What’s The Best Online Dating Site?
Which dating site should I use? Do different sites have different purposes? How can you use online dating most efficiently?
As a profile writer, I get asked the above questions regularly. It’s true I have as much experience with the ins and outs of these sites as the most seasoned user. But there is unfortunately no easy answer.
Dating sites are not one-size-fits-all.
The features, format, and (yes, of course) users, suit some more than others. The best thing you can do on your online dating journey is dip your toe in- try one or two, and see what feels most natural.
That said, be sure not to spread yourself too thin. Having too many profiles across too many platforms can lead to confusion, match juggling, and swipe fatigue.
Take a bit of time to understand the goals, vibes, and overall functionality of the most popular sites before you put in the effort to make your profile. It’s worth it.
I’ve made it easy for you. Read below.
Match.com, E-Harmony, Zoosk…
These are the tried and true people pleasers, where you will have the biggest crowds and the broadest selection.
Users of all ages are looking for a range of relationships. An in-depth questionnaire/ personality test informs which profiles are shown to you first, but you are free to choose which users to message. The effort that goes into using these sites means that the users tend to be searching for something more serious.
On Match.com, you can also select specific criteria to filter who you see, while E-Harmony sends you a set of matches each day.
For these older sites, the profile format is usually more open ended, allowing you to write as much or as little as you would like. Written bios tend to be on the longer side, and are supplemented by various multiple choice questions about basic things like smoking, religion, politics, and children.
These sites do, however, have paywalls. If you are serious about finding a match, the investment is worth it.
Plenty of Fish, OkCupid
Liked what you read above but hesitated at the paid element? These are the sites for you.
With a broad reach and long-form profiles, these free alternatives are a good starting point for the user who is unsure about online dating. They even share (some of) the seniority of the previous category.
Tinder, Bumble, Hinge…
These sites are just as popular as their predecessors, but the next generation of dating sites has some key differences.
With the “swipe” feature– where you can accept or reject matches efficiently and easily based on a first look– the game is changed. These sites (usually used in app form), tend to attract more younger users.
This doesn’t mean, however, that people don’t also take it seriously. Many users find these platforms easier for starting that flirty, fun, spark (get it, Tinder?), that can later develop into a serious relationship.
With short form bios and instant messaging, the casual nature of these apps takes some of the pressure off of online dating. For the same reason they tend to skew towards those looking for more casual relationships. If marriage is a goal in your near future, this may not be the category for you.
It’s worth mentioning that on Bumble, only women are allowed to message first.
Millionaire Match, The League, Raya…
Feel like you would prefer a more exclusive online dating experience? If you consider yourself fairly successful in terms of career, fame, or financial standing, these may be the best apps to use.
Obviously, these come not only with a price tag, but also with a competitive selection process. Raya can only be accessed by recommendation, The League has an extensive waitlist, and Millionaire Match requires a verification of your bank statements.
If none of that is a deterrent, then best of luck dating the elite among us. Once you’re on, we would recommend treating your profile just as seriously as any other site.
The standards will already be high– it’s more important than ever to stand out.
J-Date, Christian Mingle, SALT, Muz Match….
Is your faith adding an extra barrier when online dating? Are you having to start every conversation by checking if your match is on the same page as you?
Skip the awkwardness with these sites that focus on dating within different religions. With long-form bios and Match.com-esque functions, these sites are perfect for finding singles with similar values and beliefs to yourself.
As online dating has transitioned from novel to normal, time and time again we have seen unique platforms emerge with specialized goals.
If you are looking for something very specific, or just feel like you don’t fit in on the popular apps, try looking for the small, new, start-up apps. You never know what (or who) you could find.
S’more: Users only see blurred pictures of their matches, with their images becoming clearer as you chat.
Thursday: An app that only works on Thursdays. Forces you to be more purposeful, thoughtful, and direct.
Happn: Date people that you are near, regularly, in real life. Ready to meet your gym crush?
Bristlr: For guys with beards and the girls (and guys) who love them.
In the world of online dating, the platform you chose can significantly shape your experience, determining whether you’ll find meaningful connections or superficial interactions.
Rather than embarking on this journey blindly, take the time to select the dating site that aligns with your goals, values, and preferences. Whether you’re seeking long-term companionship, casual encounters, or something in between, a tailored choice can make all the difference.
Always remember that online dating is what you make it, so make it something great.