what-is-the-best-online-dating-site

The 11 best dating sites right now
Twenty years ago, Match.com went live. It was one of the first dating sites to hit our computer screens and has remained one of the most popular ever since.
But in the last few years a lot has changing in the online dating world.
There’s been a huge rise in apps and websites all designed to help people meet online. Now, no matter what your age or lifestyle, one of the best ways to start dating is simply to create a profile.
It’s a major theme in my latest novel Not That Easy where the young heroine, Ellie Kolstakis, tries out a number of dating apps and sites to get some decent men in her life – and in her bed.
One of the biggest issues that she and her friends have with online dating isn’t so much the people they meet, but which site they meet them on. In the book they discuss the pros and cons of the different options facing them.
This is relevant to so many single people today. With thousands of new apps and sites being created faster than we can download them, it’s hard to know where to start.
Even if you used to successfully online date, but have found yourself single again, it can be difficult to know exactly what sites you need to be surfing.
It’s why I’ve created this handy guide to the 11 best dating websites and apps available right now. You’re welcome.
Inner Circle
This site describes itself as the way to meet ‘the most successful and attractive singles.’ It asks users to fill out their job title and education, and links to Facebook so you can view their social circle.
Before you join, the app has to approve you as a member (a slightly daunting process) or you have to be invited.
If you want to unlock certain features you either have to pay or invite other to join. A friend who uses it tells me: “It’s good if you’re picky… but there aren’t a lot of people on it.”
I can’t really make a list of the best dating sites without mentioning Tinder. At first people were drawn to the app for its simplicity — users can swipe left to decline and right to approve a date. If two users swipe the same way? They’re matched and can chat to one other.
Tinder once had a reputation for being a ‘shagging app’ — but that’s changed. Now, it seems you can’t go anywhere without meeting couples who got together though it. The app’s best quality is undoubtedly its sheer amount of users – there are 50 million active ones, so it’s unlikely you’ll run out of potential matches.
DoingSomething
For people who hate the forced feel of a first online date, DoingSomething might be the answer. It lets you pick a match based on their date suggestion, whether it’s a sushi-making masterclass or rollercoaster ride.
The website says it “takes the awkward out of dating”, but the drawback might be that it’s only London-focused — and handling raw fish with someone you don’t fancy could be a lot worse than just having a drink with them.
Cost: £10 per month
This sells itself as a ‘feminist’ app. It works in a similar way to Tinder, the only difference is that Bumble only allows women to start a conversation with their matches and they have just 24 hours to do so before the connection disappears. Men cannot make the first approach.
The idea is to stop women getting loads of sleazy messages – but I have it on good authority that some men are taking advantage of this and view the app as an opportunity for them to ‘sit back and do nothing’, while women ‘rush around trying to message the potential loves of their lives in 24 hours.’
Not exactly the epitome of equality…
This is one of the biggest dating sites out there, and a lot of people I know have had relationship success here. The bonus is that users can fill in a lot of information about themselves, so you can tell who’s after casual sex and who wants more.
@radhikasanghani has to be Okcupid. Not very sleazy, had good dates and met my bf of over 2yrs on there (still together)
But the app has fallen in popularity compared to Tinder, and the fact that you can receive messages from anyone — without matching first — means that your inbox can quickly become clogged with sleaze.
This is the app for music lovers. It matches you with people based on your location and a shared interest in music. It can import your favourite tunes from your smartphone or Last.fm and does the hard work for you by collating matches.
A possible drawback could be a limited number of users – those figures aren’t available online — but it does look like a good app if music plays a significant part in your life and loves.
Unlike Tinder, Hinge doesn’t let you swipe through an unlimited number of potential matches. Instead it only lets you match with people who share your mutual friends — and it shows you a new ‘batch’ of users every day.
It also lets users have a more detailed profile than Tinder – which just offers a bio – and lets you add activities, preferred dating spots and so on.
The only awkward thing is it means people in your social circle will all know you’re on the app, so if you’re not keen on having all your mates see your profile, this might not be for you.
Muddy matches
Do you like country walks? Spend most of your time complaining about life in London? Enjoy wearing wellies? Muddy Matches could be for you.
This UK website has more than 130,000 members and as one Twitter user tells me, it’s ‘perfect for meeting posh boys.’
@radhikasanghani my mates who like posh boys use muddy matches and nickname it muddy puddles — country lovers dating site
— Isolde Walters (@isoldewrites) October 23, 2015
On its website it describes itself as “the only independent dating site for genuine country-minded people.” The only problem is that it’s not free.
