UK mobile dating apps – online dating sites that offer dating for your smartphone

With so many iphones, android phones and even (shudder) windows mobile phones around, it’s hardly surprising that mobile dating is becoming as popular as traditional online dating. Online dating sites have been offering mobile apps to stay competitive, with various levels of sophistication. This is great news for people who are often on the go and don’t want to spend hours in front of a computer. With mobile dating apps you can use dead time to browse profiles and send messages, making the whole experience much simpler. Mobile dating apps are usually free, though if the site isn’t, you’ll need to be a paid member to use them.

Here are some handy ones to keep in mind if you’re after UK mobile dating apps:

match.com – As you’d expect from one of the most famous dating sites, Match do a mobile dating app suitable for iPhones, Android phones and Windows mobile phones. You can do practically everything via the app – get profile alerts in real time, send and receive messages, send winks, check out profiles, etc.. The app is downloadable from the Match site.

Lovestruck.com were one of the first sites to offer a mobile app and they have apps for iPhones, Android and Blackberry – perfect for busy professionals on the go. Lovestruck are all about the busy urban professionals!

eHarmony UK offers a handy mobile up to registered users. Once you’ve signed up via the main site, you can start using the mobile up to receive alerts and matches and to communicate with those you’ve been matched up with.

ChristianCafe.com Have had a useful mobile dating up for a while with everything you need to date on your mobile. It’s available for Android phones, iPhones, etc..

OKCupid offer a fun app where you can endlessly browse pictures and profiles, send and receive messages and get profile alerts.

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eHarmony alternatives (UK)

eHarmony UK is an extremely popular site and many people do very well on there. On the other hand, no dating site is suitable for everyone. Whether you’ve tried eHarmony and didn’t like it or you just don’t like the concept of the site, below are a few alternatives you can try if you are in the UK.

But first, a bit about eHarmony itself. eHarmony may be a good dating site for you if:

  1. You’re looking for a serious relationship
  2. You like a somewhat slower pace of online dating
  3. You want a dating site that does all the matching / searching work for you, rather than having to browse thousands of profiles yourself
  4. You don’t mind filling out a lengthy and detailed personality test truthfully
  5. You don’t mind paying a bit extra for your monthly membership (although you can always safe money using an eHarmony promotional code)

With this in mind, here are some other sites worth trying.

Parship.co.uk

Selling points: strong compatibility test, great customer care

Boasting a very well-researched personality compatibility test, Parship is aimed at people looking for serious relationships and has a similar pace to eHarmony. Just like on eHarmony, you can’t search for your own matches, but the site delivers them to you. Photos are blurred until both parties are comfortable sharing them. This site attracts educated professionals.

matchaffinity

Selling points: You can search for your own matches as well as get them sent to you

The personality compatibility testing site from match.com is aimed at people looking for serious relationships. The personality test is simpler and shorter than the others, but you can search for your own matches as well and move fast or slow, which gives more control.


OKCupid

Selling points: free, great personality test, alternative people

This free site is only worth using if you’re willing to spend days answering hundreds of personal questions. Otherwise, you’ll get an eyeful of scammers, spammers and timewasters. If you do take on the full might of its personality test, though, you may well love this site. Their matching system is superb and you can move at your own pace, whatever it may be. Note that this site is not solely aimed at people looking for serious relationships.

It’s worth mentioning the fact that match.com itself also has a simple matching system based on a personality test. If you want to pay standard online dating prices, search for your own matches but have some sent to you as well, you might want to give it a look as well.

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Dating in London

In spite of its huge size, London can be one of the toughest places to meet people in. Yes, there are millions of people around, but finding the right London singles to date isn’t just a matter of numbers. If you live here, you already know how cliquey people can be compared to other major cities in the world. If you’re new in town without a wide social circle, it can seem impossible to make friends, let alone date in London.

Luckily, London is the city best served in the UK by online dating, speed dating and singles’ events, so if you’re struggling to meet people in London through other means, you won’t have any problems at all meeting people online or at singles’ parties.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s available.

Online dating in London

All of the UK’s major dating sites cater for London quite heavily, so you won’t have a problem there. See my post about UK dating sites for more information about the UK’s big dating sites. But even dating sites from outside of the UK will often cater for London daters. This should give you even more of a choice when dating in London. If you’re looking for a particular type of dating site in London (free dating, casual dating, Christian or Muslim dating, etc.) you can take a look at my dating site reviews category.

There are also some dating sites specifically aimed at London singles. For example, if you are a professional single looking to date in London, you could try Lovestruck.com, a site aimed at busy professionals who want to fit dating around their schedules (and we all know how busy things can get in London!).

Speed dating in London

Just like with online dating, all of the UK’s major speed dating companies hold plenty of events in London. Not only that, but you also get the most variety of events — not just general speed dating, but also speed dating for professionals, international professionals and various religious and ethnic groups. For example, you could have special singles’ events for Muslim singles in London, or for Asian London singles. Check my post about urban dating sites for a list of good places to go speed dating in London.

So if you’re single in London, don’t despair. London may be cold, grey and miserable at times, but it does offer you plenty of opportunities to meet people, probably more so than any other city in the UK. You just need to know where to look.

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Black dating UK

Black and African dating sites are very popular in the UK, although perhaps not as popular as they are in the US. In the UK, interracial dating is generally more widely accepted, not just between black singles and white singles but between all the different races that make up the UK. If you’re interested in dating black men or black women, you could opt for dating on any number of standard dating sites. Any dating site will give you the option of narrowing down your search by race.

Many people, however, prefer to simply join a site that is specifically aimed at black singles. In the UK, for example, there’s this one:

BlackMatch – This site only operates in the UK and Ireland and is relatively new but already quite popular. It’s owned by a dating company that runs dozens of sites, which means they know what they’re doing, but also that you need to watch out for things like recurring billing when you use it.

For more black dating sites, check out my other post about black and African dating sites around the world. Most of those cater to black singles from the UK as well.

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UK Dating websites

Online dating is huge in the UK, so if you’re a British single looking for love online, you can take your pick from probably something like a thousand sites. There are dating sites run by companies based in the UK, but the huge number of UK singles looking to date online means that even dating websites based elsewhere will often feature a large number of UK based singles in their database.

Dating sites aimed at the UK population can take many forms. There are big name dating sites and dating sites aimed at people looking for a particular type of dating from casual dating and sex only encounters to serious relationship and marriage. There are also so called “niche dating sites” aimed at people who follow different lifestyles, are interested in people of a particular religion or ethnicity, etc. Basically, UK dating sites are as varied as the UK population. If you look hard enough, you’ll be able to find the dating site that’s right for you. Looking for it, though, can be almost as confusing as trying to find a relationship. Should you go free or paid? Should you go niche or generic? Should you go branded or not?

In my book, Everyone’s Guide to Online Dating, I dedicated a whole chapter to choosing a dating site. I also have a whole category here on this blog dedicated to different types of dating websites.

For a quick reference, though, here are some dating sites in the UK I think you should check out:

match.com – The biggest name in UK dating by far, so always worth a look. It’s owned by a US company, but the site itself will only show you UK singles. It’s very easy to use and well-designed with a simple list of features. It can be highly competitive, especially for men but has a huge selection of singles all over the UK, even in the tiniest of places.


DatingDirect.com – Similar to Match, but has video chat, which Match doesn’t. It also covers all areas of the UK and is cleanly designed and easy to use. People who don’t do well on Match often do well on here.

eHarmony UK – Originally an American site, eHarmony has been adapted to fit the UK market and is now the biggest site catering for people looking for long term relationship and marriage in the UK.

