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The Best Dating Sites

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Before online dating came to be a mainstream thing, matches were made via classical methods. You either link up with someone through a friend or walk up to the person you like yourself (if you found one and you’re bold enough). The rigors of finding an ideal partner make traditional matchmaking systems undesirable; they fail to meet the 21st-century dating demands. Hence, the launch of the best dating sites.

But, here’s the scary part; so many online dating sites are packed full of fake profiles and scammers. Some others are not so legit for the kind of experience you’re expecting to have. Seriously, how do you know which site serves you better and which puts you at risk?

The best dating sites cater to the needs of singles who are searching for dates. Apart from catching sight of someone to hook up with, you get to meet persons that fit who you’re looking for exactly, without stress.

If you’re dating online for the first time, you’d probably need to know the site that works well, with no plunge of being scammed. Here’s your luck! Sites like Match.com, eharmony, OkCupid, elites singles, PlentyPlenty of fish, and Zoosk are the best of the bunch.

You can read through our review to find out more about the best dating sites for particular niches.

When was Online Dating Introduced?

Are you wondering if online dating is one of the relatively new tech innovations? It’s not! The system has been around since 1959, even though it was not as popular and advanced as it is now.

Two Stanford students, Jim Harvey and Phil Fialer were the big brains behind how online dating started. They set out while working on a computing machines project, by matching their classmates with a punch card questionnaire and Stanford’s IBM 650 mainframe computer.

Six years later, a similar matching system was used for the first computerized dating service that fostered online dating.

When Was Mobile Dating App Introduced?

When Was Mobile Dating App Introduced?

The first mobile dating apps came in 2003 through Proxi dating and Lavilife. Before then, the website platforms were much active, and daters could make matches on the site. Be that as it may, online dating took a new shape when mobile app versions were introduced (though not all dating websites have yet).

With the launch of the iPhone in 2003 came a massive increase in the use of dating apps. The majority of online daters preferred app versions to on-site features because they turned out to be more accessible.

Tinder and Hinge started their mobile app in 2012, around the same time with OkCupid and Coffee meets Bagel. They changed the tide of online dating completely and made matchmaking more interesting. Tinder alone has more than 40 million successful matches all over the world.

How We Found the Best Dating Sites and Dating Apps

For beginners, choosing from among the myriad of sites that there might be a bit overwhelming. They are unsure of which site to use, but they also may not know which is legit and which is not.

On this wise, we’ve thought it right to check up reviews online for the best of the best sites for every niche. It’ll help singles find what they are looking for exactly.

Our preference for dating sites and apps is based on an overall perspective. In other words, we consider several factors in picking the best sites for daters.

Much more than being popular, the sites are go-to platforms for any kind of relationship and arrangement.

Whether you are single or married, gay or straight, young or old, there’s a site for you.

Types of Online Dating Websites

Online dating sites are all over the place. There’s at least one site, or two, for every niche. If you want a sugar daddy or sugar mommy, you’ll find a site, if you’re looking for serious, faith-centered relationships, you’ll find another, and if all you need is someone to bang, there’s a site for you.

As of now, dating sites are classified into five types – hookup, elite, free, gay/ lesbian, and Christian dating sites.

It only makes sense that daters go for dating sites that are more popular on the internet. You might ask, ‘what has popularity got to do with exclusive matchmaking?’ Well, the truth is, most people prefer what gives them the exact thing they want. The most popular sites can best be taken to be the most trusted since they probably have the largest member base.

Tinder, for instance, has more than 300 million members. There’s hardly any online dating pro that will not be familiar with the site; it serves singles and daters better than most other sites or apps.

Next is an Adult friend finder. As a site for all-time sexual encounters, it has over 100 million users worldwide. There’s also BumBle, having about 80 million singles looking to find dates.

Hookup Sites

Hookup sites are for those who wish to have sex with no ifs and or buts. There’s no space for long-term commitments or any serious stuff, just casual connections.

There are not many sites under this category since the bulk of daters are looking for companionship or love. With a site like BeNaughty, you can find someone to hook up with no strings. It offers free messaging and an advanced search filter for instant matchmaking.