Cost: £22 for one month, £66 for six months
This app has been popular over the last few years, as it shows people you have crossed paths with geographically. It means you can match with hotties you live near, or with someone who always goes to the same bar as you.
Some people I know, though, have complained that though they receive matches, there’s often a reluctance amongst users to send messages.
But it still has a large pool of potentials and has a simple, usable model.
This is the app for people who hate the thought of going on a date alone. It means you can join up with a friend, search for other pairs and go on a group date.
It’s based in the UK so most of the user base will be here, and it means you don’t have to worry so much about awkward silences or safety.
The only issue is it makes the matching process a lot harder – two of you have to like two other people. And what if you end up fancying the same person as your friend?
If you’re going to use this one, it might be best to have some other apps in your repertoire, too.
Coffee meets Bagel
If you hate the thought of Tinder’s limitless matches, Coffee meets Bagel is for you. It only gives you one match a day – which is someone you’ll have a mutual friend with via Facebook.
The more times you login the more points you get, which allows you to unlock special features.
If you don’t like your option, you can play ‘give or take’ — where you either ‘take’ a possible match or ‘give’ them away by emailing their details to a friend.
Your dates are called ‘bagels’ and the app is fun – especially if you like smartphone games. The drawback is it’s quite hard to use and doesn’t offer many potential partners.
Radhika Sanghani’s latest novel, Not That Easy (Harlequin), is available to buy in paperback or as an eBook on Amazon and Telegraph Bookshop

The 20 best online dating websites
2 December 2014 • 12:00am
A s the internet plays an ever greater part in our social lives, with sites such as Facebook helping us to keep in touch with our friends, it’s inevitable that we also use it to help us run our love lives as well. Here is the pick of the best dating sites — not forgetting our very own website telegraph.co.uk/dating. of course. With over 140,000 members, it’s easy and safe — what’s more, it’s FREE to join.
Online dating is now one of the most popular ways to meet a new partner and there are more than 1,400 sites in the UK alone, catering for people from all walks of life and interests.
So whether you’re mad about dogs, passionate about green issues or a connoisseur of fine wines you’re sure to find someone who shares your interests.
The 20 best dating sites in the UK
Match.com claims its site has led to more dates, marriages and relationships than any other. With millions of members, its large user base should mean there is someone for everyone, although you may have to trawl through a LOT of profiles to find them!
The place for those well-meaning types who can’t believe their best friend is single. They push your qualities so you don’t have to.
Taking a scientific approach to love — eHarmony matches singles based on key dimensions of compatibility proven to be the foundation for a long-term relationship, like character, intellect and values.
Webcam chats, an online magazine and plenty of Good Housekeeping-style tips and advice.
The net’s biggest Jewish dating service, with often hilariously self-deprecating personal descriptions.
Probably with the broadest reach of the hundreds of lesbian and gay sites on the net, plus news, features, travel tips, fashion and gossip.
Launched in September 2000, Christian Connection is the largest, and longest established subscriber based UK Christian dating site.
If you’re partial to the country life – then this rural Online Dating Site for Single Farmers, Rural Singles, Equestrian Singles and Country Friends could be the place for you.
The romantic social network that found its feet through Facebook, it helps people create and share their romantic journeys, with a multitude of members from around the globe enjoying the service each month.
With over 140,000 members — it’s THE place for people aged 40+ to meet. It’s easy to use with a sophisticated system that matches you and your partner on a multitude of likes and interests. Join now for FREE.
Fancy a date in your lunch hour? If you’re in London you can search for members by tube station.
Dating with a scientific approach — finding "the perfect match" through online psychometric testing.
Claiming to be the world’s largest online matrimonial site — it was founded with one simple objective — to provide a superior matchmaking experience to Indians all over the world.
Because dating’s not just for the youngsters. The over 50s are one of the fastest groups of online daters these days.
If you are looking for a kindred soul that just so happens to also be a veggie lover, this site is worth a nibble.
Newly merged with Meetic, the giant of the dating scene, giving access to nearly 20 million users across Europe and with plenty of high-tech ways to find them.
Simple, straightforward and free UK personals site — hugely popular.
Matching singles who love the arts.

Best Online Dating Sites
Dating is digital now, no matter which way you look at it. From setting up the very first date to entering the engagement stage, digital technology is deeply ingrained in the way we communicate, show care, and form bonds with significant others as we date. As so, it’s no surprise that the online dating industry has skyrocketed in popularity and crawled out from under the shadow of stigma to become a widely popular and universally accepted method of meeting others for anything ranging from serious relationships to casual one night stands. Meeting a significant other online is just as common, if not more so in certain geographical locations, as meeting her in person, and the vast oversaturation of the online dating industry proves just that.
