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The Best Dating Apps For 2023, Based On What You're Looking For

Julie Nguyen
Author:
Updated on January 15, 2023
Julie Nguyen
Relationship Coach
By Julie Nguyen
Relationship Coach
Julie Nguyen is a relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University.
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Image by mbg creative
Last updated on January 15, 2023
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

If you're looking for a romantic connection, you don't have to look much further than your phone these days. In today's hyper-connected world, it's never been easier to meet lots of potential partners from the comfort of your couch. But the convenience of the dating apps presents a slew of other unique dating challenges: analysis paralysis, dating fatigue, ambiguous intentions, one-sided conversations that go nowhere, etc.

Although dating apps can be overwhelming, they're one of the most popular approaches out there and for good reason—we're all on them now. If you're looking to optimize your time, it might be a smart idea to approach the apps with a sense of intentionality, which means, signing up for the apps that will give you the best chance to meet your kind of people. After all, you're not looking to meet everybody—you want to meet the right ones. (Here are all our best online dating tips, btw.)

So, without further ado, we've rounded up the best dating apps for 2023, depending on what you're looking for.

The best dating apps of 2023:

Best for serious relationships
eHarmonyGo to review
Best for those looking for something specific
OKCupidGo to review
Best for quality interactions
HingeGo to review
Best for seniors
MatchGo to review
Best for meetups and hookups
Tinder Go to review
Best for kink
FeeldGo to review
Best for women
BumbleGo to review
Best for queer women
HerGo to review
Best for queer people
Lex Go to review
Best for gay men
GrindrGo to review
Best for Black people
BlkGo to review
Best for busy daters
Coffee Meets BagelGo to review
Best for professionals
The LeagueGo to review
Best for meeting up right away
CloverGo to review
Best for traveling
HappnGo to review
Best options for religious daters
Christian Mingle, JSwipe, & SalamGo to review

The best dating apps of 2023:

Best for serious relationships: eHarmony

Pros:

  • Compatibility scores for every potential match
  • Ability to see who viewed your profile and vice versa

Cons:

  • Many people still don't have detailed profiles
  • Takes a long time to set up
  • Almost no capability with free membership
  • Not inclusive of different gender & sexual identities
Compatability: IOSAndroid

eHarmony is great for serious daters looking to connect with others similarly interested in a long-term relationship, according to marriage therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT. The app requires you to take an 80-question compatibility quiz when signing up, which includes queries about your personality type and communication style, as well as choosing between two photos (which our tester compared to a Rorschach Inkblot Test).

Once the quiz is completed, you fill out your profile with prompts, photos, and icons to indicate your hobbies and interest. Our tester says the profile took at least 20 minutes to complete, although not all users include the same level of detail on their profiles.

Luckily, putting extra effort into your profile pays off; you'll receive a compatibility score for all potential suitors before you even connect. This score was an extra intriguing feature to our tester, who reported they'd never seen something similar on a dating app.

Per our expert, this is key to make eHarmony one of the the best dating sites for serious relationships. "The profile list is limited since it's for [the people] who don't want to deal with the ups and downs of dating app culture and want to settle down," Ruiz explains. 

Just be warned the best way to experience eHarmony is with a paid membership. Our tester found that certain features (like photos) are blurred in the free version, and chat functions are limited. While the membership is pricier with subscriptions starting at $30/month, new users can save 20% on them by entering promo code MBG20 at checkout.

Want to know more? Read our full eHarmony review to discover why this might be the most intentional dating app.

Cost: Memberships are available in 6, 12, or 24 month increments. Prices start at $60/month for the most affordable membership and drop down to $30/month for the biggest bundle.

Best for those looking for something specific: OKCupid

Pros:

  • Free version works great
  • Queer & poly-friendly

Cons:

  • Need to answer a lot of questions to get the most out of it
  • Some say there aren't as many active users as other apps
  • UX is less intuitive
Compatability: IOSAndroid

OKCupid appeals to a diverse demographic for people looking for romantic connections and everything in between—friendships, flings, and alternative relationships. The site has additional gender and sexuality options for users and nonmonogamy options, so it's easier to find people looking for the same thing. "OKCupid does an amazing job at being inclusive for all," says online dating coach Perri Schneider.

