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 Dating Pool: Let me start by saying that at first glance, the quality of guys on the app is second to none. I wouldn’t need more than five potential matches a day, because I end up swiping right on three or four out of five. These men are good-looking, educated, and ambitious and generally seem to have their lives together. The downside? They’re probably too busy to be on the app, because even though the number of matches is high, the percentage of guys who actually reach out to chat is pretty low.
Tinder was the first ‘swiping’ app to launch back in 2012. Today, the idea of swiping ‘left for no’ and ‘right for yes’ has become something of a cultural phenomenon (which could be why Tinder is the go-to app for many love-seekers). The app focuses on your location using GPS and you browse photos and bios of potential matches in your area. It uses your Facebook info to create your profile – but don’t worry, none of your Tinder exploits will ever be posted to Facebook.
To use the app, you must sign up with your Facebook account or your phone number. If you use your Facebook account, this then forms the basis of your Tinder profile. According to Tinder, this is to ensure matches are made with people who share interests and common friends. That being said, Tinder doesn't post to your Facebook profile, so if you're concerned about friends getting updates about your use of the site, at least on this point, you can rest easy.
There's no weird sliding scale that makes you rate how honest or good at communicating you are, and I love that. (Seriously, who's going to admit their faults and say "Yes, I'm a liar and horrible at talking about my feelings"?) Instead, Match will ask you to fill out some more things about your home life, hobbies, and interests in a conversational manner that just seems really chill. It doesn't feel like a traditional online dating questionnaire at all, and that's a good thing. In my opinion (and from what I've heard from others), a lot of people are hesitant about online dating because spilling all of the deep stuff right out of the gate is just too much pressure and too much work.
Maybe you know what kind of person you are looking for, but are unable to find him or her in your immediate neighbourhood. Here, on our site, you can easily find the kind of member, even if you are not in the country where this person lives. We assist you in your search for the right person. You can search between profiles and chat with single expats, and later you can meet him or her face-to-face, when you feel you are ready.
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.
On the upside the profiles are brief, which allows you to make decisions quickly. The downside is that short profiles make it harder to figure out what people are looking for. Knowing very little about a person can also make initial messaging more challenging. You'll need to wade through a sea of profiles, which makes it easy to pass over people you might have given a chance under different circumstances. 
How it helps introverts: eharmony has a feature called RelyID that helps verify the information provided by other members, like their name, city, and age. You know what that means? No catfishing. Also, your profile is only visible to the people who are a good match for you, so the experience can help to narrow your potentials down to only those who are actually a good fit. 
Since our last round of testing, the dating app Hinge has gained lots of popularity. Founded in 2012, it's similar to Tinder but emphasizes matching you with people you share Facebook friends with. Once you’re out of Facebook connections, you start seeing potential matches you have fewer friends in common with. You're able to see each user's job, educational background, physical traits and a short biography. Scroll through users and select the ones you'd like to get to know better. If that user likes you back, you're connected via the app's messaging platform.
Why? I am on Bumble and Hinge. Bumble has been my go-to for quite some time mainly because the quality of men I find on Bumble seem (key word: seem) to be more along the lines of what I am looking for and now with the options that Bumble provides i.e. height, religion, reasons for being on the app, etc. No success yet, but I know friends that have had success so ... I'm still keeping the faith.
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.

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.
Feeld is an app for people who know what they want. It describes itself as a place to “meet open-minded couples and singles near you,” making it the premiere app for unicorns and those who want a more openly kink-friendly app experience. While that may sound pretty niche, Veronica*, 35, who lives in Queens, says Feeld became her favorite dating app. At the time of download, she was single and recovering from a bad breakup. She used Tinder and Bumble for regular dating, but hated the experience. “None of the men seemed cute enough, and a lot of them were exactly as gross and Air-Drop-a-dick-pic-slimy as the stereotypes go,” she explains.
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The Nuts and Bolts: The branding is adorable. Every match is considered a “bagel,” and you’re the coffee, looking for your mate. You use “coffee beans” to gather points based on how much you engage, divulge, etc., and that unlocks more access/information on your matches. I would say, however, the best thing about this app is how you can’t scroll through a website of prospects; instead, you’re sent one match every day at noon. You get the alert, you say yes or no, and that’s it. No scrolling through endless pictures, no digging deep into essay-like profiles. In my opinion, this is the hassle-free way of dipping your toes into dating apps for the busy person who doesn’t have time to scroll through feeds or browse through profiles.
Why it's awesome: Ever heard of "behavioral matchmaking?" Probably not, but it's your new best friend. Zoosk sports a flirty "pick up and go" philosophy when it comes to online dating, so they won't make you answer a torturous string of questions about yourself. Instead, Zoosk monitors your on-site activity and attempts to give you better matches based on what you already like with their Smart Match feature. 
If you're willing to pay for it, The League is a dating app that does all the work for you. You’ll need active Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to log in, and you'll be assessed based on the information you've provided on these profiles, like your education and professional career. On top of that, you have to fill out an application and then are placed on a waiting list for an undetermined period of time that varies by the city you live in. Once you’re a member, you’ll have access to a personal concierge who does a lot of the work for you and helps curate your profile.
Finding love in the age of Tinder is no easy feat. Instead of phone calls, there’s the cryptic text message; instead of maturely calling it quits, there’s ghosting (or worse, breaking up via Snapchat); and instead of blind dates, there is a veritable sea of dating apps to navigate. Are you busy and ambitious? Do you read your horoscope every morning? Can you craft a perfect playlist? There’s a dating app for you! Unfortunately, finding the right dating app isn’t so easy (as if finding a perfect match weren’t hard enough).

