Five tips to help you find the best dating site

Ready to find love but don’t know where to start? Here are five tips to help you find the best dating website.

When you’re single, it can seem like everyone else in the world is happily coupled up. But how and where did they meet their partner or spouse? In a recent survey of 550 people aged 18-64, it was revealed that:

  • 39% met their partner through friends.
  • 15% met at work.
  • 12% met in bars and other public areas.
  • 9% met at sport, religion and hobby events.
  • 8% met through dating websites and apps.
  • 7% met through family.

The problem with many of these opportunities to meet a potential partner is they’re out of your control. Meeting someone you want to date through friends or work, or at random in a public place relies too much on chance and timing.

If you’re ready to date and keen to start meeting people, the only real way you can take control of the situation is to start looking yourself – and the easiest way to do this is via dating websites and apps. (The good news too is that scientists believe that relationships that start online are happier.)

But if you’re not familiar with using dating websites, getting started can seem quite daunting. And for every success story you hear, you’ll hear a dozen stories of horror dates.

To help make the process easier for you, and increase your chances of finding a partner you really like, here are five tips to help you find the best dating site.

1) Try different dating sites

There are hundreds, if not thousands of potential dating websites you could try, and many of them allow you to search the profiles on them, and even set up your own profile, for free.

So before you put all your dating eggs in one basket, sample a few sites and get a feel for the kind of people who use them, and how the sites work.

Ask yourself if you like the site. Is it worth the fee you’d need to pay to be a full member? Are the people on it your type? And are you getting much interest on it?

Don’t worry about setting up profiles on different sites – it’s a strategy that 45% of other users use too. And you can always delete your profile from sites that aren’t a good fit.

2) Study the demographics

When searching potential dating sites, check out the demographics of its users. Some sites are more likely to have millennials on them, for example, while other sites may be for older singles. Other sites may attract more professionals, and others more creative types.

And, importantly, is there a wide selection of people in your area on the site? After all, you’ll want to take your relationship off the dating site and into real life at some point. And if you like in different parts of the country, or even different countries, it’s going to be trickier to take your relationship to the next level.

3) Look for what you want

As well as demographics, you need to check that you actually like, and want to get to know, the potential pool of singles on a dating site.

Most sites will attract a broad range of people, but some are popular with particular types of people. You may, for example, find a dating site for people who want to meet singles of specific religions, ethnicities, or income levels.

If you’re on a site that appeals to a broad range of people, but you have specific tastes (say you want to meet Hispanic singles or practicing Catholics), then you’ll probably find it tough to find ‘the one’. So if you do have specific tastes or requirements it’s worth looking for a site that attracts those people.

4) Have realistic expectations

Many dating sites claim that they can match the perfect people, and turn chance online encounters into happy coupledom. They often match people using mathematical algorithms or personality tests.

Unfortunately, online dating personality tests are not the best at determining dating success because they are generic evaluations that can apply to almost anyone. Also, they cannot predict how someone will react when you meet them offline – or even if you’ll actually fancy them.

So don’t get your hopes too high. Yes, you may meet ‘the one’ in the first week, but it may also take some time to find someone you really click with. Don’t, therefore, become disheartened and give up if you don’t meet your perfect partner straight away.

5) Be aware of dating scams

Not everyone you meet on a dating site is going to be honest. Some may simply lie about their height, age, weight or marital status. But others will be much more deceptive, and may even be looking for victims to scam.

Both men and women ‘catfish’ (lure someone into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona), so no one is immune.

If you feel something is off with the man or woman you’ve been chatting with or emailing, sever ties with them. Also, stop talking anyone who suddenly asks you for money – even if it comes with a convincing sob story. More than likely, that’s all they want, and as soon as they get it, they will disappear.

Also be wary of someone who appears too good to be true; someone perhaps who just happens to reflect all your ideal characteristics of the perfect partner. Just take your time and get to know someone slowly, and preferably arrange a face to face meeting soon after connecting. And don’t let anyone push you into getting too serious, too soon.

Take your time to find the ‘one’

Online dating sites can be a good place to meet like-minded people; you just need to find the right site to join. So take your time to find the perfect site for you.

If ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation is important to you, then search for a niche site. If not, take advantage of free trials and try several dating sites until you find one that you like.

Photo by Nathan McBride