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Best Dating Sites 2020

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Top Dating Websites

Adult Friend Finder
9.7
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Adam4Adam
9.5
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Ashley Madison
9.8
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Plenty of Fish
9.6
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Swinglifestyle
9.8
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Truthfully, there are over 8000 dating websites, but only hundreds can boast of a very large user base. You may have heard of notable best dating sites like Match.com, Tinder, EliteSingles, Zoosk, and eHarmony. What they have in common is the stellar matchmaking system, and great features like instant messaging and local search that makes it very easy to hook up with someone as soon as possible.

Considering the best of the best, we will look at the following criteria: sign up process, pros and cons, matchmaking system, and subscription types.

When Did Online Dating Begin?

Online dating started as far back as the 1950s, but it was not as flexible as today.

In 1965, an IBM 650 computer and a punch card questionnaire were used by Phil Fialer and Jim Harvey. The two young love savvy Harvard Students carried out the first matchmaking process where 49 men and 49 women were matched for a class project, but there was no successful dating after that.

In 1965, a social experiment named “OPERATION MATCH” was kicked off by Harvard Students: Vaughan Morrill and Jeff Star. They also used an IBM computer, model 1401, and questionnaires to match students based on their interests, and thousands of people used the service during the ’60s, paying $3 to fill out a questionnaire.

Best Dating Sites 2020

When Did Mobile Dating Apps Appear?

As the access to the internet and PCs grew during the 1980s and 1990s, people began to use and explore the internet. In 1995, Match.com, the world’s first online dating website, was launched. It became a source of joy to people who needed to socialize as one could now meet and flirt with potential dates without having to dress to impress.

How We Found the Best Dating Sites and Dating Apps

After an extensive search on the internet, we found dating sites and apps with a large user base, delectable, easy to navigate interface, more pros than their cons, and fairly priced membership costs.

We categorized them below for you to peruse and make your choice. Remember, different categories suit different purposes. Hence you should know what you want and what your interests are

Types of Online Dating Websites

Several categories of websites meet the diverse needs of people, and they include:

Online Dating Websites Several websites have a catalog of people who are excited about daring. You can go through various profiles or opt into activities provided by the site to engage with potential interests. These sites are for people looking forward to marrying someone or just having a fling.

Most dating websites have a free trial period. That way, you get it to try before you adopt it if you find it right fit for you. Privacy is made secure, and you may choose, at will, who you want to contact or block from contacting you.

  • Relationship Websites
  • The dating websites in this category are for people who are looking for long term companionship that may lead to marriage. They often require answering lengthy questions, which could be on your likes and dislikes, sexual preferences, and what you are looking for in a partner, among many other questions before you will be able to chat with other members using the site.

    The site compares your answers to the responses of others who match you best. Subsequently, they either send you their contacts, or they contact you.

    It is an amazing choice if you want to enjoy your privacy while you get to know about a love interest online. There is always a free trial period, but on most sites, you only have the right to see the profiles of the people that you match up with; you will not be able to browse other profiles until you upgrade a membership to a paid plan.

  • Specific Niche Dating Sites
  • Surplus dating websites on specific niches are popping up online. Do you love pets, are you a vegetarian, do you belong to the LGBTQ community, or you want a partner of your race? You probably have a hookup/dating site just for you. One of the amazing things about these sites is that you automatically know that you have at least an interest in common when you register on a niche-specific site.

Types of Online Dating Websites

These sites are rated most popular because they have a large user base, great matchmaking systems, and a unique website/app design with fascinating features that are easy to navigate. These sites include:

  • Tinder

Launched in the year 2012

Members: 57 million user base

App: Available for download on Android and iOS

Relationship Allowed: Hetero and Homosexual

Pros:

  • No limit to messaging
  • Has a pro-Safety feature named Noonlight, where users get to share first-day encounters, like who they are meeting, including when and where?
  • Available in over 180 countries and 40 languages

Cons:

  • Unless you upgrade to the paid plan, you will not be able to access great features that simplifies getting a match
  • There are more men than women
  • If you are above the age of 31, upgrading membership will cost you more on Tinder as an age-based scale.

