Online Dating For Teenagers

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7 Best Teen Dating Apps 2022

Online dating has its advantages: it makes approaching someone you’re interested in far less scary, especially if you’re shy. You can customize your profile to ensure that you never make a bad first impression. Your prospective crushes aren’t restricted to the handful of people you see every day at school, so you have a lot more alternatives.

Most dating apps have pretty strict age restrictions, though, so it can be hard to find one that’s actually geared towards teens. But there are a few decent options — with stronger safety features and less of a sketchy hookup culture happening — out there for the under-21 crowd.

Of course, that doesn’t mean these apps are 100% safe. You still need to follow the usual online safety precautions — never give out your home address, look for synced social media profiles to make sure you’re not getting catfished, and if you decided to meet up, make it somewhere reeeeeally public.

With that stated, here are a few teen-friendly options if you’re ready to try online dating.

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1. Coffee Meets Bagel

What’s good: This is the app to use if you’re seeking a relationship. Every day, the app will compile a list of matches it believes you’ll enjoy, so you won’t have to waste time swiping. Are you stumped as to what to say once you’ve found a match? To get the conversation started, the app will offer icebreakers.

What’s bad: When utilizing any dating app, you run the risk of meeting someone who isn’t who they say they are. Fortunately, CMB has an excellent report feature, so you can let the app know if anybody is making you uncomfortable.

2. Happn

What’s good: Happn combines the experience of meeting someone in real life with using a dating app. Every time you cross paths with another user of the app (literally) it will show on your timeline. Meaning, if you’re 1 to 850ft away from a user, you will get access to their profile and vice versa. This means, if someone else in school, at your gym, or anywhere else you hang out, is also using the app, you’ll know.

What’s notWhile it’s cool to see that your crush at school is also on the app, you may also pass a creepy guy on the street who is a user. Don’t worry though, because there are settings you can change to avoid this, like age restriction.

3. Skout

What’s good: Skout’s “shake to chat” feature — shake your phone and get randomly paired in a chat with someone nearby — is basically the online-dating-app equivalent of randomly bumping into your soulmate at a coffee shop, rom-com-style. But if you’d rather not leave it up to chance, you can scroll through profile photos and tap one to start a chat or leave a comment.

What’s not: We probably don’t need to tell you that random chat encounters with strangers can get kinda weird, kinda fast. Also, while the app is free, some features are only accessible with a premium account, which costs $9.99 a month.

4. Taffy

What’s good: One of the crappy things about dating apps is that you’re making a snap judgment based on someone’s profile pic — so you could end up vetoing your soulmate just because they’re not your usual type. The fun thing about Taffy is that everyone’s profile is blurry at first, and the more you chat with someone, the clearer their photo becomes — so by the time you know what they really look like, you already have a pretty good feel for their personality.

What’s not: The app has only been around for a few months, so you may not find a ton of locals on there.

5. Yubo

What’s good: Yubo, formerly known as Yellow, feels kind of like a cross between Tinder and Snapchat — you can swipe right on profiles that look interesting and chat via live video. The app has also added a bunch of safety features, like cell phone verification to keep fake profiles from cluttering up the site — but creepers can own cell phones too, so you still have to be careful.

What’s not: The swipe feature can make it feel pretty superficial, and while it’s supposed to be geared towards making new friends, a lot of people use it as a casual hookup site. Also, the Android version is missing a few key features — so if you don’t have an iPhone, you may want to skip it for now.

6. Bumble Date

What’s good: This is another right-swiping app, but this one has a twist: Bumble has a “women make the first move” rule, which means you have 24 hours to reach out or the match will expire. (In same-sex relationships, either partner can initiate contact.) This reduces the number of unwanted D-pics and eggplant emoticons, which is always a plus.

What it isn’t: If you don’t like to take the initiative, this isn’t the app for you.

7. Nearify

What’s good: This isn’t a dating app, but it can make “offline” dating a bit less awkward, and that’s all that matters. Nearify allows you to browse a calendar of upcoming events in your area and invite friends who might be interested. You can even link it to your Facebook page to see what events your pals are going to, so you could just show up at that concert your crush is going to.

What’s not: Because not everyone is on Facebook all the time, you may not be able to see what your friends are up to. You won’t be “matched” with anyone because it’s not a dating app, but it can help you discreetly offer an in-person date night.