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Settle down with the best dating apps for serious relationships

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Young couple using smartphones next to one another in a coffeeshop. Getty Images

If you're on the fence about whether you should download that dating app -- or redownload it for the fifth time -- take a second to consider what you're looking for. Many of top dating apps are geared toward casual and connections, with those looking for something more serious left to fend for themselves against swipe-happy apps, vague bios, and people with bad communication skills.

While we can't do anything about people who ghost others like it's a professional sport or anyone with "still figuring out their dating goals" listed on their profiles (ugh), what we can do is point you in the right direction with a look at some of the best mobile dating apps. 

If you're seeking a serious relationship, we have your back. We took a look at some of the best dating apps for people seeking long-term connections, regardless of personal details such as gender identity or dating preferences, and highlighted the best of the best in our write-up below. 

Best dating apps for serious relationships

Ready to say goodbye to casual dating apps and wishy-washy matches that go ghost at the drop of a hat? Here are our recommendations for the best dating apps for serious relationships.

Sign up and start browsing detailed, like-minded user profiles today with one of our mobile dating app picks below.

Best serious online dating app: Bumble


One of the most popular dating apps in the US right now is Bumble. With one of the largest user bases and a perfected version of the tried-and-true dating app experience, this app makes connecting with potential matches super easy.

Some stand-out features that guide Bumble users toward deeper connections (and away from the casual dating or hookup scenes) include a prompt that urges you to read through a user's entire profile before reaching out. 

The other big draw to Bumble is how communication works. Bumble takes an approach different from other apps when it comes to sending that first message: Up until recently, women were empowered to always make the first move. This was a way to eliminate some of the concern women and female-presenting people may have on other dating apps where unsolicited messages can be a problem.

On May 6, 2024, Bumble announced a new feature to cut back on some of the anxiety and uncertainty that came with the app's women-first approach to matchmaking. Opening moves is a new feature that gives women the option to set a question prompt that anyone can reply to. 

This new addition doesn't change the dynamics of Bumble too much -- opening moves aren't required -- but it's a welcome addition that can alleviate some matchmaking stress. This also extends to LGBTQ+ dating: In nonbinary or same-gender matches, either party can set or respond to an opening move.

Bumble is free to use, but users also have the option of paying for Bumble premium ($35) and premium plus ($50) subscriptions for perks like unlimited swipes, a backtrack option, and access to other trending users (a premium plus exclusive).


  • The "ladies first" approach to matchmaking can be refreshing for women looking for heterosexual romance who want the ability to pick and choose who they talk to.
  • Bumble's new "opening moves" gives women the option to add a question prompt to their bios, which anyone can respond to when striking up a conversation. This optional feature takes some of the pressure away from women always needing to make the first move.
  • Bumble has full accessibility for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, where anyone can make the first move -- just be aware of that 24-hour timer.
  • Additional features like audio and video calls can help people get to know one another more easily in those early days and weeks.


  • Matches are lost if a message isn't sent within the first 24 hours of connecting with someone.
  • Extra features like unlimited likes come with a hefty price point thanks to Bumble's not-terribly-budget-friendly premium plans. 

Best free dating app: Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish

If you're tired of the same cookie-cutter dating app experience, we recommend shaking things up a bit with Plenty of Fish. This dating app tries to shift focus away from superficial, photo-based likes and matches and toward more meaningful connections.

One way it does this is through games: Plenty of Fish offers quirky question prompts, quizzes, and spontaneous live streams to help people express themselves honestly and without too much seriousness. 

With Plenty of Fish's large user base, this dating app can be great for LGBTQIA+ singles looking to hit the jackpot for a long-term, serious relationship. LGBTQIA+ daters have the option of sorting potential matches by gender identity. Additionally, when signing up, users can also select a gender that matches their own identity, with trans and nonbinary options available. This can make it easy for LGBTQIA+ users to best express themselves before trying to meet like-minded singles through one of Plenty of Fish's community-oriented features or games.

This dating app also stands out thanks to an abundance of free features. Most mobile dating apps lack things like advanced search filters behind a premium subscription, but Plenty of Fish gives users plenty of access with a free account. For even more features, users can sign up for a paid membership at $25 per month.


  • Large user base makes it easy to find romantic partners.
  • Fun and unique features like 90-second livestreams and comic question-and-answer games make for a refreshing and positive user experience.
  • Inclusive gender identity options that make the app a more welcoming place to trans and nonbinary users. 


  • Fake/spam profiles can be a frequent issue thanks to Plenty of Fish's free-to-access setup.
  • Frequent ads can sully the experience for free users.

Best for long-term dating: Hinge


Even though it doesn't have the big user base that mobile dating apps like Bumble have (yet), Hinge still deserves a high spot on this list. Hinge doesn't disclose how many people use the mobile app to find connections, but according to one 2022 survey, 39% of adults age 18 to 29 used it at least once.