There’s no longer a lacking in ways to find potential matches through digital means, instead we have the opposite dilemma: too many options. With hundreds of member-filled dating sites available, and new ones seemingly launching every week, it’s hard to know where to place our time and energy. While certain dating sites are very apparently designed for certain audiences, there is still an excess of so-called ‘mainstream’ online dating platforms that all claim to be the best online dating site available. Of course options are always good to have, but having so many can sometimes fog our vision and make us unable to find the best site for our intentions, desires, and basic needs.
As a result, online dating becomes more difficult in theory. Many online daters find themselves skipping from site to site moving much too rapidly to give any one site a real shot. Or they’re stuck juggling so many different online profiles that they’re unable to give their full attention to just one platform, much less to just one match. Eventually the market will die down a bit as the successful dating sites flourish and others become acquired or dissipate into the background, but for the time being online daters are stick weeding through a much too extensive list of options and putting themselves through endless trial and error cycles that simply leave them exhausted, disheartened, and frankly somewhat over the whole idea that finding romance online is possible.
Online dating started as a way to more easily connect with others and although the landscape of digital dating may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The newest, shiniest online dating site isn’t always the best option and the secret to successful online dating is to take the time to both consider all options and know your intentions going into it. We often explore only the newer online dating options such as Tinder and Bumble, and forget the more well-established sites such as Match. Zoosk. and Friend Finder X. While considering all possible courses, it helps to narrow down the roaster by identifying what your intentions are for using an online dating site. Should you be on eHarmony looking to meet your future wife, or at this point in your life are you better suited on an adult dating site like iHookup. where you can live out your sexual desires and find others who are looking for the same level of casual commitment, or lack thereof, that you are?
There is a perfect online dating site for you, likely more than one in fact, and the first step to identifying it is to work your way backwards from a list of the best online dating sites available right now. Whether you are just entering the online dating scene or simply need to press the pause button and figure out where your time is best spent, the following list of top online dating sites will steer you in the right direction.
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Best of the Web

Those of you who nominated Match shared some of your success stories meeting your significant other there, but also all noted that Match felt the most mature of all of the dating sites you tried—the most elegant, or at least grown up. Where a lot of the services are either aimed at younger people or more casual encounters, many of you said Match felt like a service you were using to go on dates and find real long-term partners. It wasn't unanimous though—many of you bemoaned the cost associated with Match, and said your experience yielded a bunch of dead accounts and unresponsive people, which sucks when you're spending money to communicate with them. Read the good and the bad in the nomination thread here. or this thread here .
OkCupid is completely free, meaning you don't have to pay to see more matches or to unlock specific features that may make it easier for you to find someone interesting. At the same time, because it's completely free, the array of potential matches you get can be wild and varied, to say the least. There are entire blogs around the web dedicated to the types of people you'll find on OkCupid, and part of it is because the service is rapidly growing, free, and accessible to everyone. Granted, that also means that if you're looking for the most possible matches, and the service is very proud of its matching algorithm. When you sign up, you fill out a remarkably lengthy profile full of questions that will be used to help other people find you, and to help you match other people. Mobile apps for iOS and Android help you take your search with you on the go, and stay in touch with people you plan to meet.
Those of you who nominated and praised OKCupid were some of the few who pointed out that you met your significant others there, and your match was—at least for the time being—a success, so congratulations! Seriously, so many success stories in the nominations thread. Many of you bemoaned OkCupid's buyout by Match.com, and mentioned that OkCupid keeps a wealth of statistical data about who uses the service and how successful its matches are. You also explained that if you do go OkCupid, QuickMatch is the way to go—you'll meet interesting, compatible people that way. Read more in the nomination thread here.
Tinder is a bit less of a comprehensive matching site the way you might think of one. It's a little more. to the point, as it were. It's a mobile app only (iOS and Android). You're presented with images for each of your potential matches, and with a swipe or a tap, you can either dismiss them entirely or add them to your "like" list, full of people you may want to contact for a date. You have to log in via Facebook—Tinder uses Facebook to do its heavy lifting, and uses your likes, shares, and other profile information to help match you up with other users. Once you do though, you're off to the races liking and dismissing people. If someone you liked likes you, then you can communicate. If not, keep trying. It's probably the simplest approach to online match-making ever, kind of a blend between an online matchmaking site and speed dating.

Zoosk Review
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Zoosk is a great dating site for singles using mobile devices, featuring a slick phone app and an impressive 3.8 million users monthly. The site is now offering a free trial to browse dating profiles in local areas.
Match System
Users can have their profiles up in a matter of seconds, allowing matches to be sent to their search results right away.
The search function also allows members to look for matches in their area on their own.
