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.
But in terms of overall satisfaction, our survey found that free dating sites actually score a touch better than paid ones, probably because they're a better value. Although our survey found that no dating site or app sweeps online daters off their feet in the satisfaction department, OkCupid is rated highest overall by respondents, and Grindr, a free app for gay men, is also near the top.
The site offers its members a new list of possible matches every day and users can let match.com know whether any member sparked your interest. If you are interested in any member on this list, Match sends an email to them. If you are not interested, the user is removed from the list. The choices you make help this application to provide a better list of matches in the future. Users have the option to search for matches too. You can go to the advanced search option on the site and break down the search criteria to exactly what you are looking for.
The app is free and there is no desktop version. You can purchase credits separately in the app or pay monthly for the premium version, which lacks any ads and lets you see who has liked you, among other features. It has 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Apple app store, and some user reviews note the app can be very confusing in busy urban areas, like New York City. We're guessing it's also not very effective in less populated rural areas, as it relies on a lot of people having the app on their phone. You can also play the app's built-in game CrushTime, which lets you guess who has liked you from four profiles you've recently crossed paths with.
My favorite part was that they allowed you to specify what you want in a partner: You'll choose which of those same personality traits you're looking for in someone else and rate how important they are to you. For instance, I'd prefer someone who doesn't smoke cigarettes, but it's not a deal breaker — Match lets you specify that preference exactly, and if you choose "This is a deal breaker," they won't give you potential matches that had that in their answers. This is a super simple way to make sure you're at least somewhat on the same page as someone and gets the surface-level things out of the way. This means that those awkward conversations don't come up two months into the relationship. Finding someone who has the same values as you is just as important as finding someone with good communication skills and the rest of that mushy stuff.
"International online dating" can be a confusing term, but it is pretty self-explanatory. It refers to dating apps and sites that focus on a global audience. Many singles are indeed looking for love beyond the US. One of the biggest benefits that this brings is a wider audience to choose from, whether you’re looking for Asian, Russian or simply international singles! After all...
Without a doubt, dating in 2017 is an art form. If you’re single and looking for love, you know where the scene is. It’s online. (Unless you’ve made it onto The Bachelor, in which case, bravo.) But whether you’ve been on 100 Tinder dates or zero, it’s a tricky little business. There's such a grand variety of dating apps to choose from — where do you even begin?
Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the more popular dating apps out there. Every day at noon, men will get a curated list of women in their area. Women will get a curated list as well, but the list will prioritize men who have already expressed interest. Matches are given a private chat room to get to know one another better. It's also LGBTQ friendly for you folks out there. It's a clean process and perfect for those who have busy lifestyles. No flicking through profiles all day long. Like most, it has its fair share of problems, but most of them are somewhat tolerable. You can also buy in-app currency to get perks like more visibility and other features.
I was on Clover for quite some time but had forgotten it even existed until I started to throw this list together. I felt like it was a less successful hybrid of OkCupid and Tinder, and I also felt like the user base was pretty small, even though I live in an urban area with plenty of people who use a wide variety of dating apps. Clover says it has nearly 6 million users, 85 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 30.
Almost all dating apps have a few features in common. That includes location-based results, profiles, and some method of communication. All ten of the dating apps on this list have those features. The first feature, location, makes recommendations from us to you a little difficult. Most big cities have a decent supply of potential matches for most types of people. However, your success in any given dating app is ultimately reliant on how popular that app is in your area.
We have to give a shoutout to Match's web developers: The site actually looks nice. If you're someone who appreciates a clean, minimalistic design, you'll be more than content here. For those who've grown accustomed to design-forward sites and apps, Match hits that mark. It has all of the stuff you need, and none of the stuff you don't. The desktop version is good, but the smartphone app version is even better. This is smart, as most people are on the go and will be using Match on their phone way more than on their computer.
Setting up your profile involves a rather in-depth chemistry assessment of more than 70 questions. This means you'll have to think a little bit about your own personality, how others perceive you and what you want in a mate. Questions include whether you consider yourself productive and whether you're seen as stubborn. You answer on a scale, which is nice because it means your answers can be more nuanced than yes or no. There are several other questionnaires available to continue to flesh out your profile, but they're not required. Messaging and viewing user profiles is all free on Plenty of Fish. While our reviewers don't think the website is very well designed, the free mobile app is also an option that's super easy to use. The one downside to any service with free messaging is that you could feel overwhelmed if you find yourself with a flooded inbox. On average, the three fake accounts we set up for testing got 40 matches in 24 hours, the second highest of any service we tested. Of those, 22 percent were "top prospects," which is the site's way of saying those users are highly compatible with you.
