For teens, dating can be an exciting experience. A lot of teenagers will do anything they can to find the perfect relationship with their crush at school. The teen high school years are full of events and opportunities that seem designed to pair each kid with their potential “teen heartthrob.”
Going to the prom, football games, high school dances, and other school-sanctioned events are basically a right of passage for teenagers, and almost all of them encourage finding a soul mate to attend with you.
If they are unable to find a date among their classmates and friends though, then teens will need to search for other options, which is why many teenagers give dating apps a try. However, not every dating app or networking app is geared toward a younger audience, so they need to be extra cautious on social networks.
Top 3 Best Teen Dating Apps
Check our our top picks below:
Knowing which apps are teenager-friendly and which aren’t is a must. The safest app for teens would include parental permission and features that ensure that interacting does not put the child’s safety at risk. Sites for teens are meant to help them navigate social circles and find friends or romantic partners, not spend a day of endless swiping through a list of matches who could be dangerous adults.
That’s why we have reviewed the best teen dating apps and actual teen dating websites on the Internet today! Why apps? Teenagers are always on their phones, so it makes sense that the main place they would go to meet people would be an app that works for iOS and Android devices.
There are lots of dating apps out there. Here are a few that we feel teenagers are sure to enjoy because they are geared toward a younger audience.
Skout is both a social networking site and dating app. It launched in 2007, and became popular due to the fact that it is a dating app with the youngest user base. Anyone 13 years or older can join, making it one of the best options for teens of all ages, since it has the widest age range available in any of the apps for teenagers.
The sign-up process for this Skout is fairly simple. All you have to do is link your account to Facebook, Google+, or an email, and you are ready to start searching for matches. However, it is definitely recommended that you add more information and photos to your profile first before you begin your search.
Users on this app can either scroll through the updates of nearby users or look through the photos of those that are willing to meet up in order to find a match. Both options are easy to use and navigate.
This app has a few key features that are unique from the other dating apps and sites for teenagers out there. First, you can shake your phone to find others that are interested in chatting with other members.
There is a newsfeed feature that allows you to see the photos and statuses of other members nearby. Then, there is a list of members that have said they are willing to meet up in person. If there is a specific person that peaks your interest in any of these areas, you can start a chat with them.
- It is accessible to teens of all ages.
- It is free to use.
- The features are very user-friendly.
- It has features that are unique from other common dating apps.
- Not a lot of profile setup is required.
- The app is not just used for dating.
- You might get overwhelmed with the number of messages.
Since many of Skout’s members are a younger audience, they try to take safety are seriously as possible. Posts on this site are closely monitored and exact locations are never revealed. Plus, the site provides plenty of safety tips that teens on this site are encouraged to follow.
Since no pictures can be sent in private messages, there is little chance of nude photos of underage kids being shared in a photo upload. Single teenagers can chat on their cell phones, but can’t send compromising photos to adult users though this app.
However, even though this site is closely monitored, the sign-up process is short, so someone could easily pretend to be someone they’re not, according to Common Sense Media. This can be dangerous on any of the social media platforms that teens frequent today.
Perhaps any app that focuses on teen chats for younger teens should feature stronger safety features, a solid report feature, and restrictions for non-registered users so that random users are less likely to be dangerous to teenage users.
Taffy is a dating app that allows users to chat with each other first before even revealing what they look like. This is a great way to teens to meet new people in a safe environment, but this app only allows individuals who are 17 years or older to sign up, so younger teenagers don’t get the chance to use it.
This can be both good and bad. While younger teens may be upset that they cannot join, older teens who are looking for romantic relationships don’t have to worry that they’re chatting with someone much younger than they’ve represented, as may happen on apps for teens such as Skout.
Easy Signup and Blurred Photo Feature
Taffy is a fairly easy app to sign up for. Once you install it, you just have to enter some basic information, which includes your age, gender, email, location, and profile picture.
When looking for someone to chat with, you can choose between six different categories: love, friends, hookup, advice, teen chats, and whatever. You can sign up for as many categories as you’d like.
Once you choose a category, you will be prompted to create a post in that category. This post will include some text of your choice and an obscured version of your profile photo. Users see each other’s social media profiles before they see each other’s faces.
If you begin chatting with someone, the longer you keep the conversation going, the more in focus your photo will become. This encourages individuals to get to know each other before just judging based on looks.
Some of the other great features that can be found on Taffy include swiping left or right, express, chat, or explore. It is not meant solely for teenagers, but can be fun and beneficial for older adults as well, whether they are seeking romantic relationships or just want to be friends.
