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Statistically, nearly 1 in 4 couples now find each other online. If you are facing Valentine's day alone wondering why you are single, give it a try!

Which dating website is best?

With so many dating sites to choose from, how do singles know which one to use? This guide is to help you identify which dating websites would best suit your needs and whether or not it would be worth paying for a service. Of course you can sign up to as many different websites as you want if you wish to increase your chances of finding the right person, however this is likely to be more time consuming and unless you stick to the free websites, signing up to multiple sites is obviously going to cost more.

To begin our investigation into which dating websites are successful, I asked 800 couples who found each other online which sites they used:


Most Popular: Plenty Of Fish…..and spam! (POF)

POF claims to be the largest dating website and has over 3 million active users daily. It is free to join, although you can pay for an upgraded version that is not necessary as you can send and read messages with the free basic account.

An advantage is the number of members in your area that you can talk to – on some of the other websites there will be fewer local daters registered. On the downside,users tend to get a lot of spam and unwanted messages. The website is free to join and it's easy to set up an account, so it attracts time wasters and people with less than genuine intentions. Some of the couples who had success with POF said that they didn't consider themselves the sort of people who would find someone via online dating, but felt that it was necessary to try because they assumed everyone else was on there.

There are optional compatibility tests you can take to help find users compatible with you. Regardless as to whether you use the test, POF tries to helpfully list other members it considers to be your 'Top Prospects' to narrow down your search. Good luck with this feature – try not to be disheartened if nobody looks like a possible match. Remember, you only need to find one desirable person and new people join every day!

Use POF if you have the time to go through lots of unwanted messages from people not suited to you and who aren't looking for the same kind of commitment. Not for the easily offended, POF is one of the dating sites known for distasteful messages and pictures!


Tinder - no messages from undesirables, still considered by some as a hook up site

Tinder is also free but you can upgrade at a cost to use other features that you do not need. Tinder differs from POF as you have to 'swipe' to confirm whether or not you like the look of someone, based only on their pictures and a very small amount of information and only members that you have mutually 'matched' with can message you. If only one person finds the other attractive, no messaging is possible. This helps to eliminate some of the unwanted messages you get on POF, but can limit your options making choices about people in this way.

Although Tinder scores well in our survey for finding a relationship, Tinder is considered by many to be more of a hook up site than a site for finding meaningful relationships. Some people only looking for long term relationships therefore avoid Tinder, so you may want to sign up to another website in addition to this one if you have time.

Your choice of profile picture is more important on Tinder than for other sites as choices are initially made just by appearance. According to a study by Tinder, wearing glasses in your profile picture reduces your chances of matching by 12%! Having eyes clearly visible makes a big difference. Statistically, profiles of women wearing red and men wearing blue do well, as well as pictures of women wearing gym gear. Also, make sure you are by yourself in the main picture. When you get started on Tinder, there are so many photos to swipe through that you don't want to make it hard for potential matches to work out which one is you, they might not bother.


OkCupid - still some spam, some find happy endings

Another free website, users tend to receive spam emails in a similar way as on POF. There are settings to give you control over who can view your profile and you can sign in via Facebook.

Match - 3 Million UK members more likely to be in search of a genuine relationship

Match membership costs £29.99 for one month, or £12.99 per month for six months. Since payment is required, this helps to deter timewasters. If you are serious about finding a relationship but don't have loads of time to trawl through unwanted messages from jokers, this may be an option for you.


eHarmony - For singles on a mission to find someone to marry!

According to, this website is the best pick for finding a long term relationship, aimed at those aged 30+ looking to settle down and not just someone for now.Building your profile is serious stuff, there are lots of questions, some worded in similar ways with multiple choice answers – if you use the same answer frequently or answer the questions too quickly, a pop-up box opens to tell you to slow down and tell you off for using same answers!

Using eHarmony takes the hassle out of reading prank messages as those who aren't committed to finding a relationship won't bother completing their profile or be willing to pay for something that is unlikely to introduce them to people just looking for fun. Subscription to this site costs from £9.95 per month. The couple who took part in our survey met two years ago and have recently got engaged.


Elitesingles - aimed at educated singles and professionals aged 30-55 (with an elite price)

Most of the members of this dating site are educated to at least degree level and priced at a whooping £89.95 a month (or £29.95 if you are willing to sign up for a whole year) chances are they all have a pretty good job too. If level of education is of importance to you, then hopefully this dating website with over 1,800,000 UK clever-cloggs members narrows down your search.


Muddy Matches - Find a farmer / rural lover

You could chose a dating website that targets the type of person you want to meet, such as Muddy Matches, for farmers, rural singles and those with similar countryside lifestyle preferences. It is free to join and look at profiles but you need to pay for the subscription if you want to send messages or read any you receive. For one month membership, the price is £24 (for longer subscriptions, monthly cost is lower).


If you want a dating website aimed at older singles

You will find plenty of older singles on websites such as POF and Tinder, and these websites attract younger dates ages 18+ too. If you would like to find a dating site aimed at those aged 45-50, you could have a look at Mature Dating, which has over 250,000 singles in the UK and costs £19.99 for a month (for longer subscriptions, monthly cost is lower).

Whichever website you choose - Dating Fraud is becoming increasingly common. Before signing up, read our guide to protect yourself from dating scams.


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