Online dating does not have to be some super serious activity to find your soulmate. Not everyone dating online is looking to get married and have babies. Sometimes, you just want to meet cool people and casually date for a while. If it turns into love, cool. If it turns into a friends with benefits situation, that’s arguably even cooler—depending on what you’re looking for.
We know that casual dating apps tend to flood the market and it can be hard to tell which apps are worth your time. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best options. Read on to see which apps make casual dating fun and easy, and how you can get the most out of your online experience.
Top Casual Dating Apps
|Rank||Site||Free Trial Link|
|#6||Friend Finder||Free Trial|
1. Zoosk – Most Options
Our top pick for a casual dating app is Zoosk for several reasons. First, there are over 35 million users (yes, we said million), plenty of whom are looking for something far from serious. And what’s really great is that you can set exactly what you’re looking for from within your profile. So, for casual dating, you can choose friendship, short-term dating, hookups, or that you don’t know yet. They have an other option as well, but we’re not really sure what that’s for.
All in all, Zoosk is a fantastic option for people looking for casual dating. We HIGHLY recommend it
2. Flirt.com – 100% Casual Dating
Flirt is a super casual dating app that is filled with singles who are looking for no-commitment fun. What’s really neat about this option is that it comes with a lot of dating tips and icebreakers to help you get your flirt on. If you’re someone who might not be Romeo or Juliet when it comes to flirting, this is like having a wingman or wingwoman on your side. Additionally, the site operates in something called The Partner Network, which means users from other niche fling sites like Naughty Date are shown here too.
3. Dating.com – Best International Options
You’ll quickly see that Dating.com services a much more casual and fun side of dating than you’re going to find at a more serious site. The site has live webcams (for dating, not adult purposes), and a lot of unique ways to flirt, connect, and meet. If you’re someone who is a bit shy when it comes to dating, you’ll love the flexibility to connect without a lot of work on your end. And if you are possibly open to chatting with some international singles (on top of locals), you’ll have that option as well.
4. Cupid Dates – Great in the US and UK
Cupid Dates is another like Zoosk with a larger userbase that you can sort according to what you’re looking for. So, if it’s casual, you’re all set to go. What’s real nice is that if at any point your relationship goals change, you can always flip the switch of what you’re looking for. The userbase for the site is good in the US, but really good in the UK. So, if you also have a hankering for something international and casual, this is certainly a worthwhile option.
5. Seeking Arrangement – Sugar Dating
When it comes to casual dating, the topic of sugar dating usually comes up. While many sugar dating relationships aren’t casual, many of them are. And for that reason, we wanted to include the leader in the sector—Seeking Arrangement on our recommended list. If you’re looking to spoil someone or get spoiled while dating casually, give this site a try.
6. Friend Finder – Best for Friends
If you want to go super casual and low commitment by starting out as friends, then one of the oldest sites in the industry might be right for you. We’re talking about Friend Finder. The site recently underwent a face lift, which is a great sign to see them pouring resources back into improving the product. It’s a smaller pool of under 100k users, but that may be a bit more your speed if you get overwhelmed easily.
7. Tinder – Younger Singles
One of the OGs when it comes to casual dating is Tinder. This dating app works off of your location and shows you matches close to you in proximity. You swipe left and right if you’re interested or not. If there is a mutual match with someone else in your area, you get a notification. Tinder is still extremely popular, but it would appear anecdotally more so with the younger folks. Also, the cost of a Tinder membership is more if you’re over the age of 30. Hooray.
8. HUD – Easy to See Matches
Another popular casual dating app out there is HUD (not like the Housing Urban Development program). While this is a hookup app at its core, reports show that the site does a good job of “cleaning things up” so it doesn’t feel so icky. The app has had a few hiccups in the past with blowback for not being as inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, but they took the reports to heart and made some meaningful changes.
9. YourTravelMates – Travel Dating
Are you someone who loves to travel? Why go it alone? YourTravelMates is a casual dating site for connecting with other singles while traveling internationally. If you want to find some fun, a new adventure buddy, or even just find some new friends then click the link below to try YourTravelMates for free.
Table of Contents:
Why We Love These Casual Dating Apps
A Sign Up Process Matching Your Commitment Level
If you’re looking for casual dating, you’re probably not looking for a 45 minute sign up process that goes into the depths of your personality and all that fun stuff. Instead, you’re looking for a place where you can sign up fast, get up a quick profile, and start meeting some people. All of these casual dating apps fit that bill and come with sign up processes that are under 10 minutes long.
