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Published on Oct 10, 2021
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Sophia Clark

20 Dating Apps Parents Need To Know About

When we ask couples how they met, the most common response is "on the internet." It's no wonder that internet dating has spread to teenagers. Most people use Snapchat or Instagram to expand their social circles and come try one of the many messaging applications that claim to help them "meet new friends."

Messaging applications are more geared toward casual conversation. While dating apps and sites like Tinder, Match, and OkCupid make it simple to text, video chat, and share photos with strangers.

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These apps are unavoidable, especially for youth who may not have a supportive environment at school. Even if your child does not use one, their friends might use the apps.

Also, the excitement of meeting new people in a risk-free environment may pique the interest of any teen. They believe that a new (boy-/girl-)friend is only a download away. That is why it is critical to talk about genuine, potentially dangerous apps.

Why Are Dating Apps Bad For Teens?

It doesn't even take a minute to download Tinder or Grindr on your smartphone. You can link it to your Facebook account and upload your photos. After you include your social network details, you're dating in the twenty-first century! It's not only intrusive but also very public.

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  • Most "make-new-friends" applications aren't designed for teenagers. But it's simple to get around age limits because most registrations only need a birth date. As a result, adults can impersonate teenagers and vice versa.
  • Most are location-based, which means they connect you with people in your area, increasing your chances of meeting a stranger in person.
  • Kids use these apps to share social media identities. Strangers can gain access to more personal information and intimate interactions.
  • Some of them contain mature themes such as drugs and nudity.
  • The entry hurdle is relatively low: they're typically free and open to almost anyone.
  • The overwhelming emphasis on appearance as a basis for judgment is disturbing.

Most parents get concerned because their teenagers can publish any material on the internet for anybody to view.

If you notice your youngster using one of these, don't get alarmed, and try not to pass judgment. If your teenager wants to date or is in a long-term relationship, being judgemental is not the best way to go about it. You don't want to send your child deeper into hiding; you want to start a conversation.

Yes, technology is taking over the world, but convince your teenagers that it doesn't have to take over their relationships as well!

Danger

Matching with someone online isn't the same as having a meaningful relationship. It's approximately a minute of looking through photographs and having an attraction.

Many people believe they can have their cake and eat it because of the attention span on dating apps like Tinder. If one match does not work out, users can switch to another match and try again. Not to mention that the number of matches available can be limitless.

It's exposing your teenager's personal information to a large number of strangers. In some circumstances, this may link your teenagers to the types of people who may stalk them online or worse.

Teen Dating Apps Perceptions

With everything on social media, there are always many possibilities. The person your adolescent is talking to might not be the same as their altered or even "catfished" photos.

Catfishing is when someone creates a fake internet profile to deceive people searching for love. It's usually done for getting money and personal profit.

Because of what they interpret from your kid's online social media sites, your teen might be susceptible to someone playing a cruel prank on them. Unknown users might be messing with their emotions or even someone trying to make money off of them.

Furthermore, many kids have reported having their images taken. It comes with its own set of concerns when using a dating/hookup app profile.

Hookups

These dating apps only result in hookups most of the time. Tinder doesn't produce many romantic relationships, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. These types of "dating" apps are usually created to hook up.

If your child uses these applications, they should be cautious and aware of the associated risks. People abuse their online power, and taking advantage of teenagers is sometimes simple.

Unfortunately, most of these "hookup" applications are useless for dating, especially for teenagers! It's generally best to support and protect your kids from the risks of dating and hookups until they are more mature and ready to take on the world of internet dating.

20 Dating Apps That Teens Use

Positive connections can give us a sense of respect and care if they are healthy.

Teens are utilizing the following dating, "make new friends," and hookup applications. It is by no means an exhaustive list; there are many more apps like these available in the app stores.

Tinder (Android, iOS)

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Tinder allows you to look at the photos of possible matches within a specific radius of your current location. You can sign up with Facebook or your phone number ( requires a phone number either way).

It asks users to enter the name of their school; adjacent institutions appear as options, but you can skip this step. You can also opt to see profiles from 18 to 50 years old.

To "like" a photo, swipe right; to "pass," swipe left. If someone you've "liked" on your photo also swipes "like" on yours, the app lets you message each other. The main goal is to meet up (and hook up). Many apps have replicated this swipe method, so double-check it if you encounter it in another app.

Badoo (Android, iOS)

Badoo is a standout in the crowded industry of dating applications. It has over 370 million members from over 190 countries. Users share their profiles and photographs while looking for connections.

To find exciting matches, it employs a Tinder-like swiping function. It lets you explore neighboring people's profiles as well.

Badoo prioritizes ensuring that its members are genuine, not "catfish"-style scams. Posting photos, linking social network accounts, and phone verification are all part of its verification process.

