Top 10 Best Sites
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I take forever to decide anything. I want to look at the situation from every angle and think about all the possible consequences until I feel certain I’m not making a mistake. That makes dating somewhat difficult because, at least in my experience, there’s little certainty and a lot of factors to weigh.
I remember one time in high school when I felt so conflicted that I actually made a pros and cons list about getting back together with an ex. Writing the list helped me reason out what I already knew in my heart, and I was soon walking hand-in-hand with my on-again off-again boyfriend.
Sometimes making a list can be an eye-opening way to discover what your best course of action is, so we’ve decided to stack up three of the most popular dating sites — eharmony, Match.com, and Zoosk — to see how they compare to one another in terms of reviews, price, diversity, match features, and success stats. May the best one win!
Third-party reviews provide one of the most reliable ways to determine how satisfying, effective, and enjoyable a dating site is. Whether it’s a testimonial from a user or an assessment from a dating expert (e.g., what you’re reading right now), objective reviews can tell you what the site’s marketing language is and give you insight into how the dating site works from a user’s perspective.
Our team has spent thousands of hours testing out dating sites and putting together helpful and comprehensive reviews for online daters. Check out our thoughts on eharmony, Match, and Zoosk below.
Since it launched in 2000, eharmony has invited relationship-minded singles to take an in-depth relationship questionnaire and find a match based on known psychological principles. The site delivers daily compatible matches to your inbox every day and filters incoming messages based on your dating standards. Free members can set up their profiles and browse the site, but, unless it’s a Free Communication Weekend, singles must join a membership plan (for six, 12, or 24 months) to read or send messages to one another on eharmony.
Overall, we give the dating site 4.5/5.0 stars because its time-tested matching system goes a long way in ensuring long-term compatibility.
Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships
Match System: Personality test suggests matches
Browse Free: View Photos Now
|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|All Straight Singles*||
|4.1 Million*||View Profiles FREE|
You’ve probably seen eharmony’s commercials once, or twice, or 1,000 times on television. The ads with the upbeat music and the laughing couples make it sound like a magical place to meet someone. And, actually, the dating service holds up, especially if you upgrade your membership.
Most of Match’s current members were still in school (some weren’t even born!) when the company launched one of the world’s first-ever dating site in 1995. The internet has grown and changed a lot in the last two decades, but Match has kept up with the times and maintained a friendly and low-cost website throughout it all. Our dating experts can find very few chinks in this platform’s time-tested armor, so we’ve given it a 4.9/5.0 in our reviews.
Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships
Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more
Browse Free: View Photos Now
|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|39.7 Million*||Try Match.com FREE|
Of course, Match isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty close. The signup process is easy, the membership plans are reasonable, and millions of singles have found friendship and love using the connective features. Plus, the site encourages its members to meet face-to-face by organizing Match Events at bars, bowling alleys, parks, and other venues.
Zoosk has a global presence with 35 million members in over 80 countries. The dating site made a name for itself by being one of the first to integrate social media profiles with dating profiles as a way of verifying a user’s identity. Smart, right? This pioneering dating site and app has grown exponentially over the years and ranks a solid 4.6/5.0 stars in our reviews.
Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
Match System: Search and get match recommendations
Browse Free: View Photos Now
|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|28.9 Million*||Start Zoosk for FREE|
The downsides of Zoosk include limited search options and no daily suggested matches. The site has millions of members, yet the Carousel and SmartPicks can recycle the most compatible profiles. So you might see the same person when browsing from day to day. Sometimes it feels like the match algorithm is really sure you’ll hit it off with someone and wants to give you another chance to click Like or send a message.
Match has a fairly well-established reputation in the dating industry. Not just because it’s been around forever — the dating site has connected singles in more relationships and marriages than any other dating site. You really have to look hard to find negative reviews on this astoundingly effectively and incredibly easy dating behemoth.
Let’s talk dollars and cents. It’d be great if online dating services offered every feature for free and didn’t need to turn a profit, but that’s not how successful businesses work. So dating sites often reserve premium functions for paid members who get a little extra bang for their buck. While eharmony, Match, and Zoosk are all free to join, they have different payment plans that set them apart from one another.
Like most dating sites, eharmony offers a free membership that includes creating a profile, adding photos, and conducting searches. It also offers Free Communication Weekends a few times a year to give free members a chance to send flirtatious messages. For the rest of the year, members have to pay to play (e.g., send messages).
Check out eharmony’s premium membership plans below:
Signing up for a premium plan allows eharmony members to send unlimited messages, see profile photos, see who’s viewed or favorited you, and browse more matches. Singles find it well worth the investment.
On Match, free memberships never expire, but sometimes singles want to go beyond sending virtual winks and browsing photos, so they upgrade to a paid subscription lasting anywhere from three months to a year.
