By: Saundra Latham on January 30, 2017
Matchmaking sites take a scientific treatment to love
If you truly want to find someone who ",gets you,", matchmaking sites want your business. These sites recommend compatible members based on your answers to a multiplicity of questions. It’s significant to response honestly, as you may not be able to search for members based on your own criteria. These sites may even dictate how you communicate with matches. The process takes work, and because of that, matchmaking sites often are best for those looking for a long-term relationship.
Best matchmaking site
When you want a serious relationship — maybe even marriage and a baby carriage — reviewers say you’re best off at eHarmony.com (Est. $26.95 per month and up). The sign-up process at eHarmony.com involves hundreds of questions, and it is by far the most extensive of any online dating service. Experts say the effort it takes to join (up to an hour) tends to weed out those who are simply looking for a fling, and the site claims responsibility for an average 438 marriages per day. EHarmony.com says it has more than 20 million ethnically, racially and religiously diverse registered users, tho’ reviewers say members tend to skew conservative. Users also tend to be older: the site’s core demographic is 35 to 65, eHarmony.com’s Chief Operating Officer Armen Avedissian told the Wall Street Journal.
EHarmony.com is effortless to navigate and visually appealing, experts say. However, its massive questionnaire is both its strength and weakness. Questions are grouped into core traits, such as emotional temperament, social style and intellect, and vital attributes, such as relationship abilities, values and family background. This data feeds eHarmony.com’s much-touted matchmaking algorithm. However, you have to rely on the algorithm to select your potential mates — you can’t perform searches yourself. EHarmony.com also isn’t cheap. To see photos and have a total range of communication options, you’ll need to pony up for a membership (Est. $35.95 per month for six months, or $26.95 per month for 12 months). Sometimes current members who’ve not yet paid will get discount promotions via email, however.
Note that eHarmony.com makes no assures that you’ll be matched: You may wade through the questions only to be told ",we are incapable to find the right people for you.", It also doesn’t permit same-sex pairings. Like other sites, members complain it can be hard to cancel a subscription. They also say you may be matched with inactive members, but there’s no way of knowing this except through non-responsiveness when you attempt to communicate with them. The site has an extensive page of safety tips and, like Match.com, it does screen members against sex-offender registries. It also has a duo other safety features: RelyID, a service that uses public information to verify your identity, and Secure Call, which lets members talk over the phone without exposing their real phone numbers. Both are included with a pricier subscription called TotalConnect.
Chemistry.com (Est. $35 per month), eHarmony.com’s closest competitor, is a less-pricey option that also uses an extensive personality test to match members. Reviewers say it’s less limitary than eHarmony.com — most notably, it does permit same-sex matching. The questionnaire is also less time-intensive than eHarmony.com’s, requiring Ten to 15 minutes to accomplish. Experts say Chemistry.com is not almost as big as eHarmony.com, but since it’s more liberal with matches, that may not matter as much as it usually would.
The site is ",plain and effortless to navigate,", say AskMen.com editors, with no annoying ads. After completing the Chemistry.com questionnaire, you’re shown your main and secondary personality types: explorer, director, negotiator or builder. It’s these results that are used to find your matches. Like eHarmony.com, you can’t search — you must wait for the site to send you matches. You also must subscribe to contact people, tho’ the site presently offers a three-day free trial. Subscriptions run from about $35 for a month-to-month plan to $13 per month for a six-month subscription.
Some members complain that it’s too effortless for scammers to make it through Chemistry.com’s sign-up process and, while reviewers say the site is proactive in removing their profiles, they’re still inundated with fishy messages. Others complain of a tricky cancellation policy and automatic subscription renewals. The site has an extensive page of online dating safety tips. It does not screen profiles against sex-offender registries or conduct any sort of background checks.