- Swiping – Much like Tinder, users can swipe left or right on a profile. Unlike Tinder, the choice will be made from the information in the user profile, not from their photo.
- Chatting – You cannot send a message to someone unless you’ve both swiped to connect with each other. Once you swipe someone, if they swipe you back, the chat can begin.
- Explore – This feature allows you to see which profiles have gotten more likes or been chosen for the most chats. It is part of the Taffy Live feature.
- Express – With Taffy Express, you can use the app’s audio feature to reveal what your voice sounds like to any potential chat partners.
- It has a fairly young audience.
- The photos of a user are not revealed right away.
- It is free to use. There is no paid subscription plan as of yet.
- It allows you to get to know someone better first.
- The android app is newer and has a lot of issues still.
- It has a smaller user base than other dating apps.
Since very little information is revealed about you on this app, it is less likely that you will get scammed. Users cannot even see what you look like unless you engage in a lengthy conversation with them.
Therefore, while it is possible to get scammed on this app if you are not careful, it is very unlikely. However, if someone is an unsavory character, this could also make it easier to hide who they are, since there are no videos or photos to show. Of course, you can’t be sure what type of person you are chatting with on this or any of the online dating apps.
Bumble is a much more popular dating app than the other two options, but it only allows users ages 18 and up, so younger teenagers will not be able to use it. However, the structure of Bumble is great for a younger audience because it is one of the mainstream dating platforms that allows girls to make the first move for a change.
Bumble is a swiping app, similar to Tinder, but it functions differently because only girls can initiate the conversation. You can simply swipe left or right through the profiles if like-minded people that show up as you explore the online dating site.
Then, if you match with someone, you can start a conversation with them. However, this app is more fast-paced than other online dating websites because you need to keep the conversation going or else your chat will expire. Therefore, if you really like someone on this app, you need to act fast. it is an app for people who know what they want and have time to pursue it.
To create an account on this site, it is quick and easy. You can simply link a Facebook profile, and then all your basic information will automatically sync. You can make changes to your profile as needed, but once you are signed up, you are free to start browsing through profiles if you choose.
- Women aren’t overwhelmed with messages.
- You can download the app for free.
- The time limit allows conversations to move along faster.
- It is not accessible to younger teenagers.
- There is a limited amount of time to keep the conversation going.
- Some features might come at an extra cost.
- Men cannot initiate the conversation even if they want to.
Bumble uses a photo verification system to ensure that everyone on the site is who they say they are. To verify your profile, you will be prompted to take a selfie in a certain pose, then Bumble will use that photo to verify that you are the same person as in the images you posted. Once a profile has been verified, a verification badge will appear on that person’s profile.
Top 2 Best Teen Dating Sites
While most teenagers would prefer to use an app, there are specific dating sites that are geared toward teens. They might not be as popular as mobile options, but they are another way for teens to get out there.
Teen Dating Site
Teen Dating Site does have an app as well, but teens can also easily sign up for it and use it online. This is a simple dating site that is made specifically for teens only, so it is only for users ages 13 to 19, and no one over that age limit.
To become a member on Teen Dating Site, all you have to do is answer a few simple questions to sign up, including a user name, password, location, and age. You will need to sign up and make an account before you can even view the other potential matches.
Once you are a member, you can browse through other profiles or find matches by using the “Hot or Not” feature, which is similar to the swiping used on other dating sites. You can also filter users by specific interests to help you narrow down your search. Plus, once you find someone that you’re interested in, you can send messages and even video chat with them.
- It is made specifically for teens.
- It is free to use.
- It is easy to sign up for.
- It also has an app.
- It often has a lot of glitches that need to be fixed.
- Not a lot of information is required to sign up.
Since the sign-up process is simple, it is difficult to verify if users are actually the age that they say they are. Adults could easily go on and pretend to be a teenager. However, the good news is that users are displayed with a user name instead of their real name.
Plus, not much information is revealed about them in order to keep their details more private. However, any teenagers using this site need to be extremely careful, because these features can also make it easier for others to lie about who they are.
MyLOL is another dating site that is created just for teenagers, so users must be between 13 and 19 years of age. This site is not only for teens to find a significant other, but also for them to make new friends online.
To sign up for this site, only a few simple pieces of information are needed. You will need to provide a username, password, age, and location. It functions similarly to Teen Dating Site, but on MyLol, you can actually view some of the other members before actually making an account.
This site has lots of different features that allow users to connect with each other. First, users can use a search tool to find other members. You are able to message any of the other users unless they have restricted chat setting. Members can also use the “Shout” page to create posts that are visible to everyone to help them get more attention.
