You thought dating was intimidating before kids, which means that it’s downright terrifying now that you have one or more children in tow. Single parents everywhere know that the struggle to find a fresh romance is real—namely because there’s a very important list of non-negotiables and time is too precious to waste on the wrong person. So where can you go to find the special someone who will complete your family? Well, we can’t make any promises, but our roundup of the best dating apps for single parents is a darn good place to start.
The 10 Best Dating Apps for Single Parents
The dating scene can be alienating if you’ve got a few extra years under your belt, but SilverSingles is an exception to the rule that provides a thriving social space where individuals over the age of 50 can connect. Whether you’re looking for friendship, a fling or something more serious, this app’s in-depth personality test and self-guided search options will set you on the right track—and for a relatively low monthly fee at that.
This tremendously successful dating app and social platform promises a personalized dating experience with a particularly diverse user base. (The service is available in 80 countries and over 25 languages.) While the pool is quite large, Zoosk assures users that its behavioral technology algorithm will help you find someone you hit it off with, but for single parents we suggest disclosing your kid count on your profile, since there’s a search filter for that.
3. Elite Singles
Carefree 20-somethings need not apply, because Elite Singles caters to the over 30 professional crowd, specifically those seeking more serious relationships. To achieve long term matches, the app relies on an in-depth survey that takes personal values, lifestyle and goals into account, as well as future planning specifics, like whether or not you want to have more kids.
Here, an app-only platform that’s exclusively for single parents and boasts a refreshingly user-friendly interface. Before signing up, you should keep in mind that the free version of Stir has considerably fewer features than the paid subscription—but no matter how you slice it, that’s a small price to pay for finding someone that’s in (mostly) the same boat as you.
Download for Android
5. Coffee Meets Bagel
If you’re ready for the real thing, Coffee Meets Bagel might be right for you. This app-only dating platform is intended for those who are seeking long-term commitments—a promise that’s fulfilled with a slow-dating model that uses data collection to limit shallow searches and encourage substantive connection. Best of all, most of the features on this app are available for free, though a premium subscription does buy you some insider information that might pay dividends.
Yes, it’s been around for ages—but for good reason, friends. The fact is that eHarmony boasts some seriously impressive stats when it comes to making forever matches—namely because the tried and true app has gone to great lengths to prioritize safety, eliminate catfishing and maintain a high quality dating pool. Plus, you won’t just be meeting someone at random, since dates are suggested with a boatload of criteria in mind, and the website backs its matchmaking promise with three months’ free service if you’re dissatisfied.
Match.com was quick to tap the dating market in the mid 90s and has stood the test of time due to its solid matchmaking track record. Sure, the interface is a bit dated, but paid subscribers craving facetime can enjoy real-life match events; online-only users have the option of using the interest tab to message anyone they choose (no swiping nonsense), whilst benefiting from an algorithm that grows smarter with every move they make.
Download for Android, iOS
8. Next Love
Much like Stir, Next Love is another rarity that caters specifically to single parents and the previously married. At this point in time, the user base is quite small, and the annual membership costs a pretty penny (roughly $235). That said, the platform’s search function has a seriously impressive number of filters, so folks can easily fine-tune their matches according to personal preference.
Download for Android, iOS
9. Plenty of Fish
With a whopping 70 million members, it’s safe to say that Plenty of Fish lives up to its name—which should come as no surprise, since the service is totally free. Word on the street is that single moms have a high success rate on Plenty of Fish, and everyone benefits from the fact that the platform provides users the freedom to craft an in-depth personal profile if they so choose. In other words, if you prefer substance over swiping, this might be the app for you.
Single mamas who are interested in romance without a side of sleaze will be pleased to know about Bumble—a women-centered dating app created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe for this very purpose. Those who identify as women can expect to be in the driver’s seat, since the app only allows this gender to initiate conversations. It’s also worth noting that Bumble offers a free trial with an option to upgrade, so it doesn’t get much lower risk than this.