If all of your friends are tying the knot, and you don't have somebody to go out with Saturday night, you might feel like you've missed the relationship bus. Don't worry—there are many ways you could still encounter love, including online dating. It may seem a little weird at first, but what's the harm in putting yourself out there? You might even have fun in the process.
When it comes to assembling your profile and selecting the right dating site, it can be challenging. Different dating sites are designed with different audiences in mind, so it's first important to decide what your goal is: Do you want to meet someone to hook up with? Are you trying to lock down a forever kind of love?
We've done some searching and have found 10 dating sites to actually help you meet someone online. Along with information about each one, we've included links to full, in-depth and unbiased reviews, to help you on your path to love.
A mix of social networking, compatibility-testing, and online dating, OkCupid is an unusual free dating site in that it allows its members to create the matching questions already pre-determined at sites like eHarmony or Chemistry. Additionally, users can contact anyone on the system—unlike the two online dating sites mentioned previously—whether or not you are matched well as an Enemy, Friend or Partner.
A unique compatibility matching system takes 29 different personality variables and determines who you are most suitable to date.
Unlike most other dating sites, eHarmony only allows users to contact those the system has determined to be highly compatible, and sometimes this process can take weeks —even months—to receive enough of a sample size to pay the higher-than-normal fee.
Out of the top online dating sites, Lavalife is the most versatile of the bunch, allowing users to join under a variety of different dating personas that can be connected or kept separate at the users' choice (Dating, Relationships, and Intimate Encounters). As well, a bevy of services are available to paying users not found on the other major sites (video chat for one), and the site boasts more users in Canada than any other dating site in the world.
A review of the top dating sites would be odd if it lacked Plenty of Fish, as it is considered to be the first successful free dating site model on the Internet.
The amount of people using this feature-rich site (which includes heavily-trafficked forums, compatibility questionnaires and the very popular Who's Seen Me button) is astronomical in its sheer ability to connect with users around the globe looking for friendship, love, and anything else in between.
Match.com consistently ranks as one of the largest dating sites in the world at Hitwise and other statistic-gathering websites—which means more users to be matched up within your area. With Match.com also claiming that over 250,000 people a year find a partner through the site, it's definitely a dating site worth looking into.
Many of the dating site lists posted by the top research companies (Hitwise, Comscore) tout SinglesNet as one of the biggest, most trafficked dating sites on the internet today.
Although it may have a lot of search traffic, many have not enjoyed their experiences on the site. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be listed here, as it is technically a 'top' site, but there are much better choices when it comes to online dating.
Coffee Meets Bagel is designed for people looking for deeper relationships. It operates through using your Facebook data, so you'll likely have mutual friends with your match.
The app has a majority female user base, and is user friendly in its tutorials. Similar to other apps, women have the upper hand in Coffee Meets Bagel, and can decide to start conversations with men who have liked them.
If you've heard the phrase "swipe right," the person you're listening to is talking about Tinder, a dating app that allows users to swipe right to like and swipe left to dislike potential matches. When two people swipe right on each other, they can start chatting.
Tinder has been called "the dating app for men" and can be casual-sex focused.
Hinge is a dating app that uses connections from your Facebook friends list to form matches. The app claims it's "the relationship app," not a hookup app, like many of its competitors, and that it's "designed to be deleted," meaning it's aiming for a long term love.
While many of the comments for Hinge are positive, some users mention seeing many of the same people on the app as on other apps, and that they don't like being asked to eventually pay the monthly membership fee.
Considered the "feminist dating app," Bumble is designed for females to make the first contact in heterosexual matches. In same-sex matches, either party can message the other first. The app is location based, so you can find interested users in your area.
Drawbacks to Bumble include the fact it is app-only, so you won't have desktop access. Men using the app have reported fewer matches, which could be connected to the fact women are less likely to click "like" on a dating site than men, and women drive the conversation on Bumble.