If Match.com isn’t working for you, but you still want a serious dating website or app, we have the ultimate list of the best alternatives to Match.com.
Match.com is one of the largest and most popular dating websites on the Internet. So large and popular, in fact, that if you use it for 6 months and don’t find someone that you really hit it off with, you can use it for another 6 months for free! Match.com also gets praise for using background checks to weed out scammers and other potentially dangerous users, as well as putting on “Stir” Events as great date ideas or just opportunities to meet interesting people.
The main downside of Match is that, despite its lengthy profile setup process, there isn’t a lot of guidance when it comes to finding and interacting with your matches, outside of the “Daily Matches” function. Most of the search and communication legwork is left for you to do. Also, Match.com is somewhat expensive to use (with paid subscriptions costing between $15 and $25 per month), and most of the core features of the website including communicating with other users or seeing who has shown interest in you are locked unless you have a premium membership.
There are different popular sites like Match.com for your style of dating. If you’re interested in more casual, short-term dating, try OkCupid.com, or Tinder. If you’re looking to date with the goal of a long-term relationship, go for eHarmony.com, or Bumble.com.
If you want to learn more about these sites and apps, and what they can do for you, we’ll teach you all about it, including:
- Best 7 Match.com alternatives
- Sites like Match comparison table: cost, time to first matches, and more
- Other specialty dating websites and apps
- What you can get for free from dating sites like Match
- 5 tips to help decide which dating site is right for me
- Articles to help you dominate in the online dating game
If you’ve tried Match for a while and just can’t seem to find your “special someone,” try one or more of these seven other online dating websites.
Best 7 Match.com alternatives
Scientifically-backed algorithms to meet your soul mate
eHarmony.com is Match’s most recognizable competitor. While it doesn’t have the sheer volume of users that Match.com does, it uses a much more in-depth approach to building your profile, matchmaking, and communicating with matches that is based on real-world relationship psychology. So while you may not get as many matches, the matches that you do get are far more likely to be truly compatible with you, and the communication and overall dating process will likely be much more straightforward and simple.
This is why many people recommend eHarmony for those who are new to the dating scene, or have been out of it for a long time. If you want to learn more, check out this inside look at eHarmony’s machine learning algorithms here. Like Match.com, though, eHarmony is a subscription-based service, so you have to pay to use it.
If you’d like to try out eHarmony for yourself, our eHarmony Course can show you how to use it.
Answer specific questions and see how others feel about the same things
OkCupid.com is a free dating website that works similarly to popular social media websites, such as Facebook and Buzzfeed. In addition to allowing members to send private emails and instant messages to each other, it also allows them to answer questions and take quizzes related to personalities, dating, and relationships. Some of these questions and quizzes are created by the website’s staff, while others are made by members themselves. By answering how they feel about a question, how they would want a potential match to answer the question, and how important they think the question is, members are able to find matches based on how other people have answered those same questions.
While OkCupid is free to use, there are certain advantages and functions that are only given to paid subscribers. These include not seeing advertisements on the website, having better search options, and being more likely to show up (more highly ranked) in other people’s match lists.
To learn more about OkCupid and how to use it, check out our free OkCupid course.
A perfect mix of serious and fun dating
Zoosk.com, like OkCupid, is a dating website that borrows elements from social media platforms, including popularity rankings and presenting matchmaking functions as games (such as personality quizzes). It also works closely with social media platforms itself, particularly Facebook. The idea behind this, like it is on Match and OkCupid, is that the more active you are on the website, the more Zoosk’s matchmaking system can learn from your activities and thus more accurately match you with people who use the website in similar ways.
Similar to Match.com, Zoosk allows a person to sign up for free, which lets them browse and search for matches, and send one email to each person whom they’re interested in. Any further communication, including seeing who has viewed your profile or sent you messages, requires a paid subscription, as does using some of the advanced features. Zoosk also has its own unique trivia-style game to help you make connections with others on the app.
If you’d like to learn how to use Zoosk, have a look at our Zoosk course.
Where women make the first move
Bumble.com is one of the most innovative recent dating apps that aims to take all the discomfort out of dating – especially for women. On Bumble, the women have to make the first move. Once a match is made, the female has 24 hours to respond if she’s interested; if not, the match goes away! For same-sex relationships – either party has the opportunity to respond within 24 hours.
Bumble is also all the rage with it’s Bumble BFF feature! You can use the dating app as a friendship app to find genuine, life-long friends you share interested with! Try it out today!
For speed-dating through profiles with people in your area
Badoo.com is another popular alternative to Match.com. Badoo allows users to connect with each other in different ways – you can browse other Badoo users in your area, or use “Encounters” if you’d like to try out online speed-dating. Badoo also lets people chat and meet new friends; it’s not just a dating site. Badoo is free to sign up for and use, but they also offer additional features they call “Superpowers” if you’re willing to pay for them.
To learn about Badoo and how to use it, check out our free Badoo course.
