Dating online is becoming more popular as old ways of dating fade out. Forget the need to meet people in bars, in grocery lines, or to make eye contact with a stranger from someplace, you may never return to. Nowadays you can just go online and find a date.

Before you do, you will need to know what it is that you want. Are you looking for something casual, short-term, long-term, or do you want to explore the dating world a little by having some fun? When you know the answers to those questions, you will then need to ask yourself what dating site you feel comfortable to use. That is where things can get a little bit tricky, but perhaps this article can help you.

Below are the top 10 most popular dating sites that have either just gained popularity, or have stood the test of time.

To get you started on your journey of discovering yourself and your potential date, I have organized the dating sites according to appropriate age levels and whether or not the site is a free or paid one so that you do not need to worry about where to start looking.

I also debate the pros and cons of each dating website but feel free to debate them yourself and to also search for other dating sites if the ones listed below are not what you had in mind.

(Note: If the site is listed as free but there is an option to pay, it is suggested to use the paid version rather than the free one to gain the most benefits and to use all the features to be able to find a good potential date. That is what you want, is it not?

Young adults/adults (ages 18-49)

These dating sites are meant for those who are on their phones, computers, etc. a lot and for those who just want the fun of dating and maybe something serious.

1. Tinder

Free to use

Ready to heat things up in the bedroom?

For those who just want to get out there and date, or to just have fun by hooking up, then perhaps this dating app is for you. To use Tinder, you will need to download the app on your iPhone or Android.

Pros: Tinder incorporates a social search, which means that you can log on to Tinder using your Facebook account. The social search allows the person to find a match based on a simple swipe. If you swipe left, that means you don’t like the match, but if you swipe right, then perhaps you may have found a match you like.

For women who want better matches and who like the format of Tinder, then proceed to read about Bumble, which is listed below.

Cons: Most likely you won’t find someone serious about a long-term relationship by using this app.

2. Bumble

Free to use.

Ready to hone in your inner queen bee?

Pros: Like Tinder, Bumble is set up the same, the only thing is, women are the ones in charge of initiating communication unless both communicating are women. This is because women ultimately are the ones saying “yes” to the man who wants to marry them, so women need to be more upfront about who they want, and Bumble allows women to do just that. Unless both communicating are women, there is less pressure about the idea of marriage, if marriage was ever a requirement for in the future, to begin with.

This also allows the guys not to feel as rejected as on other dating sites, which gives the guys a little bit of a break from trying to seduce or woo a woman.

Cons: Sorry men, Bumble is catered to women more. Perhaps try Tinder if you want to make the first move and if you like the same setup that Bumble offered you.

Women may also feel rejected more, which they may not feel used to since on most dating sites men are the ones initiating a conversation.

Like Tinder, this may not be the best dating site to use if you are serious about getting into a long-term relationship.

3. Plentyoffish

Free to use.

Just like the saying goes, if you don’t find love with one person, move on, because there are “plenty of fish in the sea.”

Pros: Plentyoffish uses a personality test to determine who your matches are. There are more tests to take as well, such as a relationship needs assessment test, because let’s face it, we all have needs we want to be fulfilled, even in a relationship.

For example, say you want a guy who is athletic. You can search all the guys who are athletic by simply narrowing your search results. Plentyoffish may be a good dating site to use for those more serious about dating, and this is because people are looking at your personality more than just your looks.

Those in the LGBTQ community are welcome here, and since this dating site has many users, the chances of finding love are high.

Cons: The ads may be a little too inappropriate at times.

Also, the dating site is a little bit hard to navigate for some users.

Women are more likely to be the ones sending pictures due to the high levels of inappropriate pictures sent to women by men.

4. OkCupid

Free to use.

OkCupid is also a dating site for those looking for love, hence the name “Cupid.”

Pros: You can answer questions to find matches. The more questions you have answered, the better your match results.

For example, say you are a high maintenance woman. You may answer a question about cleanliness by ranking it as very important.

If you also want a dating site which is easy to use, and with minimal ads, then try this dating site.

You can even find love in the LGBTQ community here, and you even have the option of not viewing the opposite gender if you label yourself as bisexual.