The dating side is widely known for its keyword search options, long-form profiles, and interactive personality quizzes. It's a popular dating site if you want to get away from plain swiping and meet others with a high match percentage and shared interests.

When you join OkCupid, you'll be prompted to add up to six photos, write a bio, and take a 15-question comptability quiz. These initial responses will be used to start gauging your compatibility score with other users—and you'll have the option to see exactly where you align (or disagree). If certain requirements are a dealbreaker, you can inform the app; otherwise you may end up receiving a high compatibility score with someone seeking marriage when you're seeking a hook-up. [Pro tip: OkCupid offers 500+ compatibility questions and answering more will ensure a more accurate match.]

The UX is a little less intuitive than other dating apps; you still swipe left or right to "like" another user, but you'll need to click the bottom of the screen to open their profile. Once in the profile, you can swipe through photos and open the compatibility feature. If you forget to open the profile before attempting to swipe on profile photos, you may accidentally swipe left on a potential match. Thankfully, the reverse button is free, unlike many other popular dating apps.

What's not free? The ability to see who already "likes" your profile (unless they sent an "intro") or view certain match filters, like "new users" or "popular users."

Cost: OkCupid premium starts $44.99/month with discounts for a 3-month membership ($29.99/month) or a 6-month membership ($22.49)

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Best for quality interactions: Hinge

Pros:

  • Fresh interface
  • Voice-note feature
  • Can see matches according to race for free

Cons:

  • The "made to be deleted" tagline assumes monogamy as the goal, which excludes non-monogamous users
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Not sure how to start a conversation with someone? When you set up your profile, Hinge eliminates that problem with interesting conversation prompts. The built-in icebreakers give you plenty of opportunities to share specific interests and fun facts about yourself to facilitate better conversations with matches

Hinge also comes with limited swipes (unless you pay for a premium account), but this feature is a good thing. A smaller number of likes will motivate you to slow down and see each profile as a person, instead of another face in a sea of faces, which helps avoid mindless swiping.

"This is a great option for those who are just entering the dating scene," Schneider says. "It has a lot of great questions to get to know potential matches on the app and a new voice note feature. It's immensely helpful to see if someone's voice piques your interest." 

When you do decide to go on a date, be sure to let Hinge know about your interactions. As the app learns more about your preferences, it will adjust your algorithm to recommend better matches. The only downside? A few of these top matches may be located it the "Standouts" section of the app, which requires you to send a rose to match. You only receive one rose per week with an option to pay for additional roses. These curated profiles may occasionally enter the regular batch of potential matches or "Discover" section, but it's rare—so you'll likely need to save your rose or pay to connect with them.

Cost: Premium memberships start at just $15/month when you sign up for six months and increase to $30/month for a one-month membership.

Best for seniors: Match

Pros:

  • Allows you to effectively filter out those you're not interested in
  • One-on-ones with dating experts
  • Personalized match recommendations
  • Detailed profiles

Cons:

  • Expensive if you want to use the app's best features, like read receipts
  • Not as many active users as some other dating apps
  • Time-consuming to set up
Compatability: IOSAndroid

"If you find yourself on the higher end of the age spectrum and you don't vibe with the current dating apps, Match is a great choice if you're willing to pay a membership fee," Schneider says. "It's a solid choice if you live in a suburb or somewhere remote since the site attracts users from all over." 

If you're looking for a long-term relationship, Match is known as a site for serious daters. The more questions you answer, the more targeted your matches will be. The detail-rich site lets you search around the database and check out members with similar preferences as yours. It also displays when members were last active, so it's likelier to match with someone who was recently online. Plus, you can see who's checking out your profile as a paid user. 

A top dating site for those over 50, Match stands out for the way it filters potential connections, per our tester. It allows you to partake in reverse matching, which shows people who are specifically looking for your likes, interests, etc. Otherwise you can opt to mutual matching, which shows you people who fit your specific criteria—and both are free. We also love that the robust profiles allow up to 26 (!!!) photos with an option to work with a dating expert to better curate your profile. However, many of the apps best features, like read receipts, are blocked behind a membership, and free users can only chat with one person a day.

Cost: Match offers a few subscription plans starting at $19/month when you sign up for a one-year membership. The one-month membership is a commitment option but costs a whopping $46.

