The best dating sites to help you find a connection (2024)

Overview

Best For User Base

Match

Jump to Details

Go to Match

Best For Marriages

eharmony

Jump to Details

Go to eharmony

PROMOTED

Best For Hooking Up

AdultFriendFinder

Jump to Details

Go to AdultFriendFinder

Best For Social Interaction

GayFriendFinder

Jump to Details

Go to GayFriendFinder

Best For Professionals

EliteSingles

Jump to Details

Go to EliteSingles

See 3 More

This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

If you've dated in the past 20 years, it's almost certain that you've encountered a dating site or app. You might have even encountered a few of them (no judgement here). As our lives have moved online in recent years, digital dating has allowed us more freedom to meet others how we choose.

The only real issue with online dating is that there are a lot of sites and apps out there to consider. With so many options, it can be really tricky knowing where to find the best crop of potential partners. Each of the dating apps on offer has a selection of features that will matter differently to you depending on your lifestyle, what you want, and what's most important to you. It's simply a case of finding something that works for you. This is where we can help.

What should you include on your dating profile?

In many cases, the amount of information you can get from detailed profiles is more than what would be covered in the "traditional" period of getting to know someone. The whole "do you want to have babies" thing is a huge piece of information that could decide your future with someone, but it's very possible that such a weighty subject won't be brought up until you've caught feelings or met their parents.

However, many dating sites ask about kids —whether you want them or already have them —during the sign-up process (as well as other potentially-awkward questions), and probably won't match you with someone who has different goals than you do. Similarly, some of OkCupid's matching is rooted in political and social justice views. Will you find out if someone opposes vaccinations on the first date? Probably not, but OkCupid won't send you to get a beer with someone you'd start a fight with on Facebook.

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How to start dating again after a break

Plus, it's always nice when your current booty call doesn't suck as a person. Even if you're just in it for something frisky and fleeting, the personality you can gather from a simple bio might let you know who's worthy of your time —even if that time is strictly within "You up?" hours.

Julie Spira, dating expert and CEO of cyberdatingexpert.com, says it wasn't always so easy to meet people online. She would know —she's been helping clients find love online since 1994.

"People didn’t have mobile phones and laptops, and the process was people would go home, log on slowly, see who had written to them and write back," she says. "The courtship process was a lot slower, so it took quite a while to get from the first interaction to actually going on a date. Plus in those days, there was a stigma associated with online dating. You did not tell people you met your spouse, or partner, or even a date online."

The rhetoric has clearly come a long way since then, and the digital dating landscape has evolved with people's changing needs. OkCupid realised that the way a potential match votes matters romantically to a lot of people. Women were tired of men blowing up their messages with creepy first-liners, so Bumble came along. "Tindering" is now a verb, but it's far from your only option.

Do you really need to use dating sites?

If you're lucky, you'll find a perfect match right away, but that's not usually how it works out. While you do know more about online matches than you would a stranger you met in person, there's only so much a quick dating profile can tell you.

Dating sites and apps can make finding a compatible potential partner easier, but it's still dating. Not everyone is going to be a gem. While apps like Bumble let you display what kind of relationship you're looking for, others don't, so you might end up going out with someone only to realise you're not looking for the same thing.

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That said, there will be people on dating sites who are looking for the same thing as you. And using a dating app to find them is a hell of a lot easier than going up to strangers on the street or in bars and asking if they're looking for a relationship. Apps and dating websites expand your dating pool and allow you to meet people with similar interests you might not run into naturally in your everyday life. You just might need a little patience to find The One.

We haven't reached full AI-based or gene matchmaking just yet, but many modern features facilitating more meaningful matches (or quicker, safer hookups) have sprung up even in the past five years.

What is the best dating site?

Whether you're looking for something specific or a site that ticks every box, we have produced a handy guide that gives you all of the essential details. To ensure that you find a date in time for the weekend, we have tracked down a selection of the best dating sites for everyone, including popular sites like Match, eharmony, and EliteSingles.

All you need to do is check out these dating apps and pick a favourite from the bunch. Once you've made your decision, you just need to get out there and actually date someone. Good luck out there.

These are the best dating sites for finding a connection in 2024.

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The best dating sites to help you find a connection (6)

Match

Best For User Base

Go to Match

Before there were apps on which one could swipe right and left on a dizzying number of potential connections, there was Match. Yes, Match is the mother of all dating sites. Launched back in 1995, its decades in the business help it bring a ton of insight to the table for singles looking for all kinds of connections. And with its more recent push into mobile come a few new features that have helped make the site more relevant, including its very own version of Stories, popularised by Snapchat and, uh, adopted by everyone else. Match users can shoot short videos of their day or add voiceovers to photos and post them to their profiles for other users to check out. "Match is the family brand," Spira says. "It's the one someone could see their grandmother on, and someone could see their grandson on. It has the largest critical mass, and they have done a fabulous job of keeping up with the technology."

The Good

The Bad

Details

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The best dating sites to help you find a connection (7)

eharmony

Best For Marriages

Go to eharmony

Founded in 2000 by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eharmony is the site for serious daters. Although originally a US site, in 2007 eharmony partnered with Oxford University to carry out research on UK couples to identify the key differences in compatibility characteristics between the UK and US. The findings of the research were used to create a new version of their algorithm specifically for British singles and the launch of eharmony in 2008. Today eharmony boasts over 4 Million UK members.

