Best dating sites to find love in 2023, from free to £169

Best dating sites in 2023: At a glance

best dating sites


Looking for love in 2023? Joining one of the best dating sites is a brilliant first step towards finding someone special this year.

Online dating is now the most popular way to meet someone in the UK, research shows. So, if you’re not signed-up with a dating site or dating app to help your search for a new partner, then you’re missing out on a huge number of potential matches!

However, the sheer number of dating sites and dating apps available – 1,400 websites aimed at UK singles and counting – can be overwhelming. To help, we’ve done the hard work and whittled down the thousands of options to just 13 of the very best sites and apps for singles looking for love in 2023.

Dating sites and apps are designed to find the perfect partner for you, based on your interests.

A number of these services, like eharmony and, use complex algorithms to find the ideal date based on your interests and kicks. To do this, both services will ask you to answer a comprehensive questionnaire during the setup.

It can be a bit of a lengthy process, but by the end …whether you’re mad about dogs, love painting, can’t stand cats, or only watch black-and-white films – you should be able to find your perfect match. It’s important to be as picky as possible, so these services can find someone who ticks all of your boxes!

If that sounds like too much hassle, then you might be better suited with a dating app, like Tinder. This incredibly popular app launched around a decade ago and turned online dating on its head. Unlike services like eharmony, Tinder did away with questionnaires and let you swipe through every single within geographical proximity to you.

Potential matches are presented like a deck of cards via an iPhone or Android app. You can judge these potential partners based on their chosen photos, most-played tracks on Spotify, vital statistics, as well as the optional bio.

If you’re looking to experience dating apps that use this swipe-based style, there are now a vast number of options for both iPhone and Android, including Tinder, Happn, and Bumble. These are perfect for those who only have a spare minute or two while waiting for a train.

Other dating sites, like Zoosk, try to bring the experience of going on a first date without leaving the house. It boasts interactive video dates from your smartphone, so those further afield (or a little nervous) can quickly meet with a few taps in the app.

Marriage announcements in the New York Times mentioned OkCupid more than any other dating service, so those in the United States looking for something serious should definitely give this popular dating site a good look. 

If you’d rather avoid staring at a screen altogether, services like Original Dating (hence the name), OurTimeMai Tai and Thursday all specialise in real-world events to meet singles from your local area. And those who are looking for something extra-marital or more casual are well catered for with services like Illicit Encounters and Ashley Madison.

There are over 1,400 dating sites to help UK singles look for love. Nevermind finding a match, settling on the right dating service is a huge task on its own

Putting yourself out there is always intimidating, but you’re not alone.

Services like offer a helpful dating coach, who can lead you through the world of online dating. We’ve also listed some advice and tips from an independent dating expert, who spoke exclusively with for this guide.

Scroll down for our complete guide to the best dating sites and apps in the UK today, with answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about these services and how to find love online. Click on the links above to jump to a relevant section.

Short on time? Our top 7 dating sites and apps can be found below:

  • Best for serious relationships – eharmony
  • Best for online dating newcomers –
  • Best for over 50s – OurTime
  • Best for real-world events – Thursday
  • Best for dates from your phone – Zoosk
  • Best for casual dates – Tinder
  • Best app – Hinge

What is the best dating site?

Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to this question. After all, it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Do you want to find something serious? Do you want to start an open relationship? Do you want to sort through your matches on your phone, or using a desktop PC? Do you want a free service, or are you happy to pay?

The best dating site or app for you will depend on your answers to these questions …and many, many more.

According to sheer popularity, analytics firm Statista reports that Badoo is the most popular online dating service in the world with more than 100 million visits per month. This is followed by Tinder (94.96 million monthly visits) and Plenty of Fish (32 million).

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best dating sites and apps for those in the UK looking for love.

Each time, we’ve highlighted why we’ve decided to pick a particular dating app or website, so you can find the right fit for you. A number of these selections are available to join for free, so you won’t have to pay to test out these online dating services.

1. eharmony

Who is it for?

eharmony is best for singles looking for a serious, monogamous long-term relationships.

