13 Jun Best Online Dating Site for You
Online dating has slowly lost its social stigma. Now, meeting someone online is a widely accepted way of meeting a future mate. In fact, new research suggests more than one-third of marriages begin with online dating. For singles, finding a potential partner has become much easier. However, choosing the best online dating service hasn’t.
Using an ineffective online dating site feels like a full-time job that doesn’t ever payout. Because of this, the team at Reviews.com spent six weeks reviewing 68 online dating sites to find which algorithms actually work and which site was most likely to find you a compatible match.
Top picks were selected after:
- analyzing web-traffic data,
- consulting with matchmakers and online dating experts, and
- evaluating user bases, functionality, and quality.
From all of their research, a comprehensive guide was created to help daters find the best online dating site for their specific needs. The final categories included best overall, best for long-term relationships, best app and best niche dating sites. Also offered in the guide are dating tips on how to maximize your online dating experience by making it worthwhile and safer.
For this review, in particular, the study focused solely on all of the online dating sites, instead of dating apps. Dating apps are planned for review at a later point. Their prioritization strategy started with sites with a wide geographical net and then to sites with an active user base. They looked through a web-traffic analytic company to see how many people are actually on each site clicking around. You know we all think fake profiles with pretty pictures and no one behind them exists and are being actively used as bait. Well, this review left those phantom “singles” out.
When they narrowed it down to the finalists, they individually tested them (as a user would) to see how easy it was to create a profile and have the profile sound original. They assessed how accurate the algorithms were. And they looked at how meaningful the interactions were versus those ridiculous, obscene messages floating around. How easy is it for users to understand how the site works? And finally, costs were calculated into their review as well.
Here are their top picks in their words…
Best Overall Online Dating Site: OkCupid
No matter what you’re looking for — casual hookups, marriage, polyamory, relationships with men, relationships with women, a little bit of everything — OkCupid can accommodate. It’s by far the best-looking and easiest to use online dating site of our top four, on both browser and mobile, with intuitive iconography and streamlined features. Two factors really set OkCupid apart from the competition: It produces the best profiles, and it uses the best matching algorithm.
The standard fields you fill in on your profile are open-ended without being too general, which lets people come up with creative, interesting answers almost without trying. Yes, it includes the standard prompt to list your favorite movies, music and TV shows, but it also asks you what six things you couldn’t live without and what you spend a lot of time thinking about. With those kinds of questions, it would be hard not to come up with unique answers that show potential dates what makes you you. OkCupid was the only site we tested where we never ran across a profile left blank or populated by “I’ll fill this out later.”
In addition to the more free-form profile prompts, OkCupid also lets you answer multiple-choice questions, which it uses to produce its famous match percentage. Like many other dating sites, OkCupid algorithmically compares your answers to those of other users to determine if you’re compatible. But unlike most dating sites, it (a) lets you choose the answer you want your partner to give, and (b) lets you rank how important the question is to you.
Best Online Dating Site for Long-Term Relationships
Match.com was the first real dating website, and it’s still among the best. It has a reputation as a better place to search for long-term relationships than the more hookup-friendly OkCupid, and science backs that reputation up: According to one study, Match.com and eHarmony produce the most marriages of any dating sites or apps. It’s free to build a profile, but you have to pay to use the site effectively; if you’re not a subscriber, you can’t do even basic things like read your messages. Luckily, it’s affordable: $31/month for 3 months, $27/month for 6 months, $25/month for 12 months. (Though, again, look for the deals and discounts the site will advertise to you when you’re using the free version.)
One great feature that sets Match.com apart from other big dating sites is that it organizes and promotes a lot of in-person events like speed dating, happy hours, and game nights. And people seem to need help transitioning from online to offline; a 2013 study from Pew Research indicates that a third of people using dating sites have never actually met anyone from those sites in person. No online dating site facilitates that better than Match.com.
The only way to move from needing dating advice to relationship advice is to get out there and meet people. At some point, you have to get off the computer and meet someone. If you have a difficult time doing this, then maybe Match.com is the best site for you, as long as you utilize their in-person events.
Reviews.com outlines the entirety of their findings in their own article. No longer do you have to wonder. The research has been done for you.
As my grandma used to say, “use it in the best of health!”