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Best for meetups and hookups: Tinder

Pros:

  • Lots of users
  • App is easy to navigate
  • Free version is excellent

Cons:

  • Can be superficial
  • May encounter lots of time-wasters
Compatability: IOSAndroid

While you can meet people for casual dates or casual sex on any of these apps, Tinder reigns supreme in this category. The app is extremely straightforward to use, though that does mean people make quicker snap judgments, which can devolve into focusing more on someone's photos instead of their bio and interests. To match the pace, try to pay attention to your pictures and how they can best represent your dynamic personality and what you're all about. 

Tinder also still has some viable dating prospects on the app; you may just have to weed through a lot of matches to find them. Although plenty of people these days have met their forever partners on Tinder, Schneider says it generally may not be the best app for serious dating due to its oversaturation. But its strong reputation is also its strong suit: "I find with my clients that it's still widely used, which can be helpful if you're not in a city and live in a more remote area," she says. 

Cost: Tinder Plus, Gold, & Platinum are available starting at $20 per month.

Best for kink: Feeld

Pros:

  • Refreshingly sex-positive without being sleazy
  • Option to link your profile with partners' profiles
  • Choice to go by pseudonym

Cons:

  • Not as many users as some of the bigger apps
  • A little buggy
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Feeld was created for people looking to approach love with sexual exploration and an adventurous flair. It's inclusive in representing many sexualities and gender identities and those looking to explore threesomes, polyamory, swinging, casual sex, kink, and other alternative steamy encounters. 

Because of Feeld's transparency and refreshing openness, it's simpler to have honest conversations about your sexual preferences without it feeling creepy or unsolicited. Feeld also has a powerful matching algorithm that makes it comfortable to connect with like-minded partners for casual sex and fantasy fulfillment. 

Cost: Sign up for the premium "Magestic Membership" for $11.99/ month or save with a 3-month membership for $23.99 (~$8/month)

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Best for women: Bumble

Pros:

  • Attractive interface
  • Free version works great

Cons:

  • Not suited to women who don't want to message first
  • You have to send the first message (or answer it) within 24 hours of matching
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Made for women, by women, Bumble is a user-friendly app that strives to create a positive experience for its daters with its zero-tolerance policy toward hate speech and body shaming. "I find that Bumble has the most active users on its platform–which is great to increase the chances of matching with someone you really like," Schneider says. "The women must initiate the conversation [when matching with men], but with same-sex matches, either can begin the chat." 

Women have to make their first move within 24 hours, which adds urgency to the interaction and minimizes conversations falling to the wayside. We suggest trying these expert-recommended conversation starters on Bumble to make the most of your connection.

You don't have to just look for a romantic match on Bumble either. They have other features for business and BFF connections, too. 

Cost: Select features like the "Spotlight" (a bump to the top of others swiping queue) and SuperSwipe (a bold way to show your interest) start around $2. Upgrading to premium will cost $25/ month, but you can also for a cheaper "boost," which unlocks a handful of premium features.

Best for queer women: Her

Pros:

  • Option to stay in incognito mode (i.e. only those who you "like" see your profile)
  • No screenshots to protect privacy
  • All members can send messages for free

Cons:

  • Read receipts, rewind button, & unlimited swipes only in premium
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Her is a dating and community app for lesbian, queer, bisexual, and straight women; GNC folx; and nonbinary people. It's created for queer people, by queer people, making it one of the most popular lesbian apps on the market. 

Her strives to create an inclusive interface that actively bucks against heteronormative narratives, with the app encouraging its users to be open about their intersecting identities and relationship orientations.

The dating experience is relatively uncomplicated—you can view profiles, "like" other users, match with people, and get to know someone via chat. It also comes with an additional social networking segment where you can learn about queer events, local parties, find new friends to meet up with, and spaces to discuss your interests. 

Cost: Premium starts at just $7.50/ month with a one-year membership and rises to $15/month with a month-to-month subscription.

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Best for queer people: Lex

Pros:

  • Unique text-centered approach that doesn't focus on photos
  • Goes beyond dating to include community building & friends

Cons:

  • Not everyone is looking for a romantic connection
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Lex is a text-centered format inspired by old newspaper personals where users can post an ad about who they are and what they are looking for. There isn't a huge emphasis on photos, and it's mainly about connecting with others in a casual manner. 

