Top 10 online dating websites and how much they cost a month
Singles with a New Year’s resolution to find someone special in 2017 will be off to a promising start on the very first day of the year, says dating site PlentyOfFish (Photo: Getty)
Millions of Brits turn to the web in search of a partner every year — but what’s the true cost of finding love on the internet?
There are currently over 1,400 relationship-finder sites in Britain — all claiming to do one thing — find your match, and at that, fast.
And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many singletons will be heading online to look for love.
But, with so many websites to choose from online — but how much should you spend on your quest for love?
Here’s our run through of 10 of the biggest websites in the UK and how much they each cost a month.
UK members: 3 million
Top features: Advanced ‘smart search’ which allows you to filter matches by location and personality traits.
Price per month: £29.99. Get £51.75 cashback, equalling to five months free when signing up to a six month membership at Match.com via TopCashback using this link .
UK members: 3.5 million
Top features: Their ‘Compatibility matching system’ focuses on helping you find people you’ll match emotionally with.
Price per month: £12.95. Get two months free when signing up for a three month membership via TopCashback here .
3. Match Affinity
UK members: 3 million
Top features: Complete their free affinity questionnaire and you’ll be matched with compatible and like-minded members.
Price per month: £44.95 per month or £11.95 per month for a 12 month membership
4. Plenty of Fish
UK members: 3 million
Top features: Chemistry test tool to help you find matches based on your personality and emotional needs.
Price per month: Free
5. Elite Singles
Top features: Personality profile based on the »Big Five» personality models — gender, age, residence, profession and level of education to help create long term relationships.
Price per month: £89.95 a month or £29.95 a month when you subscribe for 12 months.
Get £63.25 cashback which is two months free when you sign up to elitesingles.co.uk for 12 months via TopCashback — use this link to sign up .
Top features: Lovestruck.com’s behavioural recommendation engine assesses your search history, like page views, winks and favourites to help you find what you’re actually looking for — and not what you say you’re looking for.
Price per month: £39 a month or £11.58 a month when you subscribe for 12 months
UK members: 3 million
Top features: Location tracker to help you find singles in your area.
Price per month: £29.99
Top features: They believe that your friends know you best — so, like a virtual wingman, they write your profile for you!
Price per month: £28
9. Mirror Dating
Top features: 24/7 live chat support and super-high security. Inbuilt personalised location features, and weekly dating tips, to help you find that special someone.
Price per month: £14.95, a month or £9.98 a month when you subscribe for 3 months. 3 months for the price of 2 when you join today.
UK members: 27 million
Top features: Inbuilt behavioural matchmaking engine which learns as you click to pair you with singles you’re likely to be mutually attracted to.
Price per month: £22.74
Best Online Dating Sites of 2017
Best Online Dating Sites of 2017
For many, dating online has become perfectly normal, even expected. And it makes sense given our current cultural comfort with technology and increasingly busy schedules. Days are long and few places are actually conducive to approaching people and getting to know them. Alternatively, turning to the web means being able to meet more potential partners than would otherwise be physically possible! That being said, there are tons of dating sites to choose from and finding the right one is crucial.
Depending on what you're looking for, you can narrow down your options to a specific category – there are all types and there's bound to be at least one that truly caters to you. Once you've gotten that far, you may want to consider the quality of service you're willing to potentially pay for. For instance, you should be concerned about keeping your information and privacy safe, and some sites will put more emphasis on security than others. Or maybe, you'd rather join a site that offers more exceptional features, like video chat and online roleplaying forums.
Safe to say, there is a lot of information for any one person to sort through — that's why we've gone ahead for you and ranked each site within their respective categories.
Here are the top 10 across the board. Explore the menu bar to see each individual category.
Built with the user in mind, Zoosk.com provides a superior dating experience. Rather than push a lengthy questionnaire, this site evolves based on observed preferences to provide matches.
