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Dating sites exist for dating, an inevitable phase in adult life. It is an age-long way to connect with people and share the love and romance naturally ingrained in us while daring to explore our sexuality. With the advent of technology, the world keeps evolving, and our ways of life, including dating, are continually impacted by that in so many ways. There are lots of dating sites on the internet today, and in this article, we will be explicitly exploring the world of online dating and getting the best results from the best online dating sites.

When Was Online Dating First Launched?

In the 90s, the internet became a thing, and a few households had access to it on their computers. A lot of websites were developed and tailored for different needs. In 1994, the first online dating website was launched, and the domain name was Kiss.com, and the following year, Match.com was launched. That marked the advent of online dating, and from then on, there was an influx of dating sites all through the 21st century.

When Was Online Dating First Launched?

When Did Dating Apps On Mobile Start?

The idea of mobile dating apps surfaced once smartphones that could access the internet were launched. As of 2004, websites like Match.com and Webdate broke ground in online mobile dating. Steve Jobs and Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and that was when mobile dating started officially. In the 2010s, mobile dating went mainstream with dating services like Match.com, witnessing a significant percentage of sign-ins coming from smartphones. Online dating services have since then, made provisions for websites that are compatible with mobile phones and dating apps.

How We Discovered the Best Dating Websites and Apps

There are lots of dating websites on the internet, but figuring out the best and trustworthy ones can be a difficult task. For the sake of the article, we tested the best and most popular dating sites with the least scandals by signing up for the sites and checking out the reviews of old, long term members. We also analyzed their distinguishing features and selected the very best.

Kinds of Online Dating Sites

Dating websites are developed to help adult singles connecting with other singles without having to wait around a bar. There are general dating websites that cater to everyone’s needs regardless of race, gender, and sexuality. And there are niche dating sites that were made specifically for people of a particular group, which makes it easier for them to date within their “circle.”

The Most Famous Dating Sites

The most popular dating sites in the world are judged by the total numbers of users and the numbers of log-ins they can rake in daily, weekly, or monthly.

  • Badoo:

Badoo has been around for quite some time and boasts of about 460 million users. It is a top tier dating site, with over 60 million active users.

  • Tinder

Tinder has over 300 million users, and only a few of those are inactive profiles. It has been referenced in novels, movies, and TV shows, making it one of the most popular dating sites in the world.

  • Plenty Of Fish

Plenty of Fish launched in the early 2000s and has since amassed a staggering 150 million users with at least 4 million users logging in daily.

  • Match.com

Asides from being the oldest dating site around, match.com has the numbers to show for it, with over 95 million users and over 7.5 million premium subscribers.

  • Zoosk

Zoosk is available in 80 countries, making it an international dating site with users all over the world. The site has over 40 million users, and it is one of the most popular dating platforms for adult singles.

  • EHarmony

Eharmony is an online dating platform for users looking for long term relationships. It has over 10 million users with at least 700,000 premium subscribers.

  • OkCupid

OkCupid is known for its elite matchmaking services with free and unrestricted access. It has over 30 million users with at least 1 million users signing in every day.

Online Hookup Platforms

Online Hookup Platforms

Hookup sites are websites where thirsty singles can get laid without breaking a sweat. Below is a list of some of the best hookup sites.

  • Adult FriendFinder

This hookup site has been used by a lot of singles looking for casual sex, and it has a live video feature that allows you to get freaky on a Friday night or whenever you choose. It has an average of 25 million visitors per month, with at least half of that from the United States.

  • Tinder

Just as we mentioned earlier, Tinder has over 300 million users all around the world. It can be used for several purposes, including casual sex, regular hookups, and any other form of sexual escapades you are in the mood for.

  • Ihookup

You can already tell from the name that this is a hookup site, and it also happens to be one of the best. It manages to strike a balance between straight-up adult sites and serious dating sites in a sense that; people put some effort into their profiles. Plus, there is minimal adult content compared to other hookup sites.

  • Clover

Most people just want to get laid and leave while some others feel some sort of connection between them and their sexual partners and do not mind being friends with them. If you belong to the latter group, Clover is just the perfect hookup site for you. If you belong to the former group, it works for you too, and all you need is to make your intentions clear.

  • Pure

Pure is a hookup dating site that doesn’t leave you with the risk or burden of breaking someone’s heart. The app instructs users to act like strangers once the night is over to avoid any emotions roller coasters. Other hookup sites, you could try out include: Once, CasualX, Happn, and Down Dating. All of these sites give you the freedom to explore your sex life without any encumbrances.

