Since our tester was a straight woman, her experience with online dating is weighted more toward receiving messages than sending messages.
(According to a study from Ok Cupid, the majority of women don’t send the first message in online dating conversations — but they get great results when they do.) To keep our judgments as objective as possible, we used a rubric to categorize each message: Unfortunately — but perhaps not all that surprisingly — the majority of the messages we received on traditional dating sites were mediocre or downright bad. To send someone a message, both users have to indicate they’re interested by “swiping right” on their profile.
All of our top dating apps use an algorithm to match you with people you should be compatible with and interested in — and keep those “automatic nos” out of your feed.
We can confidently recommend Ok Cupid, Match.com, Tinder, and Bumble.
No other dating site works as hard to deliver you the exact right partners, and that means results: In our testing, we found the highest percentage of good matches with Ok Cupid, and the second-highest percentage of high-quality messages.
To unlock features like incognito mode, read receipts, and a larger inbox, you can upgrade to a paid plan for per month, but we think the free version is more than enough to get started.
While we can’t recommend them, we hope we can save you the trouble of experiencing them yourself.
Take it from us, e Harmony was just a worse version of