Here’s the question: What free dating sites are actually free? While some want to charge you or will say they’re free until you actually want to talk to somebody, there are tons of free dating sites that cost you nothing.
We’ve listed actual free dating apps and have included highlights of the paid (cheap) version of each in case you’re looking for a little more features.
TIP: Always be careful when using any of these sites or apps. Meet in public places and let friends know where you’re going to be.
1. Use the free dating app and site, POF, for the largest number of users.
POF, previously called Plenty of Fish, has been in the free online dating scene for a long time and has been free since its founding days.
The free site and app offer chat, instant messaging, forums, meet and greets, as well as the ability to set detailed search and contact preferences.
On POF you can upgrade your account to get rid of ads, upload more pictures, see when others viewed your profile and more. The upgraded account costs $7.50/month for a one year plan, $10.00/month for a six-month plan or $12.33/month for a three-month plan.
2. Check out OkCupid for question-based matches.
OkCupid is a free dating site and app that uses a person’s answers to user-generated questions to find matches.
OkCupid also has a paid subscription called A-list where you can see who liked you before you liked them, skip the ads and more. To join A-list, members pay $9.95 for one month or $6.95/month for six months.
3. Ladies have to message first on the Bumble dating app.
This free dating app is different from all the others because it requires the lady to make the first move. Once two people have matched, ladies have 24 hours to reach out.
Bumble Boost is the upgraded version where users can rematch with expired matches, see who’s already liked them and extend the 24-hour timeframe a woman has to reach out. This costs $8.99 for one week, $24.99 for one week, $16.66/month for three months and $13.33/month for six months.
4. Hinge aims to match users with people your Facebook friends know.
Hinge is a free dating app that claims to be an app meant to be deleted. They try to connect their users with people who have mutual Facebook friends so you have people who can vouch for them.
The Hinge Preferred membership allows users to access more filters on their matches and see who liked them. This costs $9.99 for one month, $6.66/month for three months or $4.99/month for six months.
5. Use the free dating app, Tinder, as a starting guide.
Tinder is one of the most popular free dating apps, but it has become known as a more casual dating app since you’re basically just judging off one picture. People who are looking for a more serious relationship tend to move on to one of the other dating apps.
The basic idea is a quick-fire yes or no. You’ll see someone’s picture and can swipe left to say no and swipe right to say yes. If you match with that person, you can start messaging.
Tinder’s paid-for subscription is called Tinder Gold and costs $29.99 for one month, $18.83/month for six months or $12.50/month for 12 months. Tinder Gold allows users to change their location, boost their profile and have an ad-free experience.
6. Get matched with six people every day on the free dating app, Coffee Meets Bagel.
Like Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel tries to match people with those who have mutual friends on Facebook. Men are presented with 21 curated people and can choose to match or not. Women then receive six matches every day with men who have already matched them. From there, they can decide whether to accept the match or not.
Coffee Meets Bagel’s premium membership costs $34.99/month and includes activity reports for your matches, the ability to see when your messages have been read and 6,000 beans (the in-app currency) to spend on other features.
7. Meet your match on Mingle2.
Mingle2 is another completely free online dating site and app. The site also makes it easy to search locally and nationwide for potential dates and mates.
MinglePlus is the app’s paid membership that lets users see when people read their messages, view other people’s pages without notifying the user, see who likes you and more.
8. Start an account on the Match.com app for free.
Match.com has a website and app that users can sign up on for free. The basics are free — users can browse users, review matches, send “winks” and more. It’s a great way to find out if you like this site, but once you want to get a bit more serious, you’ll have to pay.
The paid membership lets users message any Match.com user, keep track of their matches and more. This app costs a bit more than the others though — $59.95 for one month, $39.95/month for six months, $18.95/month for 12 months or $9.95/month for 24 months.
Match.com also offers a six-month guarantee which means that if a user doesn’t find any matches in the first six months, they will give you another six months free.
9. Get started on the eHarmony app or site for free.
eHarmony is one of the most popular dating sites and apps, but it’s also one of the most expensive. It costs users $59.95 for one month, $39.95/month for six months or $18.95/month for 12 months.
Users can start with a free membership, though. With the free membership, users can take the relationship questionnaire, see matches and send smiles. In order to start messaging, they’ll have to start a paid membership. There are times when free members are able to get special promotions and get a heck of a deal. Many have said once they signed up, they’ve gotten an email offer for a $7.95/month membership for three months.
10. Give Zoosk a try before you buy with their free version.
Zoosk is another dating site or app that has both a free and paid version, though they make it difficult to talk to your matches without paying.
With the free version, users can create their profile, search and view other members and see possible matches. The paid version then allows users to talk to their matches. Zoosk costs $29.95 for one month, $59.95 for three months, $74.95 for six months or $99.95 for 12 months.
11. Join the dating site and app, OurTime, for singles over 50 years old.
OurTime is made to help people over 50 find love. Users can sign up for free and upload a picture, create a profile and view other users.
Once users decide whether they like the app, they can sign up for a membership to start sending and receiving messages. The paid membership costs $23.99 for one month, $17.99/month for three months or $11.99/month for six months.