For that reason, Schneider agrees it's one of the best LGBTQ+ social and dating sites out there. The open-ended possibilities help foster different connections of all types: a friend, new hookup, or someone to obsess over your favorite new TV show with.

Cost: No premium offerings available

Best for gay men: Grindr

Pros:

  • Upfront & straight to the point
  • Millions of active users

Cons:

  • Not for the faint of heart
Compatability: IOSAndroid

"Grindr is a social networking app with a goal to connect its gay, bi, trans, and queer users," Schneider says. Although any type of relationship can come from the app, one-night stands are typical for the user experience. "It is still very much notorious for being a hook-up-focused app." 

Grindr consists primarily of a bio, pictures, and an ability to favorite others to keep track of the people you're interested in. It also has an efficient geo-social location-based feature to connect with others within a close radius. 

Cost: Grindr offers two premium membership options: Xtra and Unlimited. Xtra starts at $19.99/month (or $99.99/year), while Unlimited is $39.99 for one month or $239.99 for a full year.

Honorable Mention: Similar to Grindr, Scruff is popular among gay men but offers additional features for those looking for something more than a casual relationship. It has refined features to produce better conversations and offers varying filters to search for unique matches. 

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Best for Black people: Blk

Pros:

  • Large pool of potential matches despite newer release
  • A safe place for Black singles with photo verification

Cons:

  • Can only access boosts, profile rewinds, and unlimited likes with premium
Compatability: IOSAndroid

"Blk is a culturally niche dating app catered and designed specifically to support and connect the Black community," Ruiz says. It's easy to use the app with a simple setup process, photo verification, and straightforward matching to help singles look for meaningful connections and friendships. 

Blk offers many of its options for free. Every day, you receive a personalized group of profiles to vet and chat with other users who have liked your profile. If you do decide to pay for a premium account, you can briefly boost your profile to be a top profile in your area, send an unlimited amount of likes, and rewind on people to give them a second chance.

Cost: Premium membership starts at $9.99 a month, while the Elite option costs $19.99/month. The latter packs all the benefits of premium, as well as the option to see who has liked your profile.

Best for busy daters: Coffee Meets Bagel

Pros:

  • Encourages real-life meetups
  • Free version works great

Cons:

  • Limited amount of matches per day
  • Skews toward a younger crowd
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Exhausted by swiping? Coffee Meets Bagel can help you with that. "Unlike other dating apps where you can scroll through a listing of photos, Coffee Meets Bagel sends a list of suggested profiles (called bagels) every day," Ruiz tells mbg. The suggestions are tailored to you based on your preferences. Once the connection is made, the app has an eight-day feature where you'll both have to opt into the conversation again, which might encourage you to set up that coffee date sooner rather than later.

Once in a while, the app will periodically give you a few free likes for when you want to take your matches into your own hands. "Coffee Meets Bagel is best for those who have specific preferences in what they want from their match," Ruiz says. It is a solid option for those who are looking for a relationship without wanting to spend a lot of time on the apps. 

Cost: Membership costs $35/month and unlocks features such as read receipts and profile boosts.

Best for professionals: The League

Pros:

  • Option to connect LinkedIn to prevent matching with boss
  • Limited curation of profiles prevents overwhelming users
  • For love & professional networking

Cons:

  • Wait list required to join app (can pay to skip line)
  • Connections tend to be slower
  • Membership is pricey
Compatability: IOSAndroid

"The League is an exclusive dating app for the modern-day working professional. It's [considered] the LinkedIn of dating," Ruiz says. It has a waiting list, and once you're in, the matches are set up similarly to an IRL networking event. Every day at "happy hour," you're given a limited list of profiles to review. The success of the app may come down to your age and location, meaning you'll probably have better chances in a metropolitan city. 

He notes there's a paid membership that can be much pricier than other dating apps, so it's probably better suited for those who can financially afford the ongoing cost of a premium experience. For both free and paid users, it comes with a live feature where you can go on video speed dates.

Cost: The League offers three membership tiers: a Member subscription for $299.99/month, an Owner subscription for $399.99/month, and an Investor subscription for $999.99/month.