For users that a looking to interact with a larger user base, they can join community chat rooms and forums to interact with lots of members at once. Users can also write blog posts on different topics to share their interests.
- It is created only for teens.
- It is easy to sign up for.
- It is free to use.
- It also has an app.
- There have been lots of reported scammers.
- You might have to pay to access all features.
This site attempts to keep its users safe, but unfortunately, a lot of fake accounts are created. You can go through a verification process to prove that you are who you say you are, but it is completely optional.
Also, the site monitors photos to ensure that nothing inappropriate is posted, but this doesn’t stop fake photos from being uploaded. Therefore, while this app is a fun and easy way to meet other teenagers, it should only be used with caution.
Top 2 Best LGBTQ Teen Dating Sites
For teenagers in the LGBTQ community, it can often be difficult to find a good dating sites. Many of the dating apps out there have a large user base of straight couples, making it hard for individuals of other sexualities to find what they’re looking for. Luckily, there are some dating sites that are a little more LGBTQ-friendly.
Even though this dating app is only geared towards individuals 18 and older, it is the world’s largest dating app for lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. Older, more mature teenagers that are ages 18 and 19 can easily use this LGBTQ dating app to find their match.
As long as you have a Facebook or Instagram, the sign-up process for Her is easy. It uses one of those social media accounts in order to verify the user before they make an account. Then, once you have linked your social media, you are free to start customizing your profile. On your profile, your name, age, sexuality, photos, and text items will appear to other users.
The main way to connect with others on the app is to use the “Meet” feature. This feature will present you with different profiles, and you can either like or dismiss them. If you both like each other, then you will be able to start chatting.
If you don’t want to search for matches this way, you can also search through the feed, which is where you can interact with other members in real time. There is also an events section that lists all the lesbian events in your area, including concerts, cookouts, and much more.
- It is geared specifically toward the LGBTQ community.
- The app is free to use.
- It has an active user base.
- It is easy to use.
- Younger teenagers cannot use it.
- You need to pay to access all features.
- Males are not allowed on this app.
Unfortunately, Her does not have an account verification system when signing up. They do try to look closely at your social media to make sure you are a real person, but it is still possible for scammers to get in. However, you can only get messages from matches and friends, so as long as you are careful, you should have no problems on this site.
While OkCupid is not exclusively for the LGBTQ community, they are open to all types of relationships. They only allow ages 18 and older, so this is another option that is geared toward more mature teenagers.
The sign-up process for OkCupid is lengthier than other dating apps, but it is in place to ensure that you get the most accurate matches possible. You need to fill out simple information to begin with, which includes your name, age, sexuality, and location. Then, you need to go on to fill out a series of questions to help narrow down your search.
Once your profile is complete, you can search through other users by swiping left or right. However, all the members that show up for your will be ones that are compatible with you. Each user will have a percentage on their profile to show how compatible you will likely be.
In order to make these percentages as accurate as possible, you can answer even more questions, but it is not mandatory. Once you match with someone, you can message them. You can send messages to people before you match with them, but this does not guarantee that they will like you back.
- It is free to use.
- Profiles are detailed and personal.
- There is a large user base of over 10 million members.
- It matches you with others based on specific preferences.
- You need to pay extra to access all features.
- It is not only for LGTBQ members.
- Younger teenagers cannot use it.
While OkCupid does have moderators to monitor the activity on the site, there isn’t a photo verification system in place, so it is possible for scammers to get on. However, since your need to fill out a questionnaire to use this site, it is less likely that fake profiles will be created, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Things to Be Aware of in Online Dating for Teens
When it comes to online dating to teens, there is a lot to be careful of. Scammers might take advantage of teens and young teenagers might be too trusting of everyone they meet. It is important for all teenagers to be aware of the following things before they decide to date online.
Always Be Cautious
Not everyone is always who they say they are online. Even if someone seems very kind and trustworthy, you still need to be careful. Scammers are tricky and will do anything they can to get you to trust them. For this reason, they may specifically target teenagers because they think it’ll be easier to trick them. Therefore, if you are a teenager looking to date online, always be cautious when talking to other users.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
This goes along with being cautious because you should never give out personal information to someone you don’t know. Most dating sites limit information to a name, age, and whatever other information you’re willing to share publicly.
It’s okay to have conversations with people online, but if anyone starts asking for overly specific information about you, then this is a red flag. Just because someone asks you something does not mean you need to answer them or give them what you want. Do not give users information that could possibly be used against you in the future.
