Dating apps for teenagers have been gaining popularity among adolescents as these apps make it easier for them to interact with those they like by texting them and making a good first impression.
However, prioritizing your safety and being cautious while dating online is important as there might be higher risks of fraud and phishing. Remember not to give your personal information to strangers, and ensure you report and block users that make you uncomfortable. You should also ensure that you do not meet with a stranger at new places and surroundings.
Mansi Jhingran, contributing to the Why Loitre blog, reflects on her encounters with diverse individuals on dating apps. She observes, “Some are definitely well-meaning and respectful guys looking for a genuine date. I met some of them and made friends with a few. But others are otherwise ‘good’ and ‘decent’ guys who are dating online to satisfy their ‘bad-side’ (i).”
Read on to find a list of dating apps suitable for teenagers and choose one that suits you the best.
14 Best Dating Apps For Teenagers
Numerous dating apps available in the market, such as Bae, Cliq, TeenSpot, Fredster, and more, claim to help individuals find their ‘ideal’ match. The choice of dating apps varies with the ages of people using them. A study was conducted to determine which app ranked first in popularity amongst people of varied ages. As the graph depicts, Tinder was the most popular app across all age groups, followed by Match and Bumble.
Popular dating apps in the United StatesSource: Most popular online dating apps in the United States as of September 2019.; Verto Analytics
We have compiled a list of some fun apps for teens that are popular, user-friendly, and safe. So go ahead, pick one or more, and continue your search for love.
Age limit: 13 years to 19 years
This app is one of the most popular dating sites in the UK, US, Australia, and Canada. The chat option allows you to have conversations with people with whom you have connected, and you can also add new friends.
What’s good: They are strict with their age restriction policy, so if anyone creates a fake profile, they are banned permanently. You can also filter age and gender preferences. Also, if any user makes any lewd suggestions or propositions to those under 18, their activity is reported to the local police, and their profile is deleted on all platforms.
What’s not: You may find profiles that have no pictures, so it’s difficult to tell the real age of the user. Plus, there may be profile pictures that can be disturbing to look at.
Platform: Android and iOS
Age limit: 17 years or above
Both the site and app allow users to connect and meet new people, so it’s not just a dating app. It has many great features that allow you to go live, watch other live streams, and access the feed of users in your local area.
What’s good: Project Artemis was initiated to fight child predators. They use an “age detection engine” along with a database containing common text patterns, thus preventing the exploitation of teenagers. They also have an integrated team that keeps an eye out for users whose accounts have been banned so that they cannot make an account on Skout again.
Age limit: 13 to 18 years of age
This French social networking app is a curious mix of both Snapchat and Tinder. You can connect with people who have common interests like you from all over the world. The app has a multi-step approach—signing up, setting up the profile, reading through community guidelines, technical tools, and moderation, and reporting and blocking—to ensure maximum safety.
What’s good: They take safety quite seriously since this app is mainly built for teenagers to find new friends. They also engage and educate their users about the steps that they should take for online safety. If anyone breaks their community guidelines, they take active measures to resolve the problem.
What’s not: The major flaw of the app is that there is no age verification, so adults can easily create fake profiles and watch live streams and interact with teenagers. Plus, there is no Android app.
4. Hot or Not (The Game by Hot or Not)
Age limit: 13 to 18 years
Presently called The Game, this dating app allows you to meet new people who are nearby. Once you create a profile, you can upload your pictures, after which other users will be able to rate you with either a heart or an X. People who match with you can directly send you a message.
What’s good: People who do not have a profile on the website or the app will have limited access and are unable to upload any content. According to their terms and conditions, any obscene content is prohibited on the site.
What’s not: Adults may prey on teenagers by lying about their age on the platform.
Age limit: 18 and above
Similar to Skout, MeetMe also falls under The Meet Group. The app offers many different ways to communicate with its users. You can chat with the people you meet on the app, go live yourself, or watch other people’s live streams. There is a bonus feature where users can give each other gifts virtually, which requires payment.
What’s good: They have a thorough list of content and conduct policies because, for them, the safety of their users is a top priority. For the users to have a safe experience on the app and the website, there is a dedicated ‘Report Abuse’ button lest they find someone misbehaving.
What’s not: In 2014, MeetMe was sued due to its evasive privacy policies, which gave the predators a chance to exploit children under 18.
