10 Best Tinder Alternatives for Finding a Dating or Hookup

tinder alternatives for dating or hookup
  • DatingforLove
  • Feb 21, 2024

Tinder is easily one of the biggest names in the online and mobile dating space, but it isn’t the only name. Many Tinder alternatives have caught our eye as well. Dating apps like Tinder see major gains in membership every year, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns associated with it making it harder to meet in person. But it’s no secret that swiping fatigue and online dating burnout are starting to set in for a lot of singles out there.

Finding the right fit is important when it comes to dating apps. The best dating app for one person may be all wrong for another. The good news is that there are a lot of options, so you can choose exactly the right dating platform to connect with your perfect match.

Sure, it’s impressive that Tinder has fostered over 43 billion matches since its launch in 2012. However, not all those potential matches lead to real-life dates. The app inspires about 1.5 million dates each week — and not all those dates lead to hookups or relationships. So, there’s no guarantee that Tinder will work for you.

Dating Apps Like Tinder for Casual Dating Relationships

The Tinder app may seem like a bit of a meat market if you’re looking for a relationship. So many Tinder users are looking for a hookup, and screening each potential match to see if your expectations are the same takes time. Fortunately, several dating sites and apps combine Tinder’s user-friendly interface with features geared toward helping members meet a potential partner for longer than just one night.

1. Bumble

Bumble has embraced its role as the world’s feminist dating app. The app launched in 2014 with the unique premise that women should send the first message and take the lead in a new romantic relationship. According to Bumble, over 85% of its users are looking for a long-term relationship, and less than 4% are looking for hookups.

Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has worked hard to distance itself from the hookup culture, providing a Tinder alternative aimed at empowering single women. The free dating app has grown to become so much more, with Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz making inroads on social media. Bumble is the top choice for women who want to initiate the search for a meaningful connection.

A basic Bumble account is free of charge, and everything members need to make a match comes with the standard profile. You can match, message, and meet other members of the popular dating app without ever getting your credit card out.

Bumble paid memberships, however, grant some pretty serious benefits: Backtrack lets you call back a profile you accidentally swiped left on; Rematch lets you keep matches that would otherwise expire; and Beeline lets you see users who have already swiped right on your profile. The added features that come with Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium include premium perks for a determined single person who wants to get down to the relationship part.

2. AshleyMadison

Ashley Madison has a reputation as a dating site for cheaters, but the discreet marital dating platform welcomes single people as well — as long as you don’t mind dating a married person. The dating app that goes with the site includes the same level of privacy and the same tools to help members coordinate a sexy date, all in handheld form.

The basic Ashley Madison features, including communication, are entirely free for female users, but men on the site have to buy credits to participate. Credits also give you the ability to send virtual gifts, boost profile visibility, and partake in other perks to get the most out of the Ashley Madison experience.

3. Hinge

Hinge is widely known as the dating app that was “designed to be deleted.” That means everything from the in-depth profile to the matchmaking formula works overtime to connect singles to that perfect match. The goal isn’t to get single people in as many chats and on as many first dates as possible. The goal is to streamline the process of finding a relationship and then retiring your Hinge profile forever.

Hinge has made headlines in the online dating app world with its designed-to-be-deleted mantra. The platform functions more like a social media app than a matchmaking site, using deeper connections to foster a long-term relationship as opposed to a one-night stand.

Hinge has added its own unique spin on the old-school Tinder swiping system. Since the goal is quality over volume, Hinge users have to comment on or like something in their potential match’s profile to start the conversation. This fosters a deeper connection right off the bat, and gets things rolling in a way that gifs and quick “wyd” messages don’t.

As with Tinder, you can do all of the basics on Hinge without a premium membership: build your profile, browse matches, and even contact your crush without paying anything. But the dating platform’s data shows that Preferred Members get more dates, more quickly. This is probably because Preferred membership boosts your visibility and lets you see who’s browsing and enjoying your profile so you can connect sooner.

