Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or met their spouse online. It is no longer taboo to find the love of your life online.. It wasn’t very long ago that looking for love online was seen as scraping the bottom of the barrel. People were in dismay that you would be willing to start a relationship with a total stranger over the internet. If you couldn’t find love in “real life,” then there was something wrong with you.
With the internet always changing and evolving, site after site has popped up, and talking to people online is the new norm. From instant messages and emails, to MySpace and Facebook, to dating sites like Match.com or apps like Tinder.
For years we have slowly become more and more used to meeting and socializing with people over the internet. Now, it’s weird if you don’t have a social media profile. This mindset has affected the dating sites too.
A pew research study revealed the percentage of people who think online dating sites are a good way to meet someone rose from 29% to 44% from 2005 to 2015. People are becoming more positive about the idea of online dating every year.
But if you want to meet people online, you need to know the best places to do it. There are plenty of online forums from the most legit to the shadiest. But which one should you pick?
Your age range, the kind of relationship you’re looking for, and the amount of time you want to put into the process will all influence which site you should use. There isn’t necessarily one site that’s best for everyone. Different sites will benefit different people depending on their dating goals.
We’ve put together a sweet little list of the best online dating sites out there today. Take the different attributes of each site into consideration when you decide which one to make a profile on.
1. Meet People Online With eHarmony.com
You’ve probably seen the commercials with the old white dude guaranteeing success on eHarmony.com.
Despite the fact that the man has the voice of your most boring professor, his website, eHarmony.com is one of the biggest successes in online dating.
With over 17 million active users, you’re bound to find someone you like.
Here are some stats to see if it’s a good fit for you:
eHarmony is one of the most successful dating sites for American singles.
- 71% of Women, 69% of Men Meet Their Spouse on eHarmony Within a Year
According to eHarmony’s “Married Couples by the Numbers Facts” report, almost three-fourths of men and women have met their spouse within a year of joining the site. That could be you.
- 15 Million Matches a Day are Created on the Site
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, eHarmony creates 15 million matches every day. The best part is they do the matching for you (i.e., no heavy lifting).
- eHarmony is Responsible for Nearly 4% of U.S. Marriages
Four percent of marriages in the U.S. have happened because of eHarmony, even more proof that unique matching system works.
- 542 People Get Married Every Day Because of eHarmony
Harris Interactive did a survey and found 542 men and women get married on a daily basis thanks to eHarmony. You’re bound to at least know a friend of a friend of a friend who this has happened to.
- 600,000+ eHarmony Couples Have Gotten Married
More than half a million people and counting who met on eHarmony and became a couple have tied the knot. They’ll even give you a free gift if you’re one of them.
- eHarmony Divorce Rate: 3.86% — National U.S. Average: 50%
According to an interview with Bloomberg, the divorce rate of married couples who met on eHarmony is just 3.86%, while the national U.S. average is 50%, according to the American Psychological Association. This means you’re 92% more likely to divorce if you and your spouse didn’t meet on eHarmony.
- 15,000 People a Day Take Their Questionnaire
About 15,000 men and women a day fill out eHarmony’s questionnaire for its compatibility matching system, which consists of about 100 questions like “Do you crave company or prefer to be alone?” and “Do you find humor to be your favorite coping strategy when dealing with the world?”
eHarmony has a large user base (33 million members in the U.S. and nearly 200 countries around the world), easy sign-up process, clean layout, and a free trial that lets you test it out before you commit, which all contribute to it being one of the leading dating sites out there.
2. Meet people on Match.com
One of the the, if not THE largest online dating company in the world is Match.com. The largest portion of Match.com users are between the ages of 39 and 53 at 36%, but millennials (age 24 to 38) follow closely at 31%, and users aged 54 to 74 make up 28%. Almost all users have attended college or have a degree. And, almost half of the users are single parents.
No matter your age range, you will be able to find others like you. Though you don’t have to date someone the same age as you, it may help you find people who are at the same place in life and people who want similar things. If you’re looking for someone older/younger than you, hey, you can find them here too, I’m not judging.
