Reputable online dating sites
If your goal is to get a date—or find a mate—are you better off with one type over the other?
Both kinds are popular, so you can’t go just by that.
In the 2016 Consumer Reports Online Dating Survey, more than 9,600 people who had used an online dating service in the last two years were asked which one they had joined.
Forty-eight percent said Match, a paid site, but Plenty Of Fish (free) and e Harmony (paid) tied for second most popular, with 23 percent apiece.
In the years since their initial launches, the forefathers of dating sites have forged ahead on mobile while holding on to their desktop roots.
Here are our top 5 dating site picks: Rather than asking its user for dating questions, Zoosk picks dates for its users based on a user's on-site activity.
“I’ve always assumed that putting anything behind a pay wall makes it more attractive and weeds out the casual users and trolls,” agrees Joseph Lynn, a Chicago man who used e Harmony and Match as well as a few free sites.
“The fact that e Harmony matched me with several women with whom I shared common interests led me to believe that I was seeing more quality matches.” At the same time, you shouldn’t write off a site just because it’s free.
“It's a myth that some sites are better for relationships while others are more for hookups,” says Manfredi.
Dating does not include listings for all dating sites.
For every dating site or app that charges close to per month, such as Match, e Harmony, or JDate, there are plenty of other popular ones like Ok Cupid or Tinder that are free.
Inspired by Jiayuan.com, the largest online dating site in China, he thinks dating sites would have happier customers overall if they did away with their current pricing models and charged users per message sent.
“If sending messages had a price or you could send only a fixed number per day, people you contact online would know you had to give up something to do so, which would incentivize better behavior,” he says.