More than ever before, single people are looking to dating websites and apps to find love or companionship. But online dating isn’t just about going online and finding the person that matches your requirements. You have to make judgments based off of short bios, a few photos and sometimes deal with the awkwardness of texting a stranger only to be ghosted.
Additionally, the sheer number of dating platforms and users can make the process seem daunting, especially if you’re a newbie. We’ve trawled the web for you and picked the best dating websites and apps that will make the experience feel manageable for you.
Best For: Career-oriented professionals looking for long-term relationships
Elite Singles is the best dating app for professionals seeking long-term partners. The app is positioned as a place for educated and wealthy singles, but you won’t get the boot if you make below six figures. Once you enter your job, education level and salary, the app will match you with other successful people.
A comprehensive personality test is included that takes into account your personality, looks, what you want in a partner and whether you want kids or not. This way, the app will match you based on your compatibility and offer you a prospective perfect date.
Elite Singles vets its users so you’re sure to find someone real and viable. Most users are between 30 and 55 years old, have a degree, and approved photos, which you can browse through in the separate gallery tab.
You need to subscribe to use the service, start sending messages to your matches, see their pictures and leave comments.
Best for: Singles looking to meet other like-minded Christians
If you’re struggling to meet someone through your congregation, Christian Mingle is one of the best dating websites for Christians that will help you find someone who shares your values and belief system.
Christian Mingle has the largest number of Christians seeking other Christians for a meaningful and long-term relationship. To get suitable date suggestions, you’ll have to take a test and the app will pair you with prospective dates whose spiritual and religious value systems resemble yours.
Unlike Elite Singles, there’s no real way for profiles to be vetted on Christian Mingles. Plus, any changes you make to your profile must be approved before they’re effected, which can take a few days.
To use Christian Mingle, you’ll pay $50 per month, which may be considered too expensive for some. But if you’re serious about finding a fellow Christian, you’d be remiss not to try it out.
Best for: Singles looking to meet other singles over 50
Senior singles looking for love or for a meaningful connection will find Match.com to be one of the best dating websites for people over 50.
The site has different groups namely, divorcees, single parents, Christians and other senior singles. Senior Singles allows you to sort out matches using filters like age, city or the group you want to join.
Match has an easy-to-use interface, advanced matching facility and detail-rich profiles.
The site is free to use if you just want to browse through, but you can upgrade to a paid subscription if you want to actually send and receive messages from potential partners who meet your criteria. You also get online dating advice and opportunities to attend singles events to meet other senior singles near you.
Best for: Anyone looking to get started with online dating
If you haven’t tried online dating before, Plenty of Fish is a great starting point. The platform has millions of users from across the globe and is popular in the US and many other countries.
While Plenty of Fish is known for being one of the best dating websites for single moms, it doesn’t solely cater to this demographic.
To use the site, you’ll need to take a Relationship Chemistry Predictor test that measures different factors including self-confidence, openness, self-control and family orientation.
You can also use the interests field to enter your search parameters and find potential partners who you find most compatible.
Best for: Females who prefer to make the first move in a relationship
Bumble is a dating service which requires women to make the first move once there’s a match, and gives you only 24 hours to send a message before the match expires.
Bumble not only redresses the gender imbalance of dating apps, but it’s also inclusive in the way that prompts women to share their identity. It’s no wonder Bumble is usually listed as one of the best dating websites for women of color.
Once you find someone you’re interested in, you can initiate the conversation and then go on a video date to know them before you meet. If you’re not sure what to do on your virtual date, try some of our favorite virtual date games for a great time together.
You can invest in a Bumble Boost membership to see users who like you and extend match-reply-time by 24 hours. You can also buy a Bumble Premium subscription and access advanced filters, see your admirers, use travel mode, rematch with users who have expired, and have unlimited swipes.
Besides offering online dating services for free, Bumble also offers opportunities to pursue a career change through its Bumble Bizz service, or Bumble BFF to create meaningful friendships and expand your social circle.
Best for: Those looking for the largest number of users to browse
If you’ve been searching for the best dating websites for serious relationships and none of those you’ve tried have borne fruit, then eHarmony is the site for you.
Not only is it one of the biggest dating apps but it also has a huge user base with the largest age groups being 30 to 44 and 55 to 64 year-olds.
To use eHarmony, you’ll have to fill out a 150-question Compatibility Relationship Questionnaire to determine your core values. Personality profiles, compatibility scores and relationship advice are included with eHarmony to help you find love.
Suggestions for compatible dates will be delivered directly to your inbox, and once you find a suitable match, you can go on a video date before you meet them in person.
The app is free to use and you can send smiles or pre-written icebreakers to start conversations with others. Other features such as unlimited access to your match’s profile and customized messages are only available once you pay for the premium package.
What’s your favorite dating website or app? Tell us about it in the comments.