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Best Dating Sites For 2022, 8 Free and Paid Options for Singles Today

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Posted at 6:00 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 06:00:06-04

Once upon a time, you had to talk to many people.

Most of them were boring.

Many were definitely not “your type”.

But ultimately, the worst were the weird, sociopath-looking ones.

Still, you went through all those hurdles because… you like to suffer.

Life is only as fun as the person you share it with.

Well, fortunately, that time is over.

And today, we’ll talk about… *drumroll*… online dating.

Yes, you definitely didn’t see that one coming, did you?

If you want a decent match with someone who wants to take things slow, get to know you better, and who knows − even find true love

Then please stop dreaming.

Uh, I mean − our dedicated team has curated the top dating sites (including the top free dating site) that offer genuine, long-term dating. Overall, eHarmony is our top pick - but there are still plenty of other great sites to check out.

If you’re not sure where to start or you haven’t found much luck with Tinder and the likes, this review is for you!

Best Dating Sites in 2022:

1. eHarmony - Best Dating Site Overall

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Pros:

  • High success rate
  • Geared towards long-term relationships
  • Accurate matches
  • Time-saving algorithm
  • Reasonable $170.85 for 3 months

Cons:

  • Sign-up is quite lengthy/tiresome
  • A bit expensive for some

Over the years, people have flocked in droves to eHarmony to find their better half with commendable success. As expected, this has earned the website a pretty vibrant reputation as one of the best dating sites for successful relationships.

If you’re looking for a one-night stand… then you’re in the wrong place.

Most members on this website are out to make serious, meaningful connections. This makes eHarmony a hotspot for getting amazing dates that could blossom into a beautiful long-term relationship.

The other perk of using this dating app is that it helps you save so much time.

No more fruitless manual searches − its accurate match-making algorithm pairs you with ideal match profiles thanks to the 32-Dimensions personality traits questionnaire that you fill out when signing up.

On top of that, you can also take advantage of Favorited Me, My Favorites, and Mutual Favorites to keep track of all your crushes.

Now, the only bummer is that the site’s premium subscription rates are quite expensive. Still, when viewed from a different lens, it’s a worthy investment given the results most people are getting.

The site’s paid service costs:

  • 3-month deal: $56.95 per month
  • 6-month membership: $29.95 per month
  • A year’s offer: $17.95 per month

Taking all this into consideration, you can see how eHarmony had an easy time making it to the top spot of our review. Their efficient match-making and high success rate are really hard to match (pun intended).

High Success Rate With eHarmony

2. Dating.com – Great for Finding International Dates

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Pros:

  • Potential matches from 40+ countries
  • Frequent profile verification
  • Exciting free version
  • Pay per feature or action

Cons:

  • Pricing may prove confusing
  • Can’t search for a specific member

There is no other dating site that will give you the best cross-culture experience like Dating.com.

This unique website has heavily invested in making international matches, with members from 40+ countries registered at the moment. If you want grounded online love with a promise of something long-term, then this is where you punch your ticket.

If this is your first time and you’re a bit scared of what (or rather, who) you may find…

Then you’ll be glad to know that Dating.com conducts frequent user verification to crack down on spammers, fake profiles, and weirdos.

Other top features include Let’s Mingle which allows you to create a generic text that you can send to several prospects at once. When someone likes your entrance, they can invite you to a private chat where you can then sell the rest of your manifesto…

What else?

Well, Dating.com also has the Boost feature that allows you to market your profile to a wider reach of members. Of course, you must be on a premium plan to enjoy this handy tool.

One thing that may dampen your experience, though, is the fact that you cannot search for a specific member using the site’s search tool. This may throw you off a bit… until you realize it actually protects you from unwarranted stalkers and snoopy members.

Finally, the site has a unique pricing policy that lets you pay per action or feature rather than monthly subscription fees.

For instance,

  • one-way video chats go for 4 credits per minute
  • two-way video chats go for 6 credits per minute
  • and reading each email after the first free one costs 10 credits

So if you want to control your spending while avoiding scams (or worse) and find ze love of your life sooner rather than later… I’d say Dating.com is a pretty good bet.

Dating.com Offers a Free Version

3. FriendFinder – Dating Site for Casual Relationships

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Pros:

  • Large pool of users
  • Covers a wide range of fetishes
  • Advanced Search tool
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Many fake profiles
  • Lots of ads on the free plan

You can’t talk about online dating sites without mentioning FriendFinder. This is one of the oldest dating websites on the internet that have a cult following thanks to its very unique dating structure. FriendFinder is your one-stop shop if you’re looking for long-term casual dating.

You read that right…!

If you are that type of person who likes “close yet distant relationships”, then you’ll get more than your fill at FriendFinder. Most of the members there like to experience all aspects of intimacy before committing to a long-term relationship though.

