With the right approach, a tried-and-true strategy, and an open heart and mind, finding love online can be fun, not stressful. To make it even easier for you, we’ve researched, tested and tried each of the top dating apps to give you the best insight on what to expect. From industry legend Match to international favorite Zoosk, consider this your official guide to finding love online.
Within the first three hours of signing up, Happn welcomed me with 68 users it said I had crossed paths with, even though I hadn't left my apartment all day. It might be helpful if you're looking to date your immediate neighbors (or Uber drivers), but I struggle to see why this is much of a draw when competitors like Tinder already show the distance between you and other users. Frankly, if I saw a cute guy in a coffee shop, I'd rather just approach him than check if he's on Happn. The app seems designed for people who don't want to use online dating but who also don't want to approach people in real life. Pick a lane.

Of course there are plenty more do’s and do not’s of online dating but I guess the most important thing here is to use your common sense. If something feels off, trust your got. You don’t necessarily have to develop a ‘trust no-one and sleep with 1 eye open’ approach to online dating, but it is probably worthwhile having a healthy degree of skepticism in general.


With so many options, it can be hard to know where to find the best crop of potential mates. Each of the dating apps out there has features that will matter differently to you depending on your lifestyle, what you want, and what's most important to you. Looking for Mrs. Right? Or perhaps just Mr. Right Now? It's helpful to know how each dating app is different so that you're surrounding yourself with people who want the same thing as you.
Bumble looks eerily similar to Tinder, but functions a tad differently. The big catch with Bumble is that when opposite genders match, the woman must message the guy first — and she has 24 hours to do so. Guys can extend matches for 24 hours, if they’re really hoping to hear from a woman, as can ladies, if they want to initiate something with a match but just haven’t had the time during the first day. For same-gender matches, either person can initiate the conversation first.
Online dating has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In the past, the online dating options available to singles (or people in open relationships) were fewer and further between. Worse, at the time, free online dating options were often either highly sketchy, putting your identity and privacy at risk, or simply did not have the membership numbers to give you a worthwhile experience.
She’s not without her complaints about the dating app format in general, though. “On principle, I don’t really like that I’m being reduced to a Pokémon card with a few photos and stats and swiping based on that,” she says. “But I got extraordinarily lucky and met my now-boyfriend, who downloaded Bumble for nearly the same reason I did! We agree that it we both felt icky making snap judgments based on dumb things while first using the app, but I guess there was enough thoughtful info that was in each of our profiles that led us to swipe and meet.”
eharmony uses a comprehensive questionnaire with a whopping 29 dimensions to match you with people based on your long-term compatibility. You'll give yourself a rating on prompts like "I'm an honest partner," with sliding scale responses. On paper, asking deep questions like these right off the bat makes total sense when pairing two people together — but they're so basic and annoying. As much as you'd like to lie to feel better about yourself, you know deep down that's not the way to a healthy relationship. Admitting that you're not as mature in a certain area is key to eharmony matching you with someone who complements you. eharmony promises to pay for three months if you're not satisfied after three months, so they're clearly pretty confident that all of those questions work.
Sure, it has a goofy name and the phrase "Meet Your Everything Bagel" as its tagline, but there's more to Coffee Meets Bagel than the optics. Like other apps, CMB connects you to people with whom you share Facebook mutuals. But unlike other sites, CMB only lets women see men who have already swiped right on them, and only allows the woman to give out just five likes per day among those matches. (If you're looking for a same-sex relationship, the swiping experience is similar to that of Tinder, but users will only be shown one high-quality match per day.) While it might seem restrictive, that might be why it works.
Think more women should make the first move? Then you may enjoy Bumble, a dating app where women have to initiate. The functionality is similar to Tinder: you swipe, and if you both swipe right, a match is created. Where Bumble differs is that the woman then has to send the first message - if she doesn't do so within 24 hours, the match expires (in same-sex matches either person can initiate).5 
Met Paul @OttawaReno on @eHarmonyCanada.
Married him ❤️
(Had a first coffee date with two guys on the same day. Obviously one went much better than the other.) pic.twitter.com/aAGrde4cbp

