The best dating sites in 2017 in the UK was a hard choice to make. The dating scene as we know it has changed. A quarter of Britons use online dating apps to find love. Each dating site has its own personality and market. Depending on a user’s preferences, and these might not be long term relationships, the best dating apps in the UK right now are as flexible to meet their market’s needs.
On the other hand, the best dating sites in the UK are those that have a mix of flexibility in their algorithm and pricing scheme. Although online dating fraud has been on record high in 2016, this has not stopped the rise of dating sites and more are popping up. It’s a different matter when it comes to finding your soulmate or a chance at love.
In contrast, there are a success stories that make people try again and again. With these trials, dating sites have also become more concerned with their users in that they have dedicated pages for safety online and offline. Something that should be more prominent moving for/ward.
Whatever reasons singles in the UK have for using dating sites, there is both a chance at success and failure. Accepting this first-hand before signing up should be something that is clear. It decreases your vulnerability and even have fun in the process. To cut your search short, here are 5 of the best UK dating sites you can explore.
OkCupid is one of the best free dating sites in the UK. Earlier this year, it revamped its style to be a lot less like Tinder. On the main screen, 4 photos are on display which represents the username, age, location, percentage match, plus other pertinent details that their algorithm has pulled out from the user’s profile. The move is to give users a deeper look into personalities at the onset. Far from Tinder, its sets of questions that gets updated for users to answer are its initial differentiator. It even has questions on values or current issues. This slowed down matching, according to OKCupid, has tripled mutual matches since its launch.
How it Works
Your experience with OkCupid starts with answering a bunch of questions, from basic biography to politics. OKCupid’s algorithm matches this with others and gives you a percentage on compatibility with other users. In addition, you will get a list on your homepage of people who are compatible with you that showed interest in you. There is a quick match feature that lets you give a thumbs up of the person you are looking at, thumbs down if you’re not interested. If the other party also likes you, OKCupid will let you know and you can start messaging each other.
It is absolutely free to join, however, if you want to move to a higher tier or would like additional features on top of your tiering. These are premium features that you have to pay for:
More search options in match search
Unlock complete/full list of everyone who has liked you
Premium A-List Tier
One free profile boost per day during prime time
See everyone’s public answers to their questions before you answer
Incognito allows you to be invisible to everyone you have not given permission to view your profile. You will also not appear in Match, DoubleTake to anyone you have not made a connection with. This feature is different from tiering and is on top of it or an add-on.
Comes in single boosts or discounted multi-packs.
You can still message someone even if their mailbox is full.
The Good and the Ugly
OKCupid is a clear favourite. It just might be called one of the best dating sites for serious relationships. Aside from being one of the free dating sites in the UK, it focuses on creating better relationships. What we especially like is its free to join, free to search, and most important, free to message. Most dating sites allow you to look but not connect.
On the other hand, its Incognito Mode lets you control your privacy or be selective of those who you want people to see your profile, though it is a paying feature. If you ask us if there are any completely free dating sites, we recommend OkCupid because it’s essentially free until you want more features.
The bad side is that you get flooded with messages because it’s absolutely free.
Swipe. If you’ve come across this and they’re talking about dating, they’re most likely talking about Tinder. It is known as one of best hookup apps in the UK and in other parts of the world. With over 50 million subscribers and growing its paying subscribers by 71% last year, Tinder is dominating the dating scene. It’s free, but you pay a premium on additional features.
How it Works
On Tinder, you create an account by logging in via your Facebook account. It then uses your GPS, Facebook history to create a bio for you to approve. You can also write something about yourself, although not mandatory, set preferences such as age and geography, then you’re set to swipe!
Once you’re up and running, you can just swipe right if you like the person until it says “It’s a Match!”. You can either click on interested or cancel the matchup.
Free, until you use their Tinder Passport, Rewind, or upgrade. Tinder Gold is their newest membership tier where you see who likes you immediately. When swiping, you will identify these likes with a gold heart beside a person’s name. In this tier, you also have access to Tinder Passport, Rewind, Unlimited likes, 5 super likes per day, one boost per month, and more profile controls.
Its fees are based on age tiering. Tinder Plus users younger than 28 years old can subscribe for £3.99 per month, but those who are older pay nearly four times as much at £14.99 per month.
The Good and the Ugly
Tinder has managed to establish its “swipe” as a signature move. And just like swiping, it was pretty easy creating an account. As one of our recommended best dating sites in the UK, almost anybody can be on Tinder.
What we’re frowning about is its pricing system that gives off different vibes. Older folks pay more and the younger ones got it easy? Whatever the reason, it’s just weird and doesn’t make much sense.
In addition, if you’re on Tinder looking for the best free dating site for serious relationships, its hookup reputation seems to be far from that. But, we have to admit that everything seems faster with Tinder, and if you like fast, you might consider it as one of the best hookup apps in the UK.