By the fifth date, I was exhausted. One day I scheduled meeting two different guys on the same day. Not meeting anyone stimulating, I decided to cancel the app, but right before I did, I connected to someone who wanted to meet up that weekend. I thought to myself, This is the last one. On my way out, the app asked me why I was quitting, and I clicked the option: I didn’t meet anyone. Boy, was I wrong.

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.


Zoosk is the #1 grossing dating app in the App Store, which could be because of its ‘secret’ matchmaking formula, called Behavioural Matchmaking technology. It sounds scientific, but it basically learns your likes and dislikes to help throw up more compatible partners. The more you use it, the better it understands what you’re looking for, which means less time wasting. In fact, this app is perfect if you’re looking for efficiency while you look for search for love .
I was also disappointed in the notifications, which were a tad too pushy and out of touch for my taste. CMB was constantly "gently" reminding me to message users I'd matched with and I found myself disabling the app after I received a notification from it that said, "Show [Match Name] who's boss and break the ice today!" Is it just me or is it weird to imply that a potential future relationship should have a hierarchical power dynamic? At the end of the day, I have friends who've had good matches on CMB, but it isn't my favorite app. 
Social verification: Many sites employ a method known as social verification to help prevent wrongdoers from gaining access to you. This goes above and beyond just asking for your email. Many sites now ask you to verify your identity through your Facebook or Google login. This, combined with highly trained scammer prevention teams, has made online dating safer than it has ever been.
But this isn’t one of those stories where I tell you I downloaded one little app, swiped twice, and, to quote Tom Hank’s character Joe Fox, found “the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.” Whether it’s been because of a friend’s suggestion, trying to up my odds, or pure frustration with not getting messages back, I’ve downloaded and used a plenty of apps! So when the InStyle team was looking for volunteers to write a real-life, first-person review of dating apps, well… I guess we had a match. Read on for my findings:

Our findings are in line with 2016 Consumer Reports data that found users were most satisfied with OkCupid over numerous other dating services. With free dating apps becoming more popular thanks to Tinder, people are gravitating toward predominately free online dating services. Setting up your profile is fun because of the unique questions you’re asked, like what your ideal date would entail and whether you’d prefer to be weird or normal. You also answer these questions from the perspective of your ideal mate to ensure you are paired with compatible people. Along with up to six photos, you can also add more information to your profile about your lifestyle. In our tests, OkCupid gave us the most matches. On top of that, about half of them were an 80 percent match or higher, meaning they are much more likely to be a compatible match. To eliminate the likelihood of being bombarded with too many messages, you can only see messages from users you’ve “liked,” which we thought was a clever feature. The free mobile app is also well designed and easy to use.
If you're in the market for a hookup that satisfies a particular fetish, look no further than the FetL app, a dating app that connects local singles with shared fetish interests. This app packs all of the GPS features of Grindr (read: you can find out if there's anyone who's into the same fetish as you at the bar you're at), with the ease of Tinder's swipe left/right functionality to make finding a fetish hookup easier than it's ever been before. "When I'd meet people in clubs, they almost always told me that they found it difficult to meet people who shared their fetishes," Iris Li, one of the co-founders of FetL explains. She created FetL to help fill the gap, and users have been getting their needs met ever since.