Match’s prices range from $5.46 a month to $17.99 a month, depending on the length of your subscription. The dating site has a variety of basic and bundled plans to choose from, but even the most basic plan includes reading and responding to messages as well as priority access to Match Events. If you think Match is the perfect match for your dating budget, then you’re in luck because we have an exclusive coupon that makes a 12-month subscription even more affordable.
For a few dollars a month, you can have a year of flirtation and dating opportunities on Match.com. The website’s paid features, including email notifications when your crush reads your message, make the online dating experience more enjoyable and easy for singles seeking the real deal.
You can stay a free member forever on Zoosk, but we recommend upgrading to a paid membership plan.
Zoosk is somewhere in the middle in terms of affordability. Premium memberships won’t cost you more than $30 a month and can be as low as $12.49 a month. You can also gain access to additional features by earning, unlocking, or paying for Zoosk Coins, which range in price from $19.95 for 180 coins to $99.95 for 1,800 coins. Zoosk Coins allow you to boost your profile’s visibility and unlock Carousel matches.
Membership subscriptions include practical perks like sending and receiving messages and live chatting with SmartPicks. The longer your membership plan lasts, the cheaper your monthly rate will be:
Your subscription will automatically renews, so, if this is going to be a one-time thing, make sure to go into your settings and turn off auto-payments for your Zoosk membership.
Match is an incredibly affordable dating platform. Its premium features are well worth upgrading for, but they also won’t break the bank — which means you’ll have some cash on hand to spend on your date! While Zoosk and eharmony put up a good fight, it’s hard to beat the discounted prices of Match.com.
So, right now, the score is 2-0 in Match’s favor, but eHarmony and Zoosk can still make up ground in the next three categories. Next, we’ll assess the user demographics of these online communities to determine which offers the most welcoming space for singles of all ages, backgrounds, and interests.
According to eharmony’s internal stats, the site has members in all 50 states of the US as well as in 195 countries worldwide. Altogether, over 33 million people have signed up to eharmony in search of loving relationships. That’s a lot of singles mingling day in and day out!
We would say eharmony is best for straight singles, but it recently opened its doors to gay and lesbians singles as well. The site boasts a pretty even split between men and women — 48% of the user base are men while 52% are women. That’s a pretty good even split, and it’s particularly impressive that women outnumber men (however slightly) because that is not the case on most dating platforms.
Match’s dating network includes straight, gay, and lesbian folks in 25 countries. The site has been translated into 15 languages to accommodate this worldly and diverse user base. The typical member is a relationship-minded and college-educated adult (over the age of 30), but the site is welcoming to everyone seeking online connections.
According to Match’s member statistics, the 50+ age group is the site’s fastest growing demographic, but singles under 30 still make up a quarter of the user base.
With over 40 million users, Zoosk just edges out Match and eharmony in terms of membership size. The global dating network boasts having members in over 80 countries. Not only is the membership huge, but it’s also diverse and inclusive.
On Zoosk, singles of all orientations and backgrounds, speaking 25 different languages — come together with one common goal: Finding a date!
If you’re looking for a diverse and global network, you’ll be well served by Zoosk. This dating site beats out the competition in just sheer massive size. Our dating experts applaud Zoosk’s inclusiveness, but we still have two more match-ups to make to help singles determine which dating site is the cream of the crop.
The whole purpose of a dating site is to match you up with a compatible date, so, in this section, we’ll compare the ways eharmony, Match, and Zoosk accomplish that all-important task. The match features of these sites differ greatly, but all offer personalized date suggestions to fill up your social calendar.
One of eharmony’s claims to fame is its signature 29 Dimensions of Compatibility, which serves as the backbone to the site’s matching system. It’s actually somewhat of a misnomer, however, because, in reality, the algorithm considers hundreds of factors when determining compatibility. Everything from your income to your temperament can come into play.
New members start their memberships by filling out a detailed questionnaire which helps the website create a psychological profile for members and determine who will match well with whom. The purpose is to highlight only those with long-term relationship potential.
Match.com also caters a list of match suggestions for users, but it doesn’t use lengthy questionnaires to do so. Instead, the site focuses on user activity, basic personal details, and your own stated preferences. Every day, the dating site suggests a new batch of profiles for you to peruse and decide if you’re interested by clicking Yes or Skip.
You’ll see a calculated match percentage in the corner of the profile summary, but that just estimates how much you have in common based on your profile — it doesn’t mean you can’t hit it off with someone with a 60% match rating. Of course, you’re also free to browse the site on your own and find your own ideal companion. This actually helps the algorithm learn what type of person you’re looking for, which means better match suggestions in your inbox.
Zoosk’s Carousel may not have colorfully painted horses and lighthearted music, but it’s still a fun place to spend an afternoon if you’re single. In a simple swiping interface, you check out a person’s profile picture and click yes, no, or maybe on that potential match. You can also click undo if you made a mistake and want to reconsider your decision.
