With the coming of the pandemic and social distancing, a lot has changed when it comes to dating. This doesn’t mean that you should stop searching for love and a relationship.
In fact, you can now use online dating sites and apps to find someone who shares your values and interests for either a short fling or a long-term, serious relationship.
Yes, it’s nice and cozy to curl up in bed and watch Netflix when it’s cold outside, but it won’t get you closer to finding your dream partner.
I researched several dating sites and apps on the internet and rated them based on their features, ease-of-use, pricing, and the quality of the dating pool.
Here’s my review of the top ten best dating platforms that are safe, fun, and a nice way to meet your next partner.
Anyone who’s been online and in the dating world surely knows about Tinder. This app has the highest number of users of all dating platforms out there according to Kochava Collective.
And although many people use Tinder for casual meet-ups, many more people have found long-term and fulfilling relationships here.
- Simple, modern interface
- Swiping feature is addictive
- Free to use the basic app
- Geared more toward hookups than relationships
- Lots of incremental ways to spend money
Best for single women
Bumble is unique because women usually are the ones who initiate communication. However, for LGBTQ+women, the gender that makes the first move isn’t a problem at all. But this platform is great for ladies who are looking for romantic partners.
Experts reveal that most of the users of Bumble are between ages 26–35. So if you want to date younger people, then you should give it a try.
- Excellent privacy and safety features
- Robust free version
- Fun and inclusive interface
- Video chat
- Women only have 24 hours to respond or match will be lost
- Superfluous friend-finder and business-networking options
Best for cross-culture dating, travel partners
Dating.com is really revolutionizing the dating scene quickly. It is helping single people all over the globe to find their perfect partners through their awesome cross-culture dating, which is exciting and fun.
Regardless of your sexuality, your specific preferences, or reasons for looking for a partner, Dating.com has options that will fit your needs and wants.
This platform offers a variety of avenues for communication. You can talk to members on- or offline, send flirts and presents, or check out their profiles and pictures.
You can also enjoy high-quality video streaming and chatting, which means that you have all the channels of communication you need to meet new people safely.
- Has excellent communication features, including video chat
- There is an eclectic, global network of singles
- All the profiles are verified
- There is a complicated pricing structure
- It does not have an iPhone app
Best for meaningful relationships
This platform is seen as one of the “serious” dating sites to use when you want to settle down.
Match.com has rather expensive pricing with standard and premium plans starting from $36.99 per month for 3 months or 1 full month at $62.65.
If you’re a fully subscribed member, you can send emails and chat with people. You can also view their profile visitors, receive an annual profile review, get monthly boosts, and attend in-person Match events.
- Match.com is an experienced, well-trusted dating site
- It has a high percentage of success stories
- You can have up to 26 profile photos
- The sign-up process can take up to 30 minutes
- It is more traditional than other sites
Best for behavioral matchmaking
Zoosk has over 40 million single people using its app, meaning that there’s a large dating pool to choose from. It has a built-in Behavioral Matchmaking™ tool and profile verification feature which proves that users are real people.
Paid subscriptions range from the 1-month plan at $29.95 to the 6-month plan at $74.95.
- There are more than 40 million users
- It has a Behavioral Matchmaking™ technology
- Has a user-friendly app
- There are limited features on the free version
- Some people may prefer a more manual approach
Best for finding your soulmate
On eharmony, every Wednesday, someone finds love every 14 minutes. This is the top trusted dating app for serious relationships. The sign-up process takes 3 simple steps: profile set up, match preferences, and compatibility quiz.
eharmony is not only the most trusted dating platform, but it’s also one of the affordable. There are the 6-,12-, or 24-month plans for as low as $6.97 per month.
- There are detailed compatibility quizzes
- Has a lot of helpful conversation starters
- It has a SecureCall safety feature
- Users can’t search for matches
- The quizzes require a lot of time and thought
7. Plenty of Fish
Best for first-timers to online dating
This is one of the first online dating platforms to come out. It was founded in 2003 and it has continued to improve its services. Currently, it has more than 80 million singles from all over the world looking for casual dating, serious relationships, and every other thing.