How Online Dating Works
Online dating can be broken down into three parts: signing up, creating a profile, and interacting with other members. Depending on the site, the first two parts may take more or less time, but it’s important to note that the more accurately you answer the questionnaires and the more care you put into creating a profile that reflects who you are, the better chances you have of being matched with someone worth your while. When it comes to interacting, it can be as simple as sending someone a casual 'wink' or liking their photo, or you can send them a more detail message if you feel drawn to do so. Each site will have unique features to offer, all of which we’ve reviewed in detailed for you.
While most sites require payment to access their full roster of features, we recommend starting with a free account. This way, you’ll get a taste for the service without committing to a monthly plan right off the bat.
The Shift Towards Online Dating
With people mobilizing more than before for school, work, and adventure, online dating becomes a practice of convenience. Think about it: Where else could you go to meet so many singles ready to mingle? Sure, nothing beats meeting someone face-to-face and feeling the sparks fly, but there’s really no guarantee of meeting anyone and getting to know them in most public spaces. The fact remains that online dating sites are a unique and effective way of connecting with more people who share your intentions than would otherwise be physically possible.
How To Choose The Right Site
As you can imagine, there are a lot of different sites to choose from out there. From the mainstream ones to those of a more “risque ” nature, it’s tremendously important to consider your options before spending the time and energy getting set up on one. While sites in the matchmaking category (such as eHarmony.com and Match.com ) focus on helping people find true love, adult sites (such as Passion.com. Adultfriendfinder.com ) tend to serve the purpose of exploring one’s sexuality and immediate gratification. Furthermore, niche dating sites like those in the Religious. Ethnic, Wealthy or Senior categories are really geared for people with a vested interest in those respective verticals.
Best Dating Sites Of 2017
At AskMen, our team of editors has personally reviewed upwards of 110 dating sites in order to present you with the very best. We spent time browsing and testing features, as well as reading other customer reviews, with the goal of being able to provide honest and comprehensive insight into what differentiates a great service from one that’s just “OK”. And although our opinions may be subjective, we did base all ratings on a standardized scale in an attempt to be fair.
Reviews will be updated periodically, so keep checking in for the latest and greatest.
Disclaimer: These reviews are for entertainment purposes only. AskMen does not take any responsibility for the quality of these sites or the experiences you may have on them. Proceed at your own risk. We may earn a percentage of the sale, if you make a purchase via links in the reviews. For more information on our affiliates click here .
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
The best online dating sites to find love in 2017
(illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)
This week marks the biggest online dating week of the year (combined with the biggest divorce week of the year). Whether it’s a failed relationship or the urge for a new beginning that has propelled you into the dating wilderness, online dating almost certainly has someone waiting for you.
But which one to go for? Match group now owns Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, OkCupid and, of course, Match, making it the biggest player in the online and app dating industry.
eHarmony is another massive player, with 3 million users signed up. But size isn’t everything – as anyone who has just wrapped up a three-hour swiping session on Tinder will attest. Too many members with no filter can result in either hours of swiping to find someone you fancy, or hundreds of messages in your inbox that you’ll never have time to read.
Here’s a guide to the sites to check out – feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments below – and let us know if you met your life partner online or on an app and if so, which one.
Pros: Millions of matches at your fingertips. Has both desktop and mobile site and an app, plus paid-for and free singles events. Very well managed, new, clean design makes it more appealing to navigate.
Cons: Millions of matches at your fingertips… inbox management can be overwhelming. It’s quite difficult to get any information on the price to use match.com’s full service. When you click for more info you’ll more often than not end up with info boxes that you need to fill in before you can advance to the pricing info. We wish sites would be more transparent about their fees. However, they do have a live help service at their homepage to talk you through joining.
Pros: Uses compatibility testing to match you with someone who shares the same worldview as you. Pitches itself as the site to go to for ‘serious, lasting relationships’ and marriage – which may well be refreshing to some in the current dating climate. Psychologists and dating experts guide you through each step of the process – including messaging, which is somewhat structured and scripted – and there’s an anonomisation function for calling. There’s currently a 7-day free trial to communicate with matches for free until 1 January. It’s a softly, softly approach – excellent for those new to internet dating or nervous about entering the melee, or using a fast-food dating app like Tinder.
