Save 66% on Match.com today!

Best Dating Sites and Apps

Need a little assistance looking for Mr. Right or Mrs. Right? If so, Hot5 has rounded up the best dating sites guaranteed to match you up with the man or woman of your dreams.

dots overlay

eHarmony

Visit Site
Read the full review

Pros

  • Successful 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility matching system
  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Helpful guided communication to aid with icebreaking
  • Excellent privacy features

Cons

  • Matching system means can be a little slow
  • No video messaging options

eHarmony.com has been around for a very long time. It launched in 2000 and expanded into the USA in 2007. The site claims to be responsible for thousands of weddings, relationships and babies. New members of the site are required to fill out a personality survey and profile information and this is used as part of a sophisticated matching system to help members find their ideal partners.

eHarmony has millions of members across the globe including well over 1 million in the USA and over 90,000 active weekly users. One of the remarkable things about the service is how popular it is with all ages and demographics. Many people are under the misconception that eHarmony is primarily a religious dating site, but that is simply not true.  While there are sections dedicated to Christian singles, Muslim dating, and Jewish dating, it also has sections such as Asian Dating, Senior Dating, Local Dating, Widower Dating and more. In short, you can use eHarmony no matter your age, race or religion.

The basis of eHarmony is its unique 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility matching system; this has been put together based upon years of research into an ever-increasing number of relationships. As mentioned, new members of the site are required to fill out a questionnaire. This questionnaire is extremely detailed and it will take you some time to complete. However, the success of the site is all the proof needed that the system works, so it is very much worth making the effort.

The site then shows you people it has identified as good matches based upon responses to the questionnaire. The more you use the site, the more it will learn about you and the better your matches will become. There are many options for communicating with your matches and an excellent feature of the site is that there are many tools to help you connect with your match.

If you are interested in a member then you can send a smile or a message. There are two ways of sending a message, you can simply type one out and click on send. However, the second way is far more interesting. It is called guided communication and it allows you to send a series of pre-chosen questions. The match will then send his or her answers back together with questions for you. This process is designed to help initiate interaction and can be a great help with breaking the ice.

eHarmony is probably the only dating service that has two mobile apps, both of which are available for Android and iOS. The main app is for heterosexual matches while the second app, Compatible Partners, is for homosexual matches. Both apps bring the desktop functionality to mobile devices, and they are extremely easy to use.

eHarmony has been awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal, showing that it complies with all of TRUSTe’s privacy policies. Furthermore, they uses a system called RelyID to verify the identities of its members. Thanks to this, you can use the service knowing that it is extremely safe.

In short, eHarmony does exactly what it sets out to do; it has an effective matching system and numerous helpful tools to help members find their ideal partner. In other words, if you are asking “is eHarmony good?” then the answer is simply, yes, very.

Match.com

Visit Site
Read the full review

Pros

  • Dynamic matching algorithm that updates based upon activity
  • Numerous innovative features to aid dating
  • Appeals to wide age range and demographics
  • Excellent mobile apps

Cons

  • Relatively expensive site
  • Approval can take a little time

Match.com is one of the oldest online dating websites and one of the best known. They have well over two decades of experience helping people to find their perfect match. Throughout this time, they have always been at the forefront of the industry, and have developed an excellent reputation.

As a leading online dating site, it is no surprise that Match.com has millions of members across the globe, including close to 3 million in the USA and over 100,000 users active every week. The site appeals to all ages and demographics. Thanks to this it is often used as a resource for Asian dating, Jewish dating, Christian Dating, and so on. Its membership is almost split evenly between men and women, and it has members of all ages, from the 18 – 24 bracket to the 55+. Furthermore, the site is so successful that it is often used instead of dedicated gay dating sites and lesbian dating sites.

The site is mainly used by those looking for serious dating and relationships, and less as a hook up site, and all of its features are geared towards this. It makes use of a unique matching algorithm that uses machine learning to improve its matching capabilities the more it is used. The algorithm com takes into consideration what you say you want, as well as what your behavior on the site suggests. For example, if you have set your hair preference to dark but you continually look at profiles with light hair then the algorithm will pick up on this adjust the results accordingly.

Members are not restricted to the algorithm’s results; they can also search Match to find more potential partners. There are numerous search options to help you. In addition to basic filtering by factors such as age, gender, location, and so on, you can also use any of the profile fields to filter searches (such as interests, background, lifestyle, etc.). There are many more filtering and sorting tools available and these will all help you find suitable matches.

When you find profiles that interest you there are a number of ways of engaging with that member. You can send winks, like profile pictures, email them, chat, and more. The MatchPhone allows you to talk and text message without exposing your phone number, while there are also options such as MatchMe, which asks the site to list your profile as one of the daily matches for the person you are interested in.

One of the site’s newest features is called Missed Connections and it is designed to help users meet in real life. If users were to opt-in it will show them members who have been in the same vicinity recently. Members can see where they may have intersected with other members and can use this to aid future interactions.

It is no surprise that Match.com’s mobile app is excellent. It is available on both Android and iOS, and it brings the full functionality of the desktop site to mobile devices. In fact, there is no need to use the desktop site if you have the app as everything can be done from your smartphone.

The site uses encryption technologies to protect members’ personal information and the amount of public information available is limited to things such as your Match username. Furthermore, all profiles are screened before they go active, giving members an additional layer of protection.

Overall, Match.com is an excellent online dating service, whether you are a young man, a mature woman, or anything in-between, and it is a valuable tool when looking for your ideal partner.

