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13 Best Dating Sites UK (2022)


best dating sites uk

8 best dating sites and apps in 2022 (Image: GETTY)

Putting yourself out there is always intimidating, and if you’re new to dating apps and sites it can feel almost overwhelming. With all the options available, which one do you choose? And how do you find someone special amongst the millions of singles?

Don’t worry as here is a guide to help you search for the one.

In order to give you a hand choosing the site best suited to you, Express.co.uk has rounded up the eight best dating sites in the UK to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Best for: When you haven’t dated for a while

Match.com

Match.com (Image: Match.com)

How does it work?

With almost one in five people in Britain knowing a couple who met on Match, this is a dating site that knows what it’s doing. If you’re looking for a dating site that’s going to help you get back into the game, look no further than Match.com.

The website comes with a virtual dating coach that gives you “dating advice, personalised selections, tips to improve your profile, and icebreakers for your first messages” – perfect for if you’re feeling a bit unsure how dating sites work. On top of this, the website comes packed full of tips and tricks to help you on your journey to finding love.

The site also facilitates Match nights, so you can go and meet other singles in person if you’re hoping for that in-person spark, as well as a video chat feature so you can talk on the phone before meeting up in real life.

Three million users in the UK

From £12.99 (per month)

Try now: uk.match.com

Best for: Looking for serious relationships

How does it work?

With almost one in five people in Britain knowing a couple who met on Match, this is a dating site that knows what it’s doing. If you’re looking for a dating site that’s going to help you get back into the game, look no further than Match.com.

The website comes with a virtual dating coach that gives you “dating advice, personalised selections, tips to improve your profile, and icebreakers for your first messages” – perfect for if you’re feeling a bit unsure how dating sites work. On top of this, the website comes packed full of tips and tricks to help you on your journey to finding love.

The site also facilitates Match nights, so you can go and meet other singles in person if you’re hoping for that in-person spark, as well as a video chat feature so you can talk on the phone before meeting up in real life.

Three million users in the UK

From £12.99 (per month)

Try now: eharmony.co.uk

eharmony

eHarmony (Image: eHarmony)

How does it work?

Based on a 2020 survey of UK, US, and Australian residents, eHarmony was the most trusted dating site – which in a world where dating apps and sites are constantly derided for encouraging a casual dating culture, this level of trust is saying something.

Using a tailored algorithm, the site creates “highly compatible relationships based on key dimensions of personality that predict the most successful, meaningful relationships”.

Five million users in the UK

From £11.95 (per month)

Try now: eharmony.co.uk

Best for: People in their 50s and 60s

Ourtime

Ourtime (Image: Ourtime)

How does it work?

While you may think dating apps and sites are all for the younger generation, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most sites have a wide age range of users, so you can really go for any. But the site Ourtime has been specifically designed for people in their 50s and 60s to use, so you’ll be more likely to find someone in your age range if you opt for this one.

The site helps to match singles over 50 with similar interests, so you can be sure you’ll have things in common, and they even host local events so you can meet like-minded singles in person while having a fun day out.

Three million users in the UK

FreeSign up here

Try now: ourtime.co.uk

zoosk

Zoosk (Image: Zoosk)

How does it work?

Using behavioural matchmaking technology, Zoosk personalises the dating process to “help singles find the person and relationship that’s just right for them”.

The famous matchmaking technology learns as you click, so it can pair you with singles you’re likely to have a mutual attraction with.

27 million users worldwide

From: £29.99 for one month, £20 a month for 3 months, £15 a month for six months

Try now: dating.zoosk.com

Best for: Young professionals

DatingDirect.com

DatingDirect.com (Image: DatingDirect.com)

How does it work?

Owned by the Match Group, dating direct is popular with young professionals as it uses work and education background as a major matching criterion, so you can meet someone with a similar background to you.

Most widely used by people between the ages of 25 and 40, but is quickly growing in popularity in older demographics too.

Five million users in the UK

From: £29.99 (per month)

Try now: uk.match.com

Best for: People who hate dating sites

Original Dating

Original Dating (Image: Original Dating)

How does it work?