Cons: The lengthy survey you must complete before you sign up. It is 100s of questions long and asks many probing questions about religion and moral views. Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics. Pricier – it’s £44.95 for a month, but that drops to £12.95 per month if you sign up for a year.
You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process. Some may think it lacks the spontaneity of other dating sites – and you certainly can’t use it to get a quick date for the weekend.
The price and process mean only the dedicated remain – but equally, can lead to people dropping out mid-process.
eHarmony offers matches for both mixed and same-sex couples
Controversy swirled in 2010 around its lack of same-sex matching resulting in a site launched later for gay and bisexual daters called Compatible Partners . but eHarmony now offers matching for both mixed and same sex couples from the main homepage.
Pros: Free to join and to have limited contact with members. You can connect with Facebook so getting started is much quicker than with other sites. A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. You can browse a selection of pictures and ages before logging in, anything more specific requires you to become a member. Members can search by interest, location or age.
Cons: It’s not really free. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required. As with many free or low-cost sites, ads can be frequent and feel spammy. There are no compatibility filters, so once you’ve filtered by the basics, there’s no way of narrowing it down. However, perhaps controversially, arguably this is more of a pro than a con – as the saying goes, opposites attract! And there’s no sense in ruling someone out for reasons that may become insignificant once you’ve met in real life.
Metro Illustrations<br />illustration request: How to low-key stalk you crush online<br />Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler /Metro.co.uk
WHY CHECKBOXES AND FILTERS ARE THE DEATH OF DATING
‘Only show me people without children’
‘Only show me men over 6ft 1in’
‘Only show me vegetarians’
‘Only show me people who don’t want kids’
The tickboxes on many dating sites are a common part of the structure of the sites – and people often fill them in and make their choices quickly, based on in-the-moment gut feeling, prejudice or a past bad experience.
But too many filters and rigid check-boxes can have you dismiss huge numbers of people at once – something that apps like Bumble, Happn and Tinder tried to do away with (though that brings its own set of issues). One 5ft 10in user reports she saw only 400 potential men to browse when she logged in to Match.com. When she reduced her height to 5ft 9in, that rocketed to almost 2,000. It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.
And, by the way, the tick-box that chooses whether you’re shown people with children or not can have an even more dramatic result, yet many friends dating (or married to) previosuly single parents tell me they would never have selected someone with a child if they had a tick-box to rule them out, and indeed on dating sites had filtered out people with children.
The moral of this story is: Be open minded, people!
Pros: ‘UK’s largest dating site’ with 3 million members. Free messaging. Quick to join, lots of interactions, constant flow of fresh members. Has a ‘chemistry test’ to match you with personalities that suit your own and meet your ’emotional needs’, and a ‘Relationship Needs’ service that claims to be able to tell you what you need in a relationship, where you screwed up (without knowing it) and a customised plan to make your next relationship successful. Which sounds like a hella challenge…
Cons . So large it can be time-consuming to keep on top of communications and filter through the members, though Match.com the same applies. Anecdotally, users can be spammed by unwanted messages and inappropriate pictures.
Pros: Large global audience. Clean, easy-to-use site. Easy to link up with Facebook. Verified photos and accounts keep catfishing or phony accounts to a minimum.
Cons: Pay-for site that means you can’t see who’s viewed you or communicate with members without paying. A month’s membership is £22, which is halved per month if you sign up for 6 months.
Pros: Straightforward dating site for those into fitness, healthy living or outdoor pursuits to meet likeminded people. Encourages daters to meet doing the activity they love rather than across a table in a cafe. It’s free to join and post a profile and simple to get started, though messaging costs.
You choose the sports or activities you’re into – a number of primary ones to show on your main profile then the rest – then add a photo if you wish (you should always add a photo, not for superficial reasons, but to let others know you’re genuine) and a few details about yourself.
