At one point, Tinder was my life. It wasn’t just a way of looking for love or to meet new people, it was entertainment and I spent way more time than I should probably admit on it. I never really gave anything else a chance and this was pre-Bumble so my choices were a little limited.
Now there seem to be more and more dating sites and apps cropping up, whether that’s platforms like Appetence or Coffee Meets Bagel. However, I feel that to be truly successful you need to invest time and energy into one rather than spreading your efforts across multiple apps and websites. It’s hard enough to keep track of four different dates, let alone 4 across different platforms.
So which one should you choose? Reviews.com has put together some handy research to help you out. I’ve copied the best bits below.
Best Matching Algorithm
We like OkCupid’s whole package — a huge user base, slick interface, the fact that it’s free — but its real strength lies in its robust matching algorithm. It not only asks you questions about your personality, likes, and dislikes (“Do you think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved?” and “What do you spend a lot of time thinking about?”) but also lets you rate how important a potential match’s answers to those same questions are. No other dating site works as hard to deliver you the exact right partners, and that means results: In our testing, we found the highest percentage of good matches with OkCupid, and the second-highest percentage of high-quality messages. To unlock features like incognito mode, read receipts, and a larger inbox, you can upgrade to a paid plan for $10 per month, but we think the free version is more than enough to get started.
Not into the idea of creating a full-blown dating profile? Check out Tinder. As opposed to a matching algorithm that evaluates your answers to various questions, Tinder is all about first impressions — your photos are the most prominent part of your profile. And it’s easy to get started: upload a few snaps from your Facebook profile, add an optional bio, and start swiping through other users in your area.
Even though we received fewer messages compared to other sites, we rated 40 percent “good” — the most out of the seven sites we tested. That’s in large part because only mutual matches can message each other: both parties have to “swipe right” before they can say hello, which cuts way down on spam.
Women Call the Shots
Bumble offers an experience that’s very similar to Tinder, but with a twist: Women have to start the conversation. If they don’t, the match will disappear after 24 hours, although you can upgrade to a paid account to keep matches around longer. (Same-sex matches have no restrictions on who can message first.) Bumble is a great app for women who want to set the tone of the conversation and avoid a flood of unwanted messages — or for men who want a break from the pressure of making the first move.
Most Users Over 40
If you know you’re looking for a long-term relationship and you don’t mind paying for online dating, consider Match.com. It organizes in-person events like speed dating, happy hours, and game nights for its members to help accelerate the search for “the one,” and it works — studies have shown it’s one of the top two sites to produce marriages. (Match.com’s user base is slightly older, too, which may indicate more people who are ready to settle down.) However, Match lacks the robust matching algorithm of OkCupid — it came in fourth place for good matches in our testing — and isn’t as streamlined as Tinder or Bumble. On top of that, it costs $23 per month.
We also tested three other sites: eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk. While we can’t recommend them, we hope we can save you the trouble of experiencing them yourself. Take it from us, eHarmony was just a worse version of Match.com. At $46 per month it’s the most expensive option out there, but had the highest number of blank profiles. Meanwhile, Plenty of Fish lives up to its name — we received twice as many messages compared to OkCupid. But almost all of them were suspiciously short, spammy, or just plain rude. Zoosk took it one step further — you’ll pay a monthly subscription for low-quality matches.
You can check out the full research here. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on each and any others that you use?