How to get on Raya if you're curious about the ultra-exclusive dating app

But fair warning, it's easier to gain access to Harvard Business School than set up a profile on Raya

woman looking at her phone in the dark with a purple-y reflection, with a brown/pink border around the edges
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

What's harder: figuring out how to get on Raya, or finding eternal love? The former, obviously. 

The Lamborghini of dating apps, Raya is an exclusive platform where the rich and famous attempt to snag a soulmate. While most of us are weighing the possibilities of Hinge vs Bumble, actors, reality stars and other A-Listers are perusing the secretive community that's more selective than an Ivy League. 

Phew, talk about pressure! You can forget about dating burnout—Raya is all about those FOMO vibes. We're sorry to report, but the odds of setting up a profile are slim, but should you feel determined, we'll give you the scoop on everything you need to know. Best of luck, hopeful romantics!

How to get on Raya—everything you need to know

What is Raya?

Not to be confused with the animated dragon, Raya is considered one of the best dating apps (and most popular) amongst famous folks. There have been plenty of celebrities on Raya since its inception, including Zac Efron, Lucy Hale and Lizzo, to name just a few. 

Having first launched in 2015, Raya was an invite-only platform geared towards the entertainment industry. As it has evolved, it has branched out to offer other networking opportunities, and it expanded across "creative" industries. 

Per the app's synopsis, "Our goal is to foster a safe, trusted, community for members to meet, share and engage in ways that will result in quality real-world connections and experiences." 

Although Raya has clearly branched out since its founding, there's one aspect of the community that hasn't change: it's next to impossible to get in!

In accordance with the safe, trusted community its promoting, those who manage to snag some real estate on the platform must follow strict codes of conduct (opens in new tab). Should they violate the company's terms, they're liable to have their account deleted.

How to get on Raya

Don't get too excited just yet, darlings. The process is extensive, and the waiting list is said to be around a comfortable 100,000 users. No big deal!

Should you know a famous face who is already on the app—perhaps you and Lizzo like to chat over coffee or you're planning on brunching with Lucy Hale—said famous face can do you a solid and provide a recommendation. However, if you sadly haven't crossed paths with the likes of Zac Efron, you're going to have to take your chances and apply for membership (opens in new tab) like everyone else.

Per the app, "Prospective members may download the app and submit an application. Once submitted, applications are placed in queue and reviewed continually. An applicant's status can change from 'waitlisted' to 'accepted' at any time."

Sounds simple enough right? Well, some people reportedly waited months for acceptance, others years. In total, there are roughly 10,000 users on Raya, so when you start crunching numbers and factoring in the waiting list, that means that only about 8% of applications are accepted. Yes, Raya has a higher rejection rate than Harvard Business School, per The New York Times (opens in new tab)

woman looking at her phone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Raya tips

When it comes to application tips, many people speculate that having a "cool" profession in the creative industries will potential users a good edge, while others believe that a big social media following is key. 

Reportedly, applications are assessed by a committee of 500 people, so it's likely that anyone trying to get onto the app will be vetted pretty thoroughly. Raya does explain that the committee is full of diverse members, in everything from age to race to sexuality, to ensure that biases don't sneak into the decision making process. Even still, acceptance rates are slim to none.

How much does Raya cost?

If one's application is accepted, new members can purchase a one-, six- or twelve-month membership that renews automatically. Pricing is estimated to be around $9.99 per month, or £5.99 in the UK. 

The likes of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Snack or the Thursday dating app are mostly free, though if you sign up for premium membership options, you'll likely have to pay a fee for the additional features. Unlike Raya, these options don't require an application process.

Ben Affleck Raya drama

Wondering where you've heard of Raya before? Perhaps you learned a little more about it when Ben Affleck, a former Raya user, found himself unlucky in love. Though the actor is now happily settled with Jennifer Lopez, he had previously been using Raya to find a partner. And one of the users, Nivine Jay, exposed him. She assumed she was being catfished and unmatched with the presumed fake Affleck—so he sent her a (rather funny) video asking why he was unmatched. Cue the gasps!

It was pretty unbelievable, but don't just take our word for it. Jay took to TikTok to publicly post Affleck's "Why did you unmatch me?" video. See the proof below.

@nivinejay (opens in new tab)

Sorry Ben 🥺🥱 #raya #benaffleck #dating #fyp

♬ original sound - Amir Yass (opens in new tab)

Nivine Jay was quoted in E! News (opens in new tab) saying that she didn't intend to insult Affleck, rather she found it funny that she thought she was being catfished when in fact the Boston native was truly pursuing her. 

And, as you know, one of our fave Selling Sunset stars, miss Emma Hernan, casually mentioned that the famous actor also connected with her on the dating app, though he has denied those claims. So yes, there are even hardships on the most exclusive dating app out there. The struggle to finding love knows no bounds, evidently.

Interested in giving it a try? We wish you luck on your endeavor. Thinking about giving other options a whirl? That's perfectly fine, too. Be sure to have a look at our expert-backed online dating tips to make the most out of those swipes, wherever they might be.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)