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In the early days of online dating, users would sit down in front of their computers at home or at the public library and access eharmony, Match, or one of the few other dating websites on the internet. They may even have pursued a romance in a chat room. Either way, dating online meant joining a website on a desktop browser on a device a user likely shared with family members.
While dating sites still have a place in the dating world, singles are increasingly looking for innovative applications they can access wherever they are. Smartphones have become essential to life in the 21st century, and dating has come to increasingly rely on access to apps on a cellphone.
Some traditional singles may look at the rise of dating apps cynically, but modern apps offer fun and convenient tools that improve the dating process in creative ways. Thanks to apps like Tinder, daters are able to easily expand their dating pool and meet new singles. We review some of the newest dating apps currently on the rise so you can find the best dating app to meet the right people for you as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Sometimes online dating can feel like a never-ending parade of first dates that are just okay. Even the most discerning daters run into the disappointment of having everything in common with someone over text, only to realize that in person, there’s no spark. You can only know so much about a person on paper, and sometimes it doesn’t translate into a real-life connection. It’s a bummer, and it feels like a huge waste of time.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve met a friend of a friend who, at first glance, wouldn’t be your type, only to totally fall for them once you hear their voice or start to banter back and forth. Attraction can’t be minimized to how things look on paper, which often dissuades singles from using dating apps in the first place.
The Sauce was created to make meeting in person less of a shot in the dark. The app uses video chat and its video profile feature to help singles get to know each other — words, mannerisms, and all — before even going on a first date. A shocking 95% of first dates on The Sauce lead to second dates, making your odds of forming a meaningful connection very likely. It’s a great app for people who feel more comfortable presenting themselves in person and are done trying to showcase their personality in one posed picture.
Finding new dating apps is a process. You want something innovative that addresses your specific dating needs, but at the same time, you want something that will be around long enough to help you find that relationship you crave. With Stir, you get the best of both worlds.
Match is a classic dating platform, sure to stand the test of time, but it’s constantly innovating to offer new avenues for singles of all types. Its sister app Stir is a total newcomer to the dating scene. Match Group introduced Stir in 2021 as a dating app specifically for single parents looking for love. It comes with the signature personality-based questions and match recommendations associated with Match Group, all in an elegant and user-friendly application.
Dating as a single parent is indisputably difficult. It requires big conversations about the future, responsibility, and family structure earlier in a relationship. It can make dating people in a different stage of life nearly impossible. That’s why single parents love using Stir to meet other daters who share the same responsibilities and considerations.
With Stir, users know that anyone they meet will understand their need to put their children first, even if it comes before a blossoming relationship. They’ll respect each others’ boundaries and be able to avoid many of the major conflicts that can come up while dating as a single parent.
As Gen Z has aged into the dating scene, apps that resonate with this younger group of adults have become an essential part of the fabric of online dating. The line between serious relationships and hookups has become blurred as “situationships” become a standard relationship status. Overall, Gen Z places a high premium on deep connection and a low one on labels. Traditional dating apps designed specifically for long-term commitment or exclusively for sex just don’t resonate with these young adults.
The creators of The Snack App clearly understand the dating desires and habits of Gen Z singles. Snack is “not your parents’ dating app” and comes with a gorgeous interface and plenty of young singles ready to make friends, pursue something more, or figure it out as they go. Flirt, chat, send selfies back and forth – on Snack, young singles can date in a way that feels right for them.
Snack users can respond to fun prompts, share videos, chat, and even find people based on shared interests to put them one step closer to finding their person on the dating app. It’s easy to make sure your dating profile on Snack truly reflects your personality and what you want in a partner. New matches are released daily, so you never know who is going to match their way into your life next.
FROME, or First Round’s On Me, is a new dating app designed to “encourage people to be more confident in themselves and their quest for companionship through face-to-face interactions.” No matter how anxious you are about asking someone out, FROME makes it easy to be confident without the help of a dating coach or wingman. Once a user comes across the profile of someone they’d like to get to know, they can send a drink request with only the type of drink, the date, the time, and the location. The receiver can opt to change some of the details, accept, or decline. Once the two confirm, a date is set and all that’s left is to meet.
FROME isn’t a blind date; you can view your match’s profile before you agree to go out, though the information you get is fairly minimal. The only information users can access about their dates is basic profile content — photos and a few prompt responses. They can’t chat with each other until two hours before the date. The app seeks to “bring back real dating,” harkening to a time of truly asking out a stranger and learning if you’re compatible in real time.