The Zoosk Scientific Matchmaking Service provides a list of compatibility questions that help increase your chances of connecting with like-minded members.
Zoosk sends you a match once a day, which you can say respond to or decline.
The Zoosk App for your iPhone lets you connect with other members from anywhere.
Create icebreakers for other «Zooskers» to answer in order to get to know them better.
Other Features
Zoosk Coins act as virtual currency for members to purchase various features like gifts.
Profile information can include location, birthday, relationship status, dating preferences, and appearance.
Zoosk messenger provides more opportunities for chatting and is easy to install on your computer.
The Zoosk news feed connects users to Facebook so they can see when potential matches update profile information, photos and more.
Zoosk’s interface is simple and easy to become accustomed to. Free and premium members have similar capabilities, including a choice of search, communication and profile options. Basic member search includes generated results based on location and age, while advanced search allows for further customization. The more info you enter into your profile, the more precise the Zoosk search will be in connecting you with possible matches. If you’re tired of the search, take advantage of ZSMS, or Zoosk Scientific Matching System, which uses a fun survey to provide you with promising singles and compute compatibility!
The Bottom Line
Zoosk.com is an innovative site that is fun and easy to use. Its use of social networking accounts and smartphone technology provides users with new and exciting ways to meet like-minded individuals. The site’s large user base proves that Zoosk is quickly becoming one of the most popular online dating sites.

Christian Dating » 2017’s Best
DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the sites listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where sites appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include listings for all dating sites.
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While not a Christians-only dating site, Match.com actually boasts the more Christian and church-going singles than any site. Its free phone app enables easy matching by religious preferences. Full Review »
Overall Rating: ★★★★&#9733 4.9 / 5.0
A close friend of mine and her husband are heavily involved in their church community, attending service together every Sunday, group sessions every Wednesday, vacation bible school during the summer, and various mission trips throughout the year. It’s the kind of relationship my single Christian friends strive for.
If you’re in the same boat, you’ll want to put yourself in front of as many Christian singles as possible to meet that special someone — and online dating is the way to do that. While we understand this can be an intimidating venture for some people, that’s what we’re here for. We have four tips that will help make your journey into online dating a smooth one.
1. Choose a Christian Dating or App Site That Aligns Best With Your Demographic
The best and most efficient way to find compatible Christian men and women is to join a dating site or app that has members who already have similar values, beliefs, experiences, and lifestyles. Below is more information about the top Christian websites on our list.
Free Christian Dating Site
Match.com has over 13.5 million active users a month and a membership that costs absolutely nothing, making it one of the most popular free Christian dating sites on the web. From the signup to the profile creation to the search and the communication, there are no hidden fees or other barriers on Match.
Christian Dating App
Launched in 2007, Zoosk was one of the first online dating apps ever. Today, thanks to their integration with Facebook and Google+, they’ve made a name for themselves among innovative dating apps — as well as Christian dating apps because of their ever-increasing numbers in this demographic.
Black Christian Dating Site
With more than 1.4 million visitors every month and counting, BlackPeopleMeet.com is a popular online destination for Christian and black singles alike. Whether you’re looking for a casual date or a serious relationship, the browsing features on BlackPeopleMeet can help you narrow down the options and pinpoint your ideal match.
Gay Christian Dating Site
We’ve included Match.com again on this list because this site really is our favorite overall. Besides having the most impressive numbers, Match is also very welcoming of any type of dater, especially Christian gay singles.
2. Make Use of Free Trial Periods
If you want to go through all the steps of online dating without having to pay anything upfront, you’ll want to make use of a free trial or a free membership option — which is offered by all of the Christian dating websites above. This is where you can do things like register, fill out your information, view profiles, and communicate with matches.
3. Use Services With Helpful Features, Like Christian Chat Rooms
Providing members with useful features — our favorite being Christian chat rooms — is one of the ways we determine what’s a good Christian online dating site. Chat rooms allow you to instantly talk with someone who catches your eye and make the conversation flow more easily. And guess what? You’ll find fun chat rooms on all of our top picks.
4. Read Christian Dating Reviews & Advice — From Making a Profile to Meeting Christian Singles
Besides checking out Christian dating sites reviews, like ours, we also suggest looking at other types of content before jumping into the process. All of our recommendations have blogs with expert Christian dating advice and tips for succeeding online, such as how to pick the right pictures for your profile and ways to filter search results to match your needs.
It’s also worth mentioning that we will only suggest online Christian dating sites that we would use ourselves and trust 100%. The ones on this list have been around for a long time, some over 20 years, and have stellar reputations, unbeatable success rates, and dedicated teams.
