danger

Online dating can be hazardous, so learn about scam warning signs.

It should be a huge red flag if you see a dating profile with a stock photo or no photo at all. Ideally, the dating profile should have four or more pictures that show the person’s true colors, but one clear head shot is the bare minimum.

Another sign that the profile is fake is extremely poor grammar and broken English. Many fake profiles are created by scammers based in Nigeria, the Ukraine, or in the Philippines, so beware of profiles or messages that can’t string a coherent sentence together. Do not respond to any message that seems off to you. You’ve got to trust your gut, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

One good way to avoid scammers online is by sticking to quality sites where people have to pay or match to send messages. You should also always get your date’s full name and do an at-home background check on Google, Facebook, and Instagram before you meet someone in person.

Take a Chance on a Free Singles Site

I didn’t exactly go into the online dating world with an open mind, but the guys I met quickly changed my perspective on the whole process. Sure, I’ve run into some creeps, jerks, and duds along the way, but the vast majority of online daters in my inbox proved to be genuine, funny, and kind people. Free singles sites can yield huge dividends for singles, but you have to accept the hidden costs of chatting in such a popular, competitive, and general space.

No single dating site can wave a magic wand and deliver the perfect date to your door. It’s going to take some effort on your side of the screen to make something happen.

If you’re looking for a particular type of person on a free dating site, you may have to spend as much as 10 hours a week swiping and matching until you find the right one. Some of the sites on this list are totally free, while others are only free to join, but they all have valuable features worth investing your time and money in. All you have to do is choose the one that speaks to your values and goals, and then it’s off to the races.

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