The best dating sites to find a connection this weekend

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The best dating sites to find a connection this weekend

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From Match to Zoosk, these dating sites are worth your time.

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By MASHABLE DEALS

Ah, online dating. If you’ve dated in the past 20 years, you’ve likely encountered one – or all – of the myriad dating sites in some form. 

And as we’ve increasingly moved our lives online, digital dating’s finally shed the stigma it once carried, leaving people free to meet others however they choose.

SEE ALSO: How to whip your dating profile into shape

Julie Spira, dating expert and CEO of cyberdatingexpert.com says it wasn’t always so easy to meet people online. She would know: she’s been helping clients find love online since 1994.

“People didn’t have mobile phones and laptops, and the process was people would go home, log on slowly, see who had written to them and write back,” she says. “The courtship process was a lot slower, so it took quite a while to get from the first interaction to actually going on a date. Plus in those days, there was a stigma associated with online dating. You did not tell people you met your spouse, or partner, or even a date online.”

As we’ve changed, so has the online dating landscape. In the years since their initial launches, the forefathers of dating sites have forged ahead on mobile while holding on to their desktop roots.

Here are our top 5 dating site picks:


One-of-a-kind matchmaking based on behavior

The coins are annoying • Pricey if you choose the monthly version

If you haven’t had luck with other sites, maybe Zoosk’s unique system will help you break through.

1. Zoosk

Price :
$29.95/month (pre-paid plans go as low as $12.95/month)


Who it’s for:

People who want something serious, but are open to anyone in the world.


Why it’s awesome:

What initially

began

as a Facebook app developed in 2007 has grown into a company with

35 million users

in more than

80 countries

. Rather than asking its users for dating questions,

Zoosk

picks dates for its users based on a user’s on-site activity. If you shoot a message to Jake Doe, for example,

Zoosk

says it’ll use that action to determine which types of profiles to show you going forward.”Zoosk is fun and flirty,” Spira says. “It does cater to a younger crowd – more of a millennial crowd.”

What you need to know:

  • Zoosk is free to sign up, but you’ll need a paid subscription to interact with other users. The company also uses its own form of currency called Zoosk coins that are available for purchase. Daters can use these for features like adding a “boost” to their own profiles in search or sending another user a “virtual gift.”
  • Users can browse the site on both desktop and mobile.

Largest user base of all • Low-pressure

Pricey • Lots of noise and unwanted messages • Sifting through profiles takes work

Somewhere between Tinder and eHarmony lies Match, the Facebook of dating sites.

2. Match

Price:
$20/month (but there is a free trial option)


Who it’s for:

literally everyone.


Why it’s awesome:

Before there were apps on which one could swipe right and left on a dizzying number of potential connections, there was

Match

. Yes, Match is the mother of all dating sites. Launched back in

1995

, its decades in the business help it bring a ton of insight to the table for singles looking for all kinds of connections. And with its more recent push into mobile come a few new features that have helped make the ancient site more relevant, including

its very own version

of Stories, popularized by Snapchat and, uh …

adopted

by everyone else.

Match

users can shoot little videos of their day or add voiceovers to photos and post them to their profiles for other users to check out. “Match is the family brand,” Spira says. “It’s the one where someone could see their grandmother on, and someone could see their grandson on. It has the largest critical mass, and they have done a fabulous job of keeping up with the technology.”

What you need to know: 

  • It’s technically free to build a profile and browse for matches, but users who want to engage in direct messaging with their matches will have to upgrade to a paid membership, which costs on average about $20 per month. There’s also a free trial option.
  • Match users can browse on desktop and on mobile through its app.
  • Match also recently added Missed Connections which, like the app Happn, tells users who they’ve crossed paths with recently.
  • More than 25,000 new users join each day, apparently.
  • Spira says it “spans a lot of different relationship types,” from casual to serious.

Massive user base • LGBTQ friendly • Tons of features for max satisfaction • Chemistry questionnaires are actually decent

Outdated and unattractive layout • Entire site looks like a virus-ridden porn ad • Best features get pricey

If you can get past the fact that it looks like an ad for a deserted strip club, you’ll get the satisfaction you were looking for and more.

3. AdultFriendFinder

Free version:
Yes

One month of GOLD:
$32.39/month

Three months of GOLD:
$21.58/month

One year of GOLD:
$14.56/month


Who it’s for:

Horny people.