Christian Dating Platforms

  • Eharmony

Eharmony is a dating site designed by a Christian man named Clark Warren, who wanted a platform where people can meet and build long-lasting relationships and marriages. It has an effective matchmaking system that ensures you find people with Christian values and godly convictions. There is also a long questionnaire which, of course, requires total honesty to get the best results and connections.

  • ChristianPeopleMeet

This one of the most exquisite Christian dating apps on the internet. It is a paid dating site, and it has one of the most stylishly designed dating apps with an effective matching feature similar to Tinder. The site allows you to record video interactions giving others the chance to see you and know how you look and talk.

  • Christian Mingle

Christian Mingle is a Christian dating site and the most significant religious dating site with over 2 million Christians logging in monthly. If you are looking for a Christian partner and you think your standards are too rare, we advise that you take your chance on this site.

  • Christian Café

Just like the name suggests, think of Christian Café as an online coffee shop where Christians get to meet, make friends, and find serious relationships. It is not a free dating website, but if you still have your doubts about the efficacy of dating sites, you could take advantage of the one-week free trial. That’s enough time to figure out if online dating is really for you.

  • Christian Crush

Most Christians, just like adherents of other faiths, prefer to date within the Christian circle, and that’s fine. Because people are growing indifferent to religion every day, it makes sense that Christian dating sites like this are developed. Christian Crush makes it very easy and fast to register, and there is a personality quiz that you can choose to fill anytime you want. The site also offers free membership with relatively decent functions, and you can choose to sign up for a premium subscription whenever you want.

Elite Dating Platforms

Elite Dating Platforms

Some people are busy at work and do not have the time to go out and meet new people. There are elite dating sites designed to meet the needs of such people, as listed below.

  • Elite Singles

As the name suggests, Elite singles is a niche dating site for career professionals, most of which already have a college degree and are looking for serious commitments. It has an elite matchmaking system based on your dating preferences and other specifications. An overwhelming majority of users on the site are looking for serious relationships, so it’s not the ideal place to be if you are looking for a booty call.

  • Match

Match.com is the longest-running dating site on the internet and has over 30 million members and a lot of success testimonies to show for it. Direct messaging on Match is a paid feature, so it makes sense that a large chunk of the members earns enviable wages. The average Match member has a college degree and is looking for a serious relationship that would last for as long as possible.

  • Luxy

Some people sign up for elite dating sites to meet rich singles to extort them. Luxy’s way of guarding against this is by building an anti-scam system to protect users from swindlers on the site for fraudulent purposes. It also requires users to go through picture verification to make sure they are actual people.

Queer Dating Websites

It’s the 21st century, and thankfully, a large part of the society has become more accepting of gay and lesbian relationships. However, given that it’s a minority group, niche dating sites have been created specifically for gay and lesbian people, and some legit ones are listed below.

  • Grindr

Grindr is probably the most popular dating app for gay singles looking for relationships and hookups. If a gay person tells you they have been dating online, they are probably using Grindr. The site allows you to see how far potential matches are from you and filter searches based on diverse categories.

  • Adam4Adam

Adam4Adam is also one of the commonest gay dating sites available on the internet. If you are looking to act on your wildest sexual fantasies as a gay man, Adam4Adam is the perfect site for that. The site also allows you to search for others using filters that range from race to favorite sexual positions or preferences.

  • GayFriendFinder

If you were to define the purpose of the site based on its name, you probably would say it is for gay people looking for actual relationships beyond sexual encounters. Well, that’s exactly what it’s like, and you get to sign up for free, after which you fill up a description box where you let others know what you want. On the site, you could get a gay friend, a friend with benefits, or a boyfriend.

  • Her

Her is a lesbian dating app that also doubles as a social networking platform for queer women. It is one of the most popular dating platforms for lesbians and helps lesbian singles find love, make friends, and find out about queer events and hangouts.

  • Scissr

Scissr is an excellent platform for LGBTQ women to find love, get laid, or meet a friend who understands your struggles as a queer woman. It is a dating app designed for lesbian, and it is available on the Android Play Store and the iOS App Store.

  • Lesly

This is an online dating platform for lesbians and one of the most trustworthy lesbian dating websites. It is a safe space for queer women to connect for reasons, including making friends, casual hookups, and serious relationships.