With millions of single users in the UK, there’s a good chance of finding love on this service – in fact, its own data shows that a match takes place every 15-minutes on its service.

The most common age demographics on eharmony are 30 to 44 and 55 to 64. eharmony has a pretty even split between men and women (51% / 49%) which isn’t the case with all dating services.

How does it work?

eharmony takes dating seriously. Signing up for this online dating service is not a five-minute job. Setting up a profile involves filling out a questionaire with 50 seperat queries about what you’re searching for. These answers are analysed by eharmony’s patented algorith to find the perfect match from its database of millions of users.

According to the online dating service, it’s this deep-dive into your likes and dislikes that results in so many well-suited matches. A survey of UK, US, and Australian residents in 2020 found that eharmony was the most trusted dating website. That’s an accolade the brand is very proud of, especially in a world where dating websites and apps are often seen as encouraging casual dating.

What devices does it work with?

eharmony has a wide range of apps. Of course, you can use the online dating service from any web browser, including on a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. There’s also a choice of mobile apps, including both Android, iPhone, and iPad.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, eharmony is free to join. You’ll be able to use the dating service for free with no end date or limitations based on age demographics. This is much better than a free trial. Those who want to upgrade to paid plans will be able to upgrade at a discounted rate, thanks to the number of discounts and promotions offered to free users on a regular basis.

Who is it for? is a brilliant choice for newcomers to the online dating scene, or those who are a little bit rusty. This well-loved online dating service offers a number of clever features to help you get your sea-legs back, including a dating coach that offers personalised advice to help you navigate online dating.

Like eharmony, is primarily designed for individuals looking for serious relationship, this isn’t a good choice for anyone looking for something casual for a couple of dates.

According to data from a 2018 report, 25% of all users on were under 30, while another quarter of its total users were above 50 years-old. The latter is the fastest growing demographic on If you fall into any of these demographics, then this could be a great fit.

Across all age ranges, has a very even split between genders. Interestingly, 59% of its users are single parents, so this online dating service is a brilliant option for those looking to start a new family.

How does it work?

Like eharmony, asks you a number of detailed questions to try to determine exaclty who you’re looking for. It will use this data to trawl its database of 2.5 million singles in the UK to find an ideal match, based on your interests, age range, location, and dozens of other important factors.

If you need proof that its approach works, look no further than this incredible statistic – 1 in 5 people in Britain know a couple who first met on 

To help its users get the most from its service, is designed to be a dating site that helps you back into the game or attempt online dating (or dating in general, for that matter) for the first time. Helping you into the right frame of mind is the nifty virtual dating coach, who can offer dating advice, personalised selections from your matches, as well as tips to improve your online profile and good icebreakers for the dreaded first message to a new match. also offers a number of useful tips to help you on your journey to find new love. The online dating service also organises a number of so-called Match nights, where you can meet other singles in-person for those who prefer to talk face-to-face without the complications of algorithms and messaging apps. If you do meet on first, there’s built-in video call functionality so you can start a conversation face-to-face as soon as possible.

What devices is it compatible with?

You can use from any web browser on a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. The online dating service has also built a number of native mobile apps for the best experience on your smartphone or tablet, these can be downloaded on Android, iPhone, or iPad.

Is there a free trial?

There’s no need to pay upfront to use You can sign-up for the service online or within an app at no cost. Free user accounts get unlimited matching and profile browsing. However, some features are restricted to paid plans online, like its Connect package for more messaging options.

3. Zoosk

Who is it for?

Zoosk is a very modern app, so it’s perfect for anyone who has tried app-first services like Tinder and Happn, but want to try something new. Most users are aged between 18-40, so it’s ideal for younger users. Those who are slightly older should check out the separate dating service, which doesn’t have a particularly flattering brand name, Zoosk Seniors.

Zoosk doesn’t bother with complex questionnaires, instead relying on swipe and other gamification features to help you sort through its millions of singles. It’s great if you’re seeking all kinds of relationships including long-term partnerships, casual dating or friendships.

How does it work?

Zoosk relies on clever behavioural matchmaking technology that learns your likes and dislikes as you swipe through the card-like interface of profiles. The more you use the app, the better it will begin to learn your preferences and reorder the deck of single users based on your tastes.

