Best Dating Sites For Finding True Love

Women's Dating

19 Best Dating Sites for Finding True Love in 2021

Amber Brooks
Amber Brooks Posted:
Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

I spent most of my 20s setting up dating profiles and familiarizing myself with the best dating sites for finding true love. My online dating days weren’t always full of promise, but I did get in a few relationships and situationships as a result of my eagerness to follow-up and give guys a chance.

After years of ghosted chats and dull first dates, I finally met a smart and funny guy who made me want to retire my online dating profiles. Our first date was two years ago, and we’re more in love now than ever.

I know online dating can be frustrating, demoralizing, and downright disappointing. But it also can be life-changing. This article is dedicated to all you love seekers out there. Don’t give up hope — the following dating sites and apps have helped many singles like you find lasting love.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

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

Match has been in the top spot on lists like these for nearly 30 years now. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The online dating website and app have mastered the art of matchmaking by asking singles to describe themselves and their ideal match.

All users go through a quick personality test upon signup. The questions are straightforward with multiple-choice options, so it should take no more than five minutes to complete. Once you have an approved profile picture, your free Match membership will begin.

Free members have unlimited likes and profile views at their disposal, and they can chat with any person who qualifies for their Top Picks, aka the most compatible matches in their area. If you want to send a message or reply to someone not in your Top Picks, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid membership.

★★★★★
EliteSingles.com 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles 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

EliteSingles has distinguished itself as a dating platform for the upper echelons of society. It hosts doctors, lawyers, engineers, executives, and many other impressive single professionals. Over 80% of users are college graduates, and many have gone on to complete master’s or doctorate programs.

Joining EliteSingles is a smart move because it ups the quality of your date prospects. You can browse for a potential match by adjusting your dating preferences by age, education, income, height, and other important criteria, and you’ll receive a curated list of profiles that come highly recommended. Active users may find some conversation windows unlock for them, but the only way to access unlimited direct messaging is by getting a monthly subscription to EliteSingles.

★★★★★
eharmony 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.7/5.0

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

Psychology is at the heart of the eharmony matchmaking system. A team of psychologists used scientific methods to identify personal compatibility and steer single people toward their most promising relationship prospects. Since launching in 2000, eharmony has been responsible for pairing over 2 million happy couples in the U.S., and it creates a new love connection every four minutes.

Make no mistake, eharmony is geared toward serious relationships that lead to marriage. It discourages casual dating by asking users to complete an in-depth personality test and pay for the pleasure of messaging a new person. An eharmony member must invest in the online dating site (or its companion app) if they want to get results. That’s why this dating service has become one of the most trusted names in the industry when it comes to finding true love.

★★★★★
SilverSingles 4.6/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.6/5.0

Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles is a fast-growing, easy-to-use niche dating site exclusively for active daters over the age of 50…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

SilverSingles offers a niche dating service for singles in the over-50 demographic. A free membership can give senior singles access to a larger dating pool than they may have in their own social circles. They’ll have unlimited likes and daily matches to hold their attention, and they can boost their dating profile by enrolling in a paid subscription.

It’s important to note that SilverSingles has scam protection software and a paywall in place to ensure unsavory characters do not spoil the fun of flirting online and making a meaningful connection.

The senior dating site and app can help a mature dater explore new romantic avenues and decide if they’re ready to take things to the next level with someone special.

5. Zoosk

★★★★★
Zoosk 4.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.5/5.0

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

Zoosk began as a Facebook app in 2007, and its Silicon Valley team grew its matchmaking capabilities to meet the demands of a new generation of online daters. It is currently one of the largest dating sites in the world.

As of today, the Zoosk network encompasses over 40 million singles worldwide. Its active users exchange over 3 million messages per day. What’s more, the dating platform facilitates an estimated 56,000 happily-ever-after love stories every year.

Zoosk uses behavioral matchmaking to inspire new connections. That means the more a single person browses the dating website or app, the more accurate its potential match predictions will become.

★★★★
ChristianMingle 4.4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.4/5.0

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

ChristianMingle unites Christian singles who hold similar interests, beliefs, and values. The free dating site has served as a safe haven for men and women who possess a strong sense of faith. Singles in this community tend to have traditional values and are looking for a serious relationship.

You don’t have to identify with a certain religion or have particular beliefs to create a ChristianMingle profile. The dating site is open to any person who wants to date and marry a Christian.

