Now more than ever, there are a variety of options to choose from if you’re considering online dating – possibly too many. Maybe you’ve tried some of these services, and have just never had any luck finding that “special someone.” If you’re looking for a meaningful long-term relationship, it’s not always that easy… especially if the dating website or app you’re using is geared more towards short-term hook-ups, or has a reputation for fake users and/or “spam” messages.
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But how do you know what kind of relationship each online dating service is good for? That’s the focus of this article. We’ll list some general clues as to whether a dating website or app is better for brief or prolonged relationships, and give you a list of the 6 best websites and apps to use in 2017 for seeking an enduring union.
Okay, so how do I tell if a dating website or app is good for long-term relationships?
Some of the characteristics you should look for in a website or app if you’re looking for a serious extended commitment are:
- Paid subscriptions – though some free apps are great, ones that require you to pay in order to use them will likely have fewer people looking for casual encounters.
- Long profile-building process – by forcing users to put a lot of time into filling out their profile and answering some questions about themselves, an app will discourage people who aren’t committed to finding good matches from using it. It will also make better matches for you, based on compatibility.
- Mutual matching factor – an app is more likely to help you meet someone whom you’re compatible with if it requires both of you to match in some way. For example, it may ask questions that you and your match need to answer the same way to prove compatibility, rather than just show pictures that only one user has to “like” in order to “match” two people.
- Post-matching communication – apps that force you to communicate with matches before you can actually meet them and arrange for dates are better at helping you get to know them and determine your compatibility with them.
So what are some of the best sites and apps that have these characteristics? Check out our list below!
Top 6 Long-Term Dating Apps and Sites
eHarmony has always been seen as a serious dating app, and it claims that more of its users have ended up in long-lasting relationships than on any other dating service. eHarmony has an extensive questionnaire that can take quite a while to fill out, and you must complete it before you can start using the rest of the site. With questions chosen based on scientific matchmaking, you’ll only be matched with those you are compatible with – and no one else.
The exclusive matchmaking process means that when you use eHarmony, your chances of receiving spam or other incessant messages are very low. eHarmony is and always has been a paid service, but many people believe it’s worth it. They also offer frequent promotions where you can view your matches for free over a weekend, and then decide if you would like to sign up.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: The extensive questionnaire that you must put effort into completing leads to compatible matches who are serious about having a commitment that lasts.
Download now: Android | iOS
If you want to learn more about eHarmony, check out our free course here.
Match.com claims to create more meaningful matches than any other dating service – period. It has been around since 1995, so it has plenty of experience helping people connect online. It also guarantees that you’ll find a match, or it will offer you your subscription for free for a period of time.
Match has a huge number of users, so you’re much more likely to find the person that’s right for you. Its user profiles are also fairly detailed, so you can get to know a lot about your prospective matches. It even organizes events through a service called Match Stir, which can help you meet locals in your area whom you may be compatible with.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: The Match.com Guarantee promises that you will find a great match with a paid 6-month subscription. If you don’t, you’ll get another 6-month subscription for free!
Download now: Google Play Store | iOS
We can teach you more about Match with our free course here.
OkCupid is a very popular online dating app, so you’re likely to find someone who’s right for you. In addition, OkCupid has a vast library of questions for users to answer, which makes it much easier to determine your compatibility with a potential match. You can choose what level you want to interact with people on, and see your compatibility with them down to a percentage! You can also see how they answered any question, as long as you have answered it as well.
Unlike on eHarmony and Match.com, the questions you answer on OkCupid are mostly optional. You only need to answer a few when you sign up, but then you can answer any of the rest of them at your own pace. You also get to decide how important the answers to the questions are to you, which is an added level of matching that you can’t get with any other dating app. This will open up the possibility for new matches.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: OKCupid has an amazing library of meaningful questions on all kinds of topics, as well as the ability to indicate a question’s personal importance to you.
Download now: Android | iOS
Does OkCupid sound like it’s for you? If so, check out our free course here.
You might be surprised to find Tinder on our list, but it has actually created some long-lasting relationships as its features have evolved over the years. It’s also totally free to use, unlike most of the apps we’ve listed here. This can be a plus if you’re looking for a serious relationship, but just can’t afford to constantly spend money on paid subscriptions.
If you’re transparent about what you like and what you want, Tinder can lead to a real relationship. Though it doesn’t always offer as much opportunity for getting to know people before you date them, it does allow you to meet people you like quickly. You can decide for yourself right away if you really like someone, instead of spending time combing through answers to hundreds of questions. If you, like Tinder, think that you’re the best person to decide if you’re compatible with someone, then take matching into your own hands with the Tinder app.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: Tinder has more users than most apps, and its matching process is simple; you either like someone or you don’t.
Download now: Android | iOS
If you want to learn more, check out our free course with step-by-step guides on how to use Tinder.
Bumble is an app that is trying to combat the stigma of online dating by making it more accommodating to women. On Bumble, a woman has to message someone before they can send a message back. This cuts down on the usual constant swarms of messages that many women receive as soon as they join an online dating service.
Bumble still shows you mutual connections, but requires a message to be sent within 24 hours of the connection being made… by the woman, of course. For same-sex connections or casual friendships, either person can make the first move, but this still must be done within 24 hours.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: Because women generally have to make the first move, you can make better connections without being harassed by users with dishonest intentions.
Download now: Android | iOS
Hinge refers to itself as “The Relationship App.” and claims to be “inspired by love and guided by authenticity.” Hinge doesn’t support casual encounters, instead catering to a base of users who are looking for serious relationships. User profiles on Hinge offer more information than most, and can be filtered based on what’s most important to you – so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Hinge aims to be the new long-term relationship dating app, helping its users find true love. They offer a free, limited membership, and an upgradeable paid membership that may help you get more or better matches. The free membership limits the number of likes you can send out, which also means that people will save their outreach for people they actually think they’ll like. Hinge also has an awesome blog called In Real Life, which provides helpful advice to navigate the complicated world of online dating.
How it will get you a long-term relationship: Hinge focuses on long-term relationships and only caters to serious users. It also bases your matches on what you like.
Download now: iOS
We hope this article helped inspire you to try out a new dating app that may find you a long-lasting love. Remember that we have many step-by-step tutorials on how to use online dating sites and apps, as well as great information on how to stay safe using online dating.