In the spirit of being completely honest with each other, the dating world is a deeply confusing and saturated exercise often run by a million dating apps that all promise the same damn thing — helping you find “the one.” By the time Tinder turned on all of us as the trashiest hookup app, positive experiences with dating apps quickly became folklore, and, no — it’s not the sweet and innocent version Taylor Swift would have you believe. Instead, singles, couples and hopefuls alike became inundated with dating apps that overpromise and underdeliver.
Related: 10 celebrities that you may just find on a dating app.
For the queer community, early dating apps were known to serve up limited ways the LGBTQ+ could engage with and find someone to meet. As time has evolved, new queer dating apps have entered the market and seemingly taken the time to create features that speak to the community in a way that didn’t exist before. We did some digging and identified the best of the best in 2021 queer dating apps. If you’re still searching for a dating app that suits your specific needs, we’re confident you will find it here.
See also: LGBTQ+ terms you keep hearing and what they mean.
For queer folks:
HER positions itself as a dating app created by queer people for queer people. They focus on creating a safe and inclusive space for queer women with a variety of features beyond finding your person. In addition to cruising profiles of hopeful love interests, HER offers users the latest news and content in the community and the ability to find LGBTQ+ events in your local area. Overall, HER is an app that can be enjoyed for reasons beyond finding love, with friendship and community at the helm of their mission.
A relatively new and not-so-subtly-named app is Scissr. Some reviews suggest the app is like the lesbian version of Grindr, but less, shall we say, crass? After encountering the many frustrations with hetero-focused apps like Tinder, which often serves up men as options for women who have set their preferences for other women, creator Allison Ullrich set out to create an app that wouldn’t allow such shenanigans. The features, however, are typical of most dating apps, with profiles that feature a short bio, photos and the ability to engage with users in a variety of ways. Users can set preferences to include hookup, love and relationship, networking, and friendship.
Related: 11 ways to be a respectful LGBTQ2S+ ally.
Leaning on old-school design trends, Lex fancies itself as a “lo-fi, tex-centred app for the queer community.” Meaning if you’re still waxing poetic about the days of ICQ and chat rooms from the early days of the internet, then the design aesthetic of Lex will have you swooning for more than your perfect match. The free app is available worldwide, and the reviews are mostly positive. Some folks have commented on the lack of photo sharing within the space, but what Lex lacks in photo sharing they more than make up for in a unique look and text board approach that’s worth giving a shot.
Focusing on the lesbian and bisexual community, specifically, Fem is a dating app for folks interested in meeting — you guessed it — other lesbians! The point of difference with the Fem app is their stance on creating profile videos versus uploading your best pictures (although you can still upload photos if you prefer). At the time of publishing, the Fem app is free but only available for Android users. User reviews are mainly positive, but keep in mind that Fem is one of the newer queer dating apps available and likely has room to improve and grow.
See also: 10 of the most misunderstood things about bisexual women.
The Lesly dating app appears to be as commonplace as Tinder and doesn’t seem to offer more than the usual “swipe right to match” strategy. In terms of how they describe their app, Lesly promotes finding your next big relationship or simply searching for hookups or meet-ups under the pretense of FWB or NSA encounters. And while that approach does have potential within the community, Lesly gates most of its features behind a subscription wall, leaving some users to jump ship before they can truly see what the app has to offer.
Related: 10 signs you’ve found the one.
Unlike some of its competitors, PinkCupid is not a hookup app. It’s owned by CupidMedia, a company that totes over 30 other dating apps. PinkCupid, in particular, has been around since 2006 and has evolved from a dating site to an app (currently only available for Android). The website is similar in nature to popular dating sites like OkCupid (not owned by Cupid media), but just like OkCupid, you’ll have to pay to play. Some features are available in the non-paid version of the app, but you’ll have to subscribe to increase your chances of finding “the one.” PinkCupid offers advanced search functions, which helps users cast a wider net in what they are looking for and forces them to do most of the digging themselves.
Zoe is a newer dating app for women seeking women and based on the reviews we’ve seen, the non-paid version of the dating app offers enough options to explore what it’s all about before paying to use its services. It’s a casual dating app with a simple design, but if you are serious about looking for love, you won’t feel out of place from those looking for something more open. The only downfall of the Zoe dating app is that it’s newer than those that have been on the market for longer, which means the pool of options could feel limited based on your preferred location settings.
See also: How to use your love language on yourself.
Those who look to the stars for signs of love would likely settle in well with NUit, a dating app that allows you to create your profile using the details from your birth chart. Once your birth chart has generated a profile, you’ll instantly be served with personalized astrological information, along with tools to discover (and potentially meet!) like-minded people. Users can see the birth chart of each match and can choose to make friends if dating isn’t a priority right now. You may find there aren’t as many users yet, but that’s only because NUit is the new kid on the scene. With time, your best astrological match could be a few swipes away.
See also: What kind of ex are you, based on your zodiac sign.
Another app that doesn’t have a large volume of users yet, but has excellent potential to get there, is Feeld. It’s a dating app for couples and singles who seek a safe space to explore their identity in the company of open-minded folks. Feeld boasts 20+ sexualities and gender identities and builds a community of users who understand fluidity and respect boundaries. Folks interested in Feeld can explore ethical relationships for free. Still, for the full experience, you’ll need to commit to a membership, which includes additional features like adding private photos visible only to your connections.
Similar to Feeled, #open encourages folks to use their app to safely explore ethically non-monogamous, consensually non-monogamous, or monogamish relations among its 100,000+ users. The hashtag search field allows you to browse interests, preferences, desires, and more. This function is essential to help you narrow down a pool of users you would prefer to connect with so that you can save time searching through piles of profiles that aren’t aligned with your specific wants and needs. The inclusive environment #open creates could be the answer to what you’ve been searching for in a sea of dating apps.
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