Best for meeting up right away: Clover

Pros:

  • Don't have to use phone number to sign-up
  • Free to filter for preferences like age range

Cons:

  • Additional fee to unlock "on-demand" dates
  • Smaller user pool (especially for those 35+)
Compatability: IOSAndroid

As one of the highest-rated apps on the Apple app store, Clover has rapidly proven itself as a robust dating app due to its many features and hybrid focus on both swiping and compatibility. If you're looking to meet someone right away, it has an on-demand feature for when you're looking for a date on a specific night. 

Ruiz points out there's also a special feature to create a mixer, similar to a social event, and meet other singles that are part of the group. The interface resembles a social media website with icebreakers for easier conversations. 

Cost: Clover Premium is $9.99/ month with discounts for 3- or 6-month bundles.

Best for traveling: Happn

Pros:

  • A modern day "missed connections"
  • Popular in Brazil, Argentina, France, & India

Cons:

  • Limited to people within your proximity
  • You may run into unreciprocated likes in real life
  • Biggest pool of potential matches in large cities
Compatability: IOSAndroid

If you're crushing on someone at your local bookstore but you don't know how to make the first move, this is the app for you. "Happn is the Google Maps of dating," Ruiz says. "The app tracks users based on their physical location and matches users to those that are around them. This app can be best used for hookups or possible dates due to the ability to match with someone within close proximity." 

Happn has an element of kismet to it since it tallies how many times you and your potential matches cross paths with each other. Since you're hanging around the same areas, it makes it exponentially easier to set up a date or grab a quick coffee at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Ruiz recommends Happn for consistent travelers or those who live in highly populated cities, so you're not running into the same people repeatedly. 

Cost: Happn Premium costs $24.99/ month, unlocking premium features and blocking adds in your feed.

Best options for religious daters: Christian Mingle, JSwipe, & Salam

Pros:

  • Most users share the same religious beliefs

Cons:

  • Sites often have a smaller pool of users
Compatability: IOSAndroid

Although other apps filter for religious preferences, you'll have to wade through a lot of conversations to understand the role religion plays in their life. If sharing similar beliefs is an important consideration, consider looking into religion-specific apps like Christian Mingle (for Christian singles), JSwipe (for Jewish singles), or Salams (for Muslim singles). These types of apps attract a database of faith-driven people who center their religious beliefs in their dating experience. 

Christian Mingle, for example, asks for and culls information about someone's upbringing, education, interests, and their relationship to spirituality, so it appeals to serious daters. It also has enhanced privacy features and the ability to sort through matches by age and location. 

JSwipe is a leading dating app for Jewish millennial singles. The app boasts a strong database of users in their 20s and 30s, with many free basic features. One of the big negatives is that you'll need a Facebook account to join. 

Salams was originally created to matchmake single Muslims, but it's since expanded into connecting others for friendships and networking. Per the matchmaking angle, Salams prioritizes your cultural background, family upbringing, core beliefs, and overall personality over looks—so much so that in certain countries, photos are blurred until you're ready to reveal it to your match.

FAQ

Which dating site is best for serious relationships?

eHarmony is our top pick for serious daters due to the long, robust profiles, which allow for better compatibility between matches. Plus it's expert-approved by marriage therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT.

Which dating app is best for beginners?

The best dating app for you will correlate with your dating goals. However the lower lift required to start a profile on Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge makes them great options for people just beginning to explore the world of online dating. Plus, their popularity means you're likely to find more potential matches regardless of your location.

What is the best free dating app?

The best free dating app for you depends heavily on what you’re looking for from your connections. Many popular apps are free, such as Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, and even OKCupid. However many of these offer added features, whether it be unlimited likes or reconnections, for a small fee. However, a few apps we'd avoid trying for free are eHarmony and Match, which are best with paid features.

Is Tinder or Bumble better?

When deciding between Tinder and Bumble, the best dating app for you will come down to your intentions. Bumble puts the power to start the connection in women’s hands by having them making the first move in 24 hours. Our relationship experts say this creates a smaller chances of conversation fading out. Tinder is great for those seeking a more a casual encounter. Online dating coach Perri Schneider also considers it a good recommendation for those in more remote areas due to its widespread usage.

The takeaway.

Ready to ask someone out on a date? These online-dating rules form experts will help prepare you for your first interactions—and when you're there, be sure to ask some of these first date questions.

Meet The Experts

Julie Nguyen is a relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University.