My friend has a great relationship with her husband because they get to bond over their shared love of religion and worship. If you’re a single Christian and that’s the kind of relationship you desire, too, the Christian dating services above will help you reach that goal in no time. We promise!

Match.com Review
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Match.com is the most popular online dating site in the U.S. boasting the largest paid user base nationally and locally, plus an unparalleled success rate for its users. The site is currently offering a free browsing option that enables new potential members to use Match.com free for 3 days.
Match System
In-depth questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is broken into three main categories and nine subcategories, which includes “About Me,” “About My Match” and “In My Own Words” sections. These categories consist of questions regarding appearance, interests, lifestyle and background.
Match.com also allows you to skip or choose “no answer” for questions you may be uncomfortable with.
The Daily 5 provides five potential matches based on a match’s similar qualities.
Other Features
Users who don’t find someone special within the first six months of searching receive another six-month free subscription.
Ease of Use
While Match.com has a lot of features, it is still an easy site to navigate. Most of the pages are self-explanatory, and if a member needs extra help understanding the site, Match.com has a useful help page. The site also offers a variety of search options so members can easily find potential matches based on the criteria that is most important to them. Options include keyword and tailor-made searching based upon qualities such as ethnicity, faith, education and height.
Custom search allows you to browse by users who are in your region and are online now
Reverse matching lets you search profiles of people who are searching for someone with your qualities
Mutual matching offers users the opportunity to find singles that have similar answers in the “About My Match” section
Date Spark puts a unique twist on searching. You can propose a date and see who responds, or you can respond to a user who proposed a date you are interested in going on
Unlike most online dating sites, Match.com offers customer support by phone and email.
The Bottom Line
Match.com has a lot to offer singles looking for casual dates or deep relationships at a reasonable price. With its useful features, simple navigation, professional layout and engaging success stories, it’s easy to see that Match.com is the most successful dating site for a reason.
Visit Match.com »

EliteSingles.com Review
DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the sites listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where sites appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include listings for all dating sites.
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With more than 67% of its members holding either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, EliteSingles.com has established itself as the premier dating site for educated professionals—specifically those who are looking for a long-term partner. From its unique 5-Factor Personality Questionnaire to its secure Fraud Detection System, EliteSingles is dedicated to ensuring that members receive highly compatible matches and have a safe and fun online dating experience from start to finish.
Free membership option as well as a variety of affordable subscription choices
In-depth personality test provides accurate matching
Advanced privacy and safety tools
Customer support available via email, phone, and mail
Intuitive app helps busy singles date on the go
Helpful blog written by experts who dish out advice singles can actually implement into their dating lives

Not an appropriate site for singles who just want a casual date or hookup
Data Breakdown
Match System
Partner Suggestions: Receive matches based on relationship preferences, location, and answers to the 5-Factor Personality Questionnaire. This includes questions about your characteristics, hobbies, and lifestyle habits as well as those that you prefer in a partner.
Search: Sort by a variety of categories including Age and Height, Distance, Desire to Have Kids, Education and Income, Smoking and Drinking Habits, and Ethnicity and Religion.
«Have You Met»: Recommends singles you may not have seen while searching on your own.
«Wildcard» Matches: Premium members get 20 extra matches a day.
Other Features
Communication: Interact with matches by sending a «Smile,» personalized message, or 5 icebreaker questions generated by Elite Singles.
Tracking Capabilities: See who’s looked at your profile and/or read your messages.
«Favorite» Singles . Show interest in members who catch your eye, and keep a log of them.
Privacy and Safety Measures: ID Authentication, Manual Profile Verification, SSL Encryption, and Fraud Detection Systems.
Spam Precautions: Inactive users or those who aren’t looking for serious relationships are removed from the site.
Active Blog: Useful dating and relationship tips from renowned psychologists, industry experts, and the Elite Singles team.
Elite Singles is just as professional as its members — from the simple sign-up process to the easy-to-use interface, accurate matching system, and committed team.
The Quick Sign-Up & Simplified Layout Get You Dating Quicker
Signing up for EliteSingles can take as little as a couple of minutes or as long as you want, depending on how detailed you get when filling out your profile and taking the personality assessment.
Once you’re done, you’ll see big tabs at the top of your Dashboard that include Profile, Messages, and Matches. These sections also contain their own tabs for Likes and Dislikes, Favorites, Sent Messages, and so much more.
With its clean layout and clearly labeled icons, EliteSingles makes navigating around the site as smooth as possible — which means you can focus less on finding your way around and more on finding a quality match.
