Serious Dating Sites Reviewed

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Most Popular Choice
Academic Singles
  • Serious Intentions, Super Fun Connections
  • No Hidden Costs
  • High Matchmaking Success Rate
  • Real Connections
  • Super Eligible Community
  • Over 2 million active members
  • Love, Marriage, the Whole Shebang
  • No upfront costs
  • Work Your Mojo
  • Make Your Intentions Clear
  • The best balance of eligible men and women
  • Find your soul mate in a few easy steps
  • Meet someone outside your normal social circle
  • Over 50s looking for love again
  • Easy To Use Technology
  • Free Online Registration
  • For when you have nothing to lose
  • Find your perfect fit
  • Best for: Finding authentic mature matches
  • Free membership: Free registration, limited
  • Users: 5 million
  • For females and males in their prime of life (40+)
  • Aim is a long-term relationship
  • Scientific personality test to help find the right partner
  • Best for: Serious matchmaking and long lasting relationships
  • Free membership: Free registration, limited
  • Users: 10 million
  • Large database of verified & attractive Asian and European singles
  • Efficient communication tools for real relationships
  • Top-level safety and professional support
  • A dating site that allows you to meet beautiful Asian, European, and Latino singles
  • Real-time communication with efficient tools
  • Professional dating services

Looking for different dating sites?

Dating isn’t always easy. Finding someone in the real world that you like enough to start a relationship with is often difficult and a bit ‘hit-and-miss’. This is why more and more people are turning to online dating to meet their ideal match.

Technology has radically changed romance, with as many as one in five new relationships now starting on an online dating site. Top websites are a popular, non-intimidating way to meet like-minded singles for companionship, love or a long-term relation.

There are plenty of lifestyle dating platforms you can join, where you’ll be able to browse member profiles for a potential date and make personal connections without even leaving the comfort of your own home. Many of the best dating sites let you register for a month’s website use, so you can get a feel for it before committing to a premium service.

The best relationship-focused platforms concentrate on matching people that are compatible for a serious relation. Services such as eHarmony, which call themselves relationship sites, are set up slightly differently to other services and are created with the sole aim of helping singles to fall in love.

When it comes to measuring online dating success, it’s hard to argue with the huge number of couples that have met through it and have gone on to be happily married.

Couple smiling wiht a cup of wine

Why should I use dating sites?

Online dating offers certain benefits that are hard to come by with traditional methods. It’s accessible and easy for everyone to use, which is why millions of people in South Africa have subscribed to an online dating site.

Simple to get started

Some singles may find the idea of joining a dating site daunting, but getting started is easier than you think. Many of the top ones have a simple sign-up process, and a clear, user-friendly design that makes finding potential dates straightforward.

On the best new dating sites, once you’ve filled out your profile, all you have to do is filter the gender, location, age, and common interests of other singles to find suitable matches. You’ll be able to pinpoint exactly the kind of person you’re looking for.

Expanding your dating pool

Before online dating, meeting people to date who were outside of your social circle or place of work was challenging. It helps to widen the dating pooland connect with people you probably never would have met, so you have a greater chance of meeting someone who you’re compatible with.

Setting the pace

Whether you’ve been looking for the right person for a while or have recently divorced, it’s important to pick the pace that works best for you when it comes to dating. It lets you initiate conversations with other singles, even if you’re not ready to meet face-to-face yet. You can control who you’re contacted by, and when you reply.

It’s convenient

One of the main benefits of signing up to dating platforms is how convenient it is to find the possibility of love. You’ll find many of them also have an app, which is often free to download and offers all of the same features as the desktop version. You’ll be able to use innovative swipe features to search through profiles wherever you go.

Plenty of success stories

Online dating works. Whichever app or platform you decide to join, you’ll be able to read through all the success stories of people who have met their ideal match from browsing through profiles or from being sent a compatible match. Once you’ve signed up, there’s always the potential to meet someone special.

Can dating sites be trusted?

It’s important that you trust the dating platform you want to use, and that it gives you a safe and secure dating experience. Look for platforms that are members of the Online Dating Association, which have measures in place to safeguard against scams and fake profiles.

You can also take steps to protect yourself against fraud and scams.

  • Choosing the right profile photo – Make sure you don’t include any children in your photo, and only post pictures that you’d be happy with your work colleagues seeing.
  • Getting to know someone – As scammers do sometimes get past a website’s safety measures, remember never to send anyone money or give anyone your bank details. You should report anyone who mentions money so they can remove the profile immediately. Staying within the site’s messaging and chat rooms is advised, and be wary of anyone who wants to take things away from the website too quickly.
  • Meeting up safely – Arrange to meet somewhere public, and let friends and family know where you’re meeting.

Click here for more tips and guides on Serious Dating

Benefits of paid dating sites vs free

There’s so much choice, that choosing the best one for you can be a little confusing. It’s worth deciding whether you want to pay for a site’s features, or if you prefer to find your match using a free one instead.


As anyone can join a free site, you may find that there are a high number of members that are looking for hook-ups instead of trying to find love. It can often be challenging to filter these singles out of your searches.

Free platforms are more limited in their functionality compared to paid websites, and suggested matches are usually based on location rather than personality or interests.


For those looking for a serious relationship, a paid one can sometimes be the better option. Although you’ll need to pay monthly for a premium membership, it also has its advantages. Members of paid memberships are often more serious about finding someone for a long-term relation, rather than just looking for casual encounter.

Another benefit is that each member can be identified from their card details, so it reduces the number of scammers and encourages a much safer online experience. Search results of paid websites are often of higher quality, and you can search and filter members by more than just gender and location.

You’ll also be more likely to connect with active singles as they’ve paid a subscription, where free ones can have a high number of unused persona in search results.

Which dating site is best for serious relationships?

If you want to find something long-term, it’s probably worthwhile signing up to a paid service. You’ll need to look at the sign-up process of the site you want to join, as the best dating sites for serious relations require more detailed profiles to help match you with compatible singles.

Rather than determine your compatibility based on photos or a short bio, some online dating platforms will ask you to complete a comprehensive personality test to identify matches in your area. It can nearly an hour to complete questionnaires, which makes for a more commitment-oriented user base.

Online apps and platforms can then send you up to 10 matches each day based on questionnaire answers, with an emphasis on quality over quantity for the matches suggested.

On some online dating apps, you can also search using keywords such as ‘commitment’ or ‘looking for something serious’ so you can match with other members that are looking for something similar.

There’s no set-in-stone rule that some websites are better for relations, and others are simply for hook-ups. There are people with different intentions on every online dating platform, so take some time to see what kind of people you meet on the site and how they communicate with you.

Are platforms worth paying for?

Both free and paid dating sites are popular, and it often depends on what you’re looking to get out of the site and what features are most important to you. Some people may prioritise the ability to message for free over a site’s innovative search algorithm, and others may prefer a pay wall to help block out casual users and scammers.

It also depends on how much you’re willing to pay to use it. You might be happy to pay a subscription for a dating website, but you’ll want to make sure that subscribing to an expensive monthly membership is worth it. Prices for paid ones also vary, so if you do decide a paid platform is for you, you’ll need to weigh up how much each one charges.

It’s worth remembering that online websites offer instalment plans or discounts if you subscribe to the premium service for a longer length of time. A three, six and yearly membership can be heavily discounted in comparison to a monthly membership.

You shouldn’t write off an online service because it’s free, just as you shouldn’t join a paid site and assume it will deliver quality. Before you decide on the best one for you, spend some time using the functions and browsing profiles to get a feel for what you like and don’t like.

We also wrote reviews for the following dating sites