The diversity of Match.com certainly makes it appealing to a larger audience. Some people are hesitant to use dating sites because they think it’s all young people or desperate people. These statistics from Match show you that that is not true.
Match is free up to a point. But they have a pay wall. And if you actually want to contact your matches, you have to pay the big bucks.
We’re all quite used to free services on the internet. Free social media, free tv, etc. But when it comes to something like online dating, free doesn’t always mean the best.
3. Meet people on Free Dating Sites
Free dating sites are typically filled with scammers and catfishers. These people go to the free sites because they probably have a dozen or so profiles set up on each one in an attempt to trick more people. They don’t want to have to pay for that many profiles.
While there is definitely some real people looking for love on those sites, they may be a lot harder to find. Scammers will be trying to convince you that they are legit. So, you have to be extra cautious and a little bit suspicious of everyone who reaches out to you on a free site.
Pay walls weed out the lookie-loos of the internet. This filters your choices down to people who are actually looking for love (hopefully). This helps the service gear toward more serious people who aren’t just looking to hook up but might be looking to go on a few dates or even be life-partners at some point.
If you have the means, and you want to get serious about your online dating experience, you may just be better off paying.
4. Get Some Tinder For Your Relationships
On the complete opposite side, we have Tinder.
Tinder became a social phenom a few years ago when the term “swipe right” broke out of its contextual bounds and jumped on into the mainstream.
“Swipe right” essentially denotes approval of something. And in the Tinder mobile app, to approve of someone you like, you swipe right on your screen.
When you swipe right, you add the person to your “like” list. If someone you “like” likes you, then you are able to talk to them.
Tinder boasts over 30 billion matches in its lifetime with about a million dates every week. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a quick, low-maintenance online dating option.
This is speed dating for the tech age. It’s not full on matchmaking, and it’s usually all about appearances, which can be kind of dangerous. But isn’t that how you choose to introduce yourself to in the real world anyway?
Tinder has become very popular with younger people who are more interested in the casual dating scene. This isn’t necessarily the app that you want to use to find a potential spouse (though I’m sure some casual relationships have evolved into long-term ones).
Tinder shows you other people in your area that have the app. It keeps you as close to home as you want to be. It’s meant to be used for establishing contact so that you can schedule dates in the “real world.”
The only real downside to using Tinder is that you have to have a Facebook profile. The site relies heavily on your Facebook information and the site won’t let you play until you log-in with your Facebook.
While it may feel uncomfortable to give that much information, you at least have the reassurance that the people you are matching with went through the same verification process. It’s important that you are still cautious when you talk to the people that you match with, but you probably encounter fewer scammers because of this requirement.
If you don’t mind giving over your Facebook information to Tinder, then this is a bloat-free app that will get you meeting people online with a quick swipe of your finger. So, we totally swipe right on Tinder.
5. Meet Up With People On Meetup
While not exactly a dating site, Meetup is still a great place to meet people online who have the same interests as you.
Meetup is essentially a forum meant to connect people with similar interests nearby and help them Meetup to do fun or interesting things in real life.
Once you join Meetup, you can join in groups that interest you. These groups may go to different events in town or host smaller events in their homes or public spaces like libraries. These can be based around whatever your interest is: books, sporting events, exercise, whatever! You can use these groups to build relationships in a more organic way.
If you can’t find a group that you are interested in joining, you can always start your own. You can even start a group for local singles who want to socialize and meet new people. That way, the people attending the event will be people who are also interested in finding a relationship.
Some of the best dating relationships actually happen around things you like to do together. Look at all the movie stars who hook-up and get married on set! Well…only a few of them might actually be a wholesome example.
Meetup hosts over 44 million members. There are over 330,000 different groups focusing around various interests. There are more than 84,000 events every week. With Meetup, you can meet new people who share your interests and build a relationship with them in a more traditional way.
It’s important to keep in mind that dating is not the main focus of meetup. The other people in the groups may be in a relationship or may not be interested in a relationship, especially if the group is focused around another interest, like doing yoga in the park. So, be respectful of other peoples’ boundaries and keep realistic expectations.