This clever matchmaking system means you’re more likely to come across people with a mutual attraction – resulting in more matches than some other services. For those who don’t want the hassle of a lengthy questionnaire when they sign-up for a dating service, Zoosk is a perfect choice.

Zoosk has a number of unique features, including an interactice video date that’s designed to avoid awkward silences and clumsy small-talk that can plague early dates …especially on video calls. This interactive experience is designed to replicate a first date in-person, but takes place within the app on your iPhone or Android device. For those who want to save money, haven’t got a lot of time for in-person dating, or find themselves matching with someone who lives far away …this is a very clever solution that you won’t find anywhere else.

What devices is it compatible with?

Zoosk is available in any web browser, so you can sign-up from a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. Some functionality is best enjoyed with the mobile app, which can be downloaded on iPhone or Android.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, Zoosk is available to join and use for free. These free accounts can connect and send messages to matches. However, as almost every other online dating service in this guide, some functionality is restricted to paid accounts.

4. OurTime

Who is it for?

If you’re an older single looking for love, OurTime is designed specifically for you. As such, there are more users in the 40+ age demographic and a number of in-person events organised that should appeal to this age bracket. Like, which owns and operates OurTime, this online dating service is best suited for singles looking for committed relationships.

In terms of gender, OurTime is split pretty evenly between men and women, with 52% of all users female, and 48% male. Most OurTime users are based in the UK, United States, or Canada. In the UK alone, there are some 3 million singles.

How does it work?

OurTime is designed to match users based on shared interests, which is determines based on your answers to its questionnaire and various prompts. However, OurTime is keen to make as many matches in-person as it does online, thanks to the plethora of local events designed to help you meet local like-minded people face-to-face.

For those who prefer to start a new relationship online, OurTime will list your dating profile on as well as OurTime at no extra cost, increasing your chances of finding a match.

While you may think dating apps and sites are all for the younger generation, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While most dating sites and apps are designed to cater to a wide range of age demographics, OurTime has been built from the ground-up for those aged 50+ looking for love. As such, you’re far more likely to find someone in your age bracket when using this service over some of the other options listed in this guide.

What devices is it compatible with?

OurTime is available to access online from any web browser, using your desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. If you’d rather use a mobile app, it has software available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, OurTime offers a free trial for 14 days, allowing you time to create your profile and make connections. After that period, some features will no longer be available until you upgrade to a paid subscription. 

5. Tinder

Who is it for?

Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps worldwide, attracting a younger demograohic who are primarily looking for casual relationships or friendships. There are millions of Tinder users worldwide, with almost 5 million singles signed-up in the UK. Most Tinder users are aged between 25-34, but 55 and above account for 16% of all users too.

How does it work?

Tinder is designed to be incredibly simple to use. Unlike eharmony and above, which rely on lenthy questionaires to begin finding matches for new users based on their interests, Tinder dispatches with all of that.

Instead, new users are presented with a card-like deck of dating profiles, with a few key tidbits – like first name, age – and a photograph. Tapping the card will load more information, including a short freeform bio written by the user. To make starting out even easier, Tinder lets you import personal information and photos from a Facebook account.

But there’s no obligation to gather any more information about the user. Swiping left with dismiss them, swiping right is a sign that you’re interested. If they’ve already swiped right on your profile, then a match will be made. And only then can you begin a conversation via instant messages.

Tinder selects profiles to add to your stack based on two factors – an age range set by users, as well your current geolocation. Like a minimum and maximum age range, users can define a radius around their current location, defining how far they will likely need to travel to see their matches.

There are a number of additional features, such as the ability to change your location – so you can start matching before a move to a new city, for example, that are require one-off payments within the app.

What devices is it compatible with?

Tinder is best can accessed via the mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android. You can sign-up to the online dating service via a web browser, but you won’t be able to do any swiping. 

Is there a free trial?

Better than that, you can download Tinder and start swiping for free. Matching and messaging is all free, so you won’t ever need to pay to use this service. That said, there are a number of additional features designed to enhance your experience with Tinder that are paid-only.

