Best Online Dating Websites

How to choose an Internet-based dating service

There are a variety of dating websites available to both general and specialist groups. Dating agencies like, Yahoo Personals, and eHarmony deal with thousands of profiles worldwide, hosting millions of members looking for love. Other online dating sites, like JDate, ChristianCafe,, Hispanic, Senior Yahoo Personals, and more, concentrate purely on a single religion, ethnicity, or age group. I would never advocate selecting just a single specialist dating site at first because you really are putting all your eggs in one basket, but if you don't find what you're looking for on a general dating site, a specialty dating site may be just what you need.

Most dating sites have security and privacy policies and those that don't are best avoided. A good dating site should vet their members and have policies within their terms of use allowing people to be removed or barred from the site for unreasonable behavior or misrepresentation. Any site you choose should have protective measures in place to ensure that members dating online will not face any serious annoyance when logged in. Some sites have data protection registrars and require a strict password system protecting accounts.

The very best dating sites will be aware particularly of women's issues when dating online and will have a positive policy allowing women members to block, without repercussions, those with whom they do not wish to communicate. There are some sites that penalize for blocking and we would never advocate you to use them.

Email should always be a private affair when dating online. The top dating sites usually keep your email within the site itself so that you have a protected inbox but messages are never transmitted to your real-world address. Instant messaging is increasingly seen as very important when dating online and allows instant communication with other members who are online at that time. This facilitates easy and private chats which can lead to positive relationship building.

Not all dating websites have chat rooms, but I see them as very useful for new daters and socialites who love to chat to many people at once. It is a good way of boosting your confidence and eliminating your nervousness about the "getting to know you" part of dating. The best sites allow you to use a different name in a chat room to your regular profile to maintain anonymity levels. The other communication feature we now see increasingly is voicemail. Apart from being able to communicate online it is very useful to be able to lave voice messages and listen too without ever giving out a real phone number.

Here are some key things to always keep in mind when attempting to use the Internet for romance:

  • Use a professional introduction agency or website -- one that has been established for at least 3 years
  • Use a website that specializes in Internet dating, not a dating service that is a part of a non-dating focused website
  • Use an agency or site that allows free profile registration for all members
  • Use an online service that allows you to post more than one photo for free
  • Use a dating services agency that has a secure ecommerce
  • Do not use completely free agencies as you don't often get top quality or secure services
  • Do find an online agency that offers email and messaging that are onsite
  • Don't use agencies that insist on sending emails to your own real-world inbox
  • The best Internet dating specialists offer you great customer service
  • Use an agency or site that is appealing and relaxed and suits your style
  • Don't go for an agency or website based solely on its advertising campaigns -- look for the best fit for you
  • Look for online agencies that provide detailed dating articles and advice
  • Make sure that the online agency includes their full address and phone number
  • International websites usually have the best variety of member profiles
  • Find an Internet agency that has customer service available to members
  • Use an agency that offers different methods of secure payment
  • Some of the best dating agencies allow payment in different currencies
  • It is essential that you can Browse & Find profiles for free
  • Make sure that the search facilities are fast and suit your style of searching
  • Be on the lookout for "free communication" weekends and free trials so you can try out different services before paying
  • Beware of les-than-reputable services that send fraudulent emails or messages posing as interested potential dates as a means of getting you to buy a membership
  • Research your potential dating agency or website on Internet message boards or via friends -- find out what others' experiences have been like with the service