There are over 7,000 dating sites vying for your attention, according to Consumer Affairs. Yes, you read that right—seven thousand! With so much choice in the world of online dating, it can be a challenge to figure out which site is best for you.
If you’re just getting started with online dating, you probably have a ton of questions…
- Should you join a free dating site?
- Are paid sites better?
- Which are serious dating sites?
- Which apps are more casual? Which dating apps have the best tools and features for you?
It’s a lot to take on.
Luckily, we have some information for you that will help you make this important choice much less confusing. When you know how the online dating industry is structured, you can cut through a lot of this noise. Let’s get started!
Free Versus Paid Dating Sites
At first glance, you may think this is a no-brainer. Free is always better than paid, am I right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, your urge to save your hard-earned dollars might not help you in this case. Why? Because singles who pay for online dating sites are like;y to be more invested in the process of finding that someone special, not only financially, but emotionally as well.
Free dating sites can be a good starting point. However, beware that most free dating sites offer paid features for access to better features. Alternatively free dating sites may hammer you with ads and interruptions that distract you from meeting someone special.
Serious Versus Casual Dating Apps
Another factor to consider when choosing the best dating site for you is whether to go with a serious site like eHarmony, for instance, or a more casual one like Tinder. This decision will really depend on what you want to get out of the process.
If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, then it may be worth your time to answer the 80 questions eHarmony asks for its compatibility quiz.
On the other hand, if all you desire is a night of fun with an attractive guy or gal, then Tinder or a similar app known for casual hook-ups may be the place for you.
Of course, there are also fringe dating apps that cater to committed men and women looking to have an affair on the side. The bottom line?
Which dating site you settle on will largely depend on your goals for online dating. That said, it’s important to be informed on the culture of each site, so you have a general idea of what the sites users are likely to be seeking as well.
Dating Site Online Tools and Features
When choosing a dating site online, another consideration is the site’s tools and features. These aspects of a site are important not just in terms of usability, but also in terms of a platform’s privacy settings and reputation.
In today’s digital climate, online daters expect a site to be intuitive and easy to use, of course. However, they also expect that their user information will be kept private.
The Dating Industry Exposed
While there are lots of good options out there when it comes to dating sites for singles, there are also quite a few bad apples. These are the sites you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
Plus, not all dating sites are created equally. Some are the real deal, while others are simply spin-offs of sites already in existence.
In fact, while it seems like we consumers have a good amount of choice when it comes to dating apps, you may be surprised to learn that most dating sites are owned by a few big industry players.
If the sites are not owned by the big players there’s a strong chance that they are feeder or referrer sites for the big players.
The online dating game is big business, and whenever there’s profit to be made, your best interests may not be first and foremost.
Bottom line? Do your research into the company that owns your dating app of choice before you subscribe. Educate yourself on the company’s terms and conditions, particularly how they make their profit and how they handle personal information shared on the app.
Which Site Is Best for You? (Hint: One Size Does Not Fit All)
Repeat it with me—one size does not fit all when it comes to dating sites for singles. Ultimately, your decision regarding the best dating site for you will be a highly personal one.
Chin up, though. While there may be a few wrong answers here, there are also a lot of right ones. For instance, if you want the most amount of choice, do yourself a favor and choose a site with a large member base. If long-term compatibility is a must, go with a site that uses a sophisticated compatibility algorithm for matching.
One of the biggest mistakes online daters make is choosing a site because of its general popularity or based on a friend’s recommendation. This technique won’t work because dating is highly personal.
The best free online dating sites for your buddies may not be the right one for you. Before you dive into the virtual dating pool, you must do some self-reflection and think about the specific outcome you want. We cannot stress this enough.
You may be well-served to try several online dating sites, both free and paid, to see what works best for you.