While the global coronavirus pandemic has made it hard for many single people to meet potential mates, it made dating apps indispensable.
The beauty about using a dating app is that you can try to get to know people via texts, video chats, or emails and once you’re assured the other person is safe to meet, you may try to organize a real date.
Whether you’re looking for a casual date or a long-term relationship, there’s a dating app out there for everyone.
Here are 20 of the most popular free dating apps that you may want to try that can help you deal with dating in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christian Mingle is a dating app designed with Christian singles in mind. The leading Christian dating app helps Christian singles in search of a God-centered relationship to make meaningful connections by chatting with like-minded singles who share their beliefs.
There are thousands of Christians online and Christian Mingle helps you find that special someone so you can connect and start chatting instantly.
As one of the best free dating apps for Christians on the market, Christian Mingle offers an easy way to communicate and help singles match and meet.
The user-friendly app is smart, intuitive, and eases the process of finding Christian singles near you so you can kickstart your dating life. You can browse profiles of local Christian singles, find members that match your interest, or send a smile to someone who caught your eye and find out if the feeling is mutual.
From Christian Mingle, you can upload photos easily and quickly from your phone or Facebook and view all profile activity at a glance. The Activity feed offers chat management, activity, and improved alerts in the app’s simple interface.
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Tinder is another popular dating app that you can use for free and find out potential matches you can connect with. The app, which is also available on desktop, allows you to swipe through profiles on each possible match though you’ll get scant information on them.
You can look at photos, swipe right to like a profile or left if you don’t, or alternatively just select a heart icon or an X.
If there’s someone on Tinder who also likes your photo and you like the person too, you’ll get an alert that you have a match, and you can message them.
The free dating app is best for finding casual relationships or hookups and comes with a wide range of features you can use to connect with a potential mate.
Tinder is a user-friendly app with instant connecting and a massive potential match pool, which makes it one of the first choices for many singles when they need a quick date or to find a serious relationship.
The main downside with using Tinder is that the matching is based solely on physical attraction so you’ll be lucky to find a serious relationship there. Plus, it’s easy to accidentally swipe the wrong way, especially with Super Likes where the potential match gets notified of your action.
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Like Tinder, you can use the Bumble dating app to find a match by swiping right or left if you like or don’t like the person respectively. However, Bumble is designed in such a way that for heterosexual couples, the woman must make the first move, giving them most of the control.
To get started, you create a profile with your personal traits and bio, and you can include your interests so that people know whether it’s casual or a relationship from the word go.
Bumble is ideal for finding casual work contacts, hookups, new friends, and relationships. Once a match is made, the other person has up to 24 hours to respond.
The free dating app is also ideal for people who want transparency in the relationships that potential matches seek, but you have to be fast and active otherwise the matches disappear if you don’t interact with them. You also get to be explicit about your search interests.
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EliteSingles is a bit different from most of the free dating apps on this list because it’s designed with professionals in mind.
The free match dating app hosts members with an above-average education, aged predominantly between 30-50 years. The app markets itself as the best dating app or site where you can find love with serious singles.
To get started, you’ll take the unique EliteSingles’ personality test developed by professional psychologists, after which you’ll get daily matches with local yet outstanding singles.
You can set your preferences and meet men or women seeking the same thing as you.
To ensure a secure and safe dating experience, EliteSingles reviews all new profiles and regularly checks for quality so you’re confident that you’ll find members who are genuinely looking for love.
The free app offers a personality test, lets you fill in your preferences and profile, partner suggestions, and allows you to upload photos and send smiles or likes.
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If you take dating seriously, OkCupid is the best place for you. The popular dating platform offers a free dating app that lets you browse profiles and connect with anyone you want.
The free version allows you to see all potential matches, send and receive messages or likes, but you don’t know who has liked you unless you also like them.
The app has a pretty liberal userbase so if you’re more conservative-minded, you might get weeded out easily especially after answering some questions about same-sex marriage and more. However, all these are just a way to tell right off the bat if the person you’ll potentially match with leans right or left and avoid awkward date conversations if you do connect.