6. OkCupid

Who is it for?

Unlike many of the options above, OkCupid doesn’t quite have an equal split between the genders. Instead, there are more men than women on OKCupid (64% male to 36% female) and it skews slightly younger than other online dating sites and apps. According to the most recent data, the median age on OkCupid is roughly 32 years-old.

With its lengthy questionnaires, very specific queries, huge array of gender and sexual orientations …OkCupid caters to a vareity of people who are all looking for different relationships, from casual dates to comitted relationships. It’s increidbly LGBTQ+ friendly and is perfect for those who want to really drill-down into their interests to find a match.

Picky daters, this is the perfect option for you!

How does it work?

If you’re a bit particular about what you’re looking for from a potential match, then don’t bother with anything like Tinder, and opt for an online dating service like OkCupid instead. That’s because OkCupid asks a vast number of questions when you sign-up – allowing you to really drill-down into your interests, dislikes, passions …everything you’re hoping to find in a potential soulmate.

These answers are fed into an algorithm that then canvases the database of 2.5million users in the UK to find a potential match. This is a very different approach to the likes of Bumble, Tinder, Zoosk, or Thursday.

OkCupid has a dizzying number of customisation options to ensure that your profile truly reflects who you are.

What devices is it compatible with?

You can use OkCupid in any web browser on a desktop PC, laptop, or Mac. OkCupid also has a mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, OkCupid is free to join and starting matching and messaging singles. However, you’ll need a paid subscription to access all of the features included with this dating service.

7. Hinge

Who is it for?

If you’re looking for a modern dating service that’s only found on your smartphone …but want to find something a little more serious than Tinder typically provides.

Hinge is inspired by services like eharmony and, offering prompts like My Best Friends Would Say That I’m…, A Shower Thought I Had Recently.., Dating Me Is Like…, This Year I Really Want To… and more. Responses to these prompts will appear in your public-facing for others to read.

Hinge also lets you add photos, videos, and voice notes. You can quickly specify your preferences alcohol, drugs, whether you want to become a parent, whether you are a parent, and more. Hinge has millions of users worldwide, with its audience typically a little younger than some of the more mature dating options on the market.

It’s popular with young professionals, between the ages of 25 – 34 years-old.

How does it work?

Hinge is powered by an award-winning alogirthm, which tries to surface profiles of users that it believes have the highest likeliness of being compatible. To start a conversation, you need to respond to one of the prompts, videos, voice notes, or photos on the profile.

This is a different approach to apps like Tinder, Bumble,, and others since your conversation will begin with a blank slate in those apps.

What devices is it compatible with?

Hinge is designed as a mobile app, so you’ll only be able to use the online dating service on iPhone or Android.

Is there a free trial?

Hinge is completely free to use, although there is a paid membership from £8.99 and a number of paid-only features that you can use within the app to enhance the experience. But you’ll be able to create a profile, starting matching, and messaging singles within Hinge at no cost.

8. Original Dating

Who is it for?

Original Dating is the perfect anetidote for people who want to go back to the origins of dating – without any complex algorithms assessing your profile, no need to curate your best photos, no need to think of pithy messages to text… Original Dating organises singles evenings and speed dating events, so you can meet new people face-to-face.

Each event caters to a different age group. Some recent examples include 30 – 45 years-old, 20 – 45 years-old, 25 – 37 years-old and 40 – 55 years-old. It’s great for people who love meeting people in real life, or those who think they make a better first impression in the flesh than on a smartphone screen.

If you’re unsure about meeting people for the first time, Original Dating provides fun, casual evenings that are safe and public.

How does it work?

Original Dating is the leading brand when it comes to speed dating and singles events. If you’re interested in matching online, this is not the service for you. Instead, as the name suggests, Orinal Dating is designed for those who are committed to meeting their special someone in person.

For the speed dating events, you get about five minutes with each person, after which you tick a score sheet yes if you’d like to see them again, and no if you’d rather not – this is just for you to keep track of whom you clicked with.