Users answer a lengthy questionnaire that helps eharmony determine what it calls "a select group of compatible matches with whom you can build a quality relationship." Spira says she's always seen eharmony as a "matrimonial dating site." "That doesn’t mean you’re going to walk down the aisle, but it certainly means that you’re looking for a very serious relationship that may or may not lead to marriage. It may lead to living together or at least being in an exclusive, committed relationship."

The Good

The Bad

Details

GET IT

Go to eharmony

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (8)

PROMOTED

AdultFriendFinder

Best For Hooking Up

Go to AdultFriendFinder

Read our full review of AdultFriendFinder.

The Good

The Bad

Details

GET IT

Go to AdultFriendFinder

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (9)

GayFriendFinder

Best For Social Interaction

Go to GayFriendFinder

The site has great chat and forum features to help you get to know your potential connection. You'll be encouraged to upload photos to make your profile more attractive but you are under no obligation to do so. Joining is completely free but most communication as well as viewing full profiles requires paid membership, so if you want to find a match then you kind of need to stump up the cash. After you've signed up, you can browse the many profiles that have a truly global feel. Even as a standard member you can create hot-lists and send ice-breakers to guys that take your fancy, but to initiate contact via email or chat you'll need to upgrade.

The Good

The Bad

Details

GET IT

Go to GayFriendFinder

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (10)

EliteSingles

Best For Professionals

Go to EliteSingles

Rather than being thrown into an endless pool of profiles, EliteSingles lets you pick out exactly what you're looking for. After you answer a detailed questionnaire based on the popular Five Factor Personality Test, professional-level algorithms will curate you a limited number of matches. They'll even compare your own results to those of potential matches to see how you stack up. Like eharmony, the stuff you need to fill out is pretty lengthy – but that's what you need to do if you're looking for a lasting relationship, and this helps ensure that you aren't swiping through tons of people who aren't your type. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

The Good

The Bad

Details

GET IT

Go to EliteSingles

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (11)

SilverSingles

Best For Divorcees

Go to SilverSingles

Dating over 60 means that, more than likely, this is your second or third attempt at love. SilverSingles is here to let you know you're not alone, and that putting yourself back out there doesn't have to be scary.

A sister site to EliteSingles, SilverSingles uses the same intense compatibility system that EliteSingles does, bringing in the popular big five personality traits to assess five levels of your being: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. If you've heard of Senior Singles Meet in the past, SilverSingles is that same site with a rebrand — so they've actually been working on mastering the five factor model in tandem with senior dating for about two decades.SilverSingles wants to ensure that your next relationship lasts, so the sign-up process and questionnaires will take some time. But hey, if having every tiny part of your personality assessed is what it takes to find the happily ever after you've been waiting for, an hour of your time is totally worth it.

The Good

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Details

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Go to SilverSingles

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (12)

Lumen

Best For Seniors

Go to Lumen

Lumen is an app-only dating platform dedicated to the over-50s. The sitelaunched in September 2018, and puts an emphasis on quality conversation,with zero tolerance for ageism.

The site distances itself from other senior dating sites and aims to be more fun, engaging, and representative of real over 50s. It's especially appealing to seniors because it's specifically designed with them in mind.

There's also a Lumen Blog, providing dating tips, relationship advice, over 50s fashion guides, and social commentary.

The Good

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Details

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Go to Lumen

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (13)

OkCupid

Best For Fun

Go to OkCupid

On OkCupid, users can offer a ton of information about themselves through the site's Match Questions. Examples include: "Would you date someone who keeps a gun in the house?" or "Should the government require children be vaccinated for preventable diseases?" The answers to these questions help OkCupid determine which members might be a good match for one another.

Of note: Per OkCupid's own stats, liberal women in particular have luck on the site. And in 2017, the site offered users the chance to answer 50 "current events" questions that illuminate users' politics.

The Good

The Bad

Details

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Go to OkCupid

Topics

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (14)

Leah Stodart

Senior Shopping Reporter

Leah Stodart is a Philadelphia-based Senior Shopping Reporter at Mashable where she covers essential home tech like vacuums and TVs as well as sustainable swaps and travel. Her ever-growing experience in these categories comes in clutch when making recommendations on how to spend your money during shopping holidays like Black Friday, which Leah has been covering for Mashable since 2017.

Leah graduated from Penn State University in 2016 with dual degrees in Sociology and Media Studies. When she's not writing about shopping (or shopping online for herself), she's almost definitely watching a horror movie, "RuPaul's Drag Race," or "The Office." You can follow her on X at @notleah or email her at [emailprotected].

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (15)

Joseph Green

Global Shopping Editor

Joseph Green is the Global Shopping Editor for Mashable. He covers VPNs, headphones, fitness gear, dating sites, streaming services, and shopping events like Black Friday and Prime Day.

Joseph is also Executive Editor of Mashable's sister site, AskMen.

The best dating sites to help you find a connection (16)

Miller Kern

Deputy Editor, Shopping and Reviews

Based in New York City, Miller Kern is the Deputy Editor, Shopping and Reviews at Mashable, where she writes and edits reviews, roundups, and deals about tech products including headphones, skincare devices, laptops, sex toys, e-readers, robot vacuums, and more. She has five years of experience writing buying guides, gift guides, and deals, and covering shopping holidays like Prime Day and Black Friday. Miller can tell you which products are actually worth your money. She also explores trends in the shopping sphere, such as dupes and viral TikTok moments.

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