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There are other apps out there for lesbians to swipe, match and meet a significant other for Valentine's Day and beyond. Women who like women can, of course, use popular general dating apps like Tinder (download for Android and iOS), Bumble (download for Android and iOS), OKCupid (download for Android and iOS), Coffee Meets Bagel (download for Android and iOS) and Match (download for Android and iOS).

There are also dedicated lesbian sites like Find Femmes, Lesbian Personals and Pink Sofa, but they don't currently offer apps and seem very targeted toward cis women. PinkCupid (download for Android) and Fem (download for Android) are Android-only and again appear to focus primarily on cis women. Zoe (download for iOS and Android), on both iPhone and Android, seems more inclusive, incorporating queer women and women looking for community into the mix.

But HER (download for Android and iOS), which bills itself as "the world's largest and most loved free dating app for LGBTQ+ women" seems to take particular pride in supporting a wider spectrum of "womxnhood" and relationship objectives.

SEE: Best free dating apps for hooking up and relationships

The 11-person team behind the app, led by CEO & Founder Robyn Exton makes a point to use the term "womxn," a more progressive nomenclature than women, that's also both intersectional and inclusive, in their user interface copy. In other words, the word recognizes the systematic prejudice women have faced as extensions of men, while also acknowledging trans-women and women of color.

"From the outset, what makes HER feel different is that it's designed by a diverse team of LGBTQ+ people for the LGBTQ+ community," said Exton. "Other dating apps are typically built by men and then copied and marketed for the broader queer community. Because we're part of the LGBTQ+ community, we know the importance of inclusivity and being made to feel welcome and well-thought-of in this space."

When HER first launched in 2015, it was initially only open to female-identified and non-binary users. But in 2016, the app began welcoming all identities other than cis men.

To ensure that all users are as they describe and not creepers or bots, all accounts must be verified by phone, Facebook (download for Android and iOS) or Instagram (download for Android and iOS) first.

Once verified, you'll set up a profile, starting with your name and birthday. Then you'll enter your preferred gender identity. There are 40 to choose from, from the more familiar Female, Trans Female, Transgender, Dyke, Cis Female, Trans Person and Transsexual, to lesser-known Neutrois, Hijra, Kathoey, Mak nyah, Muxe, Waria and Mahu.

You'll also have 20 sexual identities to choose from -- everything from Lesbian, Queer, Gay, Bisexual and Bi-curious to Pansexual, Polyamorous, Asexual, Questioning and even Straight. You'll be asked for at least three pictures to complete your profile, but you can provide an unlimited number of photos, from your phone, Facebook, or Instagram.

Once you give HER access to your location, you'll be served with nearby matches that can be filtered by age and location. Tap Meet HER to swipe card-style -- right or up to like suggested matches and left or down to skip. You can also open up profiles with a tap to see a short bio and more photos if users have included them. If you match with someone, then you can both message each other and make plans to meet in real life.

A community-oriented app that's about more than hookups, HER also provides the opportunity for users to make new friends, attend LGBTQ+ events, including HER-hosted parties and socials, and read relevant news stories.

If you're more comfortable in groups, you can also join up to 20 different communities based around things like gender identity, age, activities and interests. You're encouraged to choose three to start and then you're taken to a feed with relevant events and group member posts. You can also see people you've befriended or matched with's posts in this section.

HER is free to download and use, but if you want to filter your target matches down by sexual identity, gender identity, relationship status and when they were last online, you'll have to pay for a HER Premium account, with pricing starting at $14.99 per month.

HER Premium also lets you see who's liked you in advance, who's online to chat and your message read receipts. It also lets you teleport to another location if you're traveling, gives you unlimited swipes and lets you rewind profiles if you regret the direction of a previous swipe.

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, HER will be offering a seven-day free trial of HER Premium to help users find love faster. But with added content on the app around community, friendship, self-love and self-care, it's clear that even the app's definition of love is more inclusive than the traditional meaning.

"Historically, Valentine's Day is about celebrating straight monogamous relationships," Exton said. "But the way we see it as a company is as a day that celebrates all forms of love that exist. The love of a potential new partner, the love of a chosen family that makes you feel supported and loved and a love for yourself. To find love, one of the best things you can do is love yourself first."

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Takeaways

  • The team behind the free-to-use LGBTQ+ dating app HER takes particular pride in supporting a wider spectrum of "womxnhood" and relationship objectives.
  • A community-oriented app that's about more than hookups, HER also provides the opportunity for users to make new friends, attend LGBTQ+ events, including HER-hosted parties and socials, and read relevant news stories.

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Joshua is an editor for CNET's Download.com. He covers the mobile tech and apps that power our lives and interviews celebrities about their favorite apps. Previously, he worked as an editor at Healthline and Gay.com and as a contributing writer for Mac Directory, MacAddict, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Chronicle.