Disclosure Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. If you've dated in the past 20 years, you've likely encountered one — or all — of the myriad dating sites in some form. And as we've increasingly moved our lives online, digital dating's finally shed the stigma it once carried, leaving people free to meet others however they choose.
Plus in those days, there was a stigma associated with online dating. You did not tell people you met your spouse, or partner, or even a date online.
In the years since their initial launches, the forefathers of dating sites have forged ahead on mobile while holding on to their desktop roots.
Here are our top 5 dating site picks: Best for international daters: Rather than asking its user for dating questions, Zoosk picks dates for its users based on a user's on-site activity. If you shoot a message to Jake Doe, for example, Zoosk says it'll use that action to determine which types of profiles to show you going forward. Zoosk is free to sign up , but you'll need a paid subscription to interact with other users. The company also uses its own form of currency called Zoosk coins that are available for purchase.
Daters can use these for features like adding a "boost" to their own profiles in search or sending another user a "virtual gift. Best for all kinds of daters: Launched back in , its decades in the business help it bring a ton of insight to the table for singles looking for all kinds of connections. And with its more recent push into mobile come a few new features that have helped make the ancient site more relevant, including its very own version of Stories, popularized by Snapchat and, uh Match users can shoot little videos of their day or add voiceovers to photos and post them to their profiles for other users to check out.
It has the largest critical mass, and they have done a fabulous job of keeping up with the technology. There's also a free trial option. Match users can browse on desktop and on mobile through its app. Match also recently added Missed Connections which, like the app Happn, tells users who they've crossed paths with recently. More than 25, new users join each day, apparently.
Spira says it "spans a lot of different relationship types," from casual to serious. Best for those looking to get hitched: Neil Clark Warren , eHarmony is the site for serious daters. A spokesperson for the site says it's been used by 54 million people, and is apparently responsible for 4 percent of U.
Users answer a lengthy questionnaire that helps eHarmony determine what it calls a "a select group of compatible matches with whom you can build a quality relationship. It may lead to living together or at least being in an exclusive, committed relationship. While it's free to make an account, answer questions, and see your matches, you'll need to select a paid membership to make contact.
It's available on both desktop and through its app. It's not recommended for users looking to date casually. Best for the opinionated: Per OkCupid's own stats, liberal women in particular have luck on the site. And in , the site offered users the chance to answer 50 "current events" questions that illuminate a user's politics. People spend a lot of time on site just perusing the questions that other people answer, and I like that. OkCupid is free for the most part, but does offer some paid upgrades for features like increased search abilities, a "free automatic boost per day during prime time," or even the option to browse privately in "Incognito Mode.
Plenty of Fish Image: The site recently launched a feature that allows users to message others through Google Home. POF is pretty much entirely free , but does offer upgrades.
Like Zoosk, POF offers "tokens" that let users "highlight" their profiles so that they stand out to other users, send a message that goes straight to the top of their inboxes, or send a "Super Yes" to users they're particularly interested in. It has both a desktop site, and an app. Alright, daters — get your beautiful faces out there.