6. Coffee Meets Bagel
Age limit: 18 and above
This San Francisco-based dating app is one of the safest dating apps for teens out there. They use a smart algorithm that provides you with the best matches for you, so you do not have to swipe mindlessly. If you do not know what to say to someone you like, they also have “personalized icebreakers,” which let you have meaningful conversations with the other person.
What’s good: They have been featured on several popular platforms such as Buzzfeed, Glamour, Refinery 29, The New Yorker, and Shark Tank. They allow you to get to know your match on a deeper level with a feature called “in-depth profiles.”
What’s not: Just like any other dating app, this app too, isn’t safe from abusers. Fortunately, if someone on the app makes you uncomfortable, you can easily report them, and their profile will be banned.
Age limit: 18 and above
What if the experience of crossing paths with someone in real life and meeting someone on a dating app were mashed together? Happn is the app that makes it possible. People who have a profile on Happn and with whom you cross paths, in reality, will show up on your timeline quite literally. This will give you a chance to connect with them. So, if your crush is at the same place as you are, they will show up on your timeline, and you can send in a quick hi!
What’s good: When you are at the same place as a Happn user, they will show up on your timeline; it’s an easy way to meet people and get to know them.
What’s not: You may come across creepy users with whom you might have crossed paths, so if you feel uncomfortable, you can set the age restrictions on the app and block them.
Age limit: 17 and above
Taffy has been created keeping in mind that someone’s personality is just as important as their physical appearance, so when you first start talking to someone, their profile picture will remain blurred out. Once you break the ice and get to know them through regular conversations, their profile picture becomes clear. By this time, you pretty much have a good understanding of their personality.
What’s good: The users on Taffy get to express themselves through different topics and posts, which are visible to the other users as well.
What’s not: It hasn’t been long since the app has been launched, so you might not find a lot of matches on there.
Platform: Android and iOS
9. Bumble Date
Age limit: 18 and above
To challenge the traditional gender norms, Bumble Date was created where women make the first move. Of course, you would have to swipe right on those people who match your interest. However, once you have a match with someone, if you don’t reach out to them in 24 hours, that match becomes void. If it’s a same-gender match, either of you can make the first move.
What’s good: It’s a safe and easy way to connect with other people.
What’s not: If you are the shy kind and refrain from making the first move, then you might not like this app.
Age limit: No age limit
This is not a typical dating app because it allows its users to discover fun and interesting events that are happening near them. The app takes into consideration your current location and sends you a list of events specially curated for you. This way, if any event that you want to go to does pop up, you can plan and take your friends with you or maybe go out with the person you like.
What’s good: It’s a good way to socialize with your friends, and you might even end up meeting new people who have the same interests as you do.
What’s not: Since it’s not your typical dating app, you won’t be going on actual dates; instead, it suggests events—comedy nights, concerts, etc.—to let you plan a date night.
Platform: Android and iOS
11. Spotafriend – Meet Teens
Age limit: 13 to 19 years of age
Another swiping app, this one is specifically made for teens. On the app, you can meet new people and make friends. Just like other dating apps, it also asks for your location. Even though this app is for teenagers, there is no obligation to include your birth date.
What’s good: When you enter your age in the app, it matches you with people of your age, so a 15-year-old will get matched with another 15-year-old.
What’s not: Some profile pictures may make you uncomfortable. The website also contains the “More than friends” section, which may be inappropriate for teenagers.
Age limit: Users must be a minimum of 13 years or older
This messaging app is a great way to meet new people. Two of the most popular tools used by Kik users to find a date are “Matcher” and “Match & chat,” both of which allow you to look into other people’s profiles and like them. If they like you back, you have a match. “Flirt!” is another popular tool that filters out people based on your chosen age range.
What’s good: You can search for different hashtags that cater to your interests. That way, you can join a specific public group and meet new people.
What’s not: Sometimes, meeting distasteful people is a con of online dating, but luckily, there is a block and report option on Kik messenger. If you do find someone creepy, report their profile and block them instantly.
Age limit: 18 and above
The most popular teen dating site, Tinder, gives you a list of potential matches. You swipe right on the people you like, and when they swipe right on your profile, you have a match. After you have matched with someone, you can message them directly on the app.
What’s good: The “turbo” facility which you would have to purchase lets you be visible to more people around your local radius, which means you will have more matches.
An anonymous blogger shares her experience with the Tinder dating app, highlighting its undeniable addictive quality. She says “My goodness is Tinder addictive. There’s something so unforgivably titillating about it that I found myself losing sleep over it. Literally. I could stay up on it for hours, just mindlessly swiping pictures of men (ii).”