All types of online daters can benefit from the wholesome matchmaking powered by ChristianMingle. A single parent may appreciate having the firm foundation of Christian values in a new relationship. Or an LGBTQ single may want to find other true believers in their neighborhood.

★★★★
OurTime.com 4.3/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.3/5.0

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

OurTime is a senior dating website geared toward mature and experienced singles. Its database is populated by people who are over 50 and know what they want in a potential partner. And they’re not willing to settle for young, flaky dates.

While OurTime can be used to arrange a casual fling, it’s more common to find serious relationship-minded folks on the site and app. Members often describe themselves as widowed or divorced and looking for another shot at true love.

It’s completely free to view other members’ profiles, send unlimited likes, and reply to some messages, but senior singles will need a paid membership to get all the bells and whistles of this mature dating service.

★★★★
BlackPeopleMeet 4.1/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.1/5.0

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

BlackPeopleMeet celebrates diversity and uplifts minorities in the online dating scene. Its mission is to connect single people of color, and the fast-growing network stretches across North America.

As a People Media platform, BlackPeopleMeet has access to over 1 million dating personals, and it uses advanced search tools to narrow the local dating pool to the most compatible candidates. Black singles can conduct a search by age, race, religious beliefs, appearance, and other important qualities.

This online dating site creates thousands of matches every day, and its success stories include Black couples, interracial relationships, and long-distance connections.

9. JDate

JDate is a Jewish dating site that has shown tremendous commitment to love. Since 1997, it has established a thriving community for Jewish singles and their admirers.

A person does not have to hold certain beliefs or go to synagogue every week to join this online dating app. JDate welcomes singles of all backgrounds and faiths.

Screenshot of JDate
JDate unites Jewish singles who share similar interests and goals.

Our JDate review goes into greater detail about the pros and cons of this niche dating platform. One big plus is that online daters can talk about their religious values and beliefs without crossing any taboos or causing offense. Faith is naturally a huge factor in the matchmaking algorithm, and it is always part of the online dating conversation.

According to a ResearchNow survey of Jewish married couples, JDate is the most successful dating platform for finding a mensch for life. About 52% of the Jewish couples said they met through JDate.

10. Coffee Meets Bagel

In 2012, three single women in San Francisco decided they’d had enough of superficial dating. They raised seed money and applied their tech skills to create Coffee Meets Bagel, a values-driven space for building relationships.

Coffee Meets Bagel is now widely known as the original anti-swiping app. It offers a curated list of profiles and sets high standards for compatibility. CMB users can only view 10 profiles per day, and their chats expire after a week (you can extend that by spending the virtual currency known as beans), so they have an incentive to take each potential match seriously.

Screenshot of Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel uses a smart algorithm to pair compatible couples.

The CMB community welcomes love-driven singles who want to engage in deep conversations and attract quality dates.

Coffee Meets Bagel has been a major player in the online dating industry for nearly a decade now, and its advanced matchmaking system has only gotten better with time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the dating app added a video chat feature to help singles strengthen their connection before setting up a first date.

11. Hinge

Hinge launched in 2012 at a time when the online dating world was split into two camps: free dating apps for hookups and paid dating sites for relationships. The Hinge app created a middle ground that aimed for convenience, quality, and affordability. It’s been a big hit with love-driven singles.

It is 100% free to download Hinge, set up a dating profile, swipe on local singles, and chat with matches. All profiles must include six photos and three responses to personal prompts that range from “Favorite Disney movies” to “Pet peeves.” Users must like or comment on a specific part of the profile to initiate a match on Hinge. Superficial likes are not encouraged on this relationship app.

Screenshot of Hinge
Hinge has added quality controls to the online dating experience.

Hinge touts itself as the dating that’s “designed to be deleted,” meaning its goal is to get singles in serious, exclusive relationships. Many Hinge success stories have gotten media attention over the last decade — former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg met his partner on the dating app — but my favorite Hinge success story is my own.

I had been on Hinge for a few months and gotten several dates out of it when I met my perfect match. He’d only created his dating profile the week before. He was 10 minutes late to our coffee date, but that didn’t matter once we got talking about our favorite books and hobbies. Less than two weeks after our first date, we both had deleted the app. It’s now been two years, and I can’t sing Hinge’s praises enough for introducing me to the love of my life.

12. Bumble

Bumble is colloquially known as the feminist dating app because it puts the interests of single women first. A man is only allowed to message a woman on this app after she has liked his dating profile AND sent him a message first. If she doesn’t message him within a day of their match, he can extend the chat for another 24 hours — otherwise the match will disappear.

