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A lot of people testify to meeting their soul mates and partners with online dating. The internet has, no doubt, played a huge part in our social lives and relationships. However, of course, all of these dating sites aren’t equal, and here are some of the best dating sites:

  • Tinder

Tinder is a great place to find whatever you’re looking for, from serious relationships to hookups to friendships. Plus, it also does not exclude the LGBTQ community. Profiles are kept short, and this has its pros and cons. The downside is that you will only know only a little about a person. On the bright side, you get to decide quickly if you will go for a person or not.

  • Her

This app is one of the LGBTQ dating apps, essentially for lesbian, queer or bisexual women, and one of the few good ones out there. Even though it does have its downsides, it is much better than a whole lot of other LGBTQ dating apps.

  • OK Cupid

One of the best things about OkCupid is how in-depth their profiles are. This way, you get to know someone to some extent before making a move, without feeling like you have to make decisions based mostly on photos. To help reduce the number of offensive texts and fake profiles, OkCupid stuck to letting members only send messages to matches.

  • Match.com

With over three million users, Match continues to wax strong. Its free membership and inclusivity make it one of the best free online dating sites, among many others. Profiles here are quite detailed, and you can even control who sends you a message with a feature called the “Zen mode.” There’s a free and paid membership with different awesome features.

The History of Online Dating

The History of Online Dating?

Dating has continued to evolve over the years. At first, it used to be first dates through to proposals or betrothment. Next, it moved to last for a long while before marriage. However, this concept has gone through a range of processes that have finally brought us to online dating.

This started from having personal ads on newspapers with the intent of hooking up or finding love. Not long after, the coming of the internet took these ads to the digital world. The first online dating site was introduced in the year 1959. It was developed by Phil Fialer and Jim Harvey, both Stanford students, during a class project. They used a mainframe computer and a punch card questionnaire and were able to match at least forty-nine people. It was never commercialized, but it was the very first attempt.

Several other online dating methods were introduced until the year 2000, when Eharmony, officially the first dating site, came to be. This site was launched by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and it helped people find serious relationships by using questionnaires.

When Did Mobile Dating Apps Come on the Scene?

Mobile dating apps are thought to have stemmed up initially from the gay community. This is because the LGBTQ community has always had a tough time finding love or hookups. After all, they never know who is out to take advantage of them and embarrass them, or who is also gay.

The first gay dating apps were Scruff and Grindr, which made dating for gay people much easier. They were introduced in the year 2010 and 2009, respectively. Then Tinder came to be later in the year 2012, which allowed people of all sexualities to participate in the online dating scene via dating apps. Tinder very easily became one of the most popular dating apps and became even more popular when its operations finally included Android users. Many other dating apps came up after this.

Characteristics of the Best Dating Sites and Apps

Characteristics of the Best Dating Sites and Apps

With the rise of online dating sites and apps, it has become increasingly difficult to tell legit dating sites, from the bad ones and the ones that end up being a scam. There are roughly eight thousand dating websites in existence currently, along with thousands of reviews of each.

Here are a few things that will help you identify the best online dating sites and dating apps.

  • Privacy

One of the first things to consider in deciding if an online dating site or app is good enough is how serious they take the privacy of their users. Users will use platforms they trust, and a platform that is not trustworthy is not worth any good. Good dating sites also have provisions for complaints in case of cyber harassment.

  • Profile Creation Processes

A great dating site should make sure that its profile creation process isn’t bulky, yet it should be detailed enough to help users make decisions and know others before sending messages. It should give users a chance to personalize profiles the way they love.

  • Localization

People sometimes want to be able to find people in their state, city, or neighborhood without having to look too far. Not many people enjoy long-distance relationships or the stress of going far away to meet people. People love comfort, and great online dating sites and apps know this, so they offer comfort.

  • Compatibility Checker

No one wants to have to go through hundreds of profiles to find one person. The best online dating sites help this situation with compatibility checkers that match users according to interests, sexual preferences, location, etc. Regular suggestions are also a key feature.

