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The Best Dating Sites

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Nowadays, single people can find love through the internet – leisure that wasn’t available some five decades ago. The appearance of the best dating sites has made it easier and faster for you to find anyone you wish to connect with. While this practice would have been met with a lot of criticism, the modern culture has accepted it wholeheartedly.

With the growing popularity of dating sites came an increase in the number of dating websites being created. Presently, we have up to 8,000 of them catering to the preferences of people of all religions, races, sexual orientations, and niche. The fact that over 70 million people are using these online services means that their popularity isn’t just some trend that would wane off over the years.

The main reason why the popularity of dating sites keeps growing is that they work. The thousands of couples who have met online are enough proof as to their success. Modern dating websites don’t cater only to flings, some couples who are presently married and in committed relationships met on these sites.

That being said, it should be noted that not all these dating sites are worth ones. With over 8,000 of them, you would agree with us that knowing the legit ones isn’t quite an easy task. That’s why we have written this review to help you choose which dating sites are perfect for you.

The Best Dating Sites

When Was Online Dating Invented?

A lot of people might not know this, but online dating has been around for quite a while. The approach was different when it first started, though it was still aimed at serving the same purpose. Back in 1959, two Students of Stanford University conducted a school project. What they did was use a questionnaire and a computer (IBM 650 mainframe) to match their female and male classmates using a compatibility algorithm. With this project, they were able to create 49 matches. Unfortunately, none of these matches resulted in any real relationship. In 1965, another pair of Harvard graduates embarked on a similar project called Operation Match. Operation Match was aimed at connecting men and women with similar likes and dislikes. This project paired over 1 million singles, and this was the first-ever online dating service that paved the way for several others.

The pioneer of dating sites as we know it today is Match.com. It was launched in 1995, and it offered to find dates and potential matches for singles using their similar interests. It’s been over two decades, and Match.com is still very much relevant in the online dating scene.

When Did Mobile Dating Apps Appeared?

Online dating has existed for nearly three decades before dating apps were created. In 2007 when the first iPhone was launched, dating apps became mainstream even though Proxidating and Lavalife have been offering mobile dating services since 2003.

The mobile app finally became popular in 2012, after smartphones became more available. With Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, OkCupid, and several others launching just within months, it was safe to say that everyone caught the dating app bug back then. A factor that contributed to the success of dating apps is the invention of swiping ever since more than 43 billion matches have been made on Tinder only.

How did we find the best dating sites and dating apps

While trying to find the best online dating sites and dating apps, our team spent a lot of time testing out different services. We were checking them to see if they were as credible as they claimed to be. We reviewed them based on our personal experience, the sites’ usability, the number of fake profiles and scammers that we found on the site, the premium membership prices, and most importantly, we review them to see if they are worth the while.

Types of Online Services

“Dating sites” as a term has a very broad meaning that can be divided into several types. Below are some of them.

Most Successful Dating Sites

The success of a dating site is often determined by the number of users that they have. You would agree with us that you stand a better chance at meeting your perfect match on a dating site with 40 million members than one with 50,000 members.

While talking about popular dating sites with a large user base, Tinder no doubt takes the lead. Tinder, inarguably the most popular dating site on the internet, has been downloaded over 340 million times, and when most people think about joining dating apps, it often tops the list.

Bumble is another dating site with a lot of members; it has garnered over 80 million users over the years. When it comes to applications that cater to the needs of swingers and singles, Adultfinder takes the lead, having over 100 million users who are looking for casual sex.

Best Hookup Sites

In this modern-day, people are becoming increasingly vocal about their sexual needs and preferences without having to worry about appearing “modest.” Instead of this, a lot of people just want flings and casual sexual encounters without having to pretend that they want more. Since most traditional dating sites are geared mainly towards matchmaking people for serious relationships and marriages, people who genuinely want casual flings would have a hard time getting what they want on these kinds of dating sites.

This is why we have hookup sites. Hookup sites and apps help you get members who are also looking for casual sex with no-strings-attached. With hookup sites, you don’t have to worry about commitment since everyone is there for the quick sex.

