The best dating apps for gay users, since meeting people IRL is hellish

Most people have at least one horror story about online dating. It’s a rite of passage that single people love to hate.

But the horror stories look a little different for members of the LGBTQ community. On top of the classic awkward Hinge date anecdotes and screenshots of a corny bio seeping with secondhand embarrassment, gay singles deal with all sorts of alienating interactions. Baseless questioning of sexual history, harassment, and fetishization — most of it coming from cis straight people who shouldn’t have popped up in your feed in the first place — don’t exactly give one butterflies.

Still, dating apps have become crucial means of introduction for gay folks looking to settle down. A 2019 Stanford study and 2020 Pew Research survey found that meeting online has become the most popular way for U.S. couples to connect — especially for gay couples, of which 28% met their current partner online (versus 11% of straight couples).

But the Pew survey also dredged up those ugly experiences with harassment. This could be where options that bar heterosexual users, like HER and Grindr, come in. Their perfectly-tailored environments are so well-known in the gay community that they’re essentially in a league of their own.

That’s not to say that they’re in the queer dating app market alone. Apps like Zoe, Taimi, and Scruff exist. But their plateauing popularity can be attributed to similar complaints: too many scam profiles and too few legitimate users (ones within a reasonable distance to plan a date, anyway). Chappy was a promising app for gay men that shut down just as it was gaining serious traction.

And at the end of the day, „everyone“ apps are simply where masses of queer users are. Keeping Tinder on the back burner isn’t just a straight people thing, especially for those who live in less-populated areas where Grindr and HER have slim pickings. Plus, some mainstream apps do deserve credit for the steps they’ve taken to create a more inclusive atmosphere. Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge now offer lots of sexual orientation and gender identity options. OkCupid gets kudos for making that change years ago, as well as making social justice a core part of compatibility scoring — which kind of self-curates the type of people on the app.

If you’re LGBTQ and hate leaving your home, you’re not alone. Here are the best dating apps and sites that’ll maximize your opportunities while minimizing your human contact. Bless. (For the best dating apps specifically for lesbians, go here.)

Most popular gay dating apps in usa

Top 10 Gay Apps Ranked by Customer Satisfaction Ratings 11/18/2015 07:34 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2016 Once you’ve decided to use a gay dating or hookup app it can be tough to figure out which ones to use. If you aren’t down for a relationship (and you’d rather not be scammed), here are the best hookup apps of 2019 for casual sex. It’s one of the largest gay dating apps and most gay guys seem to fall in either the Grindr or Scruff camps. Not a lot of guys use both. Scruff has also been at the forefront of a lot of the latest dating app features (and they were one of the earliest to incorporate useful LGBTQ travel features). Grindr is the most well-known and most-used gay app all over the world, which is why if you’re only going to get one, it should be this one! It’s a social networking app that picks up on your phone’s location to show you anyone who might be ‘of interest’ nearby (they have to be on the app too, of course!). LGBTQ dating apps are no longer hard to find.

In years gone by, non-heterosexuals had been ignored altogether or added as an afterthought to most popular dating apps — with the generic “Gay

Most popular gay dating apps in usa

10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2021 (Most Popular!)

The world of online gay dating has changed a lot in the last ten years. In fact, ten years ago it was really difficult to find a dating app that was aimed specifically at gay dating. Now, you’ve got too much choice! 

In other words, you’ve got so much choice that it’s hard to know where you should spend your time. Which dating apps are going to yield you the best results? And which ones are going to make you puff your cheeks out in exhaustion after dates keep flaking on you? 

It’s cool – I’ve got the answers. I’ve given the best gay dating apps a test run and put together an article that will help you make a better decision. Here, you’ll find something for everyone – those who are looking for something longer term (maybe even marriage), as well as those who just want a friend with benefits. 

I’ll break each gay dating app down and take a look at who it’s for, how much it costs, and what its benefits are. 

10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2021 (Most Popular!)

The 8 Best Dating and Hookup Apps for Queer Men

Dating is hard. That’s just a fact. Dating while queer is often even harder. When you’re a guy who’s attracted to people of the same gender, there are simply fewer instances in which you can serendipitously meet somebody and experience that romantic spark. Which is why gay bars and other inclusive spaces have become such an important part of life for people in the LGBTQ+ community, including gay and bisexual men.

Of course, if you’re a queer man looking for love, not every town has a gay bar that you can just head to whenever you’re in the mood to get your flirt on. And in the pandemic, meeting and mixing with a lot of people in a public setting is out of the question.

Enter: The Apps. Whether you’re looking for somebody fun to chat with, to swap photos, or make a connection with the goal of eventually meeting for a real-life date, we’ve got you covered. These are the 8 best LGBTQ-friendly dating and hookup apps for queer men. (When you find one you like and sign up for an account, make sure you follow these tips for taking a really great photo for your profile!)

Bonus: when you are ready for an-person meet-up with a person you met on one of these dating apps, check out our ideas for awesome first dates and second dates. You’ll look like a total romantic genius without breaking the bank.

 The 8 Best Dating and Hookup Apps for Queer Men

10 Best Gay and LGBTQ+ Dating Sites and Apps 2021

According to an Urban Institute study, LGBTQ+ singles experienced a sexual victimization rate of 23.2%. That’s roughly 11% higher than the heterosexual rate. From outlandish statistics to negative experiences, one thing has become blatantly obvious: queer, transgender, and pansexual singles need their own space.

And that’s where LGBTQ+ dating apps come in. Providing an open, safe, and supportive arena for anyone to date anyone else in any way they please, these dating sites and apps are growing in popularity. With millions of members worldwide, LGBTQ+ dating apps cater to those who identify their gender and sexuality differently than the average heterosexual.

10 Best Gay and LGBTQ+ Dating Sites and Apps 2021

Top 10 best gay dating apps 2021

Gay rights movements have bore fruits, and now countries all over the world are giving in. Being straight is not a default anymore. The most dearest freedom any person can have, is the freedom to express love to anyone you want, without being cascaded, alienated, discriminated, trolled, attacked, arrested or killed. Sexual orientation should not be used to judge people as if its a crime to feel affectionate. With that in mind, dating apps and sites are being rolled out customized specifically for the LGBTQ community, to connect, interact and forge relationships.

Here are the top 10 best gay dating apps that you can download.

Gay dating apps: A comprehensive guide to Jack’d, Grindr, Hornet, Scruff and the rest

There was a time when gay dating was an IRL affair, based around your local gay bar or well known cruising spot. Now, finding a guy usually means grabbing a phone and browsing your options.

While a lot of people decry the decline of gay bar culture, there’s no denying that dating apps are the most popular method of meeting people in 2018. With that in mind, here’s a run down of the most popular gay dating apps for queer men.

Mapping State-by-State Tech Trends: Most Popular Dating Apps

PCMag surveyed dating-app preferences across the US. Tinder was the most popular, winning 27 states. Match was the most popular in 17 states, and Bumble came in third.

We like maps here at PCMag. We recently surveyed 2,033 US consumers across the country on a variety of tech topics, and we gathered additional demographic data, including the respondents‘ home states. First we told you which states prefer Android or iOS, then we mapped preferred gaming platforms. This week, we’re looking at the most popular dating apps in each state.