Ability to Set Casual Preferences
If a dating app is 100% catering to casual dating, this isn’t an issue. However, if it’s a site that offers service to casual and serious daters, you need to have a way to indicate what you’re looking for. These sites do just that. For example, on Zoosk you can literally select that you’re only looking for hookups, short-term dating, or just friendship at the click of a button.
No Hidden Pressure
Just because a dating app claims to serve the casual side of things doesn’t always mean that it does. And when that happens, you end up running into people who start pressuring you to have a more serious relationship. We’re not all about that. To mitigate this, we always do a deep dive into every site to ensure it’s not a serious dating app masquerading as a casual dating app. This means you get the full experience you’re looking for without the awkward conversations.
Fast Chat Options
When casual dating is your goal, you probably don’t want to spend time going through guided communication or something like that. You also probably don’t want to have to hunt around and jump through 50 hoops before you can send a message. For us, we only recommend sites with options to chat fast and easily.
Dating App Tips for Casual Dating Success
Here are a few tips to help you select the right casual dating app and get the most bang for your buck.
- Stick to casual dating apps. – Honestly, this may sound basic but it gets overlooked all the time. If you’re looking for casual dating, don’t go to a serious dating app and hope to have good luck. Stick to the places where the people with similar goals congregate.
- Be open about your casual dating goals. – Many of the best dating apps for casual relationships are dual-purpose, meaning that they cater to those looking for casual dating and those looking for serious relationships. When you use these sites (and we encourage you to use them), make sure you’re being very open about your casual goals. Put it on your profile, share it in one of your first conversations, and don’t try and sugarcoat it. It’s okay to want to date casually. It’s not okay to mislead someone who wants something more serious, though.
- Watch for “Red Flags” – Look, there’s nothing wrong with someone who is dating online to find something more serious. However, if you start getting involved with someone with wildly different goals than you, it’s going to spell trouble. Keep an eye out for indicators that might signal someone is starting to get hooked or might be looking for something different than you. Here are some examples:
- They start talking about “taking the next step”
- They blatantly say they’re looking for something serious
- They start talking about putting labels on the relationship
- They start talking about introducing you to their friends or family (not always an indicator, but can be)
- Your pictures are more important here. – When we coach people looking for serious dating, we push them to focus most of their efforts on their written profiles. However, when it comes to casual dating, it’s much more about your photos and grabbing that attention quickly. You can still put some awesome stuff in your written profile, but don’t ignore the quality of your photos.
- Use multiple casual dating apps. – Because you’re looking for something a little more niche and specific, it might be a good idea to set up a few profiles on different casual dating apps. This gives you the best chances to have the most options for what you’re looking for.
How to Stay Safe While Using Casual Dating Apps
Casual dating isn’t generally any more dangerous than traditional dating. The one caveat to that is that people who casually date generally meet up much sooner in the process than those looking for something more serious. This means a bit less time to look for red flags or to get a better handle on whether or not someone is safe to spend time with. And if you add in that things may get intimate sooner, it does add some more risk.
So, that being said, how do you stay safe when casually dating online? Here are a few helpful tips.
- Every time you go on a date, let your friends and family know where you’ll be, with who, and for how long.
- Establish a process for checking in that you’re safe after your date.
- Don’t meet new people in private settings until you trust them. Keep initial meetings to public places that are well-lit and well-known to you.
- Don’t be afraid to bounce if your date is making you uncomfortable.
- Don’t share private information with new people that could allow them to scam you or stalk you.
- Use your resources to report bad behavior. This includes moderators, customer service reps, or local law enforcement (in extreme, unlikely scenarios).
Casual Dating App FAQs
Are casual dating apps safe to use?
Yes! All reputable dating apps mentioned here are safe to use as long as you use a little common sense. Never share private or financial info with a match. Don’t meet matches in private places or without letting family know where you are going. Consider running a background check on any new people.
Am I going to get unsolicited nude photos?
It’s possible, unfortunately. Most casual dating apps have strict rules against this type of behavior and attempt to block these photos before you see them. If you are an unfortunate victim to one of these types of people, report them to the app mods immediately. Additionally, those site protections don’t extend to text message conversations, so consider keeping the conversation on the app for a while.
Are casual dating apps expensive?
Dating app costs vary pretty wildly. Some apps are totally free but offer paid versions. Some are paid even at the lowest tier but only cost a few bucks a month. Others can cost over 50 dollars a month but provide some pretty advanced features. The range of costs of the sites we’ve recommend goes from about $12 per month to about $50 per month, with the exception of Seeking which can be as high as $200 monthly.
Can casual dates turn into long-term relationships?
Love comes when you least expect it, so casual relationships can lead to long-term romances. However, if you are actively looking for long-term relationships and the possibility of love and marriage, you may have more success on apps that are catered towards more serious relationships.