Hinge stands out by being more than just a swipe-based dating app. Reaching out requires users to like specific profile segments or send a direct message, which forces users to be more deliberate and thoughtful when connecting with others.

Due to the app's growing popularity, it's becoming increasingly easy for gay, lesbian and nonbinary users to find like-minded or open-minded individuals as well. Since Hinge is more of a relationship-oriented app, it can offer a refreshing alternative to more casual apps such as Tinder or Grindr for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Hinge is free to use, but users can unlock additional features, such as unlimited likes, with a premium account, which costs between $33 and $50 per month.


  • Detailed profile options that let users stand out such as personal details and dating intention information.
  • Hinge's popularity and status as a relationship-oriented dating app makes this a great pick for anyone interested in something more long term, regardless of gender identity or sexual preference. 
  • Voice prompts, video prompts, and prompt polls give users plenty of room to express themselves. 
  • Likes and comments can lead to more meaningful connections than other swipe-based mobile apps.


  • Features like weekly "roses" ("super likes" by another name) can feel a bit tacky and limiting.
  • Premium accounts (Hinge Plus and Hinge X) are expensive.

By queer women, for queer women: Her


Founded in 2013 by Robyn Exton with the express purpose of carving out a safe space in the world of online dating for women and femmes, Her offers a community-based app for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to seek serious relationships. More specifically, Exton has been quoted as pointing out Her's specific dedication to FLINTA audiences: female, lesbian, intersex and agender people. 

Now, with its large user base, growing popularity, and brand identity that centers on queer women, nonbinary and trans people, Her belongs on our list as a top-ranking dating app for serious relationships.

Users can sign up on Her and start matching with others for free. There is also a premium subscription option that's available for $15 per month that lets you bypass ads and access additional features such as more filters and an "incognito mode" that lets you browse anonymously.


  • Her excels at helping LGBTQIA+ users find potential romantic partners, but it also works for finding community beyond romance thanks to community events, chat rooms, and other features.
  • A commitment to offering a safe, inclusive space for queer women, nonbinary and trans people.


  • Some of the most notable features -- like a discover page that shows all of your likes at once -- aren't available without a paid subscription.

Best for detailed compatibility scores: eHarmony


For many, making meaningful connections that last requires a level of honesty and openness that can be difficult to manage at first. eHarmony goes against the current of simple dating bios and fast connections and instead lets users pour themselves into very detailed user profiles.

eHarmony wastes no time in helping users figure out exactly what they want with an 80-question compatibility quiz. What's your communication style? What might an ideal match or first date look like to you? Do you like to hike? With eHarmony, you'll answer all these questions and more -- all before you start matchmaking.

Your quiz results and profile details are translated into a compatibility score, which is used by the app's algorithm to help you meet potential matches. 

eHarmony has also recently put in the work to grow its user base and offer a better experience for the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2023, after consulting with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, eHarmony rolled out a big update with new inclusivity features, like an expanded list of gender identities such as agender, bigender, genderfluid, transgender, nonbinary and more. There is also now the option to select whether you're interested in dating people who identify as men, women or nonbinary.

A basic eHarmony membership is free, but premium memberships are available: a premium light six-month plan ($66 per month), premium plus 12-month plan ($46 per month), and premium extra 24-month plan ($36 per month).


  • eHarmony's detailed approach to matchmaking can be great for those who know what they want and are ready for long-term commitment.
  • According to eHarmony, users find love on its app every 14 minutes, which at the very least indicates users will have plenty of options soon after signing up.


  • Pricing information can be a bit confusing. Users aren't informed about eHarmony's tiered premium plan setup until after making an account and completing the compatibility quiz.
  • Although there are relatively new inclusivity features for a more positive LGBTQIA+ dating experience, user feedback suggests that eHarmony is still very limited for gay, lesbian, and nonbinary users due to an outdated matching algorithm and majority heterosexual user base. 
  • Some notable features, like being able to see all of another user's photos, are locked behind the premium paywall.

How we rank and review the best dating apps

Choosing the right dating app for you can come down to any number of personal preferences. Everyone deserves to find what they're looking for in a serious relationship, so that's why we prioritized the following things when conducting our reviews for this list:

  • Accessibility: We paid attention to apps that offer a range of free and paid features to offer a rewarding and personalized experience for any and everyone.
  • User base: We focused on popular and well-established dating apps that give users plenty of options in their community for romantic connections.
  • LGBTQIA+ compatibility: Our list highlights only the most diverse and accommodating dating apps for gay, lesbian, trans and nonbinary users in addition to cisgender and heterosexual people.
  • User feedback: All of our chosen dating apps hold a four-star rating or higher on their respective app stores from users just like you.

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