Don’t be put off thinking you need to be an athlete to join – Fitness Singles is for people of all types who like an active lifestyle, however you will find a lot of profile pictures of people sailing, hiking and running. Our tester found the calibre of people to be high with low risk of dick pics or those just after sex. A very palatable dating site experience. Caters for both mixed and same sex couples.
Cons: Fairly rudimentary site, old fashioned type-face and layout. Lots of photos of people in cycling helmets, and when we joined, too many with no photo at all.
Pros: Free. Has an incognito mode ‘cut out the creeps with incognito mode’ – that allows you to choose who sees your profile, revoke access to your profile and dip in and out of a public account. Has quick Facebook sign-up option, which is invaluable if you’re joining multiples.
Cons: Users have previously reported getting bombarded with many unwanted messages, partly because it’s free, aka a free for all. However, OkCupid responded to such complaints by adding the Incognito Mode, which can quickly put a stop to that.
The best dating apps to use
Sapio – connects people based on personality and what their mind has to offer, rather than looks. Calls itself ‘a dating app with depth’ and claims to make interactions fun rather than ‘aimless’ (or aimed at getting a quick lay). Chat is enabled only when you’ve both liked each other and you can browse people by their answers to life questions and moral issues rather than just by photo.
Tinder – if you’re single (and often if you’re not) you’ll know all about Tinder by now. The best known of the swipe-to-like apps, this revolutionary app transformed dating forever, taking the hunt for a partner out of the bars and into the home – allowing us to surf for a date while on the sofa in our pyjamas. Unlike other apps too, it instantly catered for same sex relationships. More than 50 million people use Tinder every month with over 12 million matches per day from over 1 billion swipes. That’s a lot of people looking for love.
When it started it really was the cool kids’ way to engage with online dating. Now it has gone mega-mainstream, some users think the user experience has suffered from its size. The swipe mechanism that we all loved at the beginning can now seem laborious when there’s no filter – users say they find they now need to swipe through dozens more of photos before they find one they like – and, thanks to a proliferation of dick pics and lewd propositions for sex, dismiss it as no more than a hookup app. However, there’s no denying this is a sure-fire way to get a date/hook-up/partner if you’re looking – and we know at least three couples personally who met and married after meeting on Tinder, so…
3nder – to help likeminded people look for threesomes. If you’re a regular user of Tinder you’ll have come across an increasing number of threesome-hunters there too, but you have to scroll to find them. With 3nder, they’re all there waiting for you.
Bumble – Location-based dating app that, in their words, ‘changes the rules of the game’. Gained legions of female fans early on with message function that requires women to message first, reducing the risk of dick pics and unsolicited come-ons. Because of its positioning in the market as a ‘feminist’ app (simply becuase of the woman-first messaging function), it appeals to a certain sort of man (and, in fact, woman) meaning many of the more obnoxious types from other apps are absent, which can be a bonus.
Grindr – the number one gay dating app, though many would say it’s more useful for hookups than finding the love of your life. Simple to set up – just add pic and a few details – and you’ll instantly be able to search your local area for men. Paying for Grindr Xtra gives you the power to block unwanted attention plus access a much larger group of men – plus get rid of all the annoying ads on the free version.
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.
2017’s Best Dating Sites
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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!
The 4 Best Dating Sites for Professionals
So you’ve spent the last few years focusing on your startup, or working your way up the corporate ladder. You’re successful in life, but just haven’t found the time to find the one perfect woman for you.
You’ve decided the time is now. You’re going to meet someone, but not just anyone. You want to meet an awesome girl you’ll be proud to introduce to your work buddies at this year’s Christmas party.
You’ve heard some good things about eHarmony. but who really has time for their 250-question Relationship Questionnaire? Plus, it sucks having to watch eHarm slowly drip feed you subpar matches that rarely interest you. And then once you finally get a good one, there’s that painfully slow “Guided Communication” process.