Parship.co.uk – A UK site catering to professional, mature singles looking for marriage or long term relationships.

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Marriage sites UK

If you’re looking to settle down with someone special, you don’t want to be wasting your time. Marriage sites are now extremely popular in the UK and cater for people who are tired of the dating game and want to meet someone who is also looking to find love and a long term relationship, leading to marriage and often children.

Marriage sites both in and out of the UK are often more expensive and use various methods of helping you get matched up on a deeper level than mere physical attraction. Whether or not you believe in the various claims of scientific compatibility tests, astrological matching, attraction of opposites, etc. doesn’t really matter. What matters is that by joining a site designed specifically for people who want to commit, you’re increasing your chances of finding someone with the same life goals as you. UK marriage sites may actually be the best place online to meet serious UK singles who mean business when it comes to finding love.

Check here for a list of Marriage sites in the UK.

You could also try big sites like match.com, as not everyone who’s looking to marry will turn to compatibility testing sites.

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Arab dating UK

Arab dating is extremely popular in the UK, where there is a big Arab and Muslim community. UK Arab dating options include speed dating, Arab dating sites and Arab singles’ parties all over the UK. Usually, Arab singles’ events in the UK are limited to big cities – London, Birmingham, etc.

Arab dating sites that cover the UK vary from those that are located in the UK to those that are based elsewhere but have a lot of UK singles dating on them. You can check out the following posts for a list of Arab dating sites in the UK and Muslim dating in the UK. My list of Asian dating sites in the UK can also be useful.

Many popular dating sites that are not specifically aimed at Arabs or Muslims, such as match.com , can also be suitable, as they include search factors such as race and religion. In this way, you can limit your search for likeminded Arab singles.

If you want to prevent non-Arabs from contacting you at all, though, it’s best not to put that in your dating profile, as that can be seen as off-putting. Your best bet if you want to try a big, general dating site but only deal with fellow Arab singles is to try a compatibility site like Parship.co.uk or eHarmony UK , where the site itself sends you compatible matches according to criteria you set.

Arab dating UK is very much a possibility, either way you look at it. Whether you choose to date on an Arab dating site or a general one, you’re bound to be able to meet likeminded Arab singles.

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Military online dating for soldiers and their fans

Online dating for soldiers has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it’s a convenient way for those in the armed forces to meet people while stationed away from home. Any dating site is fit for this purpose, of course, though a quick search reveals many sites dedicated to soldiers and those looking to date them.

Here is a quick sampler of suitable sites:

Forcespenpals.co.uk – a dedicated dating and socialising site for those in the UK armed forces. The site is free for serving soldiers to use, as a special service to the men and women in the British army. Dating, friendship and penpals are all catered for.

Uniform Dating – a site catering to soldiers from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia and those who wish to date them. All members must pay for full membership to the site.

Loopylove.com – not a dedicated uniform dating site, but very soldier friendly. This site caters to all kinds of relationships, from casual encounters to marriage. The site is Uk-only

GirlsDateForFree – a fast-paced dating site where women don’t pay. Caters to everything from casual – marriage, but has a reputation for being a bit of an online pickup joint. Very soldier-friendly; UK Only.

BeNaughty – for soldiers looking for fun, flirting and casual sex, this UK/US site is fast-paced and fun.

Even when dating soldiers, never forget the basic safety rules. There have been reported cases of scammers pretending to be soldiers. Always choose a reputable site and educate yourself about these scams. More about these in the following posts:

Afghanistan soldier scam

Iraq soldier scam

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DatingDirect Vs Match.com review

match.com and DatingDirect.com are probably the biggest dating sites in the UK and definitely the most famous. Everyone knows Match from the TV adverts nowadays, while DatingDirect having relatively quiet. The sites are very similar in some ways (like the price and the design) but very different in others. Here is a quick run down comparing the two sites:


DatingDirect.com

Number of members: Millions
Vibe: Well-behaved but down to earth – people from all walks of life.
Plus points: Definitely the less competitive of the two – easier to get noticed
Minus points: Although they say they offer mobile phone dating, it’s only through WAP phones.
What has it got that Match doesn’t: Messenger, video chat and video profiles
Special offers: Money back guarantee if you’re actively dating for a year without finding anyone. Will give you the actual money back, not free membership.

match.com

match.com

Number of members: Millions
Vibe: Aspirational – people want and need to impress. Membership is from all walks of life but leaning more towards professional singles
Plus points: The classiest of the big sites, good features (see below).
Minus points:Highly competitive – you often need to work hard to get noticed.
What has it got that DatingDirect doesn’t: Personality tests and compatibilty matching, searching by people’s interests, mobile phone dating.
Special offers: 6 month money back guarantee (will give you an extra 6 months subscription for free), currently offering a 7 day free trial.

So which is the best site of the two? That would depend on who you are and what you’re after. Which features do you see yourself using more? What sort of person are you? Do you see yourself actively contacting people on a daily basis?

These questions are for you and only you to answer.

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Mature online dating – dating sites for the over 50

Here are some dating sites that either cater specifically for or are friendly towards older daters.

Mature online dating (dating for the over 50s, pensioners or “silver surfers”) has become more popular in recent years, as people nowadays are living longer and refusing to give up on finding love, be it for the first or second time around.

When dating online, no matter how old you are, it’s important to choose a reputable site with enough members for you to have a good choice of people.

Note that scammers often target older daters online and they can be found on any site, so it’s important to know the signs that you are dealing with a scammer. See my post about scammers here. There are some useful comments there with examples of real scammer stories.

But in the meantime, here are quick links to dating sites for older people. A few reviews follow below (I am still working through them):

  • lavalifePRIME USA/CA site for people 45+
  • PrimeSingles.net – USA/CA site for 50+ people
  • SilverCupid – a UK and Ireland site aimed at people over 40, but in reality it’s mostly for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond.
  • MatureDatingUK – a big UK/IE site catering for mature daters.
  • Boomer Dating – a UK dating site for Baby Boomers. Does what it says on the tin.
  • Loopy love – UK site suitable for older daters
  • Mature Dating Site Reviews

  • lavalifePRIME is great site for people 45+ in the USA/Canada, but UK membership seems practically nonexistent. It’s a part of the Lavalife group of sites. This site offers easily accessible dating and socialising for anything from relationships to activity partners and friends. The design can get a bit busy but there’s plenty to see and do including blogs, message boards and many other ways of communicating.
  • PrimeSingles.net is part of the well-established Spark Network of sites and offers online dating for people over 50, mostly in the USA/Canada. Like of all of Spark’s sites, it’s well-designed and easy to use with good, functional features.
  • Loopy love is a UK only site whose simplicity and ease of use makes it a good choice for people who are new to the Internet and online dating. There are plenty of mature daters on there and the site has a good list of features but is functional and not too busy.
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Online dating sites with video chat

General and serious dating sites with video chat

Casual dating sites with video chat

Adult dating sites with video chat

Video chat (also known as live chat, webcam chat or camera chat) is one of the most popular features available on dating sites. Its obvious popularity among the more casual daters has given it a bit of a bad reputation, but many big name dating sites catering for serious relationships offer it to their customers.

Here is a list of dating sites that specialise in offering quality video chat services.

General and serious dating sites

Casual dating and flirting sites

  • GirlsDateForFree – UK-only site with a party atmosphere catering for both serious and casual daters. Women don’t pay and video/audio chat comes as standard, as well as video greetings.
  • BeNaughty – a casual international dating site that’s also an adult site (you can choose how “naughty” you want your experience to be). It offers webcam chat, blogs, events and more.
  • Lavalife – highly popular international dating site catering for casual relationships but also serious ones. Also offers mobile dating and phone chat lines.
  • Mate1.com – Big, popular international dating site where women don’t pay. It has a simple, basic design and a mass market appeal. Offers instant messaging with video features.

