I spent my single years actively swiping on multiple apps and sites, and many frustrating experiences left me wondering, “Are there any dating sites that work for someone like me?”
The answer was yes. It just took some trial and error before I found my groove and met my perfect match. Now my boyfriend and I have been together over a year, proving that there is light at the end of the online dating tunnel.
Whether your goal is to land a hot first date or get in a serious relationship, you need the right dating platform to be your wingman every step of the way. We’ve picked out some of the most popular dating sites and apps that can get results for all types of singles.
Best Overall Dating Sites That Work
When singles find a dating site or app that works, they’re not shy about telling their friends about it. Word tends to spread quickly in the dating scene, and that’s how the most successful dating brands have built their following.
We’ve ranked the best online dating sites that have enough relationship success stories and positive reviews to prove they work for just about any single person seeking a good match.
- Match is the world's longest running dating site
- The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
- Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages
Match tops our list because it has the longest track record of success in the online dating industry. This dating site focuses on bringing serious daters together and identifying areas of compatibility to help them build a lasting relationship.
Since its launch in 1995, Match boasts facilitating more relationships and marriages than any other online dating service. Out of respect for user privacy, Match doesn’t publish testimonials from its happy couples, but we were still able to find plenty of Match.com love stories posted on Reddit.
“Met the man of my dreams in every way… on Match.com,” said an anonymous Reddit user. “Also I have two friends [who] met their husbands on there. Point is, it’s a great app.”
- Over 2 million monthly users
- Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
- Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits
Elite Singles is an upscale dating website and app that has introduced power couples in 25 countries around the world. Its matchmaking algorithm highlights members with common interests and backgrounds, making it much easier for busy and ambitious singles to find a quality match online.
The secret to Elite Singles’ success lies in its highly mature and desirable user base. Over 80% of Elite Singles users have graduated from college, and about 90% say they are looking for a long-term partner. Our full review can tell you more about Elite Singles members and their success stories.
Over the last decade, a growing number of single professionals have embraced this high-end dating brand. Elite Singles adds over 381,000 members each month and creates thousands of matches each day.
- Send messages to premium members for free
- Over 3 million messages sent a day
- Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts
Zoosk launched in 2007 as a Facebook app, and now it is a full-fledged online dating site with over 40 million users in 80 countries. It’s free to create a dating profile on Zoosk, set match filters, and search for local dates. The platform even offers an array of free communication tools to help spark a romantic connection.
The Zoosk blog frequently features success stories from couples who met on the dating site or app. Ray said he had zero expectations when he started chatting with Rachel on Zoosk. He even thought she had ghosted him at one point. But once they met, all his doubts disappeared. Ray and Rachel now live together and say they plan to get married.
“If you are frustrated with dating, don’t give up,” Ray advised online daters. “Remember each date is a step closer to the love of your life!”
- Over 2 million people have found love here
- Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
- Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals
You don’t have to look very far to find tons of evidence that eharmony really, truly works. The online dating site has received many heartwarming testimonials and gained a global reputation as a place to find love. To date, over 2 million couples in the U.S. have eharmony to thank for being introduced to each other.
The eharmony team has used psychology to pair up couples who have true relationship potential. The sophisticated algorithm goes beyond the superficial and analyzes a person’s communication style, family values, lifestyle habits, and other personal interests to determine which users are an ideal match.
In addition to its Compatibility Quiz, eharmony offers dynamic icebreakers, some free communication tools, and a premium video chat feature to help online daters find their way and build a promising relationship.
- For singles interested in God-centered relationships
- Over 3.5 million monthly users around the world
- Available as an app on Google Play and the App Store
ChristianMingle has been working on behalf of Christian singles for almost 20 years now. The dating site and app have led to countless Christian relationships and marriages. Over 15 million singles have trusted this online dating service to guide them to a good Christian match, and they haven’t been disappointed.