The dating-app landscape is crowded with options: Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Match, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk, as well as other lesser-known services, such as Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge. Tinder was the top dating app in the US, at 17 percent. It was followed by Match, at 15 percent. Bumble and Plenty of Fish each garnered 8 percent, and OKCupid and Zoosk earned 5 percent apiece. Eight percent chose „Other.“ And 34 percent of respondents said they don’t use dating apps.

On a state-by-state basis, Tinder won in 27 states, followed by Match with 17 states. Bumble won two states, Missouri and Oregon; and Plenty of Fish won Maine and Utah. The two remaining apps won one state each: OKCupid in West Virginia and Zoosk in New Mexico.

The results are also interesting when broken down across demographic lines: 32 percent of Tinder users were ages 18 to 24, and 38 percent of that age group prefers Tinder above the rest. This is the only age group where the percentage of respondents preferring any one dating app eclipses those who answered „none.“ Although dating apps have become part of our culture, plenty of people are already in relationships, and others simply prefer dating the old-fashioned way.

Plenty of Fish skewed a bit older, with 32 percent of users who prefer POF between the ages of 25 and 34. Looking at wider age ranges, respondents ages 18 to 44 generally prefer Tinder, and those ages 45 to 65-plus are more apt to look for love on Match.

Top 10 Gay Apps Ranked by Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Once you’ve decided to use a gay dating or hookup app it can be tough to figure out which ones to use. Typically, most guys ask their friends or do a little bit of research. The problem with getting advice from friends or online critiques is that they basically amount to anecdotes.

Is there a better way? Yes. Go to each app’s page on the IOS or Android platforms and see what actual customers have to say. The only problem with this approach is that it’s REALLY time consuming. And you could go cross-eyed trying to keep the data straight. That’s why our team put together the first list of gay apps ranked by the millions of people who’ve rated them on IOS and Android.

Our methodology: We went to each app’s page on the IOS and Android platforms and got two pieces of data–average ratings and the # of reviews. Then we developed a weighted average between the two platforms (there are WAY more gay app users on Android than IOS and the differences in opinion were sometimes startling).

The result? The first Top 10 List Of Gay Apps Ranked By Customer Satisfaction Reviews. Take a look:

App Weighted Average Ratings # of Reviews#1 Jack’d 4.1 127,856 #2 Hornet 4.1 96,585 #3 Scruff 4.1 68,458 #4 Growlr 4.1 32,112 #5 Tinder 4.0 1,522,854 #6 Mr X 3.8 4,218 #7  3.8 2,669 #8 Daddyhunt 3.7 996 #9 GrindR 3.6 252,765 #10 Adam4Adam 2.4 3,058 Notice that there is actually a 4-way tie for first place, but we subscribe to the „theory of large numbers“ which states that data stability can only be achieved with large numbers. Hence, the 4.1 average rating that Jack’d got is more „stable“ than the 4.1 that GrowlR got because it has triple the number of reviews. Therefore, we ranked it accordingly.

What you see on this page is the total number of reviews and the weighted average between IOS and Android. Click on our gay dating apps reviews page to see the ratings differences between iPhone and Android users.

The best LGBTQ dating apps for Android and iOS

More of us are meeting our partners online than ever before, according to a 2020 survey by Pew Research, and when it comes to gay couples, this is even more common — in fact, 28% of those surveyed met their current squeeze online. Sadly, many LGBTQ online daters have horror stories to share of harassment or bullying online. Over half say they have received a sexually explicit image or message they didn’t ask for — compared to 32% of straight online daters — and 41% have experienced being called an offensive name on dating sites or apps. So when you’re hunting for a safe, inclusive space to date, how do you know which apps to choose?

There’s no need to worry, as we’ve selected some of the best LGBTQ dating apps for Android and iOS. Learning more about the different features of these apps will help you find an app that corresponds to the kind of online dating experience you would like to have.

The best dating apps 2020: straight, gay or bi, find love whatever your orientation

There was a time when dating services may have been considered a last resort in the long, arduous hunt for love. But fast-forward to 2020 and everything has changed.

Nowadays if you’re young (or not-so-young), free and single, chances are you have Tinder, Bumble or the hottest new dating app around between staples, like Instagram and Deliveroo, on your homescreen. 

Dating apps are more popular than ever, which means the demand for intuitive experiences, quality connections and more diversity is more important than ever too. 

That’s why we’re here to help you before you begin your swiping spree. Take a look at our pick of the best dating apps around in 2020 – catering to a wide range of preferences and orientations. 

We’d also like to add that we didn’t just look at the app stores to come up with this list, we also quizzed a wide range of dating app guinea pigs, from those who used them once and found a soulmate to those who use them regularly for everything from relationships to flings.

So whatever your preferences, and whatever you’re looking for, check out our selection of the best dating apps on offer right now. We’ll keep updating this list as new apps are released, because dating apps are becoming even more specific to help you find the perfect partner.

The Best Dating Apps for Men Who Look for Sex, Love, and Relationships

If you’re a single guy searching for love, the fastest way to meet a partner of your dreams nowadays is on the dating app. Online dating became the new black. It’s exciting, convenient, and, when used wisely, efficient. However, there are a few apps that will guarantee better results for male users.

While some guys look only for the hookups and others are ready to get settled, the majority of us are still unsure what exactly we are looking for. That’s why I’ve made a list of the five best dating apps for men regardless of their intentions—and sexual preferences. All these apps have a big audience, low fraud risk, and slightly different use cases.

So take a look at this selection and get ready for some fun.

eHarmony is all about matching. The ultimate goal of the app is to find you your perfect partner, the one that you can spend the rest of your life with. This is not an app to look for a one night stand or swingers date club, you come here to find a proper girlfriend or even a future wife.

Prepare to spend some time on the compatibility quiz with 80 questions and multiple answers. In general, it takes about 20 minutes to finish it, but the result is worth your time. After that, when you meet your matches, you’ll be able to see how well you are compatible and can continue with making a move.

Best dating apps for 2021

The best dating apps can help you find new friends or start a more serious relationship

If the arrival of spring has you dreaming of romance, the best dating apps are standing by at the ready to help you meet new people. And that’s even the case during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dating apps have flourished in the past year, even if people can’t meet in person. A Marketplace report on the dating app scene found that the top 20 dating apps saw active daily users grow by 1.5 million last year. We don’t expect that to change, even if the COVID-19 vaccine leads to stay-at-home restrictions being eased in the coming months.

It helps that many of the best dating apps have responded to the times by adding video chat features and other ways to stay in touch even when you’re stuck indoors. And some apps are beefing up their security features to help you feel a little bit better about getting in touch with strangers.

Different apps make their mark by taking varied approaches to the task at hand. Some apps excel at helping you find flings with like-minded people while others are more focused on helping you build long-term relationships. Whatever your heart desires, there’s a dating app out there that’s tailored to your outlook and needs.

If you find yourself looking for some companionship, we can help you sort through a bunch of competing options to find the best dating apps that fit your particular needs.

The Most Popular Dating Apps in 2021

We live in an era where finding love has become a task. The old school ways of meeting new people in a bar don’t work anymore. People first approve each other on their mobile phone screens, then meet in real life.

Dating apps have made meeting people easier. People can easily make the first move without shying away. They can message the person whose profile they like and get the conversation going.

These apps are much in the talks. You can see from the graph of google trends that the number of people searching for the term dating apps has increased over the past 5 years.

Some mobile dating apps are doing better than others. Let’s see which are the most popular dating apps of Canada and what’s so unique about them

Related Posts

DatingXP provides impartial advice to millennials and adults to help them succeed with online dating. The content on our website is based on individual experience and journalistic research. Our authors are not liable for content and services on external websites.