Highly Compatible Matches Are Delivered Right to You
EliteSingles streamlines the matching process by locating and suggesting compatible singles as well as saving your search preferences — so the hard work is done for you. There’s even an interactive map on the homepage that will show you more localized matches in your city. There are also tips throughout the site that help you improve your visibility and number of matches. For example, EliteSingles says a well-filled-out profile receives 8x more messages than one that’s sparse. Besides the online matching options, EliteSingles offers exclusive singles events as well, which will put you face to face with a variety of successful single professionals.
Expert Support From the Entire EliteSingles Team Available 24/7
If you ever have any questions, EliteSingles has an extensive Help page full of FAQs (e.g. What Should I Consider Before My First Date?), and customer support is available whenever you need it. The blog offers numerous detailed advice articles about a variety of dating topics.
And whether it’s the founders, development team, marketing folks, or anyone else at EliteSingles, they’re there to make your online dating experience the best one possible.
CEOs Jeronimo Federico Folgueira Sanchez (pictured left) and Michael Schrezenmaier (pictured right) — as well as David Khalil, Founder of Affinitas (the parent company of EliteSingles) — all agree that the market has been crying out for a premium matchmaking service like this, and EliteSingles is more than happy to meet that demand.
«Singles are tired of the lack of quality control on mainstream online dating sites, and EliteSingles provides something new to the market — a safe space where successful singles can find each other,» David said.
The Bottom Line
In a sea of hookup-based dating sites and apps, EliteSingles.com is a breath of fresh air for ambitious and genuine daters who want long-lasting love with someone like-minded. Thanks to its targeted user base, on-point matching system, and fresh website and app, educated professionals won’t find a better dating site just for them than EliteSingles.
Visit EliteSingles.com »

2017’s Best Dating Sites
DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the sites listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where sites appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include listings for all dating sites.
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Overall Rating: ★★★★&#9733 4.9 / 5.0
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Match.com is a well-known and trusted dating site, having led to more dates, marriages, and relationships than any other site. Full Review »
Overall Rating: ★★★★&#9733 4.9 / 5.0
When my best friend joined her first dating site, like most people, she went with one of the largest ones that was completely free. She assumed she was making the right choice, but within the first day, she regretted her decision. The site had too many people for her to sort through and didn’t have the resources to help her to do so. Plus, she had already received 40 or so messages that she needed to read. Online dating become more work than fun.
A little research beforehand would’ve saved her a headache, but there are literally thousands of online dating services. It seems unrealistic for my friend and others like her to look into every single one of them.
The good news is not only is that our job, but it’s our passion. Below we’ve narrowed down the seven types of dating websites you need to know about — and the top one for each.
1. Most Popular Dating Sites
What we consider to be the most popular dating sites are the ones that receive positive comments and high star ratings from users — as well as ones that are easy to use and, most importantly, successful.
Best Overall: Match
Match.com was founded in the ‘90s and has been a pioneer in the dating industry ever since. No other dating website has been responsible for more dates, relationships, and marriages than Match. Not only that, but with over 13.5 million people visiting Match every month from more than 25 countries, no other dating website has anywhere near the same reach.
Best for Mobile: Zoosk
If you’re always busy and on your phone all the time, like most of us are, then we’d highly recommend Zoosk. One of the first dating sites to also expand to a dating app, Zoosk is integrated with Facebook and Google+ — which means it’s really simple to upload your information and start dating instantly.
Best for Serious Relationships: eHarmony
Launched by clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony.com is a go-to if you want a serious, long-term relationship — which explains how 4% of U.S. marriages have taken place thanks to the site, according to Harris Interactive. eHarmony is also known for their unique matching system that compares 29 dimensions of compatibility to pair their members.
Here’s where you can learn more about all three of the dating services above:
2. Hookup Sites
Online dating isn’t just for finding a date or relationship — it’s also a great way to find a hookup if that’s what you’re looking for. However, not all hookup websites are created equal. There are ones you’ll want to join, and then there are others you’ll want to avoid. Here’s what you need to know:
Best Hookup Sites
BeNaughty is a hookup site that is among the cream of the crop. With cool features like instant messaging and location-based matching, this site will help you find no-strings-attached adult fun in no time.
Free Hookup Sites
When you’re searching for the top sex site, you’ll often find ones that claim they’re 100% free. While that certainly sounds appealing, we’d suggest staying away from these services, including Craigslist. We’ve all heard or read the horror stories about people on Craigslist pretending to be someone they’re not. You can avoid having that happen to you by joining a reputable site like BeNaughty. Not only do they offer a free trial period that doesn’t cost anything, but they also use anti-scammer technology to ensure their members stay safe.