Meetup is free. And, despite the fact it’s not primarily a dating site, a lot of singles groups have cropped up on there. This is a great option if you’re feeling nervous about meeting strangers through the internet.
These groups often meet in public places. There’s a lot of people, so if you’re not vibing well with one person, there are other people to talk to! You will have the security of being in a group and being in a place where you feel safe for your first meeting (or first few meetings).
Now you don’t have to join a church to find good looking singles groups. Just get on Meetup!
6. Plenty Of Fish In The Sea
When you broke up with your first love, did your mom ever tell you that there are “plenty of fish in the sea”?
Well, someone took that phrase to heart and created an easy to use dating site built around the concept.
Plenty of Fish is a comprehensive dating site with the simplicity of Tinder and the robust brains of Match.
This dating site isn’t just interested in helping you find a new partner, but also in helping you create more healthy relationships. There are quizzes to help you meet the right person, to discover why your past relationships didn’t work, and to give you advice on how to make your future relationships more successful.
Plenty of Fish is a great option for establishing long-term healthy relationships.
There are 150 million Plenty of Fish users in the world. There are 65,000 new users every day and 57 million new connections made each week.
Just like Tinder, you “like” people. But the people you see will become more accurately matched to you if you put more into your profile. The more work you put into your profile and quizzes, the better chance you will have of finding someone for you.
If you rush through the process, you’ll waste a lot of time later on sifting through suitors that you aren’t interested. If you take the time to create a great profile upfront, you will be able to just focus on the good ones.
You have to options for fishing. You can choose speed or accuracy. You can’t have both. What do you think this is? Elder Scrolls?
On the other side of the spectrum, you can use the MeetMe feature and quickly find singles in your area that match your interests. Or you can filter by interest or by people who live nearby. If you’re looking for something more casual, this is the feature you want.
If you put a lot of effort into your profile, the MeetMe feature will be fairly accurate and you should find someone to date pretty quickly.
It’s all free and you can download it to your phone.
Despite the fact the title of this site gives you uncomfortable images of weird baby angels shooting you with arrows, it’s a free online dating site with an interesting twist.
You get to go through a personality test. The test allows OKCupid to match you up with people who are compatible. If you feel like you’d do well on a personality test, you might meet people online through OkCupid.
It’s a bit of work to get thoroughly tested. But once you finish, you’ll feel accomplished and hopeful. Not only that but, just like Plenty of Fish, the more work and time you put into it in the beginning, the less work you will have to do later. You will get the best results if just persevere.
There are over 91 million connections on OkCupid every year with about 50,000 dates a week. And these are meaningful connections. OkCupid is mentioned in the New York Times wedding announcements section more frequently than any other app.
If you’re hesitant to leave your meat locker too hastily, then OkCupid might be for you. You can use their Quickmatch to quickly rate and connect with matches. You can even get notifications on mutual interest as you go.
If you want advice on how to become an expert on OkCupid, check out the OkCupid subReddit.
Conclusion: So Many To Choose From
Our advice? Peruse our list and just pick one.
Any of these sites could be instrumental in helping you meet people online. Once you meet people, you’ll find out what you like and don’t like about the services. Maybe you like the quick and low-maintenance format of something like Tinder, or maybe you need the in-depth support of a site like Match.
The only way that you can figure out what you need or what you want is to see what’s out there!
There’s really no downside in creating a profile just to see how it goes. If you don’t like the features or you aren’t finding the right profile for you, ditch it! Try a new one. Ultimately, online dating (or any kind of dating, really) is a trial-and-error process. You just need to dive into the deep end and figure it out.
Just like dating in the “real world,” you have to put in the time and effort to find and maintain a good relationship. But the best thing that you can do is just be yourself. Be honest about who you are and what you want from a partner, whether that’s a long-term romance or some short-term companionship. If you’re upfront about everything, it’ll be easier to find what you’re looking for.
What are your favorite dating sites online? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, make those profiles count!