You want to put yourself out there in the online dating world, but you don’t feel like pulling out your credit card to do it. No worries! There are a variety of free dating sites and apps at your disposal. While some of these free dating sites have paid options to unlock premium features, many give you a great online dating experience without requiring a cent.
The following is an exhaustive list of free online dating sites and apps that you can try out. I can’t promise that all of these are amazing (some are actually hilariously bad), but part of dating is tackling a variety of different options when it comes to connecting with people. At the end of this article, I’ll let you in on a great secret to help you crush your dating goals, as well as some ways you can improve your dating life both online and off.
But for now, let’s take a look at some free dating sites that you can try today.
Free Dating Sites & Apps #1: Tinder
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2012, you probably have at least a basic understanding of how Tinder works.
Tinder is a dating app that allows singles to check each other out via a swiping system — swipe right if you’re interested in chatting with someone and swipe left if you’re not. Once two people swipe on each other and match, the messaging can commence.
Tinder is the app that started it all when it comes to swiping for love. It could also be argued that Tinder paved the way for other dating apps and is a big part of what has turned online dating from something secretive to a popular and accepted part of mainstream culture.
Despite this success, Tinder has gleaned a reputation as more of a hookup app when compared to many of its competitors. Still, don’t let that dissuade you from using the app. In fact, you might actually get more results on there and stand out as a nice normal guy — something women who use the app will be delighted to encounter when looking for a long-term partner.
Free Dating Sites & Apps #2: Bumble
Bumble was a bit of a successor to Tinder, and in my opinion one of the best dating apps for download this year (and possibly last year). A woman who helped create Tinder (and consequently ended up filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former Tinder co-founder and ex-boyfriend…yikes…) created Bumble as an alternative dating app for those who were looking for relationships as opposed to hookups.
In general, Bumble tends to attract more people that want something serious. Like Tinder, you can download Bumble for free at the App store and easily create a profile. You also swipe through profiles and can “like” different profiles in order to get a match.
But with Bumble, women are put in the driver’s seat. You can’t start talking to a woman until she messages you first. This takes the heat off of guys when it comes to making the first move and can ease women’s minds when it comes to the possibility of getting bombarded by creepy messages.
Although Bumble is free, there are paid features you can opt for like Super Swiping and Bumble Coins. These are advertised as features that will increase your matches and likelihood of meeting gorgeous women but don’t fall for it.
Use strategic online dating tactics when using Bumble and your other free apps to increase your chances of getting more matches.
#3: Coffee Meets Bagel
Like Tinder and Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel is totally free and can be downloaded from the App store. This app has borrowed a few different elements from different apps in order to create its own unique (and effective) platform. It also tosses in something a majority of people love — coffee and bagels.
In this app, coffee beans are used as currency. Each user has a certain amount of beans when they first create a profile, and this currency will increase based on things like the number of logins per day, matches and rating other users’ profiles.
Each day, men receive 21 matches (bagels) and they can select which bagels they are interested in. From there, women will receive potential matches based on the curated list of men who liked them and they can decide whether or not they want to offer their own “like,” and make it a match.
Because this is a much more curated system, people tend to make more meaningful connections off the bat, even though they don’t have access to endless profiles, as is the case with Tinder and Bumble. But this curation can actually make people more selective and more likely to find a good match off the bat.
Cove is a new dating app that is on a mission to change the way single people connect in the swipe-happy-app-mos-sphere. It’s a relationship oriented dating app that turns meeting potential partners into a fun experience.
In a nutshell, here’s how Cove works: Once you match with another single, you’ll start by playing compatibility games to assess chemistry. Once you’ve completed that level, it’s on to text messaging – where you’ll need to send 3 messages to each other. Once that’s complete, it’s on to Cove’s voice messaging level. This is my favorite level because when you hear someone’s voice, you’re able to glean more information from their tone, pitch, and pacing (then you ever could through text messaging alone). Lastly, Cove requires matches to send each other a video message before being able to exchange phone numbers. Once complete, you’ve successfully made it through the Cove!
It may sound like a long process but the overall goal is to save you time, money, and the awkward experience of meeting in-person and realizing you have zero chemistry.
If successful, this new cutting-edge dating app has the power to transform dating altogether. How many times have you gone on a date with a woman who looks nothing like her picture. Cove aims to make that disappointment a thing of the past.