After the speed dating, there’s an opportunity for everyone to mingle informally and get to know each other better. When the event ends, you’ll need to tick the names of the people you liked on the Original Dating website, and if it’s reciprocated you’ll be able to message them on the site to get to know each other better and exchange information, so you can get that all-important first date planned.

What devices is it compatible with?

Original Dating has a websites that’s accessible from any web browser, so you can get started on a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. However, you can also access the service from a mobile to buy tickets to the next event.

Is there a free trial?

No free trial for Original Dating, sadly. You can register for free, however, tickets for events start from around £15.

If you change your mind, you can cancel an event with four days notice and get a refund. You can also have a friend take your place as names can be changed until 5pm on the day of the event.

9. Illicit Encounters

Who is it for? 

As the name suggests, Illicit Encounters is designed for married people looking for enounters with new people. Most of its users are based in the UK or Ireland, and according to the online dating service, Illicit Encounters is almost an exact split between genders (55% men to 45% women). The most common age demographics on the service are as follows – 45 – 54 years-old, 35 – 44 years-old, and 25 – 34 years-old, with the former making up 33% of all users. 

How does it work?

The UK’s largest dating site for married people, this site is designed to be “discreet, safe, and fun” for those who are already in committed relationships.

Many modern couples are turning their backs on monogamy in order to embrace open relationships, but already being married or attached can be a major dealbreaker for people on traditional dating sites – making it tricky to find potential partners.

Illicit Encounters make this easier by matching you with people who are in a similar situation, who are also looking to date outside of their committed relationships.The site creates a non-judgemental, no-pressure environment for members.

Unlike other sites, members can remain anonymous, with password protection on photographs to protect their identities.

What devices is it compatible with?

Illicit Encounters can be accessed via any web browser, so you’ll be able to login with a Mac, desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. The online dating service doesn’t have its app, but it can be accessed on a smartphone through its mobile site.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, there’s a free trial, however, only women can send messages for free. You can’t read messages for free and men will need to join the paid membership to send messages.

10. Mai Tai

Who is it for?

Mai Tai is designed for corporate professionals. Most of the singles on the site are professionals with a degree or entrepreneurs who have reached senior roles within thier chosen field. Most of the women are aged between 26 – 55 years-old, while most of the male users are aged 30 or over.

How does it work?

Named after the co-founder’s favourite cocktails, Mai Tai is a matchmaking platform that is ideal for busy professionals who don’t have time to go on countless dates.

Mai Tai makes it extremely easy to date, simply register online for the service online, and an event curator or matchmaker will be in touch to organise your perfect first date with compatible partners from the service. Mai Tai takes care of everything, so you won’t need to worry about finding the ideal bar, restaurant or activity. Everything is handled by the bespoke date organiser assigned to your case.

Dates are only organised in London or Oxford for the moment, so those who live outside of these cities will need to reply on another service in this list. At the table, you’ll be able to chat and meet with a table of up to four potential matches.

It’s worth noting that Mai Tai is in the midst of a rebrand to Elite Dating, so you might find the new brand on some pages on its website, while others still rely on the cocktail-based Mai Tai name that launched the tailored dating service.

What devices is it compatible with?

Mai Tai is accessible through its online desktop site, which can also be accessed from any smartphone or tablet. While there is no dedicated iPhone or Android app, there is a Facebook group you can join from your social media app.

Is there a free trial?

You can register online for free as a subscriber, and this gives you access to Drink, Network & Flirt event tickets. You’ll need to join a paid Premium Dating membership to access the matchmaking and concierge service.

11. Ashley Madison

Who is it for?

According to statistics from the dating service itself, a large percentage of Ashley Madison users are women, accounting for a whopping 70% of all profiles in the database. The most active age ranges are 25 – 34 years-old and 35 – 49 years-old, so you might struggle if you fall outside of those brackets.

For those who don’t know Ashely Madison by reputation, this online service is most commonly used for casual short-term relationships, flings, and married individuals looking for non-mongamous encounters.

How does it work?

Launched back in 2001, Ashley Madison is known globally as one of the biggest dating services for non-mongamous, extra-marrital, and polyamorous relationships. The brazen tagline “Life Is Short. Have An Affair” has triggered thousands of headlines and discussions worldwide. So, is it worth the fuss?

