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(Pocket-lint) - In America, algorithms are the new cupid. At least 30 percent of U.S. citizens are now using online dating sites and apps to find romance, and their numbers are rising.

As more and more people make their way to and through these dating apps and sites, they find love, serious relationships, and more. About 12 percent of the matches on these sites have either solidified their dates into marriages or are about to tie the knot with someone they met online. 

Using dating apps and sites is in vogue, as traditional ways of meeting people are now a thing of the past and matching with a swipe is trending. Young American adults (between ages 18 and 30) find the online dating platforms more convenient, as chances of finding a suitable partner and romance are much higher. Whether you are searching for a serious relationship, a match for marriage, or just a casual hookup, dating websites are the best way to meet individuals looking for the same thing.

But beware! Not all such websites are reliable. Unfortunately, there are quite a few that are more interested in divesting you of your money than helping you find a special someone.

So, to save you the trouble of finding a good dating app or to keep you from falling into such disappointing traps, we recommend you use our top platforms listed below to help you in your search for a romantic or sexual partner. 

In this feature, we have listed for you some of the best dating sites (and apps) that are authentic, safe, and reliable. In this guide, we will discuss these dating platforms in detail and offer numerous safety tips for you to follow while navigating these websites.

List of the Best Dating Apps 2021 

#1. Adult Friend Finder : Best Hookup Site for Adult

#2. Ashley Madison : Best Online Dating Site for Affairs

#3. eHarmony : Most Popular Dating App for Online Dating

#4. EliteSingles : Best Match Dating Site for Busy Professionals

#5. Tinder : Dating Site Known for Super Casual Dating

#6. Bumble : Best Platform for Female Users 

#7. Christian Mingle : Best Dating App for Christian Singles

#8. It’s Just Lunch : Best Private Dating App for Professionals

#9. HER : Best Lesbian Dating App

#1. Adult Friend Finder : Best Hookup Site for Adults

AdultFriendFinderBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 2

If you are seeking some quick casual dating or hookup, there’s nothing like Adult Friend Finder. This online platform is heaven for one’s fantasies. From casual dates or hookups to partner swapping, you will find all on this site!

Adult Friend Finder provides users many ways to connect with potential matches before ever meeting in person or hooking up. These include live chat, chat on webcam, adult dating, and sex community memberships. You can join the platform’s free trials and upgrade to a premium membership once satisfied.

Highlights:

  • Adult Friend Finder is an ideal platform for casual sex and partner swapping
  • The features of this online hookup platform include live chat, nude webcam chat, adult dating, and sex community memberships 

Pros:

  • Offers fantastic opportunities to swap partners for fun, even for the married and people in a relationship.
  • Free registration
  • The chat and dating provisions are listed on the homepage only; making them easily accessible to users

Cons:

  • Not best for long-term matches
  • The website is filled with nudity; not meant for romantic encounters 

=> Click here to visit the official website of Adult Friend Finder

#2. Ashley Madison: Best Online Dating Site for Affairs

AshleyMadisonBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 3

More than dating, Ashley Madison is the platform for affairs. If you happen to be married, then there’s no better dating site than Ashley Madison. Here you can pursue possible matches for an extramarital affair.

A noticeable fact about this dating website is that most of the members are married. It has dating and hookup provisions for married men, homemakers, office goers, students, and retired people. In fact, this platform was created for hookups, extramarital affairs, and the like. 

To be precise, this is generally a casual dating platform. On this platform, people mostly look for casual encounters to satisfy their sexual needs outside of marriage. You can choose to hook up, to spend some brief quality time with someone, to meet someone in real life, or even decide to enjoy a one-night stand. 

On this platform, you can meet people anywhere from across the world. Their free membership provides users with an opportunity to test out the platform’s many features. Once satisfied, you can upgrade your free membership to a premium one.

Highlights:

  • Ashley Madison is a platform for extramarital affairs
  • It has features like “Travelling” for casual dating and “Wink” to show interest in desired matches 
  • Most of its members are married
  • The site has dating and hookup provisions for married men, homemakers, office goers, students, and even retired people

Pros:

  • Large member pool, so finding a suitable partner is likely
  • Free messaging for 30 days is available through its credit package
  • Free membership available
  • User-friendly and convenient for beginners

Cons:

  • Supports the unethical concepts of cheating and extramarital affairs
  • Free membership leads to many abandoned or incomplete profiles

=> Click here to visit the official website of Ashley Madison

#3. eHarmony : Most Popular Dating App for Online Dating

eHarmony lives up to its name by helping interested individuals build harmonious long-term relationships through its online matchmaking system. The platform’s advanced algorithm lets you find your desired partner based on questionnaires.