Free Dating Sites & Apps #5: Hinge
Hinge is the app that uses the “meeting through friends” model of dating by using your Facebook friends list to curate potential matches. Hinge was originally a completely free app, like Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel, but the “free” part now comes with some caveats.
After getting a massive makeover due to its lagging popularity, Hinge has been working to position itself as the ultimate dating app for those looking for long-term relationships. But a fancy new layout and more advanced matching curation systems come with a price.
You can still sign up for Hinge for free, but you won’t get the same amount of features as premium members (i.e., unlimited likes and certain filters that help to better curate your matches). And eventually, Hinge will ask you to pay the $7 a month membership price. If you’re on a budget, and looking for love, I’d recommend you download this app.
When it comes to online dating, OkCupid is a bit of an O.G. The site went live in 2004 and, although some things have been added and the layout has been somewhat updated, most of what we have always known of OkCupid hasn’t changed.
OkCupid is a great introduction into the dating website world, with an easy-to-use interface and several cool profile options (albeit, nothing too lengthy or complicated) to help you find people who match with you. Each profile you search will have a percentage that shows your presumed compatibility based on your profile and things you have answered in OkCupid’s relationship questionnaire.
The downside for some people is that you don’t have to match with someone to message them, so literally, anyone can wind up in your inbox, whether you had any interest or not.
#7: Plenty of Fish
To me, Plenty of Fish is kind of like the naughty sibling to OkCupid. When it comes to Plenty of Fish, everything is free and everything goes.
Want your matches curated for you? TOO BAD! Plenty of Fish lives up to its name by showing you just how plentiful the fish (not all fresh fish, mind you) are when it comes to their site. You can search the system’s entire database, and with millions of users, that’s quite a database to search.
If you want to get a bit more selective, you can put in advanced search filters to find people based on how they filled out certain questionnaires on the platform.
Before you spend an afternoon signing up for Plenty of Fish, make sure you read my POF Review article to see if this site is really your cup of tea. One thing we noticed on this site was a ton of spammers, or you might call them, Plenty of Fakers!
#8: Green Singles
Green Singles is one of my favorite niche free online dating websites that is open to everyone but caters specifically to mindful singles. If you’re a yogi, a vegan, an advocate, an animal lover, or all of the above, this is a site that is going to be able to curate a TON of great matches for you.
If you end up really enjoying the site after a free trial run, you are going to definitely want to upgrade to a paid membership. However, the free option gives you a variety of cool things to do and more than enough to make a decision on whether or not the site is right for you.
With the free option, you can do things like sending a “hello” to someone, read and respond to messages, save favorites and more.
If you decide to go the free membership route, it’s pretty affordable considering all that you get. There’s a $22 per month option, but I recommend going with the 3-month option for $51 or the 6-month option for $66 to get a bigger bang for your buck.
I always recommend my clients first try to connect with women they’re interested in through shared interests. When you are able to find something you have in common with a match or date, you can deepen the conversation and start to build trust and rapport.
This free dating app puts that idea into practice by connecting people based on their music tastes. You can send matches different songs, “throw a cow at them” (the app’s cheeky version of winking or “poking” someone) and use other fun features that encourages a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
The app can be used to either find new friends or dates. One drawback for singles in that, because the app isn’t exclusively for romance, there isn’t a lot of curating or options that provide a keen focus on dating.
Free Dating Sites & Apps #10: Zoosk
Created all the way back in 2007, Zoosk is a great way to meet people online who, like you, are also looking for a long-term relationship. This user-friendly website has a beautiful layout and a ton of great features to help you find someone with similar interests and values. It also has a shrewd authentication process to ensure that you won’t be getting a message from spambots.
There is a free trial version of the site, but if you end up liking the site (which can also be downloaded as an app), you’re going to need to pay for a membership.
You can choose to pay month-to-month for $29.95, $19.95 per month with a 3-month plan, or $14.98 with a 6-month plan.
When it comes to dating websites, you might say that Match is the one that started it all. It was launched all the way in 1995 and is constantly evolving to keep its title as a go-to dating website for singles at any stage.
You’re going to get a good experience from Match, thanks to intuitive algorithms and a bevy of great features. But like Zoosk, the free version of Match is more for you to get a feel for the site and figure out whether or not you want to take the next step by purchasing a membership.
To get a free trial, go to Google and search for “Match free trial.” The first result should be a sponsored listing from Match. Click and you’ll be directed to a page where you can sign up for a free 3-day trial.