A ChristianMingle survey found that about 84% of members would recommend the Christian dating site to a friend or family member. What’s more, ChristianMingle is responsible for about 29% of new Christian marriages in the U.S., making it the top resource for finding a Christian husband or wife.
- One of the largest Black singles networks in existence
- Straightforward search and matching features
- Use Tokens to appear higher in search results
BlackPeopleMeet empowers singles to diversify their search for a potential partner. This niche dating website and app promote Black dating as well as interracial dating, and thousands of people of color have rallied to this unique community.
BlackPeopleMeet has a variety of match filters to assist singles who know what they want in a partner. For instance, a Black single mom can click “has children” in the advanced search options to find other single parents in the BPM dating pool. BlackPeopleMeet takes pride in having a variety of options to satisfy people with a variety of dating preferences and relationship goals.
- Free, unlimited communication for everyone
- Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
- Over 91 million connections every year
OkCupid is a completely free dating app where a new person doesn’t have to get a paid membership or make a mutual match just to say hello. All OkCupid users have free chat tools at their disposal, and they can use the platform’s compatibility ratings to identify the best date prospects in their area.
Four Harvard math majors developed the scientific matchmaking formula that has been the key to OkCupid’s success since 2004. This online dating app pinpoints the personality traits that make individuals stand out and highlights common interests and values in every dating profile. This quality-driven system has yielded great results.
OkCupid creates over 91 million love connections every year, and it is responsible for around 50,000 first dates every week.
- Free registration, searches, and messaging
- The Chemistry Test creates a compatibility framework
- Over 1 billion messages sent per month
Plenty of Fish has made a name for itself as the online dating site and app that doesn’t change any premium fees. Its free membership includes everything from taking a personality test to sending messages to any person you fancy. No subscriptions, no mutual matching, and no waiting to connect with singles.
The POF community includes over 150 million people in 20 countries, and about 4 million singles visit the site and app on a daily basis. This popular dating pool can greatly increase a single person’s odds of finding a potential match and landing a first date with someone who’s exactly their type.
- Supports active daters in 190+ countries
- The swiping system creates over 12 million matches per day
- Tinder Plus members have unlimited likes and 5 Super Likes
Like it or not, Tinder is one of the most iconic and successful dating apps of all time. And it gets results. Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has created over 43 billion matches and been downloaded 350 million times.
Tinder boasts leading to 1.5 million dates per week, and not all of those are hookups. We’ve found a good number of Tinder love stories shared by young couples who turned their swiping experience into something real.
“Today’s my one year anniversary with my awesome boyfriend whom I met on Tinder,” said a person on Reddit. “We have plans to be married and start a family. Happiest relationship of my life.”
- A feminist dating app puts singles on equal footing
- 60% of Bumble matches turn into dates
- Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF spark non-romantic connections
Bumble has made waves in the online dating scene by consistently putting single women first and upholding progressive values. A woman named Whitney Wolfe Herd came up with the idea for the feminist dating app in 2014. Within six years, the dating app has surpassed 100 million users and become a global sensation.
The Bumble matching system is unique because a single woman has the sole discretion to start a conversation with a man. She has to send the first message within 24 hours to unlock the chat. Otherwise, the dating profile will go back into the match pile.
Bumble is a serious place to swipe, match, and date. More than 85% of Bumble users say they’re looking for a successful relationship, while fewer than 5% say they only want a casual hookup.
Best Senior Dating Sites That Work
Older people can sometimes struggle to find their place in the dating scene. They may even worry that their dating days are long behind them. But online dating can provide a new beginning for singles approaching their golden years. The following senior dating sites cater to singles who are over 50 and looking for a long-term companion.
- An exclusively senior membership base
- Over 800,000 monthly users worldwide
- App available for free on Google Play
The SilverSingles dating website is prime real estate for seniors looking for a potential partner. It has a quality-driven matchmaking system that takes an individual’s dating preferences into account when searching for a potential match.
