We've seen some massive changes in 2020 but one thing has remained the same: people are still flocking to the best dating sites to find connection.
In March, online dating giant OkCupid released a survey of its users and their reaction to the coronavirus and online dating. According to the findings, 88% of its global user base said they were “still dating as usual” despite the spread of coronavirus. Perhaps even more shockingly, 92% of its users in the United States said they were not changing their habits.
And sure, a lot—a lot—has changed since March (which, let’s be real, feels like a complete lifetime ago). However, what those survey numbers show is that there is a massive hunger for online dating sites and the connections they help facilitate—pandemic or not.
Luckily, the best dating sites and apps appear to be adapting at a rapid clip to help fill the need for human connection even when we need to responsibly socially distance. Here are the best dating sites you can still use to find love even in quarantine.
1. Best for long-term relationships: OkCupid
According to a 2016 study of relationship apps, 32% of OkCupid users who matched with a partner made it to at least the one-month mark in their new relationship. What’s the secret to their long-term success? It’s simple: Women have to message first.
“Women are 2.5x more likely to get a response than men if they initiate,” OkCupid shared in 2015. “If you’re a woman who sends the first message, not only are you more likely to get more responses in general, but you’ll be having conversations with more attractive guys.”
How it works: OkCupid is super easy to sign up for and use. All you need to do is set up a bio, fill out a few questions about your lifestyle and dating habits so the algorithm can find you a few compatible humans, set up your parameters (age demographic, sexual orientation), then start chatting. If it's not safe to meet in person, try a virtual date.
Price: The service offers a free option; however, users can upgrade to premium for $9.95 for one month, $7.95 per month for three months, or $4.95 per month for six months.
2. Best for over 40: Match
Age is nothing but a number when it comes to online dating sites and apps. As long as you’re a consenting adult, you can feel free to sign up for them all. However, if you’re a person over 40 looking for matches who are also over the age of 40, there is no better place to be than Match.
Not only is it a true O.G. when it comes to dating sites, but it also boasts an impressive over-40 user base. In 2019, Match shared with the New York Post, 69% of its user base was between the ages of 39 and 74. The rest, the website said, are millennials.
How it works: As with OkCupid, the user journey at Match starts with signing up on the website. Then users fill out their profile with a photo and short bio section. Next, users are asked to fill in a questionnaire about their likes and dislikes, political views, lifestyle habits, and more.
Price: Match does not come with a free version; however, it does come with several subscription plans including $38.99 for one month, $20.99 per month for three months, $18.99 per month for six months, or $17.99 per month for a year. Picking a plan is required for signup.
3. Best for future globe-trotters: Tinder
Now’s the perfect time to find love and a little bit of wanderlust with Tinder. The famed dating app is usually well-known for its quick hookup potential with others in a user’s surrounding area, but right now Tinder is taking swiping global.
Tinder announced it’s now offering its premium Passport feature, typically between $9.99 and $19.99 per month, free to all of its users. The feature offers the option to swipe left or right on anyone on the app anywhere in the world.
“Our hope is that you use the Passport feature to virtually transport yourself out of self-quarantine to anywhere in the world,” the company said in a statement. “You can check in on folks in their hometown, college town, or sister city, and find those across the world who are going through the same things. If nothing else, you can learn how to say ‘hey’ in another language.” Who knows, maybe you’ll meet the love of your life now and go on a global adventure together later.
How it works: Tinder asks users to sign up with a name and email as well as a location. Next, users create a bio and add some photos. Then all that’s left to do is swipe left (no interest) or right (interested) on all the people around you.
Price: Tinder is free, but it does come with a few paid upgrade alternatives.
4. Best for ‘Love Is Blind’ Fans: Love Is Quarantine
If you have a Netflix account, you likely burned through Love Is Blind while setting up your new work-from-home station in the early days of quarantine. But if you can't get the dating “experiment” out of your head, you can join in on the fun with Love is Quarantine.