This dating service is designed to cater to everyone from first-timers to couples who have been enjoying extra-marital affairs for years. Ashley Madison is designed to be simple to use – simply create an account for free, select your preferences so that it’s alogirthm knows what you’re looking for, and you’ll be able to any matches who are located close to you and have set the same dating preferences.

If you’re happy to travel, or want to see who else is out there, you can use the discover mode to browse through hundreds of profiles from other users from across the dating service. This is very different to websites like eharmony and, which go to great lengths to only present people they believe are well suited to you.

Ashley Madison has more female users than men, with a roughly 70-30 split between genders. That might be because this online dating service is completely free for women to create profiles and send messages to whoever they want. In contrast, while men can sign-up at no cost, sending messages costs “credits”.

These need to be bought in bundles, with every text costing you 47p or so. 

What devices is it compatible with?

You can use Ashley Madison via any web browser, so you’ll be able to set-up a profile and send messages from a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet. Ashley Madison also has dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, men can register online for free and start browsing potential matches. However, men can’t start sending messages to potential matches until they purchase credits. These are available with the Basic, Classic or Elite plans. 

Ahsley Madison – and all of its features – are available for free to women.

12. Single Solution

Who is it for?

Single Solution is best for singles between 25 – 60 years-old, although its current database of users tends to fall at the latter end of that age bracket. According to the online dating service, most of its members are graduates or professionals who work within accounting, law, media, design, or entrepreneurs who run their own businesses.

Single Solution has a number of offshoots, including Asian Single Solution, Muslim Dating, as well as dedicated Single Solution speed dating hubs for London, Birmingham, and Leeds. There are all accesible from the main Single Solutions homepage.

How does it work?

Single Solutions arranges weekly events for different age groups and also an online dating service where you can register your profile. The dating services are also aimed at Britsh South Asians and the sister site connects indiviuals specifically of South Asian heritage together.

All you need to do is sign up and create your profile, start searching and messaging others. 

What devices is it compatible with?

Single Solutions can only be accessed through its online desktop site, but its sister site Asian Single Solution has an app that can used on iOS and Android.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, there’s a free membership where you can sign up and create a profile. The premium paid membership unlocks full benefits including advanced search options, unlimited messaging and more.

13. Bumble

Who is it for?

Bumble is widely used in the UK. While it is a female-orientated app, it’s still used by a large percentage of men and is aimed at 18 – 35 year-olds looking for serious relationships, flings and casual dating. It also has dedicated sections for those who are new to the city and want to find friends of the same or opposite gender.

How does it work?

Bumble is typically referred to as the “feminist dating app” – a reputation that it has acquired because of its rule that only women can start the conversation. Like Tinder, users have to swipe-left to reject a profile from the stack, and swipe-right to show interest. If both people have independently swiped-right on each other’s profile, they will be matched. So far, so Tinder.

Where Bumble differs is that men are unable to do anything else until the women has sent the first message. This allows an extra layer of curation for women before opening up communication with a potential match.

To add to the jeopardy, unlike Tinder, there’s a 24-hour timer set as soon as a match is made. If a message isn’t sent during this time, then you’ll be unmatched. Plus, if the man doesn’t message back after a day the match disappears.

What devices is it compatible with?

You can access it through its mobile app, which is compatible with both iOS and Android.

Is there a free trial?

Yes, you can register for free, make a profile, match and message with no limits. Bumble does offer a few extra features as paid content, but these aren’t essential to using the service.

Dating sites prices

A number of the best dating sites and apps charge users to unlock all features. Thankfully, there’s usually a free subscription tier so new users can test out the service, set-up a profile, and find out whether it’s a good fit for them. In fact, our top picks in this guide offer the ability to begin matching with potential partners without parting with any cash.

However, those who want the complete experience will likely need to set-up a Direct Debit.

UK prices for dating sites and apps can vary wildly – with some premium features available as a one-off payment, while others are locked behind a monthly subscription. To help you decide which offers the best value for you, we’ve listed the range of subscriptions available with the 13 best dating sites and apps listed above, so you can work out the best choice for you.