BeNaughty is one dating site that caters to this. Like the name itself implies, BeNaughty allows you to express your sexual desires and get them fulfilled without having the commitments of a serious relationship weighing you down. On BeNaughty, you can chat with all users for free, and with their incredible search filters, there is no doubt that you would be meeting your match soon enough.

DOWN is another great hookup app. It is a cool dating app for those who are into kinky sexual practices and swingers. You can mark yourself as available for a hookup, and you might be on your way to an incredible hookup within minutes.

Dating Sites for Christians

In a fast-paced world where everyone wants to eat their cake and have it, the regular dating site might be a little overwhelming for a Christian whose steps are guided by laid down rules and morals. You will agree that a Christian would have a hard time getting someone of equal value and faith on the regular dating site. Since most Christians want serious relationships that would lead to marriage, the regular dating site wouldn’t deliver it. For Christians who are looking for serious relationships, what they look for in possible matches goes deeper than looks or flippant talks. A dating site that is morally driven is more equipped to cater to the need of this group of people.

Christian Mingle is one such platform that connects people based on their shared faith and deep foundation in the love of Christ. Created in 2001, Christian Mingle has, over the years, helped Christians make choices as to finding partners who they share similar morals, faith, and values with. One of the distinctive features of Christian Mingle is that it has led to a lot of Christian marriages than any other dating platform can boast of.

Niche Dating Sites for Elite

For professionals who don’t want to play around, the regular dating websites might not be able to provide what they truly want. One of the best dating sites that cater to the needs of successful people is EliteSingles. 90% of EliteSingles members are college graduates, and more than 90% of them are looking for a serious relationship. Engineers, lawyers, doctors, and executives all use EliteSingles to find love and meet others for serious relationships. If you belong to this class, the chances are that you can also find love on this platform. It is free to join EliteSingles, but if you see someone that you like, you need to pay for a premium membership so that you can send them private messages.

Dating Sites for Gay and Lesbian Community

For the LGBT community, online dating has had quite an amount of positive impact. With online dating, lesbians and gays can look for potential lovers on the internet without actually exposing themselves. The contribution of dating sites to the LGBT community life is a tremendous one, with 65% of gay people saying that they met their lovers online and 85% of Grindr users admitting that they’ve been in love with someone on the app.

Since most gay people might not exactly feel comfortable putting themselves out there and asking people out, online dating sites make it a lot easier for them to do this without compromising their safety. Some of the best dating sites that cater exclusively to the need of gay people are HER, Bumble, and Grindr.

Dating Sites Which You Can Use For Free

Virtually all dating sites have a free membership where you can create an account and use some basic features. However, some sites don’t allow you to contact other members except you are a premium member. To talk to other members and arrange a date, you would have no choice but to subscribe to their premium membership.

There are, however, some of the best free dating sites where you can contact and chat with other members as a free member. There are even some completely free platforms. Some of these best free online dating sites are OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk.

With Zoosk, you can use the dating platform for free, and if you want to have access to some premium features, all you have to do is purchase some coins.

Dating Apps: Free ones vs. the Best of Them

Like you probably know already, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best and free doesn’t necessarily mean low-quality either. You can have a better experience using one of the best free dating sites than on some paid ones.

It also depends on personal preference because a college student who can meet at least 200 people daily on campus would see premium membership on some dating sites as a waste of resources. A professional who is looking for a serious relationship, on the other hand, would see a paid membership as a good investment.

That being said, if you can afford it and are serious about meeting potential matches, it is better to go for paid membership on dating sites with excellent reviews. Of course, you can still compare by trying out both free sites and paid services to see what works for you.

How much does it cost to use the best dating sites?

The price of premium membership on dating sites differs from one side to another. However, to be pocket-friendly, they all offer subscriptions for different durations, ranging from 1 month, three months, six months to 12 months. The longer the duration, the bigger the discount, so if you are subscribing for six months or a year, you can be sure that you are getting it at a discounted price.

Some sites even offer as low as one week or 1-day subscription. This way, you can easily cancel your subscription if you find the services unsatisfactory. The price ranges between $8 to $20 per month.

How Do You Know Dating Sites Are Legit?

For every dating site that you join, there is always that tiny possibility that you might fall into the hands of fake members or scammers. Even in the most legit dating sites, the chances are that you will still meet fakes. If you are careful and you use common sense, then you wouldn’t fall into their goals.

