10 Best Dating Apps for Serious Relationships

Doublelist Team

October 12, 2023 14 minutes read
Connect with straight, gay, bi and curious!

Dating is a competitive world. It’s even a lucrative industry–experts predict it will be worth $2.98 billion by 2027. It’s easier than ever to meet hot singles in your area, yet it sometimes feels like an uphill battle. If you’re looking for something more serious, you need to know the best dating apps for serious relationships. 

Some apps are simply better than others for long-term relationships. While swiping apps like Tinder facilitate hookup culture, other sites are better for serious daters. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten options for singles seeking something serious.

As experts in dating, we know what to look out for in the best dating apps. There are plenty of options, from free sites with great algorithms to paid sites for serious daters only. Here’s how you can find the one through online dating.


How To Find the Best Dating Apps 2023 for Serious Relationships

Dating apps garner a reputation for the type of daters they attract. Tinder and Grindr are famed for their casual approach, for example. However, some people meet the love of their life on Tinder. Essentially, there’s no right or wrong way to date online. You never know who you might meet or fall in love with.

That said, some sites are better than others when it comes to serious relationships. The best dating apps (2023) for serious relationships have a few things in common.

  • Paid tiers: Often, serious daters will pay for a subscription. This gets them better access to online dating features. That said, you can meet severe daters on a free site; the likelihood is larger on a paid site.

  • Robust matching algorithms: Chances are, the better the algorithm, the more people you’ll match with that you like. Some sites require you to fill out lengthy forms so they can match you with compatible singles. Filling out lots of information also deters more casual daters.

  • Fun features: Some sites have more features than others. You can get to know your matches more with options like video calling and dating games. As a result, you can weed out the duds and date people you like.

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What Are the Best Free Dating Apps for Serious Relationships?

A lot of the more serious daters gravitate to paid sites. After all, these options provide more features, more matches, and often fewer bots. If you’ve ever received a message from a fake profile, you’ll know how annoying this can be.

That said, you can still find love on free sites. According to research, 35% of online daters have had a relationship lasting at least 6 months. Almost 14% get married to someone they met online! A good chunk of this comes from free sites and apps.

You just need to know where to look. If your budget is tight, look for a free site with great features and matching algorithms. There are plenty of options to try. 

Top tip: Look for niche dating sites. People sign up for these sites when looking for someone compatible. For example, Christian Mingle, BlackPeopleMeet, and JDate.

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The 10 Best Dating Apps for Serious Relationships

Daters looking for something serious have their pick of the litter. There are apps for niche groups, queer daters, and more. Below, we cover ten of the best options in detail, including the pros and cons of each.

1. eHarmony: Best for Daters Seeking Marriage

eHarmony is a major player in the online dating game. It has been around for decades and could be the best dating app for serious relationships. It claims to be the online dating site with the most marriages.

This site deters fakers with its lengthy sign-up process, which helps the expert algorithm pair you with matches. It includes 80 questions that assess your personality type, communication style, and more. 

However, if you want to make the most of this app, it’s probably best to upgrade. You’ll need to pay to get much out of it. It can cost up to $500 per year, depending on your chosen plan!

Thanks to the detailed registration and the cost, eHarmony deters casual daters. Some people on the site are more relaxed, but it’s generally a severe site.


  • Excellent algorithm for compatibility matching

  • High success rate

  • Large active user base


  • The free version is very limited, and membership is expensive

  • Takes a long time to set up

  • The only gender options are male and female

2. Hinge: Best for Millennials Who Want Something Serious

Hinge describes itself as a dating app “designed to be deleted.” In theory, you shouldn’t have this app on your phone for a long time! Thanks to great marketing, Hinge has become a haven for young, serious daters. It’s a little less serious than eHarmony–people aren’t necessarily looking for marriage. However, it’s much less casual than Tinder.

All of Hinge’s features help you connect on a more personal level. Rather than just choosing based on photos, you get to choose based on personality. This begins with fun prompts. When filling out your profile, you can choose different prompts to answer. When potential matches swipe by, they can ‘Like’ your answers.

Hinge recently added voice notes, too. You can answer Hinge prompts with audio, letting future dates hear your voice. These features are great for finding things in common before you match. In other words, you can choose matches based on personality and not just their profile pic.

