Netflix has rapidly expanded in recent years to become a major destination for the genre of reality dating series. Dating Around marked the beginning of the streamer’s original reality dating programming, but Love Is Blind, released just before the pandemic with solitary stories of love to cure our shared cabin fever, got all the attention. In 2023, there is now enough dating-themed content on Netflix to keep viewers occupied for months.
Since then, zany dramas involving siblings dating—not one another, gross, but seeking love on the same dating show—humans in furry animals costumes finding love, dramas resembling The Real World, and celibate series about establishing a relationship before hooking up have all aired. Dating show enthusiasts probably feel like they’ve won the lottery, and Netflix has struck gold with the ratings.
And like a cherry on top of a Sunday, in February, the streaming giant debuted Perfect Match, a reality dating program that arranges for personalities from OTHER reality dating shows to meet and possibly fall in love. Netflix truly giveth!
The Perfect Match cast is made up of actors from many different Netflix reality shows. They can finally smooch and touch on a TV program without a bot asking them to stop since the great majority of them are Too Hot To Handle rejects! The Ultimatum, Sexy Beasts, Love Is Blind, and Twentysomethings: Austin are among the others. Several of them appeared on non-dating programs like The Circle and The Mole. Any chaos on reality TV can create love.
If you aren’t in the market for a “normal” rom-com, we’ve ranked the 10 best Netflix dating series so you can dive right into the romantic chaos.
10. Indian Matchmaking
The reality dating series Indian Matchmaking proved to be quite promising, with expert matchmaker Sima Taparia leading in-depth conversations on arranged marriage as well as what it means to use the “old-school way” of dating.
The program followed the formula of other reality dating competitions, with plenty of corny chitchat and uncomfortable first dates.
The second season of Indian Matchmaking was less interesting than the first since it reused plots from the first season and featured the same core group of clients. If you’re interested in this dating series, we recommend Season 1.
9. Sexy Beasts
When the trailer for Sexy Beasts hit, social media users lost their dang minds. Many people saw this as a victory for the furry subculture, which generated some hilarious memes. Yet, Sexy Beasts is just a dull variation of Love Is Blind, with competitors dressing up as various animals for whatever reason. Sadly, it’s not much fun as it should be. If only Netflix didn’t botch such a ridiculously out-there idea. When it comes to love stories, the furries do better than Sexy Beasts.
8. Dated and Related
Like Sexy Beasts, the premise of Dated and Related sounds completely insane, and unfortunately, the idea is more interesting than the show itself. Members of the same family who are single are forced to see the dating lives of their single relatives while they all share a villa. Once more: Fantastic idea! Yet the participants are dull; that’s to be expected, given that they get only about 10 minutes to discuss their past relationships and personal lives. Nope.
7. Twentysomethings: Austin
Twentysomethings, which begins in Austin, is an interesting new show with excellent potential. Although this program isn’t solely concerned with romantic relationships like the others in this genre, it seems to reason that a group of twenty-somethings would begin dating after being confined together for an extended period. Characters like a recent divorcee and a surfer who uses Tinder to meet cougars add a lot of depth to Netflix’s version of The Real World, making a second season intriguing. The problem with Twentysomethings isn’t with the show itself but rather that it lacks the originality and appeal of the ideas that came in at higher spots on our list.
6. Dating Around
The first Netflix reality dating series was called Dating Around. This lighthearted dating program attracted every hopeless romantic to Netflix to witness blind dates (this was before Nick and Vanessa Lachey took control). Even though it’s cringy, it’s so cute! Each single goes on five initial dates before deciding who to ask out again.
There is no host or recurring characters, and the episodes are short. Although Dating Around may be unremarkable, it deserves credit for pioneering the Netflix dating program category.
5. Too Hot to Handle
When the program initially aired, few people praised it, but we found those critiques to be way harsh! Too Hot to Handle is an illustration of cheesy TV at its hottest. Imagine if the dating show Love Island brought on that friend that constantly c*ckblocks everyone around them, but it’s a robot named “Lana.” This small group of super hot people shares a villa but are strictly forbidden from engaging in any personal physical contact with one another. The monetary prize pool will be reduced if they do (Lana sees EVERYTHING), and it’s absolutely mind-blowing how poorly they avoid physical contact with one another. It’s so simple: just don’t kiss or do anything else! Even so, it’s exciting to see their spectacular flops.
4. Love Is Blind
It’s safe to assume that you’re familiar with Love Is Blind‘s basic idea because if you’re reading this. Indeed, we are willing to bet that you know the names of every pair from the show’s last three seasons. While its final season was its weakest by far, Love Is Blind remains the best Netflix dating reality program. In this scenario, two people meet online or via a third party, develop a strong enough connection to get engaged, and then either wind up being married or breaking up just before the wedding. So, “is love really blind?” is an excellent question for the wedding officiant to weave into their speech, and it’s one of our favorites.
3. The Ultimatum
The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On is a nutso premise, and we are absolutely here for it. Couples who are either seriously considering marriage or on the verge of splitting up are invited to the show and encouraged to switch partners and go on a “trial marriage” to see whether they are committed to getting married and staying together. Numerous people cheated on one other throughout the first season, with the rationale that it wasn’t “cheating” since they were in a “fresh” relationship. The fascinating aspect of The Ultimatum was seeing the couples at different stages: Those who were ready to settle down dropped out of the show, while others dove headfirst into new romances. The next season will have no heterosexual characters at all, and we cannot wait!
2. Love on the Spectrum
The earnestness of Love on the Spectrum is a welcome addition to the standard fare of Netflix dating shows. A U.S. adaptation has followed the original Australian version, and both feature individuals on the autistic spectrum working with professional matchmakers to find their soul mates. In contrast to other Netflix dating series, where former show contestants update fans on their continuing love lives to an enormous fan base, the stress of performing for the camera is much less here. Love on the Spectrum is a refreshing spin on traditional dating programs while also providing a safe haven for the show’s main characters. A dating program can be charming without relying on uncomfortable silences, sexual tension, or cheesy dialogue, and this show is charming as heck.
1. Perfect Match
In our opinion, the newest dating reality show from Netflix, Perfect Match, is the greatest of its kind. Just like Love Island or Bachelor in Paradise, new contestants fight for a match with known competitors from previous seasons of the Netflix dating shows. Fan favorites from the reality show dating circuit falling in love is more exciting than any other competitive show we have ever seen.
Even more scandalous is the fact that several of the cast members had intimately tangoed before the program even aired. The stakes are higher than ever, the romance is palpably genuine, and the obstacles remain as ridiculous as ever.