4. AdultFriendFinder

In 1996, Friend Finder Networks began harnessing the power of online networking to help adults meet sexually active singles in their area, and it has now grown into a global X-rated phenomenon with over 93 million profiles. Adult Friend Finder provides a safe, anonymous dating platform where singles and swingers can hook up with another.

Adult Friend Finder has been on the web since the ‘90s — pretty much as long as the web has existed for most people. What you may not know is that the site has a dating app, though its adult content means you won’t find it in the App Store or Google Play store. Instead, you’ll have to get it directly through the site itself. Once you’re there, you’ve got a 100% adult, free-wheeling and flirty experience ahead of you.

As a sex-positive site, Adult Friend Finder welcomes singles, couples, and groups who want to arrange one-night stands, threesomes, hookups, orgies, and other erotic encounters. Anyone over 18 can create a profile and start mixing things up in this sexually stimulating environment.

5. OkCupid

In 2004, OkCupid's founders decided to create a fool-proof formula for love, and they launched a free dating site to delve into what personal attributes made relationships work. OkCupid members can send unlimited messages for free. It's easy to discover mutual interests and compatibility on the platform's information-rich dating profiles.

OkCupid is a free dating app that appeals to singles who have difficulty cramming their big personality into Tinder’s brief profiles. The OkCupid profile offers more space to talk about yourself and your interests, and you can answer up to 4,000 personal questions about your dating history, values, opinions, and background.

The OkCupid matching system measures a user’s personal compatibility based on a wealth of data — which means you don’t have to make a snap judgment based solely on looks. Every profile has an overall match rating and a compatibility breakdown that tells you exactly where you stand. Every year, OkCupid creates over 91 million matches and inspires millions of first dates around the world, according to the site.

6. Fling

Fling invites singles to walk on the wild side and explore their sexuality in a fun, free-wheeling environment. This adults-only dating site is full of X-rated content, but users can blur nude photos if they’d prefer to leave some things to the imagination. Premium subscribers get the most bang for the buck because they can send messages, browse incognito, and receive alerts when their messages have been read by someone special.

If you want to get straight to business, without the “What are you looking for on here?” questions, Fling is a strong option as both a site and an app. The dating platform encourages members to get down and dirty right away, instead of screening profiles to find someone whose interests match up. Everyone on the app is looking to hook up, so the questions can get straight to where, when, and how.

One way that Fling sets itself apart from other hookup sites and apps is by offering different packages for premium membership. You can pick and choose the features that mean the most to you, whether that’s the unlimited premium messaging that comes with the Chataholic package or the discretion and privacy of the Security package. Free members still get to send messages, but men are limited to sending five messages per day.

7. HER

A lesbian named Robyn Exton founded HER because she recognized that not all dating sites and apps look out for the unique needs and interests of LGBTQ+ womxn. The HER community does a great job of connecting its users in a fun-loving and active community. Its easy social networking tools are great whether you're fully out of the closet or just starting to question your sexuality.

As a lesbian dating app, HER goes to great lengths to make womxn feel comfortable mingling online and arranging meetups offline. The app has over 4 million users, all of whom have been verified as authentic lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender womxn. Non-binary singles are welcome here as well.

The HER moderators have banned men from the app and given single ladies room to share their thoughts, express their feelings, and build genuine connections. This judgment-free space is a breath of fresh air for single women who are tired of running into unicorn hunters, fake profiles, and unsavory characters in the mainstream dating scene.

8. Grindr

Grindr is one of the top dogs in the gay dating scene. It's the name everyone recognizes, and many gay men choose it as their go-to dating app. The location-based matching system satisfies the desires of guys who want to hook up on the fly. Grindr has gotten the reputation for being the “gay Tinder,” but this top dating app was actually founded three years before Tinder got off the ground.