SilverSingles members receive daily match recommendations to pique their interest. They can adjust their match criteria in terms of age, height, religion, or background to ensure that the most compatible love interests rise to the top of the list.
Free members can view any dating profile and send a virtual wink through the online dating platform. However, only paid members have the privilege of viewing photos or writing a personal message on SilverSingles.
- Open to straight, gay, and lesbian singles over 50
- Free match recommendations and conversation starters
- Use Tokens to promote your profile and send virtual gifts
As a People Media site, OurTime was designed to give hope to older people seeking true love. Its niche database appeals to singles who are over 50 years old and want to meet someone in their age range. And, best of all, it’s totally free to join.
OurTime provides a lot of avenues to romance, and it fosters many long-distance relationships with its online email system. A dater can use the search tools or match recommendations to find a potential partner on the dating website or app, and they can send a free like or greeting to see if the interest is mutual.
“I joined your site hoping I would meet that special man to become a part of my life, and my dream came true,” said an OurTime user in a success story. “It was love at first sight for both of us.”
- Doesn't allow members under 45
- Available as a dating app in Google Play
- Dating advice and safety tips shared by senior daters
SeniorMatch is an online dating website that has been helping senior singles connect with one another since 2003. Its slogan is “You don’t have to be alone,” and that pretty much sums up what this heartwarming community is all about.
Our online dating experts have found evidence that SeniorMatch is a senior dating site that works for older people. For one thing, the SeniorMatch team has published over 36,600 testimonials from users who met a significant other on the dating platform. Plus, the SeniorMatch app has thousands of positive reviews on Google Play and App Store.
Every month, SeniorMatch supports over 1.6 million conversations between seniors online, and there’s no telling how many of those private chats blossom into real-life friendships and relationships.
Best LGBT Dating Sites That Work
The gay dating scene has gotten a significant boost from online dating sites and apps that facilitate same-sex matching. According to recent polling, about 55% of LGB singles have used online dating to meet people, and 21% have gotten into a relationship as a result.
Here are some of the most popular dating platforms geared toward the LGBTQ+ community.
- One of the largest gay hookup sites in the world
- Search filters for age, location, physical attributes, and more
- Available in 12 languages and counting
First of all, MenNation has been around since the 1990s and has proven itself to be a great wingman for gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men. This adults-only hookup site encourages guys to embrace their inner slut and explore erotic content on the internet.
MenNation sees over 70,000 daily active visitors. Some just want to look at X-rated photos and videos without getting involved with anyone, while others are eager to send messages, find a potential date, and arrange a casual hookup on their terms.
As one of the best gay hookup sites available, MenNation has what it takes to help horny men network with one another and make their dirty dreams come true.
- Free membership includes viewing profiles and sending likes
- Exchange revealing photos and videos privately online
- Simple search filters by interests and appearance
LesbianPersonals is an online dating website for women who have high sex drives and few inhibitions. Millions of ladies have found satisfaction by using the private messaging or video chat features to connect with someone new.
LesbianPersonals is open to lesbian singles, lesbian couples, heterosexual couples, and polyamorous groups. Basically, anyone who wants to have sexual relations with a woman can find the opportunity here. And all they need is a valid email address to join this busty and perky dating scene.
- A quirky and unapologetic womxn-only dating community
- Queer events get users connecting IRL
- The constantly updated Feed facilitates social networking
A lesbian woman designed the HER dating app to be a safe place for women to meet one another. Its community includes women of all orientations and backgrounds, and about half its 5 million users live in the U.S.
HER requires users to connect to their Facebook profile when registering an account. This is strictly to verify a person’s identity — the dating app will not post anything or spam your Facebook friends.
If you want adorable evidence that HER works, all you have to do is search for #WeMetOnHER posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Many lesbian couples are happy to share their love story. For instance, Shanna Furbear and Megan Brown met on HER in 2015, got engaged two years later, and now live together with their fur babies.