Grindr

OK, let’s get this one out of the way first. Grindr is so well-known as a gay dating and hookup app that even straight people have heard of it. We all know how it works; the home screen shows you a grid of guys near your location, you can chat, share photos, and send voice memos, and meet the love of your life—or the love of your afternoon, at least.

Scruff

Scruff is very similar to Grindr in its grid functionality, but unlike Grindr, which has been criticized for perpetuating a „no fats, no femmes“ attitude among its users, Scruff was originally geared towards gay men of differing body types. Specifically: bears, otters, wolves, daddies, and other „tribes“ that find body hair and a more stocky built attractive.

Jack’d

Jack’d promises new users that they’ll be able to connect with „the most diverse community of gay, bi, trans, queer, and curious guys around the globe,“ and is popular among men of color. You can search by what a guy is into, his relationship status (for those looking to play), and the Discover tab lets you find profiles based on recent activity.

Surge

Unlike many gay dating apps which show you a grid of the guys nearest to you, Surge is more like Tinder, allowing users to swipe through profiles until they land on one they like. The „swipe right“ / „swipe left“ / „it’s a match“ functionality are exactly the same, so if nothing else, you won’t have to waste any time figuring out how the app works once you’ve downloaded it.

Adam4Adam

Adam4Adam started out as a popular desktop-based dating website for gay men. Remember those?

Anyway, now that nobody has time to sit down and log on to find a date, A4A is in the app game, serving up pretty much the same kind of user experience as other services like Grindr.

Hornet

In many countries where LGBTQ+ individuals are still persecuted, like Chechnya, the most widely used and well-known gay dating apps like Grindr have been banned. Hornet, which looks and works a lot more like a social networking platform than a dating app, provides a safer alternative for queer men in some locations (although it too has been prohibited in places like the United Arab Emirates).

Tser

Dating for transgender and nonbinary people can be a nightmare, even on queer apps which purport to be inclusive. Tser is a dating and hookup app specifically created for trans, enby and gender-fluid singles — including, for the purposes of this list, trans men who identify as gay or bisexual. Because everyone deserves a safe space to flirt.

Our Top 10 Choices: Which Is Best For Your Needs?

Scissr – Best for lesbian culture, community, and dating 

Taimi – Best for trendy, social media-based dating 

1. HER

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Over the years, the pioneer in lesbian dating apps HER has developed into an all-inclusive platform for women and femmes of all types, identities, and sexual preferences. HER embraces and welcomes more than 18 gender identities and 17 sexual orientations on the profile selection list. HER’s app is easy to use, loaded with communication features, and even hosts local events for more community building.

2. Grindr

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Available for gay, bi, trans, and other queer singles, Grindr is one of the most popular dating apps with a reputation of men seeking hookups with other men. Thanks to its powerful geolocation feature, Grindr is a great social networking solution for people who’ve recently moved, relocated, are traveling, or seeking a quick fling in their area.

3. OKCupid

Membership options: Free with paid upgrade options available

OKCupid may be one of the mainstream dating apps but the platform openly welcomes all LGBTQ+ singles. With 22 different gender identities and 12 sexual orientations, LGBTQ+ folks will certainly find their place on the app. Bonus: OKCupid even allows queer people to hide their profile from straight and cisgender people (for safety or personal reasons).

4. Hornet 

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Hornet is one of the most popular gay social networking apps and gives queer men a great platform to meet other queer men around the world. The app offers various ways to build community, find other singles, stay current on trending news, and even a list of bathhouses in your area. It’s basically a one-stop-shop for gay social networking.

5. Scruff

Scruff is known as a hotspot for gay hookups no matter where you are in the world. Users enjoy open sharing features and powerful search filters to find whoever and whatever you’re looking for. Scruff is also an excellent travel companion for gay singles looking to meet others while away from home. Plus, the more you swipe, the stronger the algorithm gets!

6. Bumble 

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Bumble is all about empowering women and femmes to make the first move. The emphasis is heavy on feminist power with the right to initiate messaging restricted to women and non-binary members. The popular dating app started as a dating app but now features global networking opportunities for building friendships, business relations, social networking, and, of course, relationships. 

7. Scissr

Scissr is a great dating app for lesbian and queer women who want to network and connect with other members of the LGBTQ+ community. The app is designed for women, femmes, and non-binary folks who are looking to find friends, date, and discuss culture and relationships with other queer singles. The app’s design is sleek and user-friendly with free chat and image sharing features.

8. Jack’d

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Jack’d prides itself on being the most diverse dating app for gay, bi, and trans people. It boasts a powerful geolocation feature that helps you browse singles all over the world and flag them for conversations or private photo and video sharing. If you struggle to break the ice, Jack’d even offers a chat phrases feature which gives helpful conversation starters. 

9. Hinge

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Hinge calls itself the dating app that is meant to be deleted because it puts a heavy emphasis on serious relationships. Profiles are built on bold questions to quickly and effectively uncover personality quirks and offer conversation starters for matches. Hinge will ask you about your political affiliation and how you feel about legalizing weed and offers plenty of gender identification options as well.

10. Taimi

Membership options: Free with a paid premium version

Taimi is a LGBTQ+ dating platform that features a nice mashup of dating, chatting, and social networking capabilities for people of all gender identities and sexualities. The app is designed perfectly for today’s fast-paced, short-attention-span, social-media focused society. Taimi is geared towards a safe dating culture for the LGBTQ+ community with values that include diversity and inclusion and a zero tolerance policy toward discrimination. 

Reviewing the Top LGBTQ+ Dating Sites: Our Methodology

’s dating app and website reviews are based on independent research, trusted third party sites, user reviews, and individual use of the product through free or paid trials. For the rest of the information, we rely on what the brand says about its own product offering, public reviews and complaints, and ratings from independent agencies like the BBB and trusted publications. Some of the key features we compared when reviewing the LGBTQ+ dating apps on our list include, but are not limited to, pricing, accessibility, number of members, and communication options. 

What You Need to Know Before Choosing an LGBTQ+ Dating Site

Dating as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be fun, enjoyable, and successful if you know how to navigate the apps. Before signing up and spending time creating a profile, here are some things to ask yourself about the queer dating site you’re interested in:

What Types of LGBTQ+ Dating Sites Are There?

There are a lot of niche dating apps out there, including those for the LGBTQ+ community. Which one you’ll choose all depends on what you’re hoping to gain from it. You can look for the most selective one out there to really tailor your dating experience, opt for a broader dating app and see what (or who) you find, or pick one with a specific intention (like hookups only, serious relationships, or casual situationships). Sometimes you can find an app that caters to all of these. In which case, you’ll need to specify your preferences on your profile page and/or when chatting with a potential date (more on this below). As with love and relationships, the choice is yours to make. 

How Much Does LGBTQ+ Dating Cost

Each LGBTQ+ dating app presents its own cost. Whereas some are entirely free, others are freemium, and the rest are totally paid. 

Free or freemium dating apps let you create an account and browse the network for potential matches. However, you’ll have to pay to unlock more, better features that might introduce you to the type of person or relationship you’re seeking. 

Subscription-based dating apps charge you a flat rate every month and grant you access to all available features. Monthly subscriptions generally start around $9/month and go up from there. You almost always get a discount for signing up for multiple months at once, too.

