Another unique thing is that there are separate pools based on location, religion, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation. You can even break it down by profession if — for example, if you are or were a teacher, you might only want to date someone who was also a teacher. All profiles are also verified manually with an upscale Fraud Detection System.

Statistically speaking, there’s plenty of evidence that dating apps work—especially for those among us whose endgame is meeting a long-term partner. There are stats that say marriages among people who met on an app are less likely to end after the first year, and despite a big cultural annoyance about the process, the vast majority of Americans think that, ultimately, apps are a good way to meet people. Even anecdotally, a lot of the people I spoke to for this piece—all of whom self-identified as dating app haters—nevertheless met their long-term partner on an app.
The downside of online dating is the lack of face-to-face interaction, at least when you first start chatting with someone. This leaves users vulnerable to chat bots, or computer programs made to trick real users into thinking they’re interacting with a real person. These programs often attempt to steal credit card or other personal information from real people.
Signing up took us about 20 minutes during testing, which is more than twice as long as most of the websites we tested. You answer questions about not only about your appearance, but also about your religious beliefs and career. You then fill out a comprehensive survey regarding what you want in a partner. The questions even go as far to ask whether you want to have kids, which is an important thing to agree on if you're looking for a long-term commitment. You have to pay for a subscription to access most of the features on eharmony, and even though we couldn't read them with a free account, we got nine emails in 24 hours, which was a pretty decent response rate. There is also an eharmony app that's easy to use, making this a great service to try if you want a thorough experience.

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A niche app with a wide user base (over 13 million and counting), BeNaughty has both a wide audience and the right audience for finding a partner who's down for an easy night of fun. Not to mention, you can maximize your chances of finding a match who's free thanks to the app's mass messaging system, which allows you to send out the same message to multiple members at once every 12 hours. The app functions with the same swipe left/right capabilities as a standard dating app, but also allows users to find potential matches via forums and group chats rather than swiping through matches one by one, further increasing your odds of finding what you're looking for.

“Big girls, you’ve got more admirers than you think” are the encouraging words WooPlus.com greets singles with. This free app is dedicated to helping BBW, BHM, and admirers find the match of their dreams. Download WooPlus via iTunes and Google Play, and then you can fill out your information, upload photos, browse profiles, and communicate at no cost to you!


A majority of us probably have a Facebook, Google+, or Instagram account (or a combo of the three), so instead of having to repeat yourself on a dating app, check to see if you can sync up one of your existing profiles. Your information and photos can be pulled in a matter of seconds, and you can get to browsing that much sooner. More than likely, the app will also use your social profile to find matches for you based on friends of friends and will have a policy about never posting on your behalf.