Joining eHarmony Canada is easy. First, fill out our Relationship Questionnaire that will let us get to know you and what you are looking for in a match. You will then be shown your free Personality Profile, where you’ll be able to see how you will appear to others on our dating site. We’ll then send you the most suitable of our Canadian singles. You can review your matches for free, so why not take a look? If you want to get in touch with one of your matches, we’ll help you choose the subscription that’s right for you. It’s that easy! 
Coffee Meets Bagel hopes to offer users better-quality matches by sending curated matches, or "bagels," each day at noon. They suggest ice-breakers for first messages, and the profiles are more in-depth than Tinder. For people who like a little extra hand-holding, CMB isn't the worst option. However, I found the app confusing to use, with too many features and too many gimmicks. I shouldn't have to look up online tutorials to figure out how to use a dating app. And why call matches Bagels?
This app lets you scroll through potential matches for as long as you’d like. It displays a person's photo, age, name, physical attributes and intention right up front, but lacks any kind of personalization or biography. You’ve got to show your personality through photos alone. There are also mixers within the app that divide users up by their interests and intentions, like healthy lifestyles, serious relationships only or even “cute pets.” Once you join a mixer you can scroll through message boards and see what other users are talking about or trade information to keep chatting.
In theory, dating apps are simply a way to meet potential love or sex partners. These smartphone-dwelling matchmakers can even facilitate experimentation, helping users code for and discover what they want from another person in any given moment. They provide a way to meet people on a user’s own schedule, which potentially democratizes the whole dating process. (Honestly, who can afford to go out every night? Carrie Bradshaw was clearly a con artist.) To look at it from a distance, the future of dating is easy and great! And yet...and yet.

One of the big problems with online dating for women is that, although there are genuine relationship-seeking men on the sites, there are also plenty of guys on there simply looking for sex. While most people would agree that on average men are more eager for sex than women, it seems that many men make the assumption that if a woman has an online dating presence, she’s interested in sleeping with relative strangers. Online dating does represent the convenience of being able to meet others that you possibly never would have otherwise, but women should be aware that they probably will receive rude/disgusting messages from horny guys, sexual propositions/requests, dick-pics, and a lot of creepy vibes.
And let’s face it: Canadian online dating is convenient. You find thousands of singles in one place. For those who live in smaller villages it opens the door to meeting people in nearby towns and villages. For people in larger cities it simply means meeting people outside their social circle - without having to attend a ton of social events to do so. Social events are fun, you should attend them, but when you attend more than you want to and always hope to meet singles, it sort of kills the joy.
OkCupid has as many downsides as Tinder, and fewer positive ones, with the exception of learning a lot more about your potential dating partners. The interface is extremely clunky and the photos are a little small. You also have to tap on a user’s small image to see a larger version and the person’s profile, which is simply too large for an app. It works on a website, but it’s overkill on an app, and the amount of scrolling required makes it annoying to access. When you exit back to the list, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be in the same order or that it will return you to the spot you scrolled down to, making it extremely hard to keep track of what you’ve already viewed.
This app wants to find you more than just a one-night stand or a cool-for-the-summer situation. That said, you're going to have to work for it. To join, you have to fill out an extensive survey, and you can't see photos of your potential matches unless you pay to subscribe. If you're out to spend more time finding your mate, eharmony is a good (if more costly) option. That is, as long as you're not looking for a same-sex mate: That's not an option here.
With over 25 million monthly users (that's more than eharmony) as well as live video options, chat rooms, groups for ultra specific kinks, and more, you can probably assume how wild this site can get. But there's such a large and diverse group of potential matches, you're very likely to find someone who's on the same page as you. The part that you wouldn't expect is the fact that they do offer tons of compatibility questions and matchmaking services, because they're that intent on finding you a good lay.
Even within these categories, however, there's room to find your niche. With apps catering for specifics like religious dating and gay dating, it's vital to find the community that is best suited to your needs. And, if you're a busy single professional looking for a long-term relationship, then you might want to try finding your community with the EliteSingles dating app. 
I was on Clover for quite some time, but had since forgotten it existed until I started to compile this list. It strikes me as a less-successful hybrid of OkCupid and Tinder with a relatively small user base, even though I live in an urban area with plenty of people who use a wide variety of dating apps. Clover says it has nearly 6 million users, 85 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 30.
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My opinion about why personality is not the best way to go alone. first off as a man of almost 50yrs I have to say dating women based solely on personality doesn't not work. Birds and other animals don't just choose buy looks so neither should humans. I tried many of the so called online dating sites and I tried meeting in real places. Online dating is a true fantasy of BS. Lets be honest to ourselves. When you are out looking in the real world you have specific things you are looking for before you even get to personality. That could range from eyes to legs breasts or bottoms and in most cases all of the above. This is a part of dating that has been omitted by all online dating sites who claim to be the real deal when it comes to love. In reality this is a pure fantasy made of lies created by magazines and polls most don't have the guts to answer truthfully. For example, Size doesn't matter.... BS. I don't care who you are size does matter in one way or another and I don't mean just the sex parts. Just like other animals in the world humans have the things that attract and using an algorithm based on just a couple of people isn't going to find anyone true love because it is already breaking the number one rule of dating. You are beginning on a lie but in our day of political correctness people have been led to believe they can find true love based on questions about personality only and showing a few pictures. Be honest and admit the truth, if you like big butts you are looking for a woman with that feature first and foremost. Same goes for women, the only true statement out there in the online dating world is there is someone for everyone. Problem is as long as we are offended by our choices of body type no one is going to find permanent true love. Even if it works out in getting married this is likely not going to last as you are denying one of the primal instincts you hunt with. Granted you will have to settle in some ways but your basic types are not what you are truly happy settling for. Example for me? I look for Eyes, boobs and legs before approaching a woman. Then I look for personality honesty and baggage. Last I look to see how much she indulges in drinking, food, smoking and drugs. If this woman meets those basic traits then I ask her out. If she is missing just one of those basic things I pass on her because they are essential to my happiness. Then it is her turn on my part, I must match her idea of perfect match. In reality, none of these things are accepted as true choices for online dating. Size does matter for everything and there is no way curvy is another word for obese to be blunt. Every person has a range of acceptable and not one of these sites allows you to use what really matters to each and every person out there. Even fetish sites devoted to the more grotesque aspects of the dating personality barely skim what it takes to really find what you are looking for. In honesty people should not be ashamed of what they have. This is something society has posed as how it should be and that is a total lie. If I want a woman with a bra size of DD or bigger I should be able to list that with no discrimination just like eye color. Love is not a general thing and neither should being able to profess what you are looking for if you truly want to find your match. If you are a person who is ashamed of what you have being described then you shouldn't be surprised when you get something you don't really want. I can't be anymore blunt than this. Those women offended by what a man wants or men feeling the same should really take into consideration and be honest with yourselves that it hurts much more in the long run not starting out with what you want being honest up front than having each of your expectations destroyed by the lies we do now. Best example is breast size and nipple size for women and penis size for men. If I am on a date with a woman wearing a pushup bra or a bra consealing her true nipple size, she is going to hate me very much when I get that thing off of her. I don't do lies and this to me is worse than a lie. She would be dumped right then and there. Same goes with if I put a sock in my pants to make it bigger, do you honestly think the woman who chooses me is going to stay once the truth is exposed? Hell no she won't. So why be offended by body types being listed with parts? I find that more shallow than being honest. I don't want to be with a woman who really wants a huge penis because this will affect her sexually and emotionally accepting me for my 5 1/4 inch. So in the same manner why should a woman want me to accept her for having breasts or other parts that don't match my expectations just to get her personality. This is going to affect both personalities in the long run and ruin what you have which is why I said this is the same as starting based on a lie.
Hinge is a community of people looking for real relationships and connections. It uses your Facebook account to find people who are looking to date. The entire concept of Hinge is based on the quality, safety and real relationships. When you going to interact with people who have mutual friends with you, then the chances are high that decency will be maintained through the initial period and you’ll be safe from the dangers that you usually getting into while meeting a total stranger.
The experts say: For those nervous about dating, this site puts the control in your fingertips allowing you access to thousands of profiles and the ability to chat to potential dates at the rate which works for you. It is well known and therefore attracts a wide demographic, allowing you to widen your dating pool or limit it with their advanced matching facility.
Features for introverts: Instead of swiping, browsing, poking, and messaging your way into someone's inbox only to never hear back, this app will send you a potential match every day at noon. Men receive curated matches based on the algorithm and women will only be presented with potential matches (called Bagels) that have already expressed interest. 