Free Online Dating Platforms

There is hardly any free of charge dating sites around today. Even the best free online dating sites still have some paid features for premium subscriptions. Below is a list of online dating platforms that you can enjoy for free.

  • Tinder

You can freely sign up on Tinder without any one-time charge or whatever. Tinder is one of the best free dating sites, and it allows you to view as many profiles as you want, and swiping right indicates that you like a profile. If your like is reciprocated, you can then proceed to message the person. While all of that is free, you can also pay for Tinder, which will give you access to some other premium features.

  • Match

Match is not exactly a free dating site because you have to subscribe to enjoy some of its most essential features. However, you can set up a great profile for free and search through others’ profiles, but you’ll need a subscription to send a message. Thankfully, there is a free trial option, but you have to cancel it before expiry, and otherwise, you’ll be charged.

  • Bumble

Bumble is an online dating site that requires absolutely no payment to sign up or set up a profile. Much like Tinder, you swipe right if you like a profile, and for heterosexual matches, women have to send the first message. You get to enjoy all of that for free, but there are also premium subscriptions that allow you to filter your searches based on certain specifications.

  • OkCupid

This is one of the most popular dating sites, and it offers some of its basic features to users for free. The app is also free of charge, and it allows you to like profiles. However, unless you sign up for the premium version, you won’t get to know who liked your profile, and you will not have access to the advanced search features.

  • Plenty of Fish

POF is one of the largest dating sites with an array of singles waiting to meet up and start something. Things you can do for free on the site include Registration, setting up a profile, and sending and receiving messages. However, it also has a premium version that allows users to search based on specific filters.

Mobile Dating Applications: Choosing The Best

Mobile Dating Applications: Choosing The Best

The truth is most dating apps are free to get, whether you are an Android user or an iOS user. You’ll get the best dating apps for free, but not all free apps are top-notch. It’s best not to choose a dating app solely because it’s free to download and use. Most top tier dating sites offer certain features for free, and some are only available to premium users. We just need you to know that the best dating sites are not determined by paid or free features but by the quality of services they offer.

Below is a list of the best dating sites with different pricing policies, but a common quality of these sites is efficiency. A lot of them have been mentioned and discussed before, and they include:

  • Tinder
  • OkCupid
  • Zoosk
  • EHarmony
  • Bumble
  • Match
  • Grindr
  • Elite Singles
  • Clover
  • Plenty Of Fish

How Much Do The Top Dating Websites Cost?

The best dating sites have varying costs for a premium membership. For this review, we checked the prices for a premium membership on five of the best online dating sites.

  • Match.com: Premium membership costs about $32 per month and about $18 per month for a quarterly subscription.
  • EHarmony: Eharmony costs about $60 for a monthly subscription and about $40 per month for a three-month subscription.
  • Zoosk: Premium membership on Zoosk costs about $30 per month and $20 per month for a quarterly subscription.
  • Tinder: Tinder Plus is available for $10 per month for people under 30, and for folks over 30, it costs double that.
  • OkCupid: A-list membership on OkCupid costs $10 per month.

It is important to note that elite dating sites like Elite singles cost as much as $60 per month because they are designed for career professionals and high earners.

Which Dating Sites Are Real?

There are lots of dating sites on the internet, and while some are designed to help people genuinely, some are designed for selfish purposes and to scam innocent first-time users. This is why dating site reviews are critical. Do not sign up for dating sites with bad reviews and are notorious for inefficiency and lackluster services. We assure you that every dating site mentioned and discussed in this review are actual dating sites who prioritize the protection of their users and have gained the trust of millions.

How to Be Safe When Dating Online

It is essential to be safety conscious when dating online and not get carried away by the aura and glee of it all. Below are important ways to stay safe while dating online.

Be Careful with Your Personal Information

This is one of the most famous online dating safety tips. Do not reveal your personal information like a home address and phone number on your profile or to any stranger. Even if you have been chatting for days, resist the urge to share personal information. For all you know, they might be serial killers or psychopaths, so you need to be very cautious.

Arrange to Meet in an Open Place

Whenever you and your online dating match agree to meet, please make sure you meet in an open place for your first meeting. It could be at a bar, coffee shop, restaurant or even at a park, just make sure people are around you. Do not throw caution to the wind by inviting them to your house first. Even if you are being influenced, resist the pressure.