In case you prefer mobile dating apps, you can check out ‘Down.’ The app is one of the best for horny singles looking for real sex.

Christian Dating Sites

Not everyone is interested in fluky, short-term online connections. Some daters are honestly looking for serious relationships that will end in marriage. The good news is, there’s a site for such chemistry. Christian dating sites offer God-centered dating services, much more than matching singles for friendship or fun.

With a site like Christian mingle, faith-based online matchmaking is made a no-brainer. Since 2001, the platform has been converting daters to married couples. Up to 30% of Christian marriages were inspired by Christian mingle in 2015.

There are also other sites you could try out for Christian relationships, like eHarmony, love and seek, Christian people meet, etc.

Elite Dating Sites

Most professionals who are probably too busy to look for dates will prefer dating sites that meet their specific demands. It is easier for elites to meet up people with similar goals and passion on sites made particularly for them.

If you are a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer, you might want to opt for elite dating sites to connect with fellow elites.

For educated people who would rather date online, elite singles are the best. The site has over 80% high-class persons who are college graduates. Finding someone who can roll at your level and relate with your dreams is easy as pie.

As alternatives, you can check out match.com, Zoosk, or coffee meets Bagel.

Elite Dating Sites

Gay and Lesbian Dating Sites

There are dating sites that cater to people who are gay or lesbians. Those who are interested in same-sex connections can find any of these sites helpful. If you are a man looking for a man, or a woman looking for a woman, the best site for you is PlentyPlenty of fish. It has more than 11 million members, with over 100 million website visits every month.

Other sites to look at are Bicupid, my transsexual date, Grandr, and so on. Note that these platforms do not accommodate any person below 18 years old.

Free Dating Sites

Almost every dating site allows free services in addition to their paid features. In most cases, registration and profile set up come at no cost, but you cannot send or receive messages without an account upgrade.

Even so, some sites are 100% free. The only payment you are likely to make is for your mobile data (and it is not to the site). Instead of paying for premium subscriptions to use messaging features, free dating sites allow unlimited access to every service.

The best free dating sites are OkCupid, Zoosk, and PlentyPlenty of fish. They provide safety measures side by side free services to prevent fakes and scammers from ravaging the platforms.

Dating Apps: Free vs. Best Apps

Dating apps are more preferred for online dating because they make chatting easy. With mobile apps, you can access your profile briskly without having to log in and out. All you do is open the app, make swipes, and hit buttons. Then, you are good at matchmaking.

But, honestly, choosing between free and best apps can sometimes be daunting. While some would rather go for the entirely free, others may prefer the best for their search. Preference depends largely on what you are looking for and what you expect to find. A college girl who’s badly in need of a sugar daddy may consider free dating apps to be the best resort.

Apps like Tingle, down, and PlentyPlenty of fish are completely free. You don’t need your credit card for anything. From registration to messaging, there’s no requirement for premium subscriptions.

The best dating apps, on the other hand, are the ones with stellar matchmaking services. Most of them include add-on features for users to enjoy. As if that’s not enough, many of the apps’ functionalities can be accessed free of charge. Some of the best dating apps are a match, elite singles, and Zoosk.

To compare both, we’d say the best dating apps are more fitting. Free dating apps are open; the chances are high that they’ll accommodate more fake profiles than others since anyone can sign up for an account.

How Much do the Best Dating Sites Cost?

Most dating sites allow free access to some major features. Though, you may have to opt for premium or gold subscriptions to enjoy full use if it’s not an entirely free dating site. The best dating sites are fairly affordable— subscriptions are offered at discounted prices.

For Match, one of the leading sites in the US, the cost is $42 for one month. If you’re using the six-month plan, you will part with just $144, at an average of $24 per month. eharmony costs $60 for one month and $240 total for the six months bundle, at an average of $40 per month.

Which Dating Sites are Legit?

Online daters are mostly concerned about which site is legit and which is not. The reason for this is that you really cannot get the best out of online dating with fake sites. At most, you’d get initial good stuff and then, boom! The worst happens – you either get scammed or nearly scammed.

