Are you looking for a real relationship, something based on mutual respect? Are you having trouble finding a partner who shares goals with you? Or are you just looking for Mr Right Now? Whatever it is you want, now’s the time to get it! Get into online dating, and join millions of others in fulfilling your desires from the comfort of home.
Ideas that online dating is a last-ditch measure or only for the desperate are outdated. Even 18-year-olds meet on aps these days! Online dating means dating that fits into your busy life, and the smorgasbord of dating sites out there means there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for you. And the best bit? We’ve done all the work for you. Look at our detailed guides to the best dating sites to find one that fits with your goals, and use our tips and tricks to sign up in minutes. Then the rest is up to you.
You may be wondering why you should start online dating. Basically, online dating means most of the work for you! Once you answer a few questions, you’ll get matches delivered who suit your needs, and be able to see users near you and online too. And if you’re wondering where to register, there's nothing easier than looking at one of our comparison charts or a couple of our reviews. There’s something out there for everyone online!
You should consider a number of criteria when choosing a site, such as what type of relationship you are looking for or what you expect from your future partner. In our comparisons, we clearly divide everything into individual categories, from age of users to gender ratio to niche categorisations like older dating, married dating or BBW dating (that means big beautiful women - don’t worry, we’ll also teach you the lingo)!
Good dating sites are mostly paid. But don't be discouraged, with paid VIP membership, you can be sure that you come across other users who are serious about dating and you also have the advantage of plenty of extra features. Sites usually offer monthly membership, as well as deals for new users. If you like, you can extend your membership to a few months to a year. Prices aren't massive, and certainly won't interfere with your monthly budget, and they vary from site to site. We will usually comment on a site’s value in our reviews. And anyway, who can put a price on finding love?
The short answer is yes.. A high percentage of people looking for relationships, friendship or flirtation pay for the privilege of online dating. Paid sites will cater to various niche interests, as well as keeping you safer online. It is, however, totally possible to use free sites for online dating, but they may not provide many of the features of the paid options. Plenty of people also use a mixture of sites to suit their dating needs - no two daters are the same, after all! Though hopefully everyone has a match out there to find...
If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, spend money on your online dating life, then there are plenty of free sites or free versions of sites that are very usable. A totally free site is likely to have more time wasters, so you will have to be aware of that, and the free option on a site which also has a paid option is likely to be underwhelming either in terms of features or a maximum daily amount of interaction. That being said, it is possible to date without spending a penny. If you go down this route, though, remember to be wary of:
Paying for dating sites is a matter of contention. Some people find that they get everything they need from free sites, while others find limited messaging or searching services or high levels of spam really hold them back in their search for love. At the end of the day, it’s you decision to make, but paid dating is used by many more serious daters. Even fun dating apps have payment options these days! Some of the benefits of paying for full access to a good site include:
Every dating site has its own features, but usually they include informative profiles, pictures, some kind of messaging option and favourites lists. Many sites also match you with suitable users, and some have dating games or allow you to rate, friend and wink at other users. Dating sites can be anything from silly to serious, and some aim to find the one for you while others are just about having a flirt! It’s all about finding the right site, with the right features, and then creating a profile that reflects your personality and show the world what you want!
Many dating sites offer premium features or VIP membership. On some sites, these added features are just the icing on the cake. On others, free use is just a tester and to get the benefits of the site you have to pay. Features could include anything from messaging privileges to extra matches or an ad free experience. Paid sites are often more trustworthy and easier to use, and have better customer service. Very niche sites are also more likely to be largely fee based. Make sure to read our guides to every site you’re interested in, as we cover the question of whether or not paying is worth it, as well as how to cancel if and when that time comes.
In an increasingly online world, many social spaces we once relied on no longer exist. Or if they do, everyone in them is looking at a screen! Online dating is a great solution for people of all ages who want to make new friends, go on a few fun dates or even want something more serious. There are sites from everyone from 18 to 108, and on them you’ll meet age appropriate, like-minded people. Some sites even have real life activity meet ups, and all encourage you to meet people in real life. Age should be no barrier to finding happiness, whether it’s romantic or not!
It’s sensible to think about safety online, but there’s no need to worry too much if you want to start online dating. Obviously, the anonymity of the internet leads some people to try and run scams or steal personal information, but just a few safety measures will keep you safe. Firstly, stick to sites that have a strong security policy, and for maximum safety if you aren’t super web savvy make sure they verify accounts. Secondly, if something seems too good to be true, get a second opinion from someone you trust who knows more about life online than you do. And finally, crucially, never ever give out personal information online. Stick to these rules, as well as general common sense, and you should be just fine. Happy dating!
Even celebrities use dating sites, and many of them aren’t afraid to talk about it publicly. Just like everyone else, celebs get too busy to waste their time hoping they’ll get a dream meet-cute, so they take matters of the heart into their own hands.
Adele let her fans know she was online dating way back in 2011, destroying the stigma for the young people who soon became part of the dating apps generation. Adele is still very open, posting about her current life on Instagram regularly.
Unfortunately, some people are just too famous to date online. Zac Efron tried online dating after breaking up with an ex, but everyone thought his profile was fake and refused to go out with him. Poor Zac!
|Metric||Match.com||Elite Singles||Be Naughty||Illicit Encounters||C-Date|
|Recommendation||All ages and genders||Best for singles||Best for flirt||Best for affairs||Best for casual dating|
|Type of Site||Serious dating||Serious dating||Hook ups||Married dating||Flirting and fun|
|Number of Users||1.3 million||13 Million||200 thousand||1.2 Million||500 thousand|
|Gender Ratio||45% 55%||45% 55%||60% 40%||45% 55%||52% 48%|
|Relationship Status of Users||Mostly single||Single||Mostly single||Mostly attached or married||All kinds|
|Customer Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes, email|
|Membership Plans||1, 3, 6||3, 6, 12||1, 3, 6||1, 1, 2||3, 6, 12|
|Lowest Cost Subscription||£30||£150||£30||£140||£120|
|Automatic Membership Renewal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Benefits of Premium Membership||+ Send messages
+ Instant Messenger
+ See who’s viewed you
+ Email ‘read’ notification
+ Grab a spot in daily matches
+ MatchPhone calls to matches
+ chat without sharing numbers
+ Browse Invisibly
+ Account registration
+ Create a profile
+ Upload and view pictures
+ Send likes
+ Browse on member search
+ Receive daily matches
+ Basic Affinity use
+ Best value package
+ Five-factor personality test
+ Suggested matched
+ Quickly browse profiles
+ Unlimited messaging
+ See who views your profile
+ Mobile app
+ ‘Have you met’ feature
+ Profile Picture
+ Messaging for women
+ Group messaging and Flirtcast
+ Photo albums
+ Video chat
+ Messaging for everyone
+ ‘Looking for’ dating info unlocked
|+ Holiday and
+ See when
+ Profile creation
+ Searching other
+ Send limited
+ View profile
+ Ask Sara
+ Best value
+ Receive and send messages and notifications
+ Define yourself erotically
+ Contact suggestions
+ Pictures and galleries
+ Erotic galleries
+ Contact proposals