Paid dating sites vs free: are they worth paying for?

When you venture into the realm of online dating, things can get confusing very quickly. This is due to the abundance of different dating sites and apps that you can register for.

There’s a variety of apps to choose from, with both free and paid options depending on how seriously you want to take your romantic life.

Is it worth paying for dating apps?

In the most part, if you’re looking for a serious relationship with another person then it’s a good idea to opt for a paid dating app.

This doesn’t have to be immediately – you can use the free version of many dating apps, then decide later whether you want to upgrade to a paid account.

However, there are some apps that are only available to paid users. You may be able to create a free account, but you don’t really get access to any of the features they have.

This includes apps like and eHarmony, which only give you the ability to message other users on the platform when you sign up to a paid account.

And actually, these are two of the best dating apps when it comes to finding genuine long term relationships.

Though, you don’t necessarily need to use one of these apps to find a date.

Features of Paid Dating Apps

Paid dating apps, or the paid versions of a dating app vs the free version, will generally give you a more complete experience with more features to access.

This varies across the different dating sites and apps, but many of them have similar features to each other.

This includes;

  • Additional filters – The ability to filter your searches and customise them to what you’re searching for.
  • Change Location – Paid dating apps may let you change your GPS location to match someone in another area.
  • Unlimited matches – There may be a cap on the amount of people you can swipe on some apps. Paid online dating sites usually allow you unlimited swipes and messages.
  • Hidden modes – The ability to hide your profile is something that many users want, as secret dating apps allow you to move in silence.
  • Super likes – Popularised by Tinder but implemented by many competitors, the ability to “super like” another users profile pushes you to the top of their match queue.

These are just some of the features that members get when they opt for paid services as opposed to free ones.

Free dating apps

Free sites mainly target a casual dater, whereas paid sites usually target serious relationships.

But it doesn’t always happen that way. You can definitely find relationships on free apps too – here’s our list of completely free dating apps to check out.

A few of those that made the list are;

  • Tinder – The biggest free and paid dating site in the world, downloading free Tinder is usually a good place to start for younger people.
  • Grindr – The best option for gay men looking to match with other like-minded people near their location.
  • Bumble – If you’re a woman that wants to avoid the onslaught of messages from creepy guys, Bumble is the right choice for you.

All of these apps give you the ability to test them out for free before signing up to a paid subscription.

However, these apps actually give you access to some great features – unlike most, which restrict your usage of the app to the point that you need a paid subscription to even message others.


How much money you spend on dating websites largely going to be based around what you can afford, and what you’re looking for.

Most of the apps that help you find a serious relationship cost a monthly fee to message other users – this is apps like eHarmony, and

If you’re just looking for hookups, then you can get away with using free dating apps instead. This is apps like Tinder, Grindr and Bumble.

However, the premium versions of these apps will give you many more features, which can make things easier when it comes to making new connections.

So if you have the money to spend, then opt for a paid membership – they’re typically only the cost of a coffee or two per month.

But if you don’t have this to spare, then there’s no issue using a free plan instead, as they can still help you find love.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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