- Has more than 80 million users
- There is a manual searching and matching technology
- Features speed-dating games and tools
- The number of profiles can be overwhelming
- Its free account includes ads
Best for companionship for seniors
OurTime is one of the best dating platforms for people over 50 years. It can be used by singles who are over 50 and are looking for other singles that are also over 50, or by younger people searching for mature partners.
- Has a large user base
- There is a helpful customer support
- Access to real-world singles events and outings
- There’s a limited matching technology
- You need to have a paid membership to send messages
Best for professionals
EliteSingles is for smart, single professionals who are looking for love. According to its official website, 85% of the users of this platform are “highly educated”, a perfect place for sapiosexuals.
It has intelligent matchmaking software that gives you 7 potential matches per day based on your location, preferences, and profile information.
- Offers boutique curated matches
- There are advanced personality tests
- Its users are united by common relationship goals
- It has a less interactive experience
- There is a smaller user base
Best for hookups
Are you looking for a quick hookup or a sexy, wild night out? Then BeNaughty is the best platform for you. BeNaughty is a dating app that lets you find single people in your area who are interested in having fun.
Although some members look for other things like friendship or a more serious relationship, most users of BeNaughty are there to have fun.
- There are video and photo sharing features
- It is free for females to respond
- Has flexible membership packages
- It not the best platform for serious relationships
- Has a smaller dating pool than most
Best for black singles
BlackPeopleMeet is the main dating site for finding single black people in your area. Regardless of the kind of relationship, you’re looking for—serious relationship, travel partner, or simple friendship, you can find it with this app.
Members can view profiles and swipe to meet people in their location. They can also flirt, chat with others, track visits to their profiles, and rate daily matches.
When you subscribe to a paid membership, you will unlock additional benefits like email accessibility, read receipts, see who is interested in you, and highlight your profile in the search area and inbox locations.
- It prioritizes people over algorithms
- It is very easy to sign up and use
- You can reach out through message, chat, or flirt
- There are limited compatibility matches
- Only paying users can communicate
Best for seniors over 50
This platform has a Five-Factor personality test that it uses in connecting matching seniors who are over 50 years old.
The personality test, which comprises more than 100 questions deserves attention to detail. This is because your answers will largely determine your suggested matches which make for a better user experience than other dating sites.
- Has smart compatibility matching tools
- It has several strong safety precautions in place
- Its users don’t need to be tech-savvy
- Has a lengthy signup process
- There’s no manual searching
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which dating apps actually work?
Every legitimate dating app works. The issue is which one is the best for you? You should note the age, interests, and locations of the users of each platform to know if it’s the right one for you.
However, if you want to have a greater chance of success, then you should focus on sites like Zook and Match.com. They offer the highest chances of finding people you can make real-life connections with.
2. What is the best dating site for serious relationships?
The majority of the dating sites allow you to select your matches based on filters like relationship goals. This makes it easier to find serious singles on any platform you choose.
However, EliteSingles has a reputation for having professionals who are in for long-term relationships. Also, Match.com has a high rate of successful marriages among its users.
3. Are paid dating sites better?
Of course, paid dating platforms are better for some reasons. One is that they have more options and features for messaging, chatting, and connecting with real people.
Secondly, with paid dating sites, the chances of meeting spammers are lower because people who would pay for such services are serious about what they want.
4. What do you need to know before choosing a dating site?
You should ask yourself these questions before you subscribe to an online dating platform:
What is the kind of relationship you’re looking for? Since some sites are more for those looking for long-term relationships while some are famous for hookups, it’s vital to decide what kind of relationship you’re looking for. This is the first step in selecting the best site for your needs.
What features do you value the most? Is your main concern having to show off your smile and personality? Would you like to scroll through the user profiles, or would you like the site to show you matches? While some sites emphasize more on photos, others have questionnaires to highlight your personality.
