Boston's Best Dating Apps & Sites (From the Experts)

Woman in Boston trying out a top dating app

Finding the best dating app in Boston for you is no easy task. Everyone’s dating online around the city these days, and it's pretty much a requirement if you're under 50. With all the pandemic-related changes in behavior, it's so much harder to meet other Boston singles in person. Dating sites are pretty much a requirement!

Dating is often a digital affair for locals, but knowing which Boston dating apps to use is key. Like bars and nightclubs, dating apps go in and out of fashion. So getting in the right one at the right time can be crucial. But just like clubs, sometimes, as soon as you hear about the next hot app, it’s already out of style. So just what are you supposed to do?

First, you need to make sure the dating app you’re using is location-specific. With nearly 700,000 residents, Boston is a great place to date. From West Roxbury to Mission Hill, singles are looking for love, romance, and a lot of fun. Many times, though, you get on a site, and people pop up from all over the place—from Lowell to Taunton. This is because these sites want to pump up their numbers.

But Boston already has it all when it comes to dating. There’s no need to leave the city. With Harvard and BU right here, there’s a young and vibrant scene. Downtown offers loads of date-night options, and most singles expect one date a week, minimum. After all, dating is a numbers game.

These are the best dating sites in Boston that you have to try:

#1 - Use Match.com to find a long-term relationship

Match iOS

Match.com serves 50 different countries and has a long history of being a major dating app for singles, ranking as a popular dating app amongst other competitors like Zoosk or eHarmony. Their interface shows you a grid-like image of your potential suitors, so you don’t have to resort to mindless swiping.

What makes Match.com such a success is the potential depth of its profiles. You can include information such as your religion, salary, interests, and even a bio, which will attract other singles. Then, once it’s a match, you both have a good idea of the other person, setting a good foundation for something long-term.

Why Match.com works so well

  • You can view profiles for free
  • There’s a good amount of information on other members
  • Available in different countries with over 20 million members

What we don’t like about it

  • Lots of fake profiles
  • Haphazard matchmaking process

 

 

#2 - eHarmony (Android; iOS) is the best app for long-term relationships

Features of eHarmony

eHarmony has consistently been THE go-to app if you want a long-term partner in Boston. We've all seen the commercials and heard about friends that have used them. The reason it's so well known is that it just plain works. If you want to find someone you click with for a while, it's hard to beat.

When you have tens of millions of members, there are bound to be some successes. However, when 3 out of every 4 marriages that begin online start with your app, you're doing something right. Getting set up definitely takes some time (they ask a lot of questions), but that's what it takes to understand what you're looking for. When looking for quality over quantity, this should be the first app on your list.

eHarmony trial

Why eHarmony is a great Boston dating site

  • Really popular here with a huge number of users (over 30 million)
  • 70% of users meet their future spouse within a year of using the app
  • It’s actually really easy to use after setting it all up

What we don’t like about it

  • There are a lot of questions to answer getting set up
  • They have a system for doing things that you have to follow to the letter (but it works)

 

 

#3 - BLK (Android; iOS) is one of the best dating apps for black singles

BLK Android features

BLK has become perhaps the largest dating app specifically designed to help black singles. It has become quite popular in the black community around Boston and can be a great option.

It's still relatively new, so it doesn't have nearly as many users as some of the bigger sites, but all of the users are black singles. So if that sounds like both who you are and what you're looking for, it's definitely worth checking out!

Why Blk is a great dating app in Boston

  • Every member is a black single
  • It helps navigate the issues that only black singles face
  • Pretty new, so there are always new members joining

What we don’t like about it

  • If you’re not black, it’s not for you (not really surprising though, is it?)
  • Since it’s so targeted, you can run out of possible matches pretty quickly

 

 

#4 - AFF is the best hookup app in Boston

AFF

AFF (which has a great free trial) has been around for longer than many apps but still has a surprising number of people in Boston using it (any over 50 million total). This is the best hookup app in Boston right now. It might not have the most beautiful app out there, but it consistently works better for guys than any other app we've seen when you just want to jump into bed.

Unlike other Boston hookup sites (we're looking at you, Tinder), it's all about meeting up and actually heading to the bedroom. It skips a lot of the dating formalities and encourages its users to get to the fun part. If Tinder hasn’t been great for you, and it isn't for most guys, AFF can help you find what you want. If you want the best hookup app in Boston, you've found it.