Screenshot of Bumble
Single women have embraced Bumble because it gives them greater control over their matches and messages.

Since launching in 2014, the Bumble app has been downloaded by over 100 million users. That makes it one of the most popular dating apps in the world.

Bumble takes the pressure off straight single men by empowering women to make the first move in online conversations. The result has been more successful matches and engaging chats than you’ll find on a free-for-all hookup app.

13. OkCupid

OkCupid started in 2004 with a brainstorming session among four Harvard math majors who wanted to create a formula for love. They built the dating site around an advanced algorithm that measures compatibility based on shared interests, opinions, values, and lifestyles.

Today, OkCupid is famous for its extensive personality test, which features over 4,000 questions. Users have the option to answer as many (or as few) questions as they like in the search for love.

Screenshot of OkCupid
OkCupid sparks 91 million new matches every year.

All communication is free on OkCupid. Members can send a greeting to anyone they like, and the conversation will appear in their inbox if the attraction is mutual.

OkCupid was my dating site of choice for years, and I did get into a serious relationship because of its intelligent match suggestions. However, love seekers should know that the free chatting tools attract a mixed bag of online daters. Some are hoping to find love and marriage, while others are simply looking for casual chats and no-strings sex.

14. HER

HER is a free dating app created by women for women in the LGBTQ+ community. The app offers a dedicated space for lesbian relationships and friendships to blossom. Over the last decade, HER has attracted over 7 million members in the U.S. and abroad.

“We’re in complete awe at how the universe worked in our favor,” said HER couple Rita and Danielle. “HER brought us into each other’s lives at the perfect moment. We can’t imagine a more perfect match.”

Screenshot of HER
The HER app features social networking tools and event lists.

HER is an independently owned dating app that avoids white-label features and heteronormative language. Its membership base is inclusive of queer, nonbinary, and transgender individuals who are looking for lesbian love. The community has strict guidelines that promote respect, tolerance, and authenticity. Male creepers and unicorn hunters need not apply.

15. The League

The League has raised its standards to appeal to highly educated and ambitious professionals in the dating scene. This premium dating service has a sophisticated matchmaking process that involves a background check through LinkedIn and live video chat parties for active users.

Members can swipe right on potential matches to indicate their interest in getting to know a new person better. They can also meet three matches in nine minutes during virtual speed dating nights.

Screenshot of The League
The League’s membership base is full of tempting date options.

The League’s founder Amanda Bradford said she intends to help high-caliber singles find their perfect match — and refuses to settle for less than they deserve.

“The couples that we create, even if small in absolute numbers right now, ideally will go on to successfully demonstrate that dual-career relationships are not only possible, they are preferable,” Amanda said in a statement. “If as a founder I can point to even a small increase in the number of equal partnerships that result from the curated community we’re building, then I’m okay being labeled an elitist.”

16. BAE Chat

BAE Chat is a fun flirty network where singles can turn a potential match into a hot date. We’ve included BAE Chat in our list of the best dating sites for finding true love because the secure chatting features help connections grow at a rapid pace. All it takes is a mutual match and a few private texts to start a romantic story.

BAE, or “before anyone else,” is growing in popularity every day.

BAE stands for “before anyone else,” which has become a common endearment for young lovers. The BAE Chat app has been specially designed to expand a single person’s reach in the local dating pool and lead them toward that one true love.

BAE Chat is currently available as a mobile-friendly website and Android app. The team is working on an iPhone version to release in the App Store in the coming years.

17. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a great place to have a chat, start a romance, and create a meaningful connection with someone new. The online dating site and app offer unlimited free chatting for all members with a valid profile picture. Plus, automated screening software ensures fake profiles aren’t part of the conversation.

The POF community has reached tremendous numbers since launching in 2003. The free dating service has over 150 million registered users and hosts around 4 million daily app users.

Screenshot of Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish is a leader in the dating industry.

Plenty of Fish can help singles discover compatibility through local searches and real-time chats. Its matchmaking algorithm compares the user’s profile information and answers to a chemistry test to determine which relationships have the best chance of succeeding.

“I met my husband on POF — so don’t lose hope,” said a Reddit user who described herself as introverted. “I can say with 500% certainty I would not have met him if we hadn’t both met on that website.”

18. Happn

Happn has added a bit of serendipity to online dating by pioneering a unique location matching service. The online dating app takes a smartphone’s GPS data (you can turn off this feature if you wish) and uses it to map out the public spaces where two users could have met in real life.

