Craigslist Personals Alternative Websites Worth Checking Out
In the early days of online dating, Craigslist Personals was a safe haven. It opened up a world of possibilities for love and casual dating. But then Craigslist decided to shut down its immensely popular personals section. At that point many people began hunting for a Craigslist Personals alternative to enter the online dating scene. They wanted something that could duplicate the success of the now-legendary trailblazer in matchmaking.
The deluge of options now available to seekers of love, serious relationships, and uncomplicated hookups might feel overwhelming. So we have narrowed down the top choices for every preference to make your exploration easier and more enjoyable.
What Are the Alternatives to Craigslist Personals in 2023
The online dating scene has significantly evolved to keep up with the changing times and attitudes toward relationships and sex. So what are the alternatives to Craigslist Personals in 2023? They’re a little bit of everything. They represent various dating preferences and possibilities for connection. Keep reading to find out what replaced craigslist personals after the site shut down.
New Craigslist Personals Alternative: Missed Connections
It’s not “new” in the literal sense, but it now serves as the new Craigslist Personals alternative on Craigslist itself. These days, Missed Connections remain one of the site's most popular sections. Craigslist Missed Connections was introduced back in 2000. An SFGate article described Missed Connections as an “opportunity [for users] to write free personal ad-style entries online rather than flyering them on light poles or coffee shop bulletin boards.”
The 2022 article also mentioned a 2007 Reuters interview of CEO Jim Buckmaster. He reported that he “had heard of several marriages forged through Missed Connections.”
Founder Craig Newmark also told Boston Globe that in 2005, about 900,000 people visited Missed Connections pages daily just to read the posts. Missed Connections are just that — about missed connections. They’re long shots at second chances. They’re those “what-could-have-been's” if you took that first step before the opportunity for a connection disappeared.
A perfect example of this Craigslist Personals alternative is from the same SFGate article. It describes how Jared Bibler and Elisa Stead crossed paths on Boston’s T train. When Bibler got off, “he worried that he had blown his chance with the tall girl carrying a Trader Joe’s bag who grinned up at him as he left for his stop.” He posted this ad in the Boston Globe’s Missed Connections section two years later:
"My heart jumped in my throat. I wanted to run back and pound on the glass, Graduate-style. Girl on the Green Line ‘D’ train at 7 pm tonight - wow! How about we rehash this connection over some dinner?"
But luck was on his side. Stead was on the Missed Connections platform. She was also planning on writing an ad about their initial encounter when she read his ad. The rest is history.
Alternatives for Craigslist Exactly Like the Old Personals
Sometimes when you're hunting for a Craigslist personals alternative websites, you don't want to reinvent the wheel. You're not looking for overly complicated or trendy dating sites or exclusive invite-only apps. You just want a completely free account for finding casual encounters in 2023.
If so, these following three hookup dating sites are your perfect match. Each of these three options is exclusively for personal ads. That means you get to go back to what you know. You can write your own personal ad with as much detail or as little as you like. Plus, all three are more anonymous than other sites. With that, let's wade into the water and see what these three classified ads sites offer.
1. Craigslist Personals Alternative: DoubleList
“Connect with straight, gay, bi and curious!” This is DoubleList’s welcome to anyone looking for a casual connection or more via personal ads. As an alternative to Craigslist, DoubleList’s format is the closest you’ll get to the look and feel of CL. Members post personal ad-style listings, and they can browse different types of categories, which include:
Guys seeking Guys
Women for Guys
Men seeking Women
Women for Women
Couples for Couples
Couples for Her
Couples for Him
Males seeking Couples
Females for Couples
Gay for Straight
Straight for Gay
When you pick a category, you’ll be shown listings near you. The listings are straightforward — often specific descriptions of what the person is looking for. This site is the best Craigslist personals replacement because it is similar to the original CL personals site. It's simple, barebones, and to the point.
You get to pick your city’s forum, so you never have to travel long distances for a "Craigslist meet-up." Plus, that means you can check DoubleList while you travel and continue to find casual encounters wherever you go.
2. Craigslist Personals Alternative: Reddit
Reddit Personals is a Craigslist Personals alternative that’s “a place for the singles among us - meet, mingle, and make merry!” The convenience of this classifieds site? If you're already a Reddit user, you don't have to make a new profile. (Which is a relief in this age where everyone has a hundred online accounts and logins.) This SFW subreddit community has been around since 2010 and has more than 500k members. You can filter and browse posts by “Hot,” “New,” “Top,” or “Rising.”
Alternatively, you can type what you want in the search bar. The site has stringent rules for Redditors, the most notable of which is the rule on using accurate post titles. This subreddit is strictly for singles, dating, dates, friends, advice, companionship, etc., so any posts about hookups or one-night stands are prohibited.
Want something closer to Craigslist casual encounters? Don't worry. There is a separate subreddit for NSFW listings at r/hookups101. Use this dating platform for adult fun, casual hookups, and even some no strings attached sex ads.
3. Craigslist Personals Alternative: Locanto
Last on our list of Craigslist personals alternative websites that are exactly like the old model is Locanto. If you're not familiar, Locanto is a vast dating platform available in over 50 countries worldwide. Much like Craigslist, it's not just for relationships and casual sex. It also features other forums for finding roommates, jobs, or selling items.
To use the dating site, log on, click on the Personals section, and then on the category you're interested in. Categories include "men seeking women," "women seeking men," mem for men, women for women, couples seeking a third, and so on. No matter what you're looking for, you will find it on Locanto.
