Online dating is, in a word, hard — but so is dating in person. Ironically, or perhaps completely fittingly, the process of searching for someone to love (or even just like, tbh) can be the absolute worst. That’s why we’re always trying to save you time and energy by ranking the best online dating sites in general, the best dating sites for introverts, the best dating apps for college students, and, hell, even the best sexting apps for those who just want to “date” from home.

Even with our tips and recommendations, online dating will require that you spend some energy, so at the very least, you don’t want to be spending a bunch of money too, especially if you’re newer to the apps and sites game. Testing out a free version can be a great way to get a sense of what you want out of online dating, but for some dating apps and sites, the free version may actually be all you need.

What dating sites are totally free?

Part of the reason that so many people turn to online dating is that creating an account can be simple and completely free. Actually getting the benefits of having an account though, is where things can get a little more dicey.

For websites like eharmony and Match, you can technically use them for free, if you don’t mind technically being unable to message or match with people (though Match’s free features have recently become a tad more lenient).

The good news is, spending $40 a month is not requisite for finding success in love. In many cases, apps and sites offer at least the barebones of matching and messaging entirely for free. Features like seeing people who’ve already liked you, sending messages without matching at all, and profile boosts are where you’ll typically start to shell out. Though these can be convenient time savers, they don’t drastically increase your chances of meeting that perfect person in a week. Even with purely paid sites, dating takes time and energy.

The benefits of using free dating sites

Some people simply want to test the waters of online dating without investing a lot, which is completely valid and says nothing about how serious you might be. Connecting with someone can be much better when you’re open and vulnerable with your emotions — the same does not need to happen with your wallet.

Expensive sites do offer free trials, but seven days isn’t enough time to find someone or get a sense of what a website has to offer you. Even if dating is high on your priority list, we’re willing to bet you have more to do with your day then smash refresh on your matches page. That’s why using a dating website with plenty of free options can take the pressure off. Plus, if it turns out you don’t have the greatest experience, there’s no sunk-cost fallacy business you have to contend with.

To make the free dating game even easier for you, we did the research and compiled a comprehensive list of the best free dating apps and sites. Enjoy the lowdown on what type of person each one is best suited for. (And if you land a hot date out of this, we do expect a thank you.)

Note: It’s almost impossible to find a dating site or app that doesn’t have some sort of paid upgrade feature, but these are the sites where the free option gives you almost everything you need for the full experience. These aren’t like Match(opens in a new tab) or eharmony(opens in a new tab) where you need to pay to do basically anything.

 

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