Besides serious dating, this platform has provisions for casual hookups too. However, the speciality of this platform lies in the precision of its matchmaking procedure. The procedure is so precise that anyone using it can find the most compatible partner very quickly. Many people who joined eHarmony for casual hookups report having found their perfect match with whom they have ended up in real life-long relationships. 

eHarmony has a video dating option available on its website. The site offers free dating trials, and you can also choose to upgrade to a premium membership upon service satisfaction.

Highlights:

  • eHarmony supports serious long-term relationships
  • Uses a series of questionnaires to find suitable matches through its matchmaking algorithm
  • Paid members can access verified profiles
  • Video dating option available
  • The mobile app version is available for iOS or Android

Pros:

  • eHarmony has a very high success rate in finding true love
  • Can send pre-written questions to prospective matches
  • Profile verification available on request
  • Free membership
  • Convenient and user-friendly

Cons:

  • Keyword and filter search not offered
  • Not an ideal platform for casual dating

=> Click here to visit the official website of eHarmony

#4. EliteSingles : Best Match Dating Site for Busy Professionals

Elite SinglesBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 7

EliteSingles is perhaps the best online dating platform for elite class educated professionals who are single and ready to mingle. This platform only favours those who are looking for serious and long-term relationships. People who have busy schedules opt for this platform owing to its quick matchmaking process.

EliteSingles has a one-of-a-kind matchmaking system that will provide you with quality and exact matches to come across your suitable life partner. Here members have to give a personality test based on which their compatibility is matched.

This platform has reported a very high success rate, and you are sure to come across profiles that will match your dating requirements.

Highlights:

  • EliteSingles is a dating platform for single, educated elite professionals 
  • This platform supports serious and long-term relationships only
  • Its matchmaking algorithm matches compatibilities based on personality tests

Pros:

  • High success rate; ensures suitable partners irrespective of your place of residence
  • The matchmaking process is fast and convenient for busy professionals
  • Website equipped with superb safety features to prioritize member safety

Cons:

  • Most members are aged over 30, so not best for younger individuals
  • Cannot view photos of other members without paying for a subscription

=> Click here to visit the official website of EliteSingles

#5. Tinder : Dating Site Known for Super Casual Dating

TinderBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 12

Tinder is an easy-to-use hookup app that has been trendy among young adults since its beginning. Dating sites tend to be complicated, with thousands of profiles and options available through them. If you want to move away from these complications of online dating, opt for Tinder. In this app, you can simply log in using your mobile number or Facebook account.

Using Tinder, you can start chatting with your preferred matches and arrange for meet-ups. You are sure to have a lot of fun through this hookup app as it facilitates clubbing and partying with locals or even meeting people from other towns and cities.

Highlights:

  • Tinder is a popular app for hookups and finding casual sex
  • It has a chat feature, which you can use to chat directly with your preferred matches
  • It has a “superlike” feature, which helps in grabbing the attention of other members

Pros:

  • Easy account creation through mobile number or Facebook login
  • Easy to use and very convenient
  • Photo verification system to ensure authenticity
  • Free membership available

Cons:

  • No keyword or filtered search
  • Users must upgrade to the paid version to view additional profiles
  • Premium membership required to view profiles in other cities or countries

=> Click here to visit the official website of Tinder

#6. Bumble : Best Platform for Female Users 

BumbleBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 4

There is a reason why we say Bumble is the best app for women: it has taken the dating concept to a new level and gives women the chance to make the first move. Now women can choose whether they want to start a conversation or not with potential matches.

Because of its new dating concept, the Bumble platform has a tremendous success rate and is highly regarded by women users. Apart from dating and hookups, you get the opportunity to expand your career and social media circle as well through this app.

Highlights:

  • Bumble is a women-centered dating app
  • It focuses both on casual hookups as well as long-term relationships
  • Women users highly regard it as only women are allowed to start conversing with their preferred matches

Pros:

  • The site has a high success rate in building long-term relationships
  • Woman-started conversations filter out poor quality messages
  • Offers dating features and the ability to expand your career opportunities and social circle
  • An equal number of female and male users
  • Aesthetically appealing and user-friendly

Cons:

  • Men are unable to start conversations, so may be overlooked by potential matches
  • New messages disappear after 24 hours

=> Click here to visit the official website of Bumble

#7. Christian Mingle : Best Dating App for Christian Singles

ChristianMingleBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 5

The Christian community has its exclusive dating site for members to search for their serious life partners. This religion-centred dating site has provisions where Christian members can look out for other religious partners.

