As an experienced dater, I will answer your question. But first I have my own questions.
What Is Your Idea Of Online Dating?
Are you looking for marriage, one-night-stands, friendship, or something else?
Using an online dating service is the best way to repeat the mistakes of the past with a very high number of people as it does not solve the problem of:
- Knowing what you want
- Knowing how to get what you want
- Knowing how to keep what you like and have.
One thing is certain – there are hundreds of dating apps that can serve your needs. Some sites are only for dating Christians, Mormons, Jews, etc. Other sites only want to attract people interested in one-night-stands, others only gay or lesbian, and some niche apps are for people interested in camping, cycling, living vegan. You get the idea. So, before looking at the types of online dating sites, let’s see what you should learn before choosing the platform.
What You Should Know About Joining The Right Online Dating Site
Online dating is still the same difficult and confusing as the offline dating. While many sites are quite easy-to-use and straightforward of what they are offering, there is still a chance of getting lost in the services, and their approaches can differ a lot. Before you choose a service, ask yourself the following:
1. What Are You Looking For?
Know what you’re looking for before taking on the endeavor. Are you looking for friends, someone to date, a marriage, a fling here or there? Know what you want and the age you want it with.
Consider the demographics of the site/app before registering. There are tons of dating places out there, so look into the focused aged group before potentially wasting your time. Next to that, consider the distance you’re willing to travel to meet someone.
If you’re a girl, expect tons of guys do give you sexual advances every single day. If you’re a guy expect 98% of your messages to be ignored no matter how genuine your profile looks.
So the main options you will find today online are:
- Mainstream dating
- Relationships services
- Niche dating sites
- Adult dating sites
2. Are You Ready To Pay For A Subscription?
Personally, I never felt the need to use a paid dating site. I never had any problem meeting attractive and interesting women through those media, and I never paid a dime. Perhaps my experience would have been even better had I signed up for a subscription-based site.
There are 2 ways of “paying for online dating services.” If a free website asks for an in-app purchase, you’re paying for extra features. If buying a subscription on a paid site, you are buying a place in the specific community.
With free sites, you can easily use the basic features. Or, if you pay for extra features, you will have more messages to send and receive, you will know that your messages are sent, opened, or read; you will be able to see who liked your profile, look at profiles anonymously, and other additional advantages. If you feel unsure, and you cannot fall asleep because you are wondering if your messages have caught someone’s attention or excited about what someone will think because you looked at their profile, you can use these options.
In the latter case, you become a member of the private club of people who know for sure what they want from dating so they spend money on it. How much better is that group of people than the folks on the free sites? I think you can expect them to be a fair bit better.
If you are a straight woman, using a paid site will eliminate a lot of the weird and disturbing users you have to tolerate on free sites, and as a man, you’ll have the chance to meet those women who were scared away. There’s some merit to paid sites for this reason. On the other hand, the dating pool is a lot smaller, and you’re filtering out the people who are living interesting enough lives that they don’t see the point in spending money on a dating site. That’s not that great a thing, especially if you’re pretty good at filtering through your matches for compatibility already.
Do You Want Something General Or Niche?
If you choose the ‘big three’ dating sites, then you will get access to the large membership base, however, it is not necessarily of good quality. Some of them will be old accounts, some are fakes, and there is a portion of people who are currently open to relationships. On the other hand, niche sites provide you with a quality dating pool consisting of people with high standards, similar interests, sexual orientation, and dating goals.
The Reputation Of The Dating Sites
Before you join any dating community, it’s better to find some reviews made by the users of the dating sites. You will certainly find lots of negative reviews, but remember that people usually focus on the negatives. Find some neutral and positive comments, success stories, and the real experience of other members. The best option is to select three dating sites and give them a try. Then try really hard when you do your search, communicate with matches every day, and give the necessary attention to find out which site will lead you to your soulmate.
Types Of Online Dating Apps
Here are the main types of online dating sites and apps available in the market today.
Mainstream Dating Sites
If you are dreaming to jump into new relationships with people who are as well willing to do so, then mainstream dating is for you. You can compare these sites with social networks except here you have a pool of like-minded people who want to become more than friends.
The average mainstream dating site works on the basis of a matchmaking questionnaire that analyzes your answers and creates the list of your potential matches. Most of these sites have the option of promoting your profile with an in-app purchase. For example, if you want your profile to go toward the top of search results, then you have to upgrade. There are a lot of communication features, sometimes they are completely free of charge, and sometimes you need to buy credits or to pay for a subscription to send messages.