Other sites charge per action. Want to chat? 5 credits. Send a pic? 5 credits. Send a gift? You got it. 5 credits. You’ll buy credits in a bundle then they’ll subtract from your account whenever you take an action. This pricing structure can quickly get expensive so watch your spending while using these apps.

Love Is Out There, Find It Today

Modern dating is complicated enough without having to explain your gender identity or sexual orientation. In addition to safety factors, this is why LGBTQ+ dating apps are so helpful. Whether you’re looking to find a good friend who views the world from a similar perspective as you, want a playful night with a stranger, or are searching for that special someone to spend the rest of your life with, queer dating apps make the entire process a lot smoother, easier, and more enjoyable for everyone. Check it out, and see who you might find!

1. Grindr

Grindr is a social network that brings together gay and bisexual men who want to meet other men close to them in a completely discreet and anonymous way, without having to give any personal information or having to fill out a profile with confidential information in order to register. This app uses every user’s exact location, which makes it easier for people to find others who are close to them. At a simple glance you can see which users are closer and which ones are online at that very moment. You can filter available profiles according to certain values that help you find the guys who are closer to your specific tastes and preferences. Thus, you can set it to only talk to people who are a certain age, have certain looks, or are looking for a certain type of relationship.

In each conversation you can insert text, pictures, or exact location, or block a user if you have to. Once a chat starts with a guy, it won’t matter if you change cities, the conversation will remain so you can keep chatting with them no matter how far you are from them. Plus, in the private chat you establish with the other contact, you can send pictures with more privacy and without any adult content restrictions. With a presence in over 190 countries and with over seven million men registered, Grindr is the largest social network for homosexual, bisexual and hetero-curious men in the world. This tool makes contact between two people anywhere in the world much easier and is really accessible for anyone to use.

2. Tinder

Tinder is a dating app designed to help you find attractive people nearby to share common interests with. Get talking to them directly from the app itself and you’re on your way to going out on your first Tinder date. Tinder shows you other users in a very straightforward format. In fact, its trademark simplicity is what’s made it land an anchored spot upon the Olympus of all other dating apps – if you will. After logging on, you’ll see a photo of another user. If he or she is to your liking, you just tap on their photo to get more photos and some background information. Then, swipe right if you liked him or her, otherwise swipe left if you didn’t. With these two simple gestures – swipe left and swipe right – managing your Tinder account is a synch. Now you can filter out anyone you aren’t immediately attracted to or get in touch with people you might actually like in a second flat.

It goes without saying that the pictures you choose to upload onto Tinder are crucial, as they will totally determine how other users perceive you – much more so than on any other apps. Within the settings options for Tinder (they’re also super simple), you select which gender and age range in which you are interested in, as well as filter out other users who you consider to be too far away. So, for example, you could have the app only show you men from 18 to 28 years old, located 5 kilometers or less away. Tinder is an excellent app for finding dates. Its outstanding simplicity and ease of use are unsurpassed. In just five minutes, you’ll see dozens of different people you could probably have a good time with, although that all depends what you’re really looking for.

3. OkCupid

OkCupid is a dating app similar to Badoo or Tinder that lets you connect with other people who are mutually interested. Like on all of these social apps, you have to create your own profile, where you can upload pictures and personal info. In OkCupid you can also answer hundreds of optional questions that let you enhance your profile in order to find better matches. When you start out on OkCupid you can choose what type of relationship you’re looking for and search for profiles that match that. For example, if you’re only interested on friendships with people of the same sexual orientation, you can find people that are looking for that as well. OkCupid is an excellent alternative for meeting people. Like almost all apps of this type, it lets you find interesting people near you, chat with them, and if both of you want to, even get together.

4. Scruff

Scruff is a dating app that you can use to network with guys that are both nearby or even all the way across the world. With over 12 million users on the lookout for potential dates on this social network, you’ll gain open access to a good part of the dating pool of Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer men. After initially creating your profile, you’ll be ready to meet tons of people from different communities. In order to get dating you’ll get to choose whether you’d prefer to contact them directly or wait to see if they reply to your messages.

Plus, you can skim through the loads of profiles available, and use Scruff Match’s own algorithm to find the best potential matches among people who share common interests, go to the same events as you or who travel like you do. All from this one single app. Scruff chat is one of the major selling points this app has to offer. Send messages, videos and photos instantly and sync them to all your devices. Plus, you can send funny GIFs thanks to a Giphy-integrated keyboard that’s accessible from within the app itself. Scruff is an excellent social network for dating that’s well-designed and handy. It’s also a staple dating app for the gay guys, bisexual, trans and queer community.

5. Hornet

Hornet is a social network aimed exclusively at a gay audience. It is, in a nutshell, very similar to Tinder or Badoo, but limits its remit to men looking to meet other men. One thing that sets Hornet apart from similar apps is that you don’t need an account to view other people’s profiles or even send them messages. Still, you’ll get way more attention if you do put together a full profile, complete with information and pictures. Hornet has a potent chat feature for conversing with other users and sending photos privately. Plus, it’s got a robust search tool that lets you find people by username or tag. Hornet is a very useful app for male users looking to meet other people of the same gender. Thanks to the powerful search tool, it should be super easy to find people who share your tastes.

6. Blued

Blued is an app specially geared towards the gay community that lets helps you meet people near you and establish a conversation with millions of people depending on your interests and preferences. If you’d like to discover new friends around you, then this tool will give you access to more than 30 million profiles worldwide. One of the greatest features of Blued is that it doesn’t have a location limitation, like most other similar apps, so you can establish a conversation with anyone who’s anywhere in the planet. There are no virtual borders.

On the other hand, you can contact a person depending on your preferences because everyone has a detailed profile that includes their hobbies as well as basic information such as age, height and weight. Access their pics and leave a comment, just like you would with any other social network. You can start to interact with friends and strangers by placing a comment on any of the pictures they’ve posted. Another great feature of Blued is that includes a live broadcasting feature that lets you broadcast anything you want to share with your friends and followers and interact with them live. This gives your profile an added value and lets you connect with more people.

8. Romeo

Romeo is a Grindr/Tinder-style social app that lets you meet men. Like Grindr, it’s aimed exclusively at gay men. One of the strengths of Romeo is the number of filters you can use when searching for matches. As usual for apps like this you can pick the age range that you’re interested in, but on top of that you can set your preferred height or weight, and even add ‘tags’ to be even more specific in your searches. Keeping in mind the large number of options for filtering, it’s very important that Romeo users take their time in putting together their own profiles. You can add public and private pics, and loads and loads of info about yourself. The more info you add, the more likely you are to connect with interesting people. Romeo is an excellent social platform to meet people who share your interests.

9. Zoosk

Zoosk is a social app that lets you meet new people near (or far) from where you are, view their pictures, exchange text messages and, who knows, maybe even meet in person. The way Zoosk works is much like similar apps like Tinder. Basically, you can view other user’s profiles and quickly indicate whether you like them or not. While doing so you can take a look at the pictures and info on each profile, which usually includes age, interests, expectations, etc. As usual for these kinds of apps, users can create search filters in order to find people who better fit their interests. This way you can, for example, find single women between 25 and 30 years old who don’t smoke. You can also create a filter to find people who live in the same city as you. Zoosk is a very interesting dating app that comes with a good user community and good number of features. If you want to have any real visibility, however, you’ll most likely have to pay a bit of money.

