Odd reality dating shows to put on your streaming radar

From forgotten gems to fun newbies, these reality dating shows deserve a rose

f boy island on a colorful tv, reality dating shows
(Image credit:  Julie Corsetti/HBO Max)

We get it: your TV lineup is busy, but these reality dating shows certainly deserve a rose, so don't send 'em home. 

From throwbacks to unusual new selections, your screen time is about to get a little bit whacky, but we have a feeling you'll dig it. We know you're faithfully attached to the Love Island 2022 couples. We understand that you cannot part ways with the likes of The Bachelor. We, too, love wild Netflix experiments (did you catch The Ultimatum ending?) But trust us when we say if you need a reality TV binge, these babies will gladly do the honors. 

Odd reality dating shows to stream now

1. 'Love in the Jungle' (2022)

When swiping and bar hopping won't cut it, why not return to those primal instincts? Unleashing their inner Mowgli, Love in the Jungle contestants ventured to Colombia to, quite literally, act like animals. They were tasked with using animal mating rituals (no talking!) to find a partner, but what happens when others in the kingdom encroach on their territory?

2. 'Conveyor Belt of Love' (2010) 

Think of it as baggage claim, but for a partner instead of luggage. Women are presented with men on a conveyor belt who quickly make the case for being their best match. But unlike the airport, contestants are only allowed to take home one suitcase, err, we mean suitor. 

3. 'Next' (2005-2008)

It doesn't get quite as humiliating or cringey as Next. For those nostalgic for 2000s fashion and poor hair choices, look no further than this MTV classic. A group of men or women are gathered on a bus and head out for a date with star in question. However, he or she has the power to end the date before it even begins, literally, by yelling "Next" the moment the person steps off the bus.

4. 'Bachelor Pad' (2010-2012)

Before there was Bachelor in Paradise, there was Bachelor Pad, a place for rose-less contestants reconvene and (hopefully) get another shot at love. Speaking of BiP, Bachelor in Paradise season 8 is on its way this summer. 

5. 'Help! I’m in a Secret Relationship' (2022)

Travis Mills and Rahne Jones help contestants find out why exactly their S.O. isn't being forthcoming, and usually their reasons for not introducing their partner to family or posting selfies on the Gram is because they're already in a relationship. Not cool. 

6. 'F Boy Island' (2021-present) 

Not for the faint of heart, this reality show places women in a predicament: they can choose one of 24 suitors to steal their hearts, but only 12 are actually looking for love. The other 12 are simply interested in cash...and other things. The next season debuts on July 14. 

f boy island on hbo max

(Image credit:  Julie Corsetti/HBO Max)

7. 'Dating Naked' (2014-2016) 

Getting right down to it, Dating Naked is just that: finding a match sans clothes. It goes back to that primal instinct we witness in Love in the Jungle, but no animal mating rituals are required.

8. 'Beauty and the Geek Australia' (2009-2014)

Taking a cue from 90s rom-coms, this Ashton Kutcher experiment eventually landed Down Under and finds us with beauties: gorgeous women looking to sharpen their skills and geeks: scholars who need a little help in the social department. They team up and compete against one another for prizes. 

Truthfully, the name and premise come off quite demeaning, but you need a thick skin in the world of reality TV.

9. 'I Wanna Marry Harry' (2014)

A dead ringer for the Duke of Sussex, one British fella gets to meet a handful of American ladies who are keen on marrying into royalty. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visits Croke Park, home of Ireland's largest sporting organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association on July 11, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland

(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor Getty Images)

Ways to watch

A VPN  is a handy piece of software that allows you to browse anonymously and change your IP address so your mobile, desktop or laptop thinks it's in another location. Our favorite VPN service is ExpressVPN, which is rated the best VPN in the world right now by our colleagues over at TechRadar. 

You can also check out subscription services for popular streaming platforms below.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.