Top Dating Sites & Apps in California in 2023
If you dream of finding love in the land of Hollywood stars and year-round flip-flop season, you’ll need all the help you can get. Millions of singles in California tend to be picky and flaky, unwilling to travel more than a few miles for a date but more than ready to engage in casual hookups with tourists.
So whether you’re after a serious relationship or a fling, our tips will come in handy, along with recommendations for the best premium and free California dating sites.
The best dating sites in California
What makes these the best California dating sites?
With dozens of free dating sites in California without payment available for downloading, why did we choose these options? They share a few key advantages over the competition. Here are a few examples of what makes these platforms great:
- Each California dating site has thousands of profiles of local singles.
- Even premium platforms offer free trials or welcome bonuses to new users, male and female.
- All top dating apps come with advanced search filters or swiping options for finding potential matches.
- Most sites have detailed profiles that go through the verification process to make online dating safer for everyone.
- Each dating app on our list comes with fast and easy signup, intuitive navigation, and quality support.
- Although some platforms lack mobile apps, every free dating site in California is mobile-friendly.
We suggest you pick a couple of options and give them a try to find the app or site that works best for your relationship goals.
California singles and dating site statistics
To better understand who you may expect to find on dating sites in California, let’s look at the recent demographic data. First, you’ll notice California has the highest population among all US states, and over 50% of men and women are single. So while we don’t expect to find 20 million California singles on dating sites, you shouldn’t have trouble meeting local partners online.
- 248 people per square mile
- The median age is 36.7
Population in California by gender
- 50% of women in California
- 50% of men in California
Singles by gender
- 58% of women in California are single
- 56% of men in California are single
- The percentages include those who are divorced, widowed, and never married
Population in California by age
- 2.25M are college-age (18-21 years old)
- 9.98M are younger adults (22-39 years old)
- 12.3M are older adults (40-64 years old)
- 4.98M are seniors (over 65 years old)
Additional stats and facts
- 84.2% of people over 25 in California are high school graduates or higher
- 35.3% hold Bachelor’s degrees or higher in the same age group
Sources: Census.gov, Statistic Atlas
The popularity of online dating in California
The list of California cities interested in online dating
Considering the impressive selection of online dating sites California has to offer, you’re most likely to come across singles from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, as these are the prime dating destinations in CA.
#1. Los Angeles
With a population of 3.92 million, Los Angeles is the biggest city in California and the second most densely populated, following San Francisco. And if you count the metro area, the population exceeds 13 million. That translates into over six million single people, most of whom are between 18 and 39, a perfect age for finding a casual or serious partner.
Besides, Los Angeles is ranked fifth among the top 30 American cities for dating. It has high indicators across all three categories considered vital for dating: economics, fun and recreation, and dating and opportunities.
#2. San Diego
Although it’s the second most populated city in California, with around 1.37 million people, San Diego is less densely-populated than other metro areas. And in a city without winters, everyone tries to look their best while keeping their dating options wide open. As a result, local singles habitually date several people simultaneously and often value convenience over physical attraction, even in a serious relationship.
Unsurprisingly, San Diego also made it to the list of the most promising American cities for dating. Although it’s ranked eighth, it’s not too far below San Francisco and Los Angeles when it comes to finding a partner, financing a relationship, and exciting ways to spend time together.
#3. San Francisco
The San Francisco metro area is the second largest in California, with over 4.8 million people. As one of the most free-spirited major cities in the US, San Francisco attracts an eclectic mix of people of all races, professions, and values. So your chances of finding a suitable partner are high, though you may need to develop an analytical approach to assessing potential matches.
Besides, San Francisco is rated third among the best American cities for dating, after Atlanta and Denver. It beats Los Angeles across all categories, including dating opportunities, fun and recreation, and economics rank.
What is the dating scene in California like?
The dating scene in California is as exciting, dynamic, and diverse as you’d expect after seeing it portrayed in dozens of movies and TV shows. So what’s waiting for you if you decide to brave the best California dating apps or singles spots?
Here are just a few things you should know:
- California is ranked ninth most dangerous of US states for online dating.
- The average age of first marriage in California is 30.5 for men and 28.6 for women.
- California has 173 restaurants and 56 art, recreation, and entertainment establishments per 100,00 people, so there are plenty of premium and free date venues and ideas.
- California singles like to mix things up, keeping the online dating industry on its toes. They can switch between the most popular dating apps California has to offer every weekend, so don’t be surprised if they fall off your radar for a while.
- California singles aren’t averse to short flings with tourists. For many, a relationship with a deadline is a way to spice things up with no strings attached.
If you’re not afraid of the laid-back and flaky nature of local dating, pick a California dating service or app and give it a try.
Key takeaways for California singles
Whether you choose premium or free dating sites in California or stick to meeting people offline, you should be aware of a few peculiarities of the local singles’ scene that will make it easier to find potential partners who are on the same page and start dating.
- Health, self-care, and good looks are universal in California. Without convenient sweaters and hoodies to hide the extra pounds, the dating competition is tough, so investing time into a workout routine may be necessary.
- First-date options aren’t limited to dinner and a movie. If you want to impress locals, planning an outdoor activity is a better choice any time of the year.
- Living 15 miles apart qualifies couples for long-distance relationships. For many local singles, making constant trips is not worth the effort, which resulted in the rise of super-local California dating sites.
- Political preferences and food choices can make or break the relationship. Republicans and Democrats don’t mix in California, and neither do steak lovers and vegans. Luckily, the best dating apps can help you weed out problematic partners before you meet in person.
- Living together doesn’t always mean serious relationships in California. The high cost of living can drive people to move in together, even if they prefer casual dating to lifelong commitment.
Remember these relationship staples after you choose the best dating site, and you’ll have better luck getting mutual matches and building casual connections or serious relationships.
Video: Dating in Los Angeles vs Dating in Kansas
The average cost of a date in California is around $226, which is the fifth-highest cost in the US. In contrast, the average cost of a date across the country is twice as low, only $102.32, which includes two movie tickets and dinner for two with a bottle of wine.
Yes, California rates among the best states for dating in the US, and its singles population is among the largest in the country. However, dating in California is also extremely competitive and has unique rules and rituals that may seem weird for people from across state lines.
SecretBenefits is the best dating app in California, thanks to its diverse dating pool, flexible search filters, and comfortable communication features. Besides, the thorough profile verification procedure reduces the risk of running into scammers and fake profiles while looking for potential matches.