Diving into the world of online dating can feel daunting. With around 8,000 dating sites worldwide, deciding where to hoist your flag can seem like an impossible choice. Do you choose a paid subscription, or should you go for a free, basic service?
While there are plenty of hookup sites, the vast majority of people use dating sites and apps in the search for a long-term relationship. Dating sites use algorithms, questionnaires, profiles and photos to help increase the chances of like-minded users finding one another and establishing that all-important connection. But which one has the highest success rate?
According to The Daily Dot and datingadvice.com, the site that tops the charts is Match. If you’d like to know why or which other sites are worth investigating, then read on.
What do I need to know?
What makes the top dating sites so successful?
A study by The Daily Dot has revealed that 38% of users who used the biggest of the bunch – Match.com – enjoyed relationships that lasted longer than a month.
It’s a clear indicator that in the dating industry size really does matter, and the reputation of larger providers makes them more trustworthy as far as their clients are concerned.
The figures also showed that of those who used Match exclusively, 33% became involved in relationships that lasted longer than six months. Statistically, this takes Match to the top of the heap. But what else makes other providers as successful as this dating heavyweight?
How long a site has been around has a lot to do with their ongoing success. Those who came onstream back in the late 1990s and who are still going today are the ones that managed to claim the high-ground before the floodgates opened, and a thousand more dating sites tried to muscle in on the action.
Our biggest hitter, Match, has been operating since 1995 and has around 1.8million users worldwide. As such, it takes the title for the World’s Most Popular Dating Site and attracts a wide demographic.
That wide demographic is important, too. While niche dating sites are reasonably popular, they do have limited appeal. The ones that become big are those who cater to a much broader demographic, including a wider age range, ensuring the LGBTQ+ community is well represented, and that even defining factors such as religion and geographical location are catered to.
Simplicity is also important. People want a site where getting started is quick and easy. Choose your package, create a profile, upload some photos, check out any possible matches, and get dating. While many of the big sites have a free, basic service, the paid subscription offers many more options and is infinitely superior.
Fancy add-ons, gimmicks and virtual wizardry, might look great at first glance, but in general, customers want a simple, reliable service that delivers real results. The most successful dating websites like Match cut straight to the chase.
A paid subscription gives you access to countless profiles across the world and allows you to engage with them at your own pace. Dating is all about interaction and ensuring that there are plenty of doors to knock on. In this particular article our team discusses whether paid dating sites are better than free ones.
Serious dating recommendations
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Is bigger always best?
Big is not always beautiful, and one of the major issues with larger dating websites is that your profile may get lost in the general hubbub of a site with hundreds of thousands of clients. How do you get seen in this melee?
There are plenty of tips and hints online to get your profile to the top of the ‘Like’ list, but another option may be to go small, or pick a site that has a specific demographic in mind. Other tips include:
• Age is no boundary – Dating sites are not the exclusive domain of the Millennial generation. In fact, there are plenty that target Generation-X’ers and even Baby Boomers in their 60s. Those in their 40s and 50s tend to be more experienced, financially independent, and often more open-minded to different types of relationships, such as platonic friendships, or casual sexual encounters with no strings attached.
• Elite dating – whether it’s someone from a specific academic strata or those who are financially better off, elite dating is on the rise, proving even the rich and famous use dating sites!
• LGBTQ+ – For those whose sexuality is a big part of their identity, the larger online dating sites can be a minefield. Sites that cater to the LGBTQ+ community tend to offer a safer, more comfortable environment for those who may feel a little over-exposed and vulnerable in a general dating community.
Which dating site is best for me?
The simple answer is that it’s really down to you. Just as in the real world, online dating depends on who you are and what you want. The more well-known dating sites are a great place to start.
With well-earned reputations and measurable results, these are organisations that are tried and trusted. You’ll find that many of the big names offer services that consider factors such as sexuality, cultural background and even levels of education.
You could also look for sites that cater to more specific criteria, such as those with higher educational qualifications, sites that offer matchmaking provisions for religious groups, or those who offer a more casual dating experience focused more on hook-ups rather than long-term relationships. There are even sites for those who want a sugar daddy/sugar baby relationship, or sites that are exclusively aimed at the LGBTQ+ community.
At the end of the day, it’s worth remembering that while you might be staring at a screen, you are interacting with real people, who have the same hopes and fears as you do.
The best dating sites can still only provide a point of contact for you to find that special someone. The rest, including how you use the site’s facilities to help you in your search, is up to you.