Mainstream dating sites have a fully functioning support team that assists members with a dating process and helps to get protected from scammers. That’s why they cannot be completely free and at some point, you will be asked to pay.
The main goal of any mainstream dating app or site is to produce matches and create couples, so they always show other users whom they would like to date.
Who it’s for: best for singles looking for creating new romantic relationships no matter what race, gender, sexual preferences, or appearance they have.
Casual Dating Sites
Casual dating or hookups is another type of online dating that has become very popular over the last 10-15 years. When we think about dating the first thing that comes to mind is Tinder or Match. Here you certainly can find sex options, but it can be a long and tedious process not to mention your account can be blocked. If you don’t want to waste your time on the mainstream dating and harassing members who want to find meaningful relationships, then you have to go straight on the adult dating websites.
There is a wide range of such services: for those who want just to watch, to participate, or to find a regular booty call. There are also affair platforms that offer casual relationships for family people.
Here is the list:
- Webcam sites. There are specialized sites where beautiful women perform live shows in front of web cameras. Just like porn sites, cam shows have various categories, types of performance, geographies, etc. As a member of a webcam site, you can choose between the public and private shows, leave the comments in real-time, and communicate with a girl.
- Hookup sites. Sometimes people just want to get laid, no strings attached. These dating sites are created for like-minded adults who want to find a one-night stand, a booty call, a friend with benefits or whatever you name it. Bigotry is strongly discouraged by the administration, so be open-minded and feel free to express your desires.
- Affair sites. For people who are married but want something different outside their current relationships. Consider it as cyber cheating or just a casual dating – such sites have gained wide popularity among American couples.
- Sugar daddy sites. If you are a young and beautiful girl who wants to have a sponsor in exchange for romantic relationships; or a wealthy man who wants to find a sugar baby, then this kind of dating is right for you.
Who it’s for: best for people looking for no-strings-attached relationships, casual flings, hookups, sugar daddy, or extramarital affairs.
Niche Dating Sites
These are the oddest or rarest dating websites you can imagine. Sometimes gay dating or Asian dating can also be called as niche, but we will talk about more specific areas regarding hobbies, professions, religions, etc.
Mail-Order Bride Dating
This type of niche dating is a combination of international dating services (Asian, Latin, Russian, etc.), and marriage agencies. It is still a popular thing that American men look for a wife from another country. Among the most popular destinations are Russia, Ukraine, China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Venezuela, Brazil, and other exotic countries. Women from developing countries are willing to relocate and find happiness with Amerian and British men.
Normally these sites create the list of potential brides with attractive portfolios and invite men to choose a woman they like. In case a woman has bad English, mail order bride sites provide the potential couple with a translator who helps them understand each other. Such agencies arrange romance tours, help with marriage and visa process – all to help couples create a family.
Dating For Farmers
Online dating is not only for urban people, businessmen, or hipsters. There are a lot of singles in the rural areas who live in small communities and are unlucky to find a mate within this tiny circle of people they live all their lives with. If you failed to marry after high school then you are destined to be lonely. Unless you join the farmers dating community. The research shows that most agricultural people get married to someone within their profession. So these apps are really helpful to find soulmates who are engaged in the same area across the country.
Dating Apps For Wine Lovers
These sites are created for those who either work in the wine business or just love this drink.
Dating For Vegetarians
If you are tired of asking people whether they eat meat or not, here is your solution. Dating revolves around lunches, dinners, having coffee together rituals. So these apps are tailored for singles who want to search among vegetarians or vegans. Usually, members can choose among various parameters: vegan, yoga vegetarian, raw vegan, fruitarians, etc.
Dating For Naturists
These people don’t want to wait until they see you naked. They can post their naked pictures with no sexual implications.
Dating For Weed Lovers
As the marijuana legalization moves forward, then there are more websites that serve the specific needs of weed fans.
No matter which dating site you end up using, the main thing is to enjoy the dating process and have fun. While casual dating can be exciting for someone, it may result in an awkward and intense experience for someone else. Some types of dating may not be up to you, that’s why it is important to identify your dating goals, your budget, and the level of commitment. In the end, it will be quite a rewarding activity.