Our Time

Visit Site
Read the full review

Pros

  • Large member base of genuine mature singles
  • Numerous site features to aid communication
  • Matchmaking and search sections
  • Regular events at which you can meet members

Cons

  • Some features require an additional payment
  • Profile photos are needed otherwise you remain hidden

OurTime is one of the leading dating sites for over 50s. It caters to those looking for anything from pen pals and travel partners, to more serious relationships and marriages. It is a hugely popular site with over 1.5 million members in the USA, the vast majority of which are genuine mature singles and there are roughly equal numbers of mature single women and men.

The site has numerous features to help facilitate mature dating. Members can approach one another in a variety of ways including email, chat, telephone and text messages, or simply by sending a flirt or digital gift to register interest. After getting to know someone you can use the ConnectMe feature. This enables you to talk with your match over the telephone but without needing to hand out your phone number, thereby offering an extra layer of security and privacy.

As the site caters to a demographic that may not be entirely comfortable with technology, it has features such as message ideas on each profile to help and encourage communication. Similarly, if you are not comfortable writing your own profile then you can make use of the ProfilePro service. Professional writers will be in touch and gather information about you in order to put together an accurate and engaging profile. You can then make use of features such as PromoteMe to make your profile more visible on the website.

Each day OurTime will provide you with roughly ten matches, and if none of these appeals then you can also use the OurTime search functionality, which has a number of filters, to help you find potential matches.

OurTime is also one of the few dating services to host events for members to attend. The events take place across the country and they are an excellent opportunity for members to meet in a safe environment.

Every aspect of the site has been designed with over 50s dating in mind. For instance, the text is large and easy to read, and the user interface is highly intuitive. The pages are less cluttered than other services, making it easier to keep track of exactly what is going on. This usability extends to the OurTime dating app as well. The app is available for both Android and iOS, its design is very similar to the website and it works in essentially the same way, ensuring that members do not have a steep learning curve.

Those venturing into the world of online dating for the first time may justifiably be worried about privacy. However, OurTime uses encryption technology to safeguard all of its members’ private data, and there are also numerous tools to ensure its members stay safe while dating. Their site has a huge amount of helpful information on this topic and it is well worth looking through it.

In short, OurTime is a leader in the world of over 50 dating and it is an excellent resource to help mature singles find each other, whether they are simply looking for new friends or a long-term partner.

Hot5 is a comparison site specialising in a range of entertaining, security and lifestyle topics. One of the most visited sections is our dating page where users can find detailed reviews of different online dating sites and apps and insightful dating articles.

History of online dating

Since its inception, the prospect of ‘dating’ has changed quite a bit, as well as, the means people use to find ‘the one’. When the first modern newspaper was invented in the late 17th Century (Britain), people bought personal ads to discretely connect and communicate with one another in hopes of finding love or sex. It was very popular among single aging men who were growing out of the appropriate years of bachelorhood.

This continued for the following few centuries and progressed to becoming a method for gay men and women to meet secretly and safely when homosexuality was illegal in the 18th Century, and for Europe’s aristocrats to engage in scandalous romantic activities in the 19th Century. During this time, con artists noticed that it could be used to target vulnerable singles, creating the first dating scams.

In the 20th Century, dating took a massive development with personal ads becoming more used in America, most notably for World War 1 soldiers seeking pen pals and companionship. More matchmaking approaches that arose included:

  • “Scientific” tests like measuring pulse and body odour to determine whether a couple is compatible.
  • The first example of computerized matchmaking in Stanford where a class paired 49 men and 49 women, based on their answers from a punch card questionnaire.
  • Video dating services (i.e. Great Expectations) for long distance.
  • Chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards to make digital connections.
  • “Blind Date” television shows
  • Dating Websites (in 1995, Match.com became the first major dating site to register a domain).

Today, there are dozens of dating sites and apps accessible on our phones which makes finding a potential girlfriend/boyfriend easier as everyone is just a swipe away.

Advantages of online dating

There are several different advantages to online dating but here are the three main benefits:

  • Convenience

While it may seem like a daunting endeavour to begin with, it is actually a very simple sign-up process. Online dating is the most convenient ways of meeting other singles. You can take your time communicating and connecting with other dating site members, the perfect option for busy people without the time or energy for “traditional” dating methods, for example, bars and clubs. Additionally, it is a great option for people who are shy or nervous as there is less pressure involved when sending a message than approaching someone in person.

  • Matching

Online dating provides individuals with access to many more potential partners, particularly those interested in a certain “type” i.e. lifestyle, orientation, appearance etc. Furthermore, many online sites offer personality testing and matching which helps singles be guided towards dating partners who may be more compatible. A big plus on matching is full disclosure, meaning people can specify their intentions from the start and connect with people who are looking for the same thing as they are, for example, if you’re seeking your soulmate, it will prevent you from wasting time with casual dating.

  • Cost

Actively going on dates multiple times a week as you search for the one can burn a hole in your wallet. Ultimately, you will be saving money by going on fewer dates and chatting online as you will get a feel of who that person is prior to deciding whether to meet face-to-face. Keep some money in your pocket by registering to a dating site, the prices are affordable and reasonable considering you will get to know a potential girlfriend/boyfriend before you go out on a date. This means less wasted money and fewer failed dates.

Online dating facts and statistics

  • 1 million people have used an online dating site
  • 1 in 5 relationships now start online
  • 25% of people say that dating apps helps them to feel more comfortable and themselves in dating scenarios.
  • 30% of women are more likely to ask for help with their profile, whereas men have a lower statistic of 16%
  • 71% of people believe in love at first sight
  • 80% of people who someone who has found love online
  • A recent study shows that the biggest turn-off about an online dating profile is poor spelling and grammar.
  • Match.com is one of the biggest dating sites as it boasts 10 Million+ users
  • eHarmony latest research predicts that over 50% of people will meet the love of their lives via an online dating or matchmaking site by 2031.