How to Decide Which Online Dating Service Is Right For You

We can do just about anything online today—shop, plan vacations, apply to jobs—and, of course, date. With so many services available to you, there are a million different ways to meet, match, and fall in love. 

Here are some things you might want to ask yourself in order to decide which service or services is or are best for you. 

What are you looking for? Serious/long-term? Casual?

If you’re looking for something serious, sites like eHarmony, OKCupid, Match, and Zoosk all offer advanced matching tech to find you your perfect match. The hard work you put into filling out your profile and answering the questionnaires are geared for weeding out the casual. Of course, when you want something real, you usually have to cough up, too. That’s no different here.

If you’re looking for something more casual or you’re not sure, Bumble or Tinder are a good place to start, because everyone’s on them. You’ll encounter every type of person and you’ll find out what you’re looking for quick. If you’re for sure interested in something casual, BeNaughty and Feeld are hookup apps. 

 How do you feel about paying to speak with matches? 

While paying for a dating service doesn’t guarantee lasting love, you know someone is serious if they’ll shell out for a shot at something real. These services are probably best if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.

How easily do you chat with new people?

With apps like Tinder or Bumble, you put the work into messaging people instead of into crafting a clear and illustrative profile upfront. This means you can’t get a sense of someone and if you’d even like them until you match with them and start chatting with them. Sites like Zoosk, eHarmony, and Match put in more thought—and technology and data—into the matches you get, so they’ll have done some of the rooting out work for you. 

 If you want to focus only on deeper connections, you might want to choose a site where daters have to fill out an extensive profile or matching questionnaire, like OKCupid, Zoosk, Match, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, or Coffee Meets Bagel.

 Do you want sites geared toward a specific group (age, religion, race, profession specific)?

If you have dating specifics you’re looking for, try to find your niche specific dating site. If you’re looking for a church mate, ChristianMingle is a good option. If you’re over 50, try OurTime or SilverSingles. If you’re black or biracial, try BlackPeopleMeet. If you’re a farmer or love farmers, there’s FarmersOnly for you.  

Do you prefer to be the one to initiate with matches, or would you rather not make the first move?

Even though it’s 2019, men often still have to initiate conversations on dating sites. If you’re a bit of a shy guy, try Bumble since women have to message first. If you’re a woman who doesn’t like making the first move, well, you have your pick of the litter. Just avoid Bumble.

It’s always good to try out a few different services to see who’s out there. You can’t go wrong with Zoosk, Match, Tinder, and Bumble since they have so many users. If you’re not sure, try the free ones first. And there’s no harm in using more than one. None of these sites can guarantee you’ll find your next love, but you have to try for a shot.

Tara Mae Mulroy

Tara Mae Mulroy is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on relationships. She is also the author of the full-length poetry collection, Swallow, and other writing found at taramaemulroy.com.

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