Christian Mingle’s website has all the essential features of other dating sites, including a messaging option. This dating website accepts members who are 25 and above and are looking for like-minded individuals to pursue serious relationships.

Christian Mingle has a strict verification system, and hence you will get trustworthy matches only. It has a minimal free version, and you need to upgrade to a premium membership to use all of the platform’s features. 

Highlights:

  • Christian Mingle is an exclusive dating platform for the Christian community
  • Single Christians can search for like-minded partners for serious relationships 
  • Basic features like messaging option are available

Pros:

  • Huge community of Christian members
  • Strict profile verification system
  • Meet people from across the world

Cons:

  • Is not for teens or young adults
  • Only suitable for those who are part of the Christian community
  • Free version has limited features

=> Click here to visit the official website of Christian Mingle

#8. It’s Just Lunch : Best Private Dating App for Professionals

It's Just LunchBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 10

If you are a busy professional with no interest in online dating, this is the platform for you. There will be no profiles on this website for the general public to view. Here you will experience a private and premium dating experience where your dating journey will be kept confidential.

There’s nothing better than a lunch date! It’s Just Lunch guarantees in-person meetings of matches. It will ensure that your meetups go on in classy and relaxed environments. Besides, it will also provide you with additional services like restaurant reservations. 

No matter where you may be located in the world, you just need to enter your location credentials on this website to watch out for available dating prospects.

Highlights:

  • It’s Just Lunch is an ideal dating site for busy professionals
  • No member profiles are highlighted for the general public
  • You can view matches in your area upon entering your location credentials

Pros:

  • Keeps dates secret and maintains member privacy
  • It guarantees in-person meetings in relaxed environments
  • Provides additional services like restaurant reservations

Cons:

  • Paid premium service with no free membership option available

=> Click here to visit the official website of It’s Just Lunch

#9. HER : Best Lesbian Dating App

HerBest dating sites and apps to find your special someone in 2021 photo 9

HER is a women-only dating platform. Yes, you heard it right. It is an exclusive hookup site for lesbians and queer women.

HER is the platform where lesbian and transgender women can find casual partners; however, this platform has dating and hookup provisions for transgender men as well.

Apart from hookups, women can find their life partners here. Many lesbian dates on this platform have shown long-term romantic success. All the profiles on this site are 100 percent authentic, as the site officials verify them after registration.

HER offers both free and paid memberships. It has a mobile app version, which you can download for free features like profile viewing, adding friends, chatting, and community memberships.

Paid membership includes additional features like sexuality filtering, viewing people who have liked your profile, and using the incognito app mode.

Highlights:

  • HER is an exclusive dating site for LGBTQ women
  • All the profiles on this site are verified and authentic

Pros:

  • Free mobile app version available
  • Offers profile viewing, adding friends, chatting, and community memberships
  • Paid membership offers sexuality filtering, incognito mode, and viewing people who have liked your profile

Cons:

  • Only available for women and transgender men

=> Click here to visit the official website of HER

How to Be Safe While Looking for a Partner on Online Dating Websites

Always ensure your safety because you never know what kind of person you meet or interact with on dating sites. After all, the person will be a stranger to you and could have bad intentions.

If you follow these safety precautions, which we will discuss below, you should be safe from any type of harm.

#1. Always Go for Complete and Verified Profiles

Always select matches whose profiles are authentic and complete. Do not accept offers of date from persons with incomplete profiles and missing or scanty information. Also, never go for profiles that do not have any pictures of the person in them. Incomplete profiles may turn out to be fake, or some scammer might be using them.

By going for complete and verified profiles, you will know all details about the person you will meet. This way you will come to see if they are reliable or not.

#2. Keep Your Personal Details Private

Do not disclose your address, telephone number, or bank details to the stranger you will meet. Doing so may endanger you if the person you are chatting with turns out to be a criminal or a scammer.

#3. Before Meeting, Arrange for a Video Call

If the dating site which you are using has a video calling option, always consider using that. Before meeting your preferred match, meet with the person on a video call. This move will enable you to know if the person you will meet on a date is authentic or not. Cancel the date if you have any doubt about the person. 

#4. Place Your Point Precisely

Not all dating sites have serious relationship seekers. Some of these best dating sites have members who are there for casual hookups only.