Overall, if we compare it with OkCupid, Tinder has a simpler algorithm when it comes to matching. Unlike in OkCupid where it “interviews” you with sets of questions, Tinder is your casual hookup app, typical UK dating sites that are free, where your goal isn’t to go on a serious level. But who knows, right?
eHarmony claims to be the best dating site for serious relationships. Unlike in other dating sites or app, eHarmony is focuses on finding a compatible partner instead of loosely just choosing. It starts with profiling you with a bunch of questions that you need to answer. From your answers, it uses this to find a match using the 29Dimensions criteria to another person. More than quantity, it trims down your matches to the most applicable so to speak. You can review the narrowed list at no cost.
How it Works
Initially, you will be asked to answer questions to help the system find people that match your criteria. After the basics are asked, it will go on to ask compatibility questions to match with other people based on key personality areas. Once a list is given to you, you can start reviewing them. This is where the free services stop. When you see someone you like, you can start messaging them for a fee.
As a paying member, you will receive matches on a regular basis and be able to communicate with these matches. You can view photos, see who has viewed your profile, and the last login time of your matches. Phone calling are also available but on the platform not on your personal phones, so there is no need to worry about giving out your number.
Free dating sites like Plenty of Fish or POF is an attractive system. It claims to have 90 million users, probably the largest user base in this list. It’s one of the most popular dating apps with free messaging.
How it Works
You are asked to fill up a form with your basic information. Think of a username, but be flexible when you’re doing so. Next is the basic screening test, or the lack thereof. You can change your photos anytime, fast without passing through an approval process.
When you are online, your chances are higher of getting featured or being contacted. The site has a quick messenger for short messages. If you’re on a roll, you can use this to message more than using the long form one. When you’re messaging, you can see their profile picture. You can do all these without having to pay for anything.
As far as completely free dating sites, Plenty of Fish does offer free services but it also has a premium if you want to be given priority.
Unlock every user’s Extended Profile.
Show up first on Meet Me!
The Good and the Ugly
The best feature and advantage of POF is that even with just the basic features, it lets you do a lot—i.e. find someone to your liking, whether for a casual coffee or a long- time partner. In addition, their premium plan is the cheapest at roughly £6 per month.
However, we are a bit concerned with the lax screening process. Signing up on dating sites come with a risk, but it becomes more unsettling if that is not a priority. Tinder and OKCupid had special pages dedicated to tips on how to protect yourself online and offline, so that gives users the impression of assurance that they can depend on the company to ensure their safety. Moreover, this does not negate the fact that it is possible to meet someone you will like in POF, but as in any other site in this list.
Nonetheless, UK folks still consider it one of the best dating sites in 2016 and this year too.
Lovestruck, although last in our list of the best free dating apps in London and the rest of UK, it does not mean we like it less. It pitches itself as one of the best dating apps for busy people. Its matching is based on what you do online or your activities within the site to determine what you are looking for. The objective is to be proactive, study your activities so it can make a recommendation not just on what you say you want. Also, because of the assumption that its users are busy people, it will recommend matches or people who live nearby or within near proximity such as same city or workplace. This makes it easier for people who matched to meet for a quick coffee or grab lunch together.
How it Works
It is a location-based dating app to ensure that “busy” singles get some time off for love life. Once you register you will need to create your profile. It’s not necessary to write a profile and you can start browsing or searching without completing your profile. Don’t worry about writing the best essay because Lovestruck has proofreaders to ensure you put your best foot forward and abide by the rules. Put on a photo and don’t use an avatar. On the other hand, you can also be picky about the people who can view your photos and write-up. You can do this by favouriting people. They also have an incognito mode.
Once you see someone you like, you can either wink or email. Messaging in smaller cities for unpaid members are free, but not when you’re London-based or in bigger cities. Lovestruck is proudly homegrown.
Fees differ per location is different. Londoners can expect to pay £39 while singles in outskirts can pay as low as £19 per month.
The Good and the Ugly
Definitely one of the best UK dating sites, Lovestruck is very straightforward and proactive. Both traits that we think are helpful to those who can’t make the first move. We like its algorithm to aid users in finding a match alongside the users’ search. Sometimes, busy people just don’t have that time, so this is perfect for time-sensitive people. Plus, its location-based system makes dating easier in proximities that are always feasible. Unlike when you are matched but are worlds apart!
Moreover, proactive is really a culture within the site. Its Date Ideas and Events create a 360 plan for each member. It doesn’t leave members even after finally agreeing to meeting. It even has tons of ideas on how to make dates successful dates, plus their Events are community-based so everybody understands each other without creating any awkwardness. Plus points for us on these two services that are entirely free!
The ugly part is not in the site itself, it is in the users’ busy schedules. Other than that, we are impressed with the simplicity of Lovestruck.