Ready to sign up for Match? There are no month-to-month options with Match but their packages are relatively affordable. You can choose to pay $20.99 per month for a 12-month membership, $23.99 for a 6-month plan and $26.99 for a 3-month plan. I recommend starting off with a smaller membership plan to see what kind of success you have with the site. Signing up for a year can be a big commitment, particularly if you’re using good strategies in the dating world.
Launched in 2000, eHarmony was just five years behind Match. Like its predecessor, this dating website has become one of the go-to sites when it comes to finding love.
Some people use the titles “Match” and “eHarmony” interchangeably, being that they were two of the first on the scene. But there are some significant differences.
I like to think of eHarmony as Match with training wheels. If you’re new to the online dating scene or tentative about it, eHarmony offers guidance and an advanced curation system to keep your potential matches as tailored to you as possible.
Members answer a lengthy questionnaire (this can take up to an hour to complete), which is used for their 29 dimensions of compatibility system. This narrows your matches down to those who align with your interests, values, and needs.
The downside to this is that you don’t have as broad a range of matches as Match. But it can be a preferable way to get started with online dating, particularly if you consider yourself very selective.
Although you need to pick a paid membership plan in order to communicate with other singles on eHarmony, you can fill out the questionnaire, create a profile, and scan other singles that are compatible with you for free. This will give you a feel for the site. Sometimes eHarmony will also have special events, like free weekends, where you can communicate with other singles in your area for free for a limited time.
While Green Singles appeals to vegans and vegetarians, Sizzl is here for all you carnivores out there. Created by the people at Oscar Mayer (of course), this niche dating app matches you with people who, like you, love bacon.
I always say it’s good to find shared interests when dating someone, so why not bond over a preoccupation with charred animal flesh?
Free Dating Sites & Apps #14: Ghost Singles
Instead of getting ghosted, why not just date an actual ghost? That seems to be the logic between this strange (albeit, hilarious) free dating site. Ghost Singles is a dating site for the undead to connect in a way that will (presumably) make them feel more alive than when they were actual mortals.
No, this isn’t going to lead you to lasting love (kind of hard when you’re a mortal and the person you want to date is basically vapor), but enjoy the chuckle that will come with filling out the website’s questionnaire and hanging out in the ghost chatroom.
#15: Yeezy Dating
For those looking for someone who can love them as much as Kanye West loves Kanye West, I present to you Yeezy Dating. This is one of the most off-kilter free dating sites and was created by a die-hard Kanye fan from England.
The signup process is pretty straightforward and the layout of the site is user-friendly. This type of dating site doesn’t come equipped with fancy algorithms like other more mainstream dating sites, but it’s a fun place for a laugh and you may even happen upon some good matches to connect with.
Here at EmLovz, our services and blogs are geared toward those looking for a long-term relationship. However, if you only want a casual relationship, Pure is a free hookup apps option for you. Pure has billed itself as “the hookup app for awesome people.”
The geolocation-based app wants you to get to the point and QUICKLY. To encourage its users to hit it and quit it as fast as possible, you can only list yourself for 60 minutes maximum before your profile self-destructs. If you match with someone, you can exchange information with each other quickly before finding a place to do the deed. All your information will then be deleted, so you can keep things as private and discreet as possible.
If all you want is a hookup, hey, no judgment here — especially if you’re being 100% honest about it. But keep in mind that meeting a random stranger for sex can be dangerous, regardless of where you are. Proceed with caution when it comes to these things, use protection and be sure that a casual fling is something you truly want, and isn’t the result of something like intimacy issues.
Get More Out of Free Dating Sites and Apps
Don’t feel like you need to choose between the following free dating sites and apps — pick a few! I always recommend my clients download a few different free apps when trying to find a partner because having different tools at your disposal increases your chances of meeting up with a variety of gorgeous, high-quality women. I also recommend that men not rely on dating sites and apps entirely for their dating needs.
There are several different ways you can go about meeting women, including things like Meetup groups, adult sports leagues, through mutual friends and more.
Having a variety of ways to meet women will lead you to date several women at the same time, which is a strategy known as MegaDating. MegaDating is a process that decreases dating anxiety by diffusing energy and keeping your calendar full. When you MegaDate, you see firsthand that there is plenty of fish in the sea, which will keep you from settling for the mediocre and help you get the most out of your dating life.
If you’re ready to get started, head over to my calendar and book a new client 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our session, we will create an action plan to help you crush your dating goals and overcome your personal roadblocks. We’ll also determine if my 3 month coaching program could be a fit for you.