Grindr

Grindr, you may have heard of it? Launched in 2009 as the first ‘geosocial’ dating app (i.e. you can see who’s nearby), Grindr has grown to dominate both the actual market and the entire concept of gay hookup culture.

The general consensus is that Grindr is only for hookups, but this isn’t necessarily true. As is the case anywhere a lot of people gather, there’s something on Grindr for everyone – from one night stands and fuckbuddies to long term relationships.

That being said, if you’re looking for a brief encounter, Grindr will do the job, as it’s more of a free-for-all than some other apps with little restriction on who you can talk to. All you need to do to get started is sign up, set your preferences and scroll through guys close by. If you’re using the free version, be willing to suppress your rage at the incessant ads.

As is also the case with large gatherings of people, there’s a lot of bigotry and generally unacceptable behaviour on Grindr. A lot of this stems from the fact that users have license to be incredibly specific about their wants and desires, which apparently for some people means being specifically terrible.

Awful behaviour aside, there are a lot of pros to Grindr. Mainly, it has the most users. You can also be as anonymous as you want or as open as you’d like with your gender, preferred pronouns and status. People are also pretty trigger happy with pics, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Since a change at the top in 2016, Grindr has been on a one-app mission to be the centre of gay universe, with big events, an online magazine and a gay emoji keyboard. Basically, it isn’t going away anytime soon.

Scruff

Scruff, as the name suggests, is the hairier, bearier alternative to Grindr. The age range of users skews a little older than its main rival, and they are more uniformly of the muscular persuasion.

Scruff has been on the scene almost as long as Grindr, so it’s also amassed a large user base. As with Grindr, the amount of users has diluted its USP, so it’s not exclusively ‘scruffy’ guys on there, just mainly, and still overwhelmingly masc.

If masculinity isn’t high on your list of priorities, I wouldn’t necessarily look here. Scruff is hookup oriented, but does have a ‘match’ function if you’re looking for dates.

Being slightly more niche appeal than Grindr, Scruff doesn’t have the same critical mass of users, nor the cultural clout. However, if you see the word Scruff and don’t immediately shout ‘Oh Scruff Pit Crew’ in your best Mama Ru voice, then why are we even doing this?

Having sponsored the Pit Crew in the sixth season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, Scruff secured its position in the psyches of gay men everywhere, and it’s worth checking it out for this alone.

Jack’d

As mentioned, when you get a lot of guys together, bigotry tends to rear its ugly head and send you unsolicited nudes. Jack’d presents itself as an alternative to the divisiveness of other gay dating apps, and there’s proportionally more POC on there.

It works in much the same way as Scruff or Grindr, but with some additional features like more photos and the ability to see who’s been looking at your profile. You should be able to find both hookups or relationships on Jack’d, but it is a little more NSA friendly.

Hornet

Hornet’s USP seems to be ‘we do Grindr better than Grindr’. While Grindr’s functionality is notoriously clunky, Hornet works much better, with less intrusive ads, interesting side features like in-app articles and more photos. In practice though, you use Hornet much the same way as Grindr.

Hornet is pitched more towards being a community platform than just a gay dating app, and you’ve got the option to follow people for updates or see events and stories.

Community aspects aside, you’re more likely to find a one night stand on here than a husband. Hornet has been slowly beating out other apps worldwide through its news and content delivery, especially in Brazil, but has yet to dislodge Grindr and its other rivals from the top spot in the UK or US.

Chappy

You’re probably most familiar with Chappy from it filling every available ad space on your social media.

Chappy’s ‘USP’ is that you can slide a scale at the top of the app to select ‘Mr Right’, ‘Mr Right Now’ (clever) or ‘Mr Who Knows’ to find guys who are looking for the same. You can then swipe, Tinder style, through the filtered buffet. You have to log in through Facebook, so there’s much less room for anonymity.

Chappy is the brainchild of Made In Chelsea’s Ollie Locke, who was looking for something different from the other gay dating apps on the market. In reality, Chappy feels more like a ‘rich person decides to be entrepreneur’ kind of project, especially as most apps give you the ability to state exactly what you’re looking for, albeit in the much less fun form of ‘words’ rather than a sliding scale.

Regardless, Chappy has the backing of Bumble founder Whitney Wolf, it works pretty well and there are plenty of guys on there to swipe through. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find most of them on the ‘Mr Who Knows’ point of the scale.

Tinder

And finally, Tinder. Whereas Tinder was once thought of as Grindr for straight people, the ability to set your preferences to find other gays has made Tinder an increasingly popular choice.

Gay Tinder is to straight Tinder what Gay Twitter is to regular Twitter, i.e. the same, but gayer! You log in, set your preferences, and then swipe your way through the oncoming onslaught of men.

Tinder’s default setting is straight (eye roll), so you have to change it to find your fellow gays. With the free version, you have a limited number of swipes per day and limited access to extra features like ‘Super Likes’ and ‘Boost’.

By its nature, Tinder is geared more towards dating than hookups, although that’s not to say you can’t find both. There’s lots of guys on the platform, so you’ve got good odds of finding someone.

Finding love on dating sites can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. We compare some of the best online gay dating websites and apps for finding the one online. From the top dating sites, to those that offer free matches, this is the place to start.

Saul is TheTop10Site’s gay dating editor, and one of our senior staff writers. In addition to writing content, Saul manages a party production company and is an avid surfer.

Other statistics on the topicOnline dating in the United States

Tinder usage reach in the United States 2020, by age group

The Match Group: quarterly paid member count 2014-2020

Online dating website or app usage among U.S. adults 2020, by age group

Register in seconds and access exclusive features.

This feature is limited to our corporate solutions. Please contact us to get started with full access to dossiers, forecasts, studies and international data.

Lex

Ever find yourself longing for the uncomplicated days of Craigslist personals? Then opt for Lex, a no-frills app with a healthy dose of ’80s and ’90s nostalgia. Inspired by the personal ads in On Our Backs, the woman-run erotica mag, it takes a simple yet charming approach to dating in the modern age. There are no cheesy selfies, just the opportunity to write an engaging personal ad that will — hopefully — help you meet your match.

The app isn’t just for dating — members have used it to make friends, start a band, and even plan a protest, according to its founder. Give shallow selfie swiping a miss and make a real, meaningful connection, or post in the “Missed Connection” section and you might find yourself getting together with that guy you saw at the farmers market but were too shy to speak to.

The app’s design is minimalist and inclusive, allowing you to choose your pronouns and asking you to agree to its strict rules of conduct for new members before you get started. You can browse the personals or search by keyword — so finding somebody who loves pizza as much as you do is totally achievable — send private messages, and save people’s posts to reply later, when you have more time. All this, and it’s totally free to use.

Surge

Surge is, dare we say, the Tinder for gay dating. It functions similarly to Tinder, with a swipe right to like and left to reject style — there’s even a Power Message option that’s the equivalent of a Super Like. It’s quick to sign up and you can share photos from your camera roll, Facebook, or Instagram to your profile. It’s free too, and you can swipe through potential matches (a limited number each day) and start chatting without paying a penny.

We love that Surge is all about inclusivity, and their motto “No Labels” means that whoever you are, you can be yourself while searching for your ideal match.

If you decide to upgrade to Premium membership, you’ll enjoy access to features like Who Liked Me, as well as Private Mode, where you’re only visible to guys you’ve already liked, the aforementioned Power Message to get you noticed, After-Match Photos, which allows you to upload private photos only visible to your matches, and several other handy features. You can sign up for a one-, three-, or 12-month membership starting at $7 a month.

