Sure, Tinder has the name recognition and street cred to back it up. It's simple and direct. Plus, you get a slight ego boost when you match with someone. But for many people, this method is a bit too superficial and prone to attracting creeps. So we found eight other free dating apps that are reliable, innovative and more relationship-focused.
For online daters who are sick of creepy messages for guys, Bumble is the way to go. On this app, when a connection is made, only women can start the conversation. Men can't send the first message, so women get to choose who they get messages from. But you have to hurry — the connection disappears after 24 hours if no one makes a move. For non-heterosexual couples, it's up to either person to make the first move. Available on iOS
Hinge works directly through Facebook, so it only matches you with friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends (don't worry, we had trouble following that, too). Hinge's goal is to match you up with "real people" who you have a "real life" connection with. Available on iOS
Ah, old faithful. OkCupid may have adopted a few Tinderisms such as the swiping, but it still focuses on matching people based on personality. When creating a profile, people answer a lot of questions about beliefs, preferences and habits. You are then matched based on how well you would get along, but you can message anyone. Luckily, there is an option to block certain users if necessary. One major thing going for OkCupid is that it recognizes a variety of sexual orientations. Available on iOS/Android
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Plenty of Fish takes a very optimistic approach to dating by referencing the classic "there are plenty of fish in the sea." When first creating your profile, you fill out a chemistry test. This not only assesses your preferences, but also what you look for emotionally. In other words, Plenty of Fish is dedicated to creating healthy and long-term relationships, or at least as long as you want. As an added feature, this app looks into what things you might need to work on when it comes to relationships, particularly how best to overcome challenges from past relationships. Available on iOS/Android
Strange name aside, Coffee Meets Bagel has a truly refreshing take on online dating. Founded by three sisters, this app gives you a match, or "bagel," every day at noon. But only one match. You then have 24 hours to select "like" or "pass." If you and another person both click "like," you are then able to message each other. Like Hinge, this app only matches you with people who have a friend in common with you. Available on iOS/Android
Loveflutter is committed to ending the superficial nature of online dating. The app is pretty much structured like Tinder, but all of the profile pictures are blurred. Over the image, there is an interesting fact about the other user (a fact that is 140 characters or fewer). By touching the screen, you are then able to see the profile picture, but you can't see any other picture unless you swipe right. Available on iOS/Android
SCORE finds a way to match people and make it fun at the same time. You anonymously answer the same questions as another user, and then you see how you "scored." Depending on the number, you are able to message the other user or gain access to other features. Available on iOS/Android
This app takes the structure of Tinder and adds the spirit of your best friend. On Tindog, you choose who you like based on the picture of their dog. In other words, it's still all about swiping, but instead you get to look at pictures of cute dogs. Plus, it's a good conversation starter. And because honestly, why not? Available iOS/Android
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