Back in the day, admitting you had tried online dating was sure to raise eyebrows and at least a few reactions of pity. Now, everyone around you is swiping through options in their spare time.
We love a good party as much as anyone. But the logistics of trying to get to know someone in a packed basement over blaring trap music while someone does body shots in the corner are a bit challenging. It's not exactly the prime environment for romance. Although maybe you're not looking for romance?
Updated 12 February Looking for dates, mates, or some casual hookups? Dating apps have it all — when you know which ones to use. With this guide, you can find The One for you. Credit: santypan, Luis Molinero — Shutterstock. There are so many dating platforms to choose from, but which app is best for you?
If you're feeling a little fed up with endlessly swiping and getting nowhere, worry not — you've come to the right place. Check out our list of the best dating apps below, so you can stop wishing love was in the air, and find it at your fingertips instead.
Credit: Africa Studio — Shutterstock. There are options to pay to upgrade the below apps.
But, these are the 14 best dating apps which you can download and use for free:. Pros: Tinder is one of, if not themost popular dating apps. As so many people use it, you're bound to find users to chat with, even if you're somewhere super rural. You can also use Tinder online if you head to their website. Cons: It's a tad too easy to accidentally swipe the wrong way — particularly with 'Super Likes' where the other person gets notified — so swipe with caution. Top tip: Avoid the typical Tinder cliches in your bio i. Be original and keep it light. Get Tinder » Bumble. Best for finding: Casual hookups, relationships, work contacts and new friends.
Pros: Women make the first move and the first couple of messages need to be sent within a certain time limit, encouraging faster-paced chats. The Bizz and BFF settings also mean you could find a job and a new best pal on here. For You'll need to be on Bumble often enough to keep up with the online limits to send the first message and reply, or you could end up losing matches with people you like.
Top tip: Bumble have found that, for 18—22 year olds, the best time to go on the Date setting of their app is between 7—10pm. Get Bumble » Grindr. Best for finding: Casual hookups and dates with gay, bisexual, trans and queer people.
Pros: Grindr is the biggest social networking app for its target audience. You can free find local dates and hookups on here. Top tip: You can share your location with college users on Grindr, but don't rush into doing this. We recommend asking for things like their Instagram and phone before sending your location, or meeting them in person so you're sure of their identity. Plus, it's always best to pick somewhere public to initially meet dates from apps.
Get Grindr » HER. Best for finding: Dates and friendships with lesbian, bisexual and queer people. They put a huge emphasis on the importance of equality and empowerment, and they usually run cool events when not impacted by coronavirus. Cons: You'll likely have to pay for their events and may need to travel to a major hub like London for them, so it could be pricey.
Top tip: If you do need to travel to get to HER's events, check out our guide to getting cheap train tickets to save money on the journey. Get HER » Hinge. Pros: "The dating app deed to be deleted" — Hinge's slogan makes it clear that this app can student you find a long-term relationship.
Its algorithm works out who you're 'Most Compatible' with and suggests people for you to meet. Cons: Each time you 'like' someone on here, they'll be notified and given the option to match with you, which can make it website a teeny bit more daunting than a mindless Tinder swipe. Top tip: On Hinge, you can add comments to your profile in response to some prompt questions — avoid dating for anything too predictable in your answers e.
Get Hinge » Match. Pros: Match is a really well-established dating site, aimed at helping people start serious relationships and find love. If this is what you're looking for, you'll be able to find like-minded people on here. Also, be sure to cancel your subscription when you stop using the site as it renews automatically. Top tip: Try Match for free before paying for a subscription — you should be able to get a good idea of whether it's right for you based on their basic dating features. Get Match » Happn. Pros: Happn shows you student you walk past, or are likely to website paths with, which might be more up your street if you'd ideally like to meet someone in person.
Plus, it should make it easier to arrange dates online you already live, work or socialise near each other. Cons: You can see when people were last active on the app, which can make it a little for in the early stages of dating between establishing you like each other and having the "let's delete our dating apps" chat. Top tip: Happn's college for city life where you'll be crossing paths with lo of people each day.
But, if you live somewhere more rural, we'd recommend an app like Hinge that shows you people based on your preferences, rather than just your location. Cons: It's less well known than some of the other apps in this list so it may be a bit harder to find matches in quieter areas. Top tip: Think about your dealbreaker questions carefully. Try to choose ones that genuinely reflect you and your interests, but that are also easy enough for others to work out.
Pros: eHarmony offers a free trial, letting you take a compatibility test and start seeing how other profiles match up to yours with a 'compatibility score'. You can also start interacting with other users by sending Smiles and Icebreakers. Cons: While you can try out the app for free, you'll need to pay a subscription fee to use all of the dating features on eHarmony.
Top tip: If you're looking for the ideal date location near you, have a read through the suggestions on the Great Date Guide on eHarmony's website — you could discover some lovely new places in your area. Get eHarmony » Feeld. Pros: Feeld is hugely inclusive, with over 20 options for sexual and gender identities.
Top tip: Feeld usually host lo of events like talks, parties and workshops which are great opportunities to meet like-minded people. Get Feeld » Once. Pros: Each day at noon, Once will show you a profile of someone it thinks would be a good match for you.
Plus, they've got a rather brilliant feature that replaces nude pics sent in chats with images of kittens and, honestly, we're sold. Cons: If you're in a hurry to meet someone, this might not be the app for you Top tip: Matches are chosen each day for active users who have been online within the last 48 hours.
So, even if you're not convinced by your match for the day, it's still worth checking the app every day, or every other day, to keep getting suggested matches. Get Once » Plenty of Fish. When registering for the app, you can expect to answer a series of questions so POF can more accurately work out who you'd be well-matched with. You're a catch, so leave out these types of pics on Plenty of Fish and you'll quickly get chatting with salmon great. Get POF » Badoo.
Pros: Search filters include whether people want to make new friendschat or date which helps you quickly identify the ones who are looking for similar things. Cons: You can see who's visited your profile, which isn't the nicest thing to know if they haven't liked you back. Top tip: Badoo have some useful safety tips on their site, including a suggestion to ask for recent photos within the last four weeks before meeting someone offline. Get Badoo » Coffee Meets Bagel.
Can't get a date in college? these apps can help
Pros: Coffee Meets Bagel's algorithm works out who you're likely to be compatible with and picks a selection of potential matches or bagels each day for you. This would suit anyone who's tired of the constant swiping on Tinder, but is also hoping for more than one match a day, like on Once.
Cons: If you don't check your bagels for a day, you could miss the chance to like them unless they're suggested to you again in future. Top tip: Any time you're not keen on the suggested matches, don't ignore them completely — responding with a pass can help the app's algorithm find you better, more suited bagels.
1. zoosk – best overall for college dating
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