Looking for Just Friends: Dating Sites for Finding Friendship

So many people go on dating apps to find their one true love, partner, or the odd hookup. And while we absolutely love a love story (or a funny hookup story), dating apps can be used for so much more than finding love.

Whether you’ve already found your one true love on the apps or you’re done looking for love, don’t throw out your dating apps. Instead, exchange them with friendship apps! These are the platforms where you can find your other soulmate, a more platonic kind.

Why You Should Use Dating Apps to Make Friends

While it might seem a little backward and even a little uncomfortable to use a dating app to create a friendship, it’s becoming more and more popular. Think about it, dating apps are designed to be understandable, user-friendly, and promote good communication. Most profiles on these apps already have the most important details about your partner outlined in their bios. Scrolling through these friendship-specific apps and websites is like window shopping for friends!

Plus, if you’re more of an introvert and cannot imagine going to crowded social functions full of people who are also looking to make friends, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Making friends as an adult can be difficult. There are fewer opportunities for us to get out and get social than there used to be in college. Now there aren’t mixers, parties, classes, dorms, or random fire drills that go off at two in the morning and force you to get really close to anyone you see. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and it’s easier to approach it from the comfort of your own home.

Being an adult is difficult enough already without having the added stress of going out and making friends. It can often feel like you’re being stonewalled every time you go to social events, and you might not have had success. So ditch that part of friendship dating and start doing it comfortably and easily.

Who Uses Friendship Dating Apps?

We understand if you’re a little weary of who is on these friendship dating apps. It’s a little weird to take a platform credited with starting thousands of hookups, romantic relationships, and even marriages and turn it into a platonic meeting platform. But on the other hand, it makes a lot of sense.

Most dating apps have a preestablished algorithm that can help their users find their one true loves (or a nice guy to buy them dinner, whatever you prefer). But with a minor tweak in their system, the apps can utilize their programming to cater to a whole new demographic of people and expectations.

The idea and popularity of friendship dating apps soared post-pandemic. After being locked in their houses for a year, many people craved human interaction. According to research, the end of the pandemic saw apps like Tinder and Bumble beginning to launch and acquire new services that would allow them to cater to creating and maintaining friendships.

Bumble CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd said, “There’s a really interesting trend that has been taking palace in the connection space, which is the desire to have platonic relationships… People are seeking friendships in ways they would have only done offline before the pandemic.” Because so many of us had gotten used to doing everything from the comfort of our homes, we began to crave that in all aspects of life, even the social ones.

Studies and reports of the users of Bumble BFF found that in the first three months of 2021, “The average time spent on Bumble BFF has grown 44% for women and 83% for men. Additionally, over 90% of women who initiated contact on BFF in March 2021 found at least one match.”

Even though we’re over a year past the lockdown, people are still using the platforms and apps to access friendships they would have never known were possible before.

In the end, we all crave ease and accessibility, and dating apps provide that for us. Not to mention, a massive boost of dopamine hits us when we match with someone, even if it is platonically.

While using certain dating apps to find friends might not be the most popular usage for the apps, it is handy and can create a lasting connection, just as with ‘normal’ dating apps. If you’re looking for a dating app where you can find your new BFF, we have an excellent list for you to explore!

Yubo

While most dating apps have a similar interface, Yubo stands out a bit from the crowd. The app has a catfish-free video chat feature where you can meet your new bestie in real-time. This feature ensures that the person you’ve matched with is actually a person (a key requirement for making a friend). It might help alleviate any stress or questions you have when you first meet them. Because no one actually likes messaging or texting.

This app is best described as a dating app version of TikTok. You can chat and match with people with similar interests and immediately be entertained every time you sign on.

LMK

LMK’s interface is most similar to Discord for besties. Which, I guess, is still Discord, but you get what I’m saying. This app is where extroverts will thrive.

LMK connects you with people who have the same interest in you, whether that’s one-on-one or in a group chat. You can do regular DMing on this app or communicate through voice chats and calls.

And don’t worry, there’s a time on the calls if you choose to use that feature, so you won’t have to make an awkward exit if you’re not feeling a friendship spark. But on the other hand, you can also extend the timer if you want to keep talking!