  • Communication

Communication should not be mitigated on dating sites, except for reasonable purposes like security. The best dating apps and sites, therefore, encourage communication with video calls, personal messaging, chat rooms, etc. Everyone who signs up to a dating site plans to communicate with potential dates; it’s a no-brainer that the best dating sites make this possible.

What are the Types of Online Dating Sites and Apps

What are the Types of Online Dating Sites and Apps

  • Matchmaking Sites

Matchmaking sites take on the responsibility of saving you the time and the stress it takes to go through multiple profiles. They provide matches for their users according to their needs, preferences, interests, and other details provided by the user.

  • Event Sites

This is for individuals who love to meet people in group settings. After becoming a member of any of these event dating sites, you get to attend their parties and gatherings and meet up with potential partners or matches. You could also lookup profiles of people you have found interesting from the gatherings and maybe set up a date with them.

  • Preference Sites

These are dating sites that cater specifically to your preferences. These preferences could include religious, ethnic, sexuality, and personality preferences. If you have preferences, then you want to check out these types of dating websites. You should go to sites with higher traffic for better results.

  • Personals Sites

If you prefer to do the searches and matches manually, personals sites exist to make your dreams come true. Here, you can carry out detailed searches with specific criteria, depending on what you want.

  • Tinder

Tinder is one of the best free online dating sites, and also one of the most popular. With over fifty million users from all over the world, and about two billion views every day, Tinder continues to stay relevant. Over one million dates go down per week with the help of Tinder. It is majorly for casual dating.

  • AdultFriendFinder

Adultfriendfinder is also another dating site that is popular among users. It is popular because it caters to every kind of preference.

  • Match.com

In online dating, another popular dating site is Match.com. It has been around for over twenty-three years and caters to the needs of individuals who are in search of serious relationships. Match.com gives you what you want by monitoring your on-site habits, instead of bulky questionnaires.

  • Badoo

Badoo has been able to rack up over four hundred million users from all over the world, and it offers free membership. It’s majorly for individuals who prefer to leave their options open and have a wide range of choices.

  • Grindr

Grindr is one of the oldest and yet, one of the best dating sites for the LGBTQ community. It does well with its privacy and security and helps the LGBTQ individuals find what they’re in search of.

What are the Best Hookup Sites?

  • Adultfriendfinder

This is one of the hookup sites that are popular in both the LGBTQ community and among straight people. It has a large user base (we’re talking twenty-million users), with tons of amazing features like chat rooms, live videos, etc. It is one of the best hookup sites because everyone finds what they’re looking for.

  • Tinder

Tinder has something for everyone, with millions of users to choose from. It even has a free version, so no one is left out of the fun. It is fast and pretty easy to get laid on Tinder. There are paid memberships; Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus, which come with even better features.

  • Pure

Pure is one of the numerous hookup sites online. It is like Snapchat, except for sex. Hookup can happen fast with Pure, plus, and it’s a hundred percent no strings attached. One of the rules on Pure is that all users must pretend like they are strangers after a hookup, to keep the ”no strings attached” rules; this makes Pure a fire hookup site.

  • iHookup

Even though iHookup is a hookup site, it ensures that its users put some effort into creating good profiles and posting good photos of their faces too. This way, your feed doesn’t have to look like a porn site all the time. iHookup does not have such a large user base yet, so its users are geographically more spread out. This makes it useful for sexting with someone on the other side of the world.

Are there any Christian Dating Sites?

Lots of Christian dating sites exist to help Christians find someone of the same religion and values, as a lot of religious people prefer to be with people of the same religion and values. Here are some reviews on a few Christian dating sites:

  • Christian cafe

Christian café is arguably the best dating site for Christian singles. It helps individuals who are in search of relationships, dating, friendships, or marriage. With this dating site, you can find other Christians in your area and connect with them.

On the site, even though its primary purpose is for dating, users are encouraged to make posts of encouragement, prayers, or testimonies.

  • Christian connection

Christian connection is an online dating site committed to helping single Christians in the UK, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Hong Kong. It is one of the best dating sites for single Christians and has won a ton of awards as a result of its impeccable standards.

  • Christian cupid

Another Christian dating site is Christian cupid. It also exists to help Match make Christian singles in search of dating and serious relationships. Services on Christian cupid are friendly, along with great search and message features that let you enjoy your process.