All pricing was correct at the time of writing.

Best Dating Sites And Apps, UK Pricing Revealed


£0 for basic plan, £44.99 – £189.99 for premium plan

£0 to get started, £4.99 – £59.99 for premium subscription


£0 to get started, £29.99 – £89.99 for premium subscription


£0 to get started, £39.99 per month for premium features


£0 to get started, £3.99 – £13.99 per month for premium features


£0 to get started, £5.99 – £44.99 for premium subscription


£0 to get started, £8.99 – £33.99 for premium subscription

Original Dating

Tickets cost £15 – £30 per event

Illicit Encounters

£0 to get started, £169.99 for premium subscription

Mai Tai

£0 to get started, £19.99 for premium subscription

Ashley Madison

£0 for women, £47.18 for 100 chat credits

Single Solution

£0 to get started, £26.99 – £89.99 for premium subscription


£0 to get started, £14.99 – £21.99 for premium subscription

Expert dating advice

It can be tricky navigating the world of online dating, especially if you’re new to dating sites and apps, or have just re-entered the dating pool after a long break.

And even if you’ve accustomed to online dating, it’s easy to become frustrated with the perceived lack of progress. After all, with so many options available – not to mention, so many single people – it can be tough to find the right service and the right person.

To help, we spoke with Clarissa Bloom, Dating and Relationship Expert for The Stag, to discover some advice for those starting out with dating sites and apps.

“The issue I do personally have with some dating apps is to put so much focus on appearance,” she told us. “We might be ruling out someone who has the dream personality and would connect with you on an emotional level, purely because they’re not ‘your type’. Just the same, we might limit our experiences to people we find very attractive, just to find ourselves disappointed with the dating experience.”

Here are her expert tips on how you can make dating apps work for you and successfully attract matches.

How to make your profile stand-out from the crowd

It can be very tempting to jump right into swiping and matching with new people, but this isn’t the right approach, says Ms Bloom. Instead, it’s worth dedicating time to your online profile, since this is the only thing that potential matches will have to make a snap decision on whether to move forward with you.

As such, it’s always worth including a bio description – even if it’s optional on the dating site or app that you’re using. Ms Bloom says too many people rush this aspect as they want to start their search for love, forgetting this is how they will be judged.

Consider interests, but leave off the activities you haven’t tried in half a lifetime (unless you’re open to doing them again very soon as this can cause confusion when brought up with a new match). Avoid the typical cliches, many of these are found in articles on what to include and people notice them like a pattern.

You want to stand out in the crowd, so write genuinely and from your own perspective.

Check Out Other Profiles

If you’re struggling to put together your profile, don’t hesitate to peep at what other people are doing. Never steal their content or jokes, Ms Bloom adds, but the layout and presentation might give you ideas on how to improve your profile.

After all, potential matches will only spend a short amount of time scanning your profile before matching a decision. If everything is presented in a humongous block of text – like a Cormac McCarthy novel – then you might struggle to capture people’s attention.

Check Your Grammar

Sure, it sounds obvious. But it’s surprising how often people miss obvious spealling and grammatical errors.

“I cannot express the number of people who admit to being put off by profiles with bad grammar,” Clarissa Bloom tells us “I might not personally understand it, but it is something that always comes up high in ‘off-putting factors’ with online dating.”

Best pictures to use in a dating profile

Before picking your photos, run them by some friends or family (of both genders) for advice.

“When following this advice, most people are surprised by the feedback they get, such as a picture looking corny or maybe sending back signals they might not have considered,” Clarissa Bloom tells us. “Another factor to consider with photos is that they tell a story, so if the images are all just selfies, then they may be telling the wrong story. Instead, you could use photos on a special holiday, which could start a conversation, or you could pick ones doing activities you love.”

Best messages to send to a new match online

The first message can hold such an impact on whether they go on a date with you, while the following messages are also incredibly important. Don’t write something sexual early days, it’s an instant no-go, as it highlights that is all you’re after.