In addition to reading a dating app’s About page and things like that, don’t forget to also look for reviews from experts, like us, as well as consumers, like yourself, and companies like TrustPilot and Glassdoor. All you have to do is Google the app’s name with the word review after it (e.g., Elite Singles review). Another tip is to go to Google News and search for the app to see what kind of news is surrounding it. Get a feel for what other people are saying out there, and even ask your friends, family members, and coworkers if they’ve used a dating app that you’re thinking about.


Beyond inclusivity, the app asks you all the straight-up (and critical) questions you'd normally wait until the third date to bring up. So you know where every potential match stands on important issues as soon as you swipe. Some of the least skipped questions when building profiles include: "Are you the type of person to tell a homeless person to get a job?" and "Are carbohydrates something you think about?" So if you’ve got no time for B.S. in 2019, OkCupid’s for you. 

There was no way we could discuss the best dating apps without mentioning the granddaddy of them all. Match was at the top of the dating game long before apps existed, and its experience shows. You don’t have to log into the app via Facebook — though you will have to go through a signup process that requires you to add a few photos, answer some questions about your gender and preferences, and create a username and password.
The website itself does not look professional and needs a re-design to make it easier to use. The basic paid membership fee is fairly expensive, starting at $95 for the first month and $30 for each month after that; this basic membership comes with the ability to message 100 users. Members will need to purchase the Executive Plan Membership if they want unlimited communication potions and to be able to do things such as: video message women on the website, read in-depth interviews with their potential matches, have a three-way phone call with their matches which includes translation services, or even arrange private meetings and immigration attorney consultants.
Dating sites appeal to a broad range of people with a number of different objectives. Some will be seeking new friends, many will be looking to date and see what happens and a lot wil be seeking a longer term relationship. Unlike matchmaker services which are usually based on a personality survey that is used to identify highly compatible matches for primarily long term relationships, or casual dating sites which are usually for individuals seeking adult fun and encounters, dating sites are a little more relaxed. 
An online dating site allows you to upload a profile, often for free initially, and search and browse other member's profiles seeking someone of interest. On most sites you can filter searches based on multiple criteria, for example height, education and if someone has children or not, to find someone who has the characteristics that most appeal to you. 
“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used eHarmony and Match as well as a few free sites. “The fact that eHarmony matched me with several women with whom I shared common interests led me to believe that I was seeing more quality matches.”
How does it work? Lovestruck helps you target potential partners according to location and it covers many of the major cities across the world. It’s aimed at time-starved professionals, who due to busy work and social lives simply don’t have the time to date. Lovestruck helps put you in touch with people who are near you – be it where you work or live – to save you precious minutes or hours travelling to and from a date. The site also hosts regular events which are a fun, relaxed way to meet people.

The paid membership also allows you to keep track of various useful connections such as users you have sent winks to. Moreover, you can remove members you are not interested in from search results. This enables you to make room for other possible connections. On the other hand, other members can also find you. You get a dedicated email address that enables you to communicate privately and safely with other users on the site.
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.

None of these extra profile attributes are required to use Bumble. From your profile edit section you can also verify your account. Verification requires you to take a selfie of yourself showing you doing a specific gesture. This photo is used only for identification purposes. Once your profile is approved a blue check mark icon will appear by your name whenever your profile is shown to other members.


