For those looking for love—whether it be your soulmate or casual dating with the potential to turn into something more—it may feel like serious relationships are happening all around you. However, if you look a bit closer, not all of these relationships (from hookups to first dates) have the epic meet-cute that many singles are waiting on.
Instead, they come from people taking destiny into their own hands and checking out a dating app or online dating website while on the search for a fulfilling long-term relationship. However, not everyone is instantly interested in going that route and are hesitant about online dating sites. But this can open you up to a new number of potential matches which can be a refreshing change—especially after the pandemic, which made the dating pool feel even smaller.
Although I happen to be a success story (thank you OkCupid!), online dating isn't for everyone. However, I highly encourage you to consider it if you are interested in getting outside of your comfort zone and meeting new people.
How To Use a Dating App or Online Dating Site
Although each dating website or application is different, with different success rates depending on what you are looking for, the process of getting started is typically similar:
- Decide whether you want to go with a paid dating site or one that has a free version and then complete their sign-up process.
- Log in and create a dating profile. Within this process you can upload photos (often times it can link to your social media account to let you pick favorite pictures and help streamline the process).
- Fill out some version of a personality test. Whether it's asking a few simple questions about your basic preferences or a long questionnaire based on your personality traits, it then uses an algorithm based on your answers to find potential matches based on compatibility.
- Get swiping (or scrolling!). Once you get all set up on the dating service of your choice and go through their matching system, you'll be able to check out all of the daters that have potential to be your perfect match. Then, it's up to you if you decide you want to make the first move and send the first message or wait and see what happens.
- Be careful. Whether you use these top dating sites just for messaging or seem to click with a potential partner and decide to meet in real life, you need to be cautious. Within any dating app's user base, you're bound to come across fake profiles that range from "stretching" the truth when representing themselves to complete cat fishes and scam artists.
- Enjoy compatible matches. You don't have to be a commercial-worthy success story with the first person you come across but hopefully you use the experience to meet people, learn about yourself and others, enjoy new experiences and enjoy a first date.
The Best Dating Sites to Consider
With so many options for both for desktop and mobile phones, we've compiled a list of some of the best dating apps and top dating sites to help you get matchmaking.
According to eharmony's website, over two million users have found love on this dating site with 51 percent men and 49 percent women. Eharmony's matchmaking is based on "32 Dimensions" compatibility model and in addition to messaging, it now also offers premium members the ability to go on video dates.
Once known for one-night stands and casual hookups, this online dating app based on location has developed into a robust network of people looking for everything from casual dating to long-term relationships. Although Tinder has a basic free version, there are three subscription tiers for this app that is all about swiping.
First launching in 1995, this online dating website was a leader in the industry along with eharmony and still see hundreds of thousands of new success stories, according to its website. Serving singles in 24 countries, Match.com is targeted to those looking for long-term relationships and has communities broken down across a range of categories from LGBTQ to Senior as well as Jewish and Christian dating and has a monthly subscription fee.
This dating app and site allows users to sign up for free and then has them fill out a range of multiple choice questions to help filter potential matches. According to its website, this algorithm works with an average 50,000 dates made every week and over 91 million connections made each year.
This dating app also utilizes the swipe for matchmaking, however unlike other traditional dating sites, Bumble has expanded into other categories including Bumble Bizz for career opportunities and Bumble BFF for those who have recently moved or are just looking to expand their social circles.
According to its website, this LGBTQIA+-focused, location-based dating app is "the world's largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people." In addition to having millions of daily users looking for first dates and hookups, Grindr's website shares how the app has expanded into other platforms including social issues and original content.
Like eharmony, Hinge is another option for those looking to meet his or her soulmate. This mobile app utilizes Nobel-Prize winning algorithm, and according to its website, is a dating app that was "designed to be deleted."
Plenty of Fish
Popular primarily in Canada, this online dating service gives users multiple ways to connect with and meet people within its user base. This app also allows users to both view matches and also communicate with them for free.
Coffee Meets Bagel
This dating app takes the endless swiping out of the experience and instead sends you 10-12 top picks of the most compatible potential matches daily to encourage high-quality chatting.
For 20 years, this is a dating service has helped Jewish singles looking to connect with others who have a similar religious background. While you can use JDate for free, it's best to pay for a monthly membership to get the most out of the app's features.
Also a faith-based online dating service with both free version and subscription options, this website is dedicated to connecting singles who share Christian values.