Adult dating sites / sex dating sites

  • AdultFriendFinder – the world’s largest and most famous sex dating site with video chat, webcam streams, blogs, photos and forums.
  • PlayNaughty – fun UK and international sex and swinging dating site with video profiles, forums and even a shop.
  • Fling.com – Big and extremely popular international sex dating site with video chat and live cam feeds.
  • Alt.com – sister site to adultfriendfinder but specialising in fetish and “alternative sex”. Offers video chat, webcam streams and the rest.
  • Flirt – slick international sex and flirting site with good video chat feature.
  • SexInTheUK – UK only sex dating site with webcams, events, forums and blogs.
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Which is the best dating site (UK)?

Whether you’re just starting out in the online dating world or trying to find a better site than the one you’re on, a good dating site is, to borrow a phrase, hard to find. Well, it can be! So how do you know which is the best dating site?

Obviously, nobody wants to date on a bad dating site, but finding the best dating site can be tricky. For one, there is no such thing as “the best online dating site”. There are lots of bad sites out there, but also plenty of reputable, well-established sites that won’t rip you off any more or less than the next one. Some might work out for you, while others may not. Not because either of them is good or bad, but because different sites suit different people. Some of it is even about luck, so even if a friend of yours found a husband or a wife on a dating site, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will.

Start by getting feedback from people you know about sites they’ve used. If you and your friends share similar tastes and backgrounds, you may well find that you do well on the sites they think are good. Then sign up to a few sites (without paying just yet) and take a look around. If you like what you see, you can choose one site to spend your money on and see how things work out.

For inspiration and a list of dating sites grouped by type, check out my frequently updated list.

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Asian online dating and speed dating sites

If you are looking to meet Asian singles online, you could specify your preference on any big dating site and do pretty well. However, there are also plenty of online dating sites and services catering to Asian singles – Indian, Pakistani, etc. – anywhere in the world.

The following sites were particularly set up for the Asian community and so are the best place to meet Asian daters for love, dating or friendship.

Shaadi.com – This is the world’s most famous international Asian matrimonial dating site with millions of Indian and Pakistani singles worldwide, compatibility matching and a matchmaking service. Setting up a profile and running searches is free.

PakistaniLounge – A highly popular dating site for Pakistani singles all over the world. Features include detailed profiles, two-way matching, chat and forums. Setting up a profile and searching is free.

DesiKiss – This large Indian dating and matrimonial site is fun and popular, with friendly people and a good list of fun features including live chat. You can set up a profile for free, as well as run searches.

Speed Dater – The UK’s busiest speed dating and singles’ events company runs regular events exclusively for Asian singles in London and elsewhere in the UK. They also have an online dating service.

SingleSolution – A popular speed dating and online dating UK company aimed at professionals. They regularly run events exclusively for Asian singles.

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Arab and Middle Eastern online dating sites and speed dating

If you are looking for Internet dating sites that offer online dating and matrimonial services for Arab / Middle Eastern singles, here’s a quick rundown of the world’s most popular Arab dating sites. These sites are all open to people of all countries, so you can sign up to them no matter where in the world you are. I’ve also listed some UK speed dating companies at the bottom.

ArabLounge – this is one of the world’s most popular dating site for Arabs all over the world regardless of location and religion. It caters for both Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs, offering features such as chat, forums and two-way matching. The site is highly popular in the USA, as well as all Arab countries including Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. UK/Europe based membes are also available.

SalaamLove.com – A very simple and popular international Muslim personals site from the World Singles family of sites (a popular USA / International company). The site has Muslim singles from all over the world (Iranian, Indonesian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and many more). Has chat, message boards and a few other cool features.

SingleMuslim – this is a UK/USA online matrimonial site catering for Muslims all over the world. Obviously, Arab singles make up the majority of the site’s members and the whole of the Arab world is well represented here. Pakistani and Indian Muslims also date here. The site is fun and simple to use, as well as being proudly Halal.

IranianPersonals – a highly popular dating site for Iranians all over the world, as well as people of Iranian ancestry or origin. Big in the USA, UK and Europe, as well as, obviously, Iran itself.

TurkishPersonals – Probably the world’s most popular dating site for Turkish singles and people of Turkish origin all over the world. This site caters to Turkish daters of all religions and has lots of singles from Turkey itself, as well as Cyprus, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

If you are looking for Arab speed dating or Middle Eastern singles’ events, you might want to check out Speed Dater
and SingleSolution who offer these in the UK on a regular basis. They have a good choice
of venues and are reasonably priced.

You might also want to check out my ealier post about Muslim dating sites.

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Mobile phone dating

Plenty of UK sites now offer mobile phone dating, so you can keep track of your online dating activities while you’re out and about. Mobile flirting has been popular for a while and is gaining popularity all the time.

Sites vary in the form of mobile phone online dating they offer. For some, like DatingDirect.com , you’d need a WAP/3G enabled phone (which, let’s face it, is not the most useful, unless you have an iPhone), but for others all you need is a reasonable picture phone to be able to get message alerts, upload and view pictures and sometimes even send messages and use other features of the site. Usually this service is not free.

Here are some popular sites that make good use of mobile technology:

match.com – the UK’s most famous dating site doesn’t disappoint in the mobile dating department. You can do a lot from your mobile, even if it’s not 3G/WAP: pay, upload pics and get message alerts, etc. by SMS/MMS.

Friends Reunited Dating – This friendly and highly popular dating site lets you upload pics and pay by mobile phone.

BeNaughty – A casual dating site where you can choose how naughty you want to be. It makes good use of mobile technology with mobile chat, profile upload and payment.

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Black / African dating sites – reviews and list

While all dating sites let you search for matches by race, there are plenty of sites out there that cater specifically for those looking for black dating. In the UK, where interracial relationships are quite common and generally socially accepted, dating sites that are aimed only at African and Afro-caribbean daters are not quite as common as in the US. The ones I looked at are often quite small. Luckily, there are some good international black dating sites that cover the UK as well as the US and Africa.

BlackMatch – a UK and Ireland only dating site for single black men and women over the age of 25. Relatively new, but popular.

AfricanLove.com – A big international site for African singles all over the world. A good representation in Europe, the USA and, obviously Africa. Very big on Ghanian, Nigerian and Kenyan singles.

JamaicanDating.com – as the name suggests, this site caters for singles of Jamaican origin all over the world. It’s a big, popular site.

SoulSingles – A site catering for black singles all over the world and particularly for African American singles. It offers detailed profiles and all the features you could want in a dating site, including chatrooms (and private chat, of course). The site is free to sign up to and take a look around, so is worth trying regardless of where in the world you are, although most members are American black singles.

BlackSingles – On the popular Spark network, this well-established site is packed full of features from personality profiles to chatrooms and message boards. It has international membership, but is based in the US.

InterracialSingles – As the name suggests, this highly popular international site offers a meeting place for mixed-race couples. It’s a great place to meet black, white, Asian or in fact people of any race who are open (or particularly interested) in dating people of another. Black singles form a major part of the membership base. Features of the site include personal and public chat, a forum and everything else you’re likely to need.

EthiopianPersonals – This unique site is extremely popular among Ethiopian Americans, as well as Ethiopians all over the world. It’s simple and fun to use with plenty of features to keep you chatting to people for hours.

