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11 Best Dating Apps & Sites (Hand-picked From Experience)

11 Best Dating Apps & Sites (Hand-picked From Experience)

eharmony – No.1 Trusted Dating App in the US

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Drowning in a sea of dating apps but still can’t find that special someone? We get it – swipe fatigue is real. With endless options, finding the right platform can feel totally overwhelming.

But believe it or not, quality dating sites tailored to your needs still exist – you just have to find them! Whether you’re looking for a carefree fling with no strings attached, a committed relationship that ultimately leads to the altar, or anything else in between, your match is out there.

In this article, we’ve rounded up 11 of the very best dating sites & apps, so that you know exactly where to cast your net (and find someone you genuinely vibe with). Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Best dating sites & apps

  1. eharmony – Best for serious relationships
  2. Bumble – Best for empowering women
  3. Zoosk – Best for casual dating
  4. OkCupid – Best for diverse relationships
  5. Coffee Meets Bagel – Best for curated matches
  6. SilverSingles – Best for older daters
  7. Seeking – Best for mutually beneficial arrangements
  8. AdultFriendFinder – Best for finding hookups
  9. Ashley Madison – Best for discreet affairs
  10. HER – Best for lesbian, bisexual, and queer women
  11. Grindr – Best for gay men

1. eharmony


Focused on serious relationships

#1 trusted dating app (2020 survey)

Large and active membership base

High-quality dating pool

Detailed member profiles

Patented Compatibility Matching System

Weekend free communication


Lengthy signup process

Lacks search feature

Not ideal for casual daters

Tired of playing the field and ready to find love that lasts? If you’re seeking a meaningful relationship leading to commitment or marriage, then eharmony should be at the top of your list.

Operating since 2000, eharmony is a relationship-focused dating app and site that celebrates an 80% success rate in matchmaking. Behind this track record is their patented Compatibility Matching System – the secret sauce that reveals the real you and what you seek in a partner. It allows eharmony to match based on emotional temperament, social style, and shared values – not just bathroom selfies.

While the 80-question quiz may seem like a daunting task at first, it could help filter out half-hearted daters who are just looking for a casual swipe in the process. Once matched, you can feel confident you’re talking to someone as dedicated as you are. With over 2 million success stories under their belt, could you be next?

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2. Zoosk


Smart Behavioral Matchmaking

Large active user base

Caters to all dating goals – casual, serious relationships, and hookups

Photo verification


Incomplete/fake profiles

No refunds offered

As a modern dating platform, Zoosk believes in the philosophy that finding love should feel more like a game. To make this possible, the site uses behavioral matchmaking technology. Specifically, it observes your activity on the app to determine your preferences and suggest matches it thinks will suit your style.

With a user base spanning 40 million singles across 80 countries, Zoosk offers a lively community catering to all dating styles and goals. Whether you seek lighthearted flirting, a long-term meaningful relationship, or even a fancy situationship – Zoosk may have something just for you.

No dating site is perfect. And over the years, Zoosk has dealt with some incomplete and fake profiles – we know it’s frustrating weeding through sketchy or barebone profiles. But here’s the good news: Zoosk implemented photo verification to address this. While not foolproof, it adds a layer of security by having members verify through recorded videos. So those green checkmarks help ease concerns and let you focus on legitimate matches. Don’t let a few bad apples get in the way of you scoring your ideal date!

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3. Bumble


Empowers women to make the first move

Time limits prevent ghosting

Quality over quantity approach

Plenty of free features

Handy ‘Incognito’ mode


Smaller user pool

Less control for men

If you want an app where women are in charge, Bumble is likely to be your cup of tea. Hailed as the feminist dating app, Bumble puts the ladies in the driver’s seat by requiring them to initiate conversations after matching. This feature cuts down on unwanted advances from men.

Bumble also encourages engaging connections through time limits – matches expire after 24 hours if no message is sent, so ghosting is harder. For women seeking quality partners over casual swipes, this is a perk. Plus, Bumble offers handy privacy features like Incognito Mode to take the stress out of online dating.

Despite its many virtues, Bumble is not without its limitations. While Bumble is gaining popularity, its user pool is still on the smaller side. As a result, you may come across the same profiles circulating through your feed, especially in less populated areas. In addition, some men may not like the lack of control over initiating conversations. But if you embrace female empowerment and quality over quantity, Bumble could help you find fulfilling relationships on your terms.