Take Your Time
As a teenager, you have a long life ahead of you. You’ll have plenty of chances to date and meet new people. Therefore, you don’t need to rush into anything while dating online. Take your time when talking to someone so that you can really get to know them.
Scammers might try to rush into things and meet up with you as soon as possible, so if someone seems to be pressuring you to move interactions forward, you might want to stop talking to them. Only meet up with someone or give them another means of contacting you once the time is right. Never rush into it right away.
Only Meet in Safe, Public Areas
If you have been talking to someone online for a long period of time, then you may want to meet them in person. Meeting in person can verify that someone is an actual person, but it doesn’t always mean that they are who they say they are. Therefore, if you are certain that you want to try meeting someone face to face, make sure you meet in a safe, public area.
Also, make sure that someone close to you knows exactly where you’re meeting just in case something goes wrong. These may seem like overkill, but little things like this can keep you safe from any bad people out there.
Avoid Talking to Adults Online
For some teenagers, talking to an adult on a dating app might seem cool, especially if you are under 18. However, many adults are not actually looking to date someone much younger than them, but instead, they are looking to trick them.
Young teenagers often fall for these tricks because these online predators know exactly what to say to earn a teenager’s trust. However, these actions are actually illegal with anyone under 18, so if you are a teenager looking to date, you should only be looking for other people your age.
Don’t Let Online Dating Control Your Life
If you meet someone nice online, it can be tempting to spend the majority of your time talking to them. Or, even if you haven’t had any matches yet, you may become glued to the app while trying to find someone to talk to.
While it is okay to talk to matches online, don’t spend all your free time doing so. As fun as it might seem to find matches online, it is not worth getting in the way of your daily life or neglecting fun events.
FAQ About Teen Online Dating
It is common for parents and other individuals to be concerned about online dating for teens. Here are some commonly asked questions about these actions.
Should Parents Allow Their Teenagers to Date Online?
Every parent has a different way of teaching their kids, so the answer to this question is really up to the parent. Ideally, kids should not be allowed to online date until they are in high school, and even then, parents should make sure to tell them all about online safety.
If parents allow their children to date and communicate with others online, they should make sure to talk with them often so that their kids will be aware of all the risks of meeting people online.
How Do You Know if Your Teenager is Dating Online?
Even if you don’t allow your kid to using dating apps, there is still a chance that they will get on them behind your back. If a teenager is using a dating app, you may notice them using their phone or computer much more than usual. They might try to use their electronics in places where you can’t see the screen. You might also notice them smiling or blushing while reading messages on their screen.
If a parent suspects that their child might be meeting people online, their first instinct might be to take their phone and go through their apps and messages to find out, but this will only break your child’s trust with you. Instead, try to calmly talk about it with them so that you can help teach them about online safety.
You can also try to find their online dating profile using these methods.
How Can I Talk to Teenagers About Online Dating?
As much as you dislike the thought of your teenager dating online, you need to approach the situation calmly. If you yell at them and forbid them to use dating apps anymore, they will likely only get angry and find a way todo it behind your back. Therefore, try to have a normal discussion with them.
Make sure you inform them of red flags to look out for and tell them to always put their safety first. You might not be able to get them off these sites completely, but at least you can be there for them to answer questions and keep them as safe as possible.
How Can Parents Monitor Their Teen’s Online Dating?
Teenagers generally don’t like their electronic usage being monitored too closely, but for some parents, this helps to put some of their worries at ease. Give your teenager some space with their electronics and respect their privacy, but you can still set some boundaries. For example, when they go to bed, you could have them keep their phone outside of their room to ensure that they’re not on the dating app all night.
Also, you should make sure that they always tell you where they’re going before they leave the house so that they don’t meet someone in an unsafe location. You might want to go through their phone to see what’s going on, but it is important to respect their privacy and only monitor their actions on dating apps when necessary.
Aren’t Most Dating Sites Only for 18 and Older?
Yes, most dating sites only allow individuals that are 18 and older to sign up, although there are some that are 17 or up, or possibly even a bit younger. However, even if your teenager is too young for a dating app, they could try to lie about their age to seem cooler. If you know your teenager is using a dating app, make sure they are only using one that is age appropriate to help them avoid getting into trouble.
While it is not ideal for teenagers to date online, it is something that happens often. It is important for adults to educate teenagers about online safety as much as possible to ensure that they make good decisions online. The more teenagers know about online dating, the safer they will be, and many may even choose to avoid it because of the risks. When dating online, the more cautious you are, the better, especially at a young age.