Many dating sites hide likes until you match. However, Hinge uses transparent liking to ensure you don’t miss a match. You can get more dates and more matches in the long run.


  • Interesting conversation prompts help you get to know potential matches

  • Voice note feature lets you connect through voice

  • Transparent liking system


  • Not very inclusive for trans, poly, or non-monogamous singles

  • Limited swipes on the free version

3. Match: Best for People Who Haven’t Dated in a While

Match.com has existed for decades, since the 1990s. Back then, online dating took place through dial-up and was not mainstream at all. Nowadays, everybody’s doing it! Match has stood the test of time, and there are some great reasons for that.

Primarily, it has a great matching algorithm. When you sign up, you need to fill out a thorough quiz. This informs the algorithm, ensuring you can find a great match. There’s a website or an app, depending on your preferences. While the app features the popular swipe-dating method, the desktop version is more traditional.

Typically, Match has an older user base. According to the website, 44% of users are aged 30-49, and 37% are over 50. In fact, 59% are single parents. It also has fewer active users than some other sites.

The premium membership costs $24 per month. You need to pay to access most of the features, so it’s not a site to try on a budget. However, this price deters casual daters, so you’re in luck if you want something more serious.


  • 1-to-1s with dating experts

  • Virtual and in-person events to mingle with other singles

  • Advanced search filters to find your perfect match


  • Fewer active users than some other sites

  • Only paid users can send unlimited messages

  • Expensive membership

4. JDate: Best for Jewish Daters

JDate is specifically for Jewish singles. This is a great pick if you want to connect with someone from the same faith. It still has plenty of filters so that you can connect based on personality and interests. As a result, it’s easy to find nearby Jewish singles who share the same values and hobbies.

This site has existed since 1997 and is a leading matchmaker for Jewish daters. With a free profile, you can upload up to six photos, write a short bio, and add your preferences. You can also include information about your Jewish affiliation (Conservative, Hasidic, or Reform).

The ‘Lookbook’ feature lets you keep track of your likes to see your matches easily. 

Although JDate is free to join, you need to pay to send and receive messages. In other words, it’s pretty useless without a paid subscription.


  • Location feature to match with locals

  • Plenty of preference filters to match with singles based on your interests


  • The interface is a little outdated

  • Only binary gender options

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5. Bumble: Best for Women Seeking Men

Bumble has blown away the dating scene since its arrival. The app’s main selling point is that women make the first move. Only women can message first! The CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, designed the app after enduring abusive relationships.

The women-first messaging system certainly makes a welcome break from eggplant emojis. Notably, the app is open to gay and lesbian daters, so this system does not apply to queer women. In this case, anyone can message first.

Bumble is one of the best online dating apps for serious relationships. It’s all about finding love. Once you have a match, you have 24 hours to send the first message, or the match disappears. This can be a little annoying, but if you love dating and chatting, it’s not so bad.

The best part about Bumble is that the free version has tons of features. You don’t need to break the bank to find a serious relationship. With its safe, inclusive space and easy-to-use app, there are a few things to dislike about Bumble. All in all, it’s a fantastic app.


  • Plenty of fun features, such as travel options

  • Easy-to-use interface

  • The free version is great


  • You might lose matches if you don’t check the app daily

6. The League: Best for Professionals and High Earners

The League is not an app for everyone. It’s just for professionals and high-paid individuals. Its elite nature is evident in the sign-up process. To get a profile, you have to submit your LinkedIn profile, current job status, and the university you attended. The League might turn you down; not just anyone can make a profile.

That said, The League is ideal for singles who see salary and education level as a dealbreaker. It weeds out anyone below a certain level, letting you be picky. Notably, the membership costs are pricey, at $299.99 per month.

Parts of the app are cringe. The terminology mimics a sporting league, with ‘tickets’ to override the algorithm and ‘scouting parties’ to meet people. However, if you can look past this, finding a potential partner who meets your interests is easy. The League has fun features like weekly live speed dating and video chats.

It’s the best dating app for serious relationship seekers because of the price. People who aren’t serious about dating won’t drop $300 on a dating app. As a result, you’re safe knowing everybody’s looking for love.


