No longer embarassing or, God forbid, cringe, half of all single people now use online dating sites to find love (or at least an easy hook-up… There are literally hundreds of dating sites out there.
So, to make it a little less overwhelming, we’ve trawled the Internet for you and sought the advice of online dating expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams. The experts say: This is a great site for those who are looking for personality matching.
There are also various off-shoots of with microsites for gay and lesbian dating, Asian dating, Christian dating and Polish dating. The experts say: For those nervous about dating, this site puts the control in your fingertips allowing you access to thousands of profiles and the ability to chat to potential dates at the rate which works for you. Lovestruck helps you target potential partners according to location and it covers many of the major cities across the world.
The love-gods at match also arrange singles events and provide online dating advice. It is well known and therefore attracts a wide demographic, allowing you to widen your dating pool or limit it with their advanced matching facility. It’s aimed at time-starved professionals, who due to busy work and social lives simply don’t have the time to date.
Lovestruck helps put you in touch with people who are near you – be it where you work or live – to save you precious minutes or hours travelling to and from a date. The experts say: Perfect if you are looking for love in the city and want to approach dating with an informal first meet in your lunch break or after work. Choose a username (a screen name or alias) and set up a profile describing yourself and the type of person and relationship you are looking for.
The site also hosts regular events which are a fun, relaxed way to meet people. It takes the travel out of dating especially with its tube station search parameter. View other people’s profiles by searching the site and when you find someone that interests you, you can send a message via the site to their username.
The message is sent to their email address from your username – your real name and email address are never shown.
Similarly you can receive messages from other members. In fact, it’s fairly similar to our old friends Match, mentioned above.
These messages will be from their username and not their real email address, protecting both your and their privacy. You can start looking at potential dates for free, then when you like the look of someone and fancy striking up a conversation, you need to subscribe. The experts say: This site is owned by the dating giant MEETIC and gives you access to 20 million members across Europe and it also merged with in 2009. This is sold as a serious online dating site for ‘discerning singles.’ A bit like e Harmony, PARSHIP uses a patented test, this time called The PARSHIP principle®, which analyzes 32 personality traits and is based on an algorithm of 136 rules.
Everyone who sets up a profile is a member on the site, but if you want to contact someone you need to be a paying subscriber. It’s free to join and browse matches but for a year’s full access, it costs £10.50 a month. It also has a handy instant messenger service which makes chatting to your matches easy and breezy. A daily email suggests six members you might be interested in, which is a useful feature that doesn’t feel like you’re being bombarded but provides you enough choice to find a compatible date. It sounds complicated, but that’s not for you to worry about. The experts say: Great for those looking for long-term relationships with professional people, users complete a personality test to measure compatibility with potential dates using psychometric analysis. Set up by two friends, Emma and Lucy, in 2006, Muddy Matches is aimed at ‘muddies’, who by the girls’ definition is ‘any person who loves the countryside and is not afraid of a bit of mud’.
Just sign up, do the test and get chatting to all those love-compatible people out there. Functionality is limited as the site is more geared up to helping you find a long term partner rather than flirting randomly with people you like the look of. There is also a specific gay version of the site for those looking for a serious committed relationship with a same sex partner. The criteria is pretty relaxed and the site uses a Muddy-Townie ratio to match potential dates accordingly.