The majority of the best dating sites in the United States are legit. They serve different purposes for different users. Sites like Match, Silver singles, PlentyPlenty of fish, and eharmony are tested and trusted for quality matchmaking.

How to Stay Safe When Online Dating

Staying safe when dating online is as important as dating itself, even much more. While all sites owe it to users to keep them out of harm’s way, the users to are expected to take necessary cautions when navigating the site. Not every site takes responsibility for members’ safety. As such, some expressly disclaim liability for security hazards and interrupted access. Technically, members bear the sole risk of use.

UK’s relationship expert, Verity Hogan, gave five tips to follow for safety when dating online. We’ve reviewed them below:

Be Cautious With Your Personal Information

Usually, daters are required to share some personal info when signing up for membership. Details like name, age, location, and gender are necessary to help users find matches on dating sites. There’s no way you can do online searches without a clue of who or what you are looking for.

Nonetheless, there’s a limit to the information you can put up on your profile. For safety purposes, details like your date of birth and financial status are not needed. Once a member begins to ask for more sensitive information about you, you should draw back. It is either you block them completely or report for the site’s help. There’s a need to verify a person’s authenticity and get to know them better before disclosing anything personally.

Arrange to Meet in a Public Place

First date excitements are real, and normal too. One time, you feel on top of the world, another time you’re engulfed in mushy sensations. Pretty OK! But, whatever your feelings, don’t try visiting your date in their home, especially if you are meeting for the first time. There’s no harm in meeting at public places. Arrange to meet in a restaurant or a coffee shop; you could also meet in parks and sporting events just anywhere public.

Since you’ve barely known much about each other, it is safe to keep a reasonable guard until you have spent more time together, enough to know them better.

Tell a Friend

Yes, a friend should know about your meeting with a date. If you don’t have any (quite bizarre though), tell a relative, a cousin, a brother or anybody! The baseline is, a third party has to know who you are meeting with, where you’re meeting, and when you’re meeting.

Also, you could ask someone to keep tabs on you for the period you’ll be out. Intermittent phone calls will not be bad too. If you’re using an iPhone, share your location with others ‘Find my friends.’ Your safety first, before all else.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave

Once you no longer feel comfortable chatting with a person or connecting with them at all, walk away. There’s no harm in excusing yourself from what makes you feel ill at ease or what puts you at risk. Whether you’ve enjoyed a meal with them or you’ve taken some benefits from them, what matters is that you are safe. Follow your gut when you need to; some evils do not appear as such. Remaining there might cost you more than you thought, just leave.

Travel There and Back by Yourself

While you must inform someone of your whereabouts or go with a friend, you should always travel to date and back by yourself. You don’t have to be at your partner or whoever’s mercy. If they offer to pick you up, decline honorably.

How you get to the venue and how you return should be subject to your discretion. Your date does not have to decide when you leave too. If there’s a need to take a break or say goodbye, don’t hesitate. Remember to be assertive and decisive too. You may be at risk if the other party keeps making all decisions.

How to Have a Successful First Date

If you want your first date experience to be breathtaking, you’d have to put in more effort. Apart from the fact that your partner has to be very interesting to hang out with, he has to be much less of a miser. You need fun partners who would not mind footing the bill to have a mind-blowing first date.

For the most part, verity Hogan’s ten first date tips come in handy for those looking to have booming hangouts.

Avoid Social Media Stalking

When you figure out a thing about someone for the first time, it’d most likely stick more than what you are made to realize later on. The point here is, stalking your date on social media goes a long way in feeding you wrong (or, maybe, partly false) impressions about them. Before meeting one-on-one, avoid checking up your date’s social media accounts to find God-knows-what. You might be tempted to form judgments about their personality that run counter to what they truly stand for.

If you are going to know the real person you’re out with, get to meet them in person and ask questions or, better still, keep a close watch over them.

Choose Comfort

On your first date, you’re more likely to feel fired up. All that would probably matter to you is how to impress your date and make the experience a hit. Not bad! But, try not to go overboard with your moves and strategies.

Plus, you should bother less about showing off. Once you begin to lose comfort, you might mess up the entire thing. Impressing your date at the expense of your ease is not good enough. The first dates are simply to meetups, know each other, talk for a while, and have fun. You shouldn’t take it as a chance to make a spectacle of yourself. Your comfort means something.