Craigslist Personals Alternatives for Serious Relationships
If you’re looking for love and long-term relationships, skip the over-swiped apps in the industry. Say goodbye to Tinder, OKC, and Grindr. Instead, check out Craigslist Personals alternatives that established themselves to facilitate successful, love connections. Why do we prefer online dating sites to apps for serious relationship seekers?
For one, they go more in-depth. Dating and casual encounters thrive on apps because apps are quick, convenient, and on the go. You're less likely to find something steady and lasting on this platform. But on a serious, online dating site, there's a higher level of commitment.
1. Craigslist Personals Alternative: Seeking
Seeking.com caters to attractive and successful individuals who want to connect with people with similar goals and dreams. The site says, “Life is too short to settle for relationships that do not meet your standards and expectations. “Seeking” helps members find relationships. That means know casual dates if you don't want them and that align with their personal goals and dreams.
This is not an anonymous hookup app or casual dating site. This is a spot to find someone you relate to and with whom you could build a future.
The right match impacts every aspect of your life, so Seeking.com doesn’t want you to settle. The site has been around since 2006 and has over 40 million members from 130 countries worldwide. You’ll be asked to choose between qualified members in the “I am looking for…” section when signing up.
One of its downsides is that they only offer two options when asked what you identify as: man or woman. When asked who you’re interested in, the only choices are men, women, or both. So the site is not as inclusive as others. But if you feel that “dating up” is the way to go, check out Seeking.
2. Craigslist Personals Alternative: Match
Match has established itself as a trusted Craigslist Personals alternative for meaningful, loving, and lasting relationships. The site has been in the matchmaking business for over 25 years and is responsible for countless success stories. The matchmaking process involves a comprehensive and well-researched personality test. Plus you’ll have to subscribe to a monthly plan to explore the severe opportunities that await you. However, this site is worth your time and money if you are committed to finding a long-term relationship.
3. Craigslist Personals Alternative: eHarmonry
The third Craigslist personals alternative website for love-driven dating, is eHarmony. This site for long-term relationships once focused solely on connecting older couples. However these days, they welcome all ages and sexual orientations.
Like some of the other serious dating sites we've listed in this section, Harmony requires payment. Unlike some of the other casual dating sites out there, this Craigslist alternative doesn't have a free version. You have to pay a membership fee to find match ups or chat with other members.
However, the site has a high success rate for couples. So if you're ready to invest in true love, this is the place for you.
Alternatives to Craigslist Personals for Casual Encounters
Of course, we know that not all people looking for the best craigslist personals alternative wants a serious relationship. In fact, one of the greatest things about Craigslist personal ads was the anonymity and casual hookups. If that's what you're looking for in Craigslist alternatives, this is the section for you. We've picked some of the best dating websites for folks who just want to have some naughty fun.
1. Alternative to Craigslist Personals: Kasual
For no-strings-attached and uncomplicated hookups, Kasual is an alternative to Craigslist Personals. It combines all of Craigslist’s conveniences and none of its disadvantages. Kasual’s user interface is interactive, easy to navigate, and up-to-date.
This is an excellent app for on-the-go dating and brief encounters. Kasual uses location-based software to match people “who can get to know each other via the built-in messaging function, and eventually, hook up in real life.” The app has more than 5 million active users worldwide and an overall 4.5-star rating from over 30,000 users.
2. Craigslist Personals Alternative: FetLife
FetLife This Craigslist Personals alternative advertises as “the most popular social network for the BDSM, fetish, & kinky community.” The site caters to more than just your typical hookups. Do you have fantasies, a kink that needs satisfying, or a craving for more spice and adventure in the bedroom? Then you’ll find a match from the more than 10 million members worldwide.
When you browse, get ready to view tons of explicit but completely legal content. You can satisfy your curiosity with FetLife’s free version or indulge your guilty pleasure more entirely with a paid membership.
3. Craigslist Personals Alternative: Adult Friend Finder
No post about classified sites and alternative sites to Craigslist would be complete without mentioning Adult Friend Finder. It's kind of like Ashley Madison in how infamous it's name is, and how synonymous it is with casual dating encounters and classified ads. But if you're not familiar with this massive Craigslist replacement, here are the highlights.
AFF is a highly popular dating site catering to adult activities. This is not the place you go for a SFW time or to just chat with potential mates. This is a playground for casual sex, nudes, explicit materials, kinks, and more. Users log into Adult Friend Finder for pleasure and fun and can do so at least somewhat anonymously.
You can create a free account to start using AFF. However, to unlock most features including chatting with other members, you have to pay. The bonus of paying however, is that you let other people on the site know that you're a real person. A paid membership allows you to verify your identity and account, which gives your profile a "preferred" badge.
Craigslist Personals Alternative: Finding the Right Match for Your Relationship and Sexual Needs
Are you searching for the best Craigslist Personals alternative? Then choose a site with a good track record of catering to your specific needs. Whether you’re hoping to meet your lifelong partner or are only after casual dating and sex. For location-based hookups and a platform where all people can enjoy the freedom of sexual expression, DoubleList is best.
DoubleList offers the same look and feels as the old but well-loved Craigslist Personals. It has a no-nonsense, straightforward, and convenient browsing experience. DoubleList is available in more than 248 locations in the United States. You’ll easily connect with somebody in your area whose needs and desires match yours.
DoubleListers come in all shapes, sizes, gender identities, and sexual preferences. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find it on this adult online personals platform!
Signing up for this Craigslist personals alternative is quick and easy. A DoubleList account is free, and you’ll remain anonymous. You can browse listings near you when you create your profile or post your own. Sign up for a free account now!