You’ve probably also heard a thing or two about this PlentyOfFish (aka POF) dating site. Sure, it’s faster and easier to use than eHarmony. And it does have some attractive, educated women, but they seem so few and far between. As a busy professional, of course you don’t have time to find the diamonds in all that coal.
You could make a wise decision and hire your very own virtual dating assistant to do it all for you. but if you’re going to go at it on your own, these 4 best dating sites for professionals are where you want to start.
Match.com is the most promising paid dating site in terms of sheer volume of members. Plus, the monthly fee weeds out women who aren’t serious about actually meeting someone in person.
And that’s important, because you’re a busy guy. Online dating can quickly turn into a part-time job. and you’ve already got a career taking up most of your time.
So from an efficiency standpoint, choosing a paid site with a large pool of women makes the most sense.
Use the search criteria to target the type of women you want to date. If you’re looking for a career-minded woman, filter your results by occupation and/or income level.
Once you’ve got a list of enticing women you’d like to message, check out this article for a quick way to send one creative message to hundreds of women.
If you’re looking for the total package – someone who’s beautiful and successful, trying out MillionaireMatch is must. And no, you don’t really have to be a millionaire to join. But the women you’ll find on the site are looking for successful, established men and generally have high expectations of what to expect on a date.
MillionaireMatch isn’t a traditional “sugar daddy” dating site, although you will find beautiful women who are looking for a generous gentleman. The site has positioned itself as a place where millionaires meet, but it’s also got quite a few gorgeous, successful, career-minded women who are simply tired of their dates showing up on the city bus.
Out of all the websites we’ve tested, this one gets the highest response rate for our clients. Whether you’re seeking a long-term girlfriend, wife, or model quality companion, with a little luck, you’ll find her on this site.
Click here for some tips on how to get your MillionaireMatch profile to stand out in the crowd.
If you practice Christianity or were at least raised in a Christian home, ChristianMingle is certainly worth checking out. It’s the most popular website for serious, marriage-minded Christians, and a great option for men seeking a partner who shares the same faith.
You’ll find a range of women from “Bible-thumpers” to casual believers, and you don’t have to be a devout follower to sign up. But yes, you generally should be a Christian to join this site. Sometimes it’s okay to skirt the truth about certain things on a dating profile, but your religion probably isn’t one of them.
And the site’s demographics are in your favor as well. On the site, the women tend to outnumber the men (a rare thing indeed!), and if you’re looking to meet 35+ year old women, there sure are a lot of them.
JDate is another faith-based dating site we’ve used to get excellent results for our clients. In fact, it’s our go-to site for Jewish guys looking to meet a nice Jewish girl grandma will be thrilled to meet.
The site attracts high-quality, successful women. And although the pool of users is a bit smaller than you’ll find on a mainstream site like Match, the subscription fee is usually worth every penny if you’re in a mid- to large-sized city.
Some of the profile questions on JDate delve a little deeper than other sites, and they’re not always easy to answer. So be prepared for questions like “What is your perception of the ideal relationship?” and “What have you learned from past relationships?”
She’s going to put a lot of thought into her responses, and she expects the same effort from you. Click here for some great advice on how to answer those tricky questions.
So there you have it – our top 4 dating sites for professionals. But since you’re probably the type of guy who likes to hedge his bets, here are…
2 honorable mentions worth your consideration:
OkCupid is worth a shot simply due to the sheer number of attractive women you’ll find there. But since it’s a free site, the user base isn’t exactly what you’d call curated. Any unemployed, aspiring artist can join in just a few clicks.
However, we’ve found the quality of the average user is a notch or two above PlentyOfFish. You can find some diamonds in the rough without investing a ton of time, all it takes is some smart advanced searches and quick profile screening.
But on the plus side, if you pay for “A-List” access (prices range from $7.95 to $15.95 per month), you can use the “attractiveness” filter to weed your search down to only the women who have been rated as 4 or 5 Stars by other users. Happy hunting.