Subscriptions

Membership Duration Cost
Free Unlimited $0
Paid (Tinder Plus) For users below the age of 30
One month $9.99
Six months $37.44 ($6.24/month)
Twelve months $49.92 ($4.16/month)
For users above the age of 30
One month $19.99
Six months $74.94 ($12.49/month)
Twelve months $99.96 ($8.33/month)
Paid (Tinder Gold) One month $29.99
Six months $112.99 ($18.83/month)
Twelve months $150.00 ($12.83/ month)

  • Match

Launched in the year 1995

Members: 21 million users

App: Downloadable on Google play store

Relationships Allowed: Hetero and Homosexual

Pros:

  • Easy to sign up and navigate
  • The app is available for download on iOS and Android.
  • Many features to enhance the dating experience.

Cons:

  • Only those on the paid plan can send and reply messages
  • Ads are often displayed on the timelines of users that are yet to upgrade subscription plan

Subscriptions:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Standard One month $44.99
Three months $74.97 ($24.99/month)
Six months $127.94 ($22.99/month)
Twelve months $251.88 ($20.99/month)
Premium standard
Three months $86.97 ($28.99/month)
Six months $149.94 ($24.99/month)
Twelve months $263.88 ($21.99/month)

  • OkCupid

Launched in the year 1997

Members: 50 million users

Relationship Allowed: Hetero and Homosexual

Pros:

  • Free to sign up
  • Users can send and receive messages regardless of subscription plan
  • Website is easy to navigate

Cons:

  • Too many ads on the app
  • No video upload feature

Subscription

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
A list Basic
One month $19.95
Three months $44.85 ($14.95/month)
Six months $59.70 ($9.95/month)
Premium
One month $34.90
Three months $89.70 ($29.90/month)
Six months $149.40 ($24.90/month)

  • eHarmony

Launched In the year 2000

Members: 75 million users

App: Download via Google play store

Relationships allowed; Heterosexual (not open to Gays, Lesbian, Bisexuals, and Transgender)

Pros:

  • Easy to navigate website and app
  • No ads
  • Video chat feature present on the app

Cons:

  • Users on the free plan can only see blurred pictures
  • Users cannot perform their searches; hence attention must be placed on creating profiles.

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Basic Unlimited $0
Standard Premium light
Six months $249.96 ($41.66/month)
Premium plus
Twelve months $350.04 ($29.17/month)
Premium Extra
Twenty four months $600.00 ($25.00/month)

Hookup Sites

A hookup site is a webspace that accepts and encourages casual sex to meetups and adventures. They include:

  • Instabang

Members: 1 million users

App: None but the website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate

The relationship allowed: Hetero and homosexual

Pros:

  • Has a free version
  • Users can earn money via content uploads
  • Has a video chat feature
  • You can get as kinky as possible

Cons:

  • Not a site to find long term companionship
  • Site content makes it uneasy about using in public

Subscription

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Premium One month $34.95
Six months $69.95 ($11.70/month)
Twelve months $80.00 ($6.70/month)

  • Ashley Madison

Launched in the year 2001

Members: 53 million users

App: it has an app and a mobile-friendly website

Relationship Allowed: Hetero and Homosexual

Pros:

  • Has lots of males just enough for females to befriend
  • Privacy is secured
  • Has instant messaging

Cons:

  • The separate monthly charge for users utilizing the app
  • The screen display is not discreet

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Paid 100 credits (Basic) $59.00 ($0.59/month)
500 credits (Classic) $169.00 ($0.34/month)
1000 credits (Elite) $289.00 ($0.29/month)

Christian Dating Sites

  • Christian Cafe

Launched in the year 1999

Members: 2 million users

Relationship Allowed: Heterosexual only

App: Only available on the iOS

Pros:

  • Has a lot of active members
  • It is a highly rated site prescribed for Christian singles
  • Provides fellowship, prayer, and advice for non-singles
  • Users comprise of different nationalities

Cons:

  • Only provides free trial for 7-10 days
  • Exclusive only to Christians

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free 7-10 days $0
Premium One month $39.97
Three months $59.97 ($19.99/month)
Six months $89.97 ($15.00/month)
Twelve months $109.97 ($9.16/month)

