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The Best Dating Sites and Apps

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The Best Dating Sites and Apps

Unlike ancient times, single people nowadays don’t have to rely on the traditional way of dating only. Our world has evolved, and we can now meet people on the internet and build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with them. This is aided by the fact that dating sites are accessible to virtually everyone, and most importantly, they are quite affordable. For nearly two decades now, we have grown to accept that it is quite possible to connect with someone on the internet and possibly even fall in love with them.

With this development came a rise in the number of dating sites as new ones continue to spring up. Presently, there are more than 8,000 dating sites on the internet, and while some are all-inclusive, some dating sites cater to certain preferences and needs. The popularity of these dating sites is also not unconnected with their success rates.

Many people around the world have confessed to meeting and falling in love with people on these online dating sites. Committed relationships and marriages have been formed through dating websites and apps. As perfect as it seems, though, all online dating sites are not exactly a bed of roses. With over 8,000 dating sites all over the world, not all these dating sites are what they profess to be.

While some dating sites have produced satisfied and happy users, others have left their users with a rather bitter experience. Now, you would agree with us that the question of how to know the best dating site is worth asking. That’s why we’ve made this in handy. In this guide, we will be answering your questions about dating sites. Similarly, we will be giving you tips not only on how to know the best dating sites but also how to have a seamless online dating experience.

When Was Online Dating Founded?

Contrary to popular belief, online dating has been in existence longer than you could have imagined. The only difference is that it looks nothing like what it presently seems. In 1959, two students of Standford University embarked on a project to match their male and female classmates with a compatibility algorithm. These students made use of a punch card questionnaire and an IBM 650 mainframe computer. They were able to make 49 matches with this project. However, none of these matches led to a real relationship.

Six years later, in 1965, 2 graduates of Harvard also embarked on a similar project. The project, named Operation Match, was used to match women and men of similar interests, likes, and dislikes. With this project, they were able to pair over 1 million singles. Operation Match was the first dating service, and it was the pacesetter for several dating sites and apps that sprung up.

The first widely accepted dating site is Match.com, and it is said to be the first dating platform in world history. Match was launched in 1995, and its main goal was to provide a platform for singles to meet other people and get matched with them. Information gotten from members is used to suggest matches for them. Match has been in existence for over 25 years, and it is easily one of the best ranked dating sites on the internet.

When Was Mobile Dating Apps Created?

When Was Mobile Dating Apps Created?

After the creation of dating sites, its advancement took a much slower pace. While Lavalife and Proxidating had already been offering mobile dating services as far back as 2003, the launch of the first iPhone changed the face of mobile dating as we know it today.

When the first iPhone was launched in 2007, dating apps became more mainstream, and many people began to accept it. With the launch of Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge in 2012, the mobile dating app finally became popular. Many mobile dating apps were launched during this period, and they were all launched within months.

One of the things that made mobile dating apps more appealing to people was the “swiping” feature. With this feature, meeting people online and getting matched with them became a lot easier and interesting. Ever since, mobile dating apps have grown in popularity with Tinder alone, creating over 43 billion matches all over the world.

How we discovered the best dating sites and dating apps

Many brands offer dating services, but you probably know only the big brands like Match, PlentyofFish, OkCupid, and Tinder. While these brands are popular, most people don’t know how they work and the preferences that they cater to. It is one of the reasons why we have professional reviewers who have firsthand information about these sites.

We have spent days using these dating apps and websites to pick out the best of the best for you. If you are a single person who is confused as to which dating site to sign up to, you need not worry because we’ve got you covered. Our review ranges from the very best dating sites to hookup dating sites down to the dating sites that cater to certain preferences. Our team has vetted every single one of the dating sites listed here, and we have found their services satisfactory.

Kinds of Online Dating Websites

“Dating sites” is a broad term that encompasses a lot of things. There are different types of online dating sites, and they are all classified not only based on the kind of services they provide but also on their functionalities. Below are some of the common types of dating sites.

It is easier to find a match on a popular dating site with millions of members than on an unpopular one with few members. Numbers are quite important when dating, as you get a lot of choices from when you use a dating site with lots of members.

One of the names that would automatically pop to your head when you mention online dating sites is Tinder. It is easily the most popular dating sites, and the fact that millions of members are already using it makes it the go-to dating site for a lot of people. Tinder mobile app has been downloaded 340 million times, and it has millions of members to show for it.

