Best Dating Sites
As Of September 2021
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Find Your Better Half From the Best Dating Sites in the UK
If you are ever swooning at screen couples who find each other through online dating apps and make their odds worthwhile (hello Love Guaranteed), it’s time to bring the screen magic to your real life.
The internet is full of dating sites. Whether you are looking for a site that caters to the needs of same-gender relationships, the elderly, single parents, the busy individuals with no time to meet casually and, you’re not going to believe this, religious people!
Choose the best dating site for your next (and hopefully last) love story as effortlessly as it can be, courtesy of our guide. All you need to know is the different niches dating sites cater to, what you need in a partner, how to update your profile and make it stand out, among other minor details.
Are you ready to find love?
What are dating sites?
Dating sites are online systems that enable individuals to find potential matches over the internet. Such matches can develop into something more than an online love match. The end goal of dating sites is for people to find companions with whom they can have a romantic or a more intimate connection.
How do dating sites work?
While all dating sites have the same end goal of connecting people through algorithms, the working mechanism might differ. The most common thing about all sites is providing your dating information, allowing the algorithm to match you with like-minded individuals. However, the level of information you have to provide when filling out your profile differs between sites.
Τhere are sites, for instance, that let you specify the importance of each attribute for you, and it then assigns a weight to that attribute. So, if you prefer a blonde match with a college degree and a career than someone who is still working through college or never set foot in a campus class, it ranks that with a high weight. The site will give preference to blondes with college degrees as your potential matches.
Other sites, though, use a more complex compatibility matching system, which claims to match people using scientific research to make compatible matches. How cool is that?
What are the benefits of dating online?
Online dating delivers results. It doesn't matter whether you are looking for casual dating or someone to build a serious relationship with. With over 1,400 online dating services available in the UK, surely, there's a perfect match out there for you.
- There are dating websites that have developed and patented a relationship questionnaire. Others have a personality test, all of which come in hand for compatibility purposes. This ensures the algorithm matches you with potential suitors with the same tastes, values and relationship outlook as you.
- Second, you get an opportunity to choose from a vast dating pool of individuals. How many spots in London, or the whole UK, can you really go and find single individuals, waiting to find love? Unless they have approached you, there's no telling who is single and searching.
- And, it is not just about swiping left or right or scrolling past profiles to find someone with a 6-pack of abs or the best bikini shots. Online dating allows you to sample different individuals' personality traits without having to meet with them in real life and suffer through awkward conversations.
- Social, and not only that, distancing can’t be an issue with online dating. Even in cases where it’s impossible for people to meet in person, online dating apps allow people to continue dating. Imagine spending hours on a call with someone interested in the same topics as you, even if you have not met in person? Pure bliss!
How to choose the right dating site?
Know What You Want
Are you looking for someone with particular interests, or you have no specifications? Your answer to that can help you decide whether you are signing up with a mainstream site that caters to every individual or if you are better off with a site that caters to a specific niche.
Mainstream sites can be a great start if you are a rookie. However, there are many niche-specific sites. For instance, there are sites that shift the dynamics of power, giving women the chance to initiate conversations, others designed for meeting Christian daters or, if you are a Christian, while others cater to the Jewish daters. If you are in the LGBTQ community, worry not, as there are options for you too.
Ease of Use
Are other users complaining about the UI/UX design of the website? If it makes your pursuit of love a nightmare, it is probably not with your time. Features like a search bar and filter buttons simplify the process, making it easy for you to filter searches to what meets your taste. Also, is the site cluttered, or does it have a clean look? These are aspects you should be aware of since you’ll be spending some time there.
When they say love has a price tag, you probably never thought it starts with paying to sample a pool of potential matches. Still, if you are not ready or willing to pay for such a service, you can try some free dating sites.
But if you want more control over your dating matches, searches and extra features like searching for love matches that suit your demographic, you should consider paying for the premium or paid accounts.
How to get the most out of online dating?
Some people sign up to multiple dating sites and never manage to find a suitor. You could be the problem, or the app has glitches, but you cannot assume several apps are standing between you and a happily ever after. At the end of the day, get the best out of any product or service you purchase depends on how you use it.
To ensure you don't end up frustrated by any dating websites, here are tips on how to get the most out of the dating site you sign up with:
- Read through the multiple reviews available for each site you are interested in. This way, you will only sign up with a site that suits your interests.
- Do not be skimpy with your profile details, from your interests to what you prefer in a mate. The more detailed and honest you are in your profile details, the higher the algorithm's chances of matching you with like-minded people.
- Be honest about what you are looking for right from the beginning. Are you after a hookup, casual dating or a long-term relationship that could lead to marriage? Your answer will determine the app you should be using. Plus you won’t lose time playing around.
- Have more than one picture, a close up of your face or even a full-body photo. We all know that the first thing we all do when it comes to flirting is taking a good look at the other person. Boost your chances with high-quality pictures that highlight your strongest features.
- Look beyond the surface, and by this, we mean the pretty face. You are looking for someone with a real connection, right? The only way to find it is if you read through their profile. Carefully!