Bumble BFF

If you’ve been around the dating scene for a while, you’ve more than likely used Bumble BFF already. It’s a fantastic app that looks just like its counterpart Bumble. If you’re looking for a clear and precise interface where you can see all of your potential friends’ information, interests, and pictures, Bumble BFF might be the best option for you.

The biggest difference between Bumble BFF and Bumble is that either of you can make the ‘first move’ and message the other first. The dating app side of Bumble only allows the woman to message first. You’ll still have to beat the timer before your match goes away, but it takes the pressure off one of you and creates more of a mutual effort.

Wink

Wink also provides a clear database that you get to choose from. Like with regular dating apps, you can swipe right or left on anyone you feel is a suitable match for you. But you can further narrow your pool down by selecting which ages, genders, and interests you want to match with on the app.

The setup of this app is very similar to Tinder and insanely user-friendly.

One of the best parts about Wink is that the app asks you to go into detail for your bio. You’ll be asked to share your photos, interests, likes, dislikes, preferences, and more. This is how the app will intelligently know who to pair you up with and present as potential friendship matches.

Hey! Vina

If you’re looking for an app that’s just for the girls, this is your new best friend (or at least the platform where you’ll find her). Hey! Vina is an app designed specifically for women who want to meet other like-minded women.

The app will match you and your potential bestie based on your shared experiences, life stages, and interests. The app is also insanely beautiful and does most of the work for you, so you don’t have to stress. It even asks you to go ahead and say what you’d most like to do when you meet up, so you can get that out of the way.

Hey! Vina was created by Olivia June, who knew the power of friendship. She says, “I created Hey! Vina on the simple premise that it only takes one friend to change our entire lives and that nothing makes us feel more confident, secure, happy, and free than a supportive group of friends!” The app and communities have reached over 158 countries, and people constantly meet their new best friends daily through the platform.

The app lets you swipe on potential matches, and then once you both match, it offers a tailored experience for the two of you to try out on your first outing.

Peanut

Making friends as an adult can be really difficult, but making friends as a mother can often seem impossible. Peanut is a friendship app for mothers to make friends and find support.

The app matches you with women going through a similar stage of life as you. Whether that’s going through fertility treatments, pregnancy, motherhood, or menopause, this is the mommy dating app we all need in our lives.

The app also provides and section where you can find groups and communities full of people who share your interests and experiences and can offer advice. There’s also a ‘Pods’ section where you can join a live audio session with experts who will answer your questions immediately. It’s like podcasts, but so much better.

Meetup

Meetup is a community-based app designed to help its users join like-minded groups of people. Whether you’re interested in going to a comedy cellar on the weekends or want to know more about beekeeping, this app has you covered and will help you find a group that shares your interests.

You can chat with anyone in your area who shares your interests, host a meetup with one person or a group, and constantly gain more members every day. You can also narrow your search based on specific demographics like age ranges and distance if you would like to. This app is wonderful for extroverted people who want to delve into what they love with a group of people they’ll also love.

Friender

Friender is the friendship app that gets you off your couch and doing something you’ll love. The app’s interface is very similar to most other dating apps, where you fill out your interests. The app then matches you up with people with similar interests and prompts you to meet up and do those things.

Whether you’re looking for a workout buddy, a video game friend, or just another pal to get wine with, Friender has you covered.

The app is very similar to Hey! Vina where it will prompt you to do a certain activity when you match with someone, but men are included in this one.

Atleto

Speaking of workout buddies, Atleto is the app where you can find your new gym buddy and best friend all in one. This friendship app allows you to add your activity-based interests and meet up with people who share the same ones.

Atleto knows that sports and exercise can go beyond closing your rings; they also bond people, and the app seeks to do just that. It matches people based on location, skill level, interest, and workout frequency.

If you don’t want to be individually paired with someone, you can also join a group that already exists on the app. This will also help you get out of your shell and make activities like volleyball, softball, and basketball more fun than if you were just doing it one-on-one. This app is for go-getters and sports lovers because nothing bonds two friends together like a shared activity.

To Friendship and Beyond!

Whether you’ve been stuck in a social rut or just trying to get out of your shell and make new friends, friendship apps are an excellent way to meet new people and share your interests. While it may be a little uncomfortable and scary, to begin with, these platforms offer a whole host of opportunities and ways to meet people who will appreciate who you are and what you bring to the table. Please let us know if you’ve ever tried any of these apps and how you felt about them!