#top online dating sites
The 11 best dating sites right now
Twenty years ago, Match.com went live. It was one of the first dating sites to hit our computer screens and has remained one of the most popular ever since.
But in the last few years a lot has changing in the online dating world.
There’s been a huge rise in apps and websites all designed to help people meet online. Now, no matter what your age or lifestyle, one of the best ways to start dating is simply to create a profile.
It’s a major theme in my latest novel Not That Easy where the young heroine, Ellie Kolstakis, tries out a number of dating apps and sites to get some decent men in her life and in her bed.
One of the biggest issues that she and her friends have with online dating isn t so much the people they meet, but which site they meet them on. In the book they discuss the pros and cons of the different options facing them.
This is relevant to so many single people today. With thousands of new apps and sites being created faster than we can download them, it s hard to know where to start.
Even if you used to successfully online date, but have found yourself single again, it can be difficult to know exactly what sites you need to be surfing.
It s why I ve created this handy guide to the 11 best dating websites and apps available right now. You’re welcome.
This site describes itself as the way to meet the most successful and attractive singles. It asks users to fill out their job title and education, and links to Facebook so you can view their social circle.
Before you join, the app has to approve you as a member (a slightly daunting process) or you have to be invited.
If you want to unlock certain features you either have to pay or invite other to join. A friend who uses it tells me: It s good if you re picky but there aren t a lot of people on it.
I can t really make a list of the best dating sites without mentioning Tinder. At first people were drawn to the app for its simplicity – users can swipe left to decline and right to approve a date. If two users swipe the same way? They’re matched and can chat to one other.
Tinder once had a reputation for being a shagging app – but that’s changed. Now, it seems you can t go anywhere without meeting couples who got together though it. The app s best quality is undoubtedly its sheer amount of users there are 50 million active ones, so it s unlikely you ll run out of potential matches.
For people who hate the forced feel of a first online date, DoingSomething might be the answer. It lets you pick a match based on their date suggestion, whether it s a sushi-making masterclass or rollercoaster ride.
The website says it takes the awkward out of dating , but the drawback might be that it s only London-focused – and handling raw fish with someone you don’t fancy could be a lot worse than just having a drink with them.
Cost: £10 per month
This sells itself as a feminist app. It works in a similar way to Tinder, the only difference is that Bumble only allows women to start a conversation with their matches and they have just 24 hours to do so before the connection disappears. Men cannot make the first approach.
The idea is to stop women getting loads of sleazy messages but I have it on good authority that some men are taking advantage of this and view the app as an opportunity for them to ‘sit back and do nothing’, while women rush around trying to message the potential loves of their lives in 24 hours.
Not exactly the epitome of equality
This is one of the biggest dating sites out there, and a lot of people I know have had relationship success here. The bonus is that users can fill in a lot of information about themselves, so you can tell who’s after casual sex and who wants more.
But the app has fallen in popularity compared to Tinder, and the fact that you can receive messages from anyone – without matching first – means that your inbox can quickly become clogged with sleaze.
This is the app for music lovers. It matches you with people based on your location and a shared interest in music. It can import your favourite tunes from your smartphone or Last.fm and does the hard work for you by collating matches.
A possible drawback could be a limited number of users those figures aren t available online – but it does look like a good app if music plays a significant part in your life and loves.
Unlike Tinder, Hinge doesn t let you swipe through an unlimited number of potential matches. Instead it only lets you match with people who share your mutual friends – and it shows you a new batch of users every day.
It also lets users have a more detailed profile than Tinder which just offers a bio and lets you add activities, preferred dating spots and so on.
The only awkward thing is it means people in your social circle will all know you re on the app, so if you re not keen on having all your mates see your profile, this might not be for you.
Do you like country walks? Spend most of your time complaining about life in London? Enjoy wearing wellies? Muddy Matches could be for you.
This UK website has more than 130,000 members and as one Twitter user tells me, it s perfect for meeting posh boys.
On its website it describes itself as the only independent dating site for genuine country-minded people. The only problem is that it s not free.
Cost: £22 for one month, £66 for six months
This app has been popular over the last few years, as it shows people you have crossed paths with geographically. It means you can match with hotties you live near, or with someone who always goes to the same bar as you.
Some people I know, though, have complained that though they receive matches, there s often a reluctance amongst users to send messages.
But it still has a large pool of potentials and has a simple, usable model.
This is the app for people who hate the thought of going on a date alone. It means you can join up with a friend, search for other pairs and go on a group date.
It s based in the UK so most of the user base will be here, and it means you don t have to worry so much about awkward silences or safety.
The only issue is it makes the matching process a lot harder two of you have to like two other people. And what if you end up fancying the same person as your friend?
If you re going to use this one, it might be best to have some other apps in your repertoire, too.
Coffee meets Bagel
If you hate the thought of Tinder s limitless matches, Coffee meets Bagel is for you. It only gives you one match a day which is someone you ll have a mutual friend with via Facebook.
The more times you login the more points you get, which allows you to unlock special features.
If you don t like your option, you can play give or take – where you either take a possible match or give them away by emailing their details to a friend.
Your dates are called bagels and the app is fun especially if you like smartphone games. The drawback is it s quite hard to use and doesn t offer many potential partners.
Radhika Sanghani’s latest novel, Not That Easy (Harlequin), is available to buy in paperback or as an eBook on Amazon and Telegraph Bookshop