People who are not in search of dating relationships, but would love to have some Christian friends can also use Christian cupid.

  • Christian mingle

One of the best dating sites for Christian singles in search of Christian relationships is Christian mingle. It guarantees quality interactions, with detailed and personalized profiles to let users know other users and let their great personalities shine through. Christian mingle also offers good dating tips.

Dating Sites for the Elite

  • Elitesingles

On Elitesingles, more than half of its users hold either a doctorate, master’s, or a bachelor’s degree, as the site is home to educated professionals. It helps these professionals find and connect with other professionals. It has a strong security system and provides a questionnaire to let other users know exactly what kind of person you are.

  • Luxy

Luxy is for the successful club. Here, successful folks get to meet and date each other. Luxy anticipates that scammers and other fake profiles will try to find their way in to get to the successful people on the app, to this effect, it has a strong system that discourages scamming so that users won’t be taken advantage of.

  • The League

The League simplifies the dating game for its users by doing the scouting and the matching while its users just enjoy meeting great, attractive, and high-end people that are on the same level as them.

LGBTQ Dating Sites

There are not many great LGBTQ dating sites because many of them are not legit and scam people. Some of the lesbian dating sites are crawling with catfish males who are creeps, or some are made simply to sexualize lesbians. The good thing about the LGBTQ dating sites listed here is that you can use them both for hookups or serious relationships.

  • Her

Many reviews that compare Her with other Lesbian dating websites conclude that She is the best dating site for lesbian, queer, and bisexual women. Her was made for queer women by queer women, and this is a big deal. on Her, you can find matches nearby that you did not know you were there. Its feed is almost like social media, which lets you catch up with LGBTQ news, or events, and make friends.

One review says that people on Her look so good and way out of your league, which is a good thing but maybe a bad thing for your confidence. However, She gives tips to help walk you through.

  • Fem

On Fem, users are encouraged to use video profiles in introductions so that other users get to know you even better. However, for the sake of the shy ones, Fem doesn’t make this compulsory, and you could settle for posting selfies.

Fem also has several chat rooms where its users can chat on several topics or send photos. The rooms include the ‘Naughty and Nice” room, the “Meet Locals” room, and the “Makeup Talk” room.

  • Grindr

Grindr is one of the best dating apps in the gay community. Almost every gay man uses this app, and so far, it has been able to rack up to twenty-seven million users all across a hundred and ninety countries. Grindr was one of the first dating apps; launched in the year 2009; it got the attention of the gay community very quickly. It has a matching system that matches you with gay men close to you that you didn’t notice before

There is the Grindr for Equality that encourages activism for LGBTQ rights to love, health, and safety.

  • Gay Cupid

Gay Cupid is another one of the best free dating sites for gay people. Gay cupid’s safety game is off the charts as it easily weeds fake profiles out and gets rid of them. It also has a great search game with exhaustive options, along with other features like good profile space for self-descriptions and uploading photos, a friendly interface, and a minimalist dashboard.

Dating Sites That are Free

  • Tinder

Tinder, according to many reviews, is unarguably one of the best free dating sites. It is from here that the swipe feature came to be, as you swipe through profiles on Tinder. When someone you like likes your photo in return, you automatically get matched, and you will be notified

  • Bumble

Bumble is almost like Tinder, as swipes also happen here. What’s different is that in heterosexual settings, females do the messaging first, which is pretty exciting.  There is a premium membership where other features are at your disposal.

  • Match

On Match, you get to join, set your profile up, upload a photo, and describe yourself along with your hobbies, preferences, and interests and carry out searches for free. However, you may not be able to send personal messages for free, except you sign up for a free trial (this trial often lasts between three to seven days). You will have to cancel the membership before the end of the trial to avoid being charged.

Dating Apps: Free or Best Apps?

Both free dating apps and best dating apps have their place in the dating scene. If you feel that it will not be worth it to pay for any dating apps, then there is nothing wrong with sticking to the free dating apps.

However, if you’re willing to go all out in your online dating experience, and try everything, then you can go for the best dating apps, which are usually paid for.

Some of the best dating apps, however, do offer free membership, albeit limited. Your choice depends on your needs.