When you're a free member, potential matches are sent to your inbox, but reviewers and users warn that many of the matches are inactive members, and you can't find out who is an active subscriber until you sign up. Additionally, more than a few past users report getting a flurry of matches in their inbox after canceling when, as subscribers, they got very few. There's no certain way to know how many members are inactive, but in 2012, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging that more than half of member profiles were inactive or fake. A more recent class-action lawsuit alleging Match.com creates fake profiles to entice members was dismissed in 2014. Match.com screens its subscribers against national sex offender registries and provides several safety tips on its website.
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Premium memberships offer features like being able to see who viewed your profile or read your message. While these things aren’t totally necessary, if they pique your interest and you have the money to spend, we’ve seen dating apps that start as low as $12.49 a month. I mean, how much do you spend on Starbucks every month? And this is your love life.
When we think of marriage-minded online dating, we think of eHarmony. The site was built in 2000 strictly for singles looking for serious relationships, so you won’t have to weed through profiles of incompatible people. In fact, you won’t have to do any weeding at all. After you take eHarmony’s exclusive and in-depth questionnaire, the site will do all of the matching for you. All you have to do is say yes or no!
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.
Coffee Meets Bagel is matchmaking with a twist: guys on the dating app get up to 21 matches a day, which they can like or dismiss. Women are sent a curated selection of the men who have liked them, and can then choose to initiate a conversation (and they can also browse for a match). Like Bumble, there's also a countdown element: once you start chatting, you have 7 days before your shared chatting window is deleted.6 
Owned by the same company as Bumble, you’re likely to find a date among Badoo’s more than 400 million users. It is a little different than the dating apps we reviewed. Instead of uploading your own information, you select a photo of a celebrity or famous person. The app then shows you other users who look similar. Your pool of potential dates will probably be smaller because of this, but you'll definitely find them attractive. You then scroll through those user profiles and decide whether to "like" them or pass. You can see each user's age, interests and several photos. If a user you've liked likes you back, you can then message each other and decide whether you want to meet up. More than 350 million messages are sent via the app every day, and there are 300,000 new daily signups, making it incredibly popular.
Recommendations: "The Bumble app is free and I have had the most dates with this app. It's an easy format and given the female makes contact first, you can eliminate unwanted attention. RSVP is good if you're looking for something more serious. You have to pay to contact the user, but the advantage is that you can see their photos and profile description."
You can only add photos of yourself from Facebook or Instagram, though, which is kind of limiting if you’re not very active on either. Also, while the friends-of-friends concept has a lot of benefits, it’s also restricting. It’s possible to run out of matches after 10 minutes of browsing, which is a letdown if you’re actually enjoying the app or are serious about finding a date.
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.
The service also offers more specific preference options, meaning you can narrow your choices to certain religious beliefs or ethnicities if those things are important to you. You can load up to nine photos and have a much more prolific profile, too. And if you’ve entered any icebreakers into your profile, the app will send one of them to a bagel you’ve connected with as the first message for greater convenience. The fact that the chat room expires after a week puts some pressure on you to exchange phone numbers or meet up in real life or to just quietly fade away without any fuss. The interface is also relatively user-friendly, with large photos and clean text.
Why it's awesome: Founded in 2000 by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eharmony is the site for serious daters. A spokesperson for the site says it's been used by 54 million people, and is apparently responsible for 4 percent of U.S. marriages. Users answer a lengthy questionnaire that helps eharmony determine what it calls a "a select group of compatible matches with whom you can build a quality relationship." Spira says she's always seen eharmony as a "matrimonial dating site.""That doesn’t mean you’re going to walk down the aisle, but it certainly means that you’re looking for a very serious relationship that may or may not lead to marriage. It may lead to living together or at least being in an exclusive, committed relationship."
Therefore, you should focus your attention on catered dating websites and apps that cater to your age group and the type of relationship you’re seeking. You're more likely to meet women you want on a site that aligns with your values and needs, and online dating will be a lot easier and less stressful if your potential matches have been pre-screened for your needs. You already know how to best use your time on other tasks — at work or at the gym — so why not be productive in your love life, too?
About the App: Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
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.
The experts say: One of the best online dating sites for those looking for long-term relationships with professional people, users complete a personality test to measure compatibility with potential dates using psychometric analysis. Functionality is limited as the site is more geared up to helping you find a long term partner rather than flirting randomly with people you like the look of. Members have similar incomes and education. There is also a specific gay version of the site for those looking for a serious committed relationship with a same sex partner.
Even after testing seven dating apps for PCMag, Karl Klockars remains happily married to his wonderfully understanding and awesome wife, Nora, and lives in Chicago. He is the author of Beer Lovers Chicago, runs the guysdrinkingbeer.com site, writes for outlets including AskMen, Chicago Magazine, and Thrillist, and recently entered the world of voic... See Full Bio

The photos are large, the app is — comparatively speaking — svelte, and setting up your profile is pretty painless. Tinder gets an A for its usability. Also, no one can message you unless you have also expressed an interest in them, which means you get no unsolicited messages. While there are a fair few people on Tinder who use it strictly to collect swipes, many people are actually inclined to meet up in real life, which is not always the case with dating apps. Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps too, so you’re more likely to come across someone you like who lives nearby.
The Nuts and Bolts: It’s easy to use and has a simple interface, but you do have to pay to go back to a previous swipe, which is lame. This app is the pioneer of swiping, which in its own right gives it a five out of five. That being said, Tinder is overrated: There are the ads, the inability to swipe backward, and almost too many people on it now. Everyone uses it now, so the pool of potential partners isn’t the best, and the user experience is now a pay-to-play kind of experience.