The League is basically Tinder for elitists. The wait list to get in tends to be long, but if and when they pull back their virtual velvet rope for you, you’ll be looking at a much more “eligible” base of accomplished single women.
The app uses your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to hide your profile from your friends, coworkers, and bosses, so it’s also more discrete than Tinder.
The best online dating service of all for busy professionals.
OK, you can mark this one down as a biased, shameless self-promo, but here at VirtualDatingAssistants.com. we have helped thousands of professional men just like you find the woman of their dreams on the sites listed above and many more.
We’ll select the very best combination of dating sites for you, write your profiles, select your photos, and find the most attractive and compatible matches available. We’ll send your messages for you and we’ll even book dates with the women you like best. All you have to do is show up!
There’s literally no quicker and easier way to meet quality women online in existence.
And as a busy professional, delegating just makes sense so you can focus on what you do best. Click here to see if leaving this to the experts is right for you.
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Choose the Best Dating Website for You
If you’ve already committed to a dating website, be sure to check out our online dating pointers for tips on how to improve your odds. But if you’re still new to the game, be forewarned that not all sites are created equal—some are free, some are for religious purposes, and some are downright sleazy.
That’s why we signed up for 8 of the most talked-about dating websites in the market and did the heavy lifting, soul searching, and message fielding—so you don’t have to. Read on to see which service meets your dating needs the best. It’s the first step to maximizing your chances at finding love.
Chemistry.com Chemistry.com is a «sister site» to Match.com. What sets it apart is its hyper-intense science-based matching algorithm, designed by Helen Fisher, Ph.D. a biological anthropologist and the site’s chief scientific advisor. Based on your answers, chemistry.com gives you a personality title—for example, Director, Negotiator, Builder, Explorer—and from there, you’re matched with others who should be good matches, based on scientific research.
Based on my unprofessional opinion, this is the most valuable personality test of all the dating websites. Boy, what an effort, but it is worth it.
Best for: Singles over 35, and those who care deeply about relationship science. Additionally, Chemistry.com seems to be positioning itself as an attractive alternative to those rejected by eHarmony.com—typically, those interested in same-sex relationships. EHarmony does not match same-sex couples, but in February 2010, chemistry.com celebrated Telluride’s Gay Ski Week.
Question philosophy: The questionnaire takes upwards of an hour to complete, and asks you confusing, multiple-choice, and occasionally repetitive questions about your level of adventurousness or your need for space. Some questions are even stranger—for instance, men are shown four pictures of hands, and asked to tell which one looks most like their own. The reason is tricky—relative finger length has been linked to testosterone exposure in the womb. (It’s a scientific way of asking if you’re aggressive.)
User base: From the About Us page: «Take the test that over 8,000,000 people worldwide have already taken.» Of course, this doesn’t mean all of those singles are active members.
Cost: 1 month: $49.95 3 months: $33.32/month 6 months: $26.65/month
Like most other sites, you can sign up for free and have access to basic services—receive a personality review, view photos and profiles, and receive personalized matches. However, to communicate with these matches—or to see who’s been looking at your profile—you need to sign up.
eHarmony.com EHarmony.com depends heavily on its matching system, which is constantly revised by a team of scientists. They rely so heavily on this system, in fact, that there is no search function on the site. You may not message any user deemed incompatible by the algorithm. Until recently, you couldn’t even see the pictures of those with whom you did match. The greatest benefit to this pay-only service is the corollary to these perceived flaws: They do all the work for you (and you can just about trust they’ve done their work correctly).
Best for: Heterosexual people looking for marriage or serious relationships.
Question philosophy: Users must endure a questionnaire that takes the longest of all the sites—over an hour—and asks a range of questions that include everything from what your partner ethnicity preferences are to how much money you make. In the end, you can be rejected without explanation.
Side note: This author has been rejected, twice. And so has our Girl Next Door.
User base: About 20 million. About 15,000 people fill out the survey every day.
