5 Ways to Find the Right Dating Site for You

01/14/2014

First-date-midlle-ageMany people resolve to do something about their dating life for the New Year, but if you’re looking to online date (as one in 10 Americans do), choosing the right site can be overwhelming. There are literally hundreds -- maybe even thousands -- to choose from! I spoke with online dating expert Jess Carbino, PhD and host of UCLA Radio's show Hook up With Dr. Jess, to get some answers that can help you find the right site. Ask yourself these questions before you sign up from the wrong site.

1. Do You Want Something Serious or Casual?

  • Casual: In general, mobile apps such as Tindr and Grindr are for people looking to hookup with someone nearby.
  • Serious: Websites like eHarmony or Match are better for people looking for serious relationships. OkCupid seems fall somewhere between casual and serious.

2. How Much Do You Want to Spend?

  • Free - Tindr, Grindr, and OkCupid.
  • Pay - Match costs $42/month and eHarmony costs $60/month.

3. How Much Effort Do You Want to Put In?

  • I’ll Put In Effort –eHarmony requires that you complete 256 question and Match asks a dozens of questions.
  • Let’s Keep It Easy - OkCupid asks for basic demographic information and suggests answering 25 questions to start. I downloaded Tindr to see how easy it was to start. It took less than 45 seconds.

4. Are You a Control Freak?

  • I Want To Drive- In general, mobile apps, OkCupid, and Match rely on you choosing who you want to contact.
  • Someone Else Can Drive- eHarmony sends you suggested partners, which means that you have to wait for the algorithms to deliver your options.

5. Do You Choose Good or Bad Partners?

  • Good at Choosing –You can probably trust your judgments to freely choose partners on OkCupid or Match.
  • Bad at Choosing –You might want to let go of the reigns and see where an autopilot like eHarmony takes you.

In the end, it really comes down to what you want. If your resolution is to find a quality partner and a lasting relationship, then platforms like eHarmony or Match are your best bets. Like most things, the more effort and patience you are willing to put into online dating, the more likely you are to find something worthwhile.

More on Online Dating:

Is eHarmony or Match Better?

Do Good Marriages Come Out of Online Dating?

Dating Site Finds "Perfect" Profiles


Ty Tashiro is the author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love, an entertaining look at why modern dating is so challenging, why people can easily make bad partner choices, and how science can help us make smart decisions in the search for enduring love. It's available on Amazon, Indie Bound and Barnes & Noble. Dr. Ty received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota. His research has appeared in top academic journals and he has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado. Follow him on facebook and twitter.
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