There were 44.2 million users of online dating services in the United States in 2020. And estimates show that the number of users in the segments surveyed will increase to 53.3 million by 2025.
Still going strong since 1995, the online dating industry shows no signs of slowing down.
The love of your life could be sitting just a few fiber optic cables away from you. Set-ups may be a thing of the past as swiping to find your soul mate takes over.
So what motivates people to try online dating? Sure, social restrictions due to the pandemic have made it much more challenging to meet people. However, online dating was popular even before current events.
It is not fear of becoming a cat lady or skepticism of chance encounters driving people to find love online. Instead, it is the trust in algorithms to find the right match that is the driving force.
A study by Stanford University in 2017 reported that 39 percent of heterosexual couples met online compared to 22 percent in 2009, confirming that people are perfectly pleased with having technology play matchmaker over family and friends.
Finding the Best Dating Websites and Apps
It is tough to gauge the best dating websites when over 1500 websites and apps are on the market. Many reviews are online, but many of those reviews are sponsored, so the writers receive compensation for endorsing the dating site.
So we compiled a list of the best dating websites, in no particular order, based on reviews by websites that we felt were unbiased and were not labeled as sponsored.
The Best Sites for Online Dating
Zoosk, available both online and as a mobile app, has over 35 million members worldwide and boasts its dating platform across 80 countries. The site also translates into 25 different languages.
Zoosk allows you to create a profile and take a look at other users in your area for free. However, it would help to become a paid member to connect and converse with someone.
Zoosk employs a photo verification tool to help prevent catfishing by putting up fake photos. The program prompts users to record videos of themselves from multiple angles. Zoosk then compares the video to the picture and decides whether to approve it or not.
Another technology the company uses is Behavioral Matchmaking. This technology pairs users based on their actual real-time on-site behavior and preferences. For example, if you say no to a few people because they are smokers, the site will stop matching you with a smoker again.
These advanced technologies have helped propel Zoosk to a significant user base worldwide.
Launched in 1995, Match.com is a pioneer in the online dating industry. In the first quarter of 2021, Match.com had approximately 11 million subscribers.
Once you complete your profile, Match.com compares likes and dislikes and assigns matches based on a percentage of having similar goals and priorities. Then, like the Zoosk algorithm, every time a user skips or accepts a profile, this data is analyzed and further refined to find better matches.
One of the unique features of this dating site is that you can create and attend Match Events. In addition, it allows paid users to participate in events near their location to meet and socialize with other subscribers from the area.
Match.com is one of the most established services, and if you cannot find a match in the first six months of subscribing, you can request a refund.
Eharmony is another original member of the online dating industry and has 29 million members in just the U.S.
Eharmony offers free memberships, allowing users to create a profile, complete the compatibility quiz and receive matches. Users can view their matches but must pay the monthly fee to communicate with them.
Eharmony also takes the results of the compatibility quiz and, with further analysis, creates a report called the Personality Profile. This report summarizes all the information and provides insights, helpful tips, and advice to help subscribers find a suitable partner.
Matches are regularly updated as new subscribers join the service.
With over 2 million active monthly users, this dating website claims to have a subscriber base of mostly educated professionals. Although some may be skeptical, the cost of their premium memberships is high enough that only successful people looking for a serious relationship are likely to subscribe.
Like many other dating sites, Elite Singles requires users to complete a personality test. However, Elite Singles boasts their test is based on the psychological theory of personality and evaluates users across five domains: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Its intelligent profiling system can send users 3-7 compatible matches per day. You can also receive helpful advice and expert tips about relationships from their Elite Singles magazine.
This faith-based dating site has over 2 million monthly users and has grown to over 10 million members since it started in 2001.
Other than typical questions asked in profiles such as age and location, this site also asks for information such as lifestyle habits and branches of Christianity practiced to help refine matches.
A unique feature of this site is that you can respond to messages if a paid member sends you one during your free trial period. Generally, being able to communicate requires a paid upgrade.
This dating website caters to single men and women age 50 and older and has over 800,000 monthly users worldwide.
Like other dating sites, once you complete the personality test and set up a profile, the algorithm helps determine and send daily matches based on personality traits and search criteria. Silver Singles also uses the same 5 Factor, science-backed personality test as Elite Singles.
Free membership is available but quite limited as it does not allow users to view photos unless they have a paid membership.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish is one of the largest online dating companies, available in 11 different languages and more than 20 other countries.
With 4 million daily users, Plenty of Fish is powered by IBM so that customers can navigate through the site at high speed and have a great user experience.
One of the unique features of this site is that it made lemonade out of social distancing and created a live streaming feature, encouraging members to date from a distance. In addition, live stream members can also play a dating game similar to speed dating.
Plenty of Fish has a large user base, so there are more opportunities to find a match but expect more competition.
Tinder is another powerhouse dating site that has 60 million monthly active users. Tinder started as an app but has a web version as well. On mobile, a user would swipe right to like a profile. A user drags a prospective match's card to the right or the left for the desktop version instead.
Since users are to judge a profile immediately by its image, choosing to swipe to show interest, Tinder is known first to match couples based on physical appearance. In addition, swiping is an anonymous action, so users will not be informed that there wasn't mutual interest.
To create an account on Tinder, you also need to have a Facebook account.
Bumble has over 100 million users worldwide and mimics the swipe left or swipe right format Tinder is famous for. However, with Bumble, women have more control in that a man cannot message a woman unless she likes the profile first. Allowing women to express interest first may also save them from receiving many unsolicited messages.
Another positive feature of Bumble is the identity verification system. Bumble requires you to take a photo within the app to match your facial features to your pictures which helps prevent catfishing.
In case you have met your match, Bumble also has a unique feature in that it allows you to search for friends and business connections.
Ok Cupid had approximately 50 million users in 2020. To begin the matchmaking journey, users of this site fill out a series of questions. The answers to these questions help contribute to match percentage with prospective matches.
You can elect to skip or answer any questions you choose but must reply to at least 15. According to OK Cupid, the average user answers at least 50 questions.
The questions act as a filtering system, so the more you answer, the better your matches will be.
Ok Cupid gives the option of the Tinder or Bumble format by swiping right or left, or you can browse matches by scrolling through different profiles.
This site requires a mutual-like swipe to the right before two people can talk to each other.
There is no shortage of dating websites to try finding love. The best part is that many sites allow you to sign up and check out profiles before committing to a monthly subscription.
So go ahead, log on and let technology set you up on your next date.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
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