From Twitter reply guys to other forms of online harassment to straight-up cyberstalking, letting women exist in peace seems to be a hard concept for society to grasp. When it comes to dating apps specifically, unfortunately, some people assume that merely having a profile is an invitation to send creepy comments and overstep boundaries, so the chance of women enduring such unsettling experiences feels doubled. The onslaught of men grasping at straws for attention with messages saying “think they saw you somewhere” or requesting nudes in their opening line is an online dating specialty. Queer women on dating apps face all of these same challenges, plus an extra shop of horrors run by fetishization, ignorant cis straight people, and the feeling of not being queer enough.
Female dating site
Being a woman on the internet is hard. At times scary and exhausting, too.
Is it easier to shoot your shot by simply using a hot selfie on your Instagram story as bait for your crush to swipe up on? I mean, that’s a classic tactic that’ll never die. But unless you and said crush are already in some sort of flirtationship and already follow each other on social media, finding love, a hookup, or someone to grab a drink with could happen a lot faster with the right dating app. At least, it definitely offers more opportunities than waiting to meet someone at work or agreeing to a blind date set up by your mom.
We promise you have more options than Tinder
Though it may have a bad rep, the OG swiping app Tinder can truly be a great place to meet genuine people who are open to getting serious, find a reliable friend with benefits, or get a good old-fashioned confidence boost from a mutual right swipe. But if you’re frustrated with horny jerks disguising themselves as relationship seekers or actual relationship seekers who can’t handle it when you say you’re just looking for a hookup, opting for a dating site more finely tuned to what you’re looking for lets you narrow the pool and save some time.
Maybe you can’t stand starting every conversation from scratch. Maybe your biggest fear is ending up on a date with someone who doesn’t care about voting. Instead of a half-assed bio, dating apps that delve into someone’s hobbies, favorite movies, career goals, or political views before even talking to them provide a wealth of clever icebreakers to ensure that you aren’t going into things blindly.
Dating apps are trying to make things safer IRL
Meeting someone from the internet in person for the first time is nerve-wracking for anyone. But for women, it can dredge up the same fear that occurs when walking alone past a big group of men. Though there are always some precautions you can take, having in-app safety features can go a long way in making you more comfortable with online dating.
Match Group is making strides toward a safer dating experience: Tinder was the first to unveil features coming out of its partnership with Noonlight, a safety app that tracks the location of users and notifies authorities if there are concerns. Before heading out on a date, Tinder users can log info about where they’re going and who they’re meeting, as well as hit a panic button to alert authorities if there’s an emergency. (Match Group plans to roll out the same features for its other apps, like Hinge and OkCupid, later.) As of March 2022, after a year of testing, all Tinder users can access free background checks on their matches.
How the pandemic has changed dating for the better
COVID changed online dating dynamics forever. “Double vaxxed up and boosted” being a genuine turn-on is the obvious addition to 2022 dating checklists, but there’s something about dating discourse that we think could positively affect communication between strangers in the long run.
Waiting to meet each other and getting to know a match through FaceTime is kind of the norm now — and people don’t really want that to change, even once the pandemic has fully subsided. For the women who’d prefer to gather crumbs of someone’s vibe before meeting in person, online dating’s shift to video dating in 2020 could prove comforting. It goes without saying that you’re never required to meet up with a match in person immediately, but it’d be nice not to be pestered about it.
The communication skills gained through hashing out COVID-related issues aren’t for nothing, either. People have gotten comfortable with bringing up personal boundaries and bonding over universal anxieties with someone they met on a dating app — both of which could benefit women online. Tinder thinks the honesty will carry over when things are back to normal, and hopefully the assholes will continue to weed themselves out.
What are the best dating sites for women?
Here are the best dating sites and apps for single women looking for a date, a movie buddy, a friend with benefits, or a romantic commitment.
Best For Most Women
- Free version: Yes
- Three months of Premium: $121.23 ($40.41 per month)
- Six months of Premium: $159.06 ($26.51 per month)
- One year of Premium: $277.32 ($23.11 per month)
Any woman thinking seriously about getting serious in a relationship has thought about Match at least once. Its decades in the business bring constantly-evolving insight to the table for singles looking for that spark. But if you’re expecting a corny questionnaire and ancient graphics reflective of the fact that it was born in the 90s, think again.
One of Match’s shining points of consistency over the years has been its well-populated but balanced user base. There’s a near-even split between men and women, users who don’t have kids and users who do have kids, and a pretty stacked feed of people to match with even if you’re looking for love in a less-populated area.
