In recent years, there has been a huge surge in online dating, with more couples meeting in the digital realm than in the local pub. No longer an option people are embarrassed by or shy away from, online dating has ultimately changed the way we look for love and approach possible romantic interests. With hundreds of dating sites to choose from, here is a list of the top five to try if you're feeling a bit lonely.
Match is one of the more established dating sites with nearly 1.8 million subscribers. It's a simple platform where you create a profile, send a few messages and, if you're lucky, arrange to meet for a date. For those that are not so lucky, Match is unique in that it organises singles events and provides dating advice for its users. At a cost of £12.99 for a 6-month membership, it puts the control in your hands, allowing you to access and assess potential matches.
My Single Friend is the perfect site for those who want to try online dating but are too shy to sign up. It removes the stigma of trying to big yourself up, letting your mates do it on your behalf. Whilst it can be interesting to see how you measure up in your friends’ eyes, the chatty style of the profiles gives a more relaxed and insightful user experience. At £13 per month, it’s an affordable online version of blind dates.
Plenty of Fish
Based on a cliché, Plenty of Fish works by asking users to take a specialised Relationship Chemistry Predictor Test, focusing on self-confidence, family orientation, social dependency and easygoingness to name a few factors. Naturally, you are then matched with the person most compatible. A free subscription, this is a great platform for those new to online dating.
e-Harmony appears to be one of the few dating websites that takes the dating scene very seriously. Much like Plenty of Fish, they have a Compatibility Matching System created from 35 years of research, helping the user to accurately find that special someone. At £9.95 a month, this site is perfect for anyone looking for an accurate personality match and a long-term relationship.
A relatively new dating site compared to the others in this list, Tinder employs a simple method of swiping right to approve potential sweetheart and left to decline them. Favoured by a younger audience, it is widely known as a free platform not just for dating, but for 'hooking up' or a 'bit of fun'. With an ever-growing database of users, Tinder could soon eclipse all other dating sites.
And for good measure, one to avoid:
Beautiful People only welcomes those deemed beautiful enough to join. Applicants must be voted in by existing members of the opposite sex and rated over a 48-hour period, simply based on whether or not they think the applicant is attractive enough. Arguably, it's claimed this process is to break the ice and allow members to get to know their character and personality better. On one hand, the price of £7.50 for six months is a bargain, but on the other hand, this site affirms the superficial nature to dating and adds another hurdle to what is already a very delicate minefield. Do you have the confidence to give it a go?
Author: Harriet Brown