  • Christian Mingle

Launched in the year 2001

Members: 9 million users

The relationship allowed: Heterosexual only

App: Available on Google Play and the iOS App Store

Pros:

  • The ratio of male to female users is balanced
  • Verifies all users
  • Signing up can be done via Facebook

Cons:

  • Only meant for religious singles
  • Free users cannot receive and send messages

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Premium One month $49.99
Three months $104.97 ($34.99/month)
Six months $149.94 ($24.99/month)

Elite Dating Sites

  • Elitesingles

Launched in the year 2009

Members: 5 million users

Relationship: Hetero and Homosexual

App: Downloadable on Android and iOS

Pros:

  • Sign up process is easy and free
  • Users are active
  • Most of the users on the site are educated

Cons:

  • Only paid users can send and receive messages
  • The monthly premium charge is paid in a single lump

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Premium Three month (Light) $104.85 ($34.95/month)
Six months (Classic) $119.70 ($19.95/month)
Twelve months (Comfort) $215.40 ($17.95/month)

  • MillionaireMatch

Launched in the year 2005

Members: 2 million users

App: Available on Android and iOS mobile stores

Relationship Allowed: Heterosexual

Pros:

  • Sign up is relatively easy
  • Users who are millionaires have their source of income verified
  • Users get to control who views their profile

Cons:

  • The monthly subscription fee is high
  • No video chat feature on the site

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free 7 days $0
Premium One Month $70.00
Three months $135.00 ($45.00/month)
Six months $210.00 ($35.00/month)

Gay & Lesbian Dating Sites

  • PinkCupid

Members: 315,000 users

Launched in the year 2006

The relationship allowed: Lesbians only

App: Available on Android and Apple stores

Pros:

  • Direct messaging is free
  • The site has a built-in language translator
  • All members can access profile pictures of other users
  • Some features on the website are not available on the app

Cons:

  • Some men register on the site
  • Users on the premium plan can only receive messages

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Gold One month $24.98
Three months $16.66 ($5.55/month)
Twelve months $8.33 ($0.69/month)
Platinum One month $29.99
Three months $20.00 ($6.67/months)

  • BuddyGays

Members: 300,000 users

App: it doesn’t have an app yet

Relationship Allowed: Bisexual men and gays

Pros:

  • Suitable for gay guys finding love
  • Signing up is very easy
  • Search is free to all users regardless of the plan
  • Every user can view profiles and photos

Cons:

  • Only meant for gay men
  • Personality test must be done before one can be registered

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Premium One Day $0.99
One week $7.00
Six months $28.80
Three months $48.60 ($16.20/month)

  • Grindr

Launched in the year 2009

Members: 2 million users

App: Available on both Google Play and Apple stores

Relationship Allowed: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender people and Queers (LGBTQ)

Pros:

  • Signing up is without charge!
  • Free users can chat with any other user
  • Members are very active
  • The app is easy to navigate

Cons:

  • Ads are often displayed on free users timeline
  • Unsuitable for finding serious relationships

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Grindr Xtra Lite One month $9.99
Grindr Xtra Three months $20.97 ($6.99/month)
Six months $29.94 ($4.99/month)
Twelve months $47.88

Free Dating Sites

  • Hinge

Launched in the year 2012

Members: 5 million users

Relationship Allowed: Hetero and Homosexuals

App: Downloadable on Google Play Store and iOS

Pros:

  • Meant for finding serious relationships
  • The registration process is guided by a sign-up procedure
  • Free to use all features to contact users
  • Sending and liking comments are also free

Cons:

  • Get a limited number of likes per day
  • Paid membership enjoy great features that speed up matchmaking

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
Preferred member One month $9.99
Three months $20.97 ($6.99/month)
Six months $29.94 ($4.99/month)

  • Bumble

Launched in the year 2014

Members: 11 million users

App: Available for download on Android

Pros:

  • Registration can be done via Facebook or phone number
  • Takes about 1minute to create an account
  • Chat and messaging is free to use by all users
  • It has a chatroom

Cons:

  • Site interface doesn’t have a search icon
  • Most profiles are incomplete.

