Updated 04-29-2016

Online DatingOnline Dating

Need a date for the holidays? This is the place to start. Maybe you're new to online dating sites, or you've tried one site and you're looking for other options. Our reviews couple in-depth analysis of each site, with the experiences of a male and female tester who signed up for each service and provided us with their opinions. For more information, check out our full reviews and comparisons, as well as our online dating FAQ.

Online Dating Reviews & Ratings

View Full Comparison Chart
Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Match Rating: stars
Large and active group of users, intelligent matching system based largely on similar tastes and interests
OkCupid Rating: stars
Quirky and straightforward approach to online dating; tons of personality quizzes help match users with local singles
eHarmony Rating: stars
Emphasis on guidance and deep connections, larger users base seeking committed relationships, some people are not accepted
Zoosk Rating: stars
Fun and playful; great social features; premium features somewhat available without a subscription
PerfectMatch.com Rating: stars
Designed for those seeking committed relationships, combines elements of matching and searching, personality test is less informative
FriendFinder Rating: stars
Customizable experience, overwhelming & frustrating interface, best for people with flexible relationship goals and a lot of time on their hands
Lavalife Rating: stars
Emphasis on flirting and chatting, good for casual dating, slightly more explicit content, interface cluttered with ads
Date.com Rating: stars
Very basic service with instant messaging and chat rooms, best for casual dating
Tinder Rating: stars
Instant gratification — a simple "yes" or "no" to users' Available upgrades for more substantial features; app-based service.
SpeedDate Rating: stars
Constant stream of speed dates, matchmaking "system" yields poor results, nonstop harassment to subscribe

NextAdvisor Online Dating Blog Headlines

4 Things to Remember for Peak Online Dating Season
As you may or may not already know, peak online dating season is almost upon us. Toward the end of each year, online dating services are flooded with record-breaking numbers of daters in search of love. The possible reasons for such high volumes of daters coming out of the woodwork at the end of the […]

How to Beat the Online Dating Hookup Culture
Online dating is an ever-changing phenomenon. As the years go on, these services have evolved from simple meet-and-greet chat rooms all the way to mobile platforms where users can meet other singles in their immediate area and enjoy fun, flirty features of whichever service they prefer. With the changing platforms also came a change of […]

The Election and Online Dating: What Daters Can Expect
Would you dare to bring up your political stance on a first date? How about the first time you send one of your online matches a message? The online dating pool hosts some interesting interactions on a daily basis, but during an election year, conversations are turned up a notch. This politically-charged season can stir […]

Online Dating Rookies: These are Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid
Singles of every age are trying their hand at online dating these days and many are seeing great results. No matter when you decide to take the plunge into the world of Internet romance, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Being new to the game means getting your bearings both in how to represent […]

Fill out your profile

First you have to let the world know what you're like, and the kind of person you're looking for. Different dating sites handle this differently, of course, but when you're getting your profile ready, it's like getting ready for a night on the town. Choose a photo, fill in your likes and dislikes, and sketch out your preferences. Dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony PerfectMatch.com focus on personality analysis to help develop match recommendations. The trick here is to be honest, both about who you are, and what you want. See some extra tips for filling out your online dating profile here!

Find a match

Once you've filled out your profile, and maybe taken a quiz or two, it's time to concentrate on potential dates. View their profiles and see how well you match up. Unlike dating in the wild, you get a lot more information about your potential dates up front—and you can decide if they're really worth your time. Once you've found someone who looks like a good fit, start the conversation! Online dating sites make it easy and safe to get in touch with the people you're interested in. Wink, flirt, nudge, and message your way to a deeper conversation. Click here to learn the dos and don'ts of your first message!

Date!

You don't have to rush into your first date with someone new. You'll probably want to get to know them a bit better before you make your first in-person contact. Listen carefully to your Skype conversations, and if you're still unsure, learn more via a background check. Listen to your heart when deciding whether to take it to the next level. Once you're ready, take the plunge, and make a concrete plan to meet in person. For more about meeting a potential match for the first time, click here.

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