Online Dating

“Which Dating Site Should I Use?” — (9 Best Options & Reasons Why)

Amber Brooks
Updated:
Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosuretap to close

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

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:

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.9/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 49% | F: 51%*
Popularity 39.7 Million*

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.

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is integrated with social media sites, like Facebook and Google+, so it's very popular with singles on the go...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.6/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 48% | F: 52%*
Popularity 28.9 Million*

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.

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.9/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 43% | F: 57%*
Popularity 2 Million*

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.

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Accounting for 2% of U.S. marriages, eHarmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.3/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 48% | F: 52%*
Popularity 4.1 Million*

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.

Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is among the largest dating sites in the industry that only caters to single Christian men and women, and the site has some of the best search filters and safety features...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.4/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 44% | F: 56%*
Popularity 3.5 Million*

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.

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.4/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 48% | F: 52%*
Popularity 8.9 Million*

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.

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 4.0/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 47% | F: 53%*
Popularity 5.7 Million*

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.

Relationships: Casual Dates, Committed Relationships

Match System: Free to search, with a lot of filters

Our Experts Say: “Hands down, SeniorPeopleMeet.com is the premier dating site just for singles 55 and over, and it's extremely easy, safe, and affordable...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 3.6/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 41% | F: 59%*
Popularity 3.1 Million*

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.

Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “BeNaughty is a premier hookup app where you can feel comfortable expressing your desires. Plus, it's free to join, browse, and flirt...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Overall Rating 3.5/5.0
Gender Ratio M: 48% | F: 52%*
Popularity 13.3 Million*

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 (suppport@benaughty.com), 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.

About The Author

Amber Brooks is a Contributing Editor at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating expert. As an English major in college, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about topics that interest her. Now with a background in writing, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com.