Tell a Friend

We know it’s fun to keep your online dating life away from your friends so you can just show up with a boyfriend/girlfriend to a friends’ hangout and leave them shocked. However, we advise that you tell at least one friend whenever you decide on meeting up with your match. This is very important, and if it’s so essential to keep it from your other friends, you can swear the one friend you told to secrecy.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave

You might have high expectations for someone you’ve been dating online, and when you meet them, you are completely astounded by their behavior. We want you to know that it’s okay to leave at any point you get uncomfortable. You could make up a call or find an excuse, just do whatever makes you feel better about leaving. Also, you could just tell the person you’re uncomfortable and want to leave.

Travel to and Fro by Yourself

It is not uncommon for your online dating match to offer to pick you up at your house. We advise that you decline that politely in whatever way you can. After the meetup, they might also offer to take you home, and we think you should decline that too for your safety.

How to Have a Successful Date On Your First Try

Do Not Stalk Your Dates Online

If you do online dating and ask if online stalking is an actual thing and our answer to that is “Yes, it is.” Online stalking is checking all of your date’s social media handles to read what they post or find out who their exes are. We understand the urge to do that, but you are meeting them anyway; so, how about you just wait to meet them in person, get to know them, and ask all your questions? Also, when you do that, your date can find out. If you like any of their posts while surfing their page, they will get the notifications and eventually find out you are stalking them. That’s not a good look.

Wear Something Comfy

A lot of people put themselves under a lot of pressure to look very good for their first dates. While that’s noble, it is important to make sure whatever you are wearing is comfortable for you. You will probably sit across the table from your online dating partner, and you don’t want to keep adjusting your shoes every minute. That’s not a good look, and it could ruin your vibe for the date.

Stay Confident and Optimistic

Going for your first dates after months of surfing dating sites can get you a little nervous just like going for your first drive does. However, one way to stay confident and hopeful is by visualizing a great date where things go well. Just before going, you could say to yourself in a mirror, “I will have a successful date.” That might sound corny, but it will go a long way in boosting your confidence.

Have Frequent Laughs

This is an important online dating tip. Laughing is a great way to ease tension, and while some of us are funnier than others, everyone has it in them to tell a joke. You don’t have to force it, just throwing in some sarcasm that will result in a mutual laugh. That could impact the rest of the date.

Have A Body Language That Says You Are Open and Free

We all have body language, and while it may not always be a perfect description of our state of mind, it can impact the other person’s feelings. For instance, folding your arms and sitting too straight might imply that you are uptight and not willing to talk. Be free, make eye contact, have fist bumps when necessary; just do anything that shows your interest. That’s vital for successful online dating.

Stay Attentive

If you are going for a date, give your all to make sure it turns out successful. One way to do that is by paying attention all through the date. Don’t let your mind stray away too often that your date has to keep tapping you to get your attention. Make your time on the dating sites count.

Ask Your Questions

If you have any questions you want to ask your partner from the dating sites, ask away. If you think it’s something they might not want to talk about, still ask, and you can take it back if you notice they are unwilling to answer. It does you no good to miss the one opportunity you’ve had in weeks or months to satisfy your curiosity.

Show Your Enthusiasm

Spread good vibes only. For a successful date after surfing dating sites, put on a smile and let your enthusiasm show in your gait, movement, and speech. Just have a good time and be true to yourself and your feelings at every point.

Split The Bill Evenly

This is why it is important for you and your online dating partner to mutually agree on a place that’s comfortable for you and your budgets. Do not go to a date expecting the other person to pay no matter what they have said to you. When the waiter comes, offer your credit card, and make your intention to split the bill known.

Follow Your Date Up

There is no online dating rule that says you have to wait for three days, one week, or another person to call first. If you enjoyed the date, there is nothing wrong with calling them that night and making sure they got home safe.

How to Avoid Spams

A lot of dating sites have been infiltrated by bots who spam users with annoying messages. You can deal with that by blocking such accounts and reporting them to the customer reps. The block/report button plus great customer service is an important feature of the best dating site.

What Are The Experts Saying About Online Dating?

Dating sites are growing increasingly popular amongst adults in the U.S, and about 30% of American adults say that they have used a dating app at one point. While actual dating still happens in real life, online dating has made it easier for introverts, career professionals, and minorities to find love and get laid. The best dating sites have doubled their efficiency with the matchmaking system and advanced search features making online dating a largely profitable experience.