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Online dating for professionals – high calibre online dating reviews

We all want to find people who are similar to us, so if you’re intelligent, well educated, professional, attractive or well off, you may well want to use an online dating site that caters to people of your high calibre and/or high standards. This post has reviews of exactly such dating sites. Some aim to actively make their membership exclusive, while others have just ended up that way. Some offer attractive dating or dating for rich people, while others are geared towards graduates and professionals of a more regular variety.

The sites covered in this post are (full reviews below):

  1. Parship– an upmarket UK serious dating site with in-depth psychometric testing
  2. Lovestruck.com – a localised urban dating site for city professionals in many cities around the world.
  3. Love and friends – UK-only dating site for professionals, graduates and “smart people”. Has an exclusive feel and a nice crowd.
  4. Guardian Soulmates – UK site frequented by liberal, cultural professional graduates
  5. MySingleFriend.com – Attractive young professionals galore


The reviews

Parship is a serious dating site for people who want a serious relationship or marriage. It’s upmarket and attracts a professional crowd. The site is based around a detailed personality test that helps the site choose suitable matches for you. The test is so in depth that you can even purchase a personality assessment as an optional extra. I consider it to be the most in depth personality test in the business. You can currently get 50% off 3 months membership to the site. See here for details of the Parship promotional code.

Lovestruck.com

A dating site for busy city professionals who want to fit their dating life around their work and other social commitments. Encourages meeting people for lunch, coffees and post-work drinks, as well as singles’ events in trendy locations. It’s actually a number of websites, one per city in the UK or abroad. London, Edinburgh, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore are but a few places catered for.

MySingleFriend.com
Sarah Beeny’s incredibly successful dating site is flush with attractive single graduate professionals and many creative people. Definitely one of the best collection of singles around but catering mostly to people in and around cities in the UK (although it’s constantly expanding outwards).

is a UK site aimed exclusively at professionals and graduates. It markets itself as being for intelligent people and draws a nice crowd. The site is not as big as some of the other ones, with about 75,000 members in total, but it the people seem nice and genuine and can generally string a sentence together rather well.

Guardian Soulmates is the dating offering from the UK’s Guardian newspaper. It’s open to people who don’t read the Guardian, but the people dating on here definitely fit the Guardian reader’s profile: culturally aware, left-wing liberal, creative and heady. It has a very detailed search facility and a good list of features to keep anyone happy.

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Muslim dating sites – reviews and list

Muslim dating sites and sites that cater predominantly for Muslim daters are a great way to meet people who share your religious values. Even though you can search by religion on almost any dating site nowadays, it helps to know you are dating on a site that understands your needs, surrounded by people who all believe in the same things you do.

Here are some sites that cater specifically to Muslims or have a large Islamic community:

  1. ArabLounge – One of the world’s most popular international sites for Arab singles with strong membership in the USA and the UK, as well as all Arab countries and elsewhere.
  2. SingleMuslim – This Halal site is a great international Muslim dating site and introduction agency with single Muslims from the UK and abroad. These are predominantly USA, Pakistan, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and many more. At the moment, women get free gold membership to the site which includes access to all the features including live chat. The site also offers gift membership so parents can register their sons/daughters.
  3. Shaadi.com – this world-famous Asian matrimonial dating site caters for all faiths but has a large Muslim community from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Indonesia and many others. It offers a lot of features including chat and compatibility matching.
  4. SalaamLove.com – A big international dating site with lots of Muslim singles from all over the world (Iranian, Indonesian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, African and many more). Has chat, message boards and a few other cool features.
  5. IranianPersonals – large international site for Iranian singles from anywhere in the world. It’s extremely popular in the US, but has members from all over. They offer chat, message boards, “flirts” and advice.
  6. PakistaniLounge – a dating and marriage site dedicated to the Pakistani community all over the world. The site has all the features you’d want in a good dating site, including chat.
  7. TurkishPersonals – This successful international site is very popular with Turkish singles in Turkey, America and Europe. They offer message boards, chat, advice and other handy features.
  8. AlbanianPersonals – a site for Albanian daters in the USA, Albania and elsewhere in the world. It’s extremely popular and many of the people here are practicing Muslims.
  9. Speed Dater, the UK’s biggest speed dating company offers Muslim-specific singles’ events, usually in London, but sometimes elsewhere in the country. Check the “race/religion” link on the right hand side of the home page for more info.
  10. SingleSolution – UK online and speed dating company for professionals that holds some dedicated events for Muslims (click on “more events” to see list)
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Compare the biggest online dating sites in the UK

NEW! Compare over 60 of the world’s best dating site in minutes with my free quiz! Click the link to compare dating sites now with my new site.


If you’re in the UK and are looking for a big, reputable dating site to try, there are a few much publicised options. Everyone’s heard of match.com because of the TV adverts and it’s definitely a very well-designed, easy to use site. But is it the best site for you? How does it compare to other similar UK sites?

Below is a quick table I knocked up, showing how the top rated sites in the UK* compare on the feature front. They are all extremely popular sites with hundreds of thousands (or millions) of members.

Depending on the features you want in a site, some sites might be more suitable for you than others. Just remember that the most important thing is the people on the site and not just the features!

DD: DatingDirect.com
FRD:Friends Reunited Dating
LL: Loopylove.com
M: match.com

Feature/site DD FRD LL M
Membership World World UK UK
Sexuality Straight/gay Straight/gay/bi Straight/gay Straight/gay
Active moderation Y Y Y Y
Chat Y Y Y N
Compatibility matching N N N Y
Mobile dating By WAP/3G Pay/upload pic Y Y
Keyword search Y Y N Y
Extras Advice Horoscopes/blogs Video greeting Articles
1 month cost £22.80 £18.50 £19.99 £22.80
Money back guarauntee Actual (12 months) N N Subscription (6 months)
         


Active moderation:
site employs people to actively seek out and remove spammers and scammers
Keyword search: the ability to search for members by keywords relating to shared interests
Mobile dating: varies, but usually includes being able to pay by SMS, upload pics, receive alerts or send messages. Some features usually cost extra.
Money back guarantee: either your actual money back or free subscription. Period listed is for the subscription you need to take out in order to qualify. There are always T&Cs that apply.

* This comparison is for the biggest PAID sites. Free dating sites have some different issues so I have a different post about them.

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Christian dating sites reviews and list

If you’re a Christian and your religion is important to you, you may well want to choose a dating site that upholds the same values and/or attracts people who share your faith. While most dating sites nowadays allow you to limit your search to those people who share your religious values, specialist Christian dating sites go that extra mile to attract the sort of people you’re likely to want to meet. In my first of a few posts about religious online dating, I will cover Christian dating.