The “swipe-if-you-like” app that makes fast connections
Tinder is a dating service that only works on mobile devices, and only if you have a Facebook account. The trade-off is that it makes dating simple: copy your profile details over from your Facebook profile, and then choose which of your potential matches (picked based on geographical location, age, and other profile details) you wish to “like” or “ignore.” When you and another Tinder user “like” each other, you can use the easy chat interface to strike up a conversation. No muss, no fuss. It’s used mainly by younger people who are looking to date casually and/or short-term, though contrary to popular belief, Tinder isn’t always used exclusively for “hooking up.”
If you’d like to try out using Tinder, check out our free Tinder course to learn how to get started.
Predicts compatibility based on chemistry
In terms of its user base, PlentyOfFish is one of the largest Match.com rivals, with over 100 million subscribers as of March 2015. However, in terms of structure, this Canadian dating website is more akin to eHarmony, in that it’s geared toward long-term dating and relationships. This is aided by its two romance tests, the “Chemistry Predictor” that helps to determine your emotional needs, and the “Relationship Needs Assessment” that evaluates what you need (to do) in a relationship for it to work. You can use PlentyOfFish pretty much to its fullest without a paid subscription, but you get some nice perks — such as being notified when other users like you or read your emails — if you become a premium member.
Sites like Match comparison table: cost, time to first matches, and more
|Website||Time to First Matches||Premium Features Cost||How It Matches Users|
|3+ hours||Average $20/month||Scientifically-backed algorithms from an extensive questionnaire|
|10 minutes||$5-$25/month||Mutual answers to questions based on importance|
|10 minutes||Quizzes and vicinity|
|10 minutes||User's choice based on profile|
|10 minutes||Quizzes and vicinity|
|<2 minutes||Location and profile picture desirability|
|15 minutes||$10-$18/month||Compatibility test|
Other specialty dating websites and apps
- ChristianMingle.com – For those looking to date and share their faith with other Christians
- BlackSingles.com – For black people looking to meet and date other black people
- JDate.com – For people looking to date within the Jewish faith community
- GolfMates.com – For golf enthusiasts looking to date others who enjoy the game they love
- Stitch.net – For older adults seeking companionship
- WooPlus.com – “The most comfortable plus-sized dating community”
- Sweatt – The dating app for fitness junkies
- Dine – For foodies who want to lock in a first date without all the small talk
What you can get for free from dating sites like Match
- eHarmony – Always costs money, but often run promotions over specific weekends to review your matches for free.
- OkCupid – Most of its features are free to use, but you can pay to add additional features such as seeing who viewed your profile, larger message storage, and boosting your profile to others.
- Zoosk – Zoosk is free to use, but you cannot message directly with other people, which is very important.
- Bumble – Bumble is free to use – paid subscriptions just provide a “boost” of your profile to other users.
- Badoo – Badoo is free to use, and you need only pay to upgrade and boost your profile to others, in addition to gaining a few other powers with your subscription.
- Tinder – Tinder is free to use, but you can pay to increase your visibility within the app.
- PlentyOfFish – Free to use, but you can pay to upgrade your membership to upload more images, show up first in the results, send gifts to other users, and more.
5 tips to help decide which dating site is right for me
Choosing the right website or dating app can be hard. These tips will help make the decision a little easier:
- Read reviews – read about other people’s experiences using dating sites and apps. It will really help you get a feel for which one will suit you best, depending on what you’re looking for.
- Time you’re willing to invest – some websites are more expensive than others, so if you’re already planning on playing the scene for a year or two, a more expensive, better app might be worth it. If you’re looking something casual or you’re not worried about features, go for a cheaper option.
- Long-term vs. short-term – if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, the websites that make you take longer to talk about yourself like eHarmony or OkCupid are probably the right move. If you’re looking for casual relationships, then Tinder is the site for you.
- Try out the free versions first – try using only free features before you pay, so you know which website gives you the most value – you might even find what you’re looking for with only a free version.
- Sign up for everything you can – if you’re going to test free versions, sign up for 3 or 4 dating services at once. See which one you enjoy the most and then commit to using that one.
Articles to help you dominate in the online dating game
- Dating Profile Pics: The Dos and Don’ts to Get You More Matches – If you’re not getting matches, it probably has something to do with the pictures you’re putting up; this article teaches you what to (and what not to) do!
- Best Dating App Opening Lines: Break the Ice with These Great Tips – Learn how to start more compelling conversations so your matches are more inclined to respond to you
- Best 6 Dating Apps to Find Long-Term Relationships – If you’re looking for something serious and long-term, these sites and apps all focus on that
- Best 7 Free Dating Apps for iPhone and Android – These sites and apps all offer at least part of their services for free, so you don’t break the bank trying to find a good match
- Online Dating Safety Tips – Stay safe with these tips that protect your privacy, information, and personal safety while using online dating services
- How to Easily Delete a Match Account and Cancel Your Subscription – iOS/Android/Web – It’s not nearly as easy as it seems, so if you’re using one of these new sites, make sure you go through the proper process to delete your account