Why AFF works so well

  • There are a LOT of people using it that actually want to meet up
  • It’s very focused on connecting people in person and getting to the point
  • It’s the best dating app in Boston for normal-looking guys that want something mostly physical

What we don’t like about it

  • We wish they had a better app
  • The ads on the site are annoying
  • More popular with those 25+ (which might not be a bad thing for you)
You Can Try AFF Free!
If you're just looking for more short-term fun you need to try out AFF's free trial. We've spent months and months testing out the alternatives (more than 100 other sites) and haven't found anything that gives most guys more options and better results. Give it a shot!

 

#5 - Boston’s dating app for faith-minded singles is Christian Mingle (Android; iOS)

Christian Mingle on iOS

If you come from a religious background, Christian Mingle is a great dating app in Boston for those whose faith is a main component of their personal life.

Christan mingle profiles diverge from other apps in offering options to disclose your marital status, the type of Christianity you practice, as well as your Church attendance. As a nod to more traditional dating apps like Hinge or Tinder, you have the option to include personal details such as occupation, if you have or want kids, and your level of education. These features make it more probable to meet someone whose faith and life path align with yours.

Christian Mingle facilitates a space for large communities of faith-based dating singles to meet one another. So there’s no need to take precautions when it comes to explaining how faith intersects in your social life. The app also includes the more progressive elements of Christianity and even has an option for Gay Christian dating.

Christian Mingle is an app that welcomes those who don’t identify as straight to find love and meet people who share their same values.

What makes Christian Mingle one of the best dating apps in Boston

  • Verification system to make sure that profiles are legitimate people
  • Easy and pain-free registration process
  • Offers daily matches for users

What we don’t like about it

  • Features are simple and not as advanced as other dating apps
  • Users who don’t pay for membership cannot send or receive messages to and from other users

 

 

#6 - Using Tinder in Boston (Android; iOS) is not going away

iOS Tinder

Tinder.com has morphed into more of a general dating app these days and is still very popular. Where once it was focused on short-term fun, now it's practically like every other app. If you don't know any long-term couples that met on Tinder, you need to get out more. We've had pretty mixed results with Tinder, and so have many of the guys we know.

Great-looking guys will do really well but guys who are less put together tend to struggle. Since Tinder is all about the photo, it can be hard to get noticed if your's aren't up to par. Usually, the best looking 15% of guys get 75% of the attention, which is not a great experience for those in the bottom 85%!

Why Tinder is a dating app worth trying

  • It’s one of the most popular dating apps in Boston, especially with teens and early 20s
  • It’s very easy to get set up and start swiping
  • If you’re decently good looking, it can work really well

What we don’t like about it

  • You won’t find an app where looks matter more
  • A lot of women just use it to get attention and boost their egos

 

 

#7 - Coffee Meets Bagel (Android; iOS) helps the busy body

Coffee Meets Bagel on Android

Coffee Meets Bagel might be the perfect app for you if you're too busy to date but still want to put yourself out there. It's the best Boston dating app if you want to do the absolute minimum and still see some decent results.

The way it works is that you get a small number of matches every day and have a certain amount of time to message before they expire. So you don't have to spend a ton of time scrolling through profiles, and you don't have to respond to a million messages a day. It really is dating at its essence.

We were pleasantly surprised with the matches we received and just how little time we spent using the app. When you're super busy and not necessarily looking for Mr/Mrs. Right, it's a good option.

Why Coffee Meets Bagel is the best dating app in Boston for you

  • Allows busy people to keep a foot in the dating pool
  • Very low time commitment each day
  • Pretty popular, and we had some solid matches

What we don’t like about it

  • Really spaces out your matches, so you might not find great success any time soon
  • It kinda sucks when a great match expires before you have a chance to respond

 

 

#8 - The Inner Circle (Android; iOS) is the best dating site to get off your phone

The Inner Circle app

The Inner Circle is the dating app that works hard to get you off your phone and into the real world as quickly as possible. Where a lot of the Boston dating apps you've heard of are basically video games you spend hours using; The Inner Circle wants you to put the phone down!

It's actually a pretty refreshing experience. They run many events and have several features on the phone that help you get out of your house and in front of other singles you might be interested in. Many of their events have been out of commission lately, but that will eventually change. It's certainly worth a download if you need an excuse to get out of the house.