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4. Coffee Meets Bagel


Curated matches daily

In-depth profiles

Focuses on quality connections

Able to chat with matches without upgrading


Limited daily matches

Few search options

Coffee Meets Bagle (CMB) is a dating platform with a breakfast-themed name. But don’t let the cheekiness fool you – CMB actually brings a warm, relationship-focused vibe for singles looking to make lasting relationships.

CMB prides itself on quality over quantity matches. Each day at noon, you’ll receive a select number of matches called “Bagels.” These Bagels are handpicked based on your preferences, so you get tailored suggestions from promising partners. Diving beyond just photos, CMB profiles provide insights into Bagels’ interests, values, and goals. This allows you to make more meaningful connections based on compatibility, not just physical attraction.

While some may appreciate CMB’s curated approach, others may feel too restricted by the limited daily Bagels. In addition, if you are a restless hunter who likes keeping your options open, CMB may disappoint.

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5. OkCupid


Robust profiles and matching questions

Free version available

Large and diverse user base

LGBTQ+ inclusive


Limited features without a paid membership

Dated user interface

OkCupid sets itself apart with a vibrant, progressive approach to dating for all orientations and relationship styles. Known for its witty ads and embracing inclusivity, OkCupid attracts an eclectic community seeking something real – be it casual or committed.

OkCupid’s in-depth profile and match questions allow you to get to know potential dates beyond just pics. You can highlight what matters to you, from social issues to hobbies, and find someone truly compatible. While the site’s look and functionality could use some polish, OkCupid delivers where it counts – bringing together an adventurous, diverse crowd.

Another common critique OkCupid receives is its paywalled messaging, as can be expected on most freemium platforms yet still frustrating. As a free user, you can’t access incoming messages, nor can you see if your messages have been read or scroll back in the conversation history, which could be irksome to some. Our advice is to start by dipping your toes into the water, and if you decide that it’s the right fit for you, you may then upgrade to its premium membership for seamless, unlimited communication.

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6. SilverSingles


Tailored to over 50 demographic

In-depth personality assessment

High number of relationship-minded users


Lengthy sign-up process

No manual searching

If you’re an older single tired of getting lost in the sea of hot mess hookup apps, SilverSingles offers a tailored platform. The site requires new users to complete an in-depth personality test, ensuring matches are based on more than just age. Most SilverSingles users are relationship-minded, so you can avoid constantly stumbling upon flippant hookup seekers.

As you get on to SilverSingles, you may quickly notice that the site does not offer a manual search feature in the traditional sense that some other dating platforms do. Instead, it primarily relies on its matching algorithm to present you with potential partners based on your personality assessment and preferences. This is SilverSingle’s way of showing confidence in helping you pick your matches.

This can be limiting – if you’re a dater who prefers more control over customizing your search criteria. But it could be freeing if you trust SilverSingles to take the wheel in finding compatible matches. By leaning on its algorithm, SilverSingles aims to introduce you to partners you may not have encountered on your own, but who have traits that align with your quiz answers.

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7. Seeking


Caters to wealthy, successful, or attractive members

Mutually beneficial relationships

Clear intentions

Strict verification process

Advanced search filters


Controversial “sugar” relationships

High membership costs for men

Limited potential for long-term commitment

Safety concerns

Seeking, formerly SeekingArrangement, provides an exclusive space for those seeking mutually beneficial arrangements outside conventional dating norms.

One of Seeking’s biggest draws is its emphasis on candidness. Here, you don’t have to beat around the bush – you can be upfront about your desires, whether you’re looking to connect as a sugar baby seeking financial support, companionship, or mentorship, or as a sugar daddy or mommy offering it. This transparency can save time and root out misunderstandings. Seeking also provides profile verification and advanced filters – so that you can feel secure in pursuing your goals.

However, it’s important to recognize that Seeking is often associated with “sugar” relationships, which can be a controversial topic. While this is the platform’s niche, it raises moral dilemmas for some and may restrict prospects for lasting commitment – so it certainly isn’t for everyone, and it’s crucial to consider your personal comfort levels before committing.

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8. AdultFriendFinder


Free signup

Tons of sexy strangers

Niche online communities for various kinks/fetishes

80M+ active users

Ideal for no-strings-attached hookups and casual encounters


Overwhelming amount of explicit content and messaging

Large number of inactive accounts

Male-heavy gender ratio

If you’re looking for some casual adult fun, AdultFriendFinder (AFF) is likely your best bet. Dubbed “the world’s largest sex and swinger site”, AFF boasts over 80 million members worldwide looking to hook up, get down, and get off.