Now that you've perused the dating pool and have your eyes on that special someone, it's time to bite the bullet and actually reach out to him or her. Each app offers different ways of showing your interest, but in most instances, this is when you have to open your wallet. Match will let you Wink at a fellow member for free, and Plenty of Fish doesn't charge for messaging, but in almost all other instances you're going to get charged for the reach-out. If you're not ready to express your feelings in words, Bumble lets you send Bumble Coins to prospective matches, for $2 a pop. Zoosk offers the slightly creepy option of giving Coins to other users to express your interest (for an additional fee, of course).

According to the Pew Research Center, public perception of online dating has become more and more positive. As more people use these services, more research becomes available showing us exactly how and when people use them. In 2016, Business Insider reported dating apps saw a big spike in usage on the first Sunday of every year. Presumably that's when people are done celebrating New Year's Eve and are trying to make good on resolutions. The spike in usage continues through Valentine's Day, with another even higher spike right after. These are good times to use dating apps because of the spikes in traffic. The odds of getting a match increase.
Tinder may not want to advertise as such, but we all know what it's mostly used for. You're quite literally deciding if you want to interact with someone based on nothing but profile pictures and a quote from The Office, so yeah, you can see how getting laid would be the main goal of most users — but hey, we all know those couples who met on Tinder and have been together for years. It's fast, easy, and if there's one app that even the shyest, most skeptical people will be on, it's Tinder. Hell, even celebrities can now have verified profiles on there (meaning yes, you could match with one of the Hollywood Chrises if you're really lucky). You may get carpal tunnel from swiping so much, but I guess that also means that it's nearly impossible to not find someone who's DTF.
About Blog Ask Vicki is an advice column blog run by Vicki Matthews ND. Vicki is an author, teacher, and naturopathic physician who is passionate about using ancient wisdom to re-establish balance at all levels of life. Relationship Remedies Using the Five Elements offers a simple yet profound approach to getting along better with anyone, whether with friend, colleague, child, spouse, or neighbor.
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