Cost: Because I was deemed unsuitable for any of eHarmony’s matches, I could not verify the cost of admission—but, according to About.com, it’s one of the highest of all major dating sites.
1 month: $59.95 3 months: $119.85 6 months: $179.70 12 months: $239.40
JDate.com JDate.com is known for catering specifically to people of Jewish faith or heritage looking for love, but it isn’t exclusive to Jewish members. It doesn’t have a very extensive matching algorithm, but it does have a loyal following.
Best for: People of the Jewish faith or of Jewish heritage, or those seeking a Jewish mate, typically for long-term, serious relationships.
Question philosophy: The matching algorithm is limited to questions about religious practices and beliefs and ethnicity. The rest is left up to you to describe yourself freely. As such, the only criteria by which you can match yourself with singles is through religion, and from that cipher you can sift through profiles, one by one, for the personalized essay-style information.
User base: JDate lets you see how many members are online. At any given time you might see 12,000-15,000 members.
Cost: The free sign-up allows you to post a profile, search for members, reply to instant messages, send (but not receive) a variety of «flirts» (like the myriad of «pokes» that Facebook offers)—and (bonus!) lets you see who has looked at your profile.
The premium service has more options for communication: email, chat, and an internal instant messaging service. It also includes the ability to highlight your profile (further customization for eye-catching ability) and features you more often as a match for other members.
3 months: $29.99/month 6 months: $19.99/month 6 months: $21.99/month (premium)
Lavalife.com Lavalife.com allows you to post three different profiles at one time, answering different questions for each of them. How is this useful? Lavalife has three different sections: Dating, Relationships, and Intimate Encounters. You are allowed full anonymity to pursue who you want, how you want. From a features standpoint, this website blows the others out of the water. They offer a huge slew of communication options, including chat and instant messaging, e-mail, smiles, sharing of private photo galleries, video greetings, and phone calls made through the site.
For the sheer variety of interaction possibilities, from different profiles, in different sections, across different platforms and mediums, this website is a panoply of discussion. It is almost impossible not to get your message across to whomever you want it to reach.
Best for: Anyone willing to pay for a huge range of features or anyone who wants more than one type of relationship to pursue.
Question philosophy: For the free signup (the first step) there’s only the nitty-gritty (height, body type, ethnicity, religion, smoking habits and drinking habits, and so on). But, as mentioned above, you’re allowed to create three separate profiles and answer questions differently for each based on your intentions.
User base: There’s speculation that the site hosts over 5 million users.
Match.com Match.com is the first, largest, and most global dating website. The primary means of communication are e-mail, wink, and call. The call feature is unique to Match: It allows users to call one another using dummy numbers on their real telephones. When you don’t want someone to call you anymore, you simply remove her from your phone book. Also notable: Match is one of the few cellphone-friendly dating sites. In case the date you’re on isn’t working out, you don’t have to wait until you’re home to check out other singles.
Best for: Those who are serious about online dating or who only want to browse but never actually connect. The free site allows you to look at others’ pictures and wink, but it doesn’t offer a message center or mailbox. In short, it’s not worth it for those who don’t pay, especially when there are so many more comprehensive free sites available.
Question philosophy: Match asks basic lifestyle compatibility questions: what you look like, what movies, music, and books you enjoy, your religious and educational background, your occupation (and income), and your ethnicity. This allows users to discriminate their matches based on hyper-specific and self-selected criteria: If you only wanted hazel-eyed, Middle Eastern Christians, for instance, so be it!
User base: Projections put this population at over 20 million. However, recent figures show that there are only about 1.35 million paying subscribers, which means that many of the «matches» suggested might not be people who can read or reply to your messages. In fact, a recent complaint filed in the US District Court, Southern District of New York, read: «Match misleads paying subscribers by charging them for the ability to write e-mails to members who can’t reply to their e-mails or even read them.» Not exactly a glowing review.