3. Christian Dating Sites
Finding someone who has the same religious beliefs and values is important to a lot of people, particularly Christians, and one of the best Christian dating sites on the web is ChristianMingle. More than 2.4 million Christian singles use the site every month, and the search filters even let you sort by keywords like “bible study.”
4. Senior (Over 50) Dating Sites
Online dating for seniors can be intimidating, especially if they’ve just been through a divorce, lost a partner, or aren’t that tech savvy. But it doesn’t have to be this way. OurTime.com is dedicated to singles over 50 and has a quick signup process and clean interface, making the entire process very easy.
5. Gay & Lesbian Dating Sites
While you may think you have to use an LGBT-specific dating site if you’re an LGBT single, that’s not really the case. There are plenty of conventional sites that are also among the top websites for gay dating and the top lesbian date sites .
With over 1.5 million gay members and more than 1 million lesbian members, Match is one of them. Zoosk is another fantastic choice, particularly if you’re looking for a quality mobile experience.
6. Free Dating Sites
Free doesn’t necessarily have to mean a cheap or low-quality experience. The best free dating sites are the ones that give you every chance of success without any hidden fees or other barriers. We’re happy to say all of the sites on our list are 100% free to create a profile, upload photos, browse for and receive matches, and communicate.
7. Dating Apps: Free vs. Best Apps
Dating apps have become extremely popular because they allow singles to date anywhere they are and at anytime, but you don’t want to just download the first one you come across. Luckily, we’ve done the groundwork for you.
Best Dating Apps
Zoosk’s much-heralded dating app lets you sign up through Facebook or Google+, so you can pull pictures and quick facts about yourself from your profiles that already exist — instead of having to spend a lot of time answering a bunch of questions. This is just one of the many reasons Zoosk is among our favorite online dating apps.
Free Dating Apps
You could take a chance on a 100% free dating app, but, honestly, you never really know what you’re going to get. A lot of the self-proclaimed free dating apps allow you to sign up, but then they limit what you can do, ask for your credit card info, and then require you to upgrade if you want to move forward.
Zoosk isn’t one of them, though. Zoosk has a totally free, extremely comprehensive membership that anyone can sign up for and that will give you the opportunity to try out the entire app before whipping out your wallet.
Which Website Has the Best Reviews by Local Singles?
Ultimately, narrowing down all of the dating sites out there comes down to which ones receive the best user and company reviews. Listening to singles about their experiences and testing out the numerous options ourselves are the two biggest components that make up our reviews. And through all of our research, we’ve determined that Match truly is the top choice for any type of dater, while Zoosk is great for dating on the go.
We don’t want anyone to have a frustrating time with online dating like my friend did, so take a couple of minutes to check out what our experts have to say before taking the leap. Then you’ll confidently be on your way!

Compare Reviews for Online Dating Sites and Services
Online dating has grown in popularity to the point where there is almost no social stigma attached to it. With an estimated 1,000 online dating sites in existence, however, it can be hard to sift through all the options and decide which is the best site.
Creating online dating profiles helps consumers carefully consider potential matches. Likewise, evaluating a dating site before using it is essential, and it will bring you that much closer to finding a good match.
Top 10 Best Rated Online Dating Websites & Services
Bumble is a dating app that only allows women to initiate contact in opposite-sex connections; in same-sex connections either party may initiate contact. It’s available for Apple and Android devices.
Since 2012, Tinder has been matching singles based on their social profiles and geographic location. The catch? Both users must “swipe right” before being matched and are then able to chat within the app.
Mingle2 is a membership service of which users pay to be a part. It was originally a service called JustSayHi, but the site transitioned to Mingle2 in 2008 and now works with many populations of singles.
POF.com, also known as PlentyOfFish, is an online dating site headquartered in Vancouver. It is one of the biggest dating sites with over 90 million registered users across the globe. It is also available in 5 different languages.
OKCupid is one of the most popular dating sites and is free to sign up initially. It works with special algorithms that match users with potential dates. Launched in 2004, OKCupid works with many populations of people.
OurTime.com is a unique dating site specifically catered to people over 50. The company focuses on the interests of people in a certain age range who want a place to feel confident and comfortable while seeking a potential date.
Zoosk is a singles dating app that uses a behavioral matchmaking engine to pair users who its system indicates will be a good match. The app is available in over 80 countries and has over 27 million searchable members.
How much does it cost?
It is important to decide how much you can afford to pay before committing to a site.
Total cost . An online dating site might be free, or have different payment levels. If there are different levels of membership and payment, check to see which features are included in each level and which features you find essential.
Frequency of payments . The membership price might be a yearly, monthly, or quarterly amount. Recently, there has been many mobile dating apps that will let you pay by the action instead of by a set amount of time.