Yubo (Android, iOS)

Yubo claims itself as a "make new friends" app for teenagers, although it is frequently referred to as "Tinder for teenagers."

To make a profile, users must be at least 13 years old, but it's easy to make up a fake date. Teenagers (or adults pretending to be teenagers) can use the app. It locates users with similar interests, and they can communicate via private messaging or public live streams.

There is no age verification. The app description claims two different zones for kids aged 13 to 17 and those aged 18 and up. But the live-streaming age ranges from 13 to 25, implying that minors and adults can connect via live streaming. The parent handbook also states that you must use your actual name, photo, and date of birth to use the program. Although all three are easy to fake.

Yubo is a risky software for kids since it allows them to meet strangers online. Many phony identities and sexual predators lurk online, posing as ordinary app users. Before starting a conversation with an unknown individual, teenagers should be able to recognize the risks.

Bumble (Android, iOS)

Bumble, one of the most excellent dating apps, added a video chat option two years ago, giving it a leg up in the shelter-in-place era. Activities got added, a quiz game, to keep you and your partner occupied during your video chat.

After two people connect and become part of each other's hive, Bumble seeks to assist you in booking dates or making new friends in your region. But it's up to the queen bee (any female) to make the first move. There isn't much time to spare; you have 24 hours to make contact, or the link will get lost forever. If

the connection gets lost, you can seek a 24-hour extension.

Rather than a love connection, do you want to expand your circle of friends? Bumble includes a BFF option for people who aren't searching for dates and a distinct part for networking.

OkCupid (Android, iOS)

OkCupid is a popular dating site. It has a large user base and simple dating options. Instead of resting on its laurels, OKC continues to improve and expand as a top dating app.

It has a "Varieties" system that allows users to examine various flavors of possible matches. It includes interests and aspects such as Kinky Nerds, Beard Lovers, World Travelers, etc. All these come on top of OkCupid's chat features. Personality quizzes, Instagram integration, and other tried-and-true features.

A premium subscription unlocks extra benefits, including improved search tools and the chance to see who has liked you.

Match.com (Android, iOS)

Match.com provides a freemium dating experience. Free users can create online profiles, post a few photos of themselves, and then flirt online with "winks." Fresh matches are being given to them every day.

A Match.com subscription unlocks more advanced features, such as the ability to see who has looked at your profile and liked your photos.

Match has continued to add features to its platform. It has included a Tinder-like Mixer, Android Wear, and Apple Watch connectivity. With individuals stuck at home, Match introduced Vibe Check, which allows you to have video chats with your matches. Match also added the feature to add voice and video clips to your profile.

Match, like Tinder, has a safety function that allows you to notify friends when you're on a date and feel unsafe. Another recent innovation allows you to specify your political beliefs. It helps discover someone who shares your viewpoints (or doesn't, if you feel that opposites attract).

MeetMe

MeetMe is also a website and an app. It has a tagline to meet, chat, and have fun with new people. Users can share their profiles between Skout and MeetMe (affiliated).

You can communicate with other users in a variety of ways. You can talk to individuals in your area, watch live streams (or go live yourself), chat, or use the "Quick" function to meet people face-to-face right now. Users can even exchange real-money virtual presents with one another.

You'll see a list of safety recommendations when you log in. There's also a lot of mature content, a focus on meeting strangers, and various ways to spend money. While using the app, you can find several clad ladies live streaming. There are also many profiles with various drugs as one of the profile photographs.

Although it's said to be for those aged 18 and up, there is no age verification. Many users link their handles to their other social media accounts.

eharmony (Android, iOS)

eharmony has been in the online dating business for a long time. It was the first to use an algorithm to find the greatest possible dating matches for its customers. After creating an account, it constructs a personality profile using a "Relationship Questionnaire." The profile helps eharmony match you with other users with whom you'll click and connect.

Every day, the app will present you with a list of potential matches. It gives the option to interact if mutual interest exists and has your areas of compatibility.

Premium members have access to more matching and discovery possibilities. It also offers additional features, such as displaying who has recently seen your profile.

Coffee Meets Bagel (Android, iOS)

Coffee Meets Bagel is different from many of the finest dating apps. It takes a different approach, emphasizing quality over quantity. Every day at noon, the app sends men a list of potential matches based on their profile and interests. As for women, they get a list of matches who have expressed interest in them, with the option to reciprocate.

The app sets a seven-day conversation window and an icebreaker if you both like each other.

The dating app is now redesigned to place a more significant emphasis on user profiles. Now, it allows you to comment on profiles and photographs to develop more relationships amongst the users.