While the app continues to grow, it’s currently popular in New York and Los Angeles. Singles in these major metros can use FROME to find love at the plethora of bars and coffee shops their cities offer.
Finding the love of your life on a dating app sounds great and all, but sometimes, finding a hookup partner is more appealing. But when using many traditional dating sites, singles often struggle to find the right balance between the romantic, the sexy, and the slightly too-scary. It can be difficult to find people looking for something casual who feel safe to meet in person.
With TapDat, there’s no need to pretend you want something more serious than you do or to beat around the proverbial bush when it comes to what you’re looking for. TapDat is a sex-positive app for hookups and casual dating, made for people who want a shame-free community of people seeking fun for the time being.
The free version of TapDat is perfectly functional, with robust safety features to block certain types of messages (no unsolicited nudes here), profile verification, and the ability to report unsafe users. On TapDat, users enjoy sexual and romantic fun without feeling ashamed, uncomfortable, or in danger.
Launched in 2023, JoJo is a new name in the online dating market, and its appeal to readers lies in its machine-learning matchmaking algorithm. The new dating app promises a smarter way to approach the dating pool and make sense of your potential matches.
The JoJo team is excited to dive deeper into a single user’s preferences, behaviors, and compatibility to create more promising introductions online.
“The data analysis enables the algorithm to make more accurate and personalized recommendations, increasing the chances of finding meaningful connections,” the team explained. “Moreover, with each interaction, the algorithm learns and adapts, continuously improving its ability to match individuals based on their unique characteristics and preferences.
JoJo also features a secure messaging and reporting system to keep modern singles safe while they search for love and romance on the app.
There’s no better feeling than laughing with someone you’re falling for. The start of a relationship should be a fun and flirty foundation to carry you into the future. It’s important to be able to lean on your partner through hard times and big decisions, but it’s even more important to have a good time together.
Software engineer Melissa Mullen created the Smile app after realizing that her best relationships had all been with people who shared her humor. She designed Smile to match singles based on a shared sense of humor. On Smile, you’re paired with each potential match based on what you have in common comedically. After a few hours of chatting, you can see what your match looks like, but the laughs come first. It’s a great way to keep dating fun while avoiding focusing on less important things like superficial appearance or social media presence.
While Smile is fairly new, it has the support of celebrities like Drew Barrymore. The app uses technology and AI to the benefit of its users, resulting in more matches and more laughs.
Dating platforms are excellent tools to meet people in your area, find love, or just stave off boredom. But as with any app on your phone, dating apps can become addictive FAST. One second you’re opening Hinge, and the next moment you look at the time and three hours have passed. You can easily spend hours on an app without even scheduling an in-person date.
Thursday was created so users stop wasting time on a dating app and instead encourage them to be decisive and efficient with how they meet people on the app. Its most revolutionary feature is shutting down operations for 86% of the week. Thursday is only open one day of the week (hint: it isn’t Mondays) so users can match and ideally make weekend date plans. With only one day for swiping, you can be sure that another app user is on their phone at the same time as you, so there’s no need to constantly check back for message responses throughout the week.
The Thursday app is only available in London and New York City, but the app team plans to expand it into other UK and US cities soon. In the meantime, the thriving Thursday community organizes events that range from London happy hours and to a ski trip so app users can meet each other IRL. Just make sure you’re free next Thursday!
Relationships: Serious Relationships
Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions
Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles is the premier dating site for educated professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its impressive Fraud Detection system ensures no-nonsense dating…” »
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Launched in 2009 as a dating site, Elite Singles isn’t quite as new as many of the other apps on this list. But after proving itself a popular and reliable app over its tenure, the innovative dating app shows no signs of going away. Popular among professional singles seeking a long-term relationship, Elite Singles is the go-to app for anyone looking for the other half of their future power couple. It’s the best app and dating site for highly educated individuals, so you’ll be able to find a partner whose intelligence matches yours.
Over 90% of singles on Elite Singles are over 30. You won’t have to scroll through dozens of profiles of college students or guys who still have their mattresses on the floor. You’ll quickly be able to find someone at the same life stage as you who wants the same serious commitment and future together.
Elite Singles is offered everywhere in the United States, but if you’re an elite single in a major metropolitan area like San Francisco or Atlanta, you can check out Elite Singles’ unique city-based dating guides to help you find other users in your area and plan the best dates.
