Three weeks of nominations for the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards led us to these five free dating site finalists listed in alphabetical order - as chosen by you, the readers. Learn more about each free dating site, review any that you've used and vote for your favorite. The nomination phase closed at midnight on February 16th, 2012, with the voting period ending March 21st, 2012.
With only 12,000 members (from what I could discern from press releases and information on the 'net) Alikewise is the smallest dating site on this best-of list, but that doesn't mean it doesn't offer something unique to it's membership base. The idea is simple: connect with other singles through shared book tastes. Folks of all sexual orientations are welcome, and all you have to do to sign up is click on which age range you'd like to connect with, and write in an author and/or book title or two that interests you. Signing up took me mere seconds, and then the hard part came, trying to think of books that I both loved, and that I'd want my potential partner to love as well. Still, it's a great idea for book nerds like myself, and anyone else wanting to connect through literary means.
Confirio used to charge it's members anywhere from $3.97/month and up, but they've since decided to change their focus and turn the site into a completely free, matchmaking-based site where you can not only look for members that you find appealing yourself, but also use their matching algorithm to find someone special. A 30-second point-and-click quiz had me signed up and read to find my match, and I had numerous 98% matches right off the bat - although none were close to my geographical location. Still, I enjoyed some of the tongue in cheek questions, and I was able to connect with people easily and quickly. *NOTE: Confirio started charging its members again sometime in 2012.*
According to About.com's Guide to College Life, DateMySchool is a niche dating site focused on college students and university students, much like Facebook was way back when, but with a dating angle instead of social networking. More than 20,000 students have signed up so far from more than 140 schools, and it's received press from the likes of some major media outlets such as CNN and About.com's parent company, The New York Times. Unfortunately only current students at several high-profile US-based universities and colleges can sign up, so I wasn't able to check things out and give more of a breakdown.
I have to admit I'm biased when it comes to OkCupid, but only because it's one of my favorite dating sites and has been for years. The feeling is mutual; OkCupid's main page quotes me as saying it's the "best free dating site." With all of that in mind, readers like you still nominate OkCupid and vote for it in droves, and it garnered more nominations in this category than all of the other sites combined. Why? Perhaps because it offers something a bit quirky, fun and unusual, or maybe it's their fantastic dating blog (also nominated this year) that discusses all manner of things relationship-oriented, culling massive amounts of data from their membership base to determine things like whether you should use flash when taking online dating pictures (definitely not) or whether a smile on your profile pic helps you garner more attention (it does).
A few folks got upset with me last year when POF got onto the Best Free Dating Sites of 2011 Finalists list. Why? Because some of their features aren't free anymore, like viewing who has visited your profile, or whether or not someone has read your email. Having said that, I've kept it on this list this year, again, because of the sheer number of nominations, plus the fact that anyone using POF can contact another member without paying a fee, still. If or when that changes, I'll likely review its inclusion on this list.
Vote For Your Favorite!
Vote for your favorite free dating site, and share your thoughts about which site should win, and why. Or, take a peek at some other free dating sites that might work better for your needs, find out which free dating sites I recommend, look at who won the 2011 Free Dating Site Readers' Choice Award, learn how to write an online dating profile, or figure out why you're not getting any responses to your dating profile.