Reviewing the Top Dating Sites and Apps: Our Methodology
Top10.com dating site reviews are based on objective facts. Our reviews are based on research via the dating site, trusted 3rd party sites, customer reviews, and use of the product through free trials, or through paid use in some cases.
It is not always possible to use the product through its entire lifecycle. However, reviewers will try the signup process, make customer service queries to check response times (and whether it's active 24 hours a day), and perform any other possible function within the review period.
For the rest of the information, we rely on what the brand says about its own product offering, customer reviews, and complaints, ratings from independent agencies like the BBB, and trusted journalistic publications.
Some of the key features we compared when looking at the dating sites and apps on our list were:
- Free version options
- Number of members
- Age range of users
- Communication options
What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Dating Site
Before subscribing to an online dating site, ask yourself these questions to determine the best fit for you:
What type of relationship are you looking for? As we all know, some dating sites are famous for hookups, while others are more geared towards long-term relationships. Deciding which type of relationship you’re looking for is a good first step in choosing the site that will yield you the most success.
Which features are important to you? Are you more concerned with showing off your smile or your personality? Do you want to scroll through pages of user profiles or have matches chosen for you?
Some sites put the emphasis on photos, while others offer questionnaires to highlight your personality. Some leave it up to you to find your match, while others deliver matches straight to your inbox. Choosing how you want to highlight yourself and be introduced to others is a great way to whittle down the choices.
How much money are you willing to spend on a subscription? Dating sites run the gamut of prices, from free to upwards of $30 per month. Setting a limit on how much you want to spend and then exploring the sites that fall within your price range will give you the best shot of choosing one that meets both your budget and your preferences.
What Types of Dating Sites and Apps Are There?
Great question! There’s basically an online dating app available for people of all genders, sexual orientations, religions, races, interests, etc.
Here are just a few types of online dating websites:
- General dating: Many of the above dating sites fall under this category. Users of all ages, sexual orientations, religions, and lifestyles can be found on the same platform.
- Senior dating: These sites are typically dedicated to users aged 60 and up or those looking for partners in that age range.
- Lesbian, gay, and LGBTQ+ dating: These platforms are for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bi, queer women or men, or trans.
- Christian dating: These sites are for those who live a Christian life and are looking for partners who share their faith.
- Dating sites for women: These sites are geared specifically towards women and offer features like chat rooms, forums, and more that cater to a female audience.
How Has COVID-19 Affected the Dating Game?
There’s no doubt that COVID has made things harder for singles, but singles have proven to be nothing if not resourceful. Online dating sites have flourished during the pandemic, with couples setting up romantic Zoom dates or flirting through their masks during socially-distanced rendezvous in the park.
Of course not everyone may share the same commitment to safety, so it’s important to communicate your expectations clearly so that you and your date are on the same page.
How to Avoiding Dating Site Scams
Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad actors in the online dating world. Here's are some tips for avoiding scams or abuse:
- It’s best to choose a dating platform with strong security measures.
- A dating site that costs money is less prone to having scammers than a free one.
- Ask to see social media accounts before agreeing to meet in person, and listen to your gut when something doesn’t feel right.
- Don’t forget that a good dating site will have services in place to assist you when you encounter abusive or suspicious users online.
First Date Tips
1. Be honest and clear about your intentions. Start your relationship on the right foot by communicating your wants, needs, and boundaries before planning to meet someone off a dating app. Honesty also includes featuring recent photos on your profile that actually look like you.
2. Be safe. It’s always best to take precautions before meeting someone in person—especially for the first time.
Ask to see their social media accounts or other proof that they’re who they say they are. Meet in a public place and share the time, location, and details of your date with a trusted friend. And you should definitely run a background check – you don’t want to be swindled by your next date!
3. Be true to yourself. If there’s one thing online dating has taught us, it’s that there are countless singles out there looking to connect. So don’t compromise your integrity or comfort level. Be true to yourself and your needs, and if they don’t align with your date’s, then it wasn’t meant to be and you can head back online with your pride, dignity, and boundaries intact.
4. Be flexible. Romance is an enigma, and it can come about in the most unexpected places.
So think twice before you write someone off just because their interests are different from yours. Sure, you may not be crazy about hiking, jazz, or mini-golf. But if the chemistry is there, give it a shot. You never know.
5. Be respectful. Don’t catfish anybody. Convey your intentions, and respect people’s boundaries just as you want them to respect yours.
Don’t waste anybody’s time. We’re all just trying to find love out here.
6. Stay positive. Some dates are a bust. It happens. But try not to let it discourage you. Remind yourself that there are many great people out there, and all it takes is one magic date for your luck to turn around.
How Much Do Dating Sites and Apps Cost?
The average cost of a dating site subscription is around $220-250 per year, which works out at roughly $20 per month.
Many of the best dating sites offer free sign up or a free trial period. However, to unlock all features and communication tools, you’ll need to subscribe. Consider the features, matchmaking and search capabilities, and overall quality of the sites as you compare prices. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
Joining a dating site is a smart investment. If you put yourself out there, you won’t need to subscribe for long. After all, it’s worth it — this is your future and happiness at stake.
Which dating sites are actually free?
Dating sites and apps usually offer free sign-up and basic functions, but you may be required to pay to use more advanced features. So what qualifies them as free dating sites?
A free dating site will give you enough features to be able to go on dates without having to pay. For example, the ability to message. If a dating site only allows you to send someone a couple of messages, and you can't receive messages back without paying a fee, it wouldn't be considered free. If it has time limits, it would not be considered free either.
Free dating sites will only charge you for additional features that aren't necessary to meeting your match, like promoting your profile or being able to use emojis in messages.
Other Brands We Reviewed
This list of top ten dating sites is composed of companies that chose to partner with Top10.com. In total, we reviewed over 40 brands when doing our research into dating sites, with new brands being reviewed on a regular basis. Interested in learning about the prices and features of some big dating sites that don't appear on this list? Check out our in-depth reviews of some of these big names in dating:
Love Is Out There, Find It Today
The days of blind dates and meeting on the street are over. Dating apps are the easiest way to find a relationship in 2022. They’ve worked for thousands of couples around the world, and they can work for you too! Whether you’re seeking Mr. Right or Mrs.
Right Now, online dating is a process, and it can get tiring after a while. Test out different websites until you find one that works for you and scores you the type of relationship you’ve been seeking for so long. We wish you the best of luck in your dating journey.