You also don’t have to hide your inner desires as the members are pretty open with their preferences. And to help you browse through the millions of active members, FriendFinder has a very advanced search filter. This handy tool allows you to search for matches that have very specific tastes or similar interests as you.

This means you can flush the tedious, time-consuming, and random hunting down the drain!

Well, as exciting as the site and members might be, the free version offers little to write home about as it’s always riddled with so many ads.

However, you can easily overcome this by taking up the $24.95 per month Standard Package and getting an ad-free experience. To get the best results using this dating app, ensure that you make your committing intentions clear from the start to avoid flopping. Otherwise, FriendFinder’s active members will keep you engaged throughout the day.

Find a Casual Date On FriendFinder

4. EliteSingles – Best Dating App for Career Professionals

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Pros:

  • Members are mostly career professionals
  • Great matching system
  • Over 2 million members
  • Blog with dating advice and tips

Cons:

  • Can’t do much with a free plan
  • Moderators are quite slow

Elite Singles boasts one of the highest quality memberships you’ll ever come across. About 87% of this site’s members have a bachelor’s degree or higher education, and it caters to the 30+ age group quite well.

Many users say the effective matchmaking algorithm does a stellar work of suggesting compatible matches. Based on how you filled in your interests, personality, location, and career, the site will give you some of the most precise profile hits you’ll ever see on these online dating sites.

If you feel less in the mood for mingling and more in the mood for learning…

Then the Blogs section actually has useful dating advice beyond the all-time great “Just be yourself”…

The only catch, like with most apps, is that there’s very little you can do with a free plan. You have to upgrade to a premium membership to get access to awesome features like unlimited photo viewing on the app.

To get a taste of what this feels like, you have several options:

  • 3-month offer: $34.95 per month
  • 6-month membership: $19.95 per month
  • Yearly deal: $17.95 per month

The pricing might seem to be on the higher end, but at least you get a potential date with a career-focused individual who’s also looking for someone to settle with.

So, if you like your dates to be as bright as they are good-looking, you should definitely consider EliteSingles.

Great Matching System With EliteSingles

5. Seeking – Best Site for Finding Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies

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Pros:

  • Easy to find mature love
  • Strict verification process
  • Great privacy
  • Affordable subscription

Cons:

  • Long income verification process

Seeking has made its name over the years as the best dating site for luxury dating.

It stands out from the rest of the dating apps on this list because it provides a platform for people with different age gaps to mingle without fear or judgment. This has led to more people to try wealthy dating, with many success stories in recent years.

This dating app has more females than males - which is rare!

If you are a lady, this is a solid indicator as to how good the men on this app really are. For the gents, the high number of women gives you a broader sea to fish from, dramatically increasing your chances of getting a beautiful catch and, hopefully, soulmate.

The sign-up process is very strict and ensures a thorough user verification is also carried out. This is in the interest of protecting all parties involved from possible scams and dubious individuals.

Well, that’s reassuring.

The only snag is that the identity verification may take long before it’s approved. But, hey… if that means that I get to dodge wasting time on shady characters, then I am definitely game for it.

For only $19.99 per month or $45.00 for 3 months, you will get to enjoy premium features like Video Chat where you can share your intimate secrets with no fuss.

Overall, there’s not much dirt that you can dig up on Seeking. They have a wonderful desktop site and app interface that will keep you engaged plus the best user-protection policies in the market.

Considering the price, I think it’s a pretty good deal.

Try Luxury Dating With Seeking

6. OkCupid – Top Free Online Dating Site 

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Pros:

  • Safe Chat
  • Incognito browsing
  • Handy search filters
  • Block other members
  • Best free site - unlimited messaging

Cons:

  • Lots of fake profiles

Owned by the same company as Tinder, OkCupid is one of the best free dating sites right now.

Founded in 2001, this popular dating platform has gained over 50 million users on its platform to date. Although there is a paid subscription, this website gives users the best freemium experience by offering a huge chunk of their features for free!

Get this…

You can have full access to things like the Search tool at no cost. This makes it a lot easier for you to find a specific person’s profile, or you can use the filters to narrow down on people who share the same tastes and preferences.

You can also send and receive messages to your potential matches for free on OkCupid. This gives you a much easier time connecting and catching up with your crush.

About their premium features…

The site has a Double Take function that works pretty much like the swipe feature seen in Tinder and other sites. You can pass or like a profile as presented on your feed by swiping either left or right, respectively.

One downside though is that OkCupid has its fair share of fake profiles − but they’re generally pretty obvious with no picture or pictures that look like they’re a model.

If you fall for one of those… then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.