There are plenty of sites out there that offer online dating for Christians. The ones below are the best I know of:
Sites covered in this post (full reviews below):

  1. ChristianCafe.com – laid back Christian dating site for people from USA/CA, UK and other English speaking countries. Currently has a 10 day free trial.
  2. eHarmony (UK) (or eHarmony USA/CA.) – world-famous serious compatibility matching site created by a Christian based on Christian values
  3. BigChurch – popular international dating site for Christians
  4. ChristianMingle.com – an international dating site, but the majority of members are in the US
  5. CatholicMingle – a Catholic dating site in the US. Has some international membership
  6. JCMATCH.COM – A new, low cost US Christian dating site
  7. Speed Dater – regularly hold popular speed dating events for Christians
  8. ChristianConnection – UK company offering online dating and events for Christians

Reviews

  • ChristianCafe.com is a simple, friendly dating site for people in English speaking countries. It offers a fine mix of features including instant messaging, chatrooms and forums and an online prayer service. They are currently offering a 10 day free trial and reduced subscription costs.
  • BigChurch, as the name suggests, is a big international site aimed at Christian singles. It offers Christian personals, video chat, blogs and the opportunity to participate in the community’s online magazine. The site is well-designed and easy to use. Although it’s based in the US, it seems to have decent international membership (UK membership seems decent) although, as always, check before you pay.
  • eHarmony (UK) ( USA/CA site here), while not solely a Christian dating site, was founded by a Christian, who based the site’s incredibly in-depth compatibility matching system on the traditional values of the faith. As such, the site is geared towards helping people who find religion important find suitable matches. They have a unique communication system that encourages you to take things slow and instead of searching for matches, the site delivers them to you.
  • ChristianMingle.com is a friendly, well-designed Christian dating site with a host of good features, including basic two-way compatibility matching and a magazine, on top of the usual messaging/chat. It’s based in the US, but accepts people from all over the world. If you’re outside the US, you may find there aren’t that many members in your area, but it’s worth a look, as the site is easy to use and not expensive.
  • CatholicMingle is the sister site of the above and is aimed, you guessed it, specifically at Catholic singles. It has slightly less frills that its sister site, but still offers all the good basic features. It’s an international site, but USA membership is the strongest.
  • strong>JCMATCH.COM is an ambitious new international Christian dating site. In spite of its relatively low cost (its 6 month membership package is one of the cheapest of all Christian dating sites I know of) It has plenty of good feature including compatibility matching. There are also some extra nice touches such as the opportunity to win a place on a free Christian cruise or mission trip. Members are predominantly US-based.
  • Speed Dater, the UK’s most well known speed dating company, offers Christian speed dating and Christian singles’ parties on a regular basis. (choose race/religion from the “search for event by type” list on the right side of the home page).
  • ChristianConnection is a UK/Ireland only site that offers both online dating and Christian singles’ events all over the country. It’s designed by Christians for Christians and seems friendly and easy enough to use. It’s currently offering a free trial.
  • Another UK site that may be of interest is Parship, as it offers serious psychometric personality testing and caters for people who want serious relationships and marriage. I wrote about this and other matrimonial/serious dating sites in this blog earlier.

Special issues to be aware of

  • Because followers of Christianity are known for being charitable and helpful, some Internet scammers tend to specifically target Christians. Remember that just because someone says they are “god fearing”, doesn’t mean they’re not lying. Always have your wits about you when dating online and beware of anyone who asks you for money. If in doubt, a dating site’s support team should be able to tell you if someone is “working you”.
  • If you can’t find what you’re looking for on a Christian dating site, there are plenty of other sites out there that will allow you to search by religion and may end up delivering the match you’re looking for. The majority of big sites (like DatingDirect,Loopylove and match.com in the UK and match.com USA/CA) all have detailed matching systems that include religion as a factor. You can also try my list of free dating sites if you’re looking for 100% free Christian dating.
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Sex dating and hook up sites info and list

Sex (so called “Adult”) dating sites are designed for sexually liberated adults who want to have fun with no strings attached. They cater for both singles and couples, swingers and the just curious who are into anything from straight up sex to more alternative practices,one night stands to ongoing affairs. But are sex dating sites for real? Do real people hang out there who are looking to get laid? The short answer is yes, though as always, there are a few issues to consider. I talk about these below,but first, the sites themselves. Here are ones I think are worth trying.

It goes without saying that these sites are for people over the age of 18 only. To be fair, all dating sites officially are, but this is especially true when the sites are all about the sex.

The sites covered in this post are (full reviews below):

  1. AdultFriendFinder – the world’s most popular adult dating site with millions of people and some excellent features including sexy blogs and webcams
  2. Fling.com – A huge and highly popular international sex dating site with great features and millions of members
  3. Alt.com – world’s biggest fetish, swinging and alternative sex dating site
  4. Bondage.com – large fetish/bdsm community with sexy personals and forums
  5. Passion.com – sexy personals and casual dating with toned down profanity
  6. Kasidie.com – An active and friendly swingers’ dating site / social network.


Full reviews


Outright sex sites

AdultFriendFinder is the mother of all adult dating sites. It’s huge, it’s got members from all over the world and it’s owned by Penthouse, which means you’ll never be short of sexy blogs, wecam chats and hot member videos. It’s definitely the slickest of the lot, with some serious features to keep you busy for weeks. Like all big, high profile dating sites, however, you have to wade through a lot of dud profiles, scammer profiles and other crap to get anywhere. There’s a lot of complaints about this site all over the Internet, but depending on where you are in the world, it may work out for you. It *is* an extremely popular site and some people do quite well on here.

Fling.com

Fling.com is a huge international sex dating sites with members from all over the world looking for flings of all kinds. The site offers live webcam feeds as well as video chat, forums and galleries. The site’s sheer size means you’re bound to find some dodgy profiles on there, but there do seem to be some genuine ones on there too.

 

 

Alt.com is the fetish dating site from the same company as AdultFriendFinder. Sort of like the twisted sister. It caters to people interested in a whole array of swinging and fetish activities – alternative stuff from bondage to… well, just about everything imaginable. Like its sister site, there are blogs, a sex advice magazine, webcams and all the other things you should expect from a well-designed, slick supersite. It’s a huge site, so prepare to find plenty of fake profiles from scammers, alongside the genuine ones.

Bondage.com is a dedicated fetish/BDSM community with forums, highly rated blogs, lots of great fetish pictures and also a large personals section. It’s owned by the same people as AdultFriendFinder, so is huge, yet with some scammy profiles among the real ones.


Slightly less “in your face” sites

 

Passion.com is a well-designed sexy personals site that’s somewhere between a flirting site and a full on sex personals site. It’s from the same company as AdultFriendFinder and has a good list of features including live webcam chats, etc. The site accepts members from all over the world. Like AdultFriendFinder, there are some profiles here that were obviously put on by prostitutes, pay sites and scammers, which is not to say there aren’t real people on here.

Kasidie.com is a site for swingers. It’s part sexy dating, part social network, with the ability to make connections that go deeper than just one off casual sex. Depending on where you are in the world, its also a good place to find out about swinger parties and events. The site is simple looking, but is friendly and effective. While not as huge as AdultFriendFinder it appears to be mostly genuine.

 

 

Special issues to be aware of

Sex dating can be dodgy so you have to have your wits about you. Unsavoury characters hang out on such dating sites looking to make a quick buck of people trying to get some. It’s very common for prostitutes to hang out on such sites, but they don’t ask for money until you’ve met them in person, maybe even slept with them. Scammers also hang out there, as well as fake profiles put up by paid webcam sites. The sites themselves are often very quick to take your money and very slow to release you. Make sure you read the terms and conditions when you sign up, at least the part about when you will be automatically charged for membership renewal.

  1. Any site that mentions “sex” or “adult” in the title, is guaranteed to have more men on it than women, followed, most likely, by couples looking to swing. Men are much more likely to go actively looking for sex and, frankly, if a woman wants sex, she can just go out and get it, unless there’s a reason why she can’t. I’d say it’s a fair bet that a woman who looks like an underwear model would not be looking to date on about 99% of the sex dating sites out there, even if she had no standards whatsoever. I’m not saying that all women who date on such sites are by definition ugly – there could be other reasons why they can’t find what they’re looking for in their locality and need a dating site to help – but be aware that the superhot babes you may see on the site are more likely to be fake or pros than anything else. One way around this is to try casual dating sites instead. “Casual dating” is often a nice term for much the same thing as adult dating, but without the stigma, so women are more likely to go there. I’ve listed a few above in the “slightly less in your face” category.