- When you are messaging the people you are interested in, do not send just a "Hey" or "Hi". The world moves fast, even on online dating platforms. Start with a greeting and then make a thoughtful icebreaker or ask questions about their profile or interests. You need to build a new connection, trust and who knows what else? You can’t do that with a plain “Hi” so invest time and effort in your communication.
- Do not stretch yourself too thin. Even if you have 20 possible matches, it doesn't mean you have to contact all of them. Imagine the absolute madness of having more than 10 conversations with potential matches who want to meet for coffee, probably at the same time?
How to make your dating profile stand out?
Choose a cool profile picture. This is the first thing you should be doing because it’s the first thing potential matches will see of you. Make sure your face is clearly shown and smile. Nothing can make you look more beautiful than a true smile.
Now that your picture is set, let’s go deeper. Your profile picture might be hot, but your profile is what sets you apart from the rest. Avoid being too generic with your personality descriptions. Do you love travelling? Sure, someone else does too, but you are probably interested in different destinations. They probably love spending their vacations strolling through white sandy beaches and sipping cocktails in the Maldives, while your ideal travel destination involves chasing nature trails and wild safaris. Mention it.
This helps capture potential partners' attention and help them find a footing for initiating an exciting conversation.
What if I want to use an app instead of an online dating site?
If you want access to your dating profile 24/7, dating apps are probably the best choice and readily available on both Android and iPhone smartphones.
However, it is believed that dating apps are best for casual hookups, while online dating sites are best for those in search of a happily ever after.
Is online dating safe?
It goes without saying that the internet is still full of creepy individuals. Exercising caution should be at the top of your list, even after the first date. From the minute you decide you sign up with any online dating sites, ensure you do the necessary to stay safe. But let’s be honest, if you are careful enough to identify the signs, online dating can be as safe as physical.
In order to help you stay safe throughout your online dating journey, we‘ve gathered a list of tips for you:
1. Practice Caution
Be cautious from the word go. As much as your name is required to sign up, do not provide more than the necessary personal information. Do not share your date of birth or address, and (we can't believe we are saying this) your financial information, Even if your match requests for such data just for the sake of getting to know you better.
Consider signing up to any dating sites with a different email address instead of your personal address for extra safety. You can even purchase a new pay-as-you-go mobile phone, get a new mobile number and use it for communicating with online daters.
If you suspect a matched profile is catfishing you, do not be afraid to report their profile. Most importantly, do not plan any meetups with them, even if it is grabbing a cup of coffee at a local cafe.
2. Dig Deeper
It helps to put on your detective hat and be the Sherlock Holmes you've always wanted to be. Don't feel ashamed; you've probably wanted to know more about your potential suitor since they showed up as your potential matches. Plus, they are probably doing it too.
So, trying to dig deeper into their lives. Social media sites have made it quite easy for one to get information about individuals. You can check out their pictures and see whether they look the same as they do on their profile. Go through their timelines and see how they interact with others and what content they post.
You would be surprised how much you can learn from one's online posts.
3. Meet in a Public Space
When you are up for that first date, even the second and third one, ensure you meet in a public space. This way, you are not on your own. Even if the place is full of strangers, it is still public and lowers someone's chances of hurting you.
4. Share Your Location with Loved Ones
Be sure to share your date details with your loved ones, from the location to what time you will be meeting your date and who they are. Many apps allow you to share your current location with your trusted ones. If not, send regular updates of your whereabouts and the date- but avoid staying on your phone throughout.
5. Have Your Own Travel Means
If you are not driving, have other means of travel that do not rely on your date. With multiple ride-hailing services available, it is easier to get a cab these days. Also, ensure you have enough cash or your credit or debit card has money that you can use to pay for transport.
6. Do Not be Scared of Leaving
Do not forget that this is a stranger you are meeting. On the off chance, they make you feel uncomfortable with their tone, discussion topics or just the way they look or try to touch you, leave. It doesn't matter whether you have had a lovely dinner together or it is a few minutes after showing up for the date. Your safety should be your priority, and sitting through an uncomfortable situation will not help. Remember rule #5? Arranging your own travel means you can leave the date at any time.
Is online dating expensive?
Online dating isn’t that expensive, but that certainly depends on your financial situation. You could be paying £15 let’s say for a monthly subscription. That's a total of £45 for three months and £90 for 6 months. Unless you find love within such a short period, you will be paying a significant amount of money to keep your dating profile up.
But this should not discourage you, since there are, of course, free dating sites that find you love at no cost.
You can also save money when using paid apps if those sites offer longer than a month subscriptions. A 6-month subscription for instance could make it more affordable than any site that charges per month.
Can you find love on dating sites?
Some people believe that the science of matchmaking does not work, while others believe it is the best thing that can ever happen in the love industry. The thing is, matchmaking has been in existence for centuries, and online dating sites are just our modern version of it.
Whether you meet someone online or offline, it is the effort to keep the connection alive that matters. If you put in the work and the effort, a dating site can help you find love.
Dating is easier nowadays, thanks to technology. With an online dating site, you get a vast selection pool of people that pique your interest. You can sign up to sites that cater to specific niches or join a mainstream site that allows everyone to join, regardless of their interests and gender. The secret to succeeding in the online dating community is ensuring your profile is up to date, honest and states from the beginning what you are looking for.
Who knows, your better half might be searching for you online, too!