Match (no more “.com”) has totally reconstructed its questionnaire to be less of a tedious interrogation and more of a conversational probe into how you’d react to realistic situations — both with a partner and, say, a neighbor who needs help at 3. a.m. The probe into your daily habits and values (plus the ability to mark traits that are deal-breakers) ensures that match sets you up with someone whose ideal lifestyle matches yours. The meshing of playfulness and rational thinking downs the pressure of signing up for a paid dating site, while still giving you all the benefits of being on a paid dating site with other people serious about finding love.
Best Serious App that Feels Casual
- Free version: Yes
- One month of Preferred: $34.99
- Three months of Preferred: $64.99 ($21.66 per month)
- Six months of Preferred: $99.99 ($16.66 per month)
Having a profile on Tinder probably means you have one on Hinge and Bumble, too. The big three rapid-fire apps may seem interchangeable, but Hinge has an arsenal of unique profile criteria and a data-based algorithm that sets it apart from competitors who simply throw everyone in a 10-mile radius in your direction.
The chance of a man asking if you’re DTF in within the first five minutes is never zero. But Hinge’s distinct calling to people who are looking for a relationship (or at least are open to being cuffed) downs the likelihood of women being pursued with a poorly-timed peach emoji. Free users are also limited to 8 likes per day, so you can feel better knowing that likely you’re not matching with people that are a little too swipe-happy.
Despite the fact that we’re actively seeking out new dating apps and feel a rush every time a cute contender swipes right back, no one wants to be on these — because deleting such apps probably means you’ve found someone. That’s Hinge’s whole thing. It seems to be working in the real world: The “We met” feature that asks users how the first date went found that 72 percent said they’d be down for a second date. (If your date said anything offensive, you can report that to Hinge, too.)
Best For Liberal Women
- Free version: Yes
- One month of OkCupid Basic: $14.99
- Three months of OkCupid Basic: $29.97 ($9.99 per month)
- Six months of OkCupid Basic: $44.94 ($7.49 per month)
- One month of OkCupid Premium: $24.99
- Three months of OkCupid Premium: $49.98 ($16.66 per month)
- Six months of OkCupid Premium: $74.94 ($12.49 per month)
Is your worst nightmare going on a date with someone super hot just to find out they don’t care about women’s issues? OkCupid understands that the hottest, coolest person in the world isn’t that hot or cool if they’re tone-deaf when it comes to the current social justice climate.
Users can illuminate the issues they hold dear and weed out people they’d argue with by answering deal-breakers like “Would you date someone who keeps a gun in the house?” or “Should the government require children be vaccinated for preventable diseases?” As one of the most progressive dating sites on the market, OkCupid is known for its decision to let all users choose their pronouns and add a Black Lives Matter badge to their profile. Per OkCupid’s own stats, liberal women and people who vote have better luck on the site.
Of course, politics aren’t the only determining factor in romance. OKCupid has in-depth user bios derived from questions that are smart, on the cusp of modern dating, and dive into love languages without being cliché. OKC slaps a compatibility percentage on the profile of every person you come across, too.
Best For Finding A Spouse
- Free version: Yes
- Six months of Premium Light: $359.40 ($59.90 per month)
- One year of Premium Plus: $478.8 ($39.90 per month)
- Two years of Premium Extra: $717.60 ($29.90 per month)
Ever seen a commercial for eharmony and wondered if a dating site that corny actually works? Oddly enough, it does. A spokesperson for the site says it’s been used by 54 million people and is apparently responsible for 4 percent of U.S. marriages. Does that automatically mean you’re going to walk down the aisle within the first year? Maybe not, but it at least narrows your options to singles who are looking to be exclusive, meet the family, or move in together.
What was once a doozy of a sign-up process is now short, sweet, and free of the weird religious questions that held it back from being a heavy hitter for the younger crowd. The comprehensive questionnaire covers 32 dimensions (up from 29) of what makes a happy relationship. Instead of blatantly asking if you get mad easily or if you’re emotionally stable, eharmony may ask how you handle apologizing after a fight or if a certain action would piss you off. These hypotheticals draw more natural responses, and a few other fun ones are thrown in to cover hobbies, traveling, and other factors that make good ice breakers.
It should be noted that eharmony hasn’t always been a welcoming place to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Following a 2010 lawsuit, their gay and lesbian spin-off site Compatibility Partners was folded into eharmony’s overall site, but users on Reddit as recently as 2021 say that it still seems geared more toward straight people. Only in December of 2021 did they allow users interested in dating men and women see both genders at the same time, and so far, there is no support for nonbinary users.
