The gist: We’ve all heard of eharmony, and we’ve all seen advertising for it. eharmony has been around for more than two decades, and there’s a reason it’s still important in our dating lives: it works. The site has been redesigned to improve user experience, but it continues to employ its tried-and-true scientific method to dating. The service selects your most compatible matches based on the results of a comprehensive questionnaire that covers issues like what you’re searching for, likes and dislikes, hobbies, and behavioral habits.
Why it works: Simply said, eharmony’s efficacy is determined by its results and a stellar record for success. No one wants to waste time, money, or energy on individuals who aren’t appropriate for them or who raise red flags, so having the app’s algorithm and science match you up with highly compatible people goes a long way toward finding people you’ll get along with and who are just as career-focused as you are. If you’re still hesitant about going out in a pandemic situation, the app also offers a video call function that allows you to have a virtual first date.
The app’s cost fluctuates a lot, and it’s not always clear – you’ll have to sign up for a free account to see the current Premium options. On the plus side, while the subscription isn’t cheap, it will weed out those who aren’t serious about finding dates or possible partners, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
The gist: EliteSingles advertises that more than 90% of its members have an above-average education — and are 30-plus, making it a fantastic site if you need a bachelor’s degree and don’t have the time or energy to date twentysomethings who aren’t thinking long-term. The Five-Factor Model divides some of your defining characteristics into five categories: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Like eHarmony, the first step to signing up for an account is taking a lengthy (clear your schedule for this) personality test called the Five-Factor Model, which breaks some of your defining characteristics down into five categories: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neurot EliteSingles only shows you your matches after you’ve revealed who you are — and unlike Tinder, where you’re greeted with a barrage of matches and then a message telling you to check back later after you’ve swiped through them all, EliteSingles only recommends three to seven matches per day that it thinks will be a good match for you. On the app, there are several more ways to find people: You can look through your profile visitors or use a tool that displays you matches who may fall slightly outside of your desired characteristics but are still compatible with you.
Why it works If education is important to you, this site has a user base that is highly educated — and if finding a mate is important to you, the user base is likely to be looking for what you are looking for. EliteSingles, like eHarmony, employs the lengthy questionnaire to screen out people who aren’t fully committed to using the dating site successfully – if their heart isn’t in it, they’re unlikely to complete all of the questions.
Match was one of the earliest names in the online dating game, having been operating since 1995 and connecting 1.6 million people with their soul mates.
It’s also a chatty platform; it’s not the type of place where you go through people’s profiles without striking up a discussion. In fact, each day on the platform, 387,000 discussions are started, indicating that members are actively looking for dates. Don’t worry if you’re not a natural conversationalist; Lara, the virtual dating coach, will provide some icebreakers to get the conversation started (she’ll also help you enhance your profile).
Why it works: Match is ideal for working people who want to take a broad look at the dating pool before deciding which end to dive into — you can start with all the options and then narrow them down using filters. However, it isn’t excessively lenient (since you aren’t either!): There are techniques to eliminate persons with whom you will never be able to get along.
Users tend to be older as well, ranging from 35 to roughly 50, putting the chances in favor of persons looking for long-term partnerships rather than casual encounters. Plus, if you truly want to keep all of your options open — or don’t want to waste time making small chat before going on an IRL date — you can attend one of the platform’s casual Match nights, which bring together singles who use the program. In either case, the strategy yields results: The app has a higher percentage of second and follow-up dates than other dating apps.
The gist: Hinge, which began in 2012, completely redesigned its platform and mechanisms to set itself apart from other dating services like OkCupid and Tinder by providing a slick “relationship app” that’s “built to be removed,” as it was originally billed. Compared to Tinder (which is owned by the same parent company), Hinge is more about connecting over shared interests, passions, and senses of humor rather than a quick attraction swipe — and it gives you a better sense of people’s personalities right away with new icebreaker features like video question prompts.
Why it works: Hinge is built for thought-provoking, effortless engagement to help ignite a connection with a bit more substance right from the start, ensuring that it is based on more than just thinking someone is gorgeous. A dating guide can help you get your profile in tip-top shape in the shortest amount of time, and one of the most prominent is about how to turn your online chat into an in-person date. There are also questions in profiles that help you figure out your possible partner’s sense of humor, so you know what to expect from the start. (Your matches are handpicked based on your own responses to the same questions.) You get more filters if you upgrade to Preferred (such if you’re okay with someone who smokes pot or supports Republican.)