What’s not: If you are not into flings, Tinder might not be suitable for you.
Age limit: 18 and above
eHarmony is a dating site created by psychologist Neil Clark Warren. Based in Los Angeles and owned by Nucom e-commerce, it is developed for people looking for serious relationships. Their match system uses a detailed questionnaire. You can start with a free eHarmony membership for unlimited matches, smiles, and some messaging features. Upgrading to premium enhances the eHarmony experience and offers unlimited messaging and enhanced search.
What’s good: The website uses a specially curated questionnaire to make a Personality Profile and compatibility score and connects users to potential partners.
What’s not: The platform has received backlash for unverified success rate claims and subscription practices, including a lawsuit by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in 2023 for alleged misleading content and customer complaints about auto-subscriptions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the dangers of online dating for teenagers?
Most Gen Z teens are tech-savvy, but not everyone understands the safety angle of technology. Some dangers of online dating that teenagers must be aware of include personal data theft, bullying and harassment, emotional abuse, and predators.
2. What are the dos and don’ts of online dating?
Some dos of online dating are sharing a short but honest introduction about yourself, respecting privacy, and being yourself. On the other hand, do not share personal information, rush into meeting them, send or receive obscene pictures, etc.
3. Is it okay to send or receive explicit messages or photos on dating apps for teens?
No, it is not okay for teens to send or receive explicit messages or photos. If someone has sent you something objectionable on a dating app, block that person immediately and report their profile to the administrator.
4. Are dating apps for teens a good way to build self-confidence and social skills?
Teens can use dating apps to meet and communicate with new individuals. They can engage in social interaction and improve their communication skills when they connect with others from different backgrounds. It boosts their self-esteem and social abilities.
5. What should I do if I suspect someone I am talking to on a dating app for teens is lying about their age?
You can gather evidence to back up your suspicions, such as screenshots of your conversation with the person, and report that person’s profile to the app administrator. Separately, you can also block that person and avoid further interaction with them.
6. What are some red flags to look out for when using dating apps for teens?
If you encounter someone on the app who does not verify their identification, continues to urge you for more personal information, avoids sharing details about themselves, or sends you explicit messages, consider them as red flags and block that person immediately.
7. How do I deal with online harassment or bullying on dating apps for teens?
Take a screenshot of the person’s texts or photographs and use it as proof to report the profile to the app administrator. You should block and report the person who is troubling you online. If you are unable to handle it on your own, seek the assistance of an adult who will be in a better position to guide you.
8. Are dating apps for teens strictly for heterosexual relationships, or are there options for LGBTQ+ teens?
Teen dating apps do acknowledge the diversity of sexual orientations and provide options for LGBTQ+ youth. For example, many dating apps offer features and settings that enable users to declare their sexual orientation and search for possible matches based on that information. Some dating apps even cater especially to the LGBTQ+ community, providing extra features and services to ensure inclusivity.
9. Can I use dating apps for teens to find friends or just romantic partners?
Teen dating apps are designed to help teens find romantic partners. However, several apps also include features for teens to make new friends. These features may include the ability to specify friendship as the connection’s purpose or to search for people interested in making friends. You can also mention your intention of friendship in your profile. Ensure you make it clear from the start and do not mislead anyone.
The advent of online dating has made it easier for people to get to know each other better and communicate effectively. These dating apps for teens have made it easier for them to find people they share common interests with and interact with them from the comfort of their homes. A few other safe teen dating apps are Tagged, Flurv, Hoop, Twoo, IMO, and more. However, one must be wary of the authenticity of the other person’s profile, as there are people who create fake profiles and exploit others. Restrict from sharing personal information and data on such sites with strangers to stay out of danger. Also, if you feel that you have found your right match, enjoy the experience.
Infographic: Online Dating Apps For Teens
Dating apps are gaining popularity, and many teens are learning to use them. But this leads to concerns among parents, especially regarding their teens’ safety. Nevertheless, some dating apps may help alleviate these worries. Here is an infographic that presents the safe and best apps for dating among teenagers.
- Some dating apps have strict policies to stop the users from making propositions or lewd suggestions and age limits.
- You may use dating apps with personalized icebreakers to begin conversations if you are confused or don’t know what to say to someone you like.
- Apps like Nearify send you notifications of events nearby, and you may attend the events with friends or someone you like.