Some dating sites go the extra length to offer verification to weed out fake members and scammers. Many platforms also have privacy and security features and tips that would help keep you protected.

If you are looking for a safe and legit dating site, then you should check Match out. Created in 1995, Match has been able to weather the storm of time mainly because they have the best interest of their members at heart and also because they protect them against scammers and fake profiles.

Cyber bullying, harassment, hate speeches, and several other activities are frowned upon on Match, and reports are often taken seriously. Members are also encouraged to block and report anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Keeping safe while online dating

Safety is one major concern of people while dating online. Here are some tips to help you ensure your protection while online dating.

Stay away from someone deeply interested in your personal information

While it is very normal for some personal details to be asked by someone you are talking to online, if they seem too interested in your information, then you should be wary of them. Your home address, office address, financial information, and several other details are only to be shared with people when you trust them completely. A possible date which is more interested in your personal information than in yourself should be marked with a big red flag.

Meet new people in a public place

If you are going to meet someone from your new online friends in person, ensure that it is at a public place where you can have control over the situation. Don’t meet anyone at their home on the first date; it is a lot safer to meet them in places where people surround you.

Tell someone about the date

Before meeting someone that you’ve been dating online for the first time, tell a family member or friend about it. Let them know all there is to know about the person, their name, the point of meeting, time of the meeting, etc. If it helps, you can share a photo of your date with them, and sharing your location with them can also go a long way. You can also ask your friend to call you during the date to check up on you.

Leave if you’re uncomfortable

If things are going wrong with your date, then you can take your leave politely. For example, if your date makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you should leave with no doubt. If you are feeling guilty about leaving, remember that your date is simply a stranger, and your safety is very important.

Don’t let them pick you up

Go to the point of meeting and back all by yourself. If your date insists on picking you up at home, decline politely. Moreover, having them pick you up at home on your first date is a surefire way to them knowing your home address which isn’t exactly a good idea since you don’t know them that well.

How to enjoy your first date

It is normal to feel jittery and unsure when going on your first date with someone that you met online. Below are useful tips to help you have a successful first date.

Don’t stalk them on Social Media

Yeah, we know it’s hard not to check out your date’s social media accounts before you both meet up. However, as tempting as it might be, try to avoid it. This is because when you check out their social media accounts before your date, you would consciously or unconsciously form prejudices about them. This would hinder you from actually knowing them for who they truly are since you’ve already seen them through the “social media” lens.

Stay Comfortable

Your first date is an opportunity for you to know them as much as it is an opportunity for them to know you. It is quite understandable that you want to be at your possible best while meeting them. However, dressing in such a way may seem artificial and set the wrong mood. When you dress up in a way that is unlike you, you are more likely to be nervous, and when you are uncomfortable, your date wouldn’t be able to see the real “you.”

Do some confidence exercises

It is normal to feel somewhat nervous about your first date. You can, however, work on this by using some confidence exercise. Imagine yourself having an amazing date where you both have great conversation and chemistry. Now, hold on to the positive feeling that you get from that imagination.

Another confidence trick that works is an affirmation. Stand in front of a mirror, hold your head up high with your shoulders back and say “I’VE GOT THIS” unhesitatingly. It doesn’t have to be in those exact words, but say words of affirmation that boost your confidence.

Laugh together

It is general knowledge that laughter makes people relax. Similarly, people are known to feel more comfortable around someone once they’ve shared a laugh or two. You don’t have to go overboard with the jokes to impress them, but having a good sense of humor would help on your first date.

Let your body language be an inviting one

While communicating, body language is very important, and in some cases, body language speaks louder than words. When you fold your arms or lean away from your date, you are already giving off the vibe that you aren’t interested in them and what they have to say. When you make eye contact and maintain open body language, however, you are telling your date that you are interested.

Pay attention to them

Everyone would agree that being on a first date with someone busy doing other things or dividing their attention is a total turnoff. Make sure you stay in the moment, listen to them when you should, and give them your undivided attention. If you know you might have a hard time keeping your hands off your phone, you can simply turn it off before the date.