Bumble is another popular dating site for single people with over 80 million users. The fact that its members are female makes it even more desirable for a lot of people. AdultFinder, another popular dating site, is well-known for offering exclusive services for swingers. AdulfFinder has been in existence since 1996, and it has since garnered over 100 million users over time. Most of its members are looking for casual sexual encounters and flings.

Hookup websites

Hookup websites

One of the problems that a lot of young people face on traditional dating sites is the issue of commitment. Many singles are only looking for casual relationships and flings as they are not ready to commit in any way. However, this can be hard to find on a more conservative dating site.

For singles who crave short term companionship to calm raging hormones without weighting commitment hanging around their necks, hookup sites are the best bet. One of the best hookup sites is BeNaughty, and as the name implies, BeNaughty encourages singles to express their desires. BeNaughty allows its members to chat even as free members.

DOWN is another hookup site that caters to singles who are looking for casual flings with no strings attached. DOWN is a dating app that is widely used by swingers and singles. On the app, you can signify your availability for a hookup, and you can get matched with a stranger and be on your way to a hookup in no time.

Tinder is another great dating app for a hookup. Tinder provides single men and women with matches with which they can have casual relationships and flings.

Dating Sites for Christian

The truth is, humans are diverse, and so are our needs. While some people want casual flings, others are looking for committed relationships and long term relationships that can lead to marriage. The regular swipe-based apps might not give you what you need if you are a Christian whose faith is deeply ingrained in the teaching and doctrine of Christ.

It may be because the regular dating sites focus mainly on outward appearance and exterior looks. On the other hand, Christian dating sites provide a moral-driven platform that matches people of similar faith. One such dating site is Christian Mingle.

Launched in 2001, Christian Mingle provides a faith-driven platform for Christians with similar values and beliefs. These Christian Singles get to meet matches and build meaningful relationships that can lead to marriage. The fact that Christian Mingle has produced more Christian marriages than any other dating site shows that it is highly effective.

Elite Dating Sites

Some dating sites are exclusively for the Elite and the upper-class members of society. EliteSingles is one such dating site, and it is exclusively for professionals like lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, and the likes. 90% of EliteSingles are college graduates, and over 90% of them are ready for a serious relationship.

You can join Elite Single as a free user, but to perform certain tasks like viewing photos and sending private messages, you have to be a premium member.

Dating Sites for Gays & Lesbians

Online dating has contributed massively to the growth of the LGBT community. The growth of online dating has given gay, lesbians, and transgender people the opportunity to meet potential lovers without exposing themselves. The fact that 65% of gay people have admitted to having met their lovers on dating websites shows that dating sites have been impactful on the LGBT community.

Some of the dating sites exclusively for gay people include Bumble, Grindr, Her, and BiggerCity, which is exclusively for big gay men.

Free Dating Websites

Virtually all dating sites and apps can be used even for free. Many dating sites allow you to create an account and check out other members’ profiles for free. However, these two features are near useless if one cannot actively communicate with other members. Since you cannot arrange a date with another member without first communicating with them, there is little to nothing that can be done as a free member.

The good news is that we have some best free dating sites where you don’t need to be a paid member to be able to chat with other members. Some of these sites include OkCupid, Zoosk, and Plenty of Fish. These best free online dating sites allow free members to communicate and arrange dates with other members.

Dating Apps: Best Apps vs. Free

As we all probably know, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean high-functioning and free doesn’t mean useless either. That dating a site is free doesn’t mean it cannot be one of the best online dating sites, and the fact that a site costs a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean that its services are topnotch. To be on the safe side, you can try out both paid and free dating sites to compare the two and to know which one works the best for you.

Nevertheless, if you are a professional with little to no time on your sleeves to constantly navigate free dating apps for test and trials, then you should find an effective paid dating site. It is because many free dating sites, as cost-effective as they may be, usually attract scam members with fake profiles who would only end up wasting your time.

On the other hand, if you are a student who is only looking to dating casually without causing a strain in the pocket, you can check out free dating sites.

What is the price of the best dating sites?

Kinds of Online Dating Websites

The price of the best dating sites varies from one brand to the other. Most dating sites offer subscriptions for different time frames to help members who are not so financially buoyant. A lot of dating website allows you to subscribe for one month, three months, six months, and one year of premium membership.

