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.Chemistry, attraction, and love are obviously difficult to quantify, and (also obviously) different people have different desires, needs, and goals for their romantic lives.
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.
We turned to Alexa, a web-traffic analytics company, to better assess how many people are on each site clicking around, and culled those with below-average numbers: fewer than a million active users in the US. We can assume those numbers apply to most online dating sites.
The problem is mobile users aren’t reflected in Alexa data — which means a dating site like Zoosk, with half as many active desktop users as our top picks, but way more app downloads, could have been left out.) Be Social network, Blendr, Chemistry.com, Cupid.com, network, Date2020, Fidelity Dating, Friend Finder network, Grouper, How About We, Jaumo, Lava Life, Meet Me, Meet Mindful, Mesh, Mingle2, Once, Spark.com, Speed Date.com, Tastebuds.fm, Tawkify, The Heart Market, Twoo, Zoosk Our finalists are all likely names you recognize — Ok Cupid, Match.com, e Harmony, and Plenty of Fish — and our tester tried them all.
The actual “going on dates” part we’ll leave to you.