Subscription:

Membership Duration Costs (USD)
Free Unlimited $0
BumbleBoost One week $8.99
One month $24.99
Three months $49.99 ($16.66/month)
BumbleCredits One coin $1.99
Five coins $7.99 ($1.60/coin)
Ten coins $14.99 ($1.50/coin)
Twenty coins $24.99 ($1.25/coin)

Dating Apps: Free vs. Best Apps

All dating apps offer you free access to register, but few provide instant messaging or browsing profiles.

Free apps are not entirely free because you need to upgrade to enjoy mouth-watering features it has to offer. However, it allows you to test run the interface, search features, and navigation. All this to make a decision to leave the site or make it the next best thing you have come across.

Dating Apps: Free vs. Best Apps

What is the Price of the Best Dating Sites?

Dating sites cost as little as $10 on a monthly subscription to $200 annually.

While some sites do not require a subscription, credits are sold to access features that help meet with your love interest virtually.

Since it might feel dicey to trust a dating site with your money, explore the free online dating sites to familiarise yourself with their interface to catch a glimpse of value for your money.

Which Dating Sites Are Legit?

All dating sites usually promise to be legit and security conscious in protecting users. Most dating sites have their privacy and security policies stated on the site to assure users of its legitimacy.

How to Stay Safe When Online Dating

Inasmuch it can be very thrilling to find someone you think is special, especially when it’s with a person you look forward to hooking up with; you have to prioritize your safety. Fraudulent users or scammers are as real as every other user except for intent. We have prepared tips you will find handy to ensure your safety when you’re dating online.

Be Cautious With Your Personal Information

Being in sync with that special person might make you feel like you know him/her over a long time. Hence a sense of trust begins to build up. Learn to pause within conversations to consider the following questions: is it important to answer the question? Would it be dangerous if the information sought is made public?

When sensitive information such as phone numbers, home/work address, debit/credit card details, and passwords are requested, you should be cautious. You may take a step further to use the report feature on the dating site to look into someone’s validity as a user of the site.

Arrange to Meet in a Public Place

Meeting a person physically for the first time is equivalent to meeting a stranger, even if you may have been exchanging chats for months. Trust us when we say it’s a good idea to meet with a person in a public place like restaurants. There will be lots of people who will come to your aid if harassment or assault is about to happen.

It also provides the opportunity for a family member of yours to mix with the crowd to observe you from a distance in case you need help.

Tell a Friend

Before you leave home for a date or hang out, tell a friend where you are heading to, who you want to spend time with, and when you will be heading back home. Best online dating sites like Tinder have a feature named Noonlight that involves uploading your first date info.

We know you ought to hope for the best, but this is more like sprinkling a bit of security over your ice cream date.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave

Do not be surprised if a date turns out awkward. Okay, you might be, especially when chats have been exotic, but the one-on-one conversation feels like salad without cream, dry, or the conversation is heading nowhere, and you can’t wait for it to end. Leave politely.

Experiences can be awful but do not owe it to your date to endure, Nah, it isn’t worth it.

Travel There and Back by Yourself

Some dating sites like JDate organize meetups; travel alone by either taking public transit or taking your vehicle. It brings down the danger of placing yourself in an awkward or even dangerous circumstance since you’ll be in charge of where you go.

Also, do not invite your first date to your home as he/she would discover where you live and have control over where both of you hang out.

How to Have a Successful First Date

Does the idea of a first date fill you with fear? Does your memory of the last one cause you to wince with embarrassment? In this case, you’re not the only one. Very few individuals find online dating basic and clear.

Fortunately, with the correct technique, you can develop and maintain a tense free environment for yourself without a sense of entanglement and tensions. We compiled helpful tips to help you have an exciting online dating experience. Check them out to see whether you’ll concur.

Avoid Social Media Stalking

Expecting your love interest on a date might make you feel tempted to know what he/she is doing. You may want to know his/her location, and slowly, you find yourself stalking.

It is unhealthy as it will never satisfy your curiosity; it could arouse suspicions and make you conclude before you meet the person first hand.

When you feel tempted this way, keep yourself busy by taking a survey or watching a movie, you could also hide the feeds of your date from your timeline.

