Online dating has become very popular recently. It's no surprise since dating online leads to many new relationships. In fact, 1/3 of US Married couples met online!
Still, the options can be overwhelming. While popular choices are a safe bet for their huge user base, smaller sites offer starting off with more common ground. Overall, consider each option with an open-mind because even if some of these dating sites have only 200,000 users, you're only trying to find one.
1. Plenty of Fish - The Cream of the Crop
True to its name, POF (as users calls it) has more users than any free dating site, and the fourth most of any dating site out there. There are over 40,000,000 "fish" to be caught. Like most free sites, you can purchase some additional features, such as seeing whether other users read your messages, but for the most part, you're getting the full package free.
POF.com was one of the first dating websites and because of this, they have had time to develop and refine their matchmaking system. They make some big guarantees:
If you are in contact with 100 different singles, 50% of the time your future partner is in the top 10, and 17% of the time we can pick the exact person you will end up dating.
POF is an easy first choice, but it's not the only one!
2. OkCupid - A Worthy Second Place
You can do most things on OKCupid for free, but like POF, there are perks available to "A-List" members, OKC's term for premium users. While it has about an eighth the user base of POF, clocking in at around 8 million, OKCupid is generally a lot of fun as it matchmakes using user-generated questions and quizzes, allowing users to determine how compatible their match might be with them.
On top of that. OKC has a Tindr like feature that allows one to rapidly rate other users, and if you and someone else rate each other highly, then OKC will let you know. It's a good time and not quite the craziness that POF is. Plus, the App is considered one of the best out there.
3. Tastebuds.fm - The Unique Twist
Tastebuds.fm is much smaller than the first two sites, but you have to give it credit for originality: despite its user base of only 200,000 users, Tastebuds is about meeting people through music. If going to concerts, listening to music, or playing an instrument is your thing, then tastebuds.fm is the right place to find like-minded people.
The site also has Pandora-like music suggestions and can be a great way to discover platonic "concert-buddies."
4. Passions Network - A Different Approach
Passions Network consists of scads of smaller dating "sites" with very specific, niche interests. It's kind of like tastebuds.fm, except way more specific. There's many passions, but to name a few "Organic, non-smoking, artist, coffee, cigar, farming, psychic, classical [music], and mullets."
If you're a Sci-Fi fan, there's even a Trek Passions, which led Conan O' Brien to quip "The fans say the dating website is going great and any month now they hope a girl will join."
Trek Passions slogan is "Love Long and Prosper."
5. DroidMSG.Com - All Members, All Features
DroidMSG is based around an Android App of identical name and is nice in that there are no premium features, so you really are getting all you can get. It boasts a massive international following and is a solid choice, particularly if you have an Android phone.
The Following Sites are Considered 'Partially Free,' They Offer Limited Functionality Relative to the Top 5
6. Ashley Madison - Classy Yet Unrefined
Ashley Madison is all about cheating, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming incredibly popular. The first question you have to answer to join is what is your relationship status. The first two options are "attached male seeking female," and "attached female seeking male." That's the vibe and if it's what you're into, the site repeatedly stresses that it is 100% discreet. It also boasts over 20 million users so there's plenty of cheating to be done.
Oh, but if you're in Singapore, you're SOL, the site is banned after massive public outcry. Maybe that's not so surprising for a site that's slogan is ""Life is short. Have an affair."
7. Chemistry.com - Where Dating is Science
Chemistry.com puts a unique spin on compatibility with its questionnaires. The site assesses its users personalities and then makes judges them to match them with the perfect partner. You can be ranked in four criteria, using a percentage as either "Director, Builder, Negotiator, or Explorer." After a battery of other tests, the site will find compatible matches. It's an advanced twist to OKCupid's user-oriented quizzes and is a bit like E-harmony, but it's got a younger, more hip vibe.
Chemistry.com has over 11 million users — EHarmony doesn't disclose how many it has, but it does claim that 4% of US Marriages are thanks to its sophisticated algorithms, so maybe it's worth the money.
8. DateMySchool.com - Date Your Ex-Peers
DateMySchool is for those who want to reconnect with people who you have something seriously in common with: college. It's only for verified college students and alumni, but if you fit the bill, the site provides unique features.
Members can see how what they're looking for relates to what others are looking for. This makes it so that one can see just what kinds of strategies other people are using.
While there are only 200,000 or so users, it can be the perfect choice for someone looking to kindle a relationship with some very solid common ground: having spent four years at the same university!
9. SpeedDate.com - Date Fast
Boasting 9 million users and a vibe that says "let's do this," Speed Date is all about getting responses quickly. Things move quickly as potential lovers can communicate over text, audio, and video chat.
If you want to make things happen, this is the place to do it. It's free to try, but you'll have to pay to get unlimited messages, which let's face it, that's probably what you're going to want if you're all about speed.
10. ChristianMingle.com - Most Popular Specialty Dating Site
If it's your style, then ChristianMingle is definitely the way to go. Boasting over 9 million users, the site is an ideal spot for those looking to find someone who shares similar religious predilections, you know, fellow New Testament fans.
The premium price is a bit up there, at $29.99 a month, but if it's what you're about, it may be worth finding your soulmate — literally.