Why The Inner Circle is one of our favorite dating apps in Boston

  • It does a really good job of taking things offline quickly
  • The events are fun when they’re going on
  • Tends to attract a more fun crowd

What we don’t like about it

  • Not as popular as a lot of apps out there
  • A lot of the value is from the events and other outdoor activities they promote

 

 

#9 - HeyBaby (iOS) is the best Boston dating app for single parents

HeyBaby iOS

HeyBaby makes it easy for single parents around Boston to connect. With so little time in the day to spend on yourself when you're a single parent, an app like HeyBaby can make having a love life realistic.

We really like how focused it is on the various challenges of being a single parent and helping users find other family-oriented singles. It's not just for single parents, people without kids can use the app as well, but everyone on the app wants children.

If you've spent any time on other options, even some of the best dating apps in Boston that we list above, this will be a different experience for you.

Why you should download HeyBaby

  • Really great for connecting family-oriented singles
  • Does a great job screening out people who don’t fit the app criteria
  • Well designed

What we don’t like about it

  • Not as popular as it should be if there are 13 million single parents out there
  • Can be awkward if you don’t have kids of your own

 

The Best Dating Sites in Boston for Long-Term Relationships

A couple on a date at a park

Now that we've covered our overall list of the best dating apps, we will give you a couple of very specific recommendations. These are the options we think you should try first if you're looking for a real relationship, especially something long-term:

eHarmony is really hard to beat for relationships

We cover it in detail in the list above, but eHarmony is the best when it comes to finding compatible people. Their signup process is in-depth and it goes a LONG way toward helping you find good matches. More importantly, they do a great job of eliminating people you AREN'T compatible with, which saves you a ton of time.

If you want something real and long-term, eHarmony is the first option you should try.

Niche apps are another great option

A lot of singles stick to the biggest names and most popular apps, but sometimes that can be a mistake. If you have strong passions for particular activities or are only looking to date a particular type of person, you shouldn't overlook niche apps!

The big benefit of niche apps is that they make it much easier to find specific types of people. The type of people that it can be hard to search for on more general apps. If there is a quality or hobby that you would absolutely love your partner to share with you (or it's a total deal breaker), see if there is a niche dating app around it.

There is a good chance it might not work out, but it's worth a little time to find someone who shares your passions.

The Best Boston Hookup Apps that Actually Work

A sexy hookup from a dating app

If you're not really interested in any commitments and really just want to know what the best casual dating sites in Boston are, there are a couple that are worth checking out.

Now, most hookup sites in Boston are total garbage and will waste your time if you're a regular dude. However, these are the apps and sites where a normal guy can see results.

AFF is where we've seen regular guys get the most action

We've gone over AFF (which you can try for free here) and its strong points in more detail above, but we'll hit the high points here:

  1. Women spend a lot more time looking at a guy's profile instead of just swiping
  2. It's 100% focused on casual fun, so there is no confusion
  3. It's really popular
  4. Normal guys tend to do much better than the alternatives

When you combine those four things you end up with the best option right now. Check out their free trial above and see for yourself if you just want a casual dating site.

Tinder works for great-looking guys

There has been a lot of research done on Tinder in the past few years, and one of the most interesting things to come out is just how unfair it is to men. The top 10% of guys get over 80% of the responses from women! That's simply ridiculous. If you happen to be in that top 10%, you know where you need to be. However, if you happen to be grouped in with the rest of us, try AFF first.

The Best Free Dating Sites in Boston

Checking out some free dating apps while at a park

There is always a constant debate between free and paid dating sites. Should you use a paid site, or can you get away with the free ones? In our experience, after trying out over 100 different options, it has been that you get what you pay for (especially if you're a man) unless you're REALLY attractive.

We've seen singles consistently get better results from paid sites and get pretty fed up with free ones. That isn't always the case, but it's what we commonly see. If you want real results, paid sites are usually worth it.

Free sites can be great for getting familiar with how things work and testing out new messages. Just be sure to lower your expectations beforehand! Just because you don't see good results on a free site doesn't mean you aren't worth dating or are destined to be alone. You just need a different approach.

With that in mind, there are a few free dating sites in Boston that stand above the others:

  • Bumble
  • OkCupid
  • Tinder (if you’re really good looking, it’s the best free hookup site in Boston)

These are the big three for free dating apps. If you absolutely 100% can't afford a paid site, then try these out first.

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