Online dating is more popular than ever before – but do you need to spend money on a Match.com subscription or is there a free site out there’s that worth your time?
One advantage of totally free dating sites is the sheer number of users you’ll find.
But that comes with a caveat – you’ll likely need to invest more time screening profiles for people you consider “dateable.” The disadvantage of free dating sites is they tend to attract scammers & bots like moths to a flame, and you’ll find plenty of inactive and sporadic users too.
That being said – it is possible to meet incredible, relationship-worthy people without paying a dime.
These are the 4 best free dating sites to try first:
OkCupid is arguably the best free site for meeting intriguing people in existence. Not only is it incredibly popular, it’s also the most inclusive dating site out there with a full spectrum of orientations and gender identities.
About half of OkCupid users are between 30 and 49 years old, with the remaining users split about evenly between under 30 and 50+.
That means whether you’re looking for casual fun or a serious long-term relationship, there are plenty of people of all ages to choose from in any large city.
OkCupid has a handy feature they call the “Match Percentage.” It a series of questions to measure compatibility, but with Match Percentage, you choose what answers you want your partner to have for each question.
For instance, you can specify that your match’s answer should be “No” regarding whether or not she’s smoked in the last 6 months. Answering the questions is worth your time, because the more you answer, the higher your match score with other compatible users can be.
PlentyOfFish (POF) is one of the most popular free online dating sites in the world.
It has one of the largest dating pools of any site, so you’ll want to use the incredibly detailed search function to help narrow down your results.
Looking for a hot blonde Sagittarius who loves cats and speaks a second language? You can specify that and more – check out this advanced search guide to POF for all the tips & tricks you need to get the most out of this free dating site.
Tinder is still the reigning king of dating apps, and it made this list because you can also use Tinder online.
While you can find serious relationship seekers on Tinder, it’s more ideal for those interested in something more casual.
Forget the compatibility tests and multi-paragraph profiles, Tinder is all about first impressions. Users swipe right or left based on photos and short, 500-character or less profiles to find matches. The app can be addictive, and it’s a lot less tedious than traditional dating sites.
Like Tinder, Bumble started as a dating app and later added an online version.
Bumble is the better bet if you're looking for a more serious relationship. The app's founder designed the platform to give women a break from all the unsolicited (and unwanted) messages they get on apps like Tinder – only women can send an icebreaker.
There's also a time limit, which promotes user engagement. Once you match, the first message must be sent within 24 hours. The recipient then has 24 hours to respond. If both conditions aren't met, the match will expire. But after that, you can exchange messages with no further countdown restrictions.
Bumble does have a premium subscription available. It's called Bumble Boost and has a few handy features, but it's really just icing on the cake. Free members can use the app effectively to meet high-quality local singles.
Want Free Dating Advice, Straight From The Experts?
Free dating sites are a convenient way to connect with amazing singles you may never have crossed paths with otherwise. But free = popular = crazy competition.
You’ll want to put maximum effort into how you present yourself online if you want to attract the best matches – and get them interested in meeting you face to face.
VIDA Select’s blog is packed with actionable advice, tips and tricks that will help you meet incredible singles. Just click the link to search for everything from profile and photo help to proven first message examples!