Best For Queer Women
- Free version: Yes
- One month of Premium: $24.99
Between creepy men pretending to be women, entitled men thinking you care about their lesbian fetish, and straight girls looking for a third for a threesome with her and her boyfriend, most heteronormative dating sites don’t give queer women a great shot at finding a relationship. HER, an award-winning app made for queer women by queer women, is the place to try if you’re tired of the only lesbian you know being your ex.
As the user base of over four million grows at a steady pace (especially in cities), HER could widen your dating pool beyond the people you already know IRL. In 2019, HER revamped its profiles to let users get more creative in categories like gender, sexuality, pronouns, diet preferences (like veganism), and star signs, as well as a “What does this mean?” field in the sex, gender, and pronoun categories to offer a more well-rounded understanding of identity. There’s also a space for a text bio where you can showcase your sense of humor or describe what kind of relationship you’re looking for, as well as more niche info like “newly out,” “in a relationship,” and “travelers.”
Best For Women Who Hate Unsolicited Messages
- Free version: Yes
- One week of Premium: $19.99
- One month of Premium: $39.99
- Three months of Premium: $79.99 ($26.66 per month)
- Lifetime of Premium: $229.99
In an attempt to correct one of the common complaints of dating apps — that women get spammed with tons of creepy messages — women (and now, nonbinary people) are required to message first with Bumble. It pushes some women out of their comfort zone, but like Tinder, you’ll at least know that someone also swiped right on you before making a move. It also takes the pressure off of dudes who feel like they need to start the conversation every time. (For same-sex matches, either party can break the ice.)
Matches expire after 24 hours so you can’t agonize over that opening line for too long, and your match list won’t be filled with people you forgot you matched with 57 weeks ago. This is clearly not the ideal setup for someone who wants to sit back and wait for the algorithm to have five hotties waiting each time the app is opened.
You’ll see pictures and short bios of potential matches in your area and can swipe depending on whether you’re interested. It’s a pretty close mock of Tinder, except for the fact that Bumble relieves the anxiety of accidentally swiping left on a hottie by letting you backtrack.
Best For Career-Focused Women
- Free version: Yes
- One month of Premium Classic: $54.95
- Three months of Premium Light: $104.85 ($34.95 per month)
- Six months of Premium Comfort: $149.70 ($24.95 per month)
A difference in work ethic and professional schedules can really throw a wrench into even the most head-over-heels relationships. For those unwilling to budge when it comes to their partner’s educational values and career goals, EliteSingles attempts to offer more specificity where eharmony and match fall short.
EliteSingles boasts that 82% of its members are college grads, most being between 33 and 50 years old. That more mature user base pays a steep subscription fee to use the site each month — a clue that EliteSingles is targeted toward more established folks with disposable income.
Rather than being thrown into an endless pool of profiles, EliteSingles attempts to match you through 29 algorithms rooted in the Five Factor Personality Test. The site is on the hunt for singles to complement your attachment style, selfishness, and more stuff that you should try to be honest about. The boring stuff is broken up by chill questions like “Do you like sleeping with the window open?” and “Which of these foods would you like the best?”
Best For Finding A Friend With Benefits
- Free version: Yes
- One month of Tinder Plus: $9.99
- Six months of Tinder Plus: $29.99 ($5 per month)
- One year of Tinder Plus: $39.99 ($3.33 per month)
- One month of Tinder Gold: $29.99
- Six months of Tinder Gold: $89.99 ($15 per month)
- One year of Tinder Gold: $119.99 ($10 per month)
- One month of Tinder Platinum: $39.99
- Six months of Tinder Platinum: $119.99 ($20 per month)
- One year of Tinder Platinum: $149.99 ($12.50 per month)
Love it or hate it, if you’re thinking of dating apps, you’re thinking of Tinder. They pioneered the now-ubiquitous swiping function, revolutionizing the world of online dating and boasting 1.6 billion swipes per day. What started out as strictly a hookup app has turned into one of the biggest matchmakers in the world.
FWIW, Tinder is also a pioneer of dating app safety. Its emergency features like a panic button and anti-catfishing technology were among the first of their kind, and more recently, the company announced that users can run background checks on matches.
Tinder may not want to advertise as such, but we all know what it’s mostly used for. You’re quite literally deciding if you want to interact with someone based on nothing but profile pictures and a quote from The Office, so yeah, you can see how getting laid would be the main goal of most users. But hey — we all know those couples who met on Tinder and have been together for years. It’s fast, easy, and if there’s one app that even the shyest, most skeptical people will be on, it’s Tinder.