In fact, avoid physical mentions, you may find them attractive, but hold it in for now, focus on their interests and similarities between yourselves. You also want to send a message with substance, not just a ‘hey’ or ‘how are you’, you want to illustrate that you have read their profile and have taken the time to message them, rather than bulk messaging.

How to get offline as soon as possible and arrange a date

For most of us, sending text messages is much less intimidating than meeting someone for a formal date. But a face-to-face conversation is a great way to speed-up the process of moving forward with someone new.

You’re not living in a sit-com, your first meeting doesn’t have to be a three-course dinner in a fancy restaurant. Something casual, like a quick coffee during a lunchbreak or an activity after work can work just as well.

Taking up time on a Friday night or a weekend can be a little intimidating – after all, we only get a limited amount of free time to spend with friends and family, which will always take priority over a first date.

Struggling to think of an activity that isn’t just sitting around in the pub? Clarissa Bloom has some good advice.

“It could be something as simple as a walk around town or even renting a bike – something which has become incredibly popular for dates in Brighton,” she tells us “By keeping it less official and intense, it can lessen the nerves and also help to ensure both people involved feel a connection before arranging a proper date.”

If you’re a little nervous about meeting someone in real-life, services like Zoosk bring the experience of going on a first date to its dating app. It offers a number of interactive video dates, which can be joined from your smartphone, so those further afield (or a little nervous) can quickly meet with a few taps in the app.

Another way to speed up the process is to address the elephant in the room – exactly what you’re looking for from online dating.

Yes, this can be a little intimating. But it’s a great way to ensure you’re both on the same page at the beginning of the dating process. After all, things won’t work out if you’re not looking for the same thing.

Asking someone whether they’re in search of a serious relationship or something more casual isn’t rude, Clarissa Bloom reassures.

What dating site has the highest success rate?

If you’re looking for the dating site with the highest level of successful matches, look no further than eharmony.

This service follows more of a traditional online dating formula – with new users asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about their likes, dislikes, and other personal details. This data is crunched by eharmony’s clever algorithm to find other users on the site with similar answers – dramatically improving your chances of finding a good match.

eharmony isn’t the only online service that relies on this system, but its vast number of users means you’ve got more of a chance of stumbling across a good match. In fact, every 14 minutes a match is made on eharmony.

Those are some pretty good odds, right?

Of course, this only works for those hunting for a serious and long-term relationship with someone. For those looking for something more casual, you might be suited to Tinder or Bumble. These gamified services will have a higher success for those hoping to find something less serious than eharmony.

Which dating site leads to the most marriages?

When it comes to marriages,, and OkCupid all claim to have a very strong track record.

All of these services rely on a questionnaire-based model, matching singles based on their interests, rather than the swipe-based approach favoured by the likes of Tinder and Bumble.

In particular, marriage announcements in the New York Times mentioned OkCupid more than any other dating site or app. If you’re looking for something serious – and are based in the United States – this could be the best choice. That said, US researchers found that eharmony accounted for 4% of US marriages (118 every day). If you want to go beyond the statistics, eharmony has an entire section of its website dedicated to success stories, where you can browse through profiles of real-life couples.

Are dating sites worth it?

The majority of new relationships begin online in the UK, meaning those who want to find a new partner should start searching on a dating site or app for the best chances of finding someone new. Even if you’d rather meet someone in real-life, it’s worth having a profile on one of the best dating sites too.

After all, you might still stumble into a meet-cute in the real world but the statistics suggest that you’d better have a profile on at least one of these dating sites or apps to have the best chance of finding a partner.

Dating services that require a monthly subscription – like eharmony and – tend to have better results for those looking for a committed, serious relationship – as anyone who is willing to set-up a Direct Debit clearly values dating and is deeply invested in finding love.

These services also match people based on their interests, unlike swipe-based smartphone apps, like TinderHappn, and Bumble, which tend to favour younger users and those looking for something a little less serious (at least to begin with).

If you’re invested in meeting someone new in 2023, then signing up to a dating site is definitely worth it. Even if you end up meeting someone in real-life, these services can provide brilliant coaching too (helpful if you haven’t been on a date in a while).

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