How On Earth Do I Choose?
Then there are a multitude of somewhat lessor-known online dating websites, some of which are niche or specialty dating sites ( see our reviews on Geek2Geek, Jdate.com, Zoosk.com, howaboutwe.com, grouper.com, true.com, Circl.es). Most offer free trials, followed by paid subscription plans by the month or by three or six month increments.
Hint: You should know that the paid sites will limit your ability to fully participate when you are doing a free trial, which all potential members express frustration with, since you generally invest a bit of time registering, answering questions, posting a picture, only to figure out you can't really contact anyone without being a paid member.
Some sites are completely free, and make their revenue through advertisements and pop-ups. (See below)
There is no magic formula for choosing the best online site, since best for you doesn't always mean biggest, or most popular. Are you looking for a long-term relationship, casual dating, quick hook-up? Trying to get offline as soon as possible? There are as many sites as you can imagine, for every possible type of person. Click on some of our links to see suggestions below, to get started.
How Many Dating Sites Should I Register On?
We recommend that you limit your membership to two dating sites at one time.
You will find giant chunks of time slipping away as you sit in front of the computer, clicking away. More than two, and your dishes will pile up in the sink, pets will whine for food, and your family will start leaving you concerned voicemails.
It is, however, be worth your while to poke around on some of these websites just to get a sense of the type of members they attract, decide if you prefer sheer numbers of members to increase your chances of meeting someone in your area, or if you prefer a niche or specialty-oriented dating website. All of the sites have a different tone, or personality, which you'll notice after checking them out, and all of the online dating sites will offer various functions and features, including Instant Message, blocking, profile matching, exposure level, and searching by zip code and mileage.
The following is by no means a complete list, and is in no particular order but will help you get started:
Top Pay-for-Service Online Dating Websites:
- eHarmony.com, (long-term relationships, no same-sex),
- Grouper.com (takes online dating offline, via your FB account)
- HowAbout We..
- Chemistry.com (owned by Match)
- Zoosk.com (review forthcoming)
- Compatiblepartners.com (same-sex)
- Jdate.com (Jewish),
- True.com (does limited background checks)
- Seniorsmatch.com (owned by Match)
Top Free Online Dating Websites:
- Zoosk.com (attracts 35 and under using social media)
- CasualKiss.com (attracts mainly under 40)
- Alikewise.com (book lovers).
More reviews are always being added.
If you prefer to use social media for dating, as an alternative to online dating websites, read our piece on Newest Trends in Online Dating: Using Social Media to find your Soulmate.