With fresh dating apps and sites being created quicker than we can download them, it can be hard to know where to begin. Radhika Sanghani rounds up the best dating options out there
8:00AM GMT 25 Oct 2015
Twenty years ago, Match.com went live. It was one of the very first dating sites to hit our computer screens and has remained one of the most popular ever since.
But in the last few years a lot has switching in the online dating world.
There’s been a massive rise in apps and websites all designed to help people meet online. Now, no matter what your age or lifestyle, one of the best ways to commence dating is simply to create a profile.
It’s a major theme in my latest novel Not That Effortless where the youthful heroine, Ellie Kolstakis, attempts out a number of dating apps and sites to get some decent dudes in her life –, and in her bed.
One of the fattest issues that she and her friends have with online dating isn’,t so much the people they meet, but which site they meet them on. In the book they discuss the pros and cons of the different options facing them.
This is relevant to so many single people today. With thousands of fresh apps and sites being created quicker than we can download them, it’,s hard to know where to commence.
Even if you used to successfully online date, but have found yourself single again, it can be difficult to know exactly what sites you need to be surfing.
It’,s why I’,ve created this handy guide to the 11 best dating websites and apps available right now. You’re welcome.
This site describes itself as the way to meet ‘,the most successful and attractive singles.’, It asks users to pack out their job title and education, and links to Facebook so you can view their social circle.
Before you join, the app has to approve you as a member (a slightly daunting process) or you have to be invited.
If you want to unlock certain features you either have to pay or invite other to join. A friend who uses it tells me: “,It’,s good if you’,re picky…, but there aren’,t a lot of people on it.”,
I can’,t truly make a list of the best dating sites without mentioning Tinder. At very first people were drawn to the app for its simpleness – users can swipe left to decline and right to approve a date. If two users swipe the same way? They’re matched and can talk to one other.
Tinder once had a reputation for being a ‘,shagging app’, – but that’s switched. Now, it seems you can’,t go anywhere without meeting couples who got together however it. The app’,s best quality is undoubtedly its sheer amount of users –, there are 50 million active ones, so it’,s unlikely you’,ll run out of potential matches.
For people who hate the coerced feel of a very first online date, DoingSomething might be the reaction. It lets you pick a match based on their date suggestion, whether it’,s a sushi-making masterclass or rollercoaster rail.
The website says it “,takes the awkward out of dating”,, but the drawback might be that it’,s only London-focused – and treating raw fish with someone you don’t fancy could be a lot worse than just having a drink with them.
Cost: ?Ten per month
This sells itself as a ‘,feminist’, app. It works in a similar way to Tinder, the only difference is that Bumble only permits women to commence a conversation with their matches and they have just 24 hours to do so before the connection vanishes. Boys cannot make the very first treatment.
The idea is to stop women getting explosions of sleazy messages –, but I have it on good authority that some guys are taking advantage of this and view the app as an chance for them to ‘sit back and do nothing’, while women ‘,rush around attempting to message the potential loves of their lives in 24 hours.’,
Not exactly the epitome of equality…,
This is one of the thickest dating sites out there, and a lot of people I know have had relationship success here. The bonus is that users can pack in a lot of information about themselves, so you can tell who’s after casual lovemaking and who wants more.
@radhikasanghani has to be Okcupid. Not very sleazy, had good dates and met my bf of over 2yrs on there (still together)
But the app has fallen in popularity compared to Tinder, and the fact that you can receive messages from anyone – without matching very first – means that your inbox can quickly become clogged with sleaze.
This is the app for music paramours. It matches you with people based on your location and a collective interest in music. It can import your favourite tunes from your smartphone or Last.fm and does the hard work for you by collating matches.
A possible drawback could be a limited number of users –, those figures aren’,t available online – but it does look like a good app if music plays a significant part in your life and loves.
Unlike Tinder, Hinge doesn’,t let you swipe through an unlimited number of potential matches. Instead it only lets you match with people who share your mutual friends – and it shows you a fresh ‘,batch’, of users every day.
It also lets users have a more detailed profile than Tinder –, which just offers a bio –, and lets you add activities, preferred dating catches sight of and so on.
The only awkward thing is it means people in your social circle will all know you’,re on the app, so if you’,re not keen on having all your mates see your profile, this might not be for you.
Do you like country walks? Spend most of your time complaining about life in London? Love wearing wellies? Muddy Matches could be for you.
This UK website has more than 130,000 members and as one Twitter user tells me, it’,s ‘,flawless for meeting posh boys.’,
@radhikasanghani my mates who like posh boys use muddy matches and nickname it muddy puddles – country paramours dating site
On its website it describes itself as “,the only independent dating site for genuine country-minded people.”, The only problem is that it’,s not free.
Cost: ?22 for one month, ?66 for six months
This app has been popular over the last few years, as it shows people you have crossed paths with geographically. It means you can match with sweethearts you live near, or with someone who always goes to the same bar as you.
Some people I know, tho’, have complained that tho’ they receive matches, there’,s often a reluctance amongst users to send messages.
But it still has a large pool of potentials and has a plain, usable model.
This is the app for people who hate the thought of going on a date alone. It means you can join up with a friend, search for other pairs and go on a group date.
It’,s based in the UK so most of the user base will be here, and it means you don’,t have to worry so much about awkward muffles or safety.
The only issue is it makes the matching process a lot firmer –, two of you have to like two other people. And what if you end up fancying the same person as your friend?
If you’,re going to use this one, it might be best to have some other apps in your repertoire, too.
Coffee meets Bagel
If you hate the thought of Tinder’,s limitless matches, Coffee meets Bagel is for you. It only gives you one match a day –, which is someone you’,ll have a mutual friend with via Facebook.
The more times you login the more points you get, which permits you to unlock special features.
If you don’,t like your option, you can play ‘,give or take’, – where you either ‘,take’, a possible match or ‘,give’, them away by emailing their details to a friend.
Your dates are called ‘,bagels’, and the app is joy –, especially if you like smartphone games. The drawback is it’,s fairly hard to use and doesn’,t suggest many potential playmates.
Radhika Sanghani’s latest novel, Not That Effortless (Harlequin), is available to buy in paperback or as an eBook on Amazon and Telegraph Bookshop
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