Tser

Tser claims to be “the best TS and trans dating app for crossdressers and transgender women and men.” A pretty bold claim — but judging by the app’s popularity, it may well be true. Everyone’s welcome on the app, and it’s a safe space to be yourself, whatever your gender identity. It’s free to use and there’s a clean community policy that means no pornography or nudity is allowed.

Getting started involves filling out a few personal details, adding a couple of sentences (or a few paragraphs, if you’ve more to say) about what you’re looking for from the app, and uploading a photo. If we had one criticism during signup, it’s that the photo uploading process is very slow, and sometimes causes the app to crash.

Once you’re in, you can browse profiles and search for transgender singles near you using the filters. You can message matches for free, or start a voice message chat if you prefer to hear their voice. There’s a premium subscription that gives you access to additional features and starts from $13 a month, or you can sign up for three months for $27 or six months for $46.

It’s worth noting that the user base for Tser is still pretty small — but growing by the day — so unless you live in a major city, you may not find many matches near you.

Bumble

Fans of Chappy, the gay dating site that shut down just as it was starting to peak in popularity will be pleased to hear that the app joined forces with Bumble. Bumble is committed to fighting inequality and creating a space for healthy, safe connections across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, so where better to find your match? Traditionally Bumble asked women to make the first move on their app — but when it comes to same-sex matches, either party can make the first move, and the other party has 24 hours to respond and start a chat.

When you first open the app you’re presented with the option to log in with your Facebook account or use a mobile number. You’ll set up your profile, which includes a startling amount of information, including what you’re looking for, what pets you have, and a wide range of sexual orientation and gender identity options. You also get to choose whether to display your gender identity to matches.

A new section called COVID Dating lets you set preferences for dating during the pandemic — for example, whether you’re okay with IRL dating or prefer to date virtually for now, and whether indoors or outdoors dates are your ideal. This will only be displayed to your matches, but it’s definitely a helpful way of gauging what people are open to, without having to ask. You can also connect your Instagram and Spotify to share even more about yourself with potential matches.

Bumble has a huge user base, making it easier to find matches in your area, and it’s free to use — plus the 24-hour time limit to make a connection means you’re less likely to let matches languish and be reshuffled into the deck. The recent addition of in-app voice and video chat functions, as well as the option to send audio notes, gives you plenty of ways to communicate if typing lengthy messages isn’t your thing. You can subscribe to Bumble Boost or Premium from $9 a month to access all of Bumble’s additional features.

Scruff

Scruff allows you to browse through over 15 million profiles from nearby and around the world. Targeted toward men who have, or like, a little scruff, the app gives you options to search for different types of guys. The developers at Scruff have taken lots of steps to make the app more inclusive to everyone in the LGBTQ community, from being the first to include an option for the transgender community to removing the requirement to list an ethnicity when setting up a profile. It’s pretty easy to get started — just create your profile, entering your date of birth and uploading a photo to start matching. Profiles are pretty detailed, but you don’t have to fill everything out upfront. The app operates on a familiar swipe left or right format — but we love that if you can’t decide right now, you can choose “Ask Later” to be shown the guy again tomorrow.

There are loads of cool features to help you connect, like the quiz show, where you can meet new guys and compete for a cash prize, a social calendar of LGBTQ events in your area or worldwide, and Venture, your travel companion that lets you connect with guys in your destination city before you arrive.

Scruff is a free app, but if you want access to more advanced search features, user videos, and message histories, you’ll need to pay $20 a month for Scruff Pro.

Grindr

If you’re tired of dating apps that don’t include the trans and queer communities, Grindr is a perfect solution. As the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, you won’t be short of choices when looking for a date. The app uses your phone’s location to find other members nearby and sign up is quick and easy – just fill out the form or sign up with your Facebook account.

The app will show you who’s in your area, with large, high-quality pictures, so there are no surprises. Don’t want to message someone right now? Just favorite them to speak to them later. You can even browse other locations, so if you’re moving to a new city or heading away for the weekend, you can meet people before you arrive. If something goes wrong, you can easily report or block accounts – but it’s worth noting free users get a limited number of blocks; a bit of a turnoff.

Grindr is free to use, with limits. With a free account, you can only see 100 profiles in your area – and there are other limits too. To lift them, you can subscribe to Grindr XTRA or Unlimited. XTRA lets you see up to 600 profiles, remove ads, and view who’s online now, plus a range of other upgrades – and it costs $20 per month. For the top-notch experience, Unlimited lets you view unlimited profiles, browse in Incognito mode, and see who’s viewed your profile. It also unlocks expiring photo mode, where images sent expire after 10 seconds – and the handy chat translate feature that lets you communicate with those who don’t speak your language. It’s a pretty hefty investment though at $25 a month.

Tinder

Tinder is not just for straight folks — it lets you swipe right on people across the LGBTQ spectrum. Tinder has also added several new features to make it welcoming to trans and queer users. The More Genders feature gives users a wide variety of gender identity options, while the Traveler Alert feature warns users who have identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer when they enter a country that criminalizes this. This feature ensures your profile won’t be automatically shown when you’re traveling to one of these locations.

You don’t need a Facebook account to sign up for Tinder – but you do have to be older than 18. It’s quick to get started – just write a 500 character bio and add up to six images. There’s the option to link Tinder to your Instagram account too. Adjust your Discovery settings for who can find your profile, from distance and proximity to age range and gender identity.

Tinder operates on the now-familiar swipe right mechanism. You’ll only see a photo, name, and age for each prospective date. Tap on the photo to see some additional information – then swipe right to like them or left to pass. If you’ve fallen instantly in love, you can use a “super like” which the other person will receive instantly. If you both swipe right on each other, you’ll see a screen telling you you’ve matched and inviting you to chat. Tinder also recently adding video chat, great for getting to know each other better before meeting up, or dating during lockdown.

Tinder is free but you get limited swipes each day. To enjoy unlimited swipes and a whole host of other features, you can sign up for Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold. But the best thing about Tinder? It’s one of the most popular dating apps, so you’re more likely to meet someone you like who lives near you than on some of the other apps – and most people on the app actually want to meet up in real-life, whether for a hookup or something more.

Hornet

Boasting over 30 million registered users, Hornet is one of the world’s largest dating apps designed by the gay community for the gay community. Founded in 2011, it’s as much a social network as a dating app, enabling you to create your own news feeds, join groups, and generally immerse yourself in online gay communities. Follow those you’re interested in and see their posts, videos, and photos — and share your own in the news feed. Use the virtual travel feature to explore the world, and engage in interesting conversations about every topic under the sun in curated discussions.

Hornet makes it easy to connect with others for friendship, hookups, and relationships — just use the filters to find the right person, comment on or like their posts, or send a heartstring to make a quick intro. The app takes privacy seriously, and there’s free 24/7 support if you need it.

It’s free to use, although you can subscribe to Premium to enjoy additional features — there’s a fixed period subscription or a rolling monthly one, starting from $10 per month.

OKCupid

Competition for a date may be tough. But competition between the top dating apps is fierce. That means it can be hard for other apps to really stand out, which is why OKCupid has turned its focus to matching people up on a ‘deeper level.’ 

By filling out your profile and answering questions, the app’s algorithm will suggest potential matches who share your interests in the hope you’ll build deeper connections, which you can easily see from a ‘compatibility’ score displayed next to other users. You can also link up your Instagram profile if you think it gives potential matches a better picture of what you’re all about.