Making a profile may take some time and effort, but it’s worth it if you want something real. You’ll also fill out a questionnaire based on what you want your ideal match to answer, which makes it more fun than other dating apps. The questions range from simple things like whether you drink or smoke to more intimate things like the number of dates you go on before making things serious.
The more answers you give, the better your matches and the deeper you go, the more your profile is accurate, and the app makes it easier to find matches for you.
While building a profile on OkCupid feels tedious, it gives you the assurance that it isn’t a dating app for casual or fast-paced relationships.
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Facebook entered the dating foray with its completely free dating app. Facebook Dating, as it’s called, is a free app that was unveiled in 2018 and its service has extended to Europe and other parts of the world – not just the US.
The free dating app allows you to set up your dating profile that remains within the confines of the app, so your family or friends on Facebook won’t see that you’re a member of the platform. Plus, you can automatically fill in your profile using your Facebook profile and use the app on your phone.
Facebook Dating is focused on helping you find long-term relationships as opposed to casual hook-ups. The app will find matches based on your interests, preferences, and activities on Facebook, but not from the people you already know on the social media platform itself.
However, if you use the Secret Crush feature, you can select a maximum of nine friends on Facebook or Instagram followers you’re interested in and if they reciprocate via the feature, Facebook will match you up.
You can also add Instagram posts to your profile, share Instagram or Facebook stories, and make video calls to your would-be match via Facebook Messenger.
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Need a relationship based on individual preferences? Hinge is your best bet. The free dating app is only available on your phone, but you get the best experience between marriage-focused apps and mindless swiping of Tinder and other similar free dating apps.
Hinge has a modern feel with a relationship mindset, and pretty much everyone on Hinge is on the same page, knowing that there’s no pressure to rush into marriage or any relationship.
The free dating app is good for people looking for real relationships but aren’t ready to commit to a full-fledged site with comprehensive questionnaires. The app is designed to help you find a relationship and stop using dating apps altogether.
Hinge no longer uses your Facebook friends of friends’ filter as a compatibility predictor, meaning you won’t be matched with another person just because you have a friend in common.
Instead, the dating app helps you know other people more deeply by having them answer prompts to show their interests and personality. However, Hinge limits you to only 10 likes daily, so you need to really be selective on who you like.
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8. Plenty of Fish (iOS)
If you want to find a date based on their character, Plenty of Fish will help you do that.
The free dating app offers a wide selection of dating profiles and you can send and receive messages for free. Plus, you can get a match from the app’s over 70 million members.
To get started, you’ll need to set up a simple profile that has your age, profession, and education. Once you have a profile, you can search through potential matches and send them a message.
Plenty of Fish may not have the most attractive setup, but it’s a tried and tested dating app that seems to draw in more people over the age of 35, who are seeking a date or relationship.
The app allows the older crowd to avoid the non-serious crowd of people and instead get to meet with singles their age.
Multiple questionnaires are included that they dig deep to help you find the best quality matches. In addition, Plenty of Fish tries to match you with people who, based on how you’ve both answered your questions, can statistically get along with you and you with them.
You can specify if you want a short or long-term date, serious or casual and the app will try to match you with people who answered similarly to yours.
While the app’s user interface isn’t the most attractive, it still commands a large following of people across the globe, so its subpar aesthetics aren’t necessarily a downside.
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Badoo touts itself as the place to date honestly. The free dating app is ideal for people looking for casual hookups, new friends, or relationships.
You can be the real and unapologetic you and still be clear on what you want and who you want to find on the social network. You can match and find a partner, chat with others, or find friends who are close to you.
The dating app ensures safety and respect in the community, and there are strict guidelines that ensure no inappropriate behavior occurs on the platform. Plus, there are extensive safety features that ensure you get to have the best experience.
Badoo makes it easy for you to meet people how you want to meet them. You can meet encounters, people nearby or around you, video chat with matches, view and interact with verified profiles, and find friends.
You can also blur intimate photos sent through Badoo, and the app also detects such photos and warns users before opening them.
This free dating app is ideal for you if you want a relationship based on the app’s suggested matches.