OkCupid made it onto this list for the laudable efforts they make in ensuring that their users have an easy time using their site and mobile app. The free features help you have a blast while using the platform without needing you to fully upgrade.

Make sure that you swing by and let us know how things went down…!

7. Academic Singles – Most Popular Dating Site for Sapiosexuals

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Pros:

  • Most users are intellectuals
  • Mainly for long-term relationships
  • Detailed personality test
  • Hide your photos
  • Women can send free messages

Cons:

  • Not great in underpopulated areas
  • Fakers are still present

Academic Singles was established back in 2005 and is mainly tailored for academic heads and intellectuals who want to try their luck in romance. They have a very specific user database that comprises sapiosexuals who are looking for a real, long-term relationship.

One of the most popular features on the site is Hide Your Photos, which as the name suggests, lets you…

Oh, wait − I forgot you’re an intellectual. You probably get it then ;).

The other upside is that women can send free messages to any user on this dating site. This allows you to be sure that you can find interesting matches before upgrading to a premium plan (which is necessary to read incoming messages). By the way, the premium plan allows you to read and send unlimited messages to as many profiles as you wish.

Seems too good to be true?

Well, this dating app does have a disadvantage, and it’s that it does not really do well in less-populated regions. This means that you will have fewer matching suggestions and profile options to pick from.

Finally, the payment plans include:

  • 3-month deal: $32.95 per month
  • 6-month offer: $24.95 per month
  • Yearly membership: $19.95 per month

I’d say it’s a good deal considering you get really accurate matches and a bunch of exciting features such as pre-drafted texts and adless browsing.

So, if you want to take your head out of your books and enjoy the sweeter, sunnier side of other intellectuals who are also looking for a quality relationship, look no further.

8. Badoo – Dating App with the Largest User Membership

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Pros:

  • 1.3+ million active members
  • Active moderators
  • Strict user verification
  • Send gifts
  • Unique payment system

Cons:

  • Fewer features compared to other apps
  • Matching is mainly based on appearances

Badoo is the site with the largest dating pool on this list. As of this writing, the site has 400 million+ users in its database. This means more flavors for you to choose from.

One thing that has helped Badoo gain lots of traction is its Encounters feature that acts like a room where all singles meet. You get to choose from the myriads of profiles floating across your screen by swiping to either like or reject a match suggestion.

Neat, right?

This site also has some of the most active moderators you’ll ever meet on these online dating apps. They are constantly on the lookout, flagging down any explicit content and kicking out fake and dormant profiles to keep things active and lively.

Unlike other online dating sites, Badoo’s algorithm relies heavily on physical appearance (based on profile pictures) to make match suggestions. This tends to regularly give inaccurate matches with members who don’t share the same interests.

What about the price?”, I hear you ask.

Well, Badoo is one of the cheapest dating apps with its premium plan costing:

  • 1-month offer: $12.99 per month
  • 3-month deal: $10.66 per month
  • 6-month membership: $8.00 per month

To wrap this up, Badoo makes a great alternative to Tinder with its sleek swipe function and humongous dating pool. Also, the fact that overly explicit content/profiles are not welcome makes it quite a decent place to wing out your luck in romance.

How We Chose the Top Dating Sites:

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Creating this tried and tested list of the best dating sites in the USA took a lot of research and hands-on trial from our never-say-die team.

Over time, we have come up with a few markers that help us to crosscheck these sites’ legitimacy and ensure that we only recommend top-shelf dating apps and sites.

These include:

1. Are the Members Flakey or Serious?

The quality of members on a specific site goes a long way in deciding whether it’s a solid choice or a hard pass.

For instance…

We paid particular attention to the total membership numbers each site has. It goes without saying, but the more members a site has, the better chances you have to get a perfect match.

But a large number of users isn’t enough in and of itself…

The site also has to prove that its members are reasonably active. After all, there’s no point in having millions of users if nobody’s going to reply to your messages or interact with you.

Finally, we made particularly sure to check for user diversity.

Sure, some of these sites are dedicated to a certain group or taste, but they have to at least ensure that they support inclusivity. This means providing a safe space where people with every fetish or sexual orientation can search and find love online.

Try eHarmony Today

2. What Are The Unique Features? (Video Calling, User Searches, etc.)

This is the main reason why we even visit these websites in the first place. The top dating sites have to provide their users with quality features that allow them to easily find and engage with other members on the platform.

Some of the common, standard features that the sites have to offer users include Video/Text Chat, Search, privacy features, and a matching system.

All that’s well and good, but what about the most important part? Yes, security.

Well, as you can imagine, security features were the #1 thing we looked at when picking the best sites.

Namely, we looked at:

  • Does the site have standard 256-bit SSL website encryption?
  • Does it have secure TLS or SLS payment technology?
  • Does it protect users’ data from third-party leaks?

