After a divorce, getting back into the dating game isn’t as easy as getting back on a bike for the first time. For those whose marriages lasted just a few years, becoming “single and ready to mingle” can sometimes be easier than someone who has spent a decade or more wed. What’s important, though, is taking the necessary time to regroup before taking a deep breath and diving back into the world of dating.
Online dating is the name of the game nowadays. You’ve probably heard about Match.com and the notorious hookup app Tinder, but there are plenty of other sites that singles (both local and abroad) are using to connect every day. What are some of the best? According to a study by reviews.com, the four best dating sites are:
- Plenty of Fish
The study started off broad; the team compiled every single dating site and app they could think of, excluding ones that were geared toward people looking to commit affairs like Ashley Madison. They also ignored any sites or apps that were primarily used for hookups since the purpose of their study was to find the top dating sites and applications that led to real relationships, platonic or otherwise.
At the end of their compilation round, a total of 68 dating sites and apps were selected to be analyzed based on criteria such as their user bases, cost and functionality.
The number one pick on the list was given the gold star for its diverse user base, zero dollar price tag and “intuitive iconography and streamlined features.” It’s matching algorithm and detailed profiles were its most highly praised features.
For people who want to find a long-term relationship, it appears that match.com is still the reigning champ. Settling down doesn’t have to be boring, and the people behind Match’s algorithm understand that. They strive to connect people who have agreeable qualities and principals as well as complimentary personalities that will keep things interesting.
Plenty of Fish
Rated the “most overwhelming”, Plenty of Fish is known to be one of the less serious dating apps on the market. It’s been endorsed by celebrities like Britney Spears for years now, so it’s attracted a very large user base that is pretty difficult to navigate. Given the sheer volume of people using the app, the researchers found it difficult to make a solid connection with anyone. They also found it difficult to avoid pervs. However, Plenty of Fish’s massive user population means that there will always be someone to talk to. The study concluded that it’s better to avoid this one unless you’re feeling really desperate.
Personally, I found it quick and easy to get started with POF and much less intensive than some of the premium sites.
Match’s longtime rival was the study’s “most underwhelming” find but still received praise for its helpful interface (guided communication options help shy people break the ice) and high integrity. Although the number of prospects is pretty high for the hefty cost (a subscription will run you $40 a month), eHarmony is a dating site that still might be worth a shot if you’re looking to get back in the saddle in a more controlled, serious environment.
Although each of the top rated sites and apps had their pros and cons, the bottom line is that you still have to put yourself out there and try. Whether you decide to hook a lure and search Plenty of Fish or sign up for an account at Match and let the algorithm work its magic, you need to work on your profile, include some up-to-date, attractive photos and dedicate time to this online dating world if you want it to actually work. And if the dating app you choose isn’t working for you, try a different one and having that flexibility to switch apps means if you’re paying for a subscription go for shorter periods of time. Also, don’t forget you can still meet people offline while being online dating at the same time. While you’re reviewing your latest matches of the day, you may bump into a cute guy in line at the coffee shop and fall head over heels right on the spot (metaphorically, we hope.)
Remember to have fun and not worry about defining yourself by your relationship status. Being single is an incredible opportunity to get to know yourself better than ever and truly live life to the max.