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Looking for Love? First You Need to Choose the Right Online Dating Site

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I'm In Like With You.

Online dating is popular for a reason – we’re busier than ever, trying to balance an ever-increasing load of obligations. There’s not a lot of time left over to find a mate. Plus, we all get to a point where we realize that our soul mate is probably not lurking in a rowdy bar or nightclub.

With the social acceptability of online dating at an all-time high, there are now more sites than ever to choose from, whether you’re looking for a casual connection, a long-term relationship or something in-between.

Casual Connections

If your dating plans don’t extend beyond tonight, choose a site designed for short-term connections. In addition to browsing online profiles, many of these sites have mobile apps that allow you to see who’s available in your area at that very moment. Popular examples include Zoosk.com, AdultMatchDoctor.com, Lavalife.com, and even Craigslist.com’s personals section.

Relationship Seekers

If you’re looking for a relationship, not a marriage proposal, OkCupid.com is a brilliant, free option. Offering an attractive design and an extremely user-friendly interface, the site is deemed “the Google of online dating” for a reason.

OkCupid uses a complex algorithm to determine each user’s match percentage – in other words, your compatibility. The algorithm is based on your answers to a series of simple but telling questions, such as “How important is physical contact in a relationship?” or “How committed are you to living a healthy lifestyle?” While the site is geared towards twenty- and thirty-somethings, there are users aged 18-49.

Also check out Plentyoffish.com. While not as user-friendly or aesthetically pleasing, there are plenty of registered users to browse from a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Looking for The One?

For those looking to settle down, you’ll want to invest in a paid site such as eHarmony.com or Match.com. Geared towards older individuals and promoting long-term, serious relationships, these sites feature complex, comprehensive personality tests that measure which of your traits standout more than others and what your primary needs are in a relationship – you’d be surprised by how accurate they are!

Niche Dating Sites

While all of the sites mentioned allow you to filter your results when searching for a mate, if certain traits make or break your interest, you may want to consider a niche dating site. Popular examples include Jdate.com for Jewish singles, ChristianSingles.com, VeggieDate.com for vegetarian singles, and Fitness-Singles.com for singles committed to a healthy lifestyle. If you have a special passion or interest, use a search engine to see if there’s a dating site for like-minded folks; for example, if you’re a Google Analytics consultant, see if there’s a site for those passionate about technology.

No matter which site you choose, join and browse with an open mind. If someone has five out of seven of your must-have qualities, give them a chance – it’s hard to convey one’s full personality online, and you never know who could be your next great match!

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