In 2009, Grindr pioneered location-based matching that helped local singles find dates on the spot and became an invaluable resource for gay and bi men looking for a potential match at a bar or club. With Grindr in your hand, you don’t have to worry about using your gaydar or figuring out if a new person is unattached or interested — the online matchmaking process breaks the ice and facilitates instant romantic connections.

Some singles use Grindr for one-night stands, casual dating, or sexting, but others say they met their partner through the so-called hookup app. In fact, 84% of surveyed Grindr users reported falling in love with someone they met on the app, and over half said they hoped to find a soul mate on Grindr.

9. PlentyofFish

Plenty of Fish prides itself on being one of the best dating sites for conversations. It supports 100% free and unlimited messaging for over 120 million monthly users in 20 countries. Since its launch in 2003, Plenty of Fish has developed a science-based matching system that has proven successful.

Plenty of Fish has appeared in music videos, on TV shows, and in movies, and is far from being an unknown in the online dating world. But while it has been the butt of a few jokes, POF offers a key benefit that few dating platforms still provide these days: free messaging. If you want to keep your romantic life mostly to chatting with others, or just want to get to know someone better before taking the next step, Plenty of Fish makes it easy and affordable to do just that.

Plenty of Fish encourages users to be themselves and get to know their potential matches without rushing to the finish line. Since you can access all of the core features of the site for free, it’s a good option for singles who want to get to know their prospective partner a bit more before meeting.

10. Facebook Dating

Facebook Dating isn’t the most popular dating app on the market, but it makes up for it by being one of the easiest to use. Since it’s connected to your Facebook profile, it takes next to no time to set up your account and start finding matches. Don’t worry about a mutual friend seeing your activity on your main account. The social media site keeps the dating and social networking aspects separate.

Facebook Dating is free, easy to set up and use, and comes with unlimited messaging, so while it may not make it to the top of the list of free dating apps, it’s definitely a strong choice if you want to keep things simple.

Is Online Dating a Safe Way to Meet a New Person?

Online dating is as safe as just about any other way you can meet a new person. A dating website or mobile app offers a chance to expand your potential dating pool without having to get too far out of your comfort zone or change up your hobbies or activities. In addition, online dating platforms have some benefits you can’t really get in person.

Each dating site or app uses some form of verification for users on the platform. While these can be a little on the lax side, the safeguards at least make it harder for a person with a fake profile to prey on people just looking for someone new. The more premium dating apps and sites usually have more verification systems and stricter moderation policies, so you can avoid harassment and stalking more easily than you might through other venues.

That being said, it’s still a good idea to take measures to protect yourself. Don’t take a profile picture at face value, and make sure you text or chat with your potential match enough to feel comfortable meeting them. Even if you’re looking for a hookup, you should take at least a little time to get to know the person you have matched with. It’s also a good idea to meet for the first time in a public place like a coffee shop, restaurant, or bar. And of course, don’t send money or financial details to someone you don’t know.

Which Dating Apps Have Video Features?

Several app development teams rolled out video chat features in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more online dating app users asked for ways to connect through lockdowns and quarantines. Sites like adultfriendfinder added the additional feature for both desktop and app users, and apps like Hinge jumped right into the fray, making it easy to connect by voice or video. Some other apps joining the scene in the past few years include video features right from the beginning.

Tinder’s Swiping Features Have Become the Status Quo

Tinder may have pioneered swipe-based matching in 2012, but a lot of dating sites and apps have duplicated it successfully, and built on the basic concept to offer an even better experience. Apps like Tinder make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, whether you’re seeking casual sex, a long-term relationship, friends to talk to, or a social media connection.

Maybe Tinder hasn’t been working for you recently, and a change of scenery in the online dating world can help you get back on top of your swiping game. We hope these Tinder alternatives can suit your needs, offer you something a little familiar yet different, and bust you out of that dating rut ASAP! Just remember to be yourself and try to have fun out there. Best of luck!