At its core, AFF is an adults-only playground for those embracing their sexually adventurous side. As you log onto the site, expect to be welcomed with a screen overflowing with racy photos, videos, and live streams. And it’s not just virtual – AFF is also a thriving community to arrange passionate, real-world encounters.

However, it’s important to have realistic expectations. While AFF promises steamy connections, it has been called out for having its fair share of inactive or fake profiles. So as you venture into the wild world of AFF, exercise some caution – some users complain of encountering fake profiles that are predators phishing for personal information. But ultimately, if you know what you want and aren’t easily offended, AdultFriendFinder can yield some hot steamy flings with no attachments.

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9. Ashley Madison


Discreet way to have an affair (if ethical)

Completely free for women to use

Balanced men-to-women ratio

Strong emphasis on privacy and discretion


Promotes unethical nonmonogamy

Previous data breach privacy concerns

If monogamy has lost its magic and you seek romantic adventures outside your marriage, Ashley Madison presents itself as a non-judgmental solution.

As a discreet dating platform, AM offers an array of clever features to keep your dating life hush-hush. You can get creative with blurring or modifying profile photos to obscure your appearance. Maybe enable sneaky notification settings so messages stay secret, like configuring discreet names masked innocently as the app updates. Or, go incognito by changing the actual app logo itself to appear as harmless as a calculator.

However, it’s important to weigh the moral implications before joining Ashley Madison. Will you feel guilty or remorse? If discretion is needed, is your marriage already failing in a way that cannot be repaired through open communication and counseling? Not to judge, but these are some crucial questions to deeply reflect upon in your current relationship before turning to an affair.

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10. HER


Designed for queer women and nonbinary users

Build community through forums and events

Encourages sharing personalities and interests in profiles

Focuses on commonalities beyond physical appearance

More in-depth profiles


Smaller user pool than mainstream apps

Complaints about bugs and glitches

Limited membership outside major cities

Imperfect vetting system

If you’re a lesbian, bisexual, or queer woman seeking love online, the app HER – as its name implies – aims to connect you with like-minded individuals. Boasting over 5 million users across the spectrum of sexualities, HER is the largest women-focused LGBTQ dating app.

What makes HER unique is its focus on community. The app fosters in-person events and friend connections between queer women across the globe. It also encourages users to showcase their true selves through in-depth profiles highlighting passions, quirks, and personality.

While primarily for dating, many also use HER to expand their social circle and connect platonically within the LGBTQ community. The app welcomes those seeking any type of bond with queer women – be it friendships, relationships, or more.

That said, HER does have some drawbacks reported by users. Some users complain of a high number of inactive accounts and men sporadically attempting to slide into the conversations. The free version also restricts access to certain features. But despite its flaws, HER remains a one-of-a-kind space for LGBTQ women to authentically connect.

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11. Grindr


Largest gay dating app with a big user base

Location-based matching in real-time

Quick & easy setup

LGBTQ+ friendly


Focus on physical appearance

Privacy/safety concerns

Hookup culture

Originally launched in 2009, Grindr was the first geosocial app focused on same-sex matchmaking. It boasts a whopping 4 million daily users, making it the go-to app for gay singles looking to flirt, date, and hook up.

By leveraging your device’s location services, Grindr can match you with men based on proximity. This makes it ideal if you want discreet meets and spontaneous flings while on the go. While it’s primarily used for casual fun, you can also form friendships and relationships on Grindr. The app provides helpful privacy features like expiring photos and incognito browsing to enable a discrete dating experience for you.

One thing to note – Grindr faced criticism for a data breach in 2018 that leaked users’ location data. However, they’ve since strengthened security protections, so it likely wouldn’t be a major concern for you today if using the app.

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Image by prostooleh on Freepik

By Enya Zhang

Meet Enya – a passionate content writer who loves crafting insightful and helpful articles. Since 2018, she's built a reputation as a reliable source of knowledge. She explores topics far and wide, from online dating and people search tools to new streaming platforms to identity theft protection services and the latest tech.

When researching, Enya digs in deep. She sees to it that every article is backed by first-hand testing, rigorous analysis, and/or thorough investigation. Her commitment to in-depth research and comprehensive testing ensures her articles deliver trusted guidance readers can count on.

Embracing both quiet and thrill, Enya is a reserved extrovert who happily cruises between me time and socializing. Outside of writing, you can find her soaking up sights and sounds, chilling with friends or lost in a good book.

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