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5 of the Best Dating Sites to Use in 2021

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Editor’s note: As people across the globe are encouraged to quarantine to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, we also believe it’s important to follow rules of social distancing when dating. Our advice below, while great when seeking someone to date in normal life, is best used when self-isolating is not recommended. In the interim, check out our solutions to dating during COVID-19 times here.

New technology has drastically changed the way we date and find love.

Considering one third of marriages in the United States blossomed because of a match via the internet, if you’re looking to meet a lifelong partner and you’re not online, there’s a good chance you’re wasting your time. These days, you should consider online dating as one of the best and most effective ways to meet a romantic companion, find a meaningful relationship and live happily ever after with someone you could marry.

If you think you’re too old to exercise your thumb, think again. Millennials aren’t the only ones who are dating digitally right now. Studies indicate that there are two major growing demographics when it comes to online dating: people under 25, as well as those over 50.

How come? Well, look no further than marriage statistics, as people on average enter a first marriage around age 28, and given the divorce rate, often become single again later in life. In fact, a recent report indicated that while only 6 percent of "golden year" singles confessed to having online dating profiles in 2013, that number has doubled over the past five years, now teetering around 12 percent. As mobile phones and tablets become more user-friendly for all ages, the barriers that might have once prevented silver bachelors from swiping no longer apply.

If you’re coming out of the messy aftermath of a divorce, mending your heart and wondering if there is anyone you could spend your life with, you might question the effectiveness of online dating. After all, if your "’til death do us part" partner couldn’t last, why would a fleeting match on your phone be any different?

Though the data surrounding the success of online dating is still new and ever-changing, some studies indicate meeting online paves the way for a happier relationship. Because swiping through profiles, striking up often long-winded conversations and connecting on mutual interests provides a different starting line, you naturally become pickier. Of course, this constant connection gives you the opportunity to explore what matters to you the most as you can always pick up your phone, find a date, and try it out again.

Unlike when you’d try your luck at a dingy bar, nowadays, you can go through potential matches at your leisure, focusing your energy on those you deem promising without any pressure.

For many singles, especially serial-monogamists or divorcees, signing up for a slew of online dating options and websites is an overwhelming and cumbersome process. Because there are hundreds of options readily available in your app store, deciphering which downloads will reap the most benefits requires research, trial-and-error and plenty of failed first dates. However, it doesn’t have to be.

With the right approach, a tried-and-true strategy, and an open heart and mind, finding love online can be fun, not stressful. To make it even easier for you, we’ve researched, tested and tried each of the top dating apps to give you the best insight on what to expect.

From industry legend Match to international favorite Zoosk, consider this your official guide to finding love online.

The Best Online Dating Sites of 2021

Best Overall Experience: Zoosk

Zoosk dating app logo and Zook dating app screenshots on smartphones

Zoosk might not have the name recognition of a Match, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality online dating platform. Zoosk is a bona fide star in the world of online dating sites, offering a fantastic experience for people who are looking to find a real love connection and get serious. Their site offers an extremely smooth and modern online dating experience, and it’s packed with singles with real profiles and real potential.

Fee: None

Most Trusted Brand: Match

Match dating app logo and Match dating app screenshots on smartphones

Match is one of the most famous online dating sites, and for good reason. Running since 1995, Match really knows what it’s doing in terms of pairing people looking for love and offering an extremely smooth user experience. While many singles these days opt for hookup apps and jumping from fling to fling, for those truly seeking committed relationships, Match is one of the best options for you.

Fee: Various subscription packages based off monthly rate ($20.99/month for 12 months, $23.99/month for six months, $26.99/month for three months)

Best for Single Professionals: EliteSingles

Elite Singles dating app logo and Elite Singles dating app screenshots on smartphones

Looking for someone who’s truly a cut above the rest? EliteSingles might be the place for you. The dating site is focused on attracting only the most beautiful and well-to-do members and helping them find similarly beautiful and well-to-do people. If that sounds like what you’re after, look no further. Signing up means you’ll be completing a fleshed-out questionnaire that’ll aid in matching you with compatible people by looking at 29 unique character traits.

Fee: Various subscription packages based off monthly rate ($31.95/month for 12 months, $44.95/month for six months, $62.95/month for three months)

Best for Hookups: FriendFinder-X

Friend Finder X dating site logo and Friend Finder X website screenshot

When considering your options, it helps to identify what your intentions are for using an online dating site. If you’re not looking to meet your future spouse, you’re probably better suited for the adult dating site FriendFinder-X, a place where you can live out your sexual desires and find others looking for the same level of casual commitment. FF-X is a strictly hookup- and casual sex-oriented site that boasts millions of users around the world, so if you’re looking to get lucky, your odds are high here.

