January 15th, 2009
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):
- Metrodate.com – huge dating site covering most of the world
- Badoo – A hugely popular global site that’s a cross between social networking and online dating.
- Lovestruck.com – chic UK/international urban dating site
- Mingles.com – friendly international dating site
- OKCupid – slightly alternative and offers free compatibility matching
- GirlsDateForFree – fun UK site where women don’t pay
- Mate1.com – Huge international dating, socialising and flirting site where women don’t pay
- Plentyoffish – huge international site where anything goes
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.
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.
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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