Try Confidence Exercises

It is natural to have funny feelings while on a date for the first time. Flowing in real-life conversations has to be more nerve-racking than sending text messages. While you may have the mind to type anything online, the first-timer syndrome makes face-to-face interactions quite overwhelming.

Regardless, you’d make headlines with your first-date experience if you give it your best shot and try out confidence exercises to boost your morale. To do this, create an imaginary scene of what you’d like your first date to be and picture yourself making a hit, or stand in front of a mirror to act like you are before your date. It may feel odd, but it works.

Have a Laugh

If you’d get your feet wet for a successful first date, you should laugh more often. When you laugh, you become relaxed and refreshed to a greater extent. Laughter helps you markdown stress and build more energy to remain fixated.

Keep in mind that unnecessary smirks are a major turn off. You do not have to tell baby jokes or make fun of serious discussions. Simply find a thing or two. You can talk about how to liven up the atmosphere and keep it cool.

Use Open Body Language

Do you know that your body language communicates as well as your natural human language? Well, in case you didn’t, now you do. On your first date, it is honorable to mind how you move and position your body. They convey impressions and attitudes much more than words.

Closed body languages are no good to first meetups, honestly. If you have your hands on the chin, for example, it’d most likely mean that you’re bored or uninterested in the other person. Worse still, folded arms or crossed legs are possible indicators of block-offs too. They may also imply that you’re no longer into the discussion. Instead, use open body language and maintain eye content to show that you’re still interested.

Pay Attention

There’s almost nothing more upsetting than speaking to someone who keeps giving his attention to other things. The worst part is, you might have to keep saying the same things all over. It only makes sense that your date has your undivided concentration, looking here and there (especially while they’re speaking) may not be good enough. Participate fully in every conversation, give responses when you have to and, save checking your phone till you’re done.

Ask Questions

Honestly, some questions are better not asked at first dates. Even so, you should engage your partner by making relevant inquiries. Asking essential questions like what your date does, where they’re based, and what perks them up will go a long way in showing that you’re interested in the meeting. You also get to know your partner better by interrogating them.

First dates give the chance to find out more about the person you’re matching with, beyond what you already know. Ask about their goals and ambitions, their successes and failures, and, maybe, their likes and dislikes. You can also bring up talks on nature, entertainment, or sports, just to keep the ball rolling.

Be Positive

Staying positive creates sure vibes for first dates. It helps you make the experience worthwhile. Yes, you determine how your date turns out, to a large extent. Smile more often, say nice things, and cheer your partner up.

Split the Bill

Often, the person who initiates the date offers to settle the account of charges. Not bad. But, you wish to make a hit of your first meeting, split the bill.

Splitting the bill means you allow your partner to pay part of the expenses incurred while you take care of the other part. However, rather than arguing over who settles the bill, it is good to give your partner to pay the bill if he insists on paying.

Follow Up

The best thing to do after a first date is to give feedback or something to show that you appreciate your partner. Following up is a way of keeping in touch, you get to know how the other person feels about your initial meetup and what they think you should do better.

Waiting for too long after meeting for the first time before reaching out to your date is quite improper. It would either mean that you care less about the whole thing or not feel the chemistry. There’s no harm in sending a ‘thank you’ text message or giving a ‘what’s up’ call.

Spam and Bots

It’s not rare to find bots on dating sites because it’s a strategy used to lure users into paying for an upgraded account. The attractive faces on the profile could be deceptive. Watch out for fake profiles claiming you need an upgrade to start a conversation.

Be cautious of spambots while using an online dating site, you don’t want to end up paying to realize you got tricked.

What the Experts Say About Dating Sites

According to experts, 30% of adults in the US are found to have used an online dating site or app. Online dating is gradually replacing the conventional matchmaking system, making it easier for singles to find dates and enjoy companionship. For all that, best dating sites users claimed they had more positive experiences than negative ones. Based on research, younger women had more negative comments than positive ones. Daters are generally put at the risk of scam and double-dealing. One undisputed fact remains that online dating requires more security measures.