With every generation comes a new way to date — and a new way for the previous generation to judge. What if they were secretly axe murderers just pretending to be normal people?There was a time, not too long ago, when online dating seemed crazy. (At some point, a similar point of view was likely shared when couples started dating unchaperoned.) But by now, online dating is mainstream: according to the Pew Research Center, a full 38 percent of single people in the US have tried it, and if you haven’t, you most certainly know someone who has.But how do you choose the best online dating site for you?
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Chemistry, attraction, and love are obviously difficult to quantify, and (also obviously) different people have different desires, needs, and goals for their romantic lives.
Plus, your experience with any online dating site is going to be colored by all sorts of things: your gender, age, sexual orientation, looks, location. Knowing it would be impossible to evaluate the ineffable, we set out simply to find which online dating sites were most likely to get you a compatible match.
The actual “going on dates” part we’ll leave to you.
We started by compiling every kind of dating website and mobile dating app we could find.
We briefly touch on mobile-only dating apps below, but apps deserve a review that’s all their own (so stay tuned).
There are great city-specific services (Dating Ring is a perfect example — it’s currently in New York City, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston, and DC), but we only wanted ones that have a nationwide user base. The argument is as old as dating itself: quantity versus quality.Are you more likely to find a match using a site that serves up the most people, or one where everybody checks off at least one of your Dream Guy/Girl boxes?Well, not every kind: We excluded sites that catered specifically to how someone looked or to “unscrupulous” relationships (think Ashley Madison).We also didn’t evaluate anything marketed as primarily for hookups — the best dating sites facilitate all sorts of relationships, from friendship to long-term monogamy and everything in between.We found 68, from Alikewise to Zoosk, and started analyzing their user bases, functionality, quality, and cost to find our top picks.Evaluating the robust functionality of a full-blown website against the swipe-rightness of an app was too unfair.