Nick said: “The OKCupid dates I went on were often the most interesting, with people I could genuinely chat to.” 

The app is free and, unless you use its ‘quickmatch’ Tinder-style option, it’s all about browsing through many profiles and breaking the ice with a message. But this focus on messages can lead to some clear downsides. 

Sarah said: “The fact you can easily message for free comes with the downside that you might get a fair few unwanted messages.”

Last year, OKCupid recently refreshed its user profiles with an update that allows users to define their pronouns. This information shows up alongside gender and orientation.

Tinder

Here it is, Tinder. The app that’s apparently the cause of everything, from the rise of STDs and breeding promiscuity to global warming (okay, we’re messing with you with that one). But regardless of who you ask, it has become synonymous with casual dating and hookups rather than those looking for their soulmates. 

It’s perfect if you’re looking for something not so serious, but that’s not to say that it’s impossible to find a more long-term love. After all, we’ve all got a friend-of-a-friend who married someone they matched with on Tinder, right? Unless we’re all just referring to the same couple…

The core concept is simple enough. You see someone’s photo. If you like it, swipe right. If you don’t, swipe left. And then repeat a couple of hundred times. If you’ve swiped right on someone and they’ve swiped right on you as well, you’ll be notified and can begin messaging one another. 

Hayley Minn says: “I used to love it, it’s so easy to use and fun, but it now feels like a game more than anything and I’ve never had a date lead to anything serious.” 

Despite the fact it seems to be losing its edge, we included it because it’s still popular, and the large user numbers mean the more chance of dates.

Louise said: “I’m sick of it, but most people are on it. And I’ve had a few good, well, mediocre, dates.”

Bumble

In many ways, the Bumble experience is pretty much identical to the Tinder style of swiping, but rather than either party making the first move, it’s up to the girl to say something witty and impressive first within a day. 

For many women that we chatted to, this was a breath of fresh air in the often seedy and overwhelming world of online dating and cringe-worthy first messages. 

Hayley told us: “I LOVE it! The woman speaks first, and it means guys are way more likely to speak to you if you’re not just one of many.” 

It also seems that the higher quality experience and focus on women being in control attracts a slightly better standard of men. 

Louise told us: “The men are better, looks and personality.” 

Hinge

Calling itself “the relationship app”, Hinge is aimed at those who are tired of Tinder, or just have really sore thumbs from all the swiping. 

You’re prompted to ask a series of questions, but you can choose which you answer. The idea is you can build an authentic picture of yourself, with answers, photos, details about what you’re reading or listening to and even video. So you’re more likely to find someone with genuine shared interests, rather than just a nice face.

The biggest difference is there’s no ‘hot or not?’ style swiping. You can like someone’s activities and photos, which reminds us more of Facebook-style interactions, but packaged up within a dating app. 

Does this all sound a bit too good to be true? That’s maybe because it is. 

Sarah said: “Hinge definitely sounds good in theory. But I haven’t had a date through it yet. I’m trying to stay patient and positive, but I think the instant buzz of Tinder might have ruined me.”

Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is another app that allows you to create a profile, answer questions or just upload your favorite selfies. It’s got a large user-base and when it comes to success rates, it really divides opinion. The huge choice of, erm, fish, tend to mean there are a few long-term love stories and lots of “okay I guess” dating anecdotes.

Louise said: “It’s a totally mixed bag. Be ready to hunt for people through the droves and droves. I’ve had a few fun dates through it, you just have to put the time in to weed through the rubbish.”

Paul said: “All I ever hear from men is that women never reply, and all I ever hear from women is that they get too many messages.”

That said, we know personally of one real world couple that are now married having met through Plenty of Fish, so love can be found here!

Chappy

If you’re serious about finding long-term love as a gay man, Chappy may well be the best app option on the market. Built from an idea by Made In Chelsea’s Ollie Locke (stick with us…) it’s a respectful community with a higher quality user than some of the sleazier apps.

Letting you choose between „Mr Right“ and „Mr Right Now“ it’s fun and playful if you’re in the mood for some quick company, while offering a bit more depth for those looking for a bit more.

According to Basil it’s greatest feature is „a slider at the top, where you can indicate what you’re after, so only like-minded guys will populate your feed,“ but the app experience „from that point onwards, is basically Tinder.“

Scruff

After a hairy hookup? Scruff takes the basic dating app experience, and tailors it to gay guys looking for burly, furry men, also known as bears, polar bears, cubs and otters.

Scruff quotes over 12 million worldwide users, and has recently expanded into AirBnB style travel accommodation, with a gay-friendly slant, also letting you know if fellow travellers from out of town are looking for some company. Paid tiers unlock additional features for committed users, but the free experience is worthy of inclusion here.

Basil enjoyed the „instant messaging, whether you’ve been highlighted for a positive match or not. It means there’s not instant rejection, but be ready for unsolicited messages too.“ He encouraged using the private gallery feature to have more meaningful interactions with would-be dates.

The Bottom Line

If you look for a girl that shares your sex fantasies and is ready to make them come true, Pure is your best option to find her. eHarmony is great for men who are ready to settle and appreciate the scientific approach to matchmaking. The best app for gay men looking for quick casual fun is Grindr. And if you’re not sure what you want from the online dating app, try using Bumble or Tinder and leave your options open.

What are the best dating apps?

When it comes to finding love in the mobile age, it’s hard to topple Tinder, one of the biggest and best dating apps that also enjoys a wide reach. Tinder has a reputation for helping you find quick hook-ups, though it’s also geared to finding more permanent partners and recent additions to the app have improved user safety while adding video features.

Other dating apps boast strengths of their own. Bumble gives the power to make new friends to its female members, while OKCupid offers several different tools for finding romance. Eharmony has its famous algorithm for pairing up people, while Hinge’s ultimate goal is to get people to delete its app off their phones (presumably because you’ve found a lasting connection and not out of frustration). Even Facebook has gotten into the act, with a dating service tied to its massive social network.

Looking for a same-sex partner? Grindr was the pioneer in that space, while Her offers a dating app for lesbian and bisexual users. 

Before diving in to find the right dating app to find the best possible mate, don’t forget to consider privacy. Don’t just skim past the privacy policies of any dating app you use, as those policies can outline exactly what a dating site does with your personal data. Also be aware that many dating apps — including several on this best dating apps list — are owned by the same company. The Match Group, for example, not only operates but also Tinder, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish.

1. Tinder (Android; iOS)

Tinder blazed the trail set by Grindr toward a world of swipe and scroll dating apps. On its face, Tinder encourages you to make shallow, snap judgments about potential partners. You create a simple profile with a handful of photos and a few sentences about yourself, then throw yourself at the Internet’s mercy. 

The app displays singles in your area. If you like one, swipe the photo to the right; otherwise, swipe to the left. If you both swipe right, you can send messages and set something up. (Interested in upping your Tinder game? We’ve got tips on how to use Tinder like a pro.) Upgrading to a paid Plus or Gold membership at Tinder gives you premium features like unlimited likes or rewinds that give would-be partners a second chance.

Tinder continues to tinker with its formula, rolling out a video feature that allows you to make in-app video calls to matches without exchanging personal details (a very important addition in the COVID-19 era). An even more significant change introduced a Safety Center feature that ties into Noonlight app and provides a panic button in case you wind up on a date where you feel unsafe. Later this year, Tinder plans to let you perform background checks of people, pulling data from public records. That feature’s coming to other dating apps operated by Tinder owner Match Group, in fact.

