Let’s be honest ladies, sometimes it feels like it’s slim pickings out there on the lesbian dating scene. No one seems to go to bars anymore and you always run the risk of chatting for hours to a cute girl only to discover she’s just looking for a new friend.
Enter, the dating app. It’s not 2003 anymore and actually, your best route to a happily-ever-after (or at least a happily-for-a-good-while!) is through a little symbol on your phone. A few simple steps and you could be on the greatest date of your life. Come on, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of optimism! We are looking for love here gurls, not the lesbian Grindr…
We know, you’ve heard so many horror stories about online dating. But be honest, you’ve heard equally as many success stories, if not more – we know we have! Dating apps aren’t only for hook-ups anymore (although if that’s what you’re looking for, they work for that too!) and with the ever-evolving technology, it’s much easier to avoid creepy men and being matched with your ex.
To help you navigate the world of dating apps as a queer woman, we’re here to help with some of the best lesbian dating apps around. Some designed specifically for girls who love girls; some not but tried-and-tested by lesbians; all with proven success.
So download and get swiping those lovely fingers ladies!
In this article we will cover...
Let’s start with the ultimate in lesbian dating apps, the first app designed specifically for queer women: HER. Not only was it created for queer women; it was created by them. That’s definitely something we can get on board with. Added to that, HER is more of a relationship app than a hook-up one, so if you’re ready to settle down, this is a good place to start!
HER’s unique selling point is that it mixes dating app with social media through its minimalist layout and user profiles. You can add photos and bios, but there’s no questionnaire of 3082 questions to answer before setting up. The HER community is over 3 million and you’ll be shown a collage of those nearby. Users have to register through a Facebook account, which eliminates the issue of pervy men cat fishing.
This better sense of security is great if you’ve been burned by hook-up apps before; it also increases your chance of a good match, of course! While you might feel shy sending the first message, the app has some encouraging dating hacks to help you get the most out of it. It’s not only for meeting people, either – you get info about upcoming LGBTQ events, news and lesbian movies as well.
Also among the best lesbian dating apps is Fem which, unsurprisingly, focuses on helping women meet women. It’s free, it’s easy-to-use and it prioritizes authenticity – no cat fishing here. How it does this is through video; users are encouraged to submit video profiles instead of pics, so you know that cute gal is a gal (we know you can steal videos too, but it’s much less foolproof).
This also means you get a sense of someone’s voice and mannerisms before meeting as well, which is surprisingly nice. Aside from the video, everything else works much like your usual app, so you don’t require a 3-hour orientation for it (who’s got time for that, anyway?!).
The other special aspect is the ‘Rooms’ tool – basically, chat rooms where you can talk about whatever you feel like with other women. This could be to meet locals, chat ‘naughty or nice’ or generally about your experiences. It’s a fun way to expand your circle a bit and feel more connected, even if you don’t end up meeting the love of your life.
We know, we hate ourselves a little bit for even mentioning Tinder. But seriously, how can you write about dating apps without bringing up this giant? While not specifically a lesbian or even LGBT dating app, there are so many people on there that you’d be remiss if you didn’t at least try it.
It’s got a pretty terrible rep for us girls who like girls endlessly being offered men or straight women, but at least there are 37 gender options and it’ll give you plenty of options who are actually nearby IRL, so if you are looking to get things off the ground quickly (or just need a quick hook-up, no judgements), Tinder will do the job.
The thing is, for all its faults, Tinder has actually kick-started a lot of relationships. You can’t argue with those stats, but if you want to have the best luck: put in a bit of effort and leave those lesbian sandals at home…
This famous site is on the list for much the same reasons as Tinder, though it has a much less sleazy rep. Basically, there are so many people using it that it’s a pool you want to be fishing in. If you can grit your teeth at the male profiles that somehow creep into your matching you very well might find that lasting connection.
Unlike many other online dating giants, OkCupid is pretty queer friendly, with 12 sexual orientations and 20 pronouns to choose from. They also launched a queer-friendly campaign recently with some seriously cute ads. It’s a lot more relationship-focused than most apps, with more in-depth bios and sets of questions that tell you more about people than simply whether they take a good selfie or not.
Hinge is one of the new kids on the block but is quickly acquiring quite a following. While not a lesbian-only app, it’s unique take on online dating makes it one of the more intriguing lesbian dating apps around. It’s definitely an app for people who are taking this dating thing seriously (some call it the ‘anti-Tinder’), unlike all those gay hookup apps the boys have!
Its recent makeover is what has made it suddenly leap to the front of the pack, with an interface that allows you to scroll through potential profiles rather than swiping left or right, so reducing your chances of accidentally rejecting a possible soul mate! It also links with your Facebook to only allow you to match with friends of friends – the idea being that you don’t end up on dates with randoms you have nothing in common with.
The downside? Things might end up getting a little incestuous in your friend group if you’re all using it. Or, if you only have straight friends, the pickings might be a little slim! Aside from this, the aesthetically pleasing interface and fresh approach make it a must-try.
OK, with a name like this, how can you resist giving this one a whirl? Another new(ish) app made specifically for LGBTQ+ women, Scissr answers your prayers whether you’re looking for flowers and hearts romance, a bit of a flirt or even just to network a bit.
Popular in the US, it’s been designed by lesbians and they guarantee no fake accounts or men, so users should feel comfortable and confident using the app. Simply join up through your Facebook account, create a quick ‘About Me’ and upload some photos and you’re ready to rock and roll.
Filter the potential matches by distance, sexual identity, age or height and get browsing. You basically ‘crush’ on people via their profile (or they crush on you) and then you can message to get to know them better, which we did with a certain semi-famous lesbian comedian…
New kid on the block Lesly promotes itself as a social network community for lesbian, queer and bisexual women and there are officially ‘no boys allowed’! Working more or less like a classic dating app, it’s a secure place for women to meet each other and (hopefully!) fall in love. Who knows, you might even find a lovely lady to buy you jewelry or whisk you away on a dream lesbian vacation.
Meet ladies nearby or around the world, depending on how much you travel. Born because its creators didn’t understand why gay men had Grindr and gay women didn’t have anything, it’s still considerably more dating-friendly that Grindr, with women hoping to forge a real connection.
As is common with newer apps, the pool to fish in might not be as big as Tinder and similar; but at least you’ll be meeting more discerning types!
Probably the most international of the lesbian dating apps around, Wapa has an interface that’s similar to Grindr, in the sense that women closest to you are displayed at the top. Designed for lesbian, bi or bi-curious women, it’s simple and easy to use.
It’s also worked on security features with the option to send an in-app video message to verify who you are – a feature we definitely approve of. Plus, you get to hear your potential interest’s voice. As we said with Fem, this is a surprisingly reassuring thing when you’re chatting online with someone who is essentially a stranger.
Wapa also stands out for its translation feature, which means you can use it while travelling to chat with locals if you don’t speak the language. OK, so when you actually meet up communication might be an issue – but worry about that when you get to it, perhaps!
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big queer world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many gay travelers (including us) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access and pre-arrange airport transfers to take the stress out of travel. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more mainstream travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your global rainbow family and don't forget to share your best gay stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...We'd love to hear from you!