Gone are the days were people meet their future spouse in a pub or club, people are now turning to apps to sort their love lives out for them. Is it a good thing that we’re exposed to so many potential partners when we open up an app? Or is it a recipe for disaster and unsuccessful romances because we’re all judging people based purely (well, 99%) on their looks?
I was on Clover for quite some time, but had since forgotten it existed until I started to compile this list. It strikes me as a less-successful hybrid of OkCupid and Tinder with a relatively small user base, even though I live in an urban area with plenty of people who use a wide variety of dating apps. Clover says it has nearly 6 million users, 85 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 30.
Keeping the search results wide open: If your goal is to meet someone in the immediate future for a casual drink or get together, the best option would be mobile dating apps like Tinder, JSwipe and many others. These apps allow you to quickly find similarly minded people. On most dating sites, you can use a sort feature to see which members are currently online right now and available to talk.
Once you pick that perfect selfie and write paragraphs to sell all your best attributes to your future mate, it's time to start browsing. This is where the big differences between these apps are apparent. For instance, Tinder, with its famous hot-or-not swiping interface, makes it quick and easy to find your next date. Bumble, on the other hand, puts all the power in the woman's hands; men can't even contact a woman unless she's expressed interest first. Others, like OkCupid, have robust profiles that let you dive deep into a user's personality (or at least the one he or she has decided to present to you), before you decide to go on the pursuit.
The EliteSingles approach: With the vast majority of Tinder users aged between 18 and 30, a lot of the app’s interface is geared towards a more visual approach to pairing. If you’re looking for a more long term romantic relationship, EliteSingles’ personality test, matching algorithm and general user base might be of interest to you. Also, EliteSingles’ app sits comfortably alongside the desktop version, meaning that you can use our services in whichever way suits you best.
An investment banker, Kevin has his shit together, something I hadn't sensed from the two guys I previously went out with. We have a lot in common and conversation flows easily. I like him and I decide that if he asks me out again, I’ll say yes. I talk for the most part and am rambling and it soon hits me that I'm kind of drunk—closer to a wine-happy drunk, but teetering towards a problematic, office holiday party drunk. After an hour or so, I mention that I have to be up early tomorrow and he grabs the check.
The League operates under a similar limited match system as Coffee Meets Bagel. In fact, you may even have to wait to sign up, whether that's a few days or a few months depending on the user base available where you live. After you jump through those hoops, you're given three matches per day based on the preferences that you outline, which include proximity and age. While getting started on The League can take a while, the app’s acceptance process does ensure that the people using it are taking it seriously. The League will actually kick inactive users off after two weeks, which ensures the people you're matching with are actually using it.
POF is definitely among the best dating apps on the list. It allows you to join for free, message people for free, and engage with the app for free. However, the idea that it bills itself as a free dating app is hogwash because you definitely have to pay money for more advanced features. Anyway, this one seems to work pretty well. The interface is clean and everything is simple to use. There are some issues here and there, but nothing too drastic. It works pretty well, at least for a dating app.
You can find the Elite Singles app in the App Store and on Google Play, and you won’t have to pay anything to download it, upload your information and photos, search through profiles, receive matches via an exclusive algorithm, and communicate in certain ways (e.g., send virtual winks). In addition to the lack of cost, Elite Singles is highly respected, particularly because over 80% of its members have a higher education degree such as a bachelor’s or master’s.
InterracialCupid.com: While InterracialCupid doesn’t have the name recognition and member base of InterracialMatch.com, it is run by Cupid Media, which makes it a good site to use in my book if you run out of options at the site above. For best results, sign up for a Gold or Platinum subscription so that you can appear higher in the search results.
How does it work? Mysinglefriend.com is the brainchild of TV presenter Sarah Beeny and it works by each member on the site being put forward and described by a friend. The site aims to get rid of the ‘cringe factor’ associated with having to big yourself up through your online profile and makes it more of a fun community, where like-minded people can chat, meet and potentially fall in lurve.
I was also disappointed in the notifications, which were a tad too pushy and out of touch for my taste. CMB was constantly "gently" reminding me to message users I'd matched with and I found myself disabling the app after I received a notification from it that said, "Show [Match Name] who's boss and break the ice today!" Is it just me or is it weird to imply that a potential future relationship should have a hierarchical power dynamic? At the end of the day, I have friends who've had good matches on CMB, but it isn't my favorite app.
At events such as Lifts of Love, in Banff, Alta., for example, people are paired on ski chairs, do a few runs, après-ski together and hope there are sparks. “We’ve had amazing luck with this program,” says a spokeswoman for Mount Norquay which is hosting the event Saturday. “Last year two couples met and are still together. Most people here don’t really online date. They prefer to meet face-to-face.”
The dating app Wingman takes matchmaking into the 21st century. With this app, you can create a dating profile for your friend and tell the world how amazing they are. Along with selecting the most flattering photos of your friend, you get to write their bio. It can be hard to self-promote and this app eliminates that problem. Once you set up a profile, the app is pretty similar to Tinder; you simply swipe through user profiles to find folks you think might be compatible with your friend. Like the profile you created, those you flip through are monitored and used by the friends of the person actually going on the date. If they think it’s a match that might work, you can facilitate a conversation or a meet-up.