 

  1. A lot of the people on the sites will be married or otherwise attached. That’s a fact. You’d hope because of the nature of the site, people would be open and honest about it and some are, but not all. It’s up to you to decide whether you care.

 

  1. If you’re dating on a site where people are who are looking for sex, expect to find people who are looking for sex. If you are man looking for women who are after a quick shag, it helps to respect the fact that the women may enjoy it too and that doesn’t make them cheap. Otherwise, your experienced is guaranteed to suck, and not in a good way. I’ve seen people reviewing sex dating sites who were complaining about how filthy it felt and how they were sorry for having shagged someone who’d sleep with anyone. Hello! That’s why she slept with you. I, for one, don’t see anything wrong with both men and women actively looking for sex, but sadly, even guys looking for sex, often judge women unfavourably if they want the same. To them, I say: If you want a virgin, you’re on the wrong site, dude.
  1. 100% free adult dating is rare. 100% free adult dating that’s any good is even rarer. No part of the industry is more prone to trouble than the sexual dating part, so match that with the often problematic free dating niche and you’re guaranteed some kind of trouble. A better bet is to try one of the free dating sites that is not exclusively adult and use their system to choose the relationship type you want, setting it to “casual sex” or whatever the equivalent option is. You might not be able to upload naked pics of yourself and view nude profiles, but you could potentially meet likeminded people anyway. Two free sites that are not adverse to people looking for sex are OKCupid and Plentyoffish. Just remember that not everyone on there wants what you want, so keep it in your pants, till you’ve found someone who does!

These points aside, on the whole some people do enjoy their sex dating experiences. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. Couples, especially, find it useful as it allows them to meet likeminded people they can play with. Just remember to play safe and follow the online dating safety rules.

 

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Urban dating sites and online dating with singles’ events

Urban dating sites have picked up in popularity in recent years, as more and more busy professionals decided they wanted to go out and socialise, yet meet suitable singles at the same time. Even if you live in a really big city and are incredibly outgoing and sociable, you might still struggle to find eligible singles. On the other hand, with a whole city around you full of exciting places to go out to, do you really want to spend all your time at home in front of a computer?

The sites below offer options for people who live in and around cities. Some are companies that offer singles’ events to get you out of the house, while others are just predisposed to a more fast paced environment.

This sites covered in this post are (full reviews below):

  1. UrbanSocial – UK-wide speed dating and singles’ events
  2. SingleSolution – UK-wide online and speed dating for professionals
  3. Lovestruck.com – trendy free dating site for professionals, organise events


Reviews

    GrapevineSocial

  • GrapevineSocial is not really an online dating site. More of an events company that holds singles’ wine tasting, champagne sampling and beer tasting events around the UK. It’s like speed dating only not quite as fast-paced and the wine tasting theme makes it a fun night out of its own accord. The age range for the events is mid-20s to late 30s and apparently you don’t have to be a wine expert to attend – these events are more about having fun and meeting people than showing off your knowledge of booze.
  • Speed Dater

    This is the largest company of its kind in the UK, organising massive singles’ parties, speed dating events,lock and key parties, dinner parties and even holidays. Their events, while not quite as ultra-stylish as the more exclusive companies around, are known for being down to earth and generally a good laugh. Importantly, they are also large and plentiful enough to fit in with just about anyone’s location and schedule. The company also offers specialised dating events for those interested in meeting people of a particular religion or ethnicity, as well as professionals and graduates. Age ranges vary with some events available for older daters too. They have an online dating site as well, at Speed Dater Online where you can speak to people likely to go to their events and get a feel for what you should expect (think of it as “try before you buy” 🙂 )

  • UrbanSocial is the online dating / speed dating offering from the same company as GrapevineSocial. Some of the wine tasting events from the above are listed here, as well as speed dating and singles’ parties all over the UK. They cover a broader age range than their sister site with older daters catered for.
  • Lovestruck.com is an ultra chic urban dating site for trendy professionals. They cover a selection of major cities all over the world (with many more coming soon). Many of their sites are 100% free to use, while their London flagship site is currently offering a free trial. They organise funky singles’ events in some very cool places, which I understand are free for members.

  • The ironically named SlowDating offers speed dating events in 25 cities in the UK (more choice than most if not all other companies) for people in their 20s and 30s who want to find serious relationships. Their ticket prices are competitively low and there is a nice variety of venues. If your area isn’t covered, you can register your interest to participate in an event near you when it happens. They also offer online dating services on their site, although apparently the people who use their online dating offering are not always quite as high calibre as those who go to their events.
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Free dating sites – no credit card needed Internet dating

Free online dating sites have spiked in popularity recently, but it’s important to note that not all sites that describe themselves as free are actually free. Most Internet dating sites allow some form of free registration, so you can run some searches, maybe complete a personality profile and generally have a look around and see what sort of members hang out on the site. To actually contact anyone, you will need to get your credit card out and pay. Many sites hide that fact until you’re ready to make contact and then front you with the bill. Ouch.

There are, however, some dating sites that are completely free – 100% no subscription dating. here are the best ones. Be sure to pay close attention to online dating safety tips when using free dating sites (though, really, you should be doing that anyway!).

Sites covered in this post (full reviews below):

  1. Metrodate.com – huge dating site covering most of the world
  2. Badoo – A hugely popular global site that’s a cross between social networking and online dating.
  3. Lovestruck.com – chic UK/international urban dating site
  4. Mingles.com – friendly international dating site
  5. OKCupid – slightly alternative and offers free compatibility matching
  6. GirlsDateForFree – fun UK site where women don’t pay
  7. Mate1.com – Huge international dating, socialising and flirting site where women don’t pay
  8. Plentyoffish – huge international site where anything goes

Reviews

Badoo aims to put the fun back in online dating by making it more like social networking (Facebook-style). The emphasis is on having fun, but people use this site to find anything from a date to serious relationships. Although the site is designed to appeal to young, hip people, you can find people of all ages and all walks of life here.

Metrodate.com – the world’s largest urban dating site (that’s marketing talk meaning online dating for people who live in and around cities) is now 100% free to use. The site is active all over the world, has been around for ten years and, hopefully, having been a paid site up until now has some profile moderation in place. Features include event listings, city guides and forums.

Lovestruck.com is an urban dating site designed for busy city professionals. They have different sites for different cities around the world and many of them are 100% free. The ones that aren’t often offer free trials. Lovestruck organise plenty of free singles’ events too, which you can register for once you’ve signed up to your city’s site.

Plentyoffish

Supposedly the world’s biggest free dating site and huge all over the world, this site is definitely more about quantity than quality. Don’t expect profiles to be moderated here, so you’re on your own when it comes to weeding out the unsavoury characters. The site now offers basic compatibility matching and you can refine your search by religion, ethnicity, etc. as well as the type of dating you’re looking for (from marriage to flirting and purely sexual encounters). The site is straightforward and easy to use, with a simple, functional design. If you’re new to online dating and are looking for a no-frills, straight to the point site, it’s worth having a look around this site, although discerning daters may well be disappointed with the majority of the people they find there.

The site is suitable for straight, gay and bisexual daters.

OKCupid

A hugely successful international dating site that’s known for its unique compatibility matching system and for having an incredible amount of user-submitted questions and quizzes. This is online dating for the Myspace/Facebook generation, which is really like a cross between a social networking site and a dating site.

There’s plenty of stuff to do and you could easily spend weeks exploring the site without actually speaking to anyone. Personally, I find the design a bit overly busy and it can get a bit confusing if you’re not a social media addict. It’s worth giving it a try if you’re curious, though, as , after all, it is 100% free.

