Are Dating Sites a Good Idea? 7 Reasons Why They Are

Online Dating

Are Dating Sites a Good Idea? 7 Reasons Why They Are

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews

We do a lot of things in life that could be considered bad ideas — such as having that last drink when we have to work the next day, skipping the gym for a Netflix binge instead, and spending most of our paycheck on new clothes instead of bills. But, is joining a dating site considered a bad idea? These days, it seems like everyone is online dating, but are they just wasting their time and money?

We’re here to answer those questions as well as provide some insights into why using a dating site isn’t the worst thing you could do.

Yes, Dating Sites are a Good Idea

The short answer is absolutely — dating sites were a good idea when they were first created, and they’re still a good idea today. The more detailed answer is below, where you’ll find seven ways dating sites have changed our lives for the better.

1. You Have Thousands of Platforms to Choose From

Founded in 1995, Match was the first dating site ever, and it was so popular that other platforms started launching not long after. Now the count is up to about 8,000, with 2,500 platforms just in the United States. With this many options, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a site that you like and that will work for you based on your goals.

Photo of dating sites

Today, almost 8,000 dating sites exist in the world (2,500 in the US alone), so you’re sure to find at least one that can meet your needs.

In addition to general dating sites, like Match, that cater to everyone, you’ll find gay dating sites, senior dating sites, black dating sites, relationship-oriented dating sites, hookup sites, “Star Trek” dating sites, vegan dating sites, and golf dating sites, among so many others. Seriously, we could go on and on. For more examples, check out our list of the top 100 dating sites.

2. You Can Online Date Whenever You Want, Wherever You Want

One of the best parts about online dating is that you’re not limited by time, location, or other circumstances. You can log in and search for dates no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing.

You don’t have to wait for coffee shops and bars to be open. You don’t have to wait around for your friends to finally set you up with someone. You don’t have to get all dressed up to go out — only to not meet anyone you like. You can just sit at home in your PJs on your couch and see who catches your eye.

3. Browsing and Flirting is 100% Free

Joining a dating site isn’t really a gamble because you’re not putting any money on the line. Pretty much every dating site allows you to register, fill out a profile, upload several photos, search for matches, receive matches, and flirt (e.g., virtual winks and Favorites lists) for free.

Screenshot of the Zoosk Search page

Zoosk is an example of a dating site that doesn’t charge its members to search for matches based on their criteria and communicate with those matches in certain ways.

Similar to other situations in life, such as trying on clothes or looking for a new car, you can test out the dating site before making any kind of commitment. If you end up not liking the site, you can always cancel the free membership, and the team will delete your information. No harm, no foul.

4. Dating Sites Have Millions of Members

Dating is a numbers game, and dating sites can help you win that game because of their sizes. For example, Zoosk has more than 40 million members, eHarmony has more than 33 million members, Tinder has more than 50 million monthly users, and OkCupid has more than 3.5 million active members. Not to mention these sites get millions of monthly visitors as well, so the user bases are only growing.

Where else can you be around that many people? If you go to a bar or club, you’ll probably see 50 to 100 people there, depending on the size of the venue, but that also includes people who are already taken. On a dating site, you know people are single and looking, so that eliminates another step.

5. You Can Filter By Your Preferences

Another perk about using dating sites is you don’t have to feel bad about specifying your preferences. Dating sites aren’t there to judge — they’re there to help you find that special someone. Search filters can include age range, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, location, ethnicity, religion, education level, lifestyle habits, and interests. The options are nearly endless.

Photo of a bunch of faces

Whether you like blondes or brunettes, tall people or short people, athletes or hipsters, dating sites can help you find the right person for you.

Feel free to be as specific and as vague as you want. A lot of dating sites also let you save searches and start all over whenever you want to, and they’ll make suggestions based on those searches as well as your on-site behavior.

6. Online Dating Can Be Safer Than Meeting People in Bars

Think about it: When going out to a bar, you have no idea who the other patrons are or what their intentions are. You’re going in blind, which is why online dating can be safer than traditional dating.

Some dating sites require singles to sign up through Facebook, which helps ensure they are who they say they are. Other dating sites run background checks. Some dating sites use SSL encryption to keep scammers away and protect their members’ information. Some dating sites verify every new member. Other dating sites have 24/7 moderation. Some dating sites have buttons for blocking and reporting suspicious members. You get the idea. Would you ever find that kind of security at a bar?

7. There are Dozens of Success Stories

Online dating works, and the the proof is in the pudding. By pudding, we mean all the positive reviews and success stories.

You can read all about a dating site before joining, so you’re going into it with lots of helpful information. Check out reviews by businesses like ours, and visit the dating site’s success stories page to see who’s already found love.

Photo of Mariah and Justin, a Match success story

Mariah and Justin met on Match, and now they’re happily married.

For example, Mariah and Justin are one of Match’s dozens of success stories. She joined the site not expecting to meet anyone, and a few days later she got an email from Justin. They went to get coffee on their first date, and a year and a half later, he proposed to her in the same coffee shop.

“You never know how your story is going to start. We didn’t expect ours to begin with a profile, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! We are so excited to begin planning our wedding and cannot wait for our next adventure,” Mariah told Match.

You Won’t Know If You Like Online Dating Unless You Try It

Dating sites are among the best inventions ever. They save us time, energy, and money — not to mention they’re a lot of fun. If you’re on the fence about online dating, we’ve just given you a good list of reasons why you really don’t need to be. It’s at least worth a try, and if you decide it’s not for you, that’s totally fine. But if you never try online dating, you’ll always wonder what you might be missing out on. Good luck!