- Social networking for gay, bi, trans, and queer men
- Location-based matches spark instant chemistry
- Grindr Equality advocates for LGBTQ+ interests on the global stage
Grindr is a free dating app geared toward single men seeking men in the dating scene. Since its launch in 2009, over 27 million men have joined this gay app and used it to meet a new person.
Grindr’s match algorithm configures a swipeable list of dating profiles based on a single person’s real-time location. This ensures that a hot date is never out of reach. Grindr users only match with romantic partners in their immediate vicinity, and they can adjust the mile radius as they see fit.
Although Grindr has the reputation of a casual hookup app, many men have accidentally or intentionally gotten into serious relationships in this fast-paced flirting zone. “A gentle guy, who seems made for me, is falling in love with me,” said a gay man on Reddit. “Grindr threw something good my way, and now I’ve deleted it while I explore things with an amazing guy.”
Best Hookup Sites That Work
If you’re looking for a casual hookup, the mainstream dating scene may be too slow and prudish for you. But you can always shake things up and talk dirty on an adult sex site. We’ve ranked some of the best platforms for horny singles looking to get laid with no strings attached.
- A uniquely open-minded dating network
- Privacy-conscious features
- Over 1.4 million matches per month
As a dating website for affairs, Ashley Madison keeps things anonymous and facilitates flirting with strangers online. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or married, you can join this hookup site to explore your options in the local dating scene.
Since 2001, more than 60 million members have browsed Ashley Madison to find secret lovers and romantic partners.
Ashley Madison is a premium dating site where people can stay within their comfort zone while meeting someone new. A single woman can chat for free on Ashley Madison, but single men will have to get a paid membership plan if they want to engage in one-on-one conversations and view private photo albums. Our full review goes into more detail about how Ashley Madison works.
- Sexually active adults in 10 countries
- Browse the Like Gallery for hot singles
- Stimulate conversation in intimate private messages
BeNaughty is a casual hookup site with powerful search and matching tools. But it’s the free communication tools that really win people over. Any woman with a valid profile picture can send unlimited messages on BeNaughty for free, and a man can send some free messages to test the local dating waters.
In addition to its private messaging feature, BeNaughty has a mass text tool called FlirtCast. It allows members to send a flirty message to every member who meets specific match requirements. This speeds up the matching process significantly and encourages local hotties to reach out to you.
- Among the largest online sex and swinger communities
- Completely free no-obligation registration
- Live chat rooms and discussion forums open 24/7
Adult Friend Finder has more than 102 million users in its database, making it the world’s largest network of sexy singles and swingers. That means someone is always online looking for a sexting conversation, making a smutty video, or trying to get laid.
The AFF community is all about sex. From the dating forums to the live model shows, this X-rated site gives adults the freedom to express their desires and let go of their inhibitions. For obvious reasons, the AFF site doesn’t have hard data about how many of its users actually meet in real life, but we know the algorithm creates over 4 million matches a year, so it should be easy to chat up a cutie here.
- Open to casual daters in the U.S. and abroad
- Free members can browse profiles and watch sexy videos
- Chat anonymously in the forum or private messages
Founded in 1996, FriendFinder-X has been around before swiping and ghosting became widespread, and it hasn’t changed much in that time. This casual hookup site has stayed at the top of singles’ minds by promoting sexy photos, videos, and blog posts that satisfy their sexual desires.
FriendFinder-X offers a flirtatious and promiscuous dating pool with millions of active users all over the world. It’s free to sign up to the site; however, only those with a paid membership have full access to the video content and private messaging features.
- Over 70 million registered users
- Naked photos, videos, and private messaging available
- Send a Flirtcast to get in touch with all potential matches
Flirt.com provides a fast-paced hookup scene for singles who are over 18 and interested in casual sex. All it takes is an email address and username to get started, and you can even hold off on uploading a profile picture if you’d rather take a look around anonymously first.
