So many of my dating coaching clients start out wanting to know what the best online dating sites are. My dating advice is always the same: Match.com. Now I don’t get a referral fee for saying this. To me, Match is the best site because they are the biggest and sometimes bigger is better. That logic is always true, but it sure is in this case. when you have that many millions of singles in one place – you have more possibilities to choose from!
Poking around on the Internet, I found this site which had their own list of the top 5 best sites for online dating in 2013. I don’t necessarily agree with their choices – I think it depends on your age which is not a factor for their ranking process. Never the less, I want to share what they recommend with you, and then I’ll add a few sites to that list from my experience.
1. Match.com This is voted the best site overall. They have the biggest and fastest growing membership and the site is considered the easiest to use.
2. Zoosk.com This is the second rate site and has a younger user base. They are hooked up with the social media sites and have an app as well. This probably isn’t the best site for those reading my blog who are dating after 40.
3. eHarmony.com This sites supposedly serves marriage-minded singles and reports 120 wedding a day. My thoughts – do you believe everything in advertising? I rather doubt these statistics. If this were true – Match.com’s marriage statistic would still be higher from just sheer volume.
They use a complicated personality matching algorithm that can only work if they have enough singles to match. Under 35, the male/female ratio is not bad. But over 40, forget it! My dating coaching clients complain bitterly about this site because they don’t get enough matches. In addition, they will match you with men who have dead profiles and are no longer active.
Think about it this way – how many men do you know over 40 who have the patience to answer 236 personality questions? Exactly – not that many!
In addition, men are visual, and this site doesn’t allow you to browse or look at pictures. If you are a woman dating over 40, I don’t recommend this site. Also, they have a convoluted communication process that many singles opt out of so they can just start the email process rather than asking and answering their vapid questions. If you want to use this site PLUS Match – then what the heck? Go ahead and try it. I have had a tiny number of clients meet their right man through this site.
4. Chemistry.com This is Match.com’s answer to eHarmony. They use Dr. Helen Fischer as their dating expert – she is an amazing scientist and social researcher. But, how much does that help? If you want to use a matching site, then I would choose Chemistry because you will also be hooked up with Match.com. So the pool of prospects is quite large compared to eHarmony.
The site offers some great dating advice from well-known experts. (But you can get that here too!) And they have found a way to incorporate your feedback about matches to refine the process.
5. PerfectMatch.com This site creates matches using the latest technology (whatever that is) and has some great organizing tools to keep your matches straight. Just like Chemistry and eHarmony, the site supposedly has more relationship-minded singles. As your dating coach, I feel these personality matching sites may attract more serious singles, but that also vastly reduces the dating pool. Something to keep in mind.
Most importantly, remember this when you date online – most men don’t care about personality assessments. They are visual and not in their heads about dating. Women are more interested in personality assessments, so the last three options here are going to automatically deliver fewer men. Case closed.
6. Plenty of Fish This is a free site that is fairly large and uses a similar, simple format like Match.com. I have a lot of dating coaching clients who will choose a fee site and use this free site too. Many singles use this strategy if they’ve been involved with online dating for a while. Some singles say you get what you pay for. That might also be true. But since it doesn’t cost you anything but a bit more time, it could expand your options. It all depends on how many responses you get from your fee-based site. So its up to you
7. OKCupid.com This is another free site that relies on a list of questions to create a profile. Many of my dating coaching clients who have tried both this site and Plenty of Fish, prefer OKCupid. They feel the quality of the singles are better here. My dating advice if you are going to date online is to try a fee site and a free site if yo have the time to invest.
8. OurTime.com This site is a new entry to the online dating arena. They are focused on dating over 50 which for many of my dating coaching clients is exactly what they want. I have heard mixed reviews, but I would take that with a grain of salt.
Keep in mind that any site might have more singles in one part of the country than another. That’s why its good to know about the all the top site. If you don’t have luck on one, try another!
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Photo Credit: Syko Sam