Thi Q. Lam and his roommate Rance Nix became enamored of the show and thought they could replicate the same experience on Instagram. Here’s how it works: Users sign up to enter their “pods,” which are really just cells in a Google spreadsheet. Rather than sitting on opposite sides of a wall, users have dates over the phone. The sessions are one-night-only affairs. Those who just want to binge the entire thing can simply follow along on Instagram, where Nix and Lam post updates from the dates.
“Some of the dates went really well,” Rance told the New York Times after the first night. “Some of these couples were talking on the phone for over an hour. We’d text to check up on them, and they were still talking.”
How it works: All you need to do is shoot the team a DM to get added to the Google doc, but be warned, this thing is super popular so you may not make it in.
Price: It’s free.
5. Best for college kids: OKZoomer
It’s tough to be a college kid right now. Not only are students having to adapt to online classes and seeing graduations get canceled, but they’re also missing out on what could arguably be the best social years of their lives. Dating included. But don’t worry too much, as there’s already an app tailor-made for this new-school digital generation. And it’s known as OKZoomer.
“As the world moves towards practicing social distancing, our social lives don’t have to suffer,” the website states. “Whether you are looking for love or just interested in finding new friends, OKZoomer is here to connect you.”
The service, started by Yale University juniors Ileana Valdez and Patrycja Gorska, started as a joke on the meme page Ivy League Meme Consortium, Rolling Stone reported. However, the duo quickly realized that OKZoomer could be the real deal.
“In person and on campus, a lot of people are afraid to shoot their shot or flirt,” Jorge Valdez, Ileana’s brother (who helped build the site), told Rolling Stone. “But when it comes to this, it’s kind of liberating because potentially you don’t have to be seeing these people you’re talking to once you go back to school or back to where you’re living.”
How it works: Users sign up with an accredited university email (yes, you must be a current college student to join), fill out the website’s form, and get ready to match.
Price: OKZoomer is currently free.
6. Best for lesbians and queer womxn: HER
It's not easy looking for an LGBTQ+ relationship on dating apps geared towards straight people. Thankfully, HER is a dating app for queer womxn by queer womxn with "the goal of creating
a more inclusive future" in the dating app space.
With about 4 million users, according to the website, HER's particular claim to fame is forging communities through lesbian and queer events as well as virtual events (you know, because of COVID-19).
How it works: the app has a very similar system as Hinge and Bumble. Once you're signed on you can swipe through accounts. However, you can also check out “the feed” and choose various communities like “Newly Out,” “40+,” “Queer Womxn of Color,” and more. Your “feed” will then be filled with posts from other members of those communities as well as suggested events.
Price: Free! However, you can upgrade to a premium membership to see users “online now” as well as other upgrades. You can purchase one month starting at $14.99, six months starting at $59.99, or one year starting at $89.99.
7. Best for the wary: Bumble
Bumble bills itself as more than a dating app. It's a way, the company explains, to build “healthy relationships” and a way for users to feel “empowered” while making connections. And not just romantic ones. The dating app is also a space to connect with new friends and grow your professional network.
How it works: Bumble is all about women leading the conversation. Though it's open to all genders, when users of the opposite sex match on Bumble, “women are required to make the first move.” If they don't make a move in 24 hours, the match disappears. To get started, download the app, sign up, create a profile, and start scrolling through potential romantic, professional, or friendly matches.
Price: The app is free but does offer in-app upgrades like Bumble Boost, which extends matches for an additional 24 hours, and Bumble Coins, which allows users to send a “super swipe” to make an even better first impression.
8. Best for breaking the ice: XO
We've all seen one too many cringe-worthy pickup lines in dating apps. In May 2020, XO launched in an effort to help potential matches break the ice with online games.
How it works: According to Forbes, users sign up, fill out their own profiles, and fill out a series of match preferences. Once the user finds a match the first “date” begins. That means entering the XO game room for an ice breaker game, which can include word games, puzzles, or drawing challenges. The games are meant to act as a soft introduction, as well as a shared bonding experience so users can eventually take it offline and already have a shared memory to discuss over dinner.
Price: XO is free, but does come with in-app purchases.