Dating apps make it effortless to connect on the go
If it seems like little has switched about online dating in the past few years, perhaps you haven’t been looking in the right spot. Dating apps have been jiggling up the industry, especially among junior, urban users who aren’t necessarily looking for their soul mate — at least, not yet. Many of these apps integrate with Facebook, saving users from a lengthy profile-building process. Most app-only services find users’ potential matches instead of relying on user searches, and many require mutual ",likes", before permitting any sort of connection. Apps are often free, however there may be premium features that are only available if you pay a petite fee.
Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (free) aims to combat two common complaints about online dating sites: That the emphasis is on quantity over quality, and that meeting up with strangers is risky. It does so by matching you with just a handful of members each day, and by searching Facebook to only match you with friends of friends. Reviewers say that while this may seem limiting, the app often does an admirable job of picking potential dates. ",I almost exclusively received very educated, professional, attractive women. I’m not sure how their algorithm works, but it’s fantastic,", says Robert Leshner of VentureBeat.com. Coffee Meets Bagel says 96 percent of its users have at least a bachelor’s degree, and according to AskMen.com, the site is skewed toward female users.
Using Coffee Meets Bagel is elementary. You’re sent potential matches, or ",bagels,", each day, and can browse a puny number of extra profiles on your own. You can ",like", or ",pass", on your bagels, and if you both specify ",like,", the app connects you with an icebreaker and a improvised phone number. The app is free to use, but you can buy ",coffee beans", to put toward premium features that include being able to see your individual Facebook connection with your match. You can also earn these beans for free by simply continuing to use the app. It’s available for iOS and Android phones.
Reviewers say one of the potential downsides of Coffee Meets Bagel is running into ",bagels", that you may have passed on in real life — after all, these are friends of your own friends. A few others complain that they don’t get enough information about their ",bagels", to determine whether pursuing a potential connection is worthwhile. Safety-wise, most users seem to be more enthusiastic: Since they’re connecting within their own social circle, they’re more certain of avoiding scammers and predators. They also have a week to talk with a match via the app’s private line before determining whether to fork over any private details.
While Coffee Meets Bagel is about restraint, Tinder (free) is the opposite — its massive user base and more casual interface mean the possibilities are endless. Tinder claims it has made a whopping Ten billion matches in close to 200 countries. Reviewers also say it’s effortless to use — so effortless that Leshner of Venture Strike says it took him just five minutes to like or pass on 100 potential matches. However, this also means most Tinder users are not looking for something serious, say AskMen.com editors. Tinder users also skew junior, with 38 percent of users under 24 and 45 percent inbetween 25 and 34, according to GlobalWebIndex.
When you open the Tinder app, you’re shown another member’s picture, which you can also click to view their profile. Swiping left means you’re not interested, swiping right means you are. If that person also swipes right, the app permits you to talk with each other. Like Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder is free to use. However, there is a premium version, Tinder Plus, that lets you switch your location to connect with users on the go, it also lets you take back an errant swipe and lifts boundaries on how many times you can swipe right (put in place to discourage users who might swipe right for everyone just to see what kind of responses they get). Tinder Plus is $9.99 for users under 30, or $Nineteen.99 if you’re older. The app is available for iOS and Android phones.
Some Tinder users complain of scammers with fake profiles who lure them into conversations only to begin spamming them or requesting money. Others complain that the app can be glitchy and customer service is spotty at best. Like other dating sites and apps, Tinder has a page of safety tips, but it does not screen users against sex-offender databases or conduct background checks.
In addition to these app-only sites, most of the other dating and matchmaking sites that we discuss in this report have apps as well. However, they are often only available as part of a paid subscription.
Niche dating sites cater to very specific groups
If you’ve got a specific dating deal-breaker — for example, you choose not to date anyone who doesn’t share your religion or race — you may be in luck. Many specialty websites cater to those seeking love within a certain religion, ethnicity, geographical area or age range. While these sites typically have fewer members than more general services, that might be a plus for some users who find too many prospects tremendous. You’re also assured to have at least one thing in common with every other member.