We even have some best online dating sites that are free. However, when it comes to paid dating sites, the price ranges from $8 per month on some dating sites to about $20 on others.

Which Dating Sites Are Legitimate?

Legit dating sites are ones that are as effective as they claim to be. They are outstanding because most of their profiles are genuine, and they weed out scam members frequently. This way, you can be sure that your safety is guaranteed on such dating sites.

Asides being the pioneer of all dating sites, Match can be said to be one of the most legit dating sites on the internet. Most of their members are genuine and active ones. Making use of interests, likes, and dislikes to match users, Match has, over the years, proven its legitimacy while also helping to build committed and long term relationships.

How to be safe when online dating

Below are tips on how to stay safe while dating online.

Be careful with your personal information

The process of online dating is mainly to get to know each other better, quite alright. However, you should still be selective with the kind of information that you share with someone online. Personal information about you, like your home address, your credit card details, and even your finances, is information that should be kept for when you genuinely trust them.

If a match is asking you personal questions that you are not comfortable sharing, simply tell them that you are not comfortable sharing such information with them. Moreover, if a match seems more interested in really personal information about you, that should be a red flag that they have a sinister motive, and such person isn’t exactly the type of person that you want.

Meet in a public place

For safety and several other reasons, meet them in public places on your first date. Yes, meeting them at their home or allowing them to come to your home might seem tempting for the first date, but to be on the safe side, meet them at public places. There is a limitless option to choose from if you are going to meet them in public places. You both can meet at a restaurant, coffee shop, steak house, cinema house, art exhibition, etc.

Inform a friend

If you are meeting an online date face-to-face for the first time, tell someone. It might be a friend or family member, but ensure that someone knows that you are meeting someone. Tell the person who you are meeting, where the point of the meeting is, and when you are meeting the person. If it helps, you can share a photo of your online date with them.

You can also share your location with them so that they know where you are at any time. During the date, you can contact the person to inform them if the date is going on well or otherwise. It is for safety reasons as you can’t be too safe, especially when you meet a stranger.

Leave if you feel unsafe

If something doesn’t feel right about your date or make you feel uncomfortable during the date, take your leave politely. It is understandable if you feel as though you are inconsiderate by leaving, but remember that your safety is paramount. Even if your date doesn’t act in a way to make you feel unsafe, but they say things that make you feel uncomfortable, then you should leave.

Travel there and back on your own terms

It is a tempting offer if your date offers to pick you up in their car, especially If you don’t have a car yourself. However, as tempting as this may seem, it is better to reject the offer. Get to the point of meeting on your own either by taking a cab or asking a friend to drop you off. That way, you are in control of your movement.

If you get to the point of meeting in their car, you cannot control whatever happens on the way. Similarly, if you plan on leaving the point of meeting in their car, then you would not have a say on how long the date would last. Lastly, letting them pick you up and drop you off after the date is a surefire way of allowing them to know your home, which isn’t exactly a good idea.

How to make your first date a successful

Below are tips on how to have a good time on a first date.

Don’t stalk them on Social media

Wanting to check your date out on their social media account is very normal, and truth be told, very tempting too. However, it is not such a good idea, especially since you are eventually going to meet them anyway. If you can fight the temptation, avoid doing it because it gets you prejudiced against them even before you meet up with them at all. A lot of people are very different from what they portray on their social media, so judging them based on their personality on social media could ruin your chance at actually getting to know the real them.

Be comfortable

It is normal to want to appear at your best for your first date. Everyone would want to create an impression, and looks are a great way to do this. While we approve of this, we would implore you to let your comfort come first no matter how you decide to look. Don’t wear things that make you uncomfortable because you want to impress.

Take a confidence exercise

It’s normal to feel nervous and jittery about your first date (We’ve all been there). You are constantly worrying if they would like you and if you would have a nice time together, amongst several other things. The more you succumb to the nervousness and overthink things, the more likely it is for the date to end up a disaster.

To avoid this, you might need a confidence exercise. Create a scenario in your mind thinking about you having an awesome date where you and your date share laughter and great chemistry. Paint the picture of a successful first date that would be the first of many. Now, hold on to the pleasant feeling that the thought gives you. You would feel your nervousness and agitation slowly seep away.

