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10 of the Best Online Dating Apps to Find Relationships

Oprah Magazine logo Oprah Magazine 8/19/2019 Ashley Mateo
These online dating apps will help you find what you're looking for, whether it's a single over 40, a serious relationship, or just a little bit of fun. © PM Images These online dating apps will help you find what you're looking for, whether it's a single over 40, a serious relationship, or just a little bit of fun.

Online dating can feel overwhelming. It’s not just the judgments based off thumbnail photos and one-line bios, or awkwardness of sending direct messages (or DMs) to strangers. The sheer number of apps and users can make simply swiping seem like a daunting task.

In fact, the online dating audience is expected to grow from 33.9 million users to 37.5 million users by 2023, according to data from Statista. And by 2040, eHarmony predicts that 70 percent of couples will have met online. It used to be tough enough to make a connection in a bar; now, the entire dating world is at your fingertips.

You can make that world feel smaller, though—you just have to find the right app. And with the market still exploding, you can find dating apps so niche they’ll pair you up based on your interest in farming, bacon, or even beard-stroking (yes, seriously). But if you’re looking to make a broader connection with, say, someone over 40, newly dating after divorce, or simply want to find someone to take to a pumpkin patch, here's where to start.

1. Match

Match is the second most popular online dating app according to PCMag’s survey of 2,000 people (the most popular is Tinder). As one of the OG dating services (it’s moved from website-only to a website and app), Match has a specific appeal to those between 45 and 65; additional research by SurveyMonkey found that 58 percent of adults 45-54 years old use Match, more than double the percent who use Tinder. You can download it for free, although that will restrict you to browsing; if you want to actually message potential partners, subscriptions start at $21.99 a month.

2. Tinder

Tinder may have brought on "hookup culture," but it’s still one of the top dating apps in the U.S. It has 8.54 million users, the most of any other dating app surveyed by Statista. That means you have a pretty solid chance of eventually matching with someone who piques your interest—even if it takes a lot of left-swiping to get there. The app is free, but you can access premium features starting at $14.49 a month.

3. OurTime

Dating apps aren’t just for millennials; 20 percent of internet users between the ages of 55 to 64 have used a dating app or service, according to a poll from technology and research company Morning Consult. OurTime turns the idea of hookup culture on its head; instead, it encourages users to search for pen pals, friends, dates, long-term relationships and marriage partners. And according to Statista, nearly a million users in the 50+ age group are on the app.

RELATED SLIDESHOW: The stereotypical dating profile for each zodiac sign (provided by Astrocenter US)


4. Bumble

Bumble set itself apart from all the other dating services crowding the app store by requiring women to make the first move once a match is made. You also only get 24 hours to send a message, unless you invest in a Boost membership, which starts at $11.99 a month. Women love the app because it cuts down on the number of unsolicited messages, and men love it—in fact, 58 percent of the respondents who preferred Bumble in PCMag’s survey were guys—because it takes some of the pressure off initiating.

5. Plenty of Fish

Another one of the original dating websites-turned-apps, POF had 90 million users in its heydey. It’s still popular (Statista ranked it as number two), and the app claims you’re 2.7 times more likely to enter a conversation in your first 24 hours than on other apps. In polling its female users, the app found that 44 percent were single mothers—and that they find a partner 10 percent faster than the average user. Download and swipe for free, and upgrade to add more photos or show up first to potential partners starting at $19.99.

6. Hinge

After filling in the app’s questionnaire and prompts (think standard icebreakers like: “my biggest pet peeve is…” and “my go-to karaoke song is…”), Hinge will start matching you with users who share common interests. The algorithm also serves you with your “Most Compatible” matches—who you’re eight times more likely to go out with, they say. And not only does the app show you how many people have liked you, it also tells you what they liked about you, making it easy to start a conversation.

7. OKCupid

OKCupid’s algorithm uses a series of questions to determine what “percentage” you’ll match with any of its five million users. That compatibility-driven focus is especially appealing to women, who made up 58 percent of the respondents who preferred this app in PCMag’s poll. It’s also super inclusive, offering 12 gender identities and 20 sexual orientations so you can define yourself however you want and match with exactly who you’re looking for.

8. Zoosk

Originally a Facebook app, Zoosk is now one of the largest dating sites out there, with 40 million users since its launch in 2007. Today, it has over a million active users, according to Statista—and 500,000 of those are paying members, which means more than half of the users are seriously committed to find a match. Instead of forcing you to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, the app’s algorithm notes who you’re interacting with to better serve up potential matches.

9. SingleParentMeet

As tough as navigating dating apps can be, imagine using one like Tinder to find someone who can relate or understand where you’re coming from as a single parent. SingleParentMeet, which has been around for two decades, is the largest online dating service for single parents with more than 1,000 new profiles added each day. You can search for matches and send “flirts” with a free account, but to send and receive messages or call and text without sharing your personal contact info, you’ll have to subscribe for a premium membership starting at $25.99 a month.

10. eHarmony

At this point, eHarmony is a household name. It’s Match’s biggest competitor, and it’s two largest age groups are 30- to 44-year-olds and 55- to 64-year-olds. The sign-up process—which includes a very detailed, 150-question questionnaire—is a slog, but the brand once claimed to be responsible for creating 4% of marriages in the U.S. and guarantees that if you're not satisfied in three months, they'll give you another three months free.

RELATED VIDEO: Modern Love: A look at the pros and cons of online dating (provided by KPNX-TV Phoenix)

 

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