And a few other details that would probably bore you to death − but that really count to make sure we only recommend the best of the best.

3. Does It Cost A Small Fortune?

If a site is going to charge you − our dear readers − to use it, it has better make sure that it delivers on its promises!

Because we’ve tested many dating sites in order to write this review, we have a pretty good sense of whether a site is giving real value or if it’s trying to rip off its users.

Therefore, we did our best to only include reasonably priced dating sites whose quality of service reflects the membership price.

We also made sure to mention free sites for dating that let you use most, if not all, of their features without spending a dime.

4. Is It Intuitive and Fun To Use?

This mostly weighs on your overall experience when using the dating site.

Is the dating website easy to navigate? Do they have a simple interface complete with Chat and Search buttons that make your browsing seamless?

Better still…

Do they have an optional app for Android and iOS users that allows you to use their services on the go?

These are some of the critical elements we look for when deciding whether using a site is a breeze or absolute agony.

Find Love On eHarmony

Top Dating Websites - FAQs

What is the best free dating site in the USA?

The best free dating site in the USA is OkCupid, according to our research.

Despite having a paid plan, you can register and use a majority of OkCupid’s features for free. Such features include sending messages, viewing other people’s profiles, liking members’ photos, and many other features to find a potential match.

What is the best dating site for a serious relationship?

The best dating site for a serious relationship is eHarmony, according to many users on Reddit.

Besides their large user base mainly geared towards finding long-term commitments, they also provide some of the most accurate matchmaking tools to increase your chances of finding a like-minded match.

Pair that with the fact that you can find tons of authentic success stories online saying they owe their luck to using this site, and you can see why we think it’s the best site to find a like-minded partner.

Do you have to pay for eHarmony?

Yes, you have to pay for eHarmony if you want to access their premium features.

This means the dating platform has a generally more serious user base than other dating sites. Additionally, their features really are premium, particularly the patented 32 Dimensions personality assessments that provide matches that are generally more accurate than other dating apps.

What is the safest dating site?

The safest dating site is Seeking, in our opinion.

Because of the type of high-end clients that it handles, this site has put in place some of the most stringent measures to curb the insecurity tendencies witnessed in some online dating platforms.

The website puts every new applicant through a rigorous profile verification process that includes an income verification to ensure that everyone is who they claim to be.

They have also gone the extra mile to ensure that their users enjoy total privacy when browsing by allowing them to either hide their profiles or block other users from seeing them.

What is the most popular dating app?

From what we’ve heard, the most popular dating app in the USA is FriendFinder.

The app enjoys a very vibrant member community that knows how to keep you engaged through text and video chats.

People also love FF because of its inclusivity and the high level of diversity stemming from heterosexual couples to LGBTQ+ people.

What is the best dating site for over 50?

The best dating site for over 50 singles is Badoo, according to senior users.

With close to half a billion registered users, the website has the largest user base on this list (and on the entire online dating market) and includes countless people who fall under the 50+ age group.

What dating sites can you message for free?

You can message other people for free on OkCupid and Academic Singles

For Academic Singles, however, the free messaging feature is only available to women.

On the other hand, OkCupid gives free messaging to every gender and allows them to message with anyone else on the site.

How to stay safe on online dating sites?

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To stay safe on online dating sites, follow the simple steps below:

  • Personal Information - Never share your personal information with anyone you’re dating online. These include things like your physical home, your work address, and your personal phone number.
  • Credit Cards - Do not share your credit card details. No matter how comfortable or even charmed you get with the other person, sharing your bank details always sets you at risk of getting scammed.
  • Before Meeting - Insist on a video chat before meeting anyone in person. Having your first date virtually will help prove whether your crush is a real person or not. If someone keeps avoiding the subject of meeting virtually, you should take off and never look back.
  • Meeting Safety - Always meet in public places, especially for your first date. This reduces the risk of the other person harming you if they have evil intentions toward you.

Conclusion - What Are the Best Dating Websites and Apps?

As mentioned above, the best dating apps and sites need to have real, active members, as well as top features and great ease of use.

Furthermore, any cent you spend should get you really useful, time-saving features that you couldn’t do without.

Now, apart from these objective factors, the best dating app for you will also depend on your personal interests.

If you want an approved dating site with high success rates and value for your money, then you should check out eHarmony.

Whereas if you’re just dipping your toes in the water or you have a low budget, OkCupid is a good freemium alternative.

Finally, to meet the wildest bunch of singles on the dating market, FriendFinder would be your best bet.

And that’s it!

I know this article was quite long, but I hope you found it informative.

If you have any suggestions or you’d like to tell us about your fun (or horrible!) dating stories, please feel free to add a comment below!

Cheers to (hopefully) finding the love of your life.