Most of us have a ton of decisions to make every day. What are we going to wear? What are we going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks? What music are we going to listen to during the morning commute? What goals do we need to accomplish at work? What bills do we need to pay? What areas do we need to focus on at the gym? What time will we be able to finish chores once we get home? What show do we need to catch up on? And the list goes on.
If you’re single and thinking about online dating, a decision to add to your list is “What dating site should I use?” With almost 8,000 dating sites on the web, that decision can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve researched a lot of dating sites (not all 8,000, but we’re working on it) and have narrowed down the choices to what we believe are the nine best. No matter what you’re looking for, you should be able to find it on one of the sites below.
1. Match: The Best Overall
For the site that has anything and everything, you’ll want to turn to Match.com. Founded in 1995, this was the first dating site ever created, and it’s been showing the others the right way to do online dating ever since. Here are some other big takeaways about Match:
As you can see, Match.com is responsible for more romantic connections, whether you want a casual date, serious relationship, or lifelong marriage, than any of its competitors. In addition to seeing 13.5 million visitors a month, the site has 30 million total users and counting. Whatever your interests, Match will bring that compatible person to you — for free to boot.
2. Zoosk: For a Great App Experience
We like to tell singles to turn to Zoosk if they are looking for a smooth and intuitive dating app. Zoosk was one of the first dating sites to expand to a mobile app, and today it’s seen more than 30 million downloads via iTunes and Google Play.
A couple of other things you’ll want to know about Zoosk is that the site has a free membership that never expires and an exclusive matchmaking system that tracks your behavior (e.g., who you search for, like and dislike, and message) to deliver you SmartPick™ matches.
3. EliteSingles: For Those Who Value Education
Some common dating preferences can be age, gender, and location, but if having a high level of education is also a must-have, EliteSingles could be the site for you. Over 80% of members have either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, or some combination of the three, and you can sort by that characteristic as well as dozens of other ones.
Elite Singles is the premier dating site for educated professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its impressive Fraud Detection system ensures no-nonsense dating. Full Review »
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
EliteSingles as proven to be very successful, too. More than 165,000 new singles join the site on a daily basis, and more than 2,500 users find love on a monthly basis.
4. eHarmony: For Relationship-Minded Men & Women
Most of us have probably seen the eHarmony commercials with the catchy jingle and the charming Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, Christian theologian, and seminary professor as well as the site’s co-founder. The site is a household name. Similar to Zoosk, eHarmony.com also has its own matchmaking process — this one using 29 dimensions of compatibility (e.g., character, vitality, spirituality, and emotion management) to pair singles.
In our opinion, eHarmony is a go-to for finding a long-term commitment — as that’s what a majority, if not all, of the members are looking for and the site is responsible for 4% of marriages in the United States.
5. Christian Mingle: For Religious Daters
You can tell by the name what Christian Mingle is all about — helping Christians to mingle and possibly fall in love. With more than 2.4 million singles visiting the site every month, Christian Mingle is a large community of people whose beliefs, values, and views on life align with yours.
It doesn’t cost anything to register, create a profile, upload and view photos, and know who’s looked at your profile. Free registration also entitles you to browse for and receive matches, see their match percentage, and communicate with them in certain ways (e.g., send a virtual smile or add them to your Favorites page).
6. OurTime: For Seniors Over 50
OurTime is specifically dedicated to singles who are aged 50 or older, but anyone over 18 can join. So, if you happen to be into younger or older men and women, you’ll be able to connect with them here. If you’re not, you can definitely set your preferred age range so you won’t have to see anyone who’s incompatible.
Launched in 2000, OurTime is part of People Media, a leading technology company in the online personals market. Sister sites include SeniorPeopleMeet and SeniorsMeet, so when you sign up for one site, you’ll automatically become a member on all three sites — at no cost.
7. BlackPeopleMeet: For Black & Biracial Singles
Another brand belonging to the People Media network, BlackPeopleMeet is a popular online dating destination for, you guessed it, black and biracial singles. However, those of other ethnicities are more than welcome to join, and it only takes a few steps to do so. First, you’ll choose your gender and the gender you’re looking for. Then you’ll select your height, ethnicity, body type, marital status, religion, location, birth date, lifestyle habits, and the number of children you have who are living with you. Last, you’ll input a username and valid email address.
Some key facts from the graph above are that the gender ratio on BlackPeopleMeet is 53% female compared to 47% male, but both men and women shouldn’t have any trouble meeting that special someone. Also, the site’s free trial is more like a free account in that it lasts forever.
8. SeniorPeoplemeet: For Seniors Over 55
SeniorPeopleMeet is another great option for mature singles. The site’s targeted user base starts at age 55, which is slightly higher than OurTime’s. Since SeniorPeopleMeet is owned by the same company as OurTime (People Media), the sites have the same number of members, and you’ll find similar features — including a clean layout, personality matching, and live chat. The free registration includes profile creation, searching, and dating advice.
Here’s what a user from Island Lake, Illinois, said about her experience on SeniorPeopleMeet: “Thank you for sending me the best man in the whole word… we only lived 22 miles from each other and grew up in Chicago and have a lot in common — unreal. I would recommend your site to everyone and anyone, especially lonely seniors. Thank you again!”
9. BeNaughty: For Hookups
Last but certainly not least is BeNaughty — a top recommendation for horny singles who are straight or gay. Here, you don’t have to feel awkward about putting your desires on your profile or in a message because everyone is on the same page. BeNaughty has slightly more men than women, but, fellas, don’t let that discourage you from trying it out — it’s 100% free to do so, after all.
Hookup sites like this tend to be looked at as unsafe, but that’s not always true. BeNaughty has a lot of precautions in place to protect its members and their personal information. These include SSL encryption technology, identity verification, and 24/7 customer service via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (1-800-489-6091), and mail (P.O. Box, Trident Chambers, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands).
What Online Dating Site Should You Use? Why Not Try a Bunch?!
Our goal with this article is to inform you about what’s out there and help take one decision off your plate so you can focus on the rest. The best part is all of the dating sites we’ve highlighted offer free services that allow you to test them out before having to commit to a paying subscription. So play around with a couple, or all, of them and see which one works for you. We think you’ll be happy whichever route you take.