As if finding love wasn’t hard enough before the COVID-19 pandemic, it became even more challenging now that we have travel bans and social distancing rules—but it’s not impossible.
If you’re single and ready to mingle, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best dating websites to help you find love in the time of corona.
Best Online Dating Sites
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of dating, though hopefully not forever. Whether you’re looking for marriage, a serious relationship, or a casual hookup, there’s a dating site for you.
Take a look at the best dating sites of 2020.
Bumble is a free dating app designed to make online dating safer for women. As soon as opposite genders match, women have 24 hours to start a conversation. The connection expires after that timeframe. Once sent, men have to respond within the next 24 hours. They can, however, extend that window if they really like the person.
Only women can make the first move, which prevents unsolicited messages. For same-gender matches, either side can initiate the conversation.
The platform has a code of conduct to make it safer for all parties. More importantly, Bumble prohibits pornographic material and encourages its users to treat everyone with respect.
Tinder is one of the best free dating sites in the US, known mostly for its simple swiping interface. It no longer requires its users to sign up with a Facebook account. However, you have to be 18 and up to join.
You can swipe right if you see someone you like and swipe left if you’re not interested. No one can get in touch with you unless you’ve shown interest in them. If both of you swiped right on each other, you’ll receive an invitation to send the other person a message. You only have limited swipes if you use the free app. To get unlimited swipes, you can turn to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold.
eHarmony is a trusted senior dating site designed to help mature individuals find love, companionship, and maybe a little adventure. It has 33 million users and utilizes its Compatibility Matching System to find compatible individuals. Every day, it will recommend a new set of potential dates and partners. You can also review the areas of compatibility, which sets it apart from traditional senior dating platforms. As soon as you are matched, you can start a conversation if you are interested in the person you’ve been matched with.
The site is free and easy-to-use, but its free version has limited capabilities. If you’re serious about finding love online, you can choose from its paid plans to get advanced matching options.
Match has been around since the ‘90s. It’s a trustworthy feature-rich site dating platform with an app and a website. Its userbase consists mostly of 30+ singles looking for potential partners to settle down with. Here, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire with a myriad of personal questions, ranging from the color of your hair to your religious preferences. You’ll also be asked about future plans (e.g. whether or not you want children).
The questionnaire is long and comprehensive, so you’ll have to spend a bit more time and energy on it. On the bright side, it can help you more accurately find a compatible match.
With 50+ million users worldwide, OkCupid is a dating platform with massive reach. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface that is constantly updated with new features and functionalities. Without any cost, you can access a wide array of capabilities, including their Flavors system, messaging tools, and Instagram integration which are free-to-use.
If that isn’t enough for you, a premium subscription can extend your capabilities. You can, for instance, get advanced search tools.
Perhaps the best thing about the platform is that it’s frequently updated. Lately, OkCupid came under fire when a cybersecurity firm expressed concerns about the dating website and mobile app. Its unaddressed flaws make them vulnerable to hacking. They’ve since made the necessary fixes, emphasizing that no private data was compromised.
Can You Really Fall in Love with Someone Online?
According to Dr. Michael Adamse, a psychologist and author of “Affairs of the Net,” you can fall in love with someone you meet on the web. It happens all the time. The problem is that people often tend to form impressions that are rooted in fantasy instead of reality. So, once you do meet face-to-face, you can easily feel let down when reality doesn’t live up to your expectations.
Falling in love with someone online is possible. However, you should be careful about entering relationships, especially if you’ve yet to meet and spend time with them in real life. Tread carefully when you’re entering the modern dating landscape, and always be smart and cautious about the relationships you make online.
How to Choose the Best Dating Site for You
What type of relationships are you looking for?
Before diving into the online dating pool, ask yourself if you’re looking for long-term love, a potential life partner, or a casual romance. Many dating platforms are geared toward certain demographics or intentions. By figuring out the kind of relationship you want, you can find the right platform that can meet your needs.
Do you prefer being matched or searching independently?
Finding love online isn’t as easy as it seems. That’s why modern dating platforms usually have advanced algorithms that can help you look for potential partners. Bumble, Tinder, and eHarmony are a few examples. They’ll match like-minded individuals based on information indicated on user profiles. Here, you won’t be able to conduct your own search. You can only look up and message people you’ve been matched with.
If you want to conduct your own searches independently, you can go on platforms like Plenty of Fish. Some of these sights will even let you set filters in terms of age, gender, religion, or education so you can narrow down your search.
Which features matter most?
Determine the kind of online interactions you want. Not all dating sites have messaging systems. Some that do will let you initiate and carry out conversations with the people you’re compatible with. Others limit messaging capabilities to eliminate unwelcome advances.
Of course, safety is imperative when it comes to online dating. You should choose dating platforms with advanced security measures that can weed out the weirdos. More importantly, they should have secure defenses against malware, phishing scams, and other cyberattacks.
How much will it cost me?
If you’re new to the online dating landscape, you can dip your toes in the water with free dating services. However, they often come with limited features. For instance, you might not be able to view full user profiles and have less advanced matching options. In such cases, your dating decisions will have to be based mostly on physical appearances.
Paid subscriptions vary in price, ranging from $5 to over $50 per month. Advanced matching and searching capabilities depend on the plan you choose. Ultimately, it comes down to what you need and what features are worth paying for.