Unbiased Review of 4 Popular Free Dating Sites

 

Tinder

TinderThe ever-popular swiping method was coined by Tinder. You get to go through an endless stack of pictures 1-by-1 and swipe right to “like” and swipe left to “dismiss”. Only once there is a mutual match (both parties have liked the other,) can one of you send a message to the other.

PROS: There are a lot of people on Tinder. Younger demographics. It’s easy to use and it’s free. Once you have a match, that match will stay in your list of matches until you decide to remove it.

CONS: Tinder has a reputation for being a hook-up site. That can be a pro OR a con depending on what you’re looking for. The whole set-up here is that people are supposed to judge you based on one profile picture; it’s incredibly superficial. There is very limited space to write out information about yourself on your profile, so again there is not an ability to offer depth of character here. And once you do get a match, then a conversation has to start from literally nothing because there is no info on anyone’s profile.

Tip for Tinder: If you’re looking for quality, then have quality photos. Add some text overlay in your photos to give more info about yourself than the limited profile scape allows.

 

Bumble

This site is more in favor for the women. You only get to see one profile at a time (no browsing,) and you have to swipe yes or no to them just like Tinder. Only if both people have swiped YES, do you get the chance to message each other. The woman has to send the initial message in the next 24 hours. And then the man has 24 hours to respond. Beyond that there are no time constraints. Bumble puts all the really attractive people at the very front of the stack of profiles to sift through to make their site look more appealing.

PROS: There tends to be slightly higher quality of people on this site. Since women have to make the first contact, they don’t get deluged with crappy messages from guys they’re not interested in to begin with. Since women know this, more quality women tend to go to this site. And men are catching onto this trend as well, so more quality men are showing up to Bumble as well.

CONS: You only get to see a few profile pictures and a VERY limited amount of info on the person before you have to decide to swipe yes or no. If there is a mutual match, the conversation has to start from complete scratch since you know virtually nothing about this person. Also, the location of the person will change if they are traveling, so new people will show up in your searches if they are at your local airport.

Tip for Bumble: Close out the app between uses and come back about once weekly. This will get you the newest round of the more attractive candidates.

 

Ok Cupid

okcupidFree dating site where you can browse based on your search criteria, or swipe through profiles just like Tinder and Bumble. If you want to message someone, you have to first like their profile, then you can message anyone on the site.

PROS: Each profile can include a LOT of information on the person; there are no limitations on the amount of info you can have in your profile there. So for people that are looking for quality, or certain characteristics, this is a great feature. There are about a thousand questions behind the profiles (if people chose to answer any of them,) that give away a ton of info as well on all aspects of life. Again- this is great for the person that wants MORE intel on a person before contacting or meeting them.

CONS: This site takes a ton of sifting through profiles. The quality is really hit or miss. You can get a message from anyone, even if they are out of your search demographics. And with the recent changes to OKC, when you receive a message from someone that you haven’t already ‘liked’ their profile, you have to go search for this person in the search page instead of just getting an inbox of messages like any sane site would do.

Tip for Ok Cupid: Answer a bunch of their questions; particularly the ones that are vitally important to you. Then when you’re looking at someone’s profile that could be a potential match for you, you can look through their answered questions and sort up by questions that the two of you disagree on.

 

Plenty Of Fish

POFHuge dating site where you can browse through people in your search criteria or you can do the “Meet Me” feature which is very similar to Tinder’s swiping method. There is lots of space to write a lengthy profile for others to see. You can message anyone unless they don’t accept initial messages outside of their search range.

PROS: You can have lots of information on your profile, allowing people to know as much as you’d like before they actually contact you. You can set up minimum requirements for anyone that wants send you an initial message, (age range, gender, location, minimum characters for the initial message, etc.)

CONS: This site take a lot of sifting. The quality is hit or miss. If you have a message thread that is older than 30 days with no activity, it will automatically disappear.

Tip for POF: Set up filters for anyone that wants to send you an initial message; you can at least specify that the person be of the gender you are seeking, in a certain age range, and within a specific location radius to you if location is important to you. As a woman, I might also suggest setting up a minimum character for that first message; that will cut out anyone that just wants to send you “Hey there” which is what the Flirt Button does on this site.

 

At the end of the day you have to admit that on a free dating site, your odds are not great, but think of it this way: if you’re a good catch, then logically there has to be at least one good catch counterpart on there just for you!

Tons of people meet and fall in love from dating sites all the time. You can look back years from now and laugh at the funny story of how you met them!

Need help figuring out how to navigate these sites without losing your sanity?