The UK’s leader in speed dating and singles events, this is a dating site for those who are committed to meeting their special someone in person.

For the speed dating events, you get about five minutes with each person, after which you tick a score sheet yes if you’d like to see them again, and no if you’d rather not – this is just for you to keep track of whom you clicked with.

After the speed dating, there’s an opportunity for everyone to mingle informally and get to know each other better.

Then, after the event, you tick whom you liked on the Original Dating website, and if it’s reciprocated you’ll be able to message them on the site to get to know each other better and exchange information, so you can get that first date planned.

More than 6,000 events have been organised with over 250,000 attendees.

From £15 for an event ticket.

Try now: originaldating.com

Best for: Open relationships

Illicit encounters.

Illicit encounters. (Image: Illicit encounters.)

How does it work?

The UK’s largest dating site for married people, this site is designed to be “discreet, safe, and fun” for those who are already in committed relationships.

Many modern couples are turning their backs on monogamy in order to embrace open relationships, but already being married or attached can be a major dealbreaker for people on traditional dating sites – making it tricky to find potential partners. Illicit Encounters make this easier by matching you with people who are in a similar situation, who are also looking to date outside of their committed relationships.

The site creates a non-judgemental, no-pressure environment for members. Unlike other sites, members can remain anonymous with password protection on photographs, to protect their identities.

One million users in the UK

From £169.99 for a 4-week Gold Membership

Try now: illicitencounters.com

OKcupid

OkCupid (Image: OkCupid)

How does it work?

Dating apps and sites get exhausting if you’re more of a picky dater who knows exactly what they’re looking for.

OkCupid helps you weed out inappropriate matches by asking questions about the things you care about, and then connecting you on what really matters so you can find people you’re really compatible with.

Two-and-a-half million users in the UK

From £7.95 (per month)

Try now: okcupid.com

Best for: Corporate professionals

Mai Tai.

Mai Tai. (Image: Mai Tai.)

How does it work?

Named after the co-founder’s favourite cocktails, Mai Tai is a matchmaking platform that is ideal for busy professionals who don’t have time to go on countless dates.

Mai Tai makes it extremely easy to date, simply register online and an event curator or matchmaker will find compatible partners and organise a date at a restaurant in London or Oxford where you’ll be invited to meet with a table of four matches.

From Free membership

Try now: www.maitaiuk.com

Best for: Polyamorous relationships

Ashley Madison.

Ashley Madison. (Image: Ashley Madison.)

How does it work?

Launched back in 2001, Ashley Madison is globally one of the biggest dating services for non-mongamous and polyamorous relationships. The site caters to everyone from first-timers to couples that have had extramaritia affairs for years. 

It’s simple to use, simply create an account, select preferences and you’ll be able to see matches near you with the same preferences. Plus, you can use the discover mode to see hundreds of other profiles on the site.

The site actually has more female users than me as it’s free for women to send messages, while men need to buy credits to start and respond to messages.

Two-point-three million users in the UK

From 47p per credit (£47.18 for 100 credits)

Try now: https://www.ashleymadison.com/

ChristianCafe.com

ChristianCafe.com (Image: ChristianCafe.com)

How does it work?

Christian Cafe first started in 1999 and since then, there have been over 25,000 marriages formed and several international sites including the United Kingdom Christian Dating and there are also dating sites specific to UK locations including Luton, Wigan and more.

Ideal for christians who are looking to find someone who shares the same faith, it’s easy to use as you just sign up and create a profile to get chatting to others. You can get a seven day free trial and an extra three days when you upload photos of yourself.

From 10 day free trial

Try now: https://www.christiancafe.com/international-dating/united-kingdom-christian-dating

Best for: Mature professionals (over 35) and British South asians

Single Solution

Single Solution (Image: Single Solution)

How does it work?

Single Solutions is the UK’s leading dating service for professionals between 25 and 60 who work in jobs such as accounting, law, media and design. The service arranges weekly events for different age groups and also an online dating service where you can register your profile.

The dating services are also aimed at Britsh South asians and the sister site asiansinglesolution.com connects indiviuals specifically of South Asian heritage together. 