Snack (iOS)

Consider TikTok for dating, and you'll get a fair idea of what Snack is all about. Short videos get emphasis in this dating app. You shift through a stream of introductory films to discover who piques your attention. You favor those of users you'd like to learn more about. Then you'll be able to DM each other if they like your video.

Snack is a good dating app for our socially distant times because of the emphasis on videos. Albeit the concentration is definitely on the under-30 set.

Snack is currently only available on the iPhone, but you can sign up to get notified when an Android version gets released.

XO (Android, iOS)

By employing games to help break the ice, XO hopes to bring some joy back into dating. Quizzes, drawing games, and other party activities allow you to meet new people and form a bond that leads to a relationship.

Make a profile, and meeting up with someone who shares your interests is how you find matches. Or, you could try one of XO's other, more haphazard pairings. Before you view their profiles, "Blind Date" connects you with someone to play a game and exchange messages with. Whereas "Random" connects you with someone from anywhere in the world.

Teens who want to find a partner will check out different dating apps. For teens, XO appears to be a fun, casual way to meet new people, and that friendship could bloom into something more.

Kippo (Android, iOS)

Kippo aims to attract online gamers looking for some company. The app allows you to create your profile, which you may use to showcase your true passions. The more original your profile is, the better. The program then looks for matchups based on your favorite games.

Once you've found a match, you may DM and talk with them. But the accessible version of Kippo limits how many profiles you can swipe every day and how many messages you can send. To remove those limitations, you have to pay to join the Kippo Infinity tier.

According to Kippo, it confirms that everyone who uses its service is a natural person. It employs moderation to keep wrong users out.

Happn (Android, iOS)

Happn is all about the people you've crossed paths with. You get to know people who you would find intriguing and who are doing similar things to you. Happn is a location-based dating app that displays the profiles of other Happn users you've crossed paths with, as well as the time and location.

If you like any of the profiles that appear and your feelings are mutual, you can connect using the app. Paid options include the ability to "Say Hi" to other accounts and receive notifications, as well as the opportunity to see who has liked you.

The Happn app is a dating app that uses users' current locations to help them create a free account. It's a dating app that debuted at the end of 2014 with the tagline "Find the people you meet.” Anyone can join the site and create their profile. Teens can quickly look for partners depending on their preferences after creating an account.

Teenagers using the Happn app are increasing even more. But, it's considered harmful to youngsters due to its sexual content and other negative impacts.

You must comprehend if teenagers are utilizing it. It's effortless for your youngster to become a victim of dating abuse. To protect your child from Happn, you must take corrective action.

Plenty of Fish Dating (Android, iOS)

Plenty of Fish Dating may lack the depth of features seen in other dating apps. Although it lacks in-depth features, it makes up for it in breadth. It is one of the very popular and prominent globally, with over 70 million users spread over the English-speaking world.

Possible message plenty of Fish keeps making minor changes to its app, such as Chat Heads for Android users, premium VoIP calls, and Instagram image uploads.

There's also a free Live Stream function that encourages video dating. Users create a basic profile that includes their age, education, and career. Then, they search for possible message matches. With this, teens get exposed to adult content in the live streams.

Spotafriend

Although the app store description claims that Spotafriend is "not a teen dating app." But it does feature the swiping functionality and location tagging that many dating apps offer. Although it's intended for "teenagers only," inputting a birth date is optional. It requires a selfie of you putting up a certain number of fingers for registration. But the profile image does not have to match that photo.

Spotafriend is a swiping app for 13 to 17-year-olds. Swipe right on photos of other teenagers in your area to become friends. When you get matched, if both of you agree, you can begin a private conversation.

The profiles you see get filtered based on the age you choose when enrolling. A 13-year-old will see users aged 13 to 16, and a 16-year-old will see individuals aged 16 to 19.

"I'm so f—-ing lonely," and "Let's pop some xans" are among the descriptions on profile images of light-clothed teenagers (as in, the prescription drug Xanax). Girls' profiles include the phrase "Don't send me your nudes," implying that it does occur. Teenagers frequently include other social media information.

Spotafriend is the weirdest and most hilarious app for meeting new people in your area!

Although the program claims to be for teens, anyone may sign up by entering a false age. Furthermore, because of location-based matches, kids are contacting strangers in their immediate vicinity.

Skout

Skout's app and website provide several options for interacting with other users. It allows saying hello via someone's profile, watching live streams (or going live), chatting with people who have "liked" you back. It also allows using the "Buzz" feature to access a feed of local users that appears to be a Facebook feed. It's also dependent on where you are.

Skout promises to divide minors and adults so they can't connect in its Safety Tips section. But it no longer appears to be the case. Like most of the other dating apps, it's simple to enter a fictitious birth date.

Kik

Kik is a text-messaging program and social network. It allows users to communicate with both friends and strangers. It's popular with kids because it's free. It's for people aged 13 and above.

