These days, there are tons of dating sites for people looking for very specific, similar individuals. Whether you want to stay within the pool of race, religion, hobbies, or even sugar daddies, there’s something for everyone. But for those of us who don’t necessarily want to limit our options that much, it can be hard to narrow down the options. So, for those of us who are new to the game, allow me to introduce you to some of the biggest online-dating players, and who should (and does) use them.
For the busy ones: Tinder
Tinder is an app you can download onto just about any smartphone, which means it’s easy to constantly look for and browse through nearby singles at all times. Not to mention the “swipe left or right” method allows you to quickly sift through potential partners, and if they think you’re attractive too, you get a message!
This is the most efficient, since you get to skip the awkward step of saying “I think you’re cute” just by making a quick swipe, and you link it up with your Facebook so no need to search through a ton of old photos--they’re already at your fingertips! Plus, the options are constantly changing for the on-the-go single. Who knows where you’ll meet?
The downside, however, is that it’s so efficient, that there are a lot of “fast” people that commonly use it… as in, maybe a quick hookup fast. But make your intentions clear, stick with it, and you’ve got a nice little love-weapon in your pocket!
For the single that doesn’t really want to go to an online dating site yet: Facebook
Yes, Facebook. Browse through friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, or even just people who have liked the same page that you like that might be in the same city. Talk about a wide pool, but hey, it’s a start! Plenty of people send new cuties messages on Facebook, and if they’re already friends with one of your friends, you’ve already got a conversation starter and a possible recommendation.
This is the time the “friends with thousands of friends” really comes in handy.
For those that “can’t buy me love”: OkCupid
OkCupid is one of the biggest free online dating sites, and for good reason. You can do just about everything you really need to do without paying a penny. They have an upgrade option, but that’s only for those fancy-folks who want to be able to anonymously browse and so forth.
Send messages, read people’s profiles, like people’s’ profiles, you can do it all without paying anything.
The downside is that this is mainly for a younger crowd. Generally people in their 20s. You’ve got some 30-somethings and 40-somethings mixed in there, but your options would be limited, and there’s kind of this unwritten rule of online dating that says: thou shalt start paying for online dating once thou art old enough to reasonably have a steady job and lifestyle. That’s a big insider’s tip I just gave you.
The other nice thing is that OkC has, shall we say, “adopted” the swipe left/right method as well, in a section called “QuickMatch” so you get a little bit of everything!
That’s not to say that 30-somethings and 40-somethings are forbidden to date on OkCupid, you just might find yourself bumping into more college kids than anything.
For the detail-oriented: Plenty of Fish (POF)
Plenty of Fish gives you the option of creating some of the most specific, detailed profiles. Tag your profile with interests and hobbies, fill out a section of what you’re looking for in a girl/guy, title your profile with a single-sentence (see what I did there?) summary of who you are, and more.
They even have video tutorials packed with tips to keep your profile fresh. Pretty great resource for a newbie, huh?
For those who like to mix it up: Zoosk
Zoosk is an interesting one. It links right up to your Facebook profile, so you actually have the option of switching between your routine anonymous Facebook-stalking and date-hunting. It’s another site that lets you fill out a ton of details, but you also have to be willing to pay a little to really get to know people.
The nice thing is that likely, if someone is willing to pay for online dating, they’re probably more serious about it, or at least have got some money to burn, and both of those are pretty nice options.
For those who like to read: eHarmony
eHarmony is one of the largest paid online dating sites, and for good reason. Not only do you get a nice array of people to match up with, but eHarmony also has a ton of articles all about that amazing thing we call love and dating. So, while you’re waiting for that handsome guy with the fancy hair to respond to your message, you can study up on all of the fun and not so fun parts of dating, and learn a thing or two.
For the serious: Match.com (and eHarmony)
Both Match and eHarmony tend to have some of the most serious of daters on them. Likely, when you meet an adult male or female that met their partner/husband/wife online, it was probably through one of these two sites.
Again, that whole paying for dating thing really does generate people who are more serious about finding a serious long term relationship. So, if you’re serious and can spare the cash? Go for it!
Plus these sites start you off with a quiz to help narrow down who you’re compatible with. Not a bad tool to have on hand, I’d say.