Advice on Choosing a Dating Website

Once you decide to try online dating, it may be tempting to sign up at the first website you find. While you may very well get a date, choosing the best site can greatly increase your chances of finding your perfect match. Dating websites can vary significantly and it is best to take your time and put in the necessary legwork when making your selection. In this section, you will find advice outlining which factors to consider when choosing your dating website. We also provide specific recommendations and links to additional relevant information to help guide you through the process.

Identify Your Needs

Not all dating websites are right for everyone and the type of relationship you are looking for will determine the type of site you choose. Some dating sites are geared toward a particular type of relationship, while others offer separate sections for either casual dating or something more serious. If you are committed to finding your soul mate, eHarmony would be a good choice since they focus strictly on long-term relationships. Websites like LavaLife offer options for various types of dating and may appeal to singles open to multiple types of matches. No matter your preference, identifying your needs will go a long way in choosing the best dating website for you.

Once you have determined the type of relationship you are looking for, you should focus on who you want to attract. Dating websites can usually be divided into two distinct categories: general or specialized. General sites, also known as mainstream sites, are marketed for a broad range of singles while specialized, or niche, websites cater exclusively to a specific type of online dating, such as senior or Christian dating. We cover these two types of dating websites in more detail in the next section.

General or Specialized Dating Websites?

General dating websites are marketed toward everyone and include most of the mainstream services. At these sites you will find online singles of all ages with various religious affiliations, ethnicities, and national origins. If you are interested in casting a wide net among a diverse pool of people then these websites are probably for you. Many of these dating sites also provide filters to narrow your search; nevertheless, some people prefer to stick with services that only include singles of a particular group.

Specialized dating websites are ideal for people with specific dating preferences. These services can be exclusive to a specific religion, age range, race, nationality, or just about anything else. Online dating at specialized sites can help you find someone with common interests who understands your values and beliefs. People with overlapping ideals and similar life experiences often find it easier to develop intimacy by appreciating one another's opinions and views. If you are interested in this type of online dating, check out our page on the various types of dating websites, where we breakdown the most common dating categories and highlight the best options for each.

Method of Matchmaking

Now that you have identified your needs and determined which type of online dating you prefer, it is time to classify the two methods of matchmaking used by dating websites and choose the best option for you. The first type of matching allows members to browse through one another's profiles and choose who to contact. This is the more traditional approach and relies on advanced search technology to narrow the results and only include appropriate matches. Match.com is a good example of a dating website that uses this method of matchmaking.

The second way dating sites match their members is a bit more scientific. These websites use advanced algorithms to directly match you with other suitable members and provide access to their profiles without you having to perform a search. The matchmaking algorithms are based on the study of human attraction and research of successful relationships and what makes couples compatible. Chemistry.com is an online dating website launched by the creators of Match.com that uses this scientific system. Both of these matchmaking methods have proven records of success and you really cannot go wrong with either one; it is a matter of personal preference.

Dating Website Reputation

You should stick with reputable dating websites that have been around for a while regardless of your dating preferences. Newer sites will not necessary provide a poor service, but the only way to ensure the safety and security of your personal information is to choose a well established site with a proven record of reliability. If you are unsure of a site's reputation, head over to our homepage for rankings of the best dating websites, which only include credible services that offer a positive online dating experience.

Read Our Reviews

For more information on a specific website, take a look at our dating site reviews where we offer an extensive assessment of the leading dating services. We explain exactly what each option offers and compare pricing between websites. We also provide information on how to navigate each site, specifically how to sign up, creating a dating profile, and contact other members.