There are dozens of expert reviews and roundups of online dating sites, many of which involve hands-on testing. The most helpful include detailed comparative reviews and rankings based on real-world usage from sites including Ask Men, Top Ten Reviews and Digital Trends. Expert roundups from sites such as CNET were also helpful, even if they didn't involve rankings.
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One of the most well-known dating sites, eHarmony takes its matchmaking very seriously – their ‘Compatibility Matching System’ is actually patented. It took them 35 years to perfect their Relationship Questionnaire, which pairs you up with people you’re actually compatible with, and the whole process has been specifically tailored to the UK with the help of Oxford University.
Zoosk has a cleaner, more intuitive interface than Match.com that draws a lot of inspiration from social networking sites. As you use the site more, you'll receive more tailored recommendations. Like Match.com, Zoosk allows you to sign up and browse members' profiles for free, but you'll need to purchase a subscription to communicate with potential dates. This includes use of the site's chat function. Subscriptions are available for one month, three months and six months (Est. $29.95, $19.98, and $12.49 and per month, respectively). You can also buy or earn "Zoosk coins" regardless of whether you have a subscription to do things like boost your profile visibility and see whether members have read your messages. There is no money-back guarantee. Apps are available for iOS and Android devices.
Aside from the fast-paced Tinders and Bumbles of the world, Match's obvious competitors are eharmony, OkCupid, Zoosk, and Plenty of Fish. Right off the bat, Match has the size advantage. If nothing else, I'd pick Match simply because it's been around longer and has tons of veteran masterminds behind the matchmaking process — having 20 years of experience is enough to make me trust them.
To find out more information about each reviewed service, please click one of the sites and/or apps listed in the Reviews section. From here you can filter the dating services by category and type. You can also use our advanced Dating Service Search tool to further narrow your selection. Our Online Dating statistics wiki section includes a wealth of referenced facts about online dating in general and the top dating sites and apps.
If Match is an inclusive, welcoming cocktail party full of people from all corners of the earth, then Tinder is the loud, crazy nightclub down the street that's primarily for 20- to 30-somethings looking for a bit of quick fun. Sure, older folks can hang out there too, but that's not who (or what) it's built for. The swipe left/swipe right function on profiles is intuitive and immediate; there's a reason basically everyone else adopted it. Tinder knows you're only here to make a quick snap judgment on photos, so scanning users and flicking them into the discard or keep pile is easy and addictive.
Why it's awesome: It's the ideal place to come when you're ready to settle down but still want to feel ~hip~ and have fun. First things first: OkCupid's advertising is astounding. Its newest ads redefine "DTF" in colorful graphics that depict same sex couples as well as hetero couples, and it truly makes online dating seem like way less of a cliche. Along with the fact that it has gained a trusted rep by being one of the first dating sites ever (2004 to be exact), OkCupid has won the hearts of millennial and mature singles alike. But don't let their love of raunchy internet slang make you put them in the "hookup" category —OkCupid is still a serious space, and most users are genuinely putting effort into finding lasting connections.
Zoosk Coins: You can also earn or buy Zoosk "Coins", which unlock your matches, allow you to send virtual gifts, boost your profile, and allow you to get delivery confirmations on emails, among other features. Coins cost $19.95 for 180, up to $99.95 for 1800 coins. Coins can be earned by using or signing up to various third-party apps, surveys, services and websites.