Dating as a Christian — especially a young Christian — can be tricky and, at times, awkward. Bringing up faith on a first date can feel too serious, but if religion is a core part of your relationships and identity, you want to make sure you’re not wasting your time. Users on the other popular Christian dating platform – Christian Mingle – tend to skew older, so it’s less popular among young Christians looking for a spouse. The new dating app SALT makes it easy to find like-minded Christians in search of faith-based relationships.
On SALT, it’s free to match, chat, and call through the app, so you have ample opportunity to connect over shared values and beliefs, in addition to your interests and prompt responses on your profile. Users love how safe the app is and the high quality of singles they find. You’ll seldom find a fake profile here. Luke, a SALT user, left a review saying, “I found the love of my life, we met and got engaged!! Today we are happy, God united us thanks to this application.”
Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
Match System: Search and get match recommendations
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Zoosk has been around for a bit longer than the newer apps on this list, but its forward-thinking interface and wide user base — 38 million and counting — make it worth adding to your radar. With 3 million messages sent on the website and app every day, the app is certainly still popular, even as new dating apps come onto the scene. This online dating app makes it easy to find another single person in your area who you can truly connect with.
On Zoosk, you can swipe, search, chat or go on a date. You can pursue a serious or casual relationship. You can unlock advanced features with Zoosk’s subscription model, or you can livestream, peruse members’ pictures, send Winks and Hearts, and use Carousel to discover new people through the free version. Whatever you’re looking for, you can likely find it on Zoosk.
Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats
Match System: Search by location, age, and appearance.
Our Experts Say: “OneNightFriend is a dating website that provides a fast track to a one-night stand with a flirty partner. The network has chat rooms, search filters, and safety features to help spark real connections…” »
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OneNightFriend is a new dating platform for singles seeking a casual hookup. The online dating site is all about quick introductions and discreet meetups, and users don’t even have to browse under their full names or upload a photo with their face showing. OneNightFriends keeps things casual and lets its users stay anonymous while browsing the membership base and photo gallery.
Profiles on OneNightFriend tend to get straight to the point about what they’re looking for in a potential partner. And the hookup site provides some first message ideas to help break the ice. Online daters can rely on OneNightFriend to keep their secrets and offer no-strings connections with local singles any time, day or night.
Relationships: Dates and Relationships
Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more
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|Mature Singles (50+)*
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New dating apps are often aimed at younger singles, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for seniors. OurTime’s dating app offers an effective and easy-to-use option tailored to singles over 50, so you don’t need to be a dating expert to find an excellent partner. The profiles on OurTime are elaborate and high quality, making it easy to learn a lot of useful background information about your match before you even start talking.
OurTime is often compared to Silver Singles, another dating app popular among older singles. While users prefer the simpler pricing structure available through Silver Singles, they voice frustration with how little information is available on user profiles. OurTime also has a much larger user base, making it easier to find singles in your area and age range.
While many dating apps have a free version, Bumble and Tinder are the most popular apps that allow users to view profiles and communicate extensively without a paid membership. Bumble also offers Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, so you can expand your friendship and professional networks in addition to your romantic one. Both apps are extremely popular among young singles, making it easy to find a new person you like in your area. It’s hard to go wrong with either free dating app.
Even with these popular free apps, however, you can pay a bit more for advanced features. Bumble Premium, Bumble Boost, and Tinder Plus offer advanced features, including travel mode, the ability to see your admirers, and the chance to extend chat time to existing matches soon to expire.
The best apps for finding a long-term relationship are the ones that were explicitly created for users who want something serious. Elite Singles, SALT, and Coffee Meets Bagel are some of the best apps for singles who know they’re dating for the long haul.
RAW is a new dating app that aims to reset the terms online dating and remove the game-playing that burn singles out. According to the team, “RAW’s dual camera feature promotes real and unfiltered love and inspires users to showcase their true selves and connect with others in an honest way. No filters, no fakes, just real-life moments.”
Being on relationship-focused dating sites and apps means users can be explicit about what they want, meaning fewer games and more time spent in meaningful relationships.
As online dating grows in popularity, entrepreneurs continue to find creative ways to improve dating apps for singles trying to expand their dating pools. More singles open to dating online increases the potential for alternative dating apps based on demographic, interests, or unique algorithms to gain in popularity. When more people use a dating app, matches are more likely to be higher in quality and more localized.
The dating apps we recommend are new, but they offer singles reputable ways to find romantic partners, new friends, and casual hookups they would never have encountered otherwise. All the dating apps on this list are conveniently accessible on the App Store or through Google Play, so downloading an app on your smartphone is quick and easy. And best of all, these apps make connecting with someone fun even before you meet IRL.