LOOKING for love? Choosing the best dating site can be tricky – especially if you’re tired of swiping on some of the most popular apps.
We’ve rounded up some of the best dating sites for those trying to do online dating successfully – so you can find that perfect match more easily…
We love Match for the huge user base – there’s plenty of variety because it’s one of the UK’s biggest dating sites.
The website is very user-friendly and users are given plenty of information on their potential match – so you can make a more informed decision before ‘skipping’ someone, rather than judging on looks alone.
Ourtime is a great dating site for the over 50s.
It’s owned by the Match group and has free membership and over 150,000 active members.
We think it’s great for daters who want to meet up with their dates as soon as possible (even if just for a cosy coffee or a walk in the park) rather than continuously swiping or staying online.
The dating site also host regular singles events (when social distancing allows).
According to the eHarmony’s ‘Married Couples by the Numbers’ facts report, 71% of women and 69% of men meet their spouse on eHarmony within a year of joining up the online dating site – pretty impressive stuff, if you ask us.
So, we think eHarmony is particularly great for those looking for long-term potential when it comes to exploring new love interests.
You can join up from £44.95 for a month – but you can nab decreasing prices for longer subscription plans.
It’s probably one of the most known dating sites and okcupid is definitely good for fussy daters – or those fed-up of constantly swiping left on other apps.
If you’ve got a must-have dating checklist, this is the online dating site for you.
Okcupid lets you choose everything from the type of relationship you’re looking for (even if it’s just a hookup!) to a wide range of specific lifestyle questions – so anyone who makes the match will fit your criteria, before you even get to chatting.
We think Parship is great for meeting people with like-minded people, with similar professions and education levels.
The online dating site uses a clever test to analyse your personality traits when you first sign up.
Prices start from £14.90 a month.
Now that we don’t have to social distance so much, Original Dating could be the dating site for you.
Rather than staying online, be it on a dating site or app, Original Dating is the UK’s leader in speed dating and parties for singles – so you could meet your match in real-life at one of its events.
The dating site is great for those who prefer getting to know someone face-to-face and it even offers a speed dating guarantee – Original Dating is so confident you’ll meet someone you like first time that, if you don’t, your next event is free. What’s not to like?
There are various locations and venues across the UK, with varying prices – but users can see the age range and what the atmosphere is like in each venue (including how many daters will be in attendance) before booking.
Zoosk has 27 million members in the UK – so it’s a widely used dating site, with lots of potential matches for those looking for love.
Zoosk’s algorithm is seriously clever in how it learns what and who you might like and its SmartPick function works to gather up the daters who you’re most likely going to be attracted to.
The dating site costs £29.99 for a month – but you can also get it cheaper at £20 a month for three months or £15 a month for six months.
How to do online dating successfully
When it comes to using a dating site, it helps to feel that you’re ready to date and have some idea of what you’re looking for.
As a general rule, don’t overthink things and keep conversation on the site light and chatty – it helps if you can arrange a safe meet-up or phone-call early on in the dating process, that way you can sooner figure out if there’s real potential and avoid any time-wasters who aren’t serious when it comes to meeting up.
Remember, stay safe on the sites, look for verified profiles (where offered) and if you have very specific criteria it may help to choose one of the dating websites that offer this (you can see which offer this in the round-up above.)
Is online dating safe?
Online dating is safe when you’re careful – but it pays to be alert.
Don’t overshare with those you do not know in reality yet and keep personal contact details private until you are ready.
Don’t communicate with anyone who tries to force you into sharing personal data – most dating sites also let you report people who do this.
When it comes to getting to know your matches, take your time and it may be worth checking if their profile is linked to a main social media profile – so you know they are who they say they are.
Trust your gut instinct and if you find yourself questioning if their display pictures are their own, it can also be worth doing a reverse Google image search to make sure the photos haven’t been stolen from someone else.
Don’t feel pressurised into meeting up before you’re ready and always meet up in a public place – this helps keep you both safe.
Short first dates are fine to gauge the chemistry and, if you don’t feel comfortable for whatever reason, make your excuses and leave.
Remember to report any strange behaviour or profiles to the dating site – this way they can investigate the user and make the whole online dating community on that platform safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
What do you talk about on a first date?
When it comes to meeting up for that all important first date, it’s the first real chance to share your real personality – not just your dating site profile.
Try not to overthink things and be yourself – you’ve already covered some ground whilst chatting on the app, this is just a continuation of this.
Make sure you don’t exhaust all topics of conversation online before meeting – you want there to be things to learn about each other still.
You can use previous online topics of discussions as a springboard for further chat – keep things light, listen and ask questions about your date.
Great topics to cover are pets, favourite movies and TV shows, ambitions, hobbies and passions, where you grew up, where you would like to travel, books and favourite foods and drink.
Steer clear of in-depth conversations about exes or past relationships – this is only the first date, more personal topics can be discussed further down the line, if things progress well.
Pay attention to any red flags that may crop up, no matter how much you fancy your date.
Also, get to know the person in the flesh, rather than the dating profile – they may be completely different in-person, but this is who a relationship would be with, if you progress.
Remember – dating is supposed to be fun!
Enjoyed our round-up of the best dating websites? You might enjoy our round-up of the best sex toys for beginners.
Looking for more bedroom inspiration? Then be sure to check out our article on the best vibrators.
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