A Happn user will not be able to see anyone’s real-time location. The map shows a brief summary of a person’s travel history and highlights places where both users have recently checked in. This can be a great icebreaker for new chats.

Happn has over 15 million users in major cities across the globe.

Happn app users match based on where they go and what types of activities they enjoy. Perhaps two singles frequent the same coffee shop, dive bar, or bookstore, but they just haven’t happened to meet yet. The dating app creates a virtual space where they can have those encounters and find common ground in no time.

19. Tinder

Finally, this list of dating apps wouldn’t be complete without Tinder aka the original swiping app. Tinder invented the concept of swipe-based matchmaking in 2012, and it went viral for good reason. This system empowers individuals to decide who can contact them and make a play for their heart.

Tinder has made over 60 billion matches so far, and it has been downloaded over 430 million times worldwide.

The Tinder app has prioritized what single people want.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, Tinder has gotten a bit of a reputation as a hookup app. But we’ve seen plenty of Tinder users make smart choices that led them to a relationship. There are entire Reddit threads dedicated to Tinder love stories, and that’s a beautiful thing.

“My current boyfriend is the most serious relationship I have ever had. We’ve been dating for almost two years,” said a former Tinder user. “We both used to be super skeptical of Tinder and online dating relationships — yet for both of us, it was pretty much love at first sight.”

How Do the Best Dating Sites for Finding True Love Really Work?

I can summarize the online dating experience in four words: Register, search, chat, repeat. That’s what it boils down to in the end. A single person creates a dating profile (usually at least one clear photo is required) and conducts a local or international search for potential matches based on age, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors. The chat rules vary from platform to platform but generally some texting, likes, or video chat options will be provided to some or all users.

What’s the trick for falling in love on a dating app? Patience. You probably won’t be enamored with anyone at first, and it takes patience to weed through a virtually endless sea of profiles and chat opportunities. You have to know what you want and what you have to offer, and you have to be resilient during those times when online dating sucks.

How Do I Choose the Best Dating Site for Finding True Love?

Choosing a dating site or app is similar to choosing a place to live. Everyone has different standards and expectations that influence where they want to be. It can help to ask friends for their advice — especially if they live in the area — and doing background research and price comparisons are usually part of the process too. However, at the end of the day, a single person has to make a judgment call and hope to find a place where they belong.

Just know that your choice isn’t final. You can always move to another dating app, or juggle accounts on multiple platforms, and no one will blame you for playing the field.

If you want my recommendation, I’d say Match.com is a great place to build long-term relationships. Its brand is all about putting quality first, and the free chat features can help online daters focus on their most viable matches.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

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

Our Experts Say: “Match.com is a popular choice for your area singles, having led to more dates, marriages and relationships than any other dating site…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

About 75% of Match members are in the over-30 age group, and they tend to be serious about settling down with the right person. What’s more, the Match.com algorithm has been pairing couples since the 1990s, so it has plenty of street cred and real-life success behind it.

Are the Best Dating Sites for Finding True Love Actually Safe?

Yes, online dating is a safe way to meet new people and explore romantic relationships. Singles just have to be aware of the warning signs of fake profiles and best practices for maintaining healthy boundaries. For instance, online daters should not post their addresses or contact information on their profile, and they should be careful about how much they reveal in photos. An online scammer may try to pressure people into sending money or divulging personal information. Just say no, and block anyone who repeatedly crosses into uncomfortable territory.

Online dating sites and apps often have verification tools or video chat features in place to help real people build trust. It’s safe to get to know someone this way because you can set your terms and put as much or as little distance as you like between yourself and a new potential match.

Online Dating Can Definitely Lead to True Love

I have downloaded so many dating apps in my day that I don’t even remember the moment I downloaded the last dating app I’d ever need. For me, online dating went from an exciting adventure to a monotonous chore to the lucky break that gave me what I really wanted in life.

Fast forward two years later, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up on online dating because it did (eventually) lead me to love. I could’ve easily let the bad matches and first date flops discourage me from moving forward, and in doing so, I’d deprive myself from the opportunity to meet my significant other.

I’m speaking from experience when I say that it’s worth pushing through the pain and investing in the best dating sites for finding true love. It only takes one great match to change your online dating experience — and potentially your life. So don’t give up hope just yet. Even if you’ve been hurt in the past, you can start fresh with a free dating profile and a solid icebreaker. Best of luck!

Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.