You can find quality matches by sending bagels or curated matches every day at noon. The app suggests ice breakers for first messages and has more in-depth profiles than other dating apps.
If you want a little hand-holding, this dating app will help you along the way. However, its features may be a little too much and confusing, and notifications may be a tad too pushy. Plus, you may miss the chance to like someone if you don’t check your bagels for a day.
Clover Dating App is a free app that’s a little bit of OkCupid mixed with Tinder. The app offers various ways for you to find and meet potential matches from date planners to questionnaires and detailed profiles with lists of interests.
The app comes with live mixers, so you can play the 20 Questions game or experiment with on-demand dating.
12. Heybaby (iOS)
This free dating app is designed with single parents in mind. The app helps this demographic of singles looking for love to feel comfortable as they search for a long-term commitment without the stigma or judgment.
Whether you have kids or want to raise some in the future, Heybaby is a great dating app to try. The app tries to be different from other similar apps using a fun questionnaire that gauges your compatibility with other would-be dates or partners, including questions on kids, family, and outlook in life so you can find someone with similar interests and goals.
Happn is an ideal free dating app for finding dates with people you find interesting, maybe doing things that you do, and whose paths you may have crossed. The app is location-based and displays profiles of other users along with their location and time.
You can like profiles that you see and if the other person feels the same way, you can connect with them. Premium features include the ability to say hi to other profiles, notifications, and alerts about others who have liked you.
If you’re looking for dates with people who share your interests, CLiKD is a great choice. The free dating app helps you find dates where you both click, so you can connect and know each other more.
The process begins by setting three questions and if others get at least two out of your three questions right, and you get their questions right, you both pass the test and are matched.
However, the app isn’t as popular as others on this list so it may not be easy to find matches in quieter locations.
15. Raya (iOS)
Raya falls somewhere in between a paywall-gated and professional networking dating service. The app, which is only available for iOS, for now, is useful when you want to make professional networking friends and contacts or as a low-key dating service, especially among creatives.
To get in, you need to send an application, get vetted and accepted, waitlisted, or rejected depending on your application. If accepted, you can opt to buy a membership and get the full functionality of the service.
Want to find a relationship based on compatibility? Try eHarmony. The free dating app is a long-time player in the game and uses an algorithmic system to get the best possible matches for you.
To use eHarmony, create an account and go through a questionnaire to create a personality profile and get matched with people you may click with.
The app offers a selection of matches based on compatibility areas and you can connect or not depending on whether the interest is mutual.
Feeld is a great free dating app designed for finding dates who are open-minded or curious.
The app helps you find singles or couples seeking alternative relationship structures and usually hosts lots of events like parties, talks, or workshops that are great opportunities for you to meet people with similar interests.
If you want a slow dating-based service, Once is worth considering.
The free dating app wants to slow down the frantic Tinder-based swipes so you can find a match that’s ideal for you. Instead of sorting through strings of photos, the app pairs you with one potential match each day and gives you 24 hours to connect.
You can chat if you like the person, but you’re given the freedom to focus on one person at a time before making a decision.
19. Snack (iOS)
If you like TikTok, you’ll enjoy Snack.
The free video dating app allows you to sort through a feed of introductory videos and check whether there’s anyone who sparks your interest.
You can favorite or like people you want to know more, and. If they favorite or like your video, you can connect via direct message and chat.
If you’re a geek or gamer, Kippo is the best free dating app for you. Here, you can express your passion and attract partners via the stylish mobile app with a futuristic aesthetic with black backgrounds, glowing electricity, and splashes of pink.
The app lets you put your fandom ahead and connect with like-minded people. However, Kippo doesn’t offer video chat or a web version, and you need a phone number to sign up.
You can type messages as though you’re writing code in a text editor and enjoy the bouncy animations. You can also create a profile and open your dating pool to everyone, show whether you want friends or not, and lock down your inbox to prevent random unsolicited messages.
Whether you want a date, a mate, or a casual hookup, these 20 best free dating apps have it all.
Test them out first to find the one that’s best for you and be on your way to find someone you can connect with.