Best For Anonymous Hookups
- Free version: Yes
- One week: $14.99
- One month: $29.99
Women freely expressing their sexuality online is a beautiful thing — one that can be soiled quickly by male entitlement. Whether you’re not comfortable with putting “sex only” in your Tinder bio for the locals to see or you’re simply a practicer of non-attachment with the people you bang, Pure is a safer, hip solution that gives all the vibes of a sex-based site without the nasty ads everywhere.
App rules urge you to “pretend like you’re strangers afterwards,” making no-strings-attached the only name of the game here. This hella millennial app is a sex-positive, 18+ safe space that features some pretty cool art — the blueprint of the truly modern hookup app. Just be sure to communicate your boundaries in your bio.
Selfies, bio, conversations, matches, and likes self-destruct every 24 hours, promoting spur-of-the-moment, borderline anonymous hookups. No nudity is allowed and any photos sent in messages can’t be saved. The app will ask for your phone number, but that’s just to make sure you’re a real person. The app uses your geolocation and sends out the sex version of an Uber request, though the sparse user base might have your searches suggesting the same few people.
Best For Women Over 50
Credit: Silver Singles
- One month of Premium Classic: $34.95
- Three months of Premium Light: $68.85 ($22.95 per month)
- Six months of Premium Comfort: $107.70 ($17.95 per month)
Dating over 50 means that, more than likely, this is your second or third attempt at love. When Match or eharmony’s user bases still pose too much of a never-married-with-no-kids crowd, SilverSingles is here to let you know that putting yourself back out there doesn’t have to be scary.
You’re not alone: 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce. It’s no surprise that many men and women are finding themselves in the online dating world during their golden years. Because SilverSingles wants to ensure that your next relationship is your happily ever after, the sign-up process and questionnaires will take a good bit of time to assess the type of partner you are. The site will use your info to send you five of its best matches per day.
A sister site to EliteSingles, SilverSingles uses the same intense compatibility system that EliteSingles does, bringing in the popular big five personality traits to assess five levels of your being: Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. If you’ve heard of Senior Singles Meet in the past, SilverSingles is that same site with a rebrand — so they’ve actually been working on mastering the five factor model in tandem with senior dating for about two decades.
Best For Single Or Future Parents
- Free version: Yes
Single parents (or people who definitely want kids in the future) shouldn’t have to be worried about dropping the kid bomb on a potential date — because with the right person, it’s not a bomb at all. That’s the idea behind heybaby, a dating app specifically for the huge chunk of online daters who are focused on raising a family.
With the children stuff already given the green light by both parties, heybaby makes it easy to move on to other fun aspects of getting to know someone. The minimalist swipe-through questionnaire dives into lots of introvert versus extrovert stuff, plus chill parenting questions like “Dirty clothes are everywhere. What do you do?” and answers like “I can’t live like an animal” or “I’m neat but I’m not a freak.”
Best as a Last Resort
- Free version: Yes
- One month of Premium: $29.99
- Three months of Premium: $59.99 ($20 per month)
- Six months of Premium: $79.99 ($13.33 per month)
- One year of Premium: $119.99 ($10 per month)
What initially began as a Facebook app developed in 2007 has grown into a company with 40 million users in more than 80 countries. Rather than asking its users for dating questions, Zoosk(opens in a new tab) picks dates for its users based on quick questions about physical appearance and religion, and then keeps tabs on who you talk to the most to get a better idea of what you’re after. There are a lot of flirty little ways to spark a conversation without having to actually give an opening line, but you’ll know next to nothing about the person going into it.
When Zoosk switched from a social media app to a legit dating site, it was more or less in a league of its own. Incorporating “liking” photos and having a similar look as a Facebook feed was super attractive to young, single people… in the early 2000s. The problem is that Zoosk hasn’t changed much since then. It’s plain, riddled with dead or fake profiles, and there certainly aren’t any modern tweaks like OkCupid’s politics-related ice breakers or Match’s overhauled questionnaire. The whole “Zoosk coin” thing is old, too.
Zoosk is free to sign up, but you’ll need a paid subscription to do basically anything. Not only is there a fee on the end of every message, but Reddit users complain about random charges to their account and ignored requests to cancel their subscriptions. The company also uses its own form of currency called “Zoosk coins” that are available for purchase. Daters can use these for features like adding a “boost” to their own profiles in search or sending another user a virtual gift like roses. The whole coin system feels less like romance and more like you’re playing some sort of pop-up ad game, but they’re there.
For Those Looking For Sex
Credit: Adult Friend Finder
- Free version: Yes
- One month: $39.95
- Three months: $80.85 ($26.95 per month)
- One year: $239.40 ($19.95 per month)