All you need to do is sign up and create your profile, start searching and messaging others. The premium membership unlocks full benefits including advanced search options, unlimited messaging and more.

20,000 registered users

From Free membership

Try now: https://singlesolution.com/

Best for: Socialable singles and extroverts

Urban Solution.

Urban Solution. (Image: Urban Solution)

How does it work?

Launched in 2003, Urban Social is an online dating service that’s UK-wide and ideal for extroverts who are looking for relationships.

It takes a few simple steps to sign up and make your profile, then you can search the database to find other members and make contact with your preferences via email, text or instant chat.

There’s plenty of fun extras and you can send flirty winks to members you like, before you decide to meet up with them. Plus, the blog has plenty of advice on everything from making your profile stand out to date night ideas.

From Free membership

Try now: https://www.urbansocial.com/

Are dating sites worth it?

While paying for a dating site might feel a little strange at first, especially if you’re used to traditional dating, it really helps to invest in finding the right person.

While there are plenty of free dating apps and sites available, they don’t do much to personalise the service and help you find a match unless you pay a subscription fee.

What’s “worth it” differs from person to person, but if you’re ready to find someone and don’t want to waste time on people who very obviously aren’t suited to you, many would say it’s absolutely worth it.

Are dating sites a waste of time?

According to the many millions of people around the world who met their partner on one – absolutely not. While the people who do feel like their time was wasted are usually the loudest detractors of online dating, there are many, many people whose lives have been changed for the better by dating sites.

While there’s of course no guarantee you’ll meet the love of your life, chances are even if you don’t you’ll still meet some kind, like-minded people who will remind you there are plenty of good people out there.

Which dating sites are free?

If you’re short on cash, there are plenty of free dating sites and apps that you can use. The top ones include Tinder, Hinge, Bumble.

Are dating sites dangerous?

While dating sites are just as safe as going on a date with a stranger you met at a bar or any other location, there are some precautions you can take to keep yourself safe – and many are applicable to offline dating too.

Dating site eHarmony offers the following tips to ensure you’re protecting your safety while online dating:

Never share financial or private information

Although it’s easy to get swept up in the romance of it all when you feel an instant connection, it’s wise to remember that there’s still a lot left to learn about the person you’re talking to. eHarmony recommends you:

– Never give out your credit card number or bank account information.

– Never share your Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name or other private information like your address that can be used to access your financial information.

– Never send money or goods to a person.

– This includes keeping your profile private, so no last names, workplaces, addresses, or other identifying information in the early stages of talking.

Use your best judgment

According to eHarmony, these are some of the most common red flags when getting to know someone new online:

– Claims to be from the UK but is currently living, working or travelling abroad.

– Claims they are experiencing an emergency situation that requires your assistance, in either goods (like gift cards) or money.

– Disappears suddenly from the site then reappears under a different name.

– Wants the relationship to progress faster than you are comfortable going.

– Asks inappropriate questions.

– Tells inconsistent or exaggerated stories.

– Gives vague answers to specific questions.

– Claims to be recently widowed.

Do your research

eHarmony recommends doing your due diligence before organising to meet in person, by putting their name into a search engine and taking a look at their social media profiles.

Be careful when planning those first few dates

eHarmony has plenty of tips for ensuring you’re safe and comfortable the first time you meet up with someone from a dating app or site, with its top tips being:

– Meet in public for your first few dates, if your date is insisting on meeting somewhere private, this should be taken as a serious red flag.

– Don’t let your date pressure you into drug or alcohol consumption, and be sure you only consume a safe amount. Know your limits so you can trust your decision making.

– Organise your transportation before you get there, and never agree to be picked up. If the date goes badly, you don’t want to be stuck somewhere unfamiliar and potentially unsafe.

– Although it can feel embarrassing to tell friends and family you’re going on a date, be sure to tell at least one person where you’re going and whom you’re going with and arrange to check in after the date.

– Make sure your phone is fully charged, and you have money with you.

– Make sure your phone, wallet, bag, and any other important belongings are kept in eyesight.



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