Choose Comfort

Comfort is bliss when you’re going for a date. Ensure you are on your comfort gear by putting on a very nice outfit, telling yourself you are about to enjoy your day and making sure you are not to overthink.

Keep in mind that you do not owe anyone a lengthy conversation when you can’t wait to leave, choose your comfort, and end it politely.

Try a Confidence Exercise

There is no perfume as ravishing as confidence, wear it always. Going on a first date, you have to present yourself to be physically and mentally okay, and you can do this by wearing a nice outfit, as mentioned earlier.

Exercise your confidence by checking if you’re anxious. If you are, iron it out by asking yourself why you feel that way, and convince yourself you are about to have fun or simply reminisce on moments you were confident, on a dance floor, for example.

Have a Laugh

It means “have fun.” In case you’re having a fabulous time, let it appear! Laugh, giggle, but don’t compel it. You’ll lighten up the tension that comes with a first date, causing you both to feel comfortable with one another.

Use Open Body Language

Learn to use body language to communicate as it gives an idea of the possibility that a date is going well or not. Leaning away is an example of having a bad time when your date perceives it, he/she may adjust.

Touching the arm of your date implies you’re having a good time. If you do not know how to use non-verbal cues, start learning today.

Pay Attention

It is all about opening your ears and letting him/ her complete his/ her sentence while talking! You don’t need to concur with all that is said. It’s acceptable to challenge somebody, however, don’t sound angry.

Stay away from your phone; avoid texting or chatting. It gives a very wrong vibe that you can’t wait to leave.

Ask Questions

You can ask questions about things that don’t seem clear from a previous chat or ongoing discussion. In doing this, ensure you have it two-sided and watch yourself if you do not wind up correcting your date. Nobody likes being lectured.

Be Positive

Telling a sob story about yourself, bashing your ex, complaining about things that are wrong in your life (how your parents never loved you), or tell your entire life story is the opposite of appearing positive.

Get to know your date; talk about good things happening around you and your society. Talking about the sad stuff going on in your life might seem to make you look cute and fragile to be helped, but nope, it’s the other way around, it is an immediate turn-off, and can make a date incredibly uncomfortable.

Split the Bill

When the check comes to the table, do not hesitate to ask about splitting the bill. You may consider trying to fake-reach your purse; that’s old school, though. Try saying, “can I help?” It’s direct with no hint of pretense, and it gives room to perceive your date’s interest in you and willingness to do more for you.

Follow Up

As a follow-up, sending an email to express profound gratitude is a sweet, simple approach to emphasize your interest, regardless of whether you tried showing it face-to-face. Reaching out simply means, “this was awesome; let’s do it again.”

If you don’t reach out, it might get to the person that the date was horrible, and you would not want ever to see them again.

It might be far-fetched that your date might get this impression if you didn’t give feedback. However, on the off chance that they’re not intrigued by your date, you could still reach out to ask if he/she has gotten home safe; that’s just simple courtesy.

Spam & Bots

Some dating sites use bots and spam messages to get people into upgrading their subscription to send messages to respond.

Getting messages from fake profiles without can frustrate your online dating experience. To rule them out from your timeline, check their profile; most of them do not have a picture, a bio, or even a link.

You can detect if you are chatting with a bot when you notice the following;

  • Ask for personal information like credit/debit card details and passwords.
  • Sends a link without prior request
  • Sends an explicit sexual image asking for a click
  • Response to chats are not connected
  • Repetition of answers
  • Advertises a product or service.

You can block spams from reaching by blocking the profiles that are used to communicate with you.

What the Experts Say About Dating Sites

Online dating sites are the next best thing to meeting people all over the world while you’re in your pajamas. All you need is an active internet connection and any dating website of your choice to begin with.

Now that the world is under lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19, experts worldwide agree that best dating websites are utilized to meet and date people virtually.

We must take caution, though; the same experts warn not to trust too easily or reveal personal information that might expose you to being scammed. When you find a person that you consider has a promising future with you offline, schedule a meetup within a week. It will help you weed out scammers who claim to be in your locality and are not interested in you.

We know online dating has come to stay, and you can get a great deal of excitement from it. So, leap of faith and enjoy the journey.