Top 10 Best Sites
Looking for a dating site you can trust? Search no more.
The Short Version: When you’re well-educated and professionally successful, it can be a challenge to meet your match. Many dating sites cater to those who are just looking for a good time, which often doesn’t include engaging conversation. But those searching for a quality partner who’s also seeking a meaningful, long-term relationship should consider EliteSingles. An impressive 80% of the site’s members hold a post-secondary degree, and the site uses a comprehensive questionnaire to match daters who will have a lot to talk about for years to come.
A good friend once set me up on a blind date with a man who seemed handsome enough — and my friend vouched for his personality. But, as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from a private university and a professional writer, I was looking for someone who was intellectually compatible with me. I was hopeful.
Over dinner, I asked him about his favorite authors.
“Oh, I don’t read,” he said. “In fact, I’ve never read a book in my entire life.”
He said that proudly, and I couldn’t believe it. He said he’d skimmed school textbooks and read an occasional magazine article, but books didn’t interest him.
Needless to say, there was no second date — or goodnight kiss, for that matter.
Sometimes, it can be hard to find someone who is on your intellectual level, shares your interests, and values education and lifelong learning. And online, it seems like most daters are either just looking for a good time or don’t have the intelligence or attention span to hold a deeply engaging conversation.
EliteSingles is a dating site for those who don’t feel comfortable in the lowbrow dating world. The site caters to professionals with advanced degrees looking for long-term partners who are intellectually stimulating and share common interests.
“EliteSingles is matchmaking based on the personality at the core,” said Bart Visser, Director of Brand Marketing for Spark Networks, EliteSingles’ parent company. “When you register, there is a questionnaire with 250 questions. Based on that, the system will decide who is the best match for you within the pool and the requirements you set.”
Users can look forward to being matched with intellectual daters who are serious about finding love — not someone who is proud of not reading.
The developers of EliteSingles began by creating a more generic dating site years ago, but quickly learned that members were hoping to find more sophisticated and educated partners. So, they reworked the site to target successful, intelligent professionals.
“The founders did a test launch in Norway in 2012, and it was extremely successful,” Bart said. “When they completed the rebrand, the number of academics dramatically increased. Then we rolled out into the American market — the main market we serve today — and it was the beginning of a successful journey. We continue to grow throughout the year.”
The membership consists of singles of all sexual identities — including straight, gay, and lesbian — and more than 2 million people visit the site each month looking for love.
The site also sees more than 165,000 new member signups each month, and while the membership skews slightly toward women, the male-female ratio is relatively equal.
The questionnaire members fill out after signing up feeds a proprietary EliteSingles algorithm that connects like-minded, ambitious professionals. Compatibility includes relationship preferences, location, and plenty of questions about personality, temperament, character, hobbies, and lifestyle. You can also choose what you’re looking for in a partner.
“The majority of our users are from an older demographic, about 35 to 55, and generally more upscale. They typically have a bachelor’s degree or higher and an income higher than the average of their home country,” Bart said. “EliteSingles simply draws a more sophisticated crowd.”
“A feature called ‘Have You Met?’ allows you to get to know five to seven dating matches. As a premium member, you also have the opportunity to go to randomly selected profiles in your area, and, if you like them, you can instantly reach out and chat.” — Bart Visser, Director of Brand Marketing for Spark Networks, EliteSingles’ parent company
Not only can the software connect you with quality matches but you can also search based on preferences and interests. Those include age, height, location, desire to have children, education, income, smoking and drinking habits, ethnicity, and even religion.
The platform even combs through all of its data to suggest people with whom you could be compatible.
“A new feature called ‘Have You Met?’ allows you to get to know five to seven dating matches,” Bart said. “As a premium member, you also have the opportunity to go to randomly selected profiles in your area, and, if you like them, you can instantly reach out and chat. The matchmaking side is quite effective, and we have a lot of experience in optimizing that. Sometimes, nothing beats Lady Luck.”
Dating success is more likely when you start with a higher quality pool. That is why EliteSingles caters to educated singles who are financially secure and ready for long-term, meaningful relationships.
As one of the leading global dating sites, EliteSingles matches an average of 2,000 new couples each month in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
“We see it in our research on the swipe-based styles of online dating; there are a lot of choices, but people are getting dating fatigue because of the low quality of their interactions,” Bart said. “The focus of our product is to ensure that you not only have more second dates but also have better dates.”
EliteSingles is innovating and tweaking its process to keep producing the highest quality matches possible.
“We are continually working toward improving both our algorithm and our actual matchmaking service,” he said. “That is because our core mission is to ensure that people actually find a significant other.”
Bart told us a memorable story of one couple who found each other on the site. Both had children and, after they’d gone on a few dates, the woman’s children organized a romantic dinner for the pair to entice the man to ask her to be in a relationship.
“They were so accepting of this gentleman that they set up the romantic date themselves. I thought that was great,” he said.
Along with working to improve and refine its algorithm, Bart said EliteSingles is also spearheading new events that allow members to meet face to face.
EliteSingles hosts events at upscale, exclusive bars in New York City where members can buy tickets to mingle and engage in real, intelligent conversation with like-minded singles. The site is planning to organize a variety of events for different age groups to increase the number of potential matches.
“It’s an opportunity for members to meet offline and not only online,” he said. “That’s a significant development for our American audience. It’s something to keep an eye out for.”
Whether it’s online or offline, EliteSingles’ mission remains the same: To bring singles together who enjoy an intelligent conversation and are searching for a relationship.