Match.com is free to join, create a profile, upload photos, and browse singles, and with its app, you can do all of that — and more — while on the go. Besides not costing you a penny, the Match app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, will also put you in front of millions of eligible men and women. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a fun date or serious relationship because Match has one of the highest success rates of any dating site, so you’re sure to meet the right person for you.
About the App: Made just for single seniors, OurTime is one of the most well-known niche dating apps. It's a fun and straightforward app with simple swiping features. Once two people swipe right on each other, they can communicate. For more match options, visit the Connect and I'm Interested pages. Plus, if you sign up for OurTime, your profile will appear on its sister site, SeniorPeopleMeet, for free.
“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!
While eHarmony has matched together twosomes for more than a decade, it wasn’t until last year that they gave their users a glimpse into the process. Starting in 2017, a now-popular feature ‘The Two of You Together’ became available to all members, showing the specific data on why you should probably message that lady already. As a paid service, eHarmony is among the top options for heterosexual men.
Though its interface is busy, the tradeoff is extensive search options that make it easier to find dates that better match what you're looking for. Joining Match.com is free -- you can create a profile, browse and search others' profiles, and "wink" at other members without paying. However, if someone catches your eye, you must pay for a one-, three-, six- or 12-month subscription to communicate with other members (Est. $36.99, $19.99, $18.99 or $16.99 per month, respectively). Match.com offers a guarantee with its six-month subscription: If you don't find someone during that time, they will give you another six months free. However, you must comply with certain rules, including communicating with at least five different members via email each month. If you want to try the site for free, email promotions sometimes yield a free-trial offer that lets you have full access for a few days. There are mobile apps for iOS and Android phones as well as Amazon devices such as the Kindle Fire.
It’s very quick and easy to set up and use. The profile creation is pretty standard. You add photos, age, profession, and interests, and you can also specify what you feel like doing, whether that’s taking a walk in the park, seeing a movie, or having a drink. Happn has some nifty integrations — you can use Facebook to set up your profile, hook up your Instagram account to automatically add photos, and add Spotify to see if your musical tastes align.
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.
Why it's awesome: Referred to as "Tinder for elites," The League is the dating app version of those really exclusive clubs that always have a line around the corner, terrifying bouncers, and a crazy cover. Okay, that kind of sounds like it's for assholes, but it's actually a comforting alternative if you're not trying to be thrown to the wolves like you would be on Match. ( The League CEO Amanda Bradford claims claims that it's actually a way for "alpha females" to find someone who celebrates and supports their drive.) It's overwhelming to skip past all of the sketchy randoms to get to the handful of good ones, and even then, they could totally be catfishing you. The League does the social media creeping for you, requires all users to connect a Facebook and LinkedIn account, and screens based on professional history to ensure that their dating pool is full of "intelligent, educated and ambitious" singles.
Created by and for queer women, HER is focused on helping people build both strong communities and personal relationships. The app takes things way beyond swiping and liking by offering events and sponsored meetups around the U.S., app-based discussion groups, and news forums. That means you can get to know potential partners in both digital and real-life group settings, as well as one-on-one using the app’s chat feature.
Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, a woman whose goal was to make dating (and now, even networking and friendship) more female-friendly. How that manifests on the app, for the uninitiated, is a Sadie Hawkins-esque interface that requires women to message their male matches first. Then men have 24 hours to respond or else the match is erased. (For women messaging other women and women-identified folks, either party can respond first.) Although this ostensibly puts the power into women’s hands, it’s also the biggest complaint I heard about Bumble while researching this piece, calling it “annoying” and “overwhelming” (and the reason a few dating-haters I spoke to defected to Tinder). But lots of respect to any app that's actually trying to make women feel safer online, and Bumble has made that its priority.

The Nuts and Bolts: “Location-based dating sounds kind of terrifying, but since I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to travel for dates (You live in Brooklyn? How cute.), it was helpful for me,” said Kate. Gabby had a different take: “The user experience isn’t bad, but a little overwhelming. You’re probably crossing paths with hundreds of single men a day—thousands in New York—but do you need to match with every single one?”
If you're just not sure you want to commit to a monthly subscription, you may want to try a free dating site. These sites don't make you pay to communicate with other members, though some may offer premium features that you do need to pay for. Features vary widely, but experts warn you should be more on your guard for scammers on free sites. You may also find fewer people looking for something serious on these sites.
Editor's Note: Match.com and eHarmony remain the sites to beat for those looking for a serious relationship online, while OKCupid is still the best free option. For app users, we've added Bumble as an alternative to Coffee Meets Bagel and Tinder, both of which we still recommend. Bumble urges women to make the first move, a refreshing change, but keeps things easy to use.
Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, a woman whose goal was to make dating (and now, even networking and friendship) more female-friendly. How that manifests on the app, for the uninitiated, is a Sadie Hawkins-esque interface that requires women to message their male matches first. Then men have 24 hours to respond or else the match is erased. (For women messaging other women and women-identified folks, either party can respond first.) Although this ostensibly puts the power into women’s hands, it’s also the biggest complaint I heard about Bumble while researching this piece, calling it “annoying” and “overwhelming” (and the reason a few dating-haters I spoke to defected to Tinder). But lots of respect to any app that's actually trying to make women feel safer online, and Bumble has made that its priority.
At EliteSingles, we focus on matching singles who are truly compatible in all elements of their lives. Our Canadian memberbase is made up predominantly of 30-55 year olds, 91% of which have at least a Bachelor's Degree. This focus on education is echoed across our international dating platforms and creates an understanding within our user base that people shouldn't have to compromise their careers or ambitions to find love. Instead we facilitate a means for singles to focus on both. Our professional dating site enables you to find the right balance between love, work and play.
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