If the busyness of the design and the large amount of features doesn’t scare you, it’s worth going through their compatibility test as it’s one of the best in the business (it’s better than most tests I’ve seen on paid sites, in fact). Get ready to answer hundreds of questions though, before you start seeing good results.
The site caters for straight, gay and bisexual daters and allows you to refine your search by religion, ethnicity and relationship type, as well as many other factors. The site is far from scammer/spammer free, but most of those don’t have the patience to complete the lengthy matching process, so if you do, you won’t see much of them anymore.

Mingles.com is a sweet site that, while not particularly pretty to look at, is 100% free and very simple to use. It offers social networking features such as blogs, chat rooms and forums and caters for straight, gay and bisexual daters. It is designed for people who want to avoid the more “adult” dating sites and enjoy a cleaner environment. The site offers “gold memberships” that unlocks some extra features (none of which are essential, so you can use all the important features of the site for free). At the moment, you can get this membership for free via trialpay – a service that lets you get stuff for free if you sign up to an offer from another participating site.

A site worth checking if you’re in the UK is GirlsDateForFree As the name would suggest, it’s free for women but not for men (men pay standard rates) and so is actually moderated (although, as always, not perfectly). It’s got a very simple and easy to use design and is suitable for those new to online dating and the Internet in general. It also has a bit of a reputation of being a rather flirty place where people come to look for casual dating and have fun, although many people fall in love on there and go on to forming long-term relationships and even marriages (I know this, because a few years back it was my job to read the thank you emails!)

Mate1.com is big, popular and 100% free for women. It’s pretty simple but the basics are covered, with features such as audio profiles, chat as well as standard messaging. The site is geared towards casual dating and flirting, where people can list sexual preferences alongside dietary habits.

I’ve also heard some good things about Smooch.com, although I’ve not had a chance to test it yet.

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Serious dating sites: marriage sites, matchmaking sites

Here is a list of sites that cater specifically for people looking for marriage/ long term relationships. You can also compare their various prices and features below. Serious dating sites are often more expensive than standard dating sites and they often encourage people to sign up for longer and take their time. This tends to deter scammers and time wasters from the sites. Many serious dating sites also use compatibility testing to help you find matches.

The sites reviewed in this post are:

  1. eHarmony USA and eHarmony UK – the world’s most famous compatibility matching site
  2. Parship – very detailed psychometric compatibility matching in the UK and Europe
  3. MatchAffinity– UK site with a personality test and personal date coaching by phone included in the price

  4. Shaadi.com – the world’s most famous Asian matrimonial site

The Reviews

eHarmony USA and eHarmony UK

The original and most well-known of the compatibility testing sites, This site, created by a Christian psychologist, is extremely popular among people regardless of their religion (or lack thereof) and the sites cater for all (heterosexual) people who want to find long-term relationships, regardless of their views on gender roles, etc. They report an extremely high number of marriages but are very exclusive: people who don’t appear serious enough are turned away as well as people who, for some reason or another, are deemed to be impossible to match on the site.
If you survive the lengthy sign up process and their patented personality test (one of the most detailed and involved in the business), you will find that you must let the site deliver matches for you. Be sure to spend time actually doing the test properly, or you may well be disappointed. A lot of thought went into the test and the theory behind it, but whether you agree with the good doctor’s view on life is up to you. eHarmony has had its share of controversy, as their compatibility test did not originally allow gay daters to parttake. Having recently lost a lawsuit, eHarmony came out (heh heh) with a gay site as well, but it’s debatable how much effort they’ve put into it.

Parship

Originally a German site, this site is huge all over Europe and is making a name for itself in the UK as the preferred serious relationship site for high calibre professionals. Parship has taken compatibility testing to new heights: their test is extremely involved and once you’ve struggled through it, you can order an in-depth personality analysis based on your results. To be honest, of all the tests I’ve taken, this one seemed the most likely to be accurate (although the eHarmony one was actually not too bad). However, I didn’t like Parship’s system of not showing me photos of my matches till I’ve paid up. Call me shallow, but I like to see the goods before I commit and pay. It’s bad enough not being able to search for matches myself. If you like a slower paced, more in depth way of searching for your true love, though, you might find this refreshing. It does encourage a certain type of committed dater to join.
There is a Gay Parship site as well that is very popular, especially in the lesbian community.

MatchAffinity

The newish site from match.com is designed to compete with the likes of eHarmony. It is an international site that splits off into a different site per country. It has a mediocre compatibility test that is the same as the DatingDirectAffinity test (they got bought out by Match) but it does let you search for your own matches (a big plus on serious dating sites). Its biggest draw is the fact that it offers a lot of support to its users in the form of instructional videos and actual live date coaching by phone. Once you subscribe and pay, you can access this service, which I’m sure will be a big plus for anyone new to online dating or the world of dating in general.

Shaadi.com

This Indian Matrimonial site is the most popular of its kind in the world. Its main appeal is for people looking for marriage, although I would hazard a guess and say some people on it may be looking for far less serious stuff. The site is all about taking control of your love life (as opposed to having it arranged by your parents) and so you can easily search for your own matches as well as receive matches based on a simple two-way matching system. The site is less “heavy” than most marriage sites and offers chat features, horoscopes and other fun features.

Special issues

Serious dating sites are often more expensive than standard dating sites. It’s not hard to see why a dating company would want to encourage you to pay more and sign up for longer (many marriage dating sites only offer subscription packages starting at 3 months and above), but what’s in it for you as a member?

The higher cost and longer membership is supposed to deter less serious daters from joining the site. If you only wanted to try things out or get a date for a weekend, why pay more when you could try a cheap/free site instead? Scammers, too, are somewhat put off by the higher cost, although some steal/fake credit cards so wouldn’t pay anyway. They can be put off by other things (see below).

Does it work? The short answer is yes. On the whole, serious dating sites do attract people who are more committed to, well, committing. There are generally slightly older daters (30s and above) and a larger percentage of women than you’d find on a standard site. It’s no guarantee that you’ll find someone you love, but it does make the numbers work in your favour a bit more.

As mentioned above, another feature is personality / compatibility testing. Serious dating sites like to remind you of the fact that looks aren’t everything and that you should rely on other factors to choose a long-time partner. They often do this by making you take a personality test and then delivering you matches based on the results. Some of these tests are better designed than others and there’s never really guarantee you’ll be sent people who are 100% compatible with you.

If you’re looking for personality testing but don’t want to shell out lots of cash, you can try match.com (UK) (USA match.com here) who offer compatibility matching at a fraction of the price.

For a totally free dating site that offers compatibility matching, try OKcupid . It’s like a cross between a social networking site and a dating site and offers a robust matching system based on thousands of user-submitted questions. It’s quite a young site and caters for people who want everything from a husband/wife to casual sex, so might not be suitable, but hey, it’s free.

Another free site that’s a cross between social networking and dating is Mingles.com – a growing international site with a simple design and a fun community. It doesn’t offer compatibility matching, nor does it market itself solely to serious daters, but the crowd on there seem friendly and many are looking for ultimate marriage.

I’ve already written about personality tests and my opinion of them in this blog, so I shan’t go on about this again, but for me, the attraction of these sort of sites is not the test itself, but the audience they attract. However, there are plenty of people out there who love being sent matches by a “scientific” system and many who have married as a result, so who knows? I do like being able to choose my own matches, though, rather than rely on someone else to do it all the time.

