Advice for Dating: Which Dating Sites Are The Best Dating Sites?

October 28, 2010

Advice for Dating: Which Sites Are The Best Dating Sites?

Membership or free? Hyper-local or Worldwide? With so many sites dedicated to helping you find the love of your life, how do you sort through them all to find the best online dating sites?

Do you go with the largest sites, like Or do you stick with the cool niche sites like Cupidtino that attract like-minded Mac lovers?

The truth is, the dating site that works best for you is probably not the same site that works for somebody else. This is why your 5’2″ girlfriend Lola found her romantic Prince Charming on Eharmony, but you can’t manage to swing a date with anybody but short, mushy types.

We all know Match is big, eHarmony is for relationship-minded folks, and JDate is for everybody in New York. (Jewish or not.) The truth is that while some of the pay sites are worthwhile, there are also a lot of free sites giving the pay sites a run for the money. And frankly, a lot of us would rather have a string of terrible dates for free, than for, say, $29.99 a month.

That said, if you’re looking to date online at one of the for-fee sites, check out one of the many dating site reviews that will let you know exactly how a sites’ particular strengths line up with your goals. If you’d rather utilize the many free dating sites that abound, here are a few of the more interesting offerings:

OKCupid offers a lot of fantastic features, but one of my favorites is the ability to create your own compatibility/matching/just plain nosy questions (similar to what you’d find on eHarmony, but personalized by you.) Perhaps the greatest feature of this site is that it only takes 30 seconds to sign up. Seriously. Also, you can integrate your OKCupid profile with your Facebook page. They also do some very cool number crunching with their profile data (anonymously, of course) to learn things like the best opening line, or what kind of camera makes you look hotter. If you watch me every week on the Daytime show, you’ve seen me cover their results in my dating segment more than once.
This site now claims to be the largest dating site online — beating out even for membership numbers. One of the things I love best about Plenty of Fish is its forums — this site has some of the busiest, most interesting dating and relationships forums you’ll find anywhere. Aside from its huge membership and rockin’ forums, Plenty of Fish has lots of cool features, including the personality and compatibility tests you love on eHarmony and
I can get over the fact that the name of the site reminds me of a George Michael song, and more importantly, his hairdo in 1984.
I like my Facebook pages to reflect my personality, so for me, one of the coolest features of this site is the ability to personalize your profile color scheme, depending on your personal preferences. Another cool Facebook-y feature is networking, hugely appealing to social media addicts. In addition, there’s a webcam chatroom where you can virtually hook up with members all over the world, and a fabulous “I know you’ve been checking me out” feature that allows you to see who has viewed your profile. (This feature alone provides hours of entertainment.)
This is definitely one of the most original dating sites on the web. Basically, the concept is like online speeddating — you meet 5 people in 5 minutes via a free, supercool, video conferencing technology. This site tends to attract the under-30 crowd, and like many of the free sites, the sign-up process is quick and painless. They’ll have you up and dating in about a minute. (Note – although this is a free site, if you want to contact someone you’ve matched with (woo’d) it will cost you a buck. Still, not bad at all.)
Finally, the coolest dating site ever, which is not exactly free, but pretty close. It’s $4.79 a month, the same as a coffee at Starbucks. The official word on Cupidtino: “Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products. Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and a love for technology.” As a lifelong Mac user, I think this idea is brilliant. I have a creative profession! I have a sense of style and aesthetics! I love technology!

But of course, the site that’s perfect for me might not be the one that’s right for you. Keep trying until you find a good fit. Just like dating.


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Need Advice for Dating? Dating Coach and Relationships Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books, Stop Getting Dumped!, How to Date Like a Grownup and the totally funny novel Fifteen Minutes of Shame. You???ve seen her everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the HITCH movie DVD.

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