There are so many different ways to meet a partner these days, and dating sites are one of the most popular. Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or some casual fun, the dating site options are numerous. See the best 5 dating sites you didn’t know.
But where to start? I took into consideration everything from each service’s dating pool to whether it provides daily matches to whether it’s a free app or a paid service. A new person that fits your exact dating profile is sure to be out there.
Here’s an overview of the best dating sites on the market. My recommendations are based primarily on my own experiences in the online dating arena as a woman, with some word-of-mouth impressions from friends thrown in for good measure.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for these top dating sites or apps, start chatting and maximize your chances of meeting your match. We’ll update this list periodically.
eHarmony was one of the pioneers among online dating site options, and — while I haven’t personally used this one — we all remember the pitch for online daters, thanks to years of TV commercials: The service matches couples based on “29 dimensions” of compatibility and interests (as determined by a thorough relationship questionnaire and personality test). While you can review the profiles of your prospective matches for free, you’ll need to pay to unlock the full features of the service. There’s a three-month plan and a six-month plan, and they come with a guarantee: If, after three months of paid membership and communicating with at least five members, you’re not satisfied, eHarmony will refund your money. Despite a rocky road that eventually involved a high-profile lawsuit, the site finally added same-sex dating in 2013. I have mixed feelings about using the site myself, but it’s at least technically more inclusive now.
Bumble is basically Tinder for women… and on a timer. Bumble is a free dating app that requires women to message first. If the guy doesn’t message back within 24 hours, he loses the potential dates. Because that’s the one thing my love life was really missing: arbitrary time limits.
The timer is designed to encourage contact and some people really do appreciate that feature. But if you’re someone who procrastinates, Bumble may not be for you. Because women must message first, Bumble tends to weed out the more insecure males from the dating pool. However, the rate of overly confident men tends to be higher than I’ve seen on other apps. Bumble also has a BFF feature to help you meet new people, but that’s really not our focus, so I’ll save it for another time.
Match.com has a free version, but the general consensus is that you’ll need a paid subscription to have any luck. That’s a hangover from the early days of online dating sites, when a paid basic membership to a site meant you were serious about settling down. But my friends and I have long since come to the conclusion that you might be a little too eager to find a significant other or the perfect partner if you pay to get dates, particularly given the abundance of free dating apps. There are definitely paid features on some dating apps that are worth the price, but I’ve yet to be able to justify shelling out cash for love.
Whether you’re looking for a casual hookup, potential date, friendship or an LTR (long term relationship), Tinder has you covered. It’s basically the first stop for those entering the dating world. If you want to play the odds when it comes to online dating, you need to be swiping where everyone’s swiping.
On the upside, the profiles are brief, which helps you to make decisions quickly. The downside is that a short dating profile makes it harder to figure out what a lot of people are looking for. Knowing very little about a person can also make initial messaging a lot 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.
Most dating apps are fairly LGBTQ inclusive. Still, it’s nice to have an app to call your own. Her is tailored to lesbian, bisexual and queer women. It’s a worthy notion — but the app has some bugs and glitches that made it frustrating to use. Most of my queer female friends have told me they found the app “just OK” and not perfect and that they usually end up back on Tinder or Bumble. Still I checked it regularly for some time and had a few pleasant conversations with actual human beings. Isn’t that all we’re really looking for in a dating app?