Flirtatious singles can rely on Flirt.com to connect them to instant hookup possibilities. Over 70 million people have created a dating profile and browsed for potential matches based on age, location, ethnicity, and appearance. This adult dating website has few restrictions regarding sexting and nudity, so don’t be surprised if you get graphic and sexually explicit messages in your inbox.
How Do the Best Dating Sites Work?
The best dating sites deliver a lot of potential matches in a short amount of time. Typically, they streamline the search for romance or love by using a learning algorithm. Some algorithms rely on a personality test or in-depth dating profile information to generate a match list, while others stick to the basics of age, gender, and location to kick things off.
Not all dating platforms have search tools, but they will typically offer some sort of filtering system that allows singles to be upfront about what they want in a romantic partner.
Tinder pioneered the swipe-based matching feature that is now used by a majority of online dating services. This system requires users to like each other’s dating profile before they can communicate (via private message or video chat). They can also end the conversation simply by hitting the block button.
Are Dating Sites Safe?
Yes, online dating sites offer a safe way to meet new people and create relationships that could last for weeks, months, years, or even decades. You just have to be careful and make sure you’re falling for a real person and not a scammer or catfisher.
Chatting online is a great way to build chemistry and show interest in another person. And it’s also a good way to verify that your online crush is who he or she says. You can pick up on some red flags of romance scams by asking follow-up questions and doing some background research online. You can search on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites to look for evidence that your online date is being genuine and upfront with you.
A scammer will typically evade personal questions, use flattery to change the subject, and give excuses about why he or she cannot meet in person, talk on the phone, or engage in a video call.
Online daters can stay safe as long as they don’t rush to share personal details or give money to a person they do not really know. Most people in the online dating pool are legit, but some unsavory characters can try to con their way into a payday. Keep an eye out for fake profiles, and block or report anyone who seems suspicious to you.
Which Dating Site Should I Choose?
Our dating experts have created many lists of the top dating sites, and you’ve undoubtedly heard of many of the biggest players in the field. So the question becomes: Which one will work best for you?
The answer is it depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Singles who are over 30 and looking to settle down tend to prefer a serious dating site like Match.com, while 20-something singles have more fun on swiping apps like Tinder or Bumble.
It’s a good idea to ask single friends or family members in your area which apps and sites they use to meet people. Some dating platforms tend to be more popular among certain groups or in certain areas. For instance, Coffee Meets Bagel was founded by three Asian sisters in Silicon Valley, and it has become particularly popular among Asian Americans on the West Coast.
Which Dating App is Most Successful?
Success is in the eye of the beholder. The online dating world has many successful brands that boast being the top of the class for one reason or another.
Tinder has a good claim as the most successful dating app in terms of matches. Since 2012, Tinder users have made over 43 billion matches on the app. However, we don’t have hard numbers on how many (or how few) of those matches led to actual conversations, dates, or relationships.
If you’re looking for a dating app that’ll get you off the swiping carousel, then we’d recommend going with a more serious dating app like Hinge.
The dating app Hinge claims to have the highest success rate when it comes to first dates. According to its internal stats, over 70% of Hinge users enjoy their first date enough to agree to a second date.
Hinge counts Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten as one of their many real-life success stories. Hinge also happens to be the dating app where I met my boyfriend, so I can attest to its effective matchmaking tools.
Get the Results You Want on a Time-Tested Dating Platform
It’s been over a year since I left the swiping trenches, so it’s easy for me to look back on the cringeworthy conversations or disappointing dates and say it was worth it in the end. But I know it’s not so easy for my single friends to stay hopeful when they have no guarantees it’s going to work out.
The truth is that no online dating service boasts a 100% success rate. Reputable dating sites and apps can offer the opportunity to make a smart match and pick up a date, but there is still an element of luck involved. It may take time to find dating sites that work for you, and I’d recommend creating multiple dating profiles to gain more experience and increase your odds of meeting a special someone. Best of luck!