Ask questions about them

When you ask your date questions, it shows that you want to know them better, and most importantly, it shows that you are interested in hearing what they have to say. While making small talks about the not-so-relevant things is fine, you should also be able to ask them personal questions. This might seem a little overboard, but you would agree that it’s better to know personal things about someone who might become your partner.

Spread positive energy

Ensure that you are going to the date with positive energy. Others can easily perceive negative vibes, and it’s a turnoff for most people. Smile genuinely at them and make sure that you and your date have a good time together.

Offer to split the bill

One of the most debated topics is, “Who should pay the bill?” Traditionally, it is expected that whosoever initiated the date would pay, but these days, splitting bills is more common. Unless your date insists on paying, split the bill with them.

Follow up on your date

If you had a great time with your date, then you should let them know. Acting uninterested and waiting for days to get in touch with them doesn’t work in this modern age. You shouldn’t be ashamed to let them know how you feel about the date and if you would like to do it again.

How to deal with spam & bots

Some dating sites use bots to push you to purchase a premium membership. Here is what they do, once you open your account on the dating site, some bots will like your profile, then send you messages mainly about how they find you attractive and how they want to meet you. Of course, you would be intrigued by all the attention, and you sure would want to pursue the prospect. The only problem is you are a free user, so you cannot reply to their messages.

At this point, you will have no choice but to purchase a premium membership to connect with your potential “matches.” When you finally do, these bots will stop responding, or if they do, they might start talking off-topic. It would be too late to opt-out at this point because you’ve already purchased a premium membership, and most of these sites don’t give a refund.

The best way to know if an account is a bot is by checking the profile. A lot of fake accounts operated by bots don’t have a profile photo, and their bios are often empty. Now, those that use photos usually make use of celebrities’ images or pictures that are taken from the internet.

Tips from experts on how to have an exciting time dating online

Tips from experts

Whether this is your first time using dating sites or you’ve had quite an experience, you will undoubtedly find the below tips helpful.

  • Explore: While just starting online dating, you don’t have to use only one platform. Since there are different types and categories of them, it’s better if you sign up on various sites to explore. Once you’ve tried all these brands out, you can then decide the particular one that seems to be perfect for you. By doing so, you would have compared the several dating sites and weighed your options to choose what is best for you. You don’t have to worry about the financial repercussion since most dating sites allow you to sign up and use some features as a free member.
  • Create a catchy profile: Think about what you would find intriguing in other people’s profiles. That’s exactly what you should model your profile after. You will agree with us that no one likes a narrow profile. Other people – just like you – want to know who the owner of the profile is, and if your profile is a scanty one, there would be nothing to make them want to contact you. You should supply information about yourself as truthfully as you can. As much as it would be nice for you to showcase yourself as an interesting person, avoid lying about things just to get validation from people.
  • Profile Photo: To make your profile a catchy one, you need beautiful photos. Let’s face it; if you see a profile without a photo, you will probably think the account belongs to a bot. Choose pictures that are taken at flattering angles to show you at your best. Avoid using a photoshopped photo because it would only make things awkward when you finally meet them face-to-face, and they realize that you look nothing like what they saw on the dating site.
  • Before Interaction: Before you send messages or interact with another member, there are some important things that you should look out for. It is better if you interact with a profile that has a detailed profile and clear photos. This way, you can be sure that the member that you are about to contact takes online dating seriously, and most importantly, you would be sure that the profile isn’t a fake one. Avoid profiles with celebrities’ photos; they are probably scammers who are only looking for their next victim. Another important detail to look out for before contacting another member is their last login details. That way, you wouldn’t waste your time contacting a member who hasn’t been on the site in months.
  • Interaction & Messaging: When you’ve finally decided which member to message, make genuine conversations with them, exchange photos, and if you are really into them, you should let them know how you feel and what your intentions are.

Conclusion

Online dating can be quite interesting and beneficial, and you can sure make the most out of it. With more people making use of the internet, online dating sites are becoming more popular every day as they connect people from all over the world. Asides meeting potential lovers on dating sites, a lot of people have been able to make beneficial friendships, business partnerships, and other meaningful relationships off these services.

We believe that our review of the best online dating sites will help you make the best choice.