In Eastern Europe, popular sites offer full access to messaging and profiles, but provide additional services for pay, such as prioritizing profile position, removing advertisements, and giving paying users access to a more advanced search engine. Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options. This model also allows users to switch between free and paying status at will, with sites accepting a variety of online currencies and payment options.
Wild promises it’s “the fastest way to meet and date with hot singles nearby.” Founded in 2016, the app is available for free via iTunes and Google Play, where it has a 4.5 and 5 star rating, respectively. More than 65% of members have been verified by the Wild team that they are who they say they are, and you can filter them by their gender, age, location and distance, intention, interests, ethnicity, body type, height, and the last time they logged in.
As far as determining whether or not your matches are here for the real thing, Murzello says a picture's worth a thousand words. "Look at the photos carefully," she suggests. "Are these all half-naked photos? Maybe the person is looking for a hot hookup. Are they half drunken photos? She's probably partying and not looking for something serious." Low-quality photos or profiles without a bio are also signs that this person isn't putting much effort in, and isn't looking for something serious.
You can’t put a price on love, but you can certainly put a revenue figure on the mobile dating industry. The never-ending search for true love has helped the top dating apps generate more than $100 million in revenue so far this year, according to Newzoo’s Global App Intelligence. Tinder, the spark that set the industry alight, remains its brightest star. Having revolutionized the dating game with its now ubiquitous swiping mechanics, it’s no big surprise to see it dominate on iOS. On a global stage, however, it is under threat by Badoo, which is currently topping the charts on Android. The rise of alternative dating apps like Pure show that services with niche appeal can break the “one size fits all” approach to dating and find a viable route to market.
LatinAmericanCupid.com: This is the best site for dating Latin Americans. You will find some beautiful women (and men), particularly if you do a search around the larger cities in the U.S. such as New York. I’ve been a member of LatinAmericanCupid.com and can tell you that it is also a great site to use if you plan on venturing outside the U.S. to countries such as Peru or the Dominican Republic.
There’s also a section where you can put your prayer of the day and share it with others. You also have the ability to see who is online and who viewed your profile. There is also a gift shop if you want to buy a user a premium membership. Might be worth it if you want them to message you; hopefully they will or that gift will be wasted. Lastly, they have dating advice from the site itself and veteran members as well as testimonials from those who met on Christian Café and are still together today.
Coffee Meets Bagel does require logging in through your Facebook in order to create a profile. Once you’ve set up your profile and input your preferences, it will send you a few “bagels” a day — the profile of a potential match. You then have 24 hours to decide whether you want to “like” or “pass” on your bagel. If you like your bagel and they have also liked you, you’ll connect, meaning that you’ll be able to message one another in a private chat. That chat room expires after eight days, regardless of whether you’ve talked with your bagel or not. You can also earn “beans” that allow for extra app functions, either by purchasing them outright, recommending the app to your friends, or logging in on consecutive days.
Bringing some money to the table usually helps your odds on an online dating site, and Interracial Match has a similar approach. Signing up for the “Gold” membership level means getting access to all of the features of the app—over twenty in all. This will include advanced searching options (search by location, date of signup, etc.), live chatting, priority listing, and access to full-size pictures of other users. You can subscribe to “Gold” status for one, three, or six months—saving more as you extend your membership.
For women who know what they want out of a long-term partner, EliteSingles prides itself on its intelligent matchmaking algorithm. EliteSingles presents you matches based on your personal preferences and the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (sometimes called Emotional Stability).
It’s very quick and easy to set up and use. The profile creation is pretty standard. You add photos, age, profession, and interests, and you can also specify what you feel like doing, whether that’s taking a walk in the park, seeing a movie, or having a drink. Happn has some nifty integrations — you can use Facebook to set up your profile, hook up your Instagram account to automatically add photos, and add Spotify to see if your musical tastes align.
Specify Relationship Type. One of the best features of PlentyofFish is that it allows you to specify exactly which type of relationship you’re looking for, from a hookup, to friends, to casual dating, to a long-term relationship, to marriage. The site matches you up based on a variety of factors, such as location, interests, and even your browsing history – this means that if you input that you are looking for someone in his or her 40s, but are browsing people in their 20s, both will show up as matches for you.
Past research about online dating has included both quantitative and qualitative work that addresses the theme of gender norms online. One revealing quantitative study by Hitsch, Hortaçsu, and Ariely (2005) tracked the online activity of 23,000 users on a U.S. dating site and found that they reproduced recognizably gendered patterns of selection, both in self-presentation and in the traits sought in a partner (such as height, weight, and income).
I created this post as a guide to help you find the best online dating site for you. I’ve done online dating extensively in the United States, read a ton of reviews, and listened to the experiences of friends who have tried out the various sites below. As I mention in my online dating e-book, when I started out, I had no clue what I was doing, and my money was going down the drain each month with no results (or girlfriend) to show for it. I realized over time that I was signing up for the wrong sites and, therefore, was not putting myself in the best position to succeed. Live and learn!
If you’re ready to communicate on BlackPeopleMeet, the process is relatively simple—though it may cost you. The site offers both messaging and chat options, but you cannot engage in this communication with a free account. You are free to view profiles, and even send “Flirts” (letting someone know you’re interested), but you cannot message or chat without upgrading to a paid account. This may be a downside to users looking for free access to a dating site.