When you think of LGBTQ+ dating apps, Grindr is one of the first that comes to mind. However, if you’re not having luck with your current app of choice or want to meet other people, it can be useful to cast a wider net and get on apps with more to offer than Grindr.
Not every dating app is super LGBTQ+ friendly, but many dating apps are making an effort to better accommodate the LGBTQ+ community—from mainstream sites to those made specifically for this audience.
If you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community who wants to expand beyond Grindr, here are 5 other apps to check out.
A Quick Look at The Best Alternatives to Grindr:
- Zoosk - Best for accurate matchmaking algorithm
- Gaystryst - Best for gay men exclusively
- EliteSingles - Best for gays seeking intellectuals
- Match - Best for gender-nonconforming individuals
- BeNaughty - Best for those seeking casual hookups
Our Top Picks for the Best Alternatives to Grindr for 2023
A no-frills global online dating platform that allows you to find matches quickly
Best for: Finding accurate matches in your area
Starting price: Free trial, membership from $12.49 per month
Connection type: Casual or long-term
With over 40 million users across 80 countries, Zoosk is a great alternative to Grindr. It offers a personalized dating experience through its behavioral matchmaking technology, allowing you to sift through many unique profiles that have been generated based on your previous interactions. This makes for more successful and compatible matches.
When creating a profile, you have the option to select your romantic preference: a man interested in women, a woman interested in men, a man interested in men, or a woman interested in women. You can change your selection later on if you'd like.
The ability to select only one preference may be a challenge for bisexual users, but Zoosk allows them to create an additional account for free. However, this can be inconvenient as they have to contact customer support to set up an additional account.
- Ability to see who's online
- Carousel feature to find matches quickly
- Free second account for bisexual users
- Available in 80+ countries and 25 languages
- Inability to look for men and women using the same account
- Few options for gender-nonconforming people
- Sparse profiles
A dating and hookup site that's exclusive for gay men
Best for: Men seeking dates and hookups with other men
Starting price: From $15.15 per month
Connection type: Casual or long-term
Gaystryst is quickly becoming one of the most popular gay dating apps in North America, making it the perfect alternative to Grindr. With an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, you can rest assured that you'll find your perfect match, whether you're looking for a casual fling or a serious relationship.
After setting up your profile, you can search for other members by age, location, and tribe (e.g., bear, clean cut, geek, twink, and BDSM). If you see a profile you like, you can send a wink to get their attention, but it's best to send a direct message to start a conversation and set up a date. You can also upload videos and statuses to show what you're up to if you're a premium member.
- Video and status profile features
- Ability to view how far other users are from you
- "Similar Users" feature to help you find people you like
- Only for gay men
- No automatic matching
- Paid membership is required to view full profiles
A sapiosexual-oriented dating app for educated singles over 30
Best for: Finding open-minded, educated people
Starting price: Free trial, membership from $31.95 per month
Connection type: Long-term
EliteSingles boasts 13 million users and 2,500 singles finding love with like-minded intellectuals every month, making it a suitable alternative for those with higher standards for potential partners. Profiles on this site are more extensive, and you are required to do a personality test during signup to gauge your compatibility with other users.
The personality test measures openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, and the intelligent matchmaking algorithm uses your results to find compatible matches. EliteSingles then uses this information to suggest 3-7 potential matches daily.
One downside to EliteSingles is, like Zoosk, it only allows you to identify as a man seeking men or women or a woman seeking men or women, so your options are limited if you're bisexual or non-binary.
- Detailed profiles
- Sophisticated matchmaking algorithm
- 85% of users have an above-average education
- Manually verified profiles
- Subscription required for messaging
- Extensive signup process
- Limited gender and sexual orientation options
A relationship-oriented app that caters to a wide variety of identities
Best for: Gender-nonconforming people
Starting price: Free basic membership, premium membership from $17.49 per month
Connection type: Long-term
With 25 years of experience, Match is a trustworthy alternative to Grindr, with over 21 million current members across 50 countries seeking long-term relationships and casual hookups. Profiles include details about each user's personality and lifestyle, which are used to find the best matches. You can send and receive winks for free, but unlimited instant messaging is for paying users only.
Unlike apps like Zoosk and EliteSingles, Match provides plenty of options for users to identify themselves and who they are looking for. You can identify as non-binary, agender, intersex, trans, and more, and you can choose to be shown to all members regardless of gender.
- Variety of messaging options, including emails, winks, and instant messages
- Read receipts on emails
- "Missed Connections" feature shows who's been in your vicinity
- Unlimited video chatting
- Limited free messaging
- Extensive signup process
- Not ideal for finding hookups
The best shame-free hookup app
Best for: Finding no-strings-attached connections
Starting price: $2.97 for a three-day trial
Connection type: Casual
BeNaughty, a flirty alternative to Grindr, is for people not afraid to admit they are looking for hookups. You can browse in "Naughty Mode" to see NSFW profiles. The app also lets you connect with people in chat rooms and provides ice breakers to help you start conversations with other users more easily. BeNaughty also features a super detailed search function, allowing you to specify everything from marital status to eye color as you browse the app's 500,000+ members.
Like Zoosk and EliteSingles, BeNaughty only lets you identify as a man interested in men or women or a woman interested in men or women, so this app may be better for those who are exclusively gay or straight.
- Unique features like ice breakers, live chat rooms, and naughty mode
- Breadth of search filters
- Private photos and videos
- Not available on iPhone
- More limited messaging and higher cost for men
- Limited options for gender identity and sexual orientation
Why Use These Alternatives to Grindr?
Grindr has its charm, but it can leave you wanting more. Here are a few reasons why an alternative to Grindr might be the best choice for you.
To Find Something More Serious
While Grindr is the largest LGBTQ+ dating app out there, some people dislike it due to its focus on hookups. You may be looking for a long-term relationship or something more than a casual fling. A dating app like Zoosk, EliteSingles, or Match might be what you need, especially if your interest is based more on intellect and personality than physical traits.
To See if There are Better Fish in the Sea
If you're not having any luck with the users on Grindr, it helps to cast a wide net and get on as many apps as possible. Not everybody is going to be on any given app, and different apps will attract different kinds of people. So, by joining more than one, you’re expanding your options.
To Increase Your Chances of Finding a Like-Minded Partner
While joining the biggest and most popular apps may seem like a logical way to meet as many people as possible, smaller or newer apps can be the way to go if you’re looking for something niche. All it takes is one person (or two or three, if that’s what you’re looking for), so it really is more about quality than quantity. Finding an app that caters to criteria that you find important (like EliteSingles does) might just be your ticket to finding your soulmate.
Bottom Line: The Best Alternatives to Grindr for 2023
There are many alternatives to Grindr, so you have options if you want to switch things up. Pick the app (or apps) that best fits what you’re looking for. Zoosk, gaystryst, and Benaughty are great if you're looking for a casual fling. Want a more serious relationship? EliteSingles or Match would be perfect for you.
Whatever app you select, it's important to keep online dating safety tips in mind and know what you get out of the app will be proportional to what you put in.