Cons: Not many people will invest time into answering questions, so too many people may be a match, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

Inappropriate pictures may also be sent from men to women on this site, and vice versa, so be careful.

5. One Scene

Free/pay to use

Those in the LGBTQ community are all part of one movement, and that is not to be afraid of loving someone different than what society says.

Pros: This dating site is for those in the LGBTQ community. Even those who are in the LGBTQ community can find love or even friendship as they begin to come out of the closet since this dating site is dedicated to those who are young. Even those who are transgender are not excluded.

Cons: This dating site may or may not be suited for those who are more serious about dating, but it couldn’t hurt to make a friend or two.

Adults (ages 50-60)

These dating sites are meant for those who are a little older and who are willing to pay for their dates because they don’t have as much time to date around and because they may want something more serious. That isn’t to say that younger people can’t use these dating sites, it just may be that they may not have as much luck if they aren’t ready for something more.

6. EliteSingles

Free/pay to use

Feeling like your matches are less than desirable?

Pros: This dating site is meant for those who are elite in the sense that they may have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and they are looking for someone who is just as elite as they are, or for someone who understands their busy schedule. Simply fill out a detailed questionnaire, which clarifies even certifications of others, and you may find the time to squeeze in a date or two in your busy schedule with someone equally as busy.

Cons: Move over those who are not elite in the sense of accomplishments in the workforce, or academically, because these people are serious about dating and they also want someone who is serious about their career or education.

7. ChristianMingle

Free/pay to use.

Are you Christian and ready to mingle?

Pros: This website is meant for those who uphold the Christian religion at the core of their being, so finding someone who also upholds the same beliefs shouldn’t be too hard.

Cons: Not everyone on ChristianMingle may be serious about Christianity or dating as you might think.

There is less of a chance that you will meet someone from a different religion if you were ever curious about it, which is what you may have wanted in the first place.

Anyone who is in the LGBTQ community, who also happens to be Christian, may be uncomfortable using this dating site.

8. eHarmony

Free/pay to use.

Ah, to find harmony while searching for love online…

Pros: A compatibility matching formula is used, which is backed by many years of research and data. If you know exactly what you are looking for, then this dating site may be for you. Even if you don’t know what you are looking for, no one is excluded here, just your potential matches.

Cons: Probably not the best dating site to use if you want to find a lot of matches.

A long signup process.

You also don’t have much control over who you get to talk to next if run out of options. That is why it is essential to fill out the questionnaire as honestly and as detailed as you can. If you are too young to know exactly what you want, then perhaps this dating site is not meant for you, yet.

9. Match

Free/pay to use.

Want to find your match?

Pros: A questionnaire is used, which is similar to eHarmony. This means that there is still a lot of potential matches to sort through on this regularly updated dating site. This is also a good dating site for those who may or may not know what they are looking for because Match keeps the interface on the casual side. The options here are are more endless.

Cons: Maybe too casual for those more serious.

Also a long signup process.

Seniors (age 60+)

This dating site gives seniors hope to find love once more, or for the first time, it can happen.

10. SeniorPeopleMeet

Free/pay to use.

Senior people are never too old for love.

Pros: More matches for seniors who are serious about finding love.

With seniors not having much time on their hands, a dating site like this one may be the last resort for some.

Cons: If you are a senior and you want to date someone significantly younger, you may not have much luck here.

You may also be limited in your choice of dating sites, but at least this one seems successful.

To date online is to be bombarded with messages from hopeless romantics, to seeing things better left unseen, and to ultimately find what it is you want before you even meet each other in real life.

It is hard to say which dating site is right for you, but it is more likely that you will have more luck at least in discovering yourself along the way towards finding your future date.

If you do want to become serious dating someone online, then remember never to give up hope for finding love. Remember to search for success stories to inspire and motivate you to try online dating for the first time or for the 100th time. Remember also to love yourself first because no one can love you for you.

Someone is waiting on the other side of that screen, and all it takes is one person brave enough to introduce themselves and to strike up a good and meaningful conversation. You never know where that could lead you both too. Best of luck!

Image credit: unsplash