Date began: April 1995
Cost: 1 month: $39.99 3 months: $22.99/month
There are two options for the 6-month plan: $19.99/month and $20.99/month. For the extra dollar, you can receive notifications that your email was read, your profile will show up more often in matches, and your profile gets some nice customizable features to help it stand out (like colorized banners).
OkCupid.com OkCupid.com is almost entirely free, with a small cost for luxury options, like a specialty search mechanism and removal of ads. The site employs a mathematical algorithm based on your answers to a series of questions, and based on that algorithm they tell you what percentage match, friend, and enemy you are with any given user. The most stand-out feature for the site is the staff blog. The blog posts analyze their massive user base and provide extremely helpful tips for how to increase your odds at online dating. Recently they even began offering a service called MyBestFace, which analyzes the pictures you have posted and tells you which one will generate the most responses.
Best for: Anyone looking for best value, transparency, and extremely tailored search capabilities.
Question philosophy: While there is a general set of staff questions that you must answer to complete your profile, the most interesting aspect of OkCupid is its Web2.0 approach to compatibility: Staff questions establish the basics (who are you physically, mentally, and emotionally, and who are you looking for along those same criteria), but the user-generated questions provide answers that you personally care about. These range from the basic informational, «Are you vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater?» to the strange hypothetical, «Imagine that your significant other has a fantasy that cannot be fulfilled with you for anatomical reasons. Would you encourage them to go elsewhere to fulfill it if it involved sex with another?» Moreover, you can rate the importance of how your matches answer any given question: You can say that you are vegan, but that you care minimally whether your partner eats meat, for instance.
User base: A little over 1.2 million.
PlentyOfFish.com Almost every compilation of dating websites includes plentyoffish.com (or POF, as it is referred to in its forums). Notable features include the heavily-trafficked forums, the usual compatibility questionnaires, and the rarely free, much-loved «Who’s Seen Me» button. A New York Times article extolling the site said the look and feel of the site, «. has some unfinished patches and irritating quirks and seems to come from the Anti-Perfectionist School of Design.» The same article describes spending time on the website as «a visually painful experience» thanks mostly to problems with site organization, picture sizing and resolution.
Best for: Anyone who is looking for a cheap fix—think of this site as the MySpace to OkCupid’s Facebook. It’s definitely one of the best deals on the Internet, with free access to such a large and bustling community—but the website is not for anyone who cares about site design.
Question philosophy: PlentyOfFish has a matching system that is based on questions designed to measure five broad categories that impact compatibility: self-confidence, family orientation, self-control, openness, and how easygoing you are. As the disclaimers preceding your personalized results point out, it’s not that you need to score «high» in each category. (By the way, it’s worth joining this free site just for the personality test and insight into your compatibility profile.) The site emphasizes chemistry between profiles «based on decades of empirical research in the social sciences.»
User base: About 600,000, with older, inactive accounts purged every few months.
True.com True.com’s purpose is to provide a safe online environment, so it conducts background checks on all its users, focusing on criminal records and whether or not you are married and trying to use the site for affairs. For example, by checking against a criminal database, any user who has a U.S. felony or sexual offense conviction is prevented from communicating with other members.
Best for: People who want to know what they are getting into. This includes the cautious as well as the paranoid.
Question philosophy: Whatever the question, you’d better answer honestly. They are known for prosecuting people who misrepresent themselves under the pretense that doing so constitutes wire fraud. Compared to «Are you a convicted sex offender?» questions like, «What do you like to do in your free time?» seem out of place. However, the site does set itself apart (for better or worse) thanks to its ubiquitously risqué advertising on social sites like MySpace («It’s nice to be naughty») and its equally charged quizzes on sex, sexuality, and sexual preferences.
User base: An independent analysis form the New York Times estimates 3.8 million unique visits per month, and the founder, Herb Vest, claims 16 million use the site.
Cost: Joining is free, but it only allows you to see what you’re missing. If you want to communicate with others, you’ll have to pay.
1 month: $49.99 3 months: $79.99 6 months: $129.99