Why it's awesome: Everyone would love for the story of how they met their person to be something serendipitous and crazy, like meeting your husband in the Starbucks line — but let's be real, the chances of that happening completely on its own aren't great. Happn acts as a wingman that steps in and introduces two strangers by alerting app users of cuties who are physically close by in real time. AskMen's review said it best: "Happn formulates a happy medium between algorithmic online dating and chance encounters."
Dating is hard work, so we did some of the legwork for you by taking a deep dive into seven of the most popular apps. Check out our brief thoughts on each below, and then click through to read our in-depth reviews. Everyone's needs and wants are different, so not every app will be a great fit for you, but if we can help play a part in uniting you with your forever person or your Friday-night fling, we're here to help.
Hi world, Lara here, and I'm single. However, I have recently decided that I might want to pursue finding someone to sit on my couch with me while I eat peanut butter, get high, and watch 90 DAY FIANCÉ: BEFORE THE 90 DAYS, aka my ideal relationship. Therefore, I embarked on a journey. And that journey was trying out as many dating apps as I could stomach.
How it works: Like a good wingman (or wing woman), Zoosk starts to understand you more and more as time goes on to help introduce you to the person you can spend the night or rest of your life with. The site's unique algorithm recognizes your preferences through the actions you take. The more you interact with the site, the better it can match you with your ideal human. 
OkCupid has 8 million users. Like POF, the site is free with added features for premium members (otherwise referred to as A-list members). The one thing that puts OkCupid on the list of best free dating sites is the compatibility feature. This is a simple feature that generates questions and quizzes to determine the compatibility of a user to another. They also offer a Tindr-like feature that allows users to rate other users and get notifications when other users rate a user they have already rated.
The Nuts and Bolts: Instead of having just a gallery of images, the app prompts you to choose a theme song to play during your photo slideshow. You can tell a lot about a person by the images they choose, but even more by the one song they have them coincide with! The annoying thing is that the app doesn’t allow you to look at only one geographical location, so even though I live in New York, I still have to sift through prospects in Los Angeles, London, and other cities. The other con is that it costs $8 a month, but I figure that’s like two cups of coffee, so it’s not a big deal to me.
The downside to this app is it's built-in elitism. It's meant to feel exclusive, and the language used in the marketing materials isn't exactly warm and fuzzy. For example, one of the website's taglines is, "We do the scouting and the vetting, you do the matching and the petting." Still, if an exclusive and upscale dating app experience is what you’re looking for, The League could be for you.
Wild provides users with the anonymity that other dating apps don't. For starters, there's no social login required. The app also goes the extra mile to verify its users (meaning, you'll need to send a photo of you giving a thumbs up, which is then checked against the photos you've posted to verify it's really you), helping to take the awkwardness out of meeting up with a potential hookup that looks nothing like her picture. You can also filter by intention, so that you're not wasting time sorting through matches who are here for something serious. Once you've found a hookup for the night, you can set your profile to invisible so that other users aren't messaging you when you're, uh, in the middle of something.
Most of Bumble's functionality is free to use. To get started visit their website or install their app. You can then sign up with your phone number or Facebook account, upload additional photos, edit your profile, and set your search filter parameters. Then, it is onto matching. Swipe up and down to see more photos, and left or right to say yes or no. If a mutual match is made, a conversation may be initiated. Tap the chat box icon to view your match queue and current conversations. If you see someone who would be perfect for a friend, long press their photo or open up their profile and tap “Send to a Friend” to play matchmaker.
Wolfe's mission was to create an app grounded in positivity and encouragement, where aggression and bullying have no place, and actions are guided by kindness. Her first move was to shake up traditional dating norms by requiring female Bumble users to make the first move. As a result, Bumble has unusually low reports of harassment and abuse, as well as the highest post-match chat rate in the industry.

"It’s also a really good way to get a sense of how someone strings together their thoughts. Are they a good storyteller? Are they funny? Are they off-puttingly taken with themselves or too reserved for your taste? It’s a lot to ask of a minute-long clip, but in the high stakes numbers game that is online dating, this is exactly the kind of sorting tool many people are hungry for."
Nope, sorry. This isn't the place to find a friends with benefits situation, and you're going to look pretty strange if you slide into someone's messages and propose that. Most users will mention what they're using Match for in their bio, and I have yet to see someone say that they're looking for something casual. No one is going to shell out $30 a month to find a hookup. They can do that for free at the bar.
The Nuts and Bolts: It’s easy to use and has a simple interface, but you do have to pay to go back to a previous swipe, which is lame. This app is the pioneer of swiping, which in its own right gives it a five out of five. That being said, Tinder is overrated: There are the ads, the inability to swipe backward, and almost too many people on it now. Everyone uses it now, so the pool of potential partners isn’t the best, and the user experience is now a pay-to-play kind of experience.
Every now and again, we want to pick up our things and move somewhere completely new and maybe even a little exotic. Few of us actually have that option, so we are just content on going on a vacation to get away from our lives for a little bit. For those who do not have a travel companion or if they want to see the country from a local’s perspective, they join an international online dating site well in advance of actually traveling.

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.


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This dating app started in 2007 as a Facebook application. Now, this is considered as one of the most prominent online dating sites, as proven by the positive feedbacks from majority of its users. One of its best features is the Zoosk Scientific Matchmaking Service, making it easy to be connected to other members. The app can also be used as a virtual currency, which can be used for buying electronic gifts. It also has a newsfeed that is connected to Facebook.
One thing to note if you don't fall into the cis-hetero dating pool: While most of the apps reviewed here are inclusive, there are those that are friendlier to the LGBTQ community than others. For example, OkCupid goes beyond forcing users to choose between being a male or female, including options like Hijra, genderfluid, and two-spirit. If you're a man seeking a man or a woman seeking a woman, you'll want to steer clear of eharmony: It doesn't even give you the option of a same-sex match.

SeekingArrangement is skewed toward young women seeking older men, though there are other websites and apps available as well. While the name of WhatsYourPrice might seem a little too on the nose, it has options available for both men and women to bid on potential dates. Happy Matches has a plethora of options for women seeking to financially support someone, as does Sugar Elite. However, it does cost money to use many of these services.


Nearly half, or 44 percent, of those who tried online dating said it led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage, the magazine found. Traditionally known for reviewing products like household cleaners and washers and dryers, Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers in the fall of 2016 about online dating and then rated matchmaking sites based on their overall satisfaction.

‘Asking your date questions not only shows that you’re interested in what they have to say but it also allows you to get to know them, which is what a first date is all about! Don’t stick to small talk. More intimate questions about your date’s hopes, dreams and passions will help you forge a closer connection – and it’s a lot more interesting than talking about the weather.’
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?
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