2. Bumble (Android; iOS)

Bumble aims to help you line up dates or make new friends in your area, and it’s on the queen bee (any female) to make the first move after two people mutually connect and are part of each other’s hive. There’s not much time to waste — there’s just 24 hours to make some kind of contact or the connection disappears forever. For same-sex connections or friendships, either person has to make a move within 24 hours before that connection is gone, though you can get a 24-hour extension. 

Just looking to widen your circle of friends, as opposed to a romantic relationship? Bumble has a BFF feature for people who are not looking for dates and a separate section for making business contacts. The Bumble Boost upgrade, which ranges from $2.99 to $8.99, makes it easier and faster to meet or date people. 

Bumble added video two yers ago, giving one of the best dating apps a leg up in the shelter-in-place era. A new Night In addition has added games starting with a trivia game to give you and your date something to do on your video chat.

3. OkCupid (Android; iOS)

OkCupid features a massive userbase and straightforward dating tools. But rather than rest on its laurels, OKC keeps refining and adding on features to its top dating app, such as a „Flavors“ system that allows users to quickly view evocative flavors of potential matches, such as Kinky Nerds, Beard Lovers, World Travelers, etc. 

All this is in addition to OkCupid’s messaging tools, personality quizzes, Instagram integration and other old favorites. A premium subscription adds other features, such as refined search tools and the ability to see users who have liked you. 

4. (Android; iOS)

offers its users a freemium dating experience on Android and iOS. Free users can set up online profiles, upload a few pictures of themselves and then engage in some online flirting with „winks“, and have new matches delivered to them daily. More comprehensive features, such as the ability to see who has checked out your profile and liked your pictures, can be unlocked by a subscription. 

Match has continued to add on to its features, such as a Tinder-like Mixer, Android Wear and Apple Watch integration, and the addition of voice and video snippets to your profile. This April, with people stuck at home, Match launched Vibe Check, which lets you enjoy video chats with your matches.

Like Tinder, Match also added a safety feature that lets you alert friends if you’re on a date and feel unsafe. Another recent addition even lets you set your political views, so you can better find a person whose outlooks line up with yours (or don’t, if you believe that opposites attract).

5. Facebook (Android, iOS)

Facebook Dating, first unveiled back in 2018, launched in the U.S. last year after test runs in other countries. The service has since extended to Europe, including the U.K.

An opt-in part of the social network, Facebook Dating focuses on helping you find long-term relationships, not hook-ups. You access the Dating section from within Facebook’s mobile app, setting up a Dating profile that’s separate from your regular Facebook profile. From there, Facebook finds matches for you based on your preferences, interests and activities on the social networking site. 

Facebook won’t suggest matches among people you already know on Facebook, unless you use the service’s Secret Crush feature in which you can select up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers you have an interest in. If they also express an interest in you via Secret Crush, Facebook will match you up. 

You can add Instagram posts to your Facebook Dating profile as well as share Facebook and Instagram stories. Like other dating services, Facebook Dating is adding the ability to make video calls to your would-be sweetie, using the company’s Messenger app.

6. Grindr (Android; iOS)

Grindr allows gay and bisexual men to meet up with like-minded men nearby. Profile creation is a fairly minimal experience, focusing on a profile pic, user name, and a few simple questions, and choosing a „Tribe“ that describes your type, and then you’re up finding other users and chatting them up in minutes. 

Grindr is free to use and advertisement-supported, but the premium version, Grindr Xtra, offers ad-free browsing in addition to other features like adding multiple Tribes and advanced search filters. One notable downside? Unlike other dating apps, push notifications for messages require Grindr Xtra. 

7. eharmony (Android; iOS)

eharmony is a long-time player in the online dating game, and the first service to push an algorithmic system to try to make the best possible dating matches for its members. Once you create an account, users go through a „Relationship Questionnaire“ to create a personality profile that helps match you with other users that eharmony thinks you’ll click with. Every day, the app will provide you with a selection of matches and your areas of compatibility; you’ll have the option to connect if the interest is mutual. 

Premium subscribers get expanded matching and discovery options, and other features like being able to see who has recently viewed your profile.

8. Coffee Meets Bagel (Android; iOS)

Coffee Meets Bagel takes the opposite approach to many of the best dating apps, trying to focus on quality rather than quantity. Every day at noon, the app will send men a small selection of potential matches based on their profile and preferences, and women are then sent a number of matches who’ve shown interest in them, leaving the ladies the option of reciprocating the like. If the attraction is mutual, then the app will set you up with a 7-day chat window and icebreaker. 

A redesign of the dating app puts a greater emphasis on user profiles, giving you the ability to comment on profiles and photos in hopes of fostering more connections between Coffee Meets Bagel users.

9. Her (Android; iOS)

Her is a dating and social network app designed with lesbian, bisexual and queer users in mind. You sign up with Facebook or Instagram accounts, and then view a stream of activity from other verified Her users both in your area and globally. You can Like photos of other users, and if the interest is mutual, the app will link you up to chat. 

Of course, it’s also more than just meeting prospective dates, with the app offering social features, news and articles about LGBTQ issues, events, questions and more. While the app is free to use and sign up for, a premium subscription adds extra features.

10. Hinge (Android; iOS: $10.99/month)

Refusing to follow the trail blazed by swipe-driven apps like Tinder, dating app Hinge puts its focus on relationships and interesting conversations. In fact, the service’s explicitly stated goal is to get you to the point where you’ve deleted the app altogether — presumably because you’ve found love and not because you’ve had it with the app.

Hinge turns its nose up at swipes for a more detailed profile that you fill in with pictures and stories. Users can then choose to like and comment on something in that profile, and that serves as a mutual conversation starter. Each day, you can check out new recommendations, as well as see people who have liked something in your profile.

Hinge responded quickly to our shelter-in-place situation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic by rolling out Date From Home features. Other changes include teaming up with the likes of Chipotle and Uber Eats to encourage users to have socially distanced dinner dates. And a redesign last year introduced Standouts feature that highlights people who are more likely to be your type, along with topics that Hinge thinks will spark a conversation with your would-be match.

11. Snack (iOS)

Imagine TikTok, but for dating, and you’ve got a pretty good sense of what Snack has to offer. This dating app puts an emphasis on short videos. You sort through a feed of introductory videos to see if anyone sparks your interest, favoriting the ones of people you’d like to get to know. Should they favorite your video, you’ll be able to DM each other.

The emphasis on videos makes Snack a good dating app option for our socially distant times, though the focus is clearly on the under-30 crowd. Snack is only available on the iPhone at the moment, though you can sign up to be notified when an Android version drops.

12. XO (Android, iOS)

XO wants to put some of the fun back into dating by using games to help break the ice. Quizzes, drawing games and other party activities let you share a laugh with somebody new and maybe forge a connection that leads to a relationship.

You find matches by filling out a profile and meeting up with someone who has similar likes. Or you can try one of XO’s other, more random pairings. Blind Date puts you in touch with someone to play a game and exchange messages before you see their profiles, while Random puts you in touch with someone from anywhere in the world.

People who are serious about finding a significant other right now may want to some of the other best dating apps, but XO seems like a fun, casual way to make new friends — and maybe that friendship blossoms into something more.