Another confidence exercise is words of affirmation. Stand in front of the mirror, hold your head up high, straighten your shoulder and say it aloud: “I CAN DO IT!” It doesn’t necessarily have to be in these exact words, but the words should be ones that will boost your confidence. You can say the words as often as you can. Trust us, it works.

Share a laugh

We all know that nothing breaks the ice better than a good laugh. It has been proven that laughter causes the release of endorphins, which helps us relax even better. When you and your date share a laugh or two, the chances are that you are both going to feel a lot relaxed in each other’s company, and soon enough, you both might even start bonding.

Please, note that sharing a laugh or two doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to tell jokes like a stand-up comedian. Just find a way to infuse jokes into your discussions and make it as natural as possible. Nothing turns people off more than knowing someone is trying way too hard to be funny.

Adopt open body language

Body language is one awesome way to let people know that they have your full attention and that you are comfortable being around them. Even if your lips aren’t moving, your body language sure would say volumes. When you adopt close body language like the folding of arms and legs, you indirectly tell your date that you are not interested in what they have to say or are not comfortable with them.

Consciously practice open body language like leaning towards them and smiling at them. Making eye contact is also a great way to let your date know that you are interested not only in what they have to say but also in them as a person.

Pay attention to them

During your date, ensure to give your date your undivided attention. Avoid looking at other people or looking over your shoulders during the date. Most importantly, don’t get occupied with your phone while on a date. If you know that you can’t keep your hands off your phone during the date, you can simply avoid the temptation.

When you give your date your undivided attention, you will get to hear and assess them better. Paying attention during the date is also a surefire way of enjoying the date.

Ask them questions

Since the first date is usually about getting to know each other better to know if there would be subsequent dates, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your questions. When you ask them questions, they get the vibe you want to know better and, more importantly, that you are interested in what they have to say. It would help them even relax better if they had been wound up earlier.

Small talks about irrelevances are great, but you should also be able to ask your date personal questions about themselves. These questions could be about their goals, dreams, jobs, and several others. Who knows, you might even realize that you both share similar goals and aspiration.

Be positive

If you go on a date with positive energy, the chances are that you will have a great time. When you go on a date with negative energy, there are higher chances that you might not have a great time.

We understand that we sometimes don’t have total control over how we feel. It is better to reschedule your date for the next days if you know that you are not exactly in the right frame of mind for a date.

Split the Bill

The question of who should pick the bill at dates is probably one of the most widely asked questions of all time. Some people believe that men should pick the bill while others believe that whoever initiates the date should pay. However, times are different now, and the world has advanced past the stage where a certain gender is mandated to do certain things.

Splitting the bills is common these days, and the truth is, it is easier. If you go to an expensive restaurant, it would be unfair to expect one person to pick the bills since it might put a strain in their pocket. However, if your date insists on picking the bills, then it is better to agree simply.

Give feedbacks

A long time ago, when being “coy” was still in vogue, waiting for days to follow up on dates was a trend. These days, however, acting aloof or uninterested when you are feeling the opposite is nothing short of childish. If you had a nice time with them, then it is not bad to send them a message later that night or give them a call the following morning to let them know just how much you enjoyed being with them.

If you would like to have a subsequent date, you should let them know, and if you don’t want to see them any longer, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell them.

Spam & bots

One of the major problems that users of dating sites face is that of spam and bots. Now, it wouldn’t be so surprising to know that some dating sites intentionally make use of these bots to get their free members to subscribe to a premium membership. When you open an account as a free member, you will receive tons of messages from other “users” when, in reality, the messages are really from bots.

You might not be allowed to view messages or give replies as a free user on a lot of dating sites. Your curiosity to know what the message entails and to continue chatting with the other “users” would push you to purchase a premium membership. However, once you’ve upgraded to being a paid member, you would realize that these “users” who had sent you messages earlier would stop replying to your messages. Now, you cannot get your money back from the dating site since most sites don’t give refunds.

To know if an account is a bot or spam, check the profile. A bot usually has no profile photo with little to no information on who the owner of the profile is.

Experts’ opinion about dating sites

Using online dating sites can be very beneficial for you if you know just where to look. Asides romantic relationships, a lot of people have built meaningful friendships and business partnerships on these online dating apps. The internet has made it easier for us to connect with people all over the world; people who we would have, otherwise, not have had access to. We certainly hope that you have found our review of the best dating sites helpful and that they would help you to make a guided choice.