What’s the Cost of the Best Dating Sites?

On average, the best dating sites will cost between $40-$60. Match.com, for instance, costs $42, while eHarmony costs $60 per month. There are other great dating sites like OkCupid and PlentyofFish, which offer free membership.

Are All Dating Sites Legit?

Many sites are a scam, but it does not mean there are no legit dating sites. For example, Tinder, Badoo, Grindr, Bumble, OkCupid, Adultfriendfinder are just a few of the numerous legit dating sites available.

How do I Stay Safe When I’m Dating Online?

Your safety is important when you are dating online. Therefore, there are a few ways to ensure that you are dating, yet doing so safely. Here are a few ways

Protect Your Personal Information

It is unsafe to give out personal or sensitive information about yourself to strangers on dating platforms. Information such as your home address, or your card details is to be protected and kept private.

Meet Only in Public Spaces

Of course, not everyone is a creep, but you don’t want to wait to find out, right? It’s wiser to keep your meetings strictly in public and open spaces where there are people. Avoid meeting in lonely or secluded areas.

Inform at Least One Friend

Before going on a date, it is important to let at least one of your friends know where exactly you’re going. You can tell many more friends, and drop the exact address of the place you will be meeting your date at.

Don’t Hesitate to Leave When You Need

When you get uncomfortable for whatever reason, see it as your cue to leave, and do so without hesitation. Your instincts are almost always correct, after all.

Meet at the Agreed Spot and Go home yourself

To stay safe, meet your date and go back home yourself. It is unsafe to let a stranger know where you live, as it could be potentially dangerous if they’re not who you think they are.

How to Make Sure Your First Date is Successful

How to Make Sure Your First Date is Successful

First dates are unpredictable, and your nerves can become a wreck, which can ruin everything. You should have a few tips up your sleeves to impress your date.

Do not Stalk on Social Media

You do not want to become the creep that goes out of their way to stalk someone on social media. Many people indeed do this. However, it advisable not to.

Keep Your Comfort in Mind

The last thing you want is to make yourself uncomfortable for a date. This means that you should wear something that makes a good impression, without having to hold your breath. Wherever you have agreed to meet up should also be comfortable for you. If you’ll be going to get food together, make sure you also pick the food you’re comfortable with. In a nutshell, your date should be enjoyed, not endured.

A Confidence Exercise Might Help

You could try out a few confidence exercises to boost your confidence. Positive affirmations are a good way to start. What are the things you feel most insecure about? Talk yourself out of them with a few positive affirmations.

Laugh

Remember that you should be having fun on your date. So, if you can make jokes, then, by all means, do so. Also, laugh when your date says something funny. Don’t be a killjoy. Everyone loves a cheerful person.

Body Language is Important

Communication can happen in a lot of ways that do not necessarily include words. If you find your date attractive, or if you feel uncomfortable, let your body language and facial expressions do the talking.

Pay Attention

Be as attentive as possible during your date. Part of the reasons you’re on a date is to learn more about your date, so listen and watch them. You should also be attentive so that you can notice anything that seems suspicious.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Your date wants to know that you’re interested in them, and if you do want your date to be happy, then ask them questions. You could ask about their dreams, family, hobbies, or interests. You could even ask about favorite songs or movies.

Stay Positive

Positivity is an important part of life, including when you’re on a date. Being positive shows your date that you’re a breath of fresh air, not a joy killer. It will also help you feel good about your date.

Do not Let Them Pay the Bill Alone

Offer to split the bills and then pay part of the bills. Apart from making an impression on them, you generally shouldn’t be selfish.

Follow Up

After your date, check-in to see that your date got home safe, assuming they do not call first. Don’t forget to thank them for spending the time with you.

Spam & Bots

There are spam and bot accounts on almost every dating site. When you do find these accounts out, you are encouraged to report them so that they can be banned and taken down.

The Experts’ Opinion on Dating Sites

Many experts affirm that online dating comes with lots of mixed experiences; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Many people have great experiences, and even meet life-long partners via dating sites. However, some others have terrible experiences that have left them frustrated. Thus, online dating has both benefits and downsides.