Why it’s awesome: AdultFriendFinder

is our pick for the best hookup site, and that’s because it’s literally impossible to walk away unsatisfied. It’s like a Pornhub that you can actually interact with. Regardless of whether you’re looking for an in-person hookup or to blow off some steam via sexting or raunchy videos, AFF has everything that your dirty mind can think of

and more

. Almost nothing is blurred out (no, really, there are lots of unsolicited dick pics), v=but if you don’t mind that the entire thing looks like a sketchy “There are hot singles in your area” ad, you’ll be in heaven.

With over 25 million monthly users (that’s more than

eharmony

) as well as live video options, chat rooms, groups for ultra specific kinks, and more, you can probably assume how wild this site can get. But there’s such a large and diverse group of potential matches, you’re very likely to find someone who’s on the same page as you. The part that you wouldn’t expect is the fact that they do offer tons of compatibility questions and matchmaking services, because they’re

that

intent on finding you a good lay.

Another bonus is that

AdultFriendFinder

is like the dating site version of New York City (AKA it never sleeps). You’ll find people who work the regular 9-5, people who work the night shift, and people in other time zones, so it’s nearly impossible to log on and not have people to talk to. AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them. 

You can read our full review on AdultFriendFinder

here

and sign up

here

.



High success rate speaks for itself • Quality matches – less noise

Not LGBTQ friendly • Pricey

If you’re laser-focused on hetero matrimony, this could be the fastest way to get to that goal.

Who it’s for:

Straight people who *really* want to get married.


Why it’s awesome:

Founded in 2000

by Dr. Neil Clark Warren

,

eharmony

is the site for serious daters. A spokesperson for the site says it’s been used by 54 million people, and is apparently responsible for 4 percent of U.S. marriages. Users answer a lengthy questionnaire that helps eharmony determine what it calls a “a select group of compatible matches with whom you can build a quality relationship.” Spira says she’s always seen eharmony as a “matrimonial dating site.””That doesn’t mean you’re going to walk down the aisle, but it certainly means that you’re looking for a very serious relationship that may or may not lead to marriage. It may lead to living together or at least being in an exclusive, committed relationship.”

What you need to know:

  • While it’s free to make an account, answer questions, and see your matches, you’ll need to select a paid membership to make contact. Prices start at $19.95 per month.
  • It’s available on both desktop and through its app.
  • It’s not recommended for users looking to date casually. “eHarmony will not cater to somebody who’s looking for a casual relationship or hookup– you will never see that on eHarmony,” Spira says.

Queer-friendly and inclusive • Lots of users • The questionnaire isn’t tedious

The best features aren’t free

If politics are important to you, and you enjoy fun questionnaires, OkCupid is your best bet.

Who it’s for:

Woke liberals.


Why it’s awesome:

On

OkCupid

, users can offer a ton of information about themselves through the site’s Match Questions. Examples

include

: “Would you date someone who keeps a gun in the house?” or “Should the government require children be vaccinated for preventable diseases?” The answers to these questions help OkCupid determine which members might be a good match for one another. Of note: Per OkCupid’s own stats,

liberal women in particular

have luck on the site. And in 2017, the site offered users the chance to

answer 50 “current events” questions

that illuminate a user’s politics.”OkCupid has been a favorite of mine for years,” Spira says. “I always liked OkCupid because they have a great critical mass and they have the thought-provoking questions that really allow you to think about how you feel about some of these issues, whether it’s politics or gun control, and how do you feel about your date’s answers. People spend a lot of time on site just perusing the questions that other people answer, and I like that.”

What you need to know:

  • OkCupid is free for the most part, but does offer some paid upgrades for features like increased search abilities, a “free automatic boost per day during prime time,” or even the option to browse privately in “Incognito Mode.”
  • It’s available on both desktop and mobile.

Huge number of users • Google Home integration • Cheap

If you’re looking for an affordable option and like that it caters to an older crowd, POF’s gigantic user base might include the one for you.

Who it’s for:

Broke singles.


Why it’s awesome: Plenty of Fish

, sometime styled as POF,

boasts

4 million daily active users, with 65,000 new users each day, apparently, and claims users send

1 billion messages

per month. After registering for POF, hopeful daters take a personality test that then helps POF determine what they call, “Your Relationship Needs.” Basically, it’s a way to make sure users know what they want from their love lives, and to ensure that it serves users other profiles that meet that criteria. One unusual quirk: The site

recently launched

a feature that allows users to message others through Google Home. Says Spira: “They have a large user base, are a free site, and are very popular.”

What you need to know:

  • POF is pretty much entirely free, but does offer upgrades. Like Zoosk, POF offers “tokens” that let users “highlight” their profiles so that they stand out to other users, send a message that goes straight to the top of their inboxes, or send a “Super Yes” to users they’re particularly interested in.
  • It has both a desktop site, and an app.

Alright daters, get your beautiful faces out there.

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