While some leave you to find your match, others send you matches to your inbox. When you choose how you want to showcase yourself and be introduced to the community, you have a better chance of getting the matches you like.
How much would you want to spend on a subscription? Dating sites have a price range – from the free options to about $30 per month. When you decide on the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a subscription will help you to choose the best site that suits both your budget and your preferences.
5. What types of dating sites and apps are there?
Wonderful question! There’s virtually an online dating platform for people of all genders, sexuality, religions, races, and other interests.
Below are some of the types of online dating platforms:
General dating: Most of the dating sites are under this category. These sites are for people of all ages, sexuality, and lifestyles.
Senior dating: These sites are specifically for people who are 60 years and above, or people who are looking for partners in that age range.
Lesbian, gay, and LGBTQ+ dating: These are sites for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or trans.
Christian dating: These are platforms for Christians who are looking for partners.
6. How has Covid-19 affected the dating game?
Without any doubt, the recent pandemic has made things tougher for singles, but singles have been finding ways to meet with one other.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, online dating platforms have witnessed an increase in the number of users. This is evident in the number of couples who are having romantic Zoom dates or having socially-distanced meetings in the park.
And while everyone might not have the same ideas about safety, it’s pertinent that you make your expectations known clearly so you and your date understand each other.
7. How do you avoid dating site scams?
Sadly, there are many bad eggs in the online dating world. These are helpful tips for avoiding scams or abuse:
- You should choose a dating platform with strong security measures
- A dating site that costs money is less prone to having scammers than a free one.
- You should ask to see the social media accounts of the person before agreeing to meet in person. Also, you should listen to your gut when something doesn’t feel right.
- Don’t forget that a good dating site will have means of helping you when you encounter abusive or suspicious users online.
First Date Tips
1. Be honest and clear about your intentions. You should start your relationship on the right note by being open about what you want, what you need, and your boundaries before you meet someone off a dating platform. Part of being honest is also updating your profile with recent and clear pictures of yourself.
2. Be safe. You should take precautionary measures before you meet your date in person. Request for their social media account or other proof of their identity. You should also meet in a public place, and let your friends and family know where you are going.
3. Be true to yourself. Online dating sites have shown us that a lot of singles are looking to connect. Therefore you shouldn’t try to be who you’re not. Always be yourself, communicate your needs, and if they are what your date wants, then it wasn’t meant to be. You can go back to searching for dates online with your pride, dignity, and boundaries intact.
4. Be flexible. Romance is a mystery, and it can be found in the most unexpected places. You should always reconsider before saying that someone isn’t for you just because they don’t share your interests. Yes, you may not like golf or be crazy about hiking, but if there’s chemistry, try to give it shot.
5. Be respectful. Don’t disrespect anyone. You should communicate your wants and respect people’s boundaries just like you’d like them to respect yours. You shouldn’t waste people’s time too, everyone is looking for love.
6. Stay positive. Yes, some dates are terrible, it happens. But you shouldn’t let it dampen your spirit. You should always remember that there are lots of amazing people out there, and you just need one magic date for your luck to change.
8. How much do dating sites and apps cost?
On average, the subscription for a dating site costs around $220–250 per year, which is around $20 per month.
A lot of the best dating platforms offer free sign-up of free trial periods. But if you want to access all the features and communication tools, then you have to subscribe. You should consider the features matchmaking tools, and overall quality of the sites as you review prices. And like most things, you get what you pay for.
It’s a great idea to join an online dating platform. When you put yourself out there, you won’t have to subscribe for long. And so it’s worth it, your future and happiness are at stake.
Gone are the days of blind dates and meeting random people on the street. Nowadays, dating platforms are the easiest way to find a relationship. A lot of couples have found each other through this means, so they can work for you too!
Regardless of what you’re looking for, online dating is a process and with time, it can get boring. You should try out different websites till you get one that suits your needs, and gets you the right relationship you’ve been looking for. Best of luck!