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This week marks the biggest online dating week of the year (combined with the biggest divorce week of the year). Whether it’s a failed relationship or the urge for a new beginning that has propelled you into the dating wilderness, online dating almost certainly has someone waiting for you.
But which one to go for? Match group now owns Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, OkCupid and, of course, Match, making it the biggest player in the online and app dating industry.
eHarmony is another massive player, with 3 million users signed up. But size isn’t everything – as anyone who has just wrapped up a three-hour swiping session on Tinder will attest. Too many members with no filter can result in either hours of swiping to find someone you fancy, or hundreds of messages in your inbox that you’ll never have time to read.
Here’s a guide to the sites to check out – feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments below – and let us know if you met your life partner online or on an app and if so, which one.
Pros: Millions of matches at your fingertips. Has both desktop and mobile site and an app, plus paid-for and free singles events. Very well managed, new, clean design makes it more appealing to navigate.
Cons: Millions of matches at your fingertips… inbox management can be overwhelming. It’s quite difficult to get any information on the price to use match’s full service. When you click for more info you’ll more often than not end up with info boxes that you need to fill in before you can advance to the pricing info. We wish sites would be more transparent about their fees. However, they do have a live help service at their homepage to talk you through joining.
Pros: Uses compatibility testing to match you with someone who shares the same worldview as you. Pitches itself as the site to go to for ‘serious, lasting relationships’ and marriage – which may well be refreshing to some in the current dating climate. Psychologists and dating experts guide you through each step of the process – including messaging, which is somewhat structured and scripted – and there’s an anonomisation function for calling. There’s currently a 7-day free trial to communicate with matches http://www.besthookupwebsites.org/dil-mil-review for free until 1 January. It’s a softly, softly approach – excellent for those new to internet dating or nervous about entering the melee, or using a fast-food dating app like Tinder.
Cons: The lengthy survey you must complete before you sign up. It is 100s of questions long and asks many probing questions about religion and moral views. Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics. Pricier – it’s ? for a month, but that drops to ? per month if you sign up for a year.
You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process. Some may think it lacks the spontaneity of other dating sites – and you certainly can’t use it to get a quick date for the weekend.
Controversy swirled in 2010 around its lack of same-sex matching resulting in a site launched later for gay and bisexual daters called Compatible Partners, but eHarmony now offers matching for both mixed and same sex couples from the main homepage.