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On top of this, we also spoke to several insightful people, including dating experts and typical users, to get a clear view of the modern dating landscape.
To avoid the awkwardness of a one-on-one with a stranger, hosts group hangouts so you can get to know a lot of singles without any pressure.
Although our survey found that no dating site or app sweeps online daters off their feet in the satisfaction department, Ok Cupid is rated highest overall by respondents, and Grindr, a free app for gay men, is also near the top.
Some experts argue that paid sites attract more serious users.
So a person who randomly sends out dozens of “hey” messages to would-be dates would have to pay a higher price to make contacts than someone who does it more selectively. Our survey suggests that 45 percent of online daters have tried multiple dating websites or apps.
In the meantime, the bottom line is that while some users think quality does come at a price, there are benefits to free dating services as well.
Both kinds are popular, so you can’t go just by that.
In the 2016 Consumer Reports Online Dating Survey, more than 9,600 people who had used an online dating service in the last two years were asked which one they had joined.
Even Tinder, despite its reputation for attracting users seeking causal romance, may deserve a more open mind.
“That’s the real issue—how happy are people with their interactions on the dating sites,” says Scott Kominers, a lecturer in economics at Harvard University.
On a site like Ok Cupid anyone can send you a message, whereas on the free app Bumble or on Tinder or e Harmony, only people you are matched with can get in touch.
The questions even go as far to ask whether you want to have kids, which is an important thing to agree on if you're looking for a long-term commitment.
You have to pay for a subscription to access most of the features on eharmony, and even though we couldn't read them with a free account, we got nine emails in 24 hours, which was a pretty decent response rate.