Reading reviews before you buy or do anything is just common sense — you don’t want any surprises once the product arrives, once you get to the destination, or once you join a site. While we can’t help you choose a car or cellphone, we can help you choose a dating site. We’ve spent years testing out dating sites and writing our assessments of them, so hopefully we’ve made it easier for you to make this decision.
The initial questionnaire only takes above five minutes, and bam: You're set up with an account, ready to meet matches. However, there's a ton more stuff you can add to your profile to give potential matches even more info. Adding more is optional, so you can totally be mysterious if you want — but if you're picky or want to avoid future disagreements, I'd suggest filling out some more sections.
Pitched at a slightly older, more professional crowd than many other dating apps (our average member age is 30-55), EliteSingles is a great fit for those who want to add love to their list of success. With high levels of education (91% of Canadian users are educated to Bachelor's degree level or higher); and a wide range of professions, EliteSingles members are interesting, dynamic people who are united by their desire to find a truly compatible match.
Why it's awesome: Rather than being thrown into an endless pool of profiles, EliteSingles lets you pick out exactly what you're looking for. You'll be given a limited number of matches curated for you using 29 extremely detailed, professional-level algorithms based on the popular Five Factor Personality Test. They'll even show you your own results in comparison to those of potential matches to see how you stack up. Like eharmony, the stuff to fill out is pretty lengthy — but that's what you want if you're looking for a lasting relationship, and this helps ensure that you aren't swiping through tons of people that aren't your type. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
On Bumble, women make the first move. Within 24 hours of matching, you have to send a message to the guy, or your connection expires and you won't be able to talk. Once you send a message, he also has to respond in 24 or the match expires. If you're Bumbling to find other women, either of you can make the first move on a match. Basically, they're trying to get you to stop hoarding matches and actually get out there and make magic happen!
The website is specifically designed for men who are seriously interested in finding women in foreign countries (especially Russia, the Ukraine, Latin America, and Asian countries) for love and eventually marriage. It is a very popular site for men interested in finding international relationships, so there a lot of female matches for members to browse through, which means that most men will be able to find many women who fit their preferences. The website is upfront about its goals for users—marriage—and its operation abides by the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act laws to ensure that any matches founded through the website are legitimate and legal.
True to its word, POF has the highest number of users in this list. The site has 40 million users (fish). You get the full package for free but like other free sites, there are a plethora of premium packages that you can buy such as seeing when other users read your messages. POF was among the first online dating sites and as such, they have been able to refine the site to up user experience. Currently, POF is the fourth most visited dating site in the world.
"People didn’t have mobile phones and laptops, and the process was people would go home, log on slowly, see who had written to them and write back," she says. "The courtship process was a lot slower, so it took quite a while to get from the first interaction to actually going on a date. Plus in those days, there was a stigma associated with online dating. You did not tell people you met your spouse, or partner, or even a date online."
This means that unlike most dating sites where you can browse through hundreds of profiles as often and frequently as you’d like, this destination uses the results of your test to present 3 to 7 suitors per day. Especially if you’re someone who tends to get stressed by a plethora of option - or you don’t want to waste time browsing instead of dating - this might be the best option for your lifestyle. It is important to note that while reviews are mixed for this site, its reputation continues to be stellar for those 40 and over, in particular.
Before you jump in, make sure you’re not fooled (or overwhelmed) by the endless options. As with any website that requires your personal information — like your credit card, location and more — it’s important to read through the fine print of any website you browse. You don't want to invest your energy, confidence and hard-earned dough into something that isn't worth it. Not sure where to start or how to proceed? Luckily, we’ve completed the deep dive for you and have narrowed down the top sites to focus your energy and time. Though these are safe choices, there are some untrustworthy sites that make promises they can’t keep — from fake members to guaranteeing success.
