Best Free Online Dating Sites

With the rise of the internet as a means of communication and social interaction, online dating sites followed quickly. Young people who have never had a relationship use online dating as do those who have had relationships that failed. Widow and widowers are using online dating sites to find romance again after losing a lifetime partner. There are basic things that you will want from an online dating site and there are the “extras.” The best free online dating sites have most, if not all, of what you need to get started. First, let’s look at a couple of these and then consider the paid sites and if the differences matter.

Choosing an Online Dating Site

There is a good idea when looking for the best free online dating sites or, for that matter, when you start out with online dating in any form. It is to decide just what you are looking for because that will tell you what you want from your dating site and whether or not you want to upgrade to a paid version in order to get more useful features.

Online Dating Is a Modern Version of Speed Dating

Speed dating is an efficient way to meet a lot of people in a hurry. Typically these events are set up with some sort of selection criteria that are important to those who attend. Many may be based on religious affiliation, ethnic background, or factors like being divorced or widowed. A good online dating site lets you proceed in a similar manner by limiting who you are interested in by certain factors that are important to you. And, online dating is like speed dating in that the site helps you meet a lot of people who in turn meet your criteria! Much of what an online site does, such as posting a resume and getting responses, can be done for free.

Best Free Online Dating Sites

Free online dating sites are often more flexible in the choices they offer. For example, those looking for casual relationships or same-sex dating may be very pleased with what they find with free online dating sites. Some, like OKCupid, allow you to simply look for new friends even when you are in a relationship or even married.
Because of this flexibility, individuals who are separated but not yet divorced may have better luck finding someone using one of these sites than a more formal and focused online site. Here are our two suggestions for the best free online dating sites.


The old saying is that when one relationship does not pan out, don’t worry because “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” Here are the popular features of this site.

Able to Specify Type of Relationship Sought

We always advise our readers to be honest when posting their resume and when they meet someone for the first time. This includes being clear about what kind of relationship you are looking for. PlentyofFish lets you do just this.

Specify if you want to have a casual relationship or if your purpose is specifically to find a mate. The site will use this information along with your interests, where you live, age, and even internet browsing history to find several people who will good matches for you. And they do this for free!

A personality test is also part of the free package at PlentyofFish. But, don’t worry. This is not a painful hour long test. They simply let you describe yourself with a phrase or single word such as techie, homebody, of adventurous and then let you search for folks with matching personality types.

Anonymous browsing is popular on this site. Set your own profile to anonymous and people will find you based on your personality and interests. They do not need to know your name until such time as the two of you decide that you are a good match.

Chatting for free and email back and forth as well. On PlentyofFish you can set parameters that limit who can send you an email. For example, you may only wish to communicate with nonsmokers who are not still married!
Rating you picture on this site has its pros and cons. But, a highly rated photo means that more folks will get to see you. Obviously you want to post a good photo.

There is, as you might expect, an option to upgrade to a paid version. That this gets you is the ability to see who viewed your profile, see if messages you sent were read or simply deleted, and browse without be bombarded by ads.

For the folks who are truly looking for a serious relationship, PlentyofFish has a “spinoff” site called eVow. The function is pretty much the same but you will only be dealing with folks who are as serious as you are about finding a long term happy relationship.


Think of OKCupid as the personalized way to date online. You answer questions and the site uses your answers to find folks who are a good match.

The questions range from importance of religion, belief in astrological signs, tolerance of messy people, what for you is an “open relationship,” and whether your goal is sex on the first date or true love.

Those using this site can leave all of their answers public to make some private. When another person contacts you, you will be able to see if they are a good match by checking their answers.

The questions keep coming so when you answer again and again, you are constantly updating your profile.

Other features are similar to PlentyofFish such as being able to specify the type of relationship that you are looking for.

And, you can upgrade to the paid version with the ability to store as many as 5,000 messages and browse anonymously.

Best Free Online Dating Sites versus Paid Sites

Folks who are looking to find someone and establish a serious, long term relationship are typically willing to spend a few dollars for the tools to make the effort easier and more likely to succeed.
Excellent paid online dating sites include, Zoosk, eHarmony,, and Our Time for the over 50 set.

All of these sites include the same features as the best free online dating sites and they all offer more. First of all, eHarmony and have huge databases of people interested in finding someone online. And, these sites all have a large number of people in every conceivable online dating category. However, the main focus of these sites is finding someone to spend the rest of your life with. If that is not your current goal, stick with the best free online dating sites and save a little money.

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