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Online dating for single parents

Internet dating as a single parent can be tough. Nowadays, more and more dating sites let you specify whether or not you have or want children, but also whether you’re open to dating people who already have children. Unfortunately, on a standard dating site, many people will either choose not to be shown profiles of people with children in the first place, or be put off when they find out someone has children.

There are, however, a few sites particularly geared towards single parents, so if you are part of a single parent family, you may want to give these a go. People who date on these sites are either parents themselves or are open to the possibility of dating single parents, meaning you won’t have to worry about anyone being put off.

Sites covered in this post (full reviews below):

  1. Dating for Parents.com – UK’s most popular single parent dating site
  2. SingleParentsMingle.com – a slick USA/international site
  3. Kids No Object and Parents Already – two smaller, cheaper UK dating sites

Reviews

  • Dating for Parents.com

    Probably the biggest UK single parent dating site, this site had a facelift last year which, frankly, is far from an improvement. Despite its lame appearance, the site is actually not bad and offers live chat as well as messaging. There are plenty of members here from all over the UK and there is a decent search function that lets you search by many odd factors (such as eye colour), though, as often is the case on dating sites, not by interests. This can be annoying, because the only thing you know you have in common with members on the site is the fact that you have kids. The site makes you complete your profile blurb before letting you search, which annoyed me as well, but if you’re just signing up for a free profile to check it out, you can get around this by typing gibberish into the boxes. Just remember to go back and change this to useful stuff if you decide to stay! The subscription rates are pretty standard for the UK – £19.99 for a month, though you can get a weekly subscription for £5.99 or a 4 day subscription by mobile phone for a fiver to try it out.

  • SingleParentsMingle.com

    Officially an international dating site, but in reality only the USA (and maybe CA) are the ones best served by members and even there, some areas are distinctly low on members. It’s worth a try, even if you are in the UK (some members are on there) but wherever you are, make sure you use your free account to run a good search first, before you pay any subscription fees or you may be disappointed. The site offers many handy features, including basic two way matching, message boards and live chat. There is also a good search facility with keyword search. Overall, it is a well-designed site that charges the standard rates, so it’s just a matter of seeing whether your area is covered.

  • Kids No Object and Parents Already are two smaller, cheaper UK sites that are definitely worth a look. Parents Already is more professional-looking and, personally, I also find it more user-friendly. It charges £8.99 for 2 weeks or £16.95 for 3 months and offers additional features such as online chat and message boards. KNO charges £16.95 for 3 months, £29.95 for 6 months or £49.95 for a “no time limit membership” (conditions apply). It offers chat, message boards and a phone redirect service you can use to make safe phone calls.

Special issues

  • Depending on your lifestyle, circumstances and personal preference, you may still want to choose a dating site that is not particularly geared towards single parents and simply specify you have kids. For example, dating on a niche site that caters for a particular lifestyle choice (such as vegetarianism, a particular religion, etc.) might offer you more matches based on what you find important. Casual dating sites can offer short-term dating options if you are not looking to settle down again, while marriage/serious dating sites can offer the opportunity to meet only people who are looking for long-term committment. Any of these may ultimately offer you more choice than limiting yourself to a parents-only site.
  • Safety first: If you have small children, it’s more important than ever to follow the online dating safety rules and quickly get rid of anyone who displays any of the danger signs.
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Casual online dating: flirting sites, casual dating sites

Casual online dating is extremely popular. People turn to Internet dating not only to find true love, but also to enhance their social life and love life by meeting and flirting with new friends (or to have casual sex). Online dating is great for flirting and casual dating because it gives you the chance to meet thousands of new people instantly. How you interact with them is up to you: flirt, send pictures and saucy emails, have webcam chats (also known as audio/video chats) or meet people just for having fun, without committing to a long term relationship. There are plenty of dating websites out there that cater for this sort of casual relationship online dating. Below is a list of some top fliting sites that are frequented by those looking for anything from friendship to “no strings fun” (as we say in the industry 🙂 ), .

The sites covered in this post are:

  1. Flirt – A busy international flirting and casual dating (and sex) site for singles and couples. Free for women.
  2. FlirtFix – a cheap and fun new flirting / non-serious dating site in the UK. Many features are free.
  3. Lavalife – huge USA/international dating & flirting site
  4. Click&Flirt – UK/USA/international sexy/flirty site
  5. BeNaughty – sexy UK/USA flirting site
  6. Mate1.com – International casual dating and flirting site that’s 100% free for women

Full reviews and feature comparison below, or click here for a list of more “adult” dating sites.


Reviews

Flirt is a big international flirting and casual relationship site that’s aimed at both singles and couples. It’s basically for finding casual dating partners and sexual partners. It’s totally free for women and offers a good chat feature.

FlirtFix
A UK site that offers simple, fun and casual flirting for people who are not looking for serious, long-term relationships. It’s not just about so called “sexy time”, but just a more relaxed approach to dating and flirting. Many of the site’s features can be used for free, with additional ones (like instant chat and video profiles) available for about half the price of standard dating sites. The clientele is predominantly young – under 40.


Lavailfe.com

Lavalife
A big international flirting site that’s massive in the US, Canada and Australia. It has a choice of communities, with this one specifically designed for people looking for non-serious dating. It has some cool features including phone chatlines. My favourite, though, is the fact that replying to messages is free, even if you’re not a paid member.

ClickandFlirt

Click&Flirt A popular UK-based international dating site that’s definitely on the saucy side of casual dating. You can specify what you’re after, but the options on offer make it obvious this is not exactly a marriage-oriented site. The site boasts huge membership and fun features like chatrooms and mobile dating. It’s well designed and simple to use and there’s plenty to do on here.


BeNaughty is a UK/US site from the same company as ClickAndFlirt that is even more geared towards casual sex dating. If you’re looking for the sexy stuff, this place is definitely for you, although they do allow you to specify how naughty you want to be and see only profiles without any nudity, if you so choose. The site is very well designed and packed full of features from video chat to sexy blogs. Mobile dating is on offer and there is even a money back guarantee for the 6 month membership option.

Mate1.com is a big, international dating and flirting site with a slight sexy edge. It’s basic, but offers all the standard features you’d want, including an instant messenger. Women don’t have to pay to use the site.

Special issues to be aware of

  • There is often a crossover between casual dating sites and those sites referred to as “adult dating sites”, but flirting sites are not always as overtly sexual as their raunchier counterparts. Most of them are just about having fun with new people without necessarily settling down. It’s basically online dating without the committment. It can even be a good way to get back into the habit of dating, even if you’d really like to find something longer term. Because of this, you will find that flirters/casual daters don’t always want the same thing. Some want to get back on their feet and try out the scene before finding a serious relationship, some want to meet up for dates, some are looking for shag buddies and others just want to flirt and chat online. Some casual daters can even be married or in a relationship but are looking for something on the side, be it virtual or actual. Some casual dating sites will let you specify exactly what you want so you can avoid meeting people who want something else.
  • If you are one of those casual daters who are looking for activities outside of the Internet, you may well want to meet up pretty quickly, so it’s important (especially for women) to still keep to the online dating safety rules. Remember that even if you’re looking for a one night stand, it’s best to give yourself an escape route in case you meet up and don’t fancy each other (or worse – that you don’t fancy him/her but he/she fancies you!).
  • Many flirting sites offer mobile phone dating, including the ability to send and receive pictures, pay for membership by SMS and even receive messages and alerts on your phone. This makes these sites particularly suitable for people who are more comfortable using their mobile than their computer.
  • Subscription options for flirting sites are often varied and offer very short membership options too, so you can dip in and out of membership as you see fit. For totally free sites you can use for flirting, check out my free dating site post.
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