Fee: Various subscription packages based off monthly rate ($15/month for 12 months, $20/month for three months, $20 for one month)

Best for Kinksters: XMatch

X Match dating site logo and X Match dating site screenshot from website

Another strong option if you’re just on the hunt for no-strings-attached action is XMatch. As you’ll clearly see if you visit the site, XMatch is all about giving you a taste of the "XXX action." With more than 75 million members, the hookup-centric site will serve up a ton of possible sex partners in your area, whether it’s someone who shares your specific kinky desires, or other people also looking for no-strings attached sexy hookups.

Fee: Various subscription packages based off monthly rate ($15/month for 12 months, $20/month for three months, $20 for one month)

There is an online dating site for you out there. Not satisfied with the above list? Click below to see our 11 picks for the best online dating sites.

App photos from dating sites.

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MeetMe

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Getting Started On MeetMe

Aligning much more closely with other social networking sites rather than dating sites, MeetMe is a community site that does facilitate meeting others, but with a rather unique approach. This isn’t a site that is going to match you based on data-based personality features or even make you fill out a traditional online dating profile. Rather it’s a digital networking site that allows you to discover others close by mainly based off of their status updates. Like most social networking sites, MeetMe has an extremely swift sign-up process, requiring you fill out only 6 fields before you are taken to the full site and can begin connecting.

Learn more at MeetMe.com

Logging in to MeetMe is as simple as using your email address and password, or, if you’d like an even more streamlined process, you can login with your Facebook account. This might seem like an extra step, but in fact it saves you time and the trouble of having to remember new login info.

The MeetMe Experience

MeetMe allows you to discover others nearby, with minimal if any undertones of online dating intentions. There is a basic search feature, but the girth of the site lays is its live feed where members post status updates and pictures, from which you can like or comment. For each update on the feed you can click on that member’s profile to see their individual feed, which is a collection of all their updates, along with minimal user information consisting of said member’s username, age, sexual orientation, location, profile picture, and a short bio introduction. Once on a member’s profile you can add that member as a friend and begin a private chat session. Overall the site is exceptionally similar to Instagram, with the added ability to post text updates, rather than images only and the option to add users as friends only, rather than follow them.

Takeaways

MeetMe is a very low pressure online dating site that allows you to connect with others nearby for a variety of reasons, one of which could be for dating.

Best feature: With the feel of a social networking site, MeetMe is extremely casual in nature with little to no added pressure (or stigma) that usually comes along with any online dating platform.

Biggest drawback: Absolutely not matching criteria or preferences. You can post your relationship status and the gender you are interested in connecting with on your profile, but doing so won’t have any effect on who you see in your feed.

Memberships & Pricing

MeetMe is free to join and use, but to unlock access to special features, such as spotlighting your profile, you’ll need to upgrade your account.

Learn more at MeetMe.com

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Friend Finder X
Friend Finder X

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Getting Started On Friend Finder X

One of the most diverse and well-established sites in the Friend Finder Group network, FriendFinder-X is an adult dating site that grants you access to an exceptionally large user base and a feature-filled online dating platform. The site is rather rare in that it attracts users posting and engaging in openly erotic behavior as well as users who are fully-clothed looking for a traditional online dating experience. As with other Friend Finder Network sites, the signup process is swift, taking under a minute and requiring you provide only the most basic information to register.

Learn more at FriendFinderX.com

The FriendFinder-X Experience

FriendFinder-X is a full-feature dating site with a plethora of ways to communicate with others and interact on the site. The homepage features a highlighted members box, which displays those who are online, nearby, new, and those at VIP status, and has a live feed of all member activity beneath it. You can easily discover others through various search types, browsing profiles, exploring the Live Action section full of webcams, adult chat rooms, broadcasters, and more, or making your way to the What’s Hot section featuring the hottest rated videos, photos, albums and members on the site. Profiles can be crafted to be as in-depth as you’d like, including the option to broadcast a welcome message, and interacting with others can take place in many forms, from emailing and IMing to sending flirts or gifts, or becoming top member fans.

Takeaways

FriendFinder-X has all the best features of various online dating sites combined into one, making it an ideal site for those looking to try out various means of online dating and customize their own personal method.

Best feature: Seemingly endless discovery options from searching and browsing to live member webcam chats allowing you to continually find members on the site and connect in your preferred way.

Biggest drawback: Since the site doesn’t use any kind of matching algorithm, you’re really on your own as far as determining whether someone else might be a good fit for you.

Memberships & Pricing

Signing up for a free account will allow you to navigate the site, but to make the most of FFX you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account. Paid memberships are available in 1-, 3-, or 12-month packages, with 1-month subscriptions starting at $30.00 and the average monthly price decreasing if you choose to purchase a longer one.

Learn more at FriendFinderX.com

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