Can't decide between the major dating sites? Let this top picks list, along with links to full reviews, help you decide.
A mix of social networking, compatibility-testing and online dating, OkCupid is an unusual free dating site in that it allows its members to create the matching questions already pre-determined at sites like eHarmony or Chemistry. Additionally, users can contact anyone on the system - unlike the two online dating sites mentioned previously – whether or not you are matched well as an Enemy, Friend or Partner.
A unique compatibility matching system takes twenty-nine different personality variables and determines who you are most suitable to date. Unlike most other dating sites, eHarmony only allows users to contact those the system has determined to be highly compatible, and sometimes this process can take weeks - even months - to receive enough of a sample size to pay the higher-than-normal fee. Luckily, users who don't sign up immediately will receive emails offering them a variety of deals to sign up later on down the road once their match listing has increased.
Out of the top online dating sites, Lavalife is the most versatile of the bunch, allowing users to join under a variety of different dating personas that can be connected or kept separate at the users' choice (Dating, Relationships and Intimate Encounters). As well, a bevy of services are available to paying users not found on the other major sites (video chat for one), and the site boasts more users in Canada than any other dating site in the world.
A review of the top dating sites would be odd if it lacked POF (as it is known to its forum users), as it is considered to be the first successful free dating site model on the Internet. Owner Marcus Friend still runs the organization by himself, even though his user base outnumbers most of the pay-per-use websites in North America. The amount of people using this feature-rich site (which includes heavily-trafficked forums, compatibility questionnaires and the very popular Who's Seen Me button) is astronomical in its sheer ability to connect with users around the globe looking for friendship, love, and anything else in between.
Match.com consistently ranks as one of the largest dating sites in the world at Hitwise and other statistic-gathering websites - which means more users to be matched up with in your area. With Match.com also claiming that over 250,000 people a year find a partner through the site, its definitely a dating site worth looking into.
I'd never heard of Adam4Adam before taking over the Dating Guide position here at About.com, but within a few weeks of starting, I had a handful of emails asking me about the site and more than a few search terms showing up. A quick review found the busiest, most well-trafficked gay dating site on the internet today, with a ton of adult-oriented marketing to support it's business endeavors. Definitely not About.com readers' favorite gay dating site, but it's still the most asked about.
Many of the dating site lists posted by the top research companies (Hitwise, Comscore) tout SinglesNet as one of the biggest, most trafficked dating sites on the internet today. Although it may have a lot of search traffic, neither I nor About.com readers have enjoyed our experiences on the site. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be listed here, as it is technically a 'top' site, but there are much better choices when it comes to online dating.