The Carousel provides an easy way for Zoosk members to pick their own partners, AND the website learns with every click. It compiles that information with what you’ve said in your profile and match preferences to offers personalized SmartPicks. The profiles in this section not only match your dating criteria — you match their dating criteria. That makes it perfect match. You can smile or like the profile to initiate contact with your online crush on Zoosk.
Match and Zoosk tie in this round. Both provide a healthy amount of date recommendations while still allowing the user to have final say. We like how the match systems of these two dating sites draw from personality traits without usurping too much of the user’s time and attention.
While eharmony’s system is certainly impressive for how in-depth and psychology-based it is — the questionnaire can take about an hour to complete, and that’s time that could be spent browsing for matches the old-fashioned way on Zoosk and Match.
Last of all, we come to how effective these dating sites work. A user-friendly interface and diverse membership are all well and good, but if they don’t help singles get dates and find relationships, then there’s no point in signing up. A dating site without real-life success stories is just a site where people hang out and chat in vain.
Of course, these mainstream dating platforms wouldn’t be so well-known if they didn’t work. But which one works best? We’ll look into the numbers and find out, once and for all, which platform is the best of the best.
In its advertisements, eharmony claims responsibility for 4% of all US marriages — a sizable increase from 0.79% of marriages in 2005. These stats are based on a survey eharmony commissioned in 2008, so it’s likely that number has continued to grow. That adds up to an average of 438 people getting married every day after meeting on eharmony.
One of those lucky couples was Lisa and Mark, who tied the knot on May 21 2011. The Californian couple said they had been talking online for a few weeks when Lisa’s subscription expired. And she hadn’t given him her phone number. Fortunately, Mark remembered her email address and sent her a message.
“If he hadn’t, we might never have met,” Lisa said. “We went on our first date, and I began to have faith in online dating. It didn’t take us long to realize we’d found something special.”
Plus, those marriages are less likely to end in divorce than marriages of couples who met offline. One study indicated that eHarmony couples had a 66.6% lower risk for divorce than couples who met in school, through family, at church, and other more traditional ways. That’s pretty successful!
Match.com has been around longer than any dating site in existence, and, in that time, it’s been terrifically successful at matching people up. Over the past two decades, Match has facilitated more than 10 million relationships in the US. You can actually read some of the heartwarming testimonials from couples who met on Match and got married.
Collectively, Match is responsible for arranging more dates, relationships, and marriages than any dating platform. It ranks number one in first dates as well as second dates. That stat speaks to the quality of the relationships formed on the time-tested site.
If you want proof of Zoosk’s life-changing impact on people’s lives, all you have to do is visit the blog where couples all over the world share how they met on the site and fell in love. Many of these couples have gotten married and share pictures of their wedding days, anniversaries, and children to thank Zoosk for bringing them together.
“Jared and I met on Zoosk in 2014, and, from the start, we realized how much we had in common… we are getting married in January 2018!” — Natasha, a Zoosk user
“Ryan had just activated his account and less than two hours later I had messaged him,” wrote Kelly, a well-satisfied Zoosk user. “Thank you, Zoosk. You found me a true country gentleman.”
Thousands of couples have gotten into relationships thanks to Zoosk’s communication tools. According to the website, “Zoosk’s love stories are as sweet and unique as the couples who meet through our service.”
Obviously, we have to give the title for most successful dating site to Match. We applaud Zoosk and eharmony for connecting so many people in happy, long-term relationships, but those platforms don’t hold a candle to the millions served by Match.com. The site has decades of success stories to back up its services.
One Match user named Saira had just been through a bad breakup when Jan sent her a sweetly worded message. They lived in different cities but felt a strong connection. A year later, they got engaged. “It was a complete surprise and so beautiful,” Saira wrote about Jan’s proposal at Grand Central Terminal. “Thank you, Match. You helped me find my happily ever after!”
Indecisiveness can feel paralyzing sometimes, but I’ve found that doing a little research and organizing my thoughts often spurs me into action. My list of reasons why my ex-boyfriend isn’t the worst person in the world, for example, helped me cut out of the noise and focus on what I wanted. Nowadays, whenever I need to make up my mind about matters of the heart, I grab a pen and a legal pad and figure it out.
Hopefully, this list helped you get some clarity on what you’re looking for in a dating site and which platform would be a good fit for you. We’ve compared and contrasted eharmony, Zoosk, and Match in a number of ways to help our readers understand the differences between these giants in the dating industry. And if you still can’t decide between them, then don’t! You don’t have to pick just one — you can sign up for all three and diversify your dating prospects.
There are no bad choices here — eharmony, Zoosk, and Match are all excellent dating platforms with personality-driven match features, global membership bases, and reasonable monthly prices. Plus, they’re all 100% free to join, so you can continue comparing the platforms at no cost. Enjoy!