  • The vetting process means there are no fake profiles

  • It’s an easy way to weed out people you aren’t interested in


  • Extremely high cost

  • Not everybody can sign up

7. Plenty of Fish: Best for Singles on a Budget

Plenty of Fish (PoF) sprang up in 2003, making it one of the OG dating sites. With a recent rebrand, it has stayed modern and competed with other sites.

PoF has pretty much all of the features you could want. From swipe dating to games and live streams, it has it all. You can also ‘Super-like’ potential matches to increase the likelihood of them noticing you.

There are advanced search features to help you find people you’re truly interested in. However, the swipe dating feature is ideal if you’re more into looks. Essentially, PoF allows you to date on your own terms.

You can access most features for free, too. PoF is one of the best free dating apps for serious relationships, alongside Bumble. Compared to the likes of Bumble, PoF has a lot more bots. If your catfish radar is poor, you should avoid PoF.


  • Join live streams to connect with those with similar interests

  • Restrict your first message count


  • The amount of features can make the site feel a bit clunky

  • Quite a few bots and fake profiles

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8. Coffee Meets Bagel: Best for Singles Overwhelmed by Dating

According to the homepage, 91% of Coffee Meets Bagel users are seeking a serious relationship. So, if you’re in it for the long run, you need to try this site. Its major selling point is that matches are based on social media connections. You connect Coffee Meets Bagel to your accounts, and it pairs you with friends of friends.

You may never have met the person, but you could be a match through a coworker or high school friend. It’s like being set up without the awkwardness of asking someone to do it for you.

There are some great features, including icebreakers. ‘Beans’ allow you to celebrate relationship milestones and unlock new features. Overall, Coffee Meets Bagel is a cute site for serious daters.

Each chat has a 7-day limit. This encourages real-life meetups, which are perfect for those seeking serious relationships.

Coffee Meets Bagel is not like swiping apps. You receive seven potential matches each day, curated by the algorithm. These matches are part of the free version. With limited matching, you can get to know each connection instead of wasting time on vanity metrics.


  • Very personal matches

  • The 7-day chat limit encourages real-life meetups and dates.


  • Smaller dating pool than some other sites

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9. OkCupid: Best for Queer and Poly Daters

OkCupid is very similar to eHarmony, albeit slightly less serious. It’s more serious than many other dating apps, though. It has more mentions in the New York Times marriage section than any other app.

The screening process weeds out unserious daters with a lengthy quiz. The personality test helps to match you with similar daters, ensuring you are compatible. There are tons of filters to help you with your preferences.

In 2013, OkCupid was the first dating app to introduce 13 orientation options and 22 gender options. It was ahead of many of its competitors in this regard. To this day, OkCupid remains a safe and inclusive space.

The basic plan is free, with access to plenty of features. However, you can upgrade your account to add dealbreakers, browse incognito, and send unlimited likes. Online daters of all budgets can get a lot out of OkCupid.


  • Great for finding compatible matches

  • The free plan includes plenty of features

  • Queer and poly-friendly


  • The sign-up process takes a while

  • The app sometimes doesn’t show someone’s whole profile

10. OurTime: Best for Older Singles

It’s never too late to find your perfect match. Older singles and seniors have plenty of apps to choose from. Some are just for older daters, such as SilverSingles and OurTime. Many older people on dating apps are seeking something long-term, but this isn’t always the case. A significant portion of OurTime’s user base is in it for the long haul.

You can also use this app to find friends or lovers. Signing up is easy–you just need to answer a few questions. Then, you can search for your matches based on criteria. Alternatively, let the algorithm recommend people to you instead.

The app’s design is very simple and easy to use. As a result, even the less tech-savvy can find love online.


  • Designed for people 50+

  • Easy-to-use interface


  • Free users can browse profiles but not send or receive messages

Looking for Love? Try DoubleList!

Singles who want something serious are not short on options! There are numerous corners of the internet where you can find love. The best dating apps for serious relationships tend to have high success rates. So, don’t be afraid to get stuck in!

Or you can try DoubleList! As an inclusive, safe space, DoubleList lets you find what you’re looking for. All you need to do is post a personal ad describing yourself and the type of relationship you want. Forming connections based on factors other than looks is easier than ever. Plus, you can meet similar singles in your area.

Sound good? Get started by signing up here!

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