It may happen that you are looking for a serious life partner, whereas the person on the other end, whom you are thinking to be your best match, may be in for a casual time pass only. If such matters are not communicated early, it may lead to severe inconvenience and complications later on.

Therefore, it is always wise to talk to your match-up straight and let him or her know what exactly you are looking for.

#5. Arrange for a Public Meeting First

You should always arrange the first meeting at a place like parks, restaurants, and shopping malls. If the person intends to harm you or rob you, they will have a hard time putting their plans to work with so many people around you. 

You should also keep their pepper sprays ready. If you see the person is making uncomfortable advances on you, do not hesitate to spray him for your safety. Also, during the first meeting, have your transportation ready in case such a situation arises that you may need to flee from the place immediately.

#6. Don’t Leave Your Food Alone

If you meet a prospective partner for the first time over dinner or lunch at a restaurant, never leave your food and drink alone to go to the restroom. You may have been chatting with the person for a long time, yet can you trust him or her fully? The person is a stranger, and leaving your food alone may not be sensible.

#7. Get Your Personal Protection

Sex may happen, even on your first date. You may not want to fall into the situation of having unprotected sex.

Do not rely on your partner to bring protection. To save yourself from situations like unwanted pregnancy, always bring your own protection.

#8. Don’t Hesitate to Ditch at Any Moment!

Keep in mind that this is online dating. You are matching and meeting your preferred persons. On these dating platforms, you have various options. One can be better than the other. Even if you are looking for a serious relationship, you don’t have to walk into any commitment at the first meeting.

So, after chatting with a particular match, if you find out that the person isn’t up to your expectations or has bad intentions, walk out on the person and say goodbye. After all, your safety should be your first concern.

FAQs About Online Dating Sites 

Q: How is dating different from hooking up?

A: Dating and hookup are two different concepts. In dating, you get to know your selected matches on a much better level, and it can end up in a long-term relationship. However, hookups are simply brief, casual encounters which can be limited to a one-night stand. 

Q: Are these dating sites paid?

A: Most of the dating sites we have discussed in this blog have paid premium membership options. Most have free trials as well, which allow you to explore them better. However, you cannot access all their features for free. You need to upgrade to a paid membership to fully experience the platform.

Q: What are my chances of finding a serious life partner on these dating sites?

A: Different dating sites are used for different purposes. Some of the dating sites we discussed, such as eHarmony, are specifically used for finding long-term relationships, and their matchmaking questionnaires can help you with this process. Others, such as Adult Friend Finder, are better for finding hookups or other sexual encounters.

Q: Which online dating platform has the highest success rate?

A: As per our analysis, eHarmony has the highest success rate in the online dating world. That’s why it’s our top choice. When it comes to finding love and serious partners for long-term relationships or marriages, there’s no other online platform better than eHarmony.

Q: Which dating website has the highest female-to-male ratio?

A: Bumble has the highest female to male ratio among all the dating websites we have discussed. The number of females on this site is almost equal to men.

Q: Apart from dating, can I find casual sex on these sites?

A: Yes, you can. Some of these sites like Ashley Madison and Adult Friend Finder are exclusively meant for casual dating. With the help of these sites, your desire for random hookups and one-night stands will come true.

Q: Are these dating sites safe?

A: The dating sites that we have discussed take specific safety precautions to protect their members. That’s the reason they are our top choices among thousands of sites out there on the net.

Most of these dating sites, which support long-term serious relationships, verify the user profiles and maintain the data privacy of their members. However, it is to be noted that we have listed some casual hookup platforms as well, which may not give priority to member profile verification. You need to be cautious while using these sites.

Q: Is online dating legal?

A: Online dating is a widely favoured concept. It is legal, and millions of people resort to it for finding their true love or just for casual dates. Online dating has gained even more popularity as many people now tend to stick to the internet for finding love from the comfort of their homes.

In Conclusion: It’s Never Too Late to Date!

It doesn’t matter if you happen to be young or old. Online dating is for all! 

If you’re looking for a serious life partner or just a casual one-night stand, the dating sites that we have discussed, such as eHarmony, EliteSingles, and Adult Friend Finder, will help you find a willing and exciting partner to share romantic or sexual experiences with. These are relatively safe and modulated. 

But make sure to stick to the precautionary tips we have mentioned here while choosing a partner on these platforms and choose someone suitable for you.

In terms of success, we take into account dating sites that nurture serious and fruitful relationships. Based on this criterion, we have listed eHarmony as our top choice.