Clover is a little bit like Tinder and a little bit like OKCupid. You can login with your Facebook and then add more information about your appearance and reason for using the app. For example, you can choose from several “intentions” including “looking for dating” or “looking for people to chat with.” Clover uses your location to find you dates in the area, so like most location-based dating apps, it won’t work well if you live in a rural area with a small population. Once you’ve logged in you’re prompted to start a free 7-day trial or sign up for either 3 months or 1 year of service. With a paid membership you can see read receipts on your messages, share photos and videos and get access to advanced filters for your potential matches like income and ethnicity. You can also opt out and just use the free membership if you’d prefer.
How does it work? This online dating site does exactly what it says on the tin and only people deemed beautiful enough will be allowed to join. To become a member, applicants are required to be voted in by existing members of the opposite sex. Members rate new applicants over a 48-hour period based on whether or not they find the applicant ‘beautiful’. It sounds harsh, but the site claims that by admitting people based on their looks they’re removing the first hurdle of dating, saying that because everyone on the site is a fitty, members can concentrate on getting to know people’s character and personalities. Beautiful People also promises access to exclusive parties and top guest lists around the globe. Now for that brutal 48-hour wait…
Why it's awesome: Let's just get this one out of the way. If you're thinking of dating apps, you're thinking of Tinder. They pioneered the now-ubiquitous swiping function, revolutionizing the world of online dating and boasting 1.6 billion swipes per day. What started out as strictly a hookup app has turned into one of the biggest matchmakers in the world. As you're served a series of photos, swipe right if you like what you see and left if you don't. When you both indicate interest in each other, you'll get a notification that it's a match. I mean, "Tindering" is just as much of a verb as swiping at this point.
Who it's for: People who don't know what they want. Zoosk's algorithm takes your preferences into its own hands and suggests matches based on how you swipe — even if you have no idea why you liked or didn't like that person. Zoosk offers ease, practicality, and a clean layout, and is a good bet if you haven't had any luck on the Tinders or eharmonies of the world.
How does it work? There are no gimmicks or USPs with DatingDirect. In fact, it’s fairly similar to our old friends Match, mentioned above. You can start looking at potential dates for free, then when you like the look of someone and fancy striking up a conversation, you need to subscribe. Like a lot of the best online dating sites, it also has a handy instant messenger service which makes chatting to your matches easy and breezy.
Why it's awesome: When we're blinded by love, we tend to ignore red flags and can't see when someone is all wrong for us — but friends can see it clear as day and wish we would just take their damn advice. Wingman is the unique take on dating that lets your friends play cupid, essentially making it the dating app version of the "Have you met my friend?" classic bar line. Your friends want to see you get laid (or find love, obviously) as badly as you do, and sometimes, they just know us better than we know ourselves. As Mashable's Cassie Murdoch writes, "...a little bit like handing your friend your Tinder or Bumble account and saying, 'Here, you deal with this.'" And sometimes, fancy algorithms just aren't enough.
What it'll cost you: A basic account is always free. But there are some paid extras you can enjoy if you want a more premium experience. If you pay for the A-List membership, you can cut out the ads, you get more search options like body type and attractiveness, you can see everyone who likes you, and you can see who reads your messages, among other useful things.
The Dating Pool: On average, I go on five dates for every 10 matches. The guys are way, way cuter on Bumble; that being said, I’ve had more solid relationships/friendships come out of Tinder than Bumble. It seems everyone I’ve talked to thus far is more easily distracted than people on Tinder. On Tinder, you could talk to a guy for two months; on Bumble, maybe two days. Maybe that's because the app pressures you to start a conversation in less time? Or because there are more attractive people on Bumble? Overall, you do get more matches, but it almost makes me miss having to sift through all the bad men on Tinder to find the good ones.
The Bumble Fund is an investment fund started by Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd to help female entrepreneurs get support for their projects and businesses. It’s also a great way to market the company’s networking app Bumble Bizz. The Bumble Fund focuses on getting businesses started with initial funding, ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, primarily for businesses led by women of color and underrepresented groups.
AnastasiaDate is a free dating app that focuses on introducing its users to beautiful women from Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe. If you have family ties to those regions, or you have always been fascinated by that region of the world, this free dating app will definitely appeal to you. The interface is great, and there appear to be many beautiful women with profiles on this app. If you want to say “Privet” to a beautiful lady from Russian or Eastern Europe, this is the dating app for you.