Users can quickly and easily add entertaining stuff — memes, viral videos, and photographs. Even more so, users can text without worrying about the message or character limits. The users don't need to enter a phone number to sign up, unlike many other messengers. It also has public groups where you may find a wide range of mature content.

Kik is also Recognized for creating hookup opportunities. It has much mature content, including nudity and drug usage. They are even hosting child-porn trading groups, even though it is not an official hookup app. It's also impossible for parents to see what their children are doing in the app.

Hot or Not

This app started as a website and has seen many iterations. It's owned by the same people who created Badoo, another dating app/site. They share many dating profiles within both sites. They are identical in appearance and functionality, relying on swiping left or right and location sharing.

You can use email or Facebook to log on to Hot or Not. You must submit a birth date that indicates you are above 18 if you sign up via email, but there is no verification.

When teens below the age rule try to log in using Facebook, the "Hot or Not" app does not allow it. But, because Hot or Not is a Facebook app, kids under 18 can use it there.

Teens can choose between 18 and 80 years old for possible relationships. The majority of pairings during testing were roughly 50 miles apart.

Pure Hookup

PURE is a place where you can meet new people and have new experiences that you've always wanted to have. Private life is always kept private. There are no names or social media links required. Everyone is close by, connected, and ready to go.

It's a great spot for dating, and the best part is that you can get wicked or wild and still have a good time. If you're looking for a date, a meetup, a hookup, or want to talk to strangers, this is the place to be.

To go online, you must first create and submit a personal ad describing the types of experiences you seek. You can select the experience you want to have, like: flirting, FWB, rapid dating, casual relationship with no strings attached, hook up, arrangement, girlfriend or boyfriend, and so on.

Registration is completely anonymous. You can use Google Sign-in to create an account. It also offers end-to-end encryption. Unless you choose otherwise, it destroys your chats after 24 hours. You can't save anything you say in a chat.

Users can upload a photo, audio, or text message. After posting your ad, you'll view adverts from everyone else in the local chat room. Say hello to start a hidden relationship. Your ad gets invisible as soon as you go offline.

Down Dating

DOWN is a straightforward program; it asks for access to your Facebook account. Down scans, for users of the gender you're interested in among both friends and strangers.

It then asks you to tag the people you like. Users can swipe up or down through many profiles to find dates (get down). You can tag singles in your immediate vicinity, but none of them will be aware of your preferences.

The DOWN chip will only publish your preferences if the opposite side makes a comparable request. Only when the person you've tagged marks you will there be a connection. After the connection, DOWN will inform both of you that you have something to "talk about."

Parents' Solutions

Talk to your teens about how they approach dating and relationships. Teach them how to build a healthy, meaningful relationship— and keep in mind that it usually takes more than a swipe to do it. Instead of swiping, encourage them to start a conversation and know their potential dates in person.

If you find your adolescent using dating apps, use the opportunity. Talk to them about using social media security and what is and isn't acceptable. Maintain open lines of communication, especially since kids may store and hide these apps in "vaults" or apps that appear normal.

Teen app usage can become an issue. If that happens, make sure to use reliable parental control, which allows you to block unsuitable apps. You can also force them to get consent for every application they download. It can prevent your adolescent from using such dating apps.

These methods are not infallible, but it adds a level of complexity that some teenagers may find troublesome.

Conclusion

The capacity to create a false social media profile is not unique to any social media platform. It is something that users should be aware of.

Being a parent to a teenager can be more challenging given the rise of technology. Teens' advanced knowledge of technology is always more updated than their parent's. It gets hard to manage and control teens not to use such apps along with advanced technologies.

Communication is the key to successful relations. So talk to your kids and if they want to, let them use the apps with your guidance,

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to find a dating app that is safe for teenagers?

The various dating apps that allow you to download to your phone make a means to "meet" people as easy as turning on your device. Teens and other adults can create profiles, search for people online, and chat with others. Even if the app developers try to make it safe, there will always be a risk.

How can I tell if my teen is ready for online dating or a relationship?

Does your kid express interest in a romantic or physical relationship? Likely, they've already started 'online dating.' It most likely begins with messaging people they already know. It then progresses to social media and dating applications where they may meet anyone.

What should I do if I discover them on one of these dating apps?

Show that you care about all their relationships. Whether in person or online, talk to them about love and respect. Discuss their right to privacy as well as the significance of safeguarding their bodies and hearts.

Be attentive but not intrusive, vigilant but not overbearing. The ultimate goal is for your relationship to be strong enough that your teen will let you in because they know you love them and care about them.

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Sophia Clark

Sophia Clark is a writer from Sydney, kid-lit enthusiast, and mom of three kids who loves to writes about motherhood, parenting, and big feelings.