Online dating sites

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About

On this page I list out a few dating sites. The number of lifestyle and dating sites out there is overwhelming (well over 1000 [1]), and the problem with many is: (a) they are far more expensive than they should be, (b) many feature fake users, and (c) many send you constant spam and use every cheap trick they can think of to get you to part with your hard earned dollars. Instead of listing many sites here I'll try and recommend just a few - including a couple of sites (plenty of fish and okcupid) which won't cost you anything!

For more information about why you should try online dating and how to increase your chances try this page:


DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind this page isn't an extensive review, but based on me testing out a handful of sites (without actually paying for any!) research on the web and talking to a few people about what sites are good!



Dating Sites Worth Trying

Name Cost Impression Features

FREE DATING SITES

Plenty of fish

FREE


*****

A very popular site in America apparently and allows you to search users before creating a profile. Seems to be lots of users in Australia too [2]. Simple interface, but it works and it's free! You can also instant chat with people who are online - click on "instant chat" and it will bring up a new window! I'd suggest trying this one FIRST! Don't forget to keep changing your profile ("changing the bait") and sending many messages of different lengths to many people ("casting the net wide") until you start getting bites. It really is like fishing.  :-)

okcupid

FREE


******

I tried signing up for this site and sadly found few users in Australia, but hopefully that will change. What I loved about this site are the ideals and mature intelligence of its design - especially the huge database of multiple-choice questions (eg: "How often are you open with your feelings?", "Which of the following would you do you do if your find a lost child...") which you can answer to help improve the accuracy of your matches. I spent a good hour going through some of these, and these will really make you think about your values in life! A great site for mature people (in age and/or emotional intelligence), but relatively few users in Australia so hopefully it will continue growing!

Coffee meets Bagel

FREE


*****

A origional and relatively new service which is very quick to sign up to and gives you just one match per day. Setting up is really easy, you provide your facebook details, a tiny bit of text and your phone number. Every day at noon you get sent a match and you either (a) like or (b) pass. If both of you hit like then you both get send an SMS which connects you and asks a little ice breaker question and suggests you meet within the 2 or so weeks the sms link stays open. It's a brilliant idea I can't believe wasn't thought up sooner!

I highly recommend because it addresses a lot of the issues people - girls especially - have with online dating sites... (a) too much choice, (b) too many messages from guys each day, (c) fear that giving away your actual phone number of e-mail might lead to unwanted / ongoing messages. One match per day is perfect, and since it's so easy to click like or pass there's no real offence taken if there is no match - it's not like you had to type an email. The have a "beans" system I haven't worked out... I think you can pay to unveil the Facebook connection between you both, but often there is no-one in between, they just select someone nearby. I'm not sure about other countries, but it's won awards and is growing in popularity in the US.


OTHER SITES WORTH LOOKING AT

Zoosk

Free for a few messages, but then
~$35 one month or $104 six months to subscribe


***--

What's clever with this site is it integrates into Facebook, Myspace and Bebo - it was the first and is largest dating application built for social network users. The word integrate is slightly deceptive as your Zoosk profile is really quite separate from your facebook. The coolest feature is the Zoosk Messenger which lets you "add friends" and chat to other online users for free (well for a while, then the ask you to subscribe unfortunately). It also has a coin system where you can get free coins when you login every 24 hours to get two free coins which you can use to buy "virtual gifts" when you message another user. You can only message a few users for free before you'll have to subscribe, an in these messages certain words are blacklisted (eg: Facebook) but that doesn't stop users from giving people their facebook contact details (even if they write it backwards)! This is one of the few sites I might pay for as it has quite a few users and a clever interface.

Match.com

Free 7 day trial and winks free
~$40 one month or $150 six months with guarantee*


***--

I've listed this one because it the world's largest dating site as acknowledged by Guinness World Record. Note that it's fairly expensive, so before committing to pay anything make sure you search the site for matches in your local region, create a good profile, and gauge interest by sending winks. It does look like I pretty powerful interface and note that the most expensive six month options has a guarantee of you finding someone or they'll give you another six months. Another huge online dating site is eHarmony: the latter quite clever in that it bases matches upon pre-screening using personality tests which apparently takes ~1 hours to complete.

RSVP.com.au

Wink free but
~$60 one month and just six stamps over one month (yes expensive!)


**---

RSVP is for Australian's only and out of principle I actually would rather not recommend site! The stamp system is a rip off - you pay up to $10 to contact a single person - but believe-it-or-not this negative can actually be a positive. It means that other users are not flooded with messages and thus are more likely to pay attention to yours - plus it means you'll use those stamps carefully. If someone has stamps it means they are quite serious about meeting someone! The other reason I felt obligated to mention RSVP is that it is (unfortunately) Australia's largest dating site and if you're a mature person who's prepared to pay over $60 for a chance at love it's probably worth a shot. If you're young and/or poor try a free site instead! Some other specifically Australian sites are: RedHotPie (apparently full of fake users), LavaLife (same problem) and Aussie Match Maker (bit cheaper than most).


Dating sites - the biggest and the bizarre

Some of the biggest dating websites in term of users and hits are:

One great way to compare sites is to use "Alexa", a service that lets you rank websites and see how many hits per month a site gets. This is demonstrated really well on this video.

It's also worth noting that small niche dating site are becoming more-and-more popular: whether you're a fitness fanatic (fitness-singles.com), vegetarian (veggieconnection.com), horse lover (equestriancupid.com), larger person ([3]), star trek fan (trekpassions.com), lover of apple devices (cupidtino.com) - you name it there is a probably niche dating site for you if you Google it! And yes, there are heaps of gay dating sites (although almost all sites let you specify what gender(s) you are interested in) and sites for specific fetishes or religious faiths! And of course there are also lots of "adult dating sites" specifically for people who want intimate encounters, but this page is not for those kind of sites. If you live in a smaller town however, you're unlikely to have much luck with smaller dating sites, and instead should go with one of the bigger sites!


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