9 Mindful Dating Apps To Make A New Connection
Dating is no longer defined by obsolete heteronormative and patriarchal “traditions”—or at least, it shouldn’t be. It’s so much more than that; it’s for everyone. (As Lin-Manuel Miranda said in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Tony Awards, “Love is love is love is love….”) But dating apps once often excluded and ostracized communities that fell out of those confines, leaving LGBTQIA+ people and women, curvy women, women of color, and women over 50 to fend for themselves when it came to finding love. Not anymore.
To find love—or lust, if that’s your desire—you’ve got to put yourself out there. But if you can’t fathom enduring one more awful pickup line at the bar, try one of these dating apps that prioritize authentic compatibility and connection. They were created with our own needs in mind, so get ready to meet Mr. or Ms. Right (or Right Now).
If you’re just looking for friendship, check out this guide to apps for meeting new friends!
Price | Free, premium plans available ($40/mo)
Perks | Women message first, 3 services (Date, BFF, Biz), premium/paid perks
Best For | Women in new cities
Bumble began in 2014 after Whitney Wolfe Herd left her work at Tinder (a now-adversary!) and realized that she wanted to challenge the antiquated rules of dating. Today, Bumble serves over 42 million users worldwide—with women making the first move. On Bumble, only women can message first with their matches, and if there’s no response, the message disappears within 24 hours. The app has done so well that the company has introduced Bumble BFF and Bumble Biz for growing friendships and professional networks. Especially useful for those moving to a new city or country, Bumble empowers all of us to not just play the field, but to level it.
Learn more about Bumble
Price | Free to see, pay to message ($29/mo)
Perks | Many filters to sort through profiles with
Best For | Those with a conscious lifestyle
Looking for a partner who wants the same healthy, happy life you do? MeetMindful. (See what we did there?) MeetMindful is an app that prioritizes common interests like spirituality, yoga, travel, and healthy eating with authentic profiles and none of the “swipe” judgments. Once you sign up, you’ll be directed to fill out a profile and then you can begin to see matches immediately in your geographic area. The app even gives you its premium subscription for the first two days so you can see all that MeetMindful has to offer, including advanced filtering and the ability to send messages. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks, then you might find the conscious living partner of your dreams.
Learn more about MeetMindful
3. Coffee Meets Bagel
Price | Free to use, premium option available ($35/mo)
Perks | Curated matches each day
Best For | More authentic connections
If you’re sick and tired (and frankly bored) of being judged by just your face and a few photos, you’ll love Coffee Meets Bagel. CMB puts quality over quantity, with a limited number of matches each day so that you don’t have to swipe left or right mindlessly anymore. Every day at 12 p.m., you’ll receive new matches from an algorithm designed just for you, so they’re curated to your interests and geographic information. You’ll then have just a couple of days to decide if you’d like to move forward. But its emphasis on quality is the reason the app is free of creeps or lurkers; only those seeking more serious relationships or authentic connections use it.
Learn more about Coffee Meets Bagel
Price | Free, premium subscriptions available (starting at $10)
Perks | Exclusive community, profile “boosting” available
Best For | Black men and women
BLK wants to help connect single Black men and women. The app allows you to customize who and what you’re looking for and offers a personalized group of profiles to look through every day. Using the popular “swipe” format, you’ll be matched if the feeling is mutual and can chat with other members if they like you back. With a Premium membership, you can give people a second chance, send unlimited “likes,” and boost your profile each month to appear as one of the top singles in your area.
Learn more about BLK
Price | Free to see, $15/mo for ad free, incognito mode, advanced filters, and more
Perks | Multitude of gender/sexual identities, specific niche
Best For | Womxn and queer people
As humans, we don’t always identify as straight or gay and male or female. HER, a dating platform for queer womxn, wants to celebrate that: whether you’re lesbian, femme, trans, fluid, or queen, HER is here for you. Queer women were left out of online dating apps like Tinder and Grindr, and queer woman Robyn Exton was not having it, so she created HER. Nowadays, the app has more than 3 million users around the world with many users finding it to be a safe space: users can report profiles made by straight men or straight couples, and the app comes with all sorts of inclusive sexual and gender identities. It’s time we had dating resources that are as diverse as we are.
Learn more about HER
Price | Free to see, plans start at $5/mo
Perks | Women rate men, specific niche
Best For | Plus-sized men & women
WooPlus is a relatively new dating app made for plus-sized men and women, without the fat-shaming. After seeing a viral Tinder experiment featuring girls bigger than their photos, the WooPlus founders wanted to create an app that would be a safe space for curvier users. Nowadays, millions use the app, ranging from those who identify as chubby to those who see themselves as big beautiful women or big handsome men. Plus, those with fetishes are strictly banned, because all of us deserve a comfortable place to meet potentially romantic partners. Rather than be negatively judged for our bodies, WooPlus wants to create a space where we can appreciate every body.
Learn more about WooPlus
Price | Free to see, plans vary by 3-, 6-, and 12-month commitments
Perks | Personality test, easy to navigate
Best For | Over 55+ community
If you’re over 55+, SilverSingles might be exactly what you’re looking for. This mature online dating community is made specifically for those ready to enjoy the prime of life. Once you sign up, you’ll be prompted to take a personality test that will be used to find matches all over your area. No one catches your eye that day? Not to worry, the app will send you new matches every day. With one plan available at different subscription lengths, SilverSingles lets you send flirty basic communication for free and then offers paid opportunities to send messages. With this app in your corner, it’s never too late to find that special someone.
Learn more about SilverSingles
Price | Free, can purchase “coins” for additional likes
Perks | Q&A match system, free to use
Best For | Those looking for beauty and brains
If you were a fan of the New York Times’ 36 Questions, you’ll be obsessed with Sapio. This app isn’t just about pretty faces—it’s about mixing beauty and intellect. First, users answer thoughtful questions like what they take the most pride in or how they can be the best versions of themselves. Then, with the app’s Q&A match system, they’ll be matched with those who align with their lived experiences and genuine passions. Plus, it’s free to use with up to 100 likes a day and offers the option to purchase coins for additional likes. We’re excited about Sapio because online dating could (and should) be way more than just hookups and hangouts.
Learn more about Sapio
Price | Free, premium plans available (starting at $19/mo)
Perks | Conversation starters, “Hearts” expansion option
Best For | Playful, unconventional meeting
When it comes to dating, a lot of pressure is put on opening lines, so LOLO is taking a different—and much more fun—approach. Previously known as XO, this app uses games and icebreakers, allowing singles to meet new people a few ways: through a mutual “like”; a Blind Date (which lets you play a game and exchange messages before you see each other’s profiles); or at Random (which connects you with someone from anywhere in the world). A Premium membership adds a few perks, including being able to return to a profile if you want a second chance, and if you buy “Hearts”—$6.99 for five—you can send one to show that you’re truly interested.