How to Pick Out the Right Dating Site

If you’ve spent any time on Google, you know that there are hundreds and hundreds of different online dating sites to choose from. Picking out the right one for you can be a challenge, and the thought of it might be keeping you from even giving online dating a shot. Well, we’d like to fix that and help you out today.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the steps you need to take in order to pick out the right dating site for you. We’ll talk about what is important to you, where to look for information and help, and ultimately how you can get started looking for the love of your life or just someone to have fun with.

Before we get started, make sure to take a minute to check out our top favorite online dating sites pulled straight from our list of recommended top dating apps. If you’re ready to dive right into it, check out one of these great sites now.

For the rest of you, let’s talk through the steps of how to pick out the right dating site for you.

Girl on a bed drinking coffee on a laptop computer

Step 1 | Figure out what you want.

If someone asked you to go to the store and pick up what they needed, would you be able to fulfill that request? Well, not unless they told you exactly what they were looking for. You see, you can’t find anything unless you know what you’re looking for. That sounds like it should be a Zen proverb or something cool like that. Regardless, it applies here extensively.

You can’t find the right dating site for you unless you know what you’re looking for. And, the more specific you are, the easier that search is going to be. In our earlier example, if we told you that we needed milk from the store, you’d be closer to knowing what to get for us, but you still would need to know 1%, 2%, chocolate (yum), etc.

So, the first thing that you need to do to pick out the best online dating site for you is figure out what you want. Here are two questions you can ask yourself to answer this question.

1. What am I looking for as an end result?

Are you looking for marriage? Are you looking for a fling? Are you looking for something in between? What you are looking for will have a big effect on the dating site that is a good fit for you. If you’re looking for marriage, a site like eHarmony is probably going to be great for you. If you’re looking for something that could be marriage or could be casual, Elite Singles could be better. It all depends on what you are looking to get out of your online dating experience.

2. Are you looking for any specific type of person?

This is going to be a big question that might take you a few minutes to answer, but it’s crucial to picking out the best online dating site for you. Are you looking for someone religious? Are you looking for someone with a particular status in life? Are you looking for someone who is a particular age? You have to be able to answer these questions and at least have a general idea of what you’re looking for. You don’t have to know exactly what you’re looking for as that will become more defined over time, but you do need to have a general idea.

Step 2 | Do your homework.

Once you have a general idea of the type of singles you’re looking for, it’s time to start doing a little homework. Yes, we know no one likes homework, but finding that special someone is not always easy and does require some effort on your behalf. Don’t worry, though, it’s really not that much we’re asking you to do.

When you have a general idea, it’s time to start doing some research on the sites that you might be interested in. To help you out, we’ve created some incredible online dating site reviews for you to flip through. Take a look at the different features available, the types of people that are on the sites, and how we rank them in every category.

You should be able to get a pretty solid idea of what each dating site has to offer and what they don’t offer. Match this up and compare with what you came up with in step one and you should be able to narrow down to a few online dating sites that you might really enjoy.

Step 3 | Utilize free trials.

One of the reasons that people spend a lot of time looking into which online dating site to pick is because most of them cost money. Yes, we know that there are free options out there, but if you’ve read our write-up on free dating sites vs. paid dating sites, you know that you may be biting off more than you can chew when it comes to the free sites. That being said, you shouldn’t have to waste any of your money on dating sites that aren’t a perfect fit for you.

Thankfully, the industry heard you on this one and responded. Any online dating site that is worth anything now offers some form of a free trial. These free trials range in what they allow you to do, but they give you a chance to check out each site without ponying up your credit card or payment information. Basically, you get to create a completely free account and look around to try and see if it is worth your time and money to upgrade to a paid account.

Here is a massive list of links to get you your dating site free trials now.

With almost all of these trials, you should be able to search through your matches and see if there is anyone on the site that you’re even interested in talking to. You’ll also be able to test out the features and get your profile set up with pictures and everything. Heck, some of the sites will even allow you to respond to messages from paid members for free!

Step 4 | Make a move.

The last step is the most important one in this process. You have to make a move and sign up for an online dating site. If you don’t and you spend forever searching for the perfect site, you’re never going to find what you’re looking for. It would be like constantly trying to decide what store to go to to pick up the milk we talked about in our intro example. If you do that, we’re never getting any milk.

The good news is that the cost of online dating sites is a lot more affordable than people think so if you happen to join the wrong site, you’re not going to be out a ton of money. But, with these steps and the reviews and free trials we put together for you, you should have no problem picking the perfect online dating site for you today.

Some Great Sites to Check Out

RankSiteFree Trial Link 
#1eHarmonyFree Trial
#2Higher BondFree Trial
#3Elite SinglesFree Trial
#4ZooskFree Trial
#5Christian MingleFree Trial
#6The LeagueFree Trial

Written By: Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.

His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, NBC, FOX, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.