Canceling the plan . It is important to read the fine print and to find out how easy or difficult it is to cancel a subscription. Getting trapped in an online website that isn’t producing viable dates can be frustrating.
What is the matching process?
Online dating websites offer a variety of methods on how to search for a mate. Some mobile apps will match you with people based on criteria, including age, gender, and geographic proximity. More traditional sites may offer anything from a simple search to a highly specific advanced search. Some more seriously minded sites request that members fill out elaborate compatibility questionnaires. Deciding which process is right for you will largely be determined by whether you’re looking for a casual friendship, relationship, or a lifelong partner.
Geographic matches . Most dating sites offer a chance to look for the closest possible match. However, if you are currently looking to meet someone in close proximity, many of the mobile dating apps will provide you with your best results with little to no cost.
User-generated matches . Unless you are using a site specifically meant for a casual or very serious relationship, it has become an industry standard to offer members the chance to whittle down the potential matches. Dating sites do this based on preferences such as income, smoking and drinking, if the match has kids and whether he or she has ever been married.
In-depth compatibility . There are some dating sites that ask members to fill out detailed questionnaires designed to choose matches based on compatibility. eHarmony and Match.com are two famous examples of this type of dating site.
Is the dating site niche?
If you have a very specific set of interests, there are many sites that may cater to your niche. Some of these niche sites are Farmersonly.com, MillionaireMatch.com, Geek2Geek.com, JDate, Dandy, Pinksofa.com, ChristianMingle and PositiveSingles.
Demographic niches . These sites can cater to people who are only interested in dating within a specific religion, income level, race and more.
Lifestyle niches . These sites focus on daters looking for matches based on attractiveness level, occupation, same sex relationships, people that are STD positive and more.
Age-based niches . These sites are for people of a specific age. Currently Baby boomers, those over 50, are overwhelmingly turning to the web to find a mate. Sites like Match.com and POF.com offer members a chance to search specifically for the age group that interests you, but SeniorPeopleMeet.com and OurTime.com are the two largest sites designed specifically for the baby boomer market.
What are the privacy safeguards?
Depending on the dating site, all other members might be able to see your profile and message you. Check to see what safeguards are put in place by the site, and which ones you can enable to limit those who sees your profile.
Limiting who sees your profile . Does the site allow just the bare minimum of your profile to be seen in search results? Some sites wait until you favorite, wink, or in some way OK a member before they can see your whole profile. That said, it is important that you only share information in your profile that you are okay with a stranger being able to see.
Keeping the search results wide open . If your goal is to meet someone in the immediate future for a casual drink or get together, the best option would be mobile dating apps like Tinder, JSwipe and many others. These apps allow you to quickly find similarly minded people. On most dating sites, you can use a sort feature to see which members are currently online right now and available to talk.
Is the dating process safe?
Most dating sites have become extremely good about policing their members for negative or unsafe behavior. There are several sites that offer additional levels of security including background checks and photo verification.
Social Verification . Many sites employ a method known as social verification to help prevent wrongdoers from gaining access to you. This goes above and beyond just asking for your email. Many sites now ask you to verify your identity through your FaceBook or Google+ login. This, combined with highly trained scammer prevention teams, have made online dating safer than it has ever been.
Photo Verification . Several sites now offer members a chance to prove their identity by sending additional material. This includes emailing a photo of the member, holding a piece of paper, with a set of numbers that has been randomly generated by the site. Other members do not see this, but it allows the site's staff to confirm their identity.
Safe from hackers . Check to make sure the site has employees SAFE technology so your vital information is safe. If it is a paid site, make sure it is a secure site before entering your credit card information.
What are the main features?
The features of the dating site should be the features you want and will use, especially if it is a paid site. These features could include private emails, proximity search, chat rooms and more.
Features to help refine search results . Look to see which features will help whittle down the pool of suitors. These are keyword searches, mutual matching, reverse matching, the ability to save and favorite certain profiles and more.
Mobile applications . Most dating sites now offer a mobile version that can be downloaded through the Apple or Android stores. When considering a site, it is best to also test their mobile app to see if it can help streamline your dating experience. Additionally, there are several dating apps that only exist in the mobile format. Before downloading, it is best to check for recent reviews on their download pages.
Communicating with members . Dating sites and apps allow you to communicate in several ways ranging from "winking at someone" to setting up a video chat with a prospective date. Research which methods are available on a site and make sure they fit with your needs.
Outside events . An online dating site might set up outside events such as mixers or speed dating to pair members. There might be an extra charge to attend these events, or it might be included within the price of the membership.
What are different types of online dating sites?