9. Best for minimalists: Facebook Dating
In 2019, Facebook rolled out its version of a dating app, aptly called Facebook Dating. The new service allows users to create a standalone profile just for the dating app and to connect with others who may be looking in and out of their network.
How it works: Users sign up to use the service outside their regular Facebook page. It comes with its own security setup, so no need to worry that you'll accidentally post a private dating message to your public wall. The app uses information about you including pages you like, interests, and even events you've said you'll attend to find matches. The app also integrates Facebook's “Secret Crush" feature, which allows users to note up to 9 people they have a secret crush on. If the person returns the crush, the two will match.
Price: Facebook Dating is free, but be warned, it does come with plentiful ads.
10. Best for friend groups: Ship
Do you trust your friends with your love life more than you trust yourself? Then Ship may be the app for you since it lets users swipe for their friends. This means that even if your best friend is in a relationship, they can download the app and help find your perfect match.
"Dating apps are a huge part of today’s dating culture and people in relationships are begging their single friends to let them swipe for them," the creators said in a statement. "We felt like there could be a better way to incorporate your friends into your online dating experience."
How it works: Users sign up and set up their profile—either as a dater or a matchmaker—and then invite their friends to join their "crew" so they can swipe for prospects. They’re all put together in a group chat within the app where they can share profiles. Of course, Ship still requires the single person and the potential match to like each other before they can chat, so in the end, it's always up to the dater, not the matchmaker, to decide if they're down or not.
Price: At the moment Ship is free, with no premium membership—or features—offered.
11. Best for music lovers: Tastebuds
The Tastebuds dating app lets you chat with people who share your love for music. In fact, it's one of the few sites that cares less about the actual dating aspect and focuses more on matching people who have the same affinity in regards to songs, bands, concerts, and more. If you're an old school romantic, there's even an option to send your match a mixed tape.
How it works: Users can sign up to Tastebuds using their very easy process which lets you choose from a list of musicians so the app can suggest similar matches to you. With the option of "concert buddy" or "new friend," users also have the opportunity to seek out more than just a date. This can be a great option for those who aren’t looking to get into a serious relationship right away.
Price: It’s completely free and comes with a few monthly premium plans with more features.
12. Best for blue-checkmarks: Raya
Raya, which was launched in February 2015, is an elite, members-only app for "dating, networking, and making new friends," according to its website. It's been dubbed the dating app for rich and famous people because members have reported coming across the profiles of A-list stars. Even Demi Lovato has used it, and tons more have reportedly been spotted on it.
How it works: Though downloading Raya is as easy as downloading any other app, you actually have submit an application and be approved before using it. Once a user's status changes from from "waitlisted" to “accepted,” they're in and have access to users across the globe. As for their profile photo, Raya lets you curate photos of yourself and set them to a soundtrack.
Price: Once accepted, members have the option to purchase a 1, 6, or 12 month auto-renewing membership, with costs starting at $7.99 per month.
13. Best for workaholics: The League
The first words that come up on The League's website are, “We know your time is valuable, so tell us your preferences and we’ll handle the scouting — and the vetting — for you.” Now if that isn't the most finance bro thing I've ever heard…
So yeah, if you're the Barney Stinson of your friend group, The League might be the perfect dating app for you. I joke, but in December 2019, The League launched an option that might just change the dating app game forever—especially in the time of Coronavirus.
Now, you can hop on three video dates in nine minutes with other users who match your preferences. “As sparks typically fly in just moments, these mini-dates save users time and energy—all from the comfort of your couch,” the website reads.
How it works: Once you download The League and create your profile—including syncing your account with your LinkedIn, btw—you'll either be put on the waitlist or pay to become an immediate member. Then, it works pretty much like every standard dating app—unless you'd like to go a round with League Live or join some groups.
Price: If you're itching to get on without waiting, you have the option to join as a member—you'll also receive 5 prospects/day, see your “stats,” and more. For $299